In 2011 American introduced Dynamic Air Awards, which are available exclusively to AAdvantage elite members. They allow you to book economy class award tickets within the lower 48 states at a variable price based on the revenue cost of a ticket. Dynamic Air Awards are non-changeable/refundable, so even more restrictive than normal award tickets.
The way AAdvantage markets them is as follows:
You can now use your miles to book any Economy Class seat for travel within the U.S.* for fewer miles than what’s required for an AAnytime® award
So that means that Dynamic Air Awards always cost less than 50,000 AAdvantage miles, though the downside is still that they’re non-changeable/refundable.
Anyway, per a notice posted on the American Airlines website, American will be discontinuing Dynamic Air Awards as of April 1, 2014:
IMPORTANT: Dynamic Air Awards will no longer be available for award bookings, beginning April 1, 2014 (12:00 am CT). We regret any inconvenience and will continue to honor all bookings made before April 1, 2014. As before, we will be unable to accommodate any changes to itineraries booked. As an AAdvantage elite status member, we are committed to bringing you exceptional travel options and more opportunities to earn and redeem miles. Visit aa.com/aadvantage for the latest offerings and program enhancements.
So why did American discontinue Dynamic Air Awards? My guess is simply because not many people were booking them, and they’re trying to eliminate some award “fluff” before they merge AAdvantage and Dividend Miles.
The AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs have so many different award options and totally different structures, from partner awards, to off-peak awards, to distance based awards, to different prices on standard awards. It’ll be quite a task to combine those, and I’m guessing this was just something that very few people were utilizing, so they figured they might as well eliminate it.
At least that’s my guess. Anyone else have a different theory?
(Tip of the hat to @Dstinationdavid)