American Is Offering Bonus Miles For Travel To Asia

American has just announced a promotion offering bonus miles for travel to Asia. It’s better than nothing, but also certainly not lucrative enough to switch any business to American.

Through this promotion you can earn up to 30,000 bonus miles after two roundtrip flights, depending on your fare class. Here are the basic details:

  • Registration is required between August 31 and December 10, 2016, using promotion code ASF16
  • Valid for flights taken between September 15 and December 10, 2016
  • Valid for travel to all destinations in Asia on either American or Japan Airlines, though they specifically include the Dallas to Hong Kong flight (which is bizarre)

American-Bonus-Miles-Asia-1

The bonus miles you earn is dependent on the type of fare you book, as follows:

American-Bonus-Miles-Asia-2

As you can see, a roundtrip first class ticket earns 15,000 bonus miles, a roundtrip business class ticket earns 8,000 bonus miles, a roundtrip full fare economy ticket earns 3,000 miles, and then select discounted economy tickets earn 1,000 bonus miles.

Those select discount economy class fares include the following:

*Includes Full-fare Economy Class fare booked in Y; select Economy Class fares booked in H, K, M, L, W, V, G, S or O on American Airlines marketed flights; and Premium and Full-fare Economy Class fares booked in W, E, Y or, B, select Economy Class fares booked in H, K, M, L, V or S, G, O or R on Japan Airlines marketed flights.

However, I can’t get over how cheap American is being here. They even added fare restrictions for earning 1,000 bonus miles per roundtrip to Asia. Seriously?

Just to show how backwards this is, this ~$500 roundtrip ticket from Los Angeles to Shanghai would qualify for the 1,000 bonus miles, since it’s in the “O” fare class:

American-Ticket-1

However, this ~$1,300 roundtrip between Philadelphia and Hong Kong wouldn’t qualify for 1,000 bonus miles, since it’s in the “N” fare class:

American-Ticket-2

Here are the full terms of the promotion:

AAdvantage bonus mileage offer is valid on American Airlines or Japan Airlines marketed and/or operated nonstop flights between the U.S. or Canada and Asia, from September 15, 2016, through December 10, 2016.

This bonus mileage offer is not valid on the American Airlines operated flight between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Hong Kong (HKG) or on any applicable Japan Airlines operated flights between Hawaii and Japan. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who register and purchase tickets on or after August 31, 2016.

Includes First and Business Class fares booked in F, A, P, J, R, D or I; Full-fare Economy Class fare booked in Y; select Economy Class fares booked in H, K, M, L, W, V, G, S or O on American Airlines marketed flights; First and Business Class fares booked in F, A, J, C, D, X or I; Premium and Full-fare Economy Class fares booked in W, E, Y or, B, select Economy Class fares booked in H, K, M, L, V or S on Japan Airlines marketed flights. Flights marketed or operated by other codeshare partners are not eligible for this promotion.

Bonus miles will be calculated and awarded based on the specific booking class purchased, and can only be earned for a maximum of two round trips. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or AAdvantage Million Miler status. Registration prior to travel is required using Promotion Code ASF16 at www.aa.com/offers

Bottom line

If you’re flying American to Asia anyway then you might as well register for the promotion, though it’s certainly not a reason to switch any flights to American. Earnings rates for a vast majority of passengers flying to Asia have been hugely cut as of a few weeks ago, when American switched from a mileage based to a revenue based program.

So it sort of blows my mind how cheap they’re being here, and even creating restrictions for earning 1,000 bonus miles per roundtrip. That doesn’t even address how backwards the fare classes are, in the sense that a ticket that doesn’t qualify is about two and a half times more than a ticket that does qualify.

Comments

  1. American only operates two routes to HKG, one from LAX and one from DFW, and they are excluding the DFW route. WTF?

  2. it’s way easier to just book any AA flight, wait for the delAAy, then call customer service and ask for 3-5k “bonus” miles.

  3. I can’t over the fact that you can’t get over how cheap American is being here. This seems exactly like the new American. Scott Kirby probably worked for three weeks figuring out which fares to exclude on this promo. American may have a lot of problems but they’ll never run out of ways to undermine what could be a simple gesture of customer appreciation.

  4. From another perspective tho, it indicates DFW-HKG has been doing so well. Glad it works and will sustain.

  5. The fact that the DFW-HKG flight is excluded says to me that the route must be quite popular and doing well. On one hand, it means the route will likely survive – which is good thing. On the other hand – really, AA? How cheap can you get? (very, apparently).

  6. US airlines don’t need your loyalty anymore now that airline consolidation has run its course and they enjoy stable market shares. For everyone fed up with airline X and going to airline Y, there are people going from airline Y to airline X for the same reason. Pockets of competition exist but with only three major players in the market, they don’t need to work so hard for your business.Their only real threat right now is losing domestic business to low cost airlines but that is generally route specific.

    A lot of our notions of “customer is always right” assume a very competitive market. These airlines don’t need to care as much as they used to.

  7. My return from Singapore and Hong Kong is one day before the promo begins, go figure. I missed the Etihad first class lounge opening by less than a week earlier this year too!

  8. interesting all the complaints about AA being cheap. Are we all really going to get sore about 1000 miles? That’s chump change.

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