American said to expect more premium cabin award availability, that there’s be more to come beyond what we’d already seen, and that it would be noticeable.
And it is interesting that we are seeing this before premium cabin award prices go up on March 22 even!
American is running a Boeing 777-200 that hasn’t been reconfigured yet on its Dallas – Madrid route. That means it still has angled business class seats, but it also has a first class cabin.
And first class awards are wide open, here’s a search for four first class seats.
One of American’s premier routes is Dallas – Hong Kong. It’s operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, which has my favorite business class seat and which is the only American aircraft that will be keeping first class. Awards and upgrades on this route have been particularly tough.
But we’re now seeing as many as four award seats in business class per flight:
And we’re seeing four first class seats, too — and there are only eight seats in the cabin.
Dallas – Tokyo is another route where we see this. The flights are operated by an unreconfigured 777-200. Here’s four seats in business class.
But that business class is angled.
So spring for the extra 7500 miles and go first class with a party of 4:
Availability isn’t like this on every route, for instance you won’t find this kind of availability on Los Angeles – Sydney. But it’s pretty good in general for many routes right now.
We were told to expect this, we were also told they were testing things, so I seriously doubt we’ll see 4 business and 4 first class seats open so often on Dallas – Hong Kong. But hopefully this signals what American’s talking about, improved premium cabin availability going forward.
American’s awards between the US and Europe are 62,500 miles each way in first class. Between the US and Tokyo (or Korea) are 62,500 miles in first as well. Elsewhere in Asia runs 67,500 miles each way.
Business class awards are 50,000 miles each way between the US and Europe and also between the US and Japan or Korea. They’re 55,000 miles between the US and the rest of Southeast asia.
You can book these awards through other oneworld and partner frequent flyer programs. For instance you can use British Airways Avios (and BA is an American Express and Chase transfer partner) but you pay BA’s award pricing and you pay fuel surcharges. Similarly you can book these with Etihad Guest points transferred from Citi ThankYou Rewards.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)