TAM was historically one of the few airlines which never released first class award space. Then in early February, out of nowhere, they went from releasing no space to making virtually every first class seat available on miles. At first I assumed it was a mistake, though they continued to release the space, so presumably it wasn’t.
I guess we really got our explanation in late April, when TAM announced that they’d be eliminating first class in favor of an improved business class product. At the time they announced they’d discontinue first class service as of November 1, 2014.
That meant those of us in the US had until November 1, 2014, to hop on one of their flights to Sao Paulo out of Miami or New York, which have been operated by their 777-300ER aircraft and featured the new first class product.
However, it looks like TAM will be eliminating first class on the New York route early due to some equipment changes.
TAM Airlines from 31AUG14 is adjusting operational aircraft on 1 of 2 daily Sao Paulo – New York JFK route. JJ8080/8081 will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER and A330-200 on alternating days, from 31AUG14 to 18SEP14. From 19SEP14, the airline will operate 1 daily each of A330 and Boeing 767-300ER.
JJ8102 GRU2150 – 0655+1JFK 763 D
JJ8080 GRU2230 – 0710+1JFK 330 D
JJ8081 JFK1945 – 0630+1GRU 330 D
JJ8103 JFK2200 – 0850+1GRU 763 D
This aircraft change marks the end of TAM Boeing 777 service to New York JFK.
So starting September 19, 2014, New York to Sao Paulo will have:
- One daily A330 featuring TAM’s old first class product
- One daily 767 not featuring a first class product
If you’ve gone out of your way to make a TAM first class booking before the product is eliminated, be sure to check your tickets and make sure you’re not on one of these flights. While the A330 does at least still have a first class product, it is significantly older.
Meanwhile the Miami service continues to have 777-300ER aircraft with first class for sale through November 1, 2014, and there’s plenty of award space — in many cases all four seats in the cabin!
Ultimately this isn’t a huge deal, but I did think it was worth pointing out since I know a lot of people wanted to try TAM first class while it still existed. Ending the “new” first class service to New York six weeks early is pretty disappointing. My guess is that they’re pulling the 777-300ER service early so they can start reconfiguring the planes with the new product.
Is anyone impacted by this schedule change?