American AAdvantage now offers one-way awards for half the price of a roundtrip. So far, so good.
But they no longer allow stopovers on awards, except international awards originating in North America and only then at the international gateway city. In other words, if you were flying DC – New York – Tokyo you could have a stopover in New York only. (No word yet whether stopovers will be allowed at, say, the international gateway city on itineraries originating in Europe.)
This means that you cannot book New York – Tokyo (stopover) – Hong Kong (destination) – New York as a single award. Instead, you’d have to book three one-ways.
This change does not affect distance-based onworld awards (which require combining two non-American Airlines carriers) and which can often be more expensive in miles than the comparable American/partner award.
Many folks are negative on the change, and part of me certainly is as well — awards I’ve booked in the past become more expensive. One the other hand, the addition of one-way awards is incredibly useful to me. I can book a Star Alliance award that’s an open jaw now for instance, using my United miles, and fill in the open segment using a one-way AAdvantage award. And of course one-way awards mean it’s possible to book a “double open jaw” as well. So upside and downside here.