For bookings made August 1, 2014 or later, a roundtrip three-cabin First Class award within the United States and Canada will cost 65,000 US Airways miles. It currently costs 50,000 US Airways miles.

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This Throne Just Went Up 30% in Price

Sixty-five thousand miles is the same roundtrip price American Airlines charges for three-cabin First Class within the United States and Canada.

This price increases does NOT affect standard domestic first class recliner seats that you find on most planes.

It really only affects three routes, all of which feature flat beds in First Class:

  • New York-JFK <-> Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class
  • New York-JFK <-> San Francisco in American Airlines First Class on its new A321T
  • New York-JFK <-> Los Angeles in American Airlines First Class on its new A321T

This price increase was expected, since just three weeks ago I said, “I expect that at some point soon, US Airways will charge 65k miles for roundtrip awards on these three routes, so book them now for big savings.”

There is still time to get The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® with 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase and have those miles in your account before the August 1 price increase.

  • How far out can you book First Class at the old price?
  • Why are the three routes with three-cabin First Class special?

The Current State of Affairs

US Airways charges the same price for three-cabin First Class within the United States and Canada as it does for two-cabin First Class or Business Class.

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That all changes August 1, 2014. On July 31, 2014, you’ll be able to book 330 days out, which means you can travel into late June 2015 at the current price.

I consider the current price a mistake rooted in the fact that US Airways only operates two-cabin planes within the United States as did its former partner United (with a few exceptions.)

Award space is excellent on all three routes in First Class.

Los Angeles <-> New York

The best First Class award space is found between Los Angeles and New York on American Airlines’ brand new A321s, which feature 10 fully flat bed First Class seats in a 1-1 configuration.

Award space is excellent on the route in the height of summer 2014.
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Award space is excellent during Spring 2015.

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The only real gaps in award space are the week around Thanksgiving and the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s Day.

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On many days, you have your pick of several flights with award space.

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I put together a three-day trip to New York, which would cost 65,000 American Airlines miles and $5.

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US Airways has access to the exact same award space for 50k miles and $30. The extra $25 is the unavoidable “Award Processing Fee” US Airways charges on all awards. For most international awards, the fee is $50 per ticket.

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New York <-> San Francisco

American’s New York to San Francisco is operated by the same A321s and has a similar award space picture, though award space opens up a little later in 2014 than on the Los Angeles route.

Starting from mid-August through the end of March 2015, award space is wide open in First Class.

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Again these flights would cost 50k US Airways miles and $30 roundtrip. Or you could mix and match and fly one way from Los Angeles to New York and return to San Francisco for the same price.

New York <-> Vancouver

Cathay Pacific operates one daily flight between Hong Kong and New York with a stop each way in Vancouver. You can book just the New York to Vancouver leg in either direction with cash or miles.

The flight in First Class would cost 32,500 American Airlines miles each way, 37,500 British Airways Avios each way, or 50k US Airways miles roundtrip.

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Cathay Pacific is one of the world’s nicest First Class beds, and the airline boasts world class service. Check out my trip report of flying Cathay Pacific First Class from New York to Hong Kong.

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Award space on this route is excellent at the last minute and at off peak times like winter 2014.

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Recap

You can book top notch First Class products within the United States and Canada for only 50k US Airways miles roundtrip and as little as $30 out of pocket.

That price is going up to 65,000 miles for bookings made August 1, 2014 or later.

In addition, The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® offers 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase.

If this deal interests you, act now.

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