I nabbed a scarce First Class award from Australia to Los Angeles on Qantas during peak travel season and added a first class segment on American’s new Airbus A321T from Los Angeles to New York-JFK, both in fully flat beds.
I’m incredibly excited to try out another First Class product on the Airbus A380, especially after my great experience on a Thai flight from Paris to Bangkok.
Relative to other Anatomy of Award posts, this one was simple to construct and even easier to book online. However, Qantas premium cabin award space isn’t widely available. You have to find the rare space and plan your hotel reservations around it, not the other way around. That’s one of the eight tenets of Highly Effective Award Bookers, after all.
How do you nab this tough to find award space? Can you add a stopover on a one way AAdvantage award? How am I getting to Australia?
British Airways has just announced that it will operate Los Angeles <-> London Heathrow twice daily with A380s starting April 10, 2014.
British Airways First Class looks awesome, and its Club World Business Class is awesome. The award space on the route is incredible too with two first class seats and business class seats available frequently.
BA First Class Bed
But for most people, booking the awards would be a big mistake.
Why should most people not book the awards? Should you? What’s the award space and surcharge picture?
Last week, I reviewed Qantas Business Class on the A380 and lamented not getting into First Class on my trip to Australia.
I’m not one for empty laments, so let me show you how to get into Qantas First Class on its A380–which is one of the coolest things you can do with your American Airlines miles.
I’ll break down which routes have the best award space, and what your cheapest option is to test out the product.
One of the best and most easily accessible First Class awards for an American is Lufthansa First Class with United miles.
If you’re going to fly Lufthansa First Class, you might as well fly the newest Lufthansa planes, right?
Check out Tahsir’s trip report of Lufthansa First Class, which is enough to make me jealous, though note that neither the A380 nor the 747-8 have the seat-plus-bed design.
I continually fail to enforce a moratorium on award booking for myself. I want to finish flying all the awards I have lined up and have no more scheduled. Not only would I have the freedom to spontaneously plan my next trip on a moment’s notice, but I could take advantage of last-second-only deals like Lufthansa First Class with United miles.
But sometimes I can’t help myself. Four months ago I booked my favorite award to date, using 100k US Airways miles to string together 4 longhaul business class segments and four continents. Add in the trips I plan to take in South America over the next few weeks, and I had my next five months of travel planned.
But then a chance to book new oneworld partner Malaysia Airlines First Class on an A380 presented itself, and I jumped on it, even though the date is in the middle of my planned time in Europe. Then I thought, “Well I really have to book another award to get back to Europe to continue that trip.”
This is the story of that last award: 65,000 United miles for 12 hours in First Class on a Thai A380. This award describes segment-by-segment searching, which is the hallmark of many successful award searches, and maximizing region-based miles in an advanced way.