American Airlines Award Map Tool Is Back!

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The American Airlines award map tool is a powerful way to search for award inventory on American Airlines and participating partner airlines. In December 2019, American disabled a similar tool, but now the feature is back and ready for use.

This tool is especially useful when you have a specific date for travel, but no destination in mind. In today’s post, we’ll cover how the award search map works and how to use it to find and book high-value awards.

What Is The Award Map Tool?

American's award map tool lets users search award inventory for particular dates across a wide region, rather than between two specific cities. Some basic criteria are required:

  • Airport/city of origin
  • Destination region (or interest)
  • Dates of travel
  • Passengers
  • AAdvantage miles available to use

Users can further specify the class of cabin and number of stops for their prospective journey as well. The tool then displays every option that meets the chosen criteria, and in some cases, options that might cost a small amount of miles more than specified. This is fantastic for travelers who know exactly when they want to fly, but not exactly where they want to go.

Finding this tool on the American website was difficult – more difficult than it should be – so if you plan to use it I strongly recommend bookmarking the link. I actually could not navigate to the tool without going to the website's site map, eventually finding the award map tool under the “Award travel” section.

Where The Award Map Tool Shines

For each destination that the tool finds from a given award search, a total price in miles displays as well. Lately, American Airlines has expanded its Web Special awards to include many new routes.  For any flights that price below the mileage amount specified in the American Airlines award chart, you'll instantly know these are Web Specials. Within the continental U.S., Web Specials can be as low as 10,000 miles for what would otherwise price as 25,000 miles – a 60% mileage savings. Below is an example of the tool in action, searching flights from Philadelphia for a long weekend at the end of March:

I won't pretend all of the destinations that return are the most desirable. However, some appealing options do exist. Fly to Santa Ana, California for just 12,000 miles round trip and be at the beach in under 20 minutes after leaving the airport.

Where The Award Map Tool Sparkles

Recently, American Airlines extended Web Specials to include premium cabins, including European destinations for just 84,000 miles round trip. American's award map tool can help travelers find these deals on their dates of travel, too. While a daytime flight lets you enjoy all of the comforts of premium cabin travel to the fullest, the ability to lie flat for sleeping on the overnight journey to Europe is often the priority. You might not find 42,000 mile business class options on every date, but premium Web Specials are certainly out there.

As an added bonus, these Web Specials likely only involve flights on American Airlines metal, so you avoid the issue of sky high surcharges on British Airways flights. Strangely enough though, clicking on the “Book Now” link in the above screenshot won't take you to a page where you can book this award flight. For premium cabin Web Specials only, you'll need to search for these flights once again from the main American Airlines award search page.

Where The Award Map Tool Falls Short

Despite all the advantages of this tool, it has its shortcomings. Three specific issues prevent me from turning to this tool first when searching for Oneworld award space:

  1. Single Date Searches – You can only search singular dates at a time with this award tool. This clashes with one of the most important ideas when dealing with award travel: flexibility. Having to search over and over again to find whether travel is possible on a few different dates feels clunky, especially when other search tools allow for that capability.
  2. Limited Search Iterations – After only a handful of consecutive searches with the tool, the blue “Search” box would gray out and not allow me to click again. Especially when the award map tool can only search a single set of dates at a time, this presented a noticeable disruption.
  3. Lack of Award Levels – While a total mileage cost displays for all options that load on the map, award levels explicitly do not display.  This does not matter if you want to book awards with AAdvantage miles, but for booking awards through other Oneworld frequent-flyer programs, it is important to identify sAAver level awards. (For more detail on this, check out our post on booking American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios points.)

Final Thoughts

American Airlines' award map tool offers great functionality for those who know exactly when they want to travel.  However, those with a destination already in mind will find this tool inefficient.  Personally, I plan to use this tool as a “metal detector” for Web Specials.  By specifying a mileage amount just lower than the sAAver level mileage requirement, results will only include Web Specials.  The only decisions to make will be when and where to search.

Will you utilize this award map tool?

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Comments

  • Hello, I would like to ask how I can get some AA miles to avoid losing the accumulated miles, thank you very much.

  • Thanks for the alert. Would not have known without the post!

  • Definitely bookmarking for future reference! It would be nice if they expanded the search options to include parameters such as “cheapest dates” if you end up deciding on a destination but are flexible on dates.

  • Now, if only American will open up their premium saver award availability!

  • This map function seems to have one huge problem (beyond that you can search multiple dates at once as you noted). I just did 6 or 7 searches and they all showed me options on the map, but when I clicked one of the option all but once there weren’t actually flights available at the stated price. For example the map indicated business class flights to various places in Europe for less than 60k miles but when you click through all thats available is standard awards costing hundreds of thousands of miles. That makes this function useless.

    • Wow, that’s annoying. Did you try doing a search from scratch (starting with the standard AA redemption search?) We noticed that the direct button from the calendar didn’t always work. But in most cases, the link just didn’t work at all, rather than showing different results. Keep us posted if you learn anything new and we’ll update the post.

      Thanks for sharing, Drew!

    • AA needs to know about the bug ASAP so the issue can be addressed to soon!

  • This is good news. Every tool we have at our disposal helps.

  • Thanks for the update. I just checked Business/First out through December (January 2021 is blocked). Random dates, none showed availability for Business/First. Hopefully, they are just all gone, rather than a bug in the software. I will keep looking.

  • Using the tool to seek out Web Specials is a great idea. Sometimes it is just fun to see where your few miles can take you.

  • This is a great tool. I have found it’s often easier to get info about seats on BA for mileage redemption from AA these days.

  • Great news, finally bringing back the tool.

  • I even didn’t know the existence of this map.
    It’s a nice discovery for me!

  • I did not know about this tool at all. Since I do accumulate a lot of AA miles, this will be quite useful for me.

  • Michael R Karpiel says:

    I encountered the greyed out SEARCH button after searching for a few different parameters. Went back to the article and see that you had documented that. Had to close the webpage and start all over again to get it to work.

  • Wanna have a try on this tool

  • oh! cool! Now I’ve got to find it on the website. I like this option. I hope that looking for award seats becomes easier and easier online. Since the airlines get so much money from it all, I hope that some things change in using miles, as in maybe using some miles toward the cost or other options.

    Then someone needs to convince AA that it’s best for them to start getting transfers from a credit card.

  • Did not know about this tool – will be a helpful tool in finding flights. Sort of shocked that AA IT is actually behind this given all their other shortcomings.

    • Standing right next to you shocked. These are the same IT folks that seem to have struggled for years with intuitively designing their main AA.com domain to be user friendly?!

  • This is a very helpful tool. Glad it’s back!

  • This is a solid tool, especially having a graphical interface as a destination view, have seen some really decent Web specials on it as well in the past, glad to know its back.

  • that is great news! it make using and understanding miles earned quite easier.

  • I wish other airlines would make an award tool this easy to use.

  • I hope AA gets on the ball and fixes the glitches noted above.

  • It is great! Maybe, the greatest award map tool provided by airlines.

  • Thank you for this link. I really hope that American Airlines continues to improve this map, as it has the potential to greatly improve our award search process.

  • Thanks for letting me know. I wish it would search multiple dates though.

  • How will this feature enhance a search if you already have the exact dates and destinations in mind?

  • It is a nice start but I would like some more features before I jump on this one.

  • This is awesome! As someone with fixed dates of travel this is highly helpful – better than searching destinations one by one

  • I celebrate this news. This tool will save passengers a lot of time and money; since the search for the most efficient option when it comes to redeeming is usually quite cumbersome.

  • Despite some improvements to be made, this is a very useful tool.
    I like the possibility to enter the maximum amount of miles you want to spend. This prevents disappointments of popping up destinations I cannot afford.

  • Josefina Garcia says:

    This is a great step forward on improving the AA Advantage program experience to the customers and certainl it helps to award flights. It would be great to increase the number of queries to search for, rather than having this non-sense limitation.

  • Finally we have this excellent tool available again. I used it a lot.

  • Interesting. I’ll have to check this out more deeply. I will say that I had some issues with the site when using Firefox (likely something to do with privacy settings). I switched to Chrome and everything worked as expected.

  • This seems very useful. I will play around with it today and see what kind of deals I can find! Thank you!

  • Sounds like a very useful tool.

  • El programa de herramientas es muy simple de usar , es facil de enteneder y tiene muybuesnas opciones de premio usando millas atraves de la web solamente y hasta el momento.
    Pronto se podra hacer telefonicarmente como años atras.

  • The tool definitely is a good stepping stone to something better!

  • Great! I’ll be using this tool to figure out my travel plans this summer! 😀

  • I was not aware of this feature so thank you for highlighting it. Probably the most useful aspect is being better able to locate Web specials to maximize point usage. I have historically found it difficult to use my AA points effectively.

  • having to nail down to one date range is too limiting for us here. Other bugs mentioned above are disconcerting as well.

  • Has the potential to help searches once the bugs are ironed out.

  • I love this tool

  • This is a great tool. Very glad that this has returned.

  • Sounds good, this tool is awesome. Thanks for share!

  • I love the idea of this tool as one for exploratory vacation planning. Sometimes, I really feel like getting away and using my miles at a certain time, but need some help identifying a new place to check out. Looking forward to trying this soon!

  • Lea Ann Baker says:

    This is a great tool. Super easy to use. I’m glad they brought it back. Now if AA will only eliminate its point expiration policy and get in line with Delta, United and SWA.

  • Definitely a helpful feature to plan trips and spend those miles. Would not know about this without your info.

  • Thanks for this information! Great tool!

  • alejandro pelayo says:

    did somebody know if the awards with Qatar are still available ?

  • I’m glad this is back. I used to use it all the time

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