How to book American's Sydney-LAX flights with frequent flyer points

How to book American's Sydney-LAX flights with frequent flyer points

With American Airlines’ new flights between Sydney and Los Angeles now on sale, frequent flyers have a new way to use their hard-earned points when visiting the United States.

However, at the time of writing only economy seats are available at the best-value Classic Reward rates – or 'MileSAAver' awards via AA’s own AAdvantage program – while business and first class flights will set you back a considerably large number of points.

For example, you can snap up a one-way economy ticket from Sydney to LAX via the Qantas website by searching for Classic Rewards as your normally would...

... or via the AA website for AAdvantage members with points to burn:

While you'd ordinarily need 62,500 AA miles for a one-way MileSAAver trek in business class or just 72,500 miles to swan your way there on a first class MileSAAver flight, you won't find either of those awards available just yet.

Rest or be productive in American Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER business class

Booking one of these seats as a more-expensive AAnytime award chews through 140,000-215,000 AA miles for a one-way journey to Los Angeles in business class, or between 180,000 and 240,000 miles for first class:

Through Qantas Frequent Flyer the same is an even-higher 877,000 points for a one-way business class ticket using 'points plus pay', or 1.2 million points for first class: again, one-way.

(Points plus pay is comparable to AA's AAnytime award, in that it allows you to book any available seat with your points, but requires considerably more points than a traditional frequent flyer award booking.)

We'd expect AA to unlock its own business and first class MileSAAver awards sooner or later, which in turn would give Qantas Frequent Flyer members an opportunity to book the much more favourable Classic Rewards on AA's Sydney flights.

Whenever that happens you’d need 96,000 Qantas Points for a one-way business class ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles or 144,000 points for AA’s comfortable first class suite, plus taxes and fees.

The goal: book AA first class with 144,000 Qantas Points...

That’s also no more than the number of Qantas Points you’d need to book a flight on the Red Roo's own aircraft to the home of Hollywood, so you'd be free to pick and choose the best option for your schedule.

Finally, savvy travellers might also be tempted to bulk buy American Airlines AAdvantage miles to score heavily discounted flights, but it's a trick that doesn't make financial sense until those business and first class MileSAAver awards hit the shelves.

Also read:

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

7 comments

  • russell

    russell

    27 Jul, 2015 11:30 am

    Thanks Chris. Now all we need to know is when AA will release those MileSAAver awards and in turn give QF members access. At least at the AAnytime rates, cant imagine too many AA members will be snapping those seats up...

    No member give thanks

  • jubbing

    jubbing

    27 Jul, 2015 02:06 pm

    I'm more interested in getting more award seats to use my AA miles to book QF flights, that would be amazing. Or is there any word on which lounge Business/First AA flyers will be using - I would figure Qantas but you never know I guess. 

    Anyone know if you can earn status credits by flying AA partners?

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  • Sam Henry

    inSAMity

    27 Jul, 2015 02:13 pm

    Earn Qantas Status Credits by flying which AA partners? 

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    27 Jul, 2015 02:15 pm

    Hi again jubbing, I noticed you've replied to multiple AA articles, so practically everything about lounges, schedule, points, status credits, seats and more is in the 'what you need to know' guide, linked above.

    No member give thanks

  • jubbing

    jubbing

    27 Jul, 2015 02:27 pm

    I had meant to reply to this one actually, then realized I wrote in the wrong one. AUSBT gives us no delete option unfortunately ;)

    No member give thanks

  • PK

    PK

    27 Jul, 2015 03:54 pm

    Hi Chris, I may have been fed the wrong information from Etihad, but as a general rule you can book AA flights with Etihad miles by calling them, and they have informed me that this route will be no different.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    27 Jul, 2015 05:25 pm

    Hi PK,

    We hadn't discussed Etihad Guest in this article, although American Airlnes would need to release a MileSAAver/'partner award' seat before members of other frequent flyer programs such as Etihad Guest and Qantas Frequent Flyer can use their points to book the flight with AA.

    No member give thanks

Guest

18 Jul, 2019 01:24 pm

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