american airlines transcontinental first class

This post is part of the series How To Redeem American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

The easiest way to redeem American Airlines miles is AAdvantage domestic awards. These awards are very straight forward in terms of pricing and searching for availability. Domestically, you can redeem American Airlines miles on American’s own metal or on Alaska Airlines. You can easily search for date and seat availability on American Airlines website

AAdvantage Domestic Awards – Pricing

American Airlines charges the following rates for flights within the 48 Contiguous States: (One-way)

  • Economy: 12,500
  • Business: 25,000 (Add 7,500 miles on 3 cabin aircraft)
  • First: 50,000

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American Airlines charges the following rates for flights under 500 miles within the 48 Contiguous States: (One-way)

  • Economy: 7,500
  • Business: 15,000

aadvantage domestic awards

You’re always going to be looking for the MileSAAVER prices, AAnytime prices are extremely high and not worth it.

American Airlines almost always flies 2 cabin aircraft within the states. Even though the front cabin is called “first” on a domestic flight, it will price at a business level (25,000) on a 2 cabin aircraft. You can fly American Airlines 3 cabin aircraft with lie flat seats in business (37,500 miles) and first class (50,000 miles) on transcontinental flights between New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco. I recently reviewed American Airlines First class from New York to Los Angeles.

american airlines transcontinental first class

AAdvantage Domestic Awards – Searching for availability

  • Go to and click the “Redeem Miles” check-box

aadvantage domestic awards

  • Enter your “From” and “To” airports and desired date of departure and click search
  • Results will show for 1 week around your selected departure date. You can click on “Show Calendar” to see more available dates

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  • Select your desired date and cabin and click continue. (for this example I’m looking to book a first class one-way ticket from New York to San Francisco)
  • There are two flight times available. Select your preference and log in to your AAdvantage account

aadvantage domestic awards

  • You’ll see summary of your trip. Enter your information and you’re done.
    • Note that the taxes and fees of $5.60 would be the same for economy, business or first class travel on domestic flights.

aadvantage domestic awards

  • For comparisons purpose, here’s the cash price for the same flight. This gives you a redemption value of 2.49 cents / mile which is incredible
    • ($1,249 – $5.6) ÷ 50,000 = $0.0249

aadvantage domestic awards


AAdvantage Domestic Awards Bottom Line:

If most of your travel is domestic within the states, then AAdvantage domestic awards present a great value. Personally, I would rather use my American Airlines miles for travel on Cathay Pacific business/first class, Japan Airlines business/first class or Etihad business/first class. However, if you find a good redemption value on a domestic flight that makes sense to you then by all means 🙂 Stay tuned for more on redeeming American Airlines miles.

In the meantime you can use my “Book Award Travel” form to get my help on your next award trip.

If you have any questions please comment below, tweet me @pointspointers or email me at

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