American announced the introduction of Dallas – Hong Kong service back in October.
Schedules are now loaded, and the flight is bookable. The schedule is:
- 12:40pm Depart Dallas Fort Worth – -Arrive Hong Kong 6:00pm +1
1:30pm Depart Hong Kong – Arrive Dallas Fort Worth 4:30pm
It’s operated by their new premium product onboard a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. I flew the product back in March and found business class to be outstanding.
Unfortunately, as of now, there is literally no business or first class saver award space and also no confirmable upgrade space.
That’s not surprising — getting into premium cabins on the new 777-300ER aircraft far in advance without paying full boat has been tough, and this is by far American’s longest flight. At the very least they’re going to want to see whether they can sell these seats before ‘giving them away’ and they do not have historical data for the flight upon which to base decisions on releasing space yet.
But here’s the kicker: American has created a new award ‘region’ for these flights, at a higher price for buying out of capacity controls.
Back in April I declared the end of the ‘double miles’ award.
Only American offers last seat award availability to all members at double the miles of saver awards (other airlines can charge as much as triple). And I said that would not last.
American started flying to Seoul and they didn’t raise the price of existing double mileage awards. Instead they created a new award region for travel on American, just to Seoul, at a price more than double saver awards for “AAnytime awards.”
As with Seoul, with the introduction of Hong Kong as a new destination they’ve created a new award region and are charging more than double the saver price for additional award space.
The one-way price of an AAnytime award is:
- 85,000 in coach
- 175,000 in business
- 195,000 in first
That’s 170,000, 350,000, and 390,000 roundtrip, respectively!
Remember that a first class saver award is just 135,000 miles roundtrip (and you can fly Cathay Pacific if you can find availability). I do think that price will go up eventually.
But the key point here is that new flights are coming at more than double coach for last seat availability.
Meanwhile, US Airways has charged more than double and indeed has a three-tier award chart, for similar space.
With American as the lone holdout, and charging more for new routes, I think we can expect that the biggest changes eventually to come down the pike are going to be increases in what were once double miles awards — settling on an industry standard that’s closer to triple.