American Adds Second Daily Los Angeles To London Flight

As a general rule of thumb, the tougher upgrades are on a route, the higher yield the route is. It’s not a science, but generally it’s true. And when it comes to American Airlines, there’s no denying that Los Angeles to London Heathrow is one of the toughest upgrades in the system, even for top tier Executive Platinum members.

American-777
American 777-300ER at London Heathrow

So I guess it really shouldn’t come as as surprise that American is doubling capacity on their metal in the market.

American will start a second daily Boeing 777-300ER flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow as of March 28, 2015.

American-Business-Class
American business class 777-300ER

This complements the twice daily A380 service by their joint venture partner, British Airways.

Once the service is loaded into the system, the four daily American/British Airways flights from Los Angeles to London will be timed as follows:

British Airways departing 3:45PM arriving 10:00AM (+1 day)
American Airlines departing 5:55PM arriving 12:25PM (+1 day)
American Airlines departing 7:35PM arriving 2:15PM (+1 day)
British Airways departing 9:45PM arriving 4:00PM (+1 day)

The new flight hasn’t yet been loaded into the schedule, and oddly the flight number and return times haven’t been published just yet (in the press release they just state the times for the flight from Los Angeles to London).

Once the schedule is updated we’ll see the timing of the current American frequency (AA135/136) adjusted by an hour, so that the four daily joint venture frequencies are each spaced roughly two hours apart.

American-First-Class
American first class 777-300ER

While Los Angeles to London is obviously an extremely high yield market, it’s also extremely competitive.

With this new American frequency there will be nine daily flights between Los Angeles and London Heathrow:

  • 1x Air New Zealand
  • 2x American
  • 2x British Airways
  • 1x Delta
  • 1x United
  • 2x Virgin Atlantic

As I mentioned above, the new flight hasn’t yet been loaded into the schedule. My hope (though not expectation) is that when it’s loaded into the schedule American will have a good amount of award and/or upgrade space. If I notice that I’ll be sure to post about it.

I certainly wouldn’t expect it, though historically that has often occurred when new flights are loaded into the system. When American loaded their Dallas to Hong Kong flight into the schedule a while back they released a ton of business class upgrade and award space. We can hope the same will happen here, though I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

Bottom line

I’m sure American will do well with their second daily frequency, and if nothing else it should make upgrades at least a little easier. American arguably has the best business class hard product in the market, given their reverse herringbone seats — they’re the only airline in the market with those seats, which is my favorite business class hard product. And while the service and food might not be amazing, they’re also the only airline in the market to consistently offer onboard wifi, which I value immensely.

American-Business-Class-777-36
American 777-300ER onboard bar

Have you flown Los Angeles to London on American, and if so, how was your experience?

Comments

  1. are they using a new 777-300 or they are switching from other routes? I believe they still have a few more deliveries right?

  2. Ben,

    I flew Los Angeles to London 2 weeks ago and my upgrade cleared 4 days out from departure as its normal for us Executive Platinums. It helped tremendously knowing that its such a tough route. Normally what helps me and my upgrades clearing is the fact that I book my trips ahead of time and right when booking, I request the upgrades which helps me on the “Wait list”. The service on board was fantastic though my flight was delayed because of the inbound aircraft. The crew was friendly, attentive and caring. Dining on demand did the trick, Perry the FA delivered the meal right when I wanted to / and just the way I wanted it. Really couldn’t ask for better service and the lunch “pre arrival meal” was one of the best foods I’ve had on board from AA all year after hundreds of thousand miles flown this year. WiFI and Walk up board for me are the big highlights of this route for me. I am looking fwd to flying this route on the earlier departure if i am not flying it from JFK already.

  3. Great news!! If they make award seats available.

    How would you handicap availability among the different operators in the market (biz or first)

    Thanks for breaking the news.

  4. @ Beachfan — Air New Zealand, American, and British Airways all release virtually no premium cabin award space on the route. United sometimes releases space last minute, and rarely in advance. Virgin Atlantic does release some space in advance, and then again some close to departure, so I’d say they’re best.

  5. @ Tony — I mean, other people often upgrade as well, it’s not just Executive Platinum members. And it *could* lead to some award space. If nothing else it gives people more options. And even if you’re looking for paid tickets, it makes it more likely to find availability in your desired fare class.

  6. why dont they appy the 777-300 on NRT route from LAX ?? its horrible that AA still using the oldest configuration among its Asian competitors.

  7. @ choi — Well I think that’s exactly why, because they know they can’t compete on those routes, and their yields reflect that. They’re trying to deploy the new aircraft on their highest yield routes, which include flights to London and Sao Paulo.

  8. I’ve flown the route and is one of my faves! Living in sf we have no AA metal direct to Europe, so lax is next best option. Last year we got a great Bussiness class fare and used systemwide to upgrade to first. Love that plane and flight was terrific (nice and long so you can eat, watch movies and sleep for a good amount of time). Glad to see they are adding another flight. As I right this I am in first on the a321t from jfk to sfo. Loving the new planes!

  9. I am guessing that more people are flying from Europe to Asia/Australia via USA, after the Malaysia shoot down.

  10. i really like the new flight’s mid-day arrival time here in England. The current flight arrives nearly 3pm at Heathrow, and by the time one lands, clears immigration, gets the ride into London, the afternoon is basically shot.

  11. LHR-LAX is the only attempt to use an SWU as an executive platinum that didn’t clear, but it was a tolerable flight even back in Main Cabin Extraa.

    Just got off ORD-LHR where my update did clear but into the old 767-300 which isn’t much better than MCE on the 77W.

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