American Airlines has released Business Class award space between the United States and Europe, primarily for the spring but also further into 2018 as well. This is news because American Airlines doesn’t normally have so much premium cabin SAAver level award space, and in regards to the European award space, the majority of the other award space bookable with American Airlines miles to Europe is on British Airways which incurs ridiculously expensive fuel surcharges.
I would act quickly if you want to book this any of this award space as it is already drying up and won’t last much longer.
To see what kind of Business Class seat the plane has, check the aircraft type by clicking the Aircraft type link (on the flight schedule results page when you click a specific day from the calendar and then click Flight Details).
The pop-up lists American Airlines’ planes and the seat pitch of each class on each type of plane.
The example above is for Raleigh to London, which has lie-flat Business seats.
From what I checked, I can see a good amount of SAAVer level (the cheapest and typically only space worth booking) Business Class award space for two travelers now through April of 2018 between New York and London. I also saw a lot of award space for two travelers between Raleigh and London through the beginning of March, and a sunny patch for two travelers between Dallas and London the second half of March. There are some days with even more award seats, and even more days with award space for just one traveler. Checking later in the year around October and November should yield a decent amount of space for two travelers as well.
According to View from the Wing, other American hubs like Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, and Charlotte have less space than the New York and Raleigh routes do. You should check other European destinations as well, I just wanted to get this post up as soon as possible before space dried up.
I chose American Airlines only flights in the Advanced search options when looking at award space to Europe to eliminate any British Airways flight results which incur high fuel surcharges, and Finnair award space which is often phantom.
I also isolated direct flights in my search results, to eliminate the number of connections necessary (in case you need to add another American or Alaska flight from your hometown–see the Connections section of this post below). To do this, on the left side of the search results page that displays the calendar, check “Non-stop only” in the drop-down menu next to Number of Stops:
All of the following calendars show award space for two travelers.
New York (JKF) to London
London to New York (JFK)**
**Beware Returning From London
Every time you book an award with frequent flyer miles, you are responsible for paying government taxes associated with the award ticket.
Britain and France charge higher taxes for departing in Business and First Class. (I really just mean Britain, the island with England, Scotland, and Wales. Northern Ireland does not charge extra to fly a premium cabin, perhaps to compete with low Irish departure taxes.)
Instead of returning to the US from London, return from one of these cities instead that charges lower departure taxes. Or if you really want to return from London, be prepared to swallow almost $300 in fees/taxes.
Raleigh to London
Dallas to London
If you don’t live in any of the cities mentioned above, you can still take advantage of this space. New York City (JFK) and Dallas are hubs for American Airlines with flights to most of the country, and from Raleigh you can fly to Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.
On the other end, if you don’t want to go to just Longon, remember you can always tack on a Saver level award flight one a oneworld partner to elsewhere in the region for no extra miles.. You can tack on economy, Business, or First Class Saver award space on American or Alaska to these international flights for zero extra miles. Just remember tacking on a British Airways flight will incur some fuel surcharges… although not all that much.
For a refresher on AAdvantage award routing rules, check out Redeem American Airlines Miles: Part 4, Award Rules & How Many Miles You Need.
Booking the Award
You can search for award space and book these awards right on aa.com.
Best card to pay for taxes and fuel surcharges?
- If you care more about earning rewards, check out the Best Credit Card to Buy Airfare.
- If you care more about travel insurance, check out our post that goes over the travel protection benefits of nine popular travel rewards cards.
If you’ve got AAdvantage miles you’ve been saving, book your trip to Europe in American Airlines Business Class now. The cheapest level award space–SAAver level–is typically not so available in a premium cabin.
Hat tip View from the Wing