How to Book American Airlines Economy Web Special Fares
It was rumored that American Airlines is going to a dynamic award chart later this year to the chagrin of many. Dynamic means that there is no set award chart anymore and that AA can charge what they want for award flights. Dynamic pricing also usually means that prices are going up! You can already see dynamic pricing in American’s economy web special prices. But on this one occasion dynamic pricing actually worked in my favor. Because of that I wanted to show you how to book American Airlines economy web special fares. There is also a little trick American plays with economy web special fares that you should be aware of.
My Upcoming Washington D.C. Trip
I need to head to Washington D.C. for a work trip and was checking my options. I started out checking Google Flights but the cash prices were just okay. The next thing I did was check Delta and American’s website for award pricing. Delta’s prices were over 20K roundtrip which wasn’t very inspiring. When I pulled up American Airlines’ award chart though I found a decent deal.
Those prices were slightly better than Delta’s prices so that was a good start. But I noticed that economy web special fares were also an option so I checked out those too. This is what I found:
The prices dropped from 12.5K and 7.5K to 8.5K and 5K when I went over to the economy web special tab. When I went to book the flights it was actually 6.5K and 5K but I forgot to get screen shots then. That is how dynamic American Airlines is with their web specials – the prices go up after a single booking sometimes! I was pretty happy with finding a $287 ticket for 11.5K AA miles.
American Airlines’ Dirty Little Trick
Did you notice the dirty little trick AA pulls there? They don’t automatically show you the lowest option like everyone else does when searching awards. They dump you into the standard pricing and you have to actually select the economy web special fares. They add extra steps to book the cheapest flights which I think is kind of shady. If you are in a hurry or just don’t know any better you may book the regular rate and miss out on saving 5-10,000 miles. That isn’t a very customer friendly setup.
Also when you go into web specials the prices are all over the place and there is no way to sort them by price. Another way they like to play, gotcha!
Whenever a program goes to dynamic pricing it is a net negative for the customer. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some nice wins along the way. This so happened to be one of those times. Just remember to select the cheapest option since American wants to make you work for it a little bit. Now that I have shown you how to book American Airlines economy web special fares hopefully you find some savings on your next flight.