I really can’t make sense of what American is doing here, but right now I certainly won’t complain. 😉
Over the past couple of years, American has been extremely stingy with making premium cabin award seats available on longhaul flights. Last November I even wrote about how American didn’t have a single transpacific first or business class saver level award seat available for all of 2016. Not a single seat.
They’ve gotten much better since, but not with any regularity yet. Instead we’re seeing huge swings in award availability. When they make space available it’s not just one or two seats, but often at least four or five.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how American is making business class award seats wide open to Asia, while just a few days ago I wrote about how American is making business class award seats wide open to Europe.
Well, it gets even better. At the moment American has an unreal amount of international first class award space available on many routes.
The saver level availability I’ll show below is for four passengers per flight in all cases. You’ll find even better availability if looking for just one passenger, and you’ll even find dates with availability for at least seven passengers. Also keep in mind American allows five day award holds, so you can always place an itinerary on hold and then ticket later.
Keep in mind American charges the following mileage for one-way travel in first class, and in all instances there are no fuel surcharges:
- US to Asia 1 (including Japan and Korea): 62,500 miles
- US to Asia 2 (other regions in Asia): 67,500 miles
- US to Europe: 62,500 miles
To give some examples, here’s first class award availability for travel between Dallas and Hong Kong, on American’s new 777-300ER first class (which has just eight seats, so they’re making at least half of those available in advance on many flights):
Here’s availability from Dallas to Seoul Incheon:
Here’s availability from Dallas to Tokyo:
Here’s availability from Dallas to Frankfurt:
Here’s availability from Dallas to London:
Here’s availability from Dallas to Madrid:
These are just some small samples, though I see space throughout the year on most of these routes. It’s sort of unreal.
Keep in mind that American is making some major award chart changes for bookings as of March 22, 2016, so there’s no better time to redeem AAdvantage miles than now. If you want to take your whole family to Europe or Asia in first class, this is an opportunity which is tough to beat.
I think the best value here is American’s Dallas to Hong Kong flight, which is their longest route, and also operated by a 777-300ER featuring American’s new first class product.
American’s 777-300 first class
Many of the routes to Europe are operated by 777-200s featuring American’s old first class product, which is still perfectly nice for a transatlantic flight (especially when the alternative with American miles is paying fuel surcharges and redeeming for British Airways’ mediocre product).
This is the best first class award availability I’ve ever seen on American, so if you’re sitting on a pile of AAdvantage miles and want to travel in first class to Europe or Asia, I’d highly recommend taking advantage of this offer.
Personally I’m tempted to book American’s Dallas to Hong Kong flight in first class. I love that American has wifi on their 777-300ERs, and hopefully American will soon improve first class service on other routes to match what they offer to Sydney.
Will you be taking advantage of any of American’s first class award availability?
(Tip of the hat to Rick)