American Airlines to offer one way mileage bookings

Frequent flyer programs are infamous for adding restrictions to possible bookings. Everyone knows that the cheapest reward tier is almost never available when looking for tickets, that numerous fees and surcharges still apply after you redeem your “free” ticket and that miles just aren’t as useful as they once were.

That’s why it’s so befuddling to see one of American Airlines‘ new mileage booking benefits. The nation’s second largest carrier just announced that frequent flyers can now use miles to book one way tickets. No, this doesn’t mean “cash and miles” where you have to pay for 1/2 of your round trip ticket. Now you can simply use 12.5k miles to book a one way ticket and be done with your itinerary.

Why hasn’t this been done before? Airlines are notoriously stingy with miles, and any excuse that they can use to make you spend more miles and incur more fees is usually welcomed. Giving the passenger the flexibility to use miles or cash per leg is, well, unprecedented. And an excellent move by American Airlines, I must add. Hopefully more frequent flyers find their way to AA’s ranks because of this benefit — I know I’ll be taking advantage of it.