Test-driving Dynamic Air Awards by American Airlines

Last week American Airlines introduced Dynamic Air Awards where elite members of AAdvantage have access to discounted economy class mileage awards for travel in the contiguous United States. Based on published fare levels, the amount of miles varies, but are below the AAnytime award level of 50,000 miles for a roundtrip ticket. These awards are non-changeable, but can be cancelled and the $150 redeposit fee applies except for Executive Platinum members. Full details can be found here.

While I generally redeem miles for international travel, last year I did end up burning miles on a last-minute United Airlines Standard Award due to the fare being well above my financial threshold. Curious to see how I might save if that eventuality happened now, I took American’s booking engine for a test drive and offer the following examples researched yesterday. The airfares shown below are the all-in totals including taxes for the same nonstop roundtrip flights as those offered on the lowest Dynamic Air Award available. The Regular Award column is also what was available for the same Dynamic award flights. All mileage awards would also require a $5 payment.

As expected, where the fares are the highest there isn’t too much of a mileage discount from AAnytime awards. That Chicago to New York LaGuardia ticket two days out is discounted, but likely has plenty of availability. Also, several itineraries had MileSAAver availability at 25,000 miles, so it definitely still pays to first search for “regular” awards before trying the Dynamic route. The higher discounts seem to be for travel further out in the future, so the benefit of this program to me is really greatest with advance planning.

It’s a nice elite perk, especially in markets with few MileSAAver seats and I’d really love to see this extended to international travel. Well done, American.

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