How to Maximize Business and First-Class Web Specials with American Airlines
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Flying in premium cabins on American Airlines with your miles is more affordable than you might think thanks to business and first-class Web Specials. Web Special awards are available for fewer AAdvantage miles than those on American’s published award chart.
Web Special awards do not allow changes, but these fares are more flexible than you would think. Since American Airlines loosened its change and cancellation policies, you can cancel and reinstate your miles without paying a fee.
Web Special awards are not published anywhere; you have to search specific routes to find them. Currently, these awards are available only on American Airlines and not on partner airlines.
Nonetheless, if you find these awards, you can extract a lot of value out of your American Airlines miles. Here’s how to find and maximize these first and business class awards.
American Airlines award chart for business, first-class awards
American’s award chart includes MileSAAver and AAnytime* awards.
When flyers talk about American's award chart, they're typically referring to MileSAAver tickets since the AAnytime flights are usually overpriced and rarely offer a good value.
Here are the one-way MileSAAver price for first- and business-class awards according to the American Airlines award chart. This chart shows what award tickets cost from the U.S. to another region.
Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada
Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada (≤ 500 miles)
South America Region 1
South America Region 2
Asia Region 1
Asia Region 2
When you’re looking for Web Special awards, the prices you want to aim for are those that cost fewer miles than the rates shown above.
*American recently announced the discontinuation of MileSAAver and AAnytime fares along with updates to its elite status program for 2023. See what's changing.
» Learn more: American Airlines award chart: what to know
Best AA Web Special in business and first class
Now, let's take a look at some Web Specials to see where you can maximize your miles at prices even lower than those on the award chart.
U.S. to Chile in business class
A Web Special in business class from New York-JFK to Santiago, Chile, is 45,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes compared with the standard rate of 57,500 miles (South America Region 2).
The main cabin (economy) and premium economy awards for 20,000 miles and 30,000 miles, respectively, are also Web Special awards. A MileSAAver economy award to this region costs 30,000 miles, while a premium economy award costs 40,000 miles.
U.S. to London-LHR in first class
On this Los Angeles to London-LHR route, only the first-class award is a Web Special at 70,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes compared with 85,000 miles for a MileSAAver flight based on the award chart.
In addition, if you booked this award, you would get to experience American’s Flagship First seats in this cabin, which convert into flat beds. You will also be able to access the Flagship First Lounge in Los Angeles before your flight. This lounge isn’t your typical airline lounge. It includes more premium amenities, including showers and elevated food and drinks.
So, what’s the catch?
These heavily discounted awards are more likely to include a stop, and they don’t reflect partner availability.
What's more, these awards are becoming much harder to find. For the Los Angeles to London route, we only found two first-class awards at 70,000 miles in an entire month. All business class awards were 57,500 miles, which is the regular MileSAAver award price.
You’ll have the best chance to snag a decently priced Web Special award if your travel dates are flexible and you don’t mind a connection — especially if you live in a non-hub city where a connection is required anyway.
American is a member of Oneworld and has independent partnerships with various airlines. Because of these partnerships, AAdvantage miles can be used to fly on over 20 different airlines. Although Web Specials aren’t available on these airlines, if you’re not finding any Web Specials or the award flights are too expensive, use American’s advanced/multi-city search page to find partner availability.
American publishes a separate award chart for its partner airlines, and those prices are generally in line with its own chart.
» Learn more: The complete guide to redeeming American Airlines miles
Final thoughts on American Airlines Web Specials in business and first class
Finding a business or first-class Web Special awards on American Airlines is like finding a “sale on sale.” It’s one of the lowest prices you’ll be able to find on American Airlines’ premium cabins, and you can always get the miles back if your plans change. If you’re flexible with your dates and are open to a connecting flight, you could find some rock bottom prices.
How to maximize your rewards
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Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card