Monday, May 11, 2009

American Airlines Now Offering One-Way Award Redemptions

Beginning today, American Airlines customers will be able to redeem one-way award travel for half the miles of a round-trip. Currently, all other major U.S carriers permit one-way award travel, either by booking a one-way trip or simply not utilizing the return segment, but the airlines still charged customers as if it were a round-trip. Now, for example, a one-way flight from San Francisco to Boston is available for as little as 12,500 miles. 

Here are some benefits: 
-It's great for people who don't have a mountain of miles in their AAdvantage account, but have enough to cover mileage for one direction.
-You can opt to use miles for the direction in which airfare is high, then purchase a separate one-way ticket for the less expensive direction. 
-You can redeem miles to fly into one city, and redeem miles to return from a different city. 
(Example: San Jose-Dallas and Austin-San Jose). 
-You can mix and match classes of service and book multi-segments on a particular trip. 

Here is one drawback:
-There are fees associated with some award travel, which essentially could double if you book two separate one-way tickets. Those fees include close-in processing fees (booking award travel within 21 days of departure), and re-deposit fees should you decide to cancel your trip.