I have to admit that I did not realize AAdvantage has 5,000 mile one-way awards. I infrequently redeem miles for award flights. These 5K possibilities make my American Airlines miles far more valuable to me. Even better, for a flyer like me located near a regional airport – Monterey, California MRY – 75 miles south of San Jose SJC and 110 miles from San Francisco SFO, award miles make flying out of Monterey feasible.
Published airfares for Monterey flights are generally more than double the price of a ticket to fly out of one of the Bay Area airports. Air travel for me generally means an added expense of driving a rental car to SFO or SJC airport for any trip longer than a week, since that usually works out less than the long term car parking cost at these airports. Either way, ground transportation to access SFO or SJC adds $100 or more to my round trip travel cost.
American Airlines – Monterey MRY – Phoenix PHX (15 hours overnight) – Savannah, Georgia SAV
5,000 miles + $11.20 one way, Monday Feb 24
American Airlines Savannah, Georgia SAV – Dallas DFW (overnight) – Monterey MRY
5,000 AAdvantage miles + $11.20 Wed April 29
Overnight flights add the cost of a hotel night, but that is generally not an issue I mind, unless my wife is on a strict schedule. I tend to have free domestic hotel night awards from credit cards and promotions that I often end up not using in California. A long overnight layover in a city like Phoenix or Dallas is something I consider a bonus opportunity for sightseeing and hanging out.
Monterey MRY to Portland, Maine PWM
AAdvantage 5,000 miles + $5.60 Tue Mar 3
While there are a multitude of low fare opportunities for travel from SJC and SFO, the option to travel from my local airport in Monterey saves about $100 in ground transportation cost to fly from Bay Area airports. With so many low fare deals offered for international travel, my best use for frequent flyer miles in my American AAdvantage account appears to be domestic tickets flying out of Monterey and back to Monterey.
There are 20,000 mile one way award tickets available from Monterey to cities like Zurich, Paris and Madrid with low $11.20 fees too.
Finding all these cheap routes on AAdvantage has me looking for a domestic destination sometime in 2020.