American Airlines Business Class Saver Award Space to Europe for Up to 6 Passengers

American Airlines is offering seasonal service from Philadelphia to Bologna, Italy this summer with four-times weekly Boeing 767 service.

That struck me as a bizarre route when they announced it. Most transatlantic service is to Rome, and to Milan, with secondary service making some sense to Venice and Naples. But… Bologna? American Airlines management has a history of picking routes without competition, though I’ve suspected this one lacked competition for a reason.

And American’s revenue management seems to agree because award availability in business class is excellent. In fact, over the summer you can book two business class award seats most days where the flight operates.

Here’s Philadelphia – Bologna for two passengers in business class:

Some days you’ll find even 6 business class award seats:

American Airlines isn’t known for making business class award seats available on their own flights, so this is notable. And since awards on their primary transatlantic British Airways incur huge fuel surcharges, the ability to fly at the saver level in business class and no fuel surcharges with American AAdvantage miles is notable. You can also use Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for these flights, of course.

The carrier’s 767 business class product lags the experience on their other widebody aircraft, but does offer fully flat seats with direct aisle access.

Using both AAdvantage and Alaska Airlines miles you can include connecting flights without additional mileage cost. American AAdvantage may even offer better availability from other cities connecting through Philadelphia than when searching non-stop.

(HT: Brendan Dorsey)

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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Comments

  1. Have to say when booking a trip to CMB for August and connecting through Europe, I found a surprising number of SAAver award seats in J to a number of cities including LHR, AMS, CDG and FRA.

  2. Availability TO Europe has never really been the issue with AA as something always opens up but return flights TO the US are non-existent from any city. For 4 months I almost checked daily from MUC, FRA, ZRH, VCE, MXP and BLQ and there was nothing even married segments.

  3. Skaner: thanks for your post. I have been trying, actually, really and truly every single day, sometimes twice a day since the flights 1st opened up back in early November to book 2 business class seats on AA from Paris to San Francisco or LA, any airport, departing October 2 (or 1 or 3). Nothing, but nothing but nothing has opened up in saver awards! 2 years ago it was not a problem to get a flight via AA on air Tahiti Nui. Now, nothing!

  4. You speculated on AA logic for this airport. In order to get to Florence you can conveniently fly to Pisa or Bologna. nice drive south, no?

  5. I believe the 6 of us readers booked the couple of business class seats that were available Philadelphia to Bologna. Just out of curiosity, what percentage of saver American Airlines business class seats are there. Out of over 40,000 J seats on routes I was looking at, I couldn’t find a single saver award. Are most of the awards now booked at the 270,000 AA miles return to Europe now?

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