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Mileage awards are everything. Frequent flyers who are adept at redeeming miles for travelling and can cleverly upgrade themselves set such goals for the rest of us who are still wondering where to start and how to go about profiting from our flight journeys. The basic idea is this- if you are a cardholder whose card is partnered with the American Airlines’ Reduced Mileage Awards Program, you will be able to get yourself a good deal in the form of a mileage discount.
Exactly how much you will be able to save depends on the distance of the journey, the type of card that you are using and so on, but you can expect to save anywhere between 1000 to 7500 miles through the promotion.
The associated brand cards are otherwise known as Aadvantage Cards. Milesaaver and Aanytime are types of reward tickets that you can opt to use to enjoy the discounts available through the reduced mileage promotions offered by the airline. They differ on many aspects, including the type of benefits that you obtain and the kind of flights you can use each for.
What are Award Seats?
Essentially, the difference between the two award seats is not noticeable unless you are looking for specific advantages such as no-cost cancellation and so on. To be able to understand the primary difference between these two awards, it will be good to start by explaining exactly how the award seat inventory system works in American Airlines.
Any airline associated with such a program usually allocates a specific number of seats in their flights which are set aside as award seats, and as you can guess, the number of award seats are usually limited. To put this in simple words, just because a flight has 100 seats available does not mean that all of the 100 can be booked using miles.
So what is the difference between Milesaaver and Aanytime Awards?
Milesaaver seats are essentially subject to availability, and it’s a first-come-first-serve policy and essentially serve as the award seat inventory of American Airlines. You cannot book Milesaaver seats if the flight has run out of them. However, this does not mean that you will not be able to book any seat using your miles. Some airlines, including American Airlines, will still let you do so, but they will charge you more miles for these seats. This means that you will still be saving but not as much as you would if you had directly booked Milesaaver seats.
This is where the Aanytime awards come in (now you see why they are named that way). You can use these awards the book seats on American Airlines but not on partner flights. However, booking a seat using Aanytime awards is nowhere nearly as profitable as using your Milesaaver awards. You will be using up a lot of your miles when you book using Aanytime, and this might sometimes be double that of Milesaaver.
Which is better, Milesaaver or Aanytime?
Let us put it this way, so it is clear. If we were to book a seat on American Airlines, we would try our best to obtain a Milesaaver seat. If this is not available, we would chart out our annual travel plans and decide on how many flights we wish to take in the year and how best I could be using my miles.
Only, and if only we have no other travel plans scheduled for the longest time possible, we would consider booking a seat using Aanytime awards. It makes a lot more sense to save up the miles and use it for another flight, another time rather than waste it by using Aanytime awards.
Here, on the American Airlines webpage, you can see the difference between the two and notice the drastic price difference irrespective of the travel location. You will be able to see, for example, that a ticket to Canada shouldn’t cost you more than 7500 miles using Milesaaver, but if you were to opt for Aanytime, you would be spending more than double the miles.
If you are willing to spend the miles, it would be more advisable for you to look for Milesaaver premium tickets which will roughly cost you the same as Aanytime awards, plus you will be enjoying the benefits of travelling in Business or First Class.
So, your answer is Milesaaver. It is generally the better option between the two. Now the slight disadvantage of Milesaaver and award seats, in general, is that there is no fixed policy regarding their release. While one flight might have 10 seats that you can book using your miles, another might have 50 or none. Unpredictability is the most common problem that you will face.
However, it will be good to note that if you are likely to change your travel plans and you are looking for flexibility in changing your plans, you might want to consider Aanytime, because you will have the option to change your flight at any time until the day of the departure and face no penalties unless it is a one-off situation where there are not many seats available.
On the other hand, if you are planning to change your Milesaaver seat, you will be facing quite some dilemma.
Firstly, you will need to make sure that there are Milesaaver seats available on the flight you opt for. Additionally, you will be charged $150 as a change fee. This is not applicable if you have an executed platinum account.
What is the difference between using Aanytime awards, Milesaaver awards and booking tickets directly?
If you think about it, unlike your Milesaaver tickets, Aanytime awards are just like your regular economy class tickets offering you similar benefits, and you will have all the regular benefits of the same, including baggage allowance and priority boarding passes. When you book your ticket using Aanytime awards, you will be able to request seat changes just like you would with a regular ticket- for preferred seats subject to availability.
However, unlike in the case of regular tickets, you will not be able to redeem miles from the journey you have completed using your Aanytime awards. You don’t earn both regular miles as well as Q miles.
Now, if you are using Milesaaver awards, you will be deprived of all the benefits of a regular ticket while being subjected to all the restrictions imposed upon Aanytime awards. So ideally, depending on how many miles you are willing to spend, it makes more sense to purchase Milesaaver Premium Tickets (instead of Aanytime economy tickets) because you will have the benefits of boarding on priority as well as additional luggage allowance.
The key points from this post are:
- Milesaaver is a better option than Aanytime Awards in most situations.
- If you aren’t sure about your plans, it might be better to go for Aanytime awards to avoid the change fee.
- Opting for Milesaaver Premium makes more sense than Aanytime Economy.
I hope that you have been able to find this article informative. If you are looking for more information regarding your flight and other details, check out our other posts!
Q. Do Aadvantage Miles Expire?
A. Yes. If a passenger has not earned more miles or used the existing miles for redeeming anything in over 18 months, the miles are subject to expiry.
Q. How much is an airline mile worth in American Airlines?
A. The value of one mile is 1.29 cents on average and can go up to 1.4 depending on your card, which means you can redeem 1000 miles for $13-$14 on American Airlines, but this is not the same for every airline.