Great American First Class Award Availability To & From Hong Kong

Historically American has been extremely stingy when it comes to saver level award availability on their own flights. Their only international planes featuring a three cabin first class product are the 777-300ERs, and these only fly to select international destinations, including Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, and Sao Paulo.

As noted by Point Me to the Plane, at the moment American has much better first class award availability than usual on their flights between Dallas/Los Angeles and Hong Kong. There’s a significant amount of availability through the end of the schedule out of both airports, and in many cases there are two first class award seats per flight.

While American’s first class isn’t anything to get too excited about it, it’s a solid product, and nowadays finding two first class award seats across the Pacific with oneworld in advance is rare. Of course I’d rather fly Cathay Pacific, but they typically open at most one first class award seat in advance (if that), and then release more seats within days of departure. It’s not practical for most people to plan that last minute.

Also keep in mind that if you fly same day through Los Angeles, Miami, or New York JFK, you can access American’s excellent Flagship First Dining facility, which is probably the nicest thing offered by any US airline.

In terms of booking this, you could redeem 110,000 Alaska Mileage Plan or American AAdvantage miles for the one-way ticket. If booking through American AAdvantage you can also place your ticket on a five day courtesy hold.

The real sweet spot is booking through Etihad Guest, if you can. They charge just 67,500 miles for such a ticket. The catch is that you need to book by phone with them, and they don’t always have access to all of American’s award space, so you’ll want to call to inquire before transferring any points.

Etihad Guest is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Hopefully some of you can take advantage of this excellent award availability!

Comments

  1. “The real sweet spot is booking through Etihad Guest, if you can. They charge just 67,500 AAdvantage miles for such a ticket.”
    Should be Etihad miles 😉

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but one thing if you book with AA is that if a Cathay F seat were to open, you’d be able to rebook your flights and routing for no extra cost.

  3. @ R B

    No. It should not.

    If you’re going to correct someone, it’s a wise practice to make sure that you yourself is not wrong before doing so.

  4. Can someone clarify booking through Etihad Guest? Are you saying I can just call up Etihad Guest and say I want to book a flight using my AAdvantage miles, and Etihad will pull the AAdvantage miles from my account?

    AJK is pretty strongly (and pompously) saying that is the case. If so, why is Lucky noting the points that can be transferred to Etihad Guest?

  5. @AJK says: “If you’re going to correct someone, it’s a wise practice to make sure that you yourself is not wrong before doing so.”

    “Is”?

    The comments so far are priceless.

  6. AA also flies F class regulary on MIA-EZE route; so EZE is fourth destination regulary served my 77W and having first class onboard

  7. Plan carefully with the Citi TYP to Etihad Guest transfer times. My recent transfer took 16 calendar days to post, after which award space no longer available.

  8. “No. It should not.

    If you’re going to correct someone, it’s a wise practice to make sure that you yourself is not wrong before doing so.”

    Oh the irony in this one….

  9. Having trouble finding any reviews online for the DFW-HKG flight in first or business with the upgraded Casper bedding and amenities. Just curious!

  10. It’s a AA FIrst Purge!!! LAX-LHR has bunch of space, 2 per day now till early May….

  11. AA is stingy period when trying to book on AA metal TATL to avoid BA surcharges. I wouldn’t pony up 110K AA miles for AA F. Before devaluation just for grins I cashed in 62k or whatever it was miles to fly AA F TATL, albeit in the old F seat. So I checked that off the list.

  12. @Hepworth

    No, booking through Eithad Guest requires Etihad Guest Miles. I transferred MR points when I booked Brussels Airlines roundtrip for only 36,620 and I believe they transferred instantly.

  13. I had a great and easy experience booking Air Marco tickets via Etihad Guest. The now do all awards (so they said) from one office. They sent me email itineraries to confirm routing and name spelling before issuing; they had on letter off, immediately corrected and resent for me to confirm. Maybe 20 minutes tops from dialing to receiving ticket confirmation.

  14. Can someone please explain to a newbie why you get excited about booking one way fares?
    Surely the ride home costs almost as much as a return thereby nullifying most of the gain?

  15. @ Teddy — Great question, and particularly relevant to folks who are newer to using miles. As you’re building your account balances, you might not have enough miles with Program A for a round-trip, but have enough in each Program A and Program B for one-way trips. There’s often no penalty for booking a one-way flight with miles instead of a roundtrip, and doing so let’s you leverage availability and miles from multiple programs.

  16. Lucky thanks for the heads up. Just burned 220,000 miles JFK-SFO-LAX-HKG and back. Couple connections but I don’t mind. This will be my second international first class ever (first NRT-EWR on United) and I’m excited!

  17. How do you transfer Etihad miles to AA or vice versa. I have some miles on Etihad and when I checked with AA about using it along with AA miles, I was told they couldn’t access it.

  18. @Sashi

    You can’t transfer AA miles to Etihad or vise versa, but you can book flights on AA or Eithad with either program.
    You can only transfer transferable credit card points to Etihad.

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