American Eliminating First Class From 2 Of Their 3 New York – London Flights

As American retrofits its Boeing 777-200 fleet, their only aircraft that will retain a first class cabin is their Boeing 777-300ERs.

The 777-200s get a good business class seat (similar to American’s 787 business seat), but once reconfigured no longer have a first class cabin.

Mostly the 777-300ERs — which do have 8 first class seats — have been flying to London Heathrow.

  • It’s a premium market, especially from New York
  • But it’s not that long a flight taking advantage of the range advantages of the aircraft.

They’ve flown this aircraft on some Sao Paulo routes. And they’ve been flying it Dallas – Hong Kong where they actually sell first class seats.

In my opinion American’s first class product really isn’t meaningfully better than their business class on the 777-300ER which is also four seats across, all-aisle access (and even more private than first class, plus first class has a bit better wine but in generally isn’t that premium).

It’s interesting that American is removing first class from 2 of their 3 premier New York JFK – London flights.

According to AirlineRoute.net, starting December 17 the two later American JFK – London flights will switch from the 777-300ER to reconfigured 777-200s. Interesting, those two later flights return as the earlier London – New York flights.

AA100 JFK1825 – 0620+1LHR 77W D
AA106 JFK1955 – 0750+1LHR 772 D
AA104 JFK2120 – 0915+1LHR 772 D

AA101 LHR1015 – 1325JFK 772 D
AA105 LHR1445 – 1755JFK 772 D
AA107 LHR1715 – 2025JFK 77W D

This is the day American’s new Los Angeles – Sydney service starts and that will require two aircraft. They don’t have many 777-300ERs and aren’t ordering more at this point.

Nonetheless, pulling first class off of New York – London is disappointing, because American is simultaneously making indications that they’re committed to first class service while also scaling it back.

Of course, American’s first class is only marginally better than their business class. British Airways first is better, though not one of the better first products. Though of course the sweet spot is business — the American business class product is far superior to the British Airways one.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Seems totally irrelevant to anyone trying to fly on points since AA only seems to offer up expensive surcharged BA award flights to Europe.

  2. LAX-SYD seems a much better choice for F class as there will always be demand given the limited choices in direct flights. IMO AA needs to offer it on this route if they are going to make a meaningful dent on this route. LHR-JFK has plenty of premium service and isn’t as long a flight, so makes sense to focus on business class.Of course, the real question is, is AA F worth the premium?

  3. “Though of course the sweet spot is business — the American business class product is far superior to the British Airways one.”

    Thank you! Now tell Tommy. He’s convinced BA J is the toast of the world, but I hate the absurdly narrow seats and gazing straight into the eyes of your seatmate during meal service. Shoot, I prefer AA old slanted product to BA’s biz.

  4. @Tom – I guess I should have phrased that a little better: Is AA F worth the premium to you on a ~15 hr flight?

  5. @HansGolden BA’s business class was one of the world’s best when it was introduced. Now it’s just narrow, no storage, and no privacy. I don’t think there’s a credible case to be made for it as a top product. Which I will explain tomorrow morning…

  6. Not exactly… The AA100 JFK-LHR plane lands at 0620 and returns to DFW as AA51 at about 0930. It’s only a 3 hour turnaround.

  7. It appears that the A350 that US had on order would make sense to use on the LAX-SYD route or the JFK-LHR route.

  8. Postnobills, this probably won’t help if you’re trying to book short term, but from January onward, on Monday – Wednesday of each week, and occasionally other days, there are plenty of saver awards in all 3 classes on AA that keep you on AA metal over to LHR and will only cost $11 for the trip over there. The trip back is a bit pricier, but still only a quarter of what a redemption on a BA flight would cost you. From LHR you can connect to anywhere in Europe using a domestic BA flight in the same class (although most of those planes have pretty narrow seats, but you’re only talking a 2-3 hour flight at most).

    Find a flight to LHR from a US airport that doesn’t use a BA jet, then check for flights to anywhere in Europe on the same date and a connecting flight using the same transatlantic leg should be available for about $250 round trip. Hope that helps.

  9. Gary wrote:
    In my opinion American’s first class product really isn’t meaningfully better than their business class on the 777-300ER which is also four seats across, all-aisle access (and even more private than first class, plus first class has a bit better wine but in generally isn’t that premium).

    Me: May I add the “Pjamer sleepsuit n turndown service” for first class international?
    Gary, do u know if AA FC mattress pad any good?

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