How to Book American Airlines Business Tickets With Miles

To pay for American Airlines business class with miles, you'll need to search for business-class trips and sign into your account to book your flight.

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Updated July 14, 2024
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If you have earned miles through the American Airlines AAdvantage program, you can use those miles for travel on American Airlines, oneworld Alliance airlines, and partner airlines. You can travel to nearly 1,000 different destinations within the U.S. and internationally, and you can choose to fly in the main cabin or business class.

Learn how to fly American Airlines business class using miles and how you can book your trip so you're able to travel in style.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • American Airlines business class provides a premium travel experience, including priority privilege at check-in, wider seats, and free in-flight entertainment
  • You can get a business-class ticket by redeeming American Airlines miles, but the ticket will cost you more miles than redeeming for a flight in the main cabin.
  • Using certain credit cards will allow you to earn miles within the American Airlines loyalty program, AAdvantage, that you can redeem for a business-class flight.
  • You can also transfer miles or points from other airline partners affiliated with American Airlines, such as oneworld Alliance.

What does American Airlines business class offer?

Flying American Airlines business class offers a number of attractive benefits. Here are some of the biggest perks that you can expect to enjoy:

  • Priority check-in: Flyers on first class, business class, and premium economy are entitled to priority check-in. If you're eligible, you can stand in the Priority line when checking in to board earlier. You can also claim your checked bags first upon landing.
  • Lounge access: If you are flying from the U.S. to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, or certain locations in South America or Hawaii, you can access the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge or Flagship Lounge. Your ticket must be designated as Flagship in order for you to be eligible for the Flagship Lounge.
  • Bigger seats with more legroom: You'll have more space in the business-class cabin. If your ticket is marked as “Flagship First”, you’ll even get a lie-flat seat with direct aisle access.
  • WiFi: You can access in-flight WiFi on certain flights when you fly business class.
  • Premium dining: If there's a meal on your flight, you'll get access to a menu with additional selections. You can even get access to award-winning wines.
  • In-flight entertainment: Free entertainment and streaming services are available on eligible flights when you fly in business class.

Business class is available on both domestic and international flights. However, Flagship Business Class is offered only on certain international flights on Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200, Boeing 787-8 and 787-9, and Airbus A321T. These aircraft typically fly between destinations in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America.

How to book American Airlines business fare with miles

If you want to book an American Airlines business flight using your miles, you need to search for availability first before determining the flight you’ll book.

Search for availability

The first step to booking American Airlines business fare with miles is to make sure there are available flights headed to your chosen destination that you can use miles to pay for.

You can use the AAdvantage Miles Finder Map to discover what flights are available to you by following these steps:

  1. Input the city you are flying from, select your chosen dates, and choose business as your cabin class.

  1. When searching for your chosen origin and destination, be sure to specify you are searching to "Redeem Miles."

  1. You'll see a list of possible flights along with details about what types of seats are available — and the cost in miles.

Keep in mind
Even if a business-class flight is available for cash, it might not be available as an AAdvantage business-class award flight that’s bookable with miles.

Learn more about the AAdvantage program in our American Airlines AAdvantage guide.

Book a business-class fare

After finding your preferred flight, you can book it by following these steps:

  1. Click on your flight to view a summary of how many miles it will cost as well as what fees, if any, must be paid in addition to using your miles.

  1. Log into your American Airlines AAdvantage account to complete your transaction and to pay with the miles available.

  1. Once you're logged in, your information should be auto-filled based on your stored data, and you can simply complete your checkout by selecting your seat and confirming you want to pay with miles.

If you don't have quite enough miles, you can hold your trip status until you do. Or you can buy miles needed.

How to earn enough American Airlines miles for business class

You can earn miles toward future American Airlines flights by flying with the airline and using your AAdvantage number when booking.

However, that's not the only way to earn miles you can trade for trips. In fact, you can earn more miles in a number of ways, including credit cards, airline partners, and transfer partners.

Credit cards

Using the right credit card can help you earn extra miles if you need them, so be sure to compare credit cards to see which will help you earn free travel the fastest.

You can earn miles using co-branded AAdvantage credit cards as well as cards that allow you to earn points that you can transfer to the AAdvantage program. For example, the Bilt Mastercard® earns rewards that you can transfer to American Airlines miles.

Credit card Welcome offer Annual fee

Bilt Mastercard®

Bilt Mastercard®

Earn up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points) $0

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®

Earn 15,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening $0

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening $99 (waived first year)

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee in the first 90 days $99

AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®

Earn 60,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months $95

Explore more options in our list of the best credit cards for American Airlines.

Flights and airline partners

American Airlines has relationships with many other airlines. As a result, you can earn miles to redeem for American Airlines business-class flights by flying with one of their partner airlines.

This includes airlines in the oneworld Alliance. Participating airlines include:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

There are also many other airlines that allow you to redeem miles earned by flying with them toward American Airlines flights. The airlines that allow you to redeem their miles with American include:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • SriLankan Airlines

Transfer partners

Other airlines are not the only partners that American Airlines has. There are also partners within the hotel industry, as well as partnerships with car rental companies and cruises.

You can convert hotel points from the following hotels into AAdvantage miles:

  • AAdvantage Hotels
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Marriott International
  • IHG Hotels and Resorts

If you book a car rental with either Avis or Budget, you can also earn miles for each dollar you spend.

Finally, cruises booked through Norwegian or Carnival can open the door to a business-class seat with American Airlines, as you'll earn one mile per dollar spent as well as get special deals only available to AAdvantage members.

American Airlines business class FAQ

What does the business class get you on American Airlines?

If you fly business class on American Airlines, you may be eligible for:

  • Priority check-in so you can get through security sooner, get on board your plane faster, and redeem your bags more quickly upon landing
  • Lounge access if you're flying on an eligible flight, including an international flight with business-class seats
  • Better seats with more space than in the main cabin
  • In-flight entertainment for free and WiFi on eligible flights
  • Premium dining with more menu options if a meal is served

Generally, benefits are better on international flights, but even those who take domestic flights may appreciate the priority boarding, additional space, and other advantages reserved for American Airlines’ business-class travelers.

How many miles do I need for business class on American Airlines?

The miles you'll need for a business-class flight vary depending on your destination. Here's how many miles you may require to book your one-way trip:

  • Contiguous 48 U.S. states and Canada: 15,000
  • Mexico, Caribbean, and Central America: 20,.000
  • South America (Short Haul): 30,000
  • Hawaii and Alaska: 60,000
  • Europe: 75,000
  • South America (Long Haul): 90,000
  • Asia, Middle East, and the South Pacific: 95,000

Keep in mind that these are only estimated starting values. Flying business class generally costs you around double the number of miles you would need to fly in the main cabin.

Do I get lounge access with a business-class ticket on American Airlines?

You can qualify for lounge access at an Admirals Club or Flagship Lounge with an American Airlines business-class ticket on a qualifying flight. Qualifying flights include those between the United States and:

  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • Select destinations in South America
  • Select destinations in Hawaii

For access to Flagship lounges, you‘d need to fly on one of the American Airlines Flagship planes. Your flight ticket will have a “Flagship” mark on it to indicate that you’re on a Flagship flight.

If you are not flying on a qualifying flight, you can pay for lounge access or receive complimentary lounge access through one of the best travel credit cards that offer it as a membership perk.

How many checked bags do I get with American Airlines business class?

Business-class customers get two checked bags for free with American Airlines, while people flying in the Flagship Business Plus fare will get three checked bags for free.

American Airlines business class: bottom line

Redeeming your American Airlines miles for a business-class flight is a simple process as long as you have enough miles. Business-class tickets start at 15,000 AAdvantage miles within the mainland U.S., and they give you plenty of perks.

Just be sure to consider whether the higher class is worth it for your business travel.

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Christy Rakoczy

Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.