TONS Of American First Class Awards To Europe This Spring!

Filed Under: American, Awards

Update: Unfortunately the saver first class award space between London and Los Angeles has now been pulled.

Yesterday American announced four new routes between the US and Europe, which would launch in the spring of 2015. These flights included the following:

  • A second daily Boeing 777-300ER flight between Los Angeles and London as of March 28, 2015
  • A daily Boeing 757-200 flight between New York and Birmingham as of May 7, 2015
  • A daily Boeing 757-200 flight between New York and Edinburgh as of May 7, 2015
  • A daily Boeing 767-300 flight between Miami and Frankfurt as of May 14, 2015


It was also announced that these flights would become bookable as of today, Sunday, November 2, 2014.

When flights are first loaded into the schedule it can often be good news for award availability:

  • All availability is typically loaded at once, so if any award space is loaded, you really have your choice of seats
  • Sometimes there are anomalies in the way airlines first load award availability, which are inconsistent with their overall strategy on releasing award space — in the case of Europe, any award availability is a blessing, given how stingy American is with premium cabin saver level award availability

Anyway, these four new routes are indeed now bookable, so how does award availability look?

Let me start by saying that none of the routes have any confirmable business class upgrade space yet as far as I can tell based on searching ExpertFlyer.

Los Angeles to London as of March 28, 2015

As far as award availability on these new routes go, this is the only exciting development. EVERY SINGLE FIRST CLASS SEAT IS AVAILABLE FOR AWARDS at the saver level on the new American flight between Los Angeles and London… through May 31, 2015. After May 31, there’s not a single first class award seat available.



But no joke, in both directions every single date has all first class seats available for awards — this is insane, and keep in mind this is American’s new first class product as well.


American 777-300ER first class

In business class there’s not a single saver award seat on any date.

In economy there’s fairly good saver award space through the end of the schedule.


New York to Birmingham flight as of May 7, 2015

American has made saver economy award seats available on their New York to Birmingham flight for every single day the flight operates in both directions, though there’s not a single saver level business class seat available through the end of the schedule.



New York to Edinburgh flight as of May 7, 2015

Much like on the Birmingham flight, American has made saver economy award seats available on their New York to Edinburgh flight for every single day the flight operates in both directions, though there’s not a single saver level business class seat available through the end of the schedule.



Miami to Frankfurt flight as of May 14, 2015

The first thing worth noting about this flight is that based on the seatmap it looks like it will initially be operated by a 767 with American’s old business class product. I’m sure it will get the new business class product at some point, though that’s not in the schedule yet.


With that in mind, American has only a handful of dates with saver level economy award seats from Miami to Frankfurt, though they have saver level economy award seats from Frankfurt to Miami almost every day.



Bottom line

None of this really surprises me, though the amount of award space American has in first class on the Los Angeles to London flight through May 31, 2015, is unreal. That won’t last, so if you’re interested, be sure to book ASAP. Both American and US Airways charge 125,000 miles for roundtrip first class without fuel surcharges, so that would be your best bet for snagging that flight.

Do you plan on snagging a first class award seat between Los Angeles and London?

  1. For your 25th birthday, you and your friends should book the entire first class cabin on AA! that would be a party!!!! 🙂

  2. I just booked 2 FC tickets LAX to LHR April 4-11, thanks for post, I did notice that for both tickets taxes are $649.00 is this normal?

  3. Thanks for sharing!

    I do have a trip already scheduled on AF and AZ on sky pesos. It straddles June 1, so I can only do the outbound on this flight. It’s a better time and better hard product, but not sure whether it’s worth changing and then having more sky pesos. Thoughts?

  4. @ Beachfan — I’d probably stick to what you have. One way SkyMiles awards aren’t yet allowed for half the cost of a roundtrip, so you’d have to figure out another return, and I doubt anything good would be available.

  5. If it was on AA, I could do a “drop-hold” and keep the return (and get miles back, without needing current availability for award space). I guess this is too much to hope for with Delta when they allow one ways

  6. Thanks for sharing Ben. I won’t be taking Aadvantage of this opportunity this time, but was curious to see if AS would add the UK APD when booking nonstop to LHR and it didn’t. Glitch?

  7. @ SAN Greg — The APD is only charged on the return flight, from LHR-LAX (it’s a UK origination tax). Do you not see it for that sector?

  8. Disregard my comment – I see they nail you on the return (guess that’s why it’s called a DEPARTURE tax!). False hope…

  9. Incredible – I did a search in May and not a single Biz SAAver from JFK to EDI on the new AA flights. Did they just not load them up, did they fill up so quickly, or is it Parker & Co. being a “C U Next Tuesday?”

  10. @ ZO — Right as I mentioned no upgrade or business class award space on the New York to Birmingham/Edinburgh flights. They’re simply not releasing space, which is the norm for American on flights to Europe nowadays.

  11. @lucky

    It seems so counterproductive to me – it just makes me use my AA miles on other OW airlines in business, which surely has to cost AA more money than having me take up a seat in J on one of their planes, no?

  12. Do you think its likely that they are going to release as much business class seats as they are with first class any time soon?

  13. @ ZO — Yes and no. When you book an award seat on a partner airline, the reimbursement rate is fairly low, so it’s low risk. If you take up a seat on American, it could cost them virtually nothing, or the opportunity cost could be several thousand dollars, if in the end they could have otherwise sold that seat.

  14. Got two one-ways on hold for myself in May but now trying to get 2 sets for parents in April. Shows flights but when selecting now says “The flight you selected is no longer available. Please modify your request.”

  15. Looks like this is toast, now showing as no longer available and calendar is slowly updating to show no availability…

  16. Hi. Only have 6k AA miles in my account now. I cannot put one ticket on hold before transferring 100k SPG points over, or can I? Are there any other suggestions you can think of? Thanks, B.

  17. yeah, cannot get anything with AA108 or AA109 to work anymore. Got my own on hold to Warsaw and return from Budapest for May for my bday. Thanks, Ben!

  18. Lucky: You might want to put “Expired” at the top of this post to save people the aggravation of trying to book this now.

    AA pulled this in the most infuriating way. Instead of deleting availability, they still show the flights as available. Only when you pick one, and attempt to book it, it then shows it as unavailable.

    It’s not that the site is down due to some glitch, nor that the flights have filled up. You can still book it Anytime, and the flights still show only one, or sometimes no seats booked when you check on them thru Anytime.

    They just keep holding the football there for you, then snatching it away when you go to kick it, over and over again. Charlie Brown and Lucy style. 🙁

  19. I called AA to report the phantom availability. The Res agent confirmed nothing is open, and transferred me to web services, who were only interested in confirming that the awards were not available. But seemed utterly uninterested in doing anything about it.

    Thousands of AA elites trying to book phantom awards and getting utterly frustrated in having those awards disappear when they try to book them? Yawn…um too bad.

    No one even apologized for the frustration their site is causing. They seemed to feel just saying “it’s not available” was enough. Geez…

  20. @ Kbulo — You can hold an award ticket online for up to five days even if you don’t have the miles in your account.

  21. Lucky,

    I’ve seen your post about the TONS of first class to LHR from LAX, but I can’t see them on Americans site using my Mac.

    What am I doing wrong? I need to book 2 award seats in April.



  22. Have tons of USAirways miles and have traveled lots to different destinations in Europe in Business class. Never has it been SOOOO difficult to find two seats to ANYWHERE in Europe. I have looked for days over many months into the fall of 2015 as far as dates are open and finding NOTHING! Is this the new American? Do you believe these seats will open up into October and November?

  23. What is your recommendation for getting two seats to paris in the fall of 2015 in business with us airways miles?

    also same to barcelona in the fall of 2015?

    any partner airlines you would recommend business class … looking for flat bed seats!

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