American Airline Frequent Flier Miles

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<p>I have tried for several years to use my miles - no luck. &nbsp;Never any seats available even tho I book months and months ahead and almost a year ahead. &nbsp;Any suggestions?</p>

American accepts reservations 331 days in advance of the travel date.  I have always been able to get my booking by planning that far ahead on my foreign travel.  You can book one way travel so I book 331 (or so) days ahead for departure and then book 331 days ahead for return.

There are award booking services that will book travel using FF miles.  Apparently they are able to search all options including patrner airlines.  I have never used any of them, but I keep a list to use as a fall back plan.  Here is a link to an article with more information.  Although they charge for the service, it beats paying for the ticket and having loads of unused miles.  This is where I first read about them.  

 I usually call the airlines to book my award seats ratgher than using the website -- mostly because I'm afraid of making a mistake!   It costs $25. extra but is very worth it as a good agent can work on your flight itinerary segment by segment even when the web says so availability, you can also discuss on layover times and confirm a seat assignment.    But I'll admit, those points are getting harder and harder to use.

I never use AA's website to book my international award travel.  That website will route you onto British Air whenver possible and BA  charges both high fuel surcharge fees and high taxes which can add several hundred dollars to a ticket.  Before you need a ticket go online and check the websites for their partner airlines who might be going to your destination.  (For instance, we used Etihad...a wonderful airline get tickets to both the Persian Gulf last year and to India this year).   We were able to  not only identify the airline we wanted to fly on but the specific flights we wanted to take.  We were able to get our first choices each time.  American says they no longer charge booking fees when you talk and book with  a reservation agent if that itinerary was not offered on their website.