AMAZING DEAL: American Business Class Awards To London Wide Open

As far as I’m concerned, American AAdvantage miles are one of the most valuable mileage currencies out there. Ironically enough, they’re valuable in spite of the fact that they’re sort of tough to redeem to Europe (which is one of the most popular international destinations people want to redeem miles for). I love redeeming American miles for travel to Asia (on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines) and for travel to the Middle East (on Etihad and Qatar), though getting to Europe isn’t always a good deal:

With that in mind, last week View from the Wing noted something which is still the case (much to my surprise).

At the moment American has tons of business class award availability for travel next summer between the US and Europe. Tons. Including for flights on their new product. This is extremely rare, and worth jumping on:

  • American’s 777-300ERs arguably have one of the best business class hard products in the world, so it’s a fantastic way to fly from the US to Europe
  • American doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for awards on their own flights
  • American AAdvantage charges just 50,000 miles for one-way business class between the US and Europe, which is among the lowest rate in the industry
  • There’s even tons of business class award availability between Los Angeles and London; ordinarily finding nonstop business class award availability between the west coast and Europe is extremely difficult
  • We’re not just talking about one or two business class award seats per flight, but rather at least seven business class award seats per flight

American-Business-Class
American’s 777-300ER business class cabin

Just to give an example, American has at least seven business class award seats available per flight between Los Angeles and London for many dates next summer.

This is available from Los Angeles to London:

LAXLHR1

LAXLHR2

As well as from London and Los Angeles:

LHRLAX1

LHRLAX2

Roughly half of the dates next summer have availability, which is pretty freaking awesome. As luck would have it, most of the dates with availability are Thursdays through Sundays, which also happen to be peak days of the week for transatlantic travel.

This amount of award space isn’t limited to that route, though I thought the Los Angeles route was most noteworthy, since it’s usually one of the toughest routes in the system on which to snag an award or upgrade.

Space is also excellent from Charlotte to London:

LHRSpace1

From Miami to London:

LHRSpace3

From New York to London:

LHRSpace2

And for that matter from most other gateways American flies from.

If you’re looking to upgrade, the good news is that upgrade space seems to match award space. In other words, you can confirm an upgrade instead of booking an award, if you’d like. If you’re an Executive Platinum member, that’s a fantastic use of a systemwide upgrade.

American-Upgrades

Bottom line

I can’t emphasize enough how rare this amount of business class award availability on American is. It has been a long time since I’ve seen availability this good.

Redeeming 50,000 AAdvantage miles for one-way travel between the US and Europe in American’s new business class product without fuel surcharges is an absolute bargain. And when there’s availability for the whole family on a single flight, it’s even better.

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American’s 777-300ER business class seat

If you have American miles and are looking at traveling to Europe next summer, take advantage of this as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that American allows five day award holds, so you can always hold now and finalize in a few days, as this space likely won’t last.

Emirates-Lounge-Dallas-Airport-32
American 777-300ER

Have you taken advantage of this plentiful award availability yet, or do you plan to?

Comments

  1. I’m in Miami and have been watching AA.com closely. There may be a lot of biz class availability at the 50,000 mile level, but it is rarely, if ever, non-stop to LHR.

  2. Family of four going in June. CLE-JFK-LHR-IST. Can’t wait! We stretched out our lay overs to maximize the award. 12 hours in New York & 22 hours in London.

  3. Ben, is there anyway I could get an one-way ticket from Europe to Los Angeles via London just to avoid the British departure tax on premium cabin? How many segment does AA allow? Do I have to do this over the phone with an agent or can I build my itinerary online? I am visiting England in May and already have my outbound ticket issued. Now I am finding ways to get an inbound award ticket.

  4. They seem to be doing something for the premium cabin ‘redemption’. As you mentioned, JFK-LHR has good space for saaver-level rewards and SWU; all of my upgrades requests have just been cleared on GRU-bound flights (JFK-GRU and GRU-DFW).
    One interesting thing, though, is they even cleared a flight in late March 2016 while I’d suppose SWUs are valid till Feb 2016…what’s your take on this one? are they adopting US Airways’ logic that coupons could be redeemed for any flights in the future or it’s a glitch?

  5. Thanks so much, I booked an award travel from London to Lax in July. There was no award availability then. So upset I had to fly British airways and pay the fuel surcharges, as well as a layover in Dulles. Just called and changed to non stop to LAX. I saved lots of money in fuel charges and now I have a nonstop flight !!!!! I can’t thank you enough.

  6. Thank you so much!!! I have been waiting for months to book my family of 4 to/from Europe.

    Question: I noticed after I put my booking award on hold (still need to confirm the dates), ExpertFlyer still shows the same number of seats available. Are my seats that I put on AA hold guaranteed, as long as I finalize the booking in time? It seemed odd that the number of seats available didn’t go down. What if others tried to put the same flight on hold?

  7. Hey Ben, Thanks again for posting.

    What is your opinion about rows 3 & 4 on the new J? Is it better than the big J cabin?

    I appreciate your input.

  8. I don’t get AA. They have this much saver spots to Europe but their Asia destination at Saver level is non existent all the way to August next year.

  9. I’m sorry but I keep getting these credit card ads on your website, going to have to use ad block now.

  10. Awesome tip Lucky! Just booked family of 4 next summer from LAX to London returning from CDG in business class, and everybody gets a window seat. We were planning to use our BA 241 certs in 2017, but we can save those miles +$2000 fees (and you never know when another deval is coming).

    The only hitch is that one return is hold as we are waiting for SPG transfer, will be interesting to see if AA will change the birthday before ticketing as the online system won’t permit ticketing/holds for unaccompanied minors. A bit of a hassle to use multiple accounts, but glad to clean out AA balances.

  11. Not much from ORD. We seem to be looking at two different worlds! When there is availability from another city, domestic seat is not released to that city – who wants to pay separately for that? Mostly, I only see BA flights, and those we like to avoid.

    Paid one way coach on AA is 2x the price on Aer Lingus or Iceland Air. For some travel to UK I have to undertake, I am seriously thinking of diversifying to those; a free stopover in KEF seems particularly attractive.

  12. If going to the UK, check Manchester also. I booked 2 tix SFO-CLT-MAN in June. MAN is a Easyjet hub, so you can go almost anywhere in Europe from there. I flew US Air to CDG last month and had a GREAT flight. July and August better than June for open seats, I booked mine last week, already have confirmed tix!

  13. @ Joseph — Personally rows three and four are my preference, as I love how private they are, and that the entire plane doesn’t board past you. They’re always my first picks.

  14. @ Daniel — That’s normal. The most number of seats they’ll show is seven seats per fare class. Presumably they were showing seven before, so what it comes down to is that there were more than seven seats when you first booked. Don’t worry, your hold is “confirmed.”

  15. @ Raymond — Absolutely, you can book segments on British Airways and Finnair online, so you should be able to book something like Helsinki to London to Los Angeles on American’s website, just to give an example.

  16. I think the issue for a lot of people who aren’t seeing these fares is the MPM. AA’s generous, but it’s not unlimited. Also, I’m not sure if they fly the old product to London, but be sure to find out what version of the cabin you’re getting. The new 777-300ER shown above looks great, but the old 777-300ER biz is something like 12 seats across.

  17. Just booked nonstop LAX-LHR on AA around Labor Day (100000 mi and $300+ in fees). There were still scattered dates available throughout the summer on the nonstop routes and lots more for connecting routes. Thanks for the heads up, Ben, and to others, it only takes a minute to do your own checking even if you’ve read that space has dried up or the deal is dead. Good luck.

  18. I’m headed to SIN in January to visit my college roommate, who, for his part, has been trying to get me there for years. And I was toying with various ways to get there in premium cabins with OneWorld, and there actually isn’t ANY SAAver availability, at least from what you can see on the website. It’s all well over 100K each way, which is hardly a deal. Am I missing something on award flights to Asia?

  19. Ben,

    My girlfriend and I are trying to plan a trip to Europe in the spring (March-May). We live in DFW and plan to fly from DFW-LHR then hop to Paris. I have 200k miles on AA that i have been saving to use for business class tickets. I did not realize that the choices of flights or availability at all was so bad.

    We are very flexible in our dates at this point but I am somewhat picky on the flights we take (having done this route for work many times).

    Is there a software / website that I can use to optimize the days / choices for flights and being able to find a good business class ticket at 50k each way?

    I plan to call AA as well, but would prefer not to.

  20. Hey Lucky – looking back, I wish you hadn’t posted this as my bf and I were looking to plan a trip over MDW from LAX-LHR using American Miles! I had seen this award space available a day or so before you posted and then bam, the day after, they were all gone. Totally my fault for not acting fast but now I’m left wondering… will they open up space again in business? In looking at the flights, business is still pretty wide open but I’m not sure what our chances are on anymore. What do you think?

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