Finally! American Opens Up Premium Cabin Awards Between the US and South America

American’s revenue management has been notoriously stingy about releasing seats for premium cabin international travel over the past three years.

However American has been going to lengths to improve their premium cabin award availability.

We’ve seen that with transatlantic space, with Asia flights, and even with Auckland, New Zealand.

And now we’re starting to see much better award availability with South America.

American flies 2 Boeing 777s between Miami and Buenos Aires. One flight is generally a 777-200 and the other a 777-300ER. Both have tons of first class award space available, especially midweek. Note that the 777-200 gives you American’s old Flagship first class while the 777-300ER gives you American’s new first class.

American Airlines Boeing 777-200 Old First Class

Availability runs through June and picks up again in August. Business class is also available. And availability for both gets even better in the fall.

Here’s Miami – Buenos Aires first class throughout October for two passengers.

Here’s Miami – Buenos Aires business class:

Note of course that business class seats on American’s 777-200s which haven’t been reconfigured (which is what’s scheduled to be used on this route) are angled, while they’re fully flat on the 777-300ER.

American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

Availability is also quite good for New York JFK – Buenos Aires. (HT: Milevalue) American flies a Boeing 777-200 that’s been reconfigured with new business class seats (and no first class).

New Business Class Seat, American Airlines 777-200

Availability for 2 passengers gets quite good come June:

Buenos Aires is hardly the only city in South America with strong award space. Miami – Santiago is quite good as well.

American operates an unreconfigured 777-200 on the route, meaning that first class is far more desirable than (angled) business class, although outside of July and October you’ll find good availability for both.

Here’s business class for two passengers in November.

And here’s first class.

The airline offers a broad South American route network so check the city pairs that interest you most.

American’s award chart will be changing March 22:

  • US-South America 2 goes from 50,000 to 57,500 miles each way in business class
  • US-South America 2 goes from 62,500 to 85,000 miles each way in first class.

However you can book awards now for well into the future at the current award pricing. So it’s nice to see American releasing the space.

Note also that you can include domestic US flights to and from their international gateway cities for no additional miles. And you can include intra-South American flights such as on LAN for no additional miles. And there’s no fuel surcharges for these awards, either.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Zero domestic award availability at saver level in 2017 makes this useful only this year. Why zero saver domestic availability for 2017?

  2. 20 days and counting. That’s 20 days where there’s plenty of 20k economy aanytime award availability but ZERO saaver space. So no partner awards combined with AA connecting flights. There’s no way this is just a coincidence.

  3. I agree with poster “am” above. For there not to be a single saaver award available domestically on AA’s own metal in all of 2017 (roughly three weeks), it must be an intentional act on AA’s part. We can only speculate as to the rationale, but whatever the reason, it doesn’t seem to be to the benefit of Aadvantage members. There’s no way AA believes it is going to sell 100% of its domestic capacity in January.

  4. Add me to the list of annoyed persons trying to get an AA saver award in 2017 (to complete an international award). Seems to me that AA is “going Delta” on this. Unless they open up some space, it’s pretty clear that they have just decided to effectively implement their devaluation early via the back door with no notice.

  5. How about DFW-OGG / DFW-HNL ? Only lie flat HI flight and 0 availability in business til end of schedule.

  6. It’s becoming common with many of the carriers now, I have found over the years to just keep at it when trying to book a meaningful award trip. EK is the hardest

    I was surprised at the FC availability to Paris this fall, and yes it’s the old 777-200 out of DFW but only a 9 hour flight and quiet up front. AND your not paying that outrageous vig of BA.

  7. On a happier note…., I just put on hold three first class round trip tickets MIA/ EZE for Thanksgiving week. Thank you Gary.

  8. On a related important note has anyone gotten clarification that the AA March 22 changes cut off the March 22 to May 15 OffPeaks this year to Europe that aren’t booked by March 22 ?. AA ain’t saying.

  9. I have noticed good first class and business class saver award availability to Buenos Aires too, but almost no coach saver availability.

    Gary, has American typically been stingy on releasing economy saver award space to Bueno Aires?

  10. It will be reason to crow when they open up premium class AND saver awards to Asia and Europe. I agree with elteetrav, AA has gone Delta with their award availability. For example even though the award chart says that it only will cost 80,000 to 85,000 miles for Anytime Awards, when you try to book, it ends up costing 140,000 to 175,000 miles. AA should keep their word and charge based on their award chart.

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