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Here’s What It Costs To Redeem American Miles for Inflight Wi-Fi

Stella Shon's image
Stella Shon
Stella Shon's image

Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

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Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

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One sector where domestic airlines compete for onboard amenities is in-flight Wi-Fi. For instance, Delta and JetBlue offer free internet, while Southwest and United limit the cost to a relatively affordable rate.

On the contrary, American Airlines has one of the priciest Wi-Fi plans for flyers. It’s not uncommon for the airline to charge $30 to connect on a relatively short domestic flight.

After a recent update, you can now use AAdvantage miles to pay for inflight Wi-Fi. Is it a good deal, though? Read on to find out.

How To Redeem AAdvantage Miles for Inflight Wi-Fi

Earlier this year, American Airlines announced several changes to its inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi. Some were more exciting than others, such as smaller regional aircraft getting an upgrade to high-speed inflight Wi-Fi. Passengers can also get “free, ad-sponsored Wi-Fi,” though this only lasts for 20 minutes.

However, another intriguing feature that sparked our curiosity was the option for customers to redeem miles for the Wi-Fi charge. While exact rates were not shared at the time of the announcement, we now have a better idea of how many miles are required.

AA Inflight Wi Fi
The Wi-Fi options on American’s inflight portal. Image Credit: American Airlines

On my recent flight from Phoenix (PHX) to Raleigh-Durham (RDU), I had the option of paying $23 or 3,500 miles for a 1-hour pass or paying $30 or 4,600 miles to get Wi-Fi for the entire flight. Other options, such as monthly and annual subscriptions, cannot be paid for by redeeming AAdvantage miles.

At Upgraded Points, we value AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents apiece. Based on the rates above, redeeming miles for inflight Wi-Fi gives you an estimated value of 0.65 cents.

It’s safe to say this results in a poor value, which is not a worthwhile use of your miles. If you can score domestic flights for 5,000 miles, then redeeming roughly the same amount for a $30 Wi-Fi charge is not worth it unless you have millions of AAdvantage miles to burn.

Hot Tip:

T-Mobile’s Go5G customers can score free Wi-Fi on their phones when flying Alaska, American, and United. However, if you want to work and use in-flight Wi-Fi on your laptop, you’ll have to pay the higher costs American charges.

Final Thoughts

We were initially excited to hear that American Airlines would soon allow mileage redemptions for Wi-Fi but are now disappointed that they present a poor value. It’s best to save those miles for a flight since the airline has a great roster of international airline partners, where you can score amazing value on award redemptions.

Stella Shon's image

About Stella Shon

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.

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