As I’ve said before, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with planning travel way in advance, given the deals that are available. However, if you’re going to do so, go into it with the expectation that the trip may not materialize, as we don’t know how the current situation will evolve.
For those interested in planning some travel, American Airlines has some great deals right now.
American Airlines’ “web special” awards
While American Airlines has an award chart with published prices, they often have awards that aren’t priced according to the chart. Sometimes awards are more expensive, while sometimes they’re cheaper.
These cheaper awards are called “web special” awards, and can represent an incredible value.
The best way to search web special awards is to just do an award search on aa.com and look at the calendar view, and then you’ll see the huge variance in pricing.
American’s 777 business class
Discounted American Airlines first class awards
A few days ago I wrote about American’s discounted web special awards to & from Japan, but the deals go way beyond that.
You can fly between the US and Tokyo for:
- 45,000 miles one-way in business class (usually at least 60,000 miles)
- 55,000 miles one-way in first class (usually at least 80,000 miles)
You can fly between the US and Hong Kong for:
- 45,000 miles one-way in business class (usually at least 70,000 miles)
- 55,000 miles one-way in first class (usually at least 110,000 miles)
You can fly between the US and Sao Paulo for:
- 40,000 miles one-way in business class (usually at least 57,500 miles)
- 50,000 miles one-way in first class (usually at least 85,000 miles)
As you can see, those prices represent huge discounts, and that’s assuming you can even otherwise find saver level award availability, which can be really tough to come by on American “metal.”
If you’re looking to fly first class, you’ll be flying a 777-300ER, which is on the following routes:
- Dallas to Tokyo Haneda
- Dallas to Hong Kong
- Los Angeles to Hong Kong
- Dallas to Sao Paulo
- Miami to Sao Paulo
- New York to Sao Paulo
All of these routes have wide open availability at the moment.
You’ll want to search directly on aa.com with the calendar function, and many dates even have availability for two or more passengers.
Note that you’ll find the most availability with connecting itineraries. For example, you won’t find any first class awards if searching just between Dallas and Hong Kong, but you’ll find plenty of space for connecting itineraries — you just need to connect to anywhere. This is because American uses married segment logic for awards nowadays.
An American Airlines first class reality check
I think it’s important to mention that American Airlines first class isn’t much to get excited about. Here’s my review of American’s 777-300ER first class between Dallas and Hong Kong.
However, with first class awards wide open, and with these first class awards pricing lower than business class awards on partner airlines, you really can’t go wrong, in my opinion. Just don’t expect this to be Cathay Pacific first class…
American’s 777 first class
Cathay Pacific’s A350 business class
American Airlines has some amazing web special awards at the moment, which can represent a great deal for first and business class travel.
Of course no one should be traveling right now for fun, though there’s nothing wrong with booking these many months out and hoping that things are better by then.
Just remember that this situation is still evolving, and we don’t know when things will improve. For example, as of now Japan has banned tourists from the US (and many other countries) indefinitely. I certainly expect that will be lifted within the next several months, though you never know…
Anyone going to take advantage of these American first & business class award specials?