Going back a few years, American had phenomenal award availability on their own flights to Europe. That started to change around the same time that American’s anti-trust agreement with British Airways ended. Up until late 2010 you couldn’t earn or redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel on British Airways between the US and Europe, though you could redeem American miles for travel on British Airways in other markets. The upside was that American wasn’t imposing fuel surcharges for travel on British Airways. Suddenly the floodgates opened and you could start redeeming American miles for travel on British Airways between the US and Europe, though the catch was that suddenly fuel surcharges were being imposed on all British Airways redemptions. I’m not suggesting that’s why American reduced their award space, though.
Unfortunately American’s award availability on their own flights has come a long way since then. This morning I was looking at award availability for two seats on American on all their routes between the US and Europe in 2014. Literally every single route for a nine month period.
What did I find? Crossing over the Atlantic there was a single flight on July 1 with first class award space between New York and London, and interestingly on that same date there was a single flight with award space from London to New York.
Other than that I found nothing. Nothing. Not a single seat on their routes to Dublin, Manchester, Milan, Paris, Zurich, etc. And I’m not just talking about peak season, but I was also looking at January, a period where it’s usually easy to snag transatlantic award seats.
I mean, even Delta has saver level award space almost every single day in January for two people between New York and London.
If you have less award space than Delta you’re doing something wrong. 😉
Now in fairness, there’s always Air Berlin and British Airways and Iberia. Though Air Berlin doesn’t release a ton of space, British Airways comes with fuel surcharges, and Iberia space can’t even be searched online (which is probably a blessing). And I can appreciate also that they don’t want to “give away” too many award seats. But surely there’s a middle ground between what American used to do and literally releasing nothing.
Anyone else frustrated by the lack of space?