American Airlines Now Offering Mileage Discount When Booking Round-Trip Awards American Airlines Now Offering Mileage Discount When Booking Round-Trip Awards

American Airlines Now Offering Mileage Discount When Booking Round-Trip Awards

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American Airlines recently ditched its award chart — officially switching to dynamic award pricing after effectively doing so for years via Web Special Awards. And now American Airlines has introduced a new wrinkle to its mileage pricing: a mileage discount for booking round-trip AAdvantage awards.

American Airlines is currently pricing award flights cheaper when travelers book round-trip award flights, rather than two one-way award flights. And the discount can be significant.

For example, take a business class award flight from Los Angeles to London. If you book a one-way award, you'll pay as few as 67,000 AAdvantage miles in early 2024:

AA award calendar shows pricing from Los Angeles to London in business class for a one-way reservation

That's already a pretty solid deal. It's notable that this award price is less than the 75,000 miles each way “starting at” price for business/first class to Europe on American Airlines' new AAdvantage award chart:

screenshot of award pricing chart from American Airlines

However, you can drop the price to just 56,000 AAdvantage miles each way by booking a round-trip:

screenshot of award pricing calendar on AA website, indicating prices "each way" for a round-trip booking

Paying 112,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip instead of 67,000 miles each way means you're getting a discount of 22,000 miles by booking a round-trip instead of two separate one-way flights. Even if you value AAdvantage miles at a baseline of 1.5 cents each, that means you're saving $330 worth of miles.

In Which Cabins Can You Get This Mileage Discount?

We focused on a business-class award example above. But you'll find this American Airlines mileage discount in all four American Airlines classes of service: economy, premium economy, business class, and first class.

Continuing with the example route of Los Angeles to London, here's how this mileage discount breaks down:

Starting Award Price from LAX-LHROne-Way AwardRound-Trip AwardRound-Trip Discount
Economy25,000 miles42,000 miles8,000 miles
Premium Economy49,000 miles82,000 miles16,000 miles
Business Class67,000 miles112,000 miles22,000 miles
First Class79,000 miles132,000 miles26,000 miles

screenshot of pricing for an American Airlines award redemption, showing cost in miles plus taxes and fees

What About Open-Jaw Awards?

Many award travelers may find round-trip awards a bit…well, boring. After all, when you can book one-way award flights without additional cost, you aren't stuck flying in and out of the same city. Instead, you can build interesting trips by flying into one city and out of another. When you do so on the same ticket, it's called an open-jaw award.

The good news for travelers like me is that this American Airlines mileage discount also works on open-jaw awards.

For example, say you want to avoid the high taxes and fees on premium cabin awards departing London. To do this, you decide to fly from Los Angeles to London and then back to L.A. from Madrid. Booking this as two one-way flights would cost 134,000 AAdvantage miles in business class.

cost of 67,000 miles + taxes and fees for a business-class class flight from Los Angeles to London with American Airlines

Above, you see the pricing for the outbound flight. Below, you'll find the return ticket.

cost of 67,000 miles + taxes and fees for a business-class class flight from Madrid to Los Angeles with American Airlines

However, you can book these two business-class awards together for 112,000 AAdvantage miles plus just $55.05 in taxes and fees. That's a discount of 22,000 AAdvantage miles for booking these awards together.

cost of 112,000 miles + taxes and fees for a business-class class itinerary using an open jaw, flying from from Los Angeles to London and Madrid to Los Angeles with American Airlines

On Which American Airlines Routes Will You Find Mileage Discounts?

The American Airlines mileage discount on round-trip awards is most prevalent on routes to/from Europe. But those aren't the only routes where we are seeing this discount.

We also found this discount on routes between the U.S. and South America. For example, a one-way flight from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles costs 57,500 miles on some dates:

award pricing screenshot from American Airlines to show one-way award costs

However, if you book the same flight as part of a round-trip, the same award drops to just 45,000 miles each way in business class:

award pricing screenshot from AA to show round-trip award costs

Is the Mileage Discount Available on Partner Award Bookings?

We are only finding this round-trip mileage discount on American Airlines-operated flights. And that makes sense. American Airlines doesn't dynamically price award bookings on partner airlines. That means you'll pay the same award rate whether you book a one-way or round-trip award.

Bottom Line

American Airlines has introduced a new mileage discount for booking round-trip awards — at least on some routes and dates. This is a relatively new development. Like the introduction of Web Special Awards years ago, this is probably a staged rollout.

For now, the important takeaway is that AAdvantage awards may be cheaper if you book a round-trip rather than two one-way awards. It's worth taking a look at round-trip award options when considering American Airlines awards — even if that means booking an open-jaw award. It could save you a lot of miles.

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