Deal: Book an American Airlines award ticket to Los Angeles or Las Vegas for 20,000 miles round-trip

American Airlines is offering a deal on flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas through the beginning of April. Photo: Creative Commons.

American Airlines is offering a deal on flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas through the beginning of April. Photo: Creative Commons.

American Airlines has temporarily cut the number of AAdvantage miles customers need to visit Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Tim Winship wrote on his Frequentflier.com blog.

If you book a coach ticket by Feb. 27, it’ll cost only 10,000 miles each way — or 20,000 miles round-trip. Usually, a domestic coach ticket costs 25,000, so if you’re planning a trip to Los Angeles or Las Vegas and want to use miles, you should jump on this. The deal is valid for flights through April.  Here’s the deal on American’s website. 

I suspect we’ll see a lot more “deals” like this in the future. The way domestic award flights are priced generally does not make sense, and it does jibe with with the way airlines sell regular tickets.

If you’re trying to buy a plane ticket to Los Angeles or Las Vegas, you’ll probably notice that the price of the ticket changes by day. There’s essentially no set price. It depends on a bunch of factors, including where you are flying from and what the overall demand is for the flight. A ticket from L.A. to Las Vegas might be $120 one day, and $250 the next. It’ll almost certainly be more if you’re flying from New York to Las Vegas.

But that’s not how these award seats work. American essentially has only two options for coach seats — a round-trip ticket for 25,000 miles if the flight is relatively empty, or a round-trip ticket for 50,000 miles if the flight is projected to have a lot of demand. The crazy thing is that it doesn’t even matter where you are flying from. San Francisco to L.A. is the same “price” as New York to L.A.

In the future, I think airlines will fix this problem. So some round-trip flights for which demand is low might available for 20,000 miles — like these L.A. and Vegas flights — and some will cost a lot more miles.

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