Quick trivia question — what’s the best first class product you can redeem your American AAdvantage miles on for travel between the US and Europe? The answer is probably Jet Airways first class… if you act soon.
Jet Airways 777-300ER first class
But before I dig too deep into that, lets step back for a second.
Jet Airways’ unique North America operations
Jet Airways is one of India’s better airlines (which I realize isn’t saying a whole lot). They have a unique setup for their North America operations, in the sense that they route those flights via Brussels. Jet Airways’ North American destinations include Newark and Toronto, which they serve nonstop from Brussels. Then from Brussels those flights continue to Delhi and Mumbai.
Jet Airways’ business class product to the US…
Historically Jet Airways flies Airbus A330 aircraft to North America, which are equipped only with an economy and business class cabin.
As I explained in my post about redeeming American AAdvantage miles for travel to the Middle East, they have a staggered fully flat business class product which actually looks quite good.
Jet Airways business class
They used to offer a herringbone configuration in business class, though in the meantime they have the above product on their North America-bound aircraft instead.
Redeeming American AAdvantage miles on Jet Airways
American belongs to the oneworld alliance, so it’s easy to overlook the dozen or so airline partners they have which don’t belong to oneworld.
One of those partners is Jet Airways. The reason they probably don’t get a lot of attention is because:
- A lot of people don’t know they operate flights between Newark/Toronto and Brussels
- People typically don’t go out of their way to fly Indian airlines
- There’s no way to search their award space online, unless you have a JetPrivilege account with miles in it
- The only practical way to inquire about award space is to call up American and ask
But what I’ve found is that Jet Airways has excellent business class award availability between Toronto and Brussels. Even throughout the summer, they have business class award space almost every day. And there are no fuel surcharges if redeeming American miles for travel on Jet Airways.
Availability from Newark to Brussels is okay. Not nearly as good as out of Toronto, but there’s definitely still some space, and it’s worth checking.
Jet Airways is sending a 777-300ER to Toronto!
Things are about to get even more exciting, though. Starting June 20, Jet Airways will begin operating a Boeing 777-300ER featuring a first class cabin on the Toronto to Brussels route. Yes, this is the same 777-300ER that has been leased to Turkish and Thai in the past several years.
Jet Airways 777-300ER first class
This equipment change will apply from June 20 through September 14, 2014. From June 20 through July 3 only a few flights a week will be operated by the 777-300ER, while starting July 3 six of the seven weekly frequencies will be operated by a 777-300ER.
While this is only a temporary equipment change, I think it’s worth mentioning.
As it stands, the only first class products on which you can redeem AAdvantage miles for travel between the US and Europe are American Airlines first class and British Airways first class. American releases virtually no transatlantic first class award space, while there are massive fuel surcharges on British Airways redemptions.
Jet Airways is releasing a good amount of first class award space on this route. Based on my calls inquiring about award availability, Jet Airways has 1-2 first class award seats per flight between Toronto and Brussels.
American charges 62,500 AAdvantages miles for one-way first class travel between the US and Europe, and there are no fuel surcharges.
This isn’t the most significant equipment change ever, but it is a fun one. It’s especially convenient for those looking to redeem AAdvantage miles for travel to Europe this summer, given that the equipment change is happening over a peak travel period.
I’d argue this product is also better than the hard products offered by American and British Airways, as this is a fully enclosed suite with doors.