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Insane mileage deals to Australia / New Zealand February/March 2021 on AA

I fly on AA a lot and use miles when I can for international travel. I just checked flights to/from Auckland and Sydney in February/March 2021. Flying coach, you can get round trip tickets for as little as 56k miles for each person in coach. Premium economy can be as low as 130k miles round trip. I haven't checked Europe prices yet but these are insanely cheap.

For those of you that don't have AA miles, you can get the Aviator Red Mastercard, make one purchase (a cup of coffee) and pay the annual fee to get 60k miles. Boom. Flight down under for less than $150.

Posted by
6534 posts

There are going to be "insane" deals all over the place because airlines will be desperate to get passenger traffic back. But, as tempting as it is, IMHO there's too much uncertainty around the virus, the future travel landscape, and viability of an itinerary way into the future. I don't buy stuff only because it's cheap, that's just me (and I stopped playing the credit card mileage games because it's like a shifting whack-a-mole contest). Right now (for me) it's just too speculative to buy a ticket, now knowing even how my bank account is going to fare next year. AA has constant flight changes, so I stay away from them - too unreliable and they never bother to even send me an e-mail alert when a change is made.

Nevertheless, hope your trip materializes! Wish I can visit Charleston again at some point in the near-medium future, one of the loveliest places of all within a short flight range.

Posted by
5010 posts

I have a good stash of miles too, and yes, I've noticed that availability for 11 months from now looks great. But IMHO only a fool would book anything - no matter what currency you're using to pay for it (dollars or miles) - anytime in the foreseeable future, and that includes 11 months out. It's simply impossible to know when travel as we have known it will be possible again. If you can make a highly speculative booking, with 100% certainty that you can cancel with zero fees, then there's nothing wrong with dreaming. But I don't believe that's the case: even when booking using airline miles, virtually all airlines have non-trivial fees to make changes to your booking or to cancel and redeposit the miles. Those fees can be surprisingly high ($100 to $200 per ticket are common) and add up quick for round-trips with multiple travelers (if you have high-level elite status with an airline, you may be able to dodge at least some of the fees, but for most folks this is a real consideration).

Yeah, it's tempting. If you have the miles (I do), you see the availability (I do too) and you starting guessing about when things will be OK again (I have, but I've stopped). But there's no way I'm going to book anything until we have some real-world, evidence-based reasons to believe that travel will be available again on any given date. YMMV.

Posted by
212 posts

Thanks for the info, Stephen. The Aviator offer is a great deal right now, since typically, thousands of dollars must be spent within the first few months to be rewarded the miles. Unfortunately, this offer is only open to new applicants. I would imagine most AA mileage junkies like myself have already owned this card. Unlike the Citi card which now allows people to apply every 4 years after an account has closed (yikes! changed from 2 years), the Barclay terms state it is not available at all to anyone who has held an Aviator card previously. :(