Finding low availability on AA – Part 2 The Stopover

In part 1 of this series we showed you how to piece together a MileSAAver award from Honolulu to Miami even when a search for that route wasn’t showing a low mileage award.  If you haven’t already, check out part 1 of this series so you can start our sample trip with us.

Stopover

The real bonus to this itinerary is the fact that with an American Airlines award ticket we can leverage a stopover at a gateway city for up to 11 months.  This allows the whole segment to be counted as one ticket.  In addition, where the real savings with AA stopovers are is that if you have an international segment it will allow you to add a domestic segment for no additional points.

The Strategy

In the first part of this series we looked at booking HNL-MIA in July by piecing the connections manually. Now what I would like to do is add a stopover in Miami continuing to Rome, Italy (FCO) in November.

For simplicity I will use the multi-city search on the site to show the results, but you could do the same search one segment at a time as we showed in part 1 of this post and then call the agent to help you piece it together. Remember to have the agent put it on hold so that you don’t have to pay the fee for booking with the agent on the phone.

Strategy in Action

Using the AA site, search for an AAdvantage Award in multi-city mode:

Booking AA Multi-City

What you can see below is that after searching for this multi-city award the screen clearly states that “This international award allows a stopover at Miami -MIA for no additional miles”  This is exactly what we want to see!

Booking AA Multi-city

So for 30,000 miles we could fly from Hawaii to Miami, stopover and continue to Rome, Italy in November!  This is really an amazing way to save points and visit more places.  The options are quite endless and impossible to show all in one article, but you get the idea.

You could then return from Rome (or any other European City) to Miami,  stopover again and perhaps go to Hawaii next summer 2014 again? Of course you can go elsewhere, but the goal is to stop thinking of flights as purely round trips   This will save a ton of hard earned miles and allow you to travel more places for FREE!

I am going to Hawaii for the second summer in a row while completely leveraging this amazing feature.  This is especially valuable if you live in a gateway city like Miami, New York, Dallas, L.A., San Francisco, or Chicago.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask and we can help you plan your own dream vacation with a stopover allowing you to continue to another dream destination a few months later!

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2 Responses to Finding low availability on AA – Part 2 The Stopover

  1. Anjum says:

    Hello!

    I love you website! I had a quick question. My family is heading to Athens in Nov., for a cruise. I’m trying to get the most out of our miles! One thought I had was for our return flight, purchase a ticket that looked like this ATH to AUS (homebase) first week of Dec. and then AUS to HNL in January 2014. When I do a multi-city award search, I get no availability (but I do get that awesome statement that we can use AUS as a free stopover!). When I search separately (ATH to AUS) and then (AUS to HNL), there is availability. Should I just call AA and have them put it together for me?

    Also, still trying to figure out our outbound. Any cool suggestions? Business class, stopovers, which partner airlines to fly? Need to get three tickets and have about 100k on AA and 55k on US Air and 12.5k on Alaskan. Would love your help!!!

    • travelguys says:

      A small bit of clarification is that for the stopover to work the stopover must be at a gateway city. The gateway city is the first city you stop inbound into North American. Try your search using DFW instead of Austin. Worse case you consider driving to DFW or you take another flight there to “position” yourself for the stopover? I did a search and there is availability for this one way at 20K points and $202.50 in fees partially because the Athens-London is a British Airways flight.
      Miami and New York are great examples for this since there are a lot of flights where these are the entry points to North America.

      US Air to my knowledge doesn’t do one way awards like AA. Instead on US Air you pay full round trip points even for a 1 way.

      I’ll email you some more info. to try to get a outbound option.

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