American Airlines

AA Off Peak Awards – 40,000 Miles To Europe

Alitalia Nightmare

Although I was initially excited about the $287 Alitalia Mistake Fare to Europe, it is quickly turning into a nightmare. Next time there is a “deal” on a non-US Carrier, I am seriously going to have to consider if the potential for a massive headache is worth it just to save a few hundred dollars.

I’ll do a full post about what happened next week once everything is booked, but basically out of the blue, Alitalia informed me of 2 massive schedule changes and flight cancellations. On top of that they are refusing to allow re-bookings on any SkyTeam Partners. This is really convenient since our flights are in 2 weeks!

I am fairly certain this is just a ploy to get people who got in on the deal to cancel for a refund, since that was the only option available outside of flying.

Although it is a $287 fare to Europe, with the current routing it is going to take something like 20 hours with the new Layovers.

I am all for a good deal but that is a bit much. Since we have already booked Hotels, Intra-EU flights, and our other Friend has already booked her ticket to come, canceling isn’t really an option, so I started to look for Award Tickets to get us to Madrid in a more direct fashion.

AA Off Peak Awards

US Airways was actually my first choice because of their Off-Peak Awards. The 40,000 Miles that I got from the US Airways Credit Card have already posted, and it is only 30,000 Miles to Europe in January – February.

Unfortunately there was no Off Peak Availability so I started to look at United. There was tons of availability but I wasn’t really in the mood to spend 60,000 Miles + Taxes + Close-In Ticketing Fees.

My Friend who is coming with us to Madrid pointed out that AA has Off Peak Awards.

I only just recently got my 2 AA Credit Cards as part of my App-O-Rama, and the 100,000 Miles just posted.

I haven’t even really had a chance to dig through their program and have never made any International Bookings with AA Miles, so Off Peak Awards are news to me.

AA Off Peak Award Chart

Off Peak Dates:

  • Hawaii: Jan. 12 – Mar. 8; Aug. 22 – Dec. 15
  • The Caribbean and Mexico: Sep. 7 – Nov. 14
  • Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela: Jan. 16 – Jun. 14; Sep. 7 – Nov. 14
  • Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay: Mar. 1 – May 31; Aug. 16 – Nov. 30
  • Europe: Oct. 15 – May 15
  • Japan and Korea: Oct. 1 – Apr. 30

As you can see between October 15 – May 15, you can go to Europe for only 40,000 Miles in Economy.

Normally it is 60,000 Miles, so this is a fairly significant discount.

Unfortunately there are no AA Business or First Class Off Peak Awards BUT you can fly on OneWorld Partner Airlines, which opens up a ton of more availability in Economy. With US Airways Off Peak Awards, you have to only fly on US Airways Planes.

This is also a really great deal because it is far cheaper than flying on British Airways and using Avios. With AA Off Peak Awards, not only will you save on Miles but there is also no ridiculous “Fuel Surcharge”.

As long as you don’t connect in London, using 40,000 AA Miles + $100 in taxes can get to Europe and back.

Also just remember to book more than 21 days before Departure or you will get hit with a $75 “Close-In Ticketing Fee”. Most of the times this dumb fee is way more than the actual tax on the ticket.

-Parag

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One Comment

  • B says:

    I had a similar experience with Alitalia. I had booked a roundtrip to Europe with the discount code. When I called recently to confirm the seat assignments, I was told that my return flight had been moved to an earlier day. I had not received any email notification change. I spoke to multiple call center representatives and encountered similar inflexibility with modifying the flight. When I inquired about the cancellation policy I was told it would take months to receive a refund.

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