American has been making award space especially in premium cabins much more available and this is a new intentional approach on their part.
I’ve covered American loosening up availability on the Sydney route. And I covered the floodgates opening for award space on London routes. And how they opened up China flying. That was just the start.
American Airlines Boeing 787 Business Class
Improved availability hasn’t spread to domestic routes in the same way, although there are some predictable patterns such as with American’s New York JFK – Los Angeles and New York JFK – San Francisco routes. American has the most premium product on that route, with the only three-cabin service on all flights between those cities.
They offer a business class product that’s very similar to United’s.
And they offer a first class product that’s very similar to their international business class seat on the Boeing 777-300ER, in a 1-1 configuration (each seat is both an aisle and a window).
Last night One Mile at a Time reported that American has started to release first class awards on their premium transcon flights at the last minute. In the days leading up to travel there’s plenty of availability in business and first class.
Here’s New York JFK – San Francisco showing availability today through Friday in both classes:
When there’s availability it’s most likely in the morning and late at night.
About 3 months out we start to see availability as well, with availability getting better as the calendar progresses.
What we see for New York JFK – Los Angeles is that first class becomes available (2 passnegers) most Sundays and Mondays.
Business class starts out the same way and opens up on Saturdays too.
For Los Angeles – New York JFK availability isn’t as good, with first class becoming available on Saturdays, and business class available on Fridays and Saturdays and sometimes Thursdays.
New York JFK – San Francisco has some business and first class award availability for two passengers on Fridays and Saturdays starting over the summer, getting better as the summer progresses.
For the return, San Francisco – New York JFK, first class is mostly available on Sundays (with the occasional Saturday and Saturdays becoming more common alongside Sunday as summer turns into fall) starting over the summer but business class is much more available.
These patterns holds through December 31. Across most routes I’ve checked there doesn’t seem to be premium cabin saver availability into 2017 (American’s flight schedules are published a week into 2017 at this point, so they’re not releasing awards when schedules load 331 days out right now).
Availability isn’t wide open on these routes, but it is predictable.