Using your American Airlines AAdvantage miles abroad

I personally think that using AAdvantage miles for domestic/regional flights abroad to be one of the best use of AAdvantage miles, especially within Australia.Using your American Airlines AAdvantage miles abroad

I have an upcoming trip to Australia and while I’m there I plan to hop around cities. I’m going from Sydney to Alice Springs to Perth and then back to Sydney.

Of course, driving was not really an option. Driving on the left side of the road will most definitely put others in danger and I rather not get into an accident in a foreign country. Driving is also too time consuming. Paying, in cash, for the above mentioned flights would cost around $900 USD.

So, I used my American Airlines AAdvantage miles to fly domestically within Australia. Flights within Australia, Europe and parts of Africa are cheaper than flying domestically in the U.S. using AAdvantage miles. However, remember that British Airways and Iberia impose silly fuel surcharges to award flights, though the surcharge isn’t so bad within Europe.

There’s almost always some sort of availability on these flights too, even just a couple of weeks out.

I’m flying Business from Sydney to Alice Springs and from Perth to Sydney. From Alice Springs to Perth I’ll be flying coach because it’s a Qantaslink flight, which is the Qantas equivalent to American’s American Eagle carrier.

The total for my Aussie domestic trip: 45,000 miles and $56 USD. With the Citi AAdvantage credit card 10% rebate it ended up being 40,500 miles and $56 USD.

I was thinking of using miles again between Johannesburg and Cape Town this upcoming summer but the British Airways fees were almost as much as paying for the flight, so I just paid for it and saved those miles.

Have you used miles for these sorts of trips? Thoughts on their use?

About Adam (509 Articles)
Lawyer. Immigrant. Frequent Flyer. Scuba Diver. Travel Blogger. [Follow me on Twitter: @iAdumb]

4 Comments on Using your American Airlines AAdvantage miles abroad

  1. I’m trying to plan my first trip to Australia at the end of this year and will keep this in mind. What are you using to get to Sydney? Award space using aa is terrible. I understand it is peak season which may explain that.

    • Flights from LAX to SYD are pretty pricey on oneworld. I didn’t use miles for 2 reasons, 1) like you mention, QF/AA don’t have much availability to Australia and 2) I wanted to earn the EQMs. I also booked my flight late, you could find RT flights between LAX and SYD for $1300, marketed by AA and operated by QF. Last year I think I paid $1100 to flight RT to SYD.

  2. Wouldn’t BA Avios be better? Just thinking.

    • From SYD to ASP it’s also 10K avios. So same price as AA miles. For business class, avios are actually an extra 2,500 avios than they would be in AA miles (20k Avios v. 17,500 AA miles).

      From SYD to PER on AA miles it would be 10k and with avios it would be 12,500 for coach. For business it would be 17,500 AA miles and with avios it would be 25K.

      So in this case, American miles actually end up being a better deal than avios!

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