American Airlines has announced some award chart changes that will take effect for bookings on January 16, 2019 (note that these changes will not affect bookings made before that date, even if for travel after that date — so book now to lock in current rates through the end of the schedule, availability permitting). The key part of the story here is that premium cabin awards to Hawaii are getting more expensive almost across the board (flights from Asia remain unchanged). The other major change is that Canada will join the contiguous 48 states as a single region, which will decrease prices between the continental US and Canada and prices between Canada and other regions will either stay the same or decrease thanks to this change.
Old Hawaii AA award chart
For reference, here is a look at the “old” chart for flights between Hawaii and each of the following regions. This chart applies to flights booked through January 15, 2019. Again, these are prices for each region to/from Hawaii.
New Hawaii AA Award chart
Here is a look at the new award pricing for flights booked on or after January 16, 2019. The same as above, these are prices between each of the listed regions and Hawaii.
Canada joins the Contiguous 48 states
Beginning on January 16, 2019, Canada will join the contiguous US states on the American Airlines award chart. That will make some awards cheaper and others will stay the same. Notably, flights to and from Canada will be reduced in price to just 12,500 miles one-way in economy class or 25K in business class. Will we see Mile SAAver flights to and from Canada in the future? That might be fun!
The increases in premium cabin pricing to and from Hawaii are substantial, with flights to and from the contiguous states increasing from 40,000 in 2-cabin business class and 65,000 in first class (does AA operate any 3-cabin flights to Hawaii?) to 55,000 in business class and 80,000 in first. Between how few flights AA operates to Hawaii with lie-flat seats and this nearly 38% increase in the business class award price, AA will not be an attractive option for award flights to and from Hawaii. Booking Delta awards via Korean Air or United awards via Singapore Krisflyer, already better values, will represent exponentially better deals for lie-flat options to Hawaii moving forward.
H/T: Doctor of Credit