American drops reduced mileage awards

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American Airlines has long offered discounted award tickets from select airports for holders of the American Airlines credit cards. However, American will no longer offer these Reduced Mileage Awards from 10/1/21 onward. This means that the current reduced-mileage awards list will be the final one.

American’s reduced-mileage awards have long been good for a discount of 7,500 miles round trip (3750 each way) with most American Airlines credit cards on flights of 500 miles or more. They have long published eligible cities as a list available by month over the coming 3-4 months and you need to call to book over the phone. This made sense when awards were priced at 12,500 miles one-way within the US (and thus a reduced-mileage award was 8,750 miles one way. Now that American Airlines has such variable pricing for quite a while, these reduced-mileage awards have occupied an awkward place.

Indeed, that’s how American is pitching this change: given that everyone has access to Web Specials, which start at just 6,000 miles each way and can be booked 330 days in advance, American is eliminating reduced mileage awards. The problem with that analogy is that web specials can not be changed and are more likely available when fares are very low. I’ve occasionally used a reduced mileage award to save on a very last-minute flight which otherwise would have been quite expensive.

At any rate, the current list of reduced-mileage awards will be the last, with select destinations still available by month in July, August, and September. If you’ll be traveling to or from any of the cities on the list, be sure to call in to book and get your discount if you have a qualifying credit card.

H/T: Dan’s Deals

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