American Airlines AAdvantage miles are a popular currency for Australian frequent flyers. You can buy AAdvantage miles directly from American Airlines – often at generous discounts.
It costs just 85,000 AAdvantage miles one-way to fly from Australia to Europe in Business class. First Class from Australia to Europe costs just 115,000 AAdvantage miles. Plus, there are no fuel surcharges on American Airlines AAdvantage awards – even if you fly Qantas or another Oneworld partner airline with high carrier charges. The only exception is award flights with British Airways or Iberia.
When redeeming AAdvantage miles to Europe, there are many airlines to choose from! American Airlines AAdvantage miles can be used to book award flights on any Oneworld airline. This includes Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, British Airways, Royal Jordanian, Sri Lankan Airlines and Finnair. American Airlines also partners with Etihad Airways.
AAdvantage award routing rules
You can even combine multiple airlines on the one ticket. For example, you could redeem AAdvantage miles to Europe flying with Malaysia Airlines from Australia to Kuala Lumpur and then British Airways to London. You’ll just need to make sure that your itinerary meets the following AAdvantage award routing rules:
- Maximum 4 flight sectors per one-way booking
- No stopovers (over 24 hours) are permitted
- Must use a standard, published routing (i.e. no unnecessary backtracking)
American Airlines uses region-based award charts. That’s why it’s a flat rate from Australia (or New Zealand) of 85,000 AAdvantage miles to Europe in Business class. When booking AAdvantage awards, transits via a third region are not generally permitted. But, unless you’re on the direct Qantas flight between Perth and London, you’ll have to stop somewhere! American Airlines recognises this and permits itineraries that transit through the “Asia Region 2” zone on the AAdvantage award chart. This basically includes all countries in South-East Asia. Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and China are all permitted transit points between Australia and Europe.
There are a couple of exceptions that also allow you transit through other zones. You may transit through Doha, Qatar if flying Qatar Airways. Doha is part of the “Middle East” award chart zone. You would need to fly direct from Australia to Doha on a Qatar Airways flight, then connect to another Qatar Airways flight directly to Europe. Japan Airlines flights via Tokyo (Narita) are also permitted.
It is not possible to book Etihad Airways flights from Australia to Europe via Abu Dhabi on a single AAdvantage award ticket. You would need to book separate tickets from Australia to Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi to Europe. This increases the number of AAdvantage miles required from Australia to Europe to 122,500 for Business Class, or 162,500 miles for First Class.
How to redeem AAdvantage miles to Europe
It is possible to book some AAdvantage award flights online. But the American Airlines website only displays award availability for flights to Europe on Qantas, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and Royal Jordanian.
To book an itinerary including travel on any other partner airline – such as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines or Sri Lankan Airlines – you would need to call American Airlines. The Australian-based call centre can be reached by calling 02 9101 1948.
If you can’t find any flight options on the American Airlines website, search for Oneworld award availability on the Qantas or British Airways website and call American Airlines to book any flights you find. You can book AAdvantage award flights up to 330 days in advance.
There is normally a USD25 fee for booking AAdvantage award flights over the phone, but this is waived if you cannot book online. Note, there is also a USD75 fee for booking award flights less than 3 weeks before departure.
Would you like help with redeeming your AAdvantage miles?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a personalised service that’s designed to take the hard work out of redeeming your frequent flyer points!
Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.