Starting from today, you can redeem your AAdvantage Miles towards flights operated by China Southern (CZ). At the same time, you could also earn redeemable miles on all CZ-operated and -coded flight, with an earning rate outlined below.
Understandably, the accrual rate is pretty bad on some heavily discounted cabin, and you should also be aware that it will NOT earn you any Elite Qualifying Mile or Dollar on CZ-coded flights. If you want to earn EQM and EQD, your flight must be marked with AA flight codes, sometimes meaning the price of the ticket will substantially hike.
On the burning side, mileage redemption on CZ flights follows the existing award chart.
And below is a map showing all the non-stop CZ flights between China and the USA.
Apparently the majority of the traffic comes from Guangzhou, China Southern’s fortress hub. You also have a wide range of opportunities to connect beyond Guangzhou, thanks to the expansive domestic and regional network of CZ.
Within Asia 2, a one-way economy ticket will cost you 17500 AA miles, excluding taxes and fees. Given that AA’s region definition is quite broad, there are ample opportunities to take advantage of what China Southern has to offer in terms of intra-Asia flights.
Today I tried to book an award ticket with AAdvantage mile and the agent had no problem finding the correct award space and pricing the ticket. The agent returned with ~$130 and ~$150 taxes and fees for a one-way economy ticket from New York (JFK) to Guangzhou (CAN) and Guangzhou (CAN) to Los Angeles (LAX), respectively, similar to what Delta used to charge. What this means is that AA will charge you a moderate amount of fuel surcharge. This isn’t ideal, but not the worst (e.g. BA) either.
On a final note, currently first class award cannot be booked using AAdvantage miles, although AA promises that it is working with China Southern towards first class redemption eventually. I hope this can happen soon. I can’t wait to book a first class seat on China Southern’s A380 between Guangzhou and Los Angeles, as the hard product looks great.
Do you plan to redeem AAdvantage miles on China Southern flights?