Update: recent changes in AAdvantage chart make this post obsolete, as stopovers are no longer allowed to exceed 24 hours.
OK, this time I actually do mean average intelligence. Not to imply, that you are! A reader mentioned how complicated the whole idea of a one way add-on is, so I decided to create a post, that hopefully makes it easier to comprehend.
This topic has been covered a 100 times in the blogs before, so I’m not breaking any new ground here. The twist is to show how this is very much an attainable goal for a regular family. My dream for this blog is to make content intelligent, yet fun and easy to understand. I hope I’m succeeding.
I will attempt to cover only flights from USA to Europe. First, the idea probably seems a bit overwhelming. But really you only need to have a husband and a wife each apply for CITI AA card with 50000 miles bonus, listed in my Best Deals page. And you could potentially provide 4 one way tickets to Europe with a free add-on.
Plus, with 10 percent rebate you would have enough miles leftover for 2 one way tickets (at 12500 miles each) within Continental USA or Canada. Not too shabby, right? Then for the flight back you would need only one Chase British Airways visa with 50000 miles sign-up bonus, also listed on the same page. And you could fly all 4 of you for 12500 miles each, from Dublin to Boston on Aer Lingus with no fuel surcharges. A great bargain!
We will leave BA Avios program for another post. But just 3 cards could potentially get you a good part of the way to 2 vacations for your entire family. So, the best part and most lucrative thing about AAdvantage mileage program to me is the ability to add a free one way to your European flight. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t. First, here is the mileage requirement for flights to Europe from North America. Note, that North America region includes Hawaii and Caribbean in this case :
20000 miles each way in economy October 15th-May 15th
30000 miles each way in economy the rest of the year
The part we are mostly interested in, is off-peak pricing. But what if we want to go in the summer, as thats when most families take their vacation? No problem. This is where one way add-on can actually save you miles.
Thats because you are allowed to have a stopover in any AAdvantage gateway city on your way to Europe, as long as the schedule is loaded in the system. You can start during the off-peak period in North America, including Hawaii and Caribbean, add a stopover in the gateway city and continue on to Europe in the summer.
Look at the excellent chart, made by Matt from Saverocity LINK It shows you the cities, where you are allowed to have a stopover. Simply match them up to corresponding airlines, that are part of One World alliance. This gives you a good reference point.
When you are looking for award availability, you will have to go to AA website, log in and start your award search. I tried to include screenshots, but it didn’t work. I am Amish, when it comes to IT. No offense. Actually, they probably would take it as a compliment.
So I will try to describe the steps. At the end of the post there is a link to the more sophisticated presentation, so hang in there.
Step 1 Click refine your search It’s located at the bottom on the right hand corner.
Step 2 Make sure to select AAdvantage Award and multi-city option.