2016 AAdvantage program changes Airfare Deals American Airlines American Airlines AAdvantage Amsterdam Europe Las Vegas LAS Los Angeles LAX

American Amsterdam to Las Vegas $406, AMS to LAX $496 round trip

Yesterday’s Problem: $2,000 in hotel room bookings for free nights with hotel points in Amsterdam next month and no airline ticket reservations to Amsterdam.

On Monday, American Airlines posted a $550 round trip fare from Amsterdam to Los Angeles. That deal was gone on Tuesday when ticket prices climbed back to the $700s. I have been looking for an opportunity to string together two or three trips to Europe over the next few months on low American Airlines fares originating in Europe. Low winter fares combined with the opportunity to earn lots of redeemable miles before AAdvantage goes revenue-based later this year has me looking to rack up EQMs and RDMs in the first half of 2016.

Then, yesterday, I saw the low fare deal was back for Amsterdam to Los Angeles for around $500 round trip. Even better, prices for flights from Amsterdam to Las Vegas were as low as $369 round trip with British Airways.

Amsterdam Canal Ring

Lovely clear skies during my February 2015 trip to the canals of Amsterdam.

American Airlines    Amsterdam – Las Vegas

$406.06  Thursday January 21 – Saturday March 12, 2016

AMS-LAS $406 AA Jan 21-Mar 12

American Airlines    Amsterdam – Los Angeles

$500.76  Tuesday Feb 2 – Saturday March 5, 2016

AMS-LAX $501 AA Feb2-Mar 5

Lower prices are available when you link to American from Google Flights and book through a European American Airlines site and pay in Euros. These screenshots are the aa.com USA website prices.

Today’s Problem: My tickets originating in Amsterdam are booked and two trips to Europe are set. I still need an initial ticket from California to Amsterdam. I have several good options I will pursue today.

Good news is there are signs that fares to Europe are about to drop again to places besides Scandinavia (currently $600 to $675 round trip SFO/LAX to Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo). American Airlines has SFO or LAX to Athens at $800 today and Frankfurt at $850. These are not low fares, but lower than they have been. There have only been a few days in the past five months when there were low fare deals from California to places across Europe.

There is plenty of low fare activity happening from Europe to start 2016.

Watch out for British Airways flights not purchased as AA codeshares

I can tell I am an AAdvantage Executive Platinum elite member in 2016. Now I look for long layovers in international airports to allow time for the airport lounges. And I watch out for those British Airways flights that are not posted as AA codeshares. There was one routing I checked where only the BA 747 aircraft posted as an AA codeshare, while the A380 flight posted as a BA marketed flight for 50% EQM and far fewer miles. The A380 is easily my preference, but 50% EQM is a deal breaker.

AAdvantage members earn 100% redeemable miles on British Airways marketed flights in January, but only 50% EQM. In February, the redeemable miles earned on discount economy fares drops to 25%. Booking with British Airways offers cheaper flights and better aircraft than American Airlines for economy travel, but there is a significant difference in RDM and EQM earned if the British Airways flight is not purchased as an American Airlines codeshare flight. Link: AAdvantage miles for British Airways flights.

Loyalty Traveler curated Airfare Deals and Google Flights tutorials.


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