I’m pleased to report that I have secured our return seats from Rome next July.  I’ve managed to book roundtrip business class transportation on American Airlines using AAdvantage miles smack in the middle of summer!  I got the flights I wanted, but our return is 2 days later than I’d planned.  I’ll keep an eye on the flights throughout the year and perhaps book a different flight if one becomes available.  But if not, oh darn, 2 extra days in Italy!

American’s fabulous new one-way awards made this easy.  I grabbed our outbound seats as soon as the booking window opened, and then booked our return about 3 weeks later.  To all those pundits who say you can’t use your miles anymore, I say try harder, pick your dates wisely as well as the programs you intend to accumulate miles with.  This is just one data point, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there if you look for it that American’s AAdvantage has among the best award seat availability in the industry.