Author Archives: Andy Shuman

The American Award Search Engine Is Getting a Facelift– Should We Be Worried? And a Workaround.

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American Award Search

If you’re like me, you’re deeply suspicious, if not outright terrified, of every unnecessary “enhancement” coming from loyalty programs. Because why, oh why, would anyone pour any money into fixing things that ain’t broken if not to deliver yet another crushing blow to our aspirations and dreams?

Too much drama? 🙂 Agreed, but the American award search tool is excellent as it is (availability is another matter, though). It doesn’t require a log-on; it’s easy to use; the monthly calendar works great — basically, save for some annoyances like the lack of the “Back” button, it’s nearly perfect.

How long has it been going on? I haven’t searched AA for quite a while now, so when I finally got on the American award search website (working on another piece), this is what I found after running a simple award search for Madrid.

American Award Search

Filter and Calendar “coming soon?” Why? We already have a perfectly good filter and calendar.

Last time American seriously “skymiled” AAdvantage was in 2015, and I can’t shake off the feeling that AA might be taking a page from Delta again, preparing to do away with the award chart and redemption levels in favor of “it costs what it does.” For the sake of comparison, here is a “regular” first screen when you search for American award space.

American Award Search

It seems like a work in progress to me. Not all American award searches result in a new look. Domestic, South America, and Africa/Middle East searches seem to unfold in a traditional manner.

American Award Search

While American searches for awards to Europe, Asia, and South Pacific are now sporting a new look.

American Award Search

The path to the traditional American award search engine

If you’re unhappy with the new American award search tool design, there is a workaround, at least for now. Just go to the “Advanced search” instead.

American Award Search

Then fill everything out, choose the class of service (and also whether you want to search only American or the partners too, a very important function, IMHO), and click search.

American Award Search

The search will take you to a traditional calendar.

American Award Search

From there you can extend the calendar for a monthly view as well as choose whether or not you’re looking for nonstop flights (good luck with that due to their marriage segments shenanigans).

American Award Search

Of course, there can be a perfectly good explanation. Maybe they just want to bring the award and cash search engines together in one unifying look. But it also can be a step toward dumping the AAdvantage award chart Delta-style.

So what do you think? Nefarious or innocuous? You tell me!

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