AA Devaluation Is Tomorrow: Book Now or Weep Later!


Time is a cruel mistress, they say. It’s been 4 months since AA announced its most draconian devaluation ever — why does it feel like yesterday?

American Has SKYMILED AAdvantage: Now What?

Some routes are being devalued more than others, and some are being devalued on partners more than on AA metal. AA devaluation has turned the best frequent flyer program in the world into an average run-of-the-mill loyalty program, especially considering its excessively restricting routing rules and lack of stopover options. May I remind anyone that United — as bad as it is — still allows us to have a stopover on a round-trip ticket?

So is there anything you can do at this point?

You still have a few hours to book first or business class seats at the old levels. Drop everything and find a flight of your dream. By the way, don’t worry about Etihad if that’s your thing — the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent rates are not going up. Think about these poor puppies!

U.S. Transcontinental First Class: Going Up by 35%!

Availability is not stellar, but it’s still there — all you need to do is look. Book today for 32,500 miles or tomorrow for 50K.

AA Devaluation AA NYC-LAX

AA Devaluation: JFK-LAX in First

Cathay Pacific First Class between New York and Vancouver: Going up by 35%!

It’s 32,500 today — 50,000 tomorrow. Going, going… Impossible to find availability you say? Seek and ye shall find. Maybe. Search on BA.

AA Devaluation: AA NYC-Vancouver

AA Devaluation: JFK-YVR in First

Asia 2: Going Up by 22% in Business

Why not first? Because you won’t find anything in first in the next few hours, that’s futile. Finding a business class seat, however, is possible, and business is going up from 55K to 70K. Book today, or at least put it on hold for the next 5 days to think it over.

AA Devaluation: AA NYC-HKG

AA Devaluation: JFK-HKG in Business

You can check American own flights to Asia and Europe, but most of that availability has been depleted. Which doesn’t mean you can’t find something. There is still time!

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If I understand the AA devaluation it mostly affects people traveling ‘in style’, not me who’s OK to sit cramped in an Economy seat between the USA and Europe or within the USA.
What are the major things devalued for the ‘economy’ folks on AA now?


I booked a number of business class tickets before the deadline, but not for dates which will work for me. There’s plenty of time, but I’m worried about what will happen if space doesn’t open up during the year. These are one way tickets, so the redeposit fees would be huge. I think I saw you mention something about getting travel insurance. Can you please elaborate and suggest how to go about reducing my exposure. Thanks.

Andy Shuman

I’ve bought TI several times, but fortunately never needed it, so can’t comment on how well it works. One of the most well-known is Travel Guard, but I think it’s the most expensive, too. The plans that would include a travel cancellation clause have cost me about $30-50, but from what I remember, the cancellation would have to be due to an emergency, like illness or something (would require a doctor’s note). Also, the sooner you buy the insurance the cheaper the price, but in your case it kind of defeats the purpose. Remember that you can change your ticket… Read more »

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