Johnny pointed out just how wide-open American’s new Los Angeles – Sydney flight was last night. I had to have a look for myself.
So about four hours prior to departure I had a look at the inventory for the flight. They were certainly selling plenty of seats.
Gosh, you’d think that on a wide open flight that’s four hours from departure there’s really no chance of selling out. Perhaps they’d make some business class award seats available. It’s pretty much a certainty that any upgrade request would clear.
In fact, I took a look at the seat map. Only 12 seats were even taken on the seatmap. Not a perfect indication of the flight load, but a pretty good one when more than three quarters of the seats are unassigned. This flight is an employee nonrev traveler’s dream.
- Blue seats are occupied
- White seats are available for assignment
Since they’re never going to sell these seats, it’s a gimme to use points right?
Not even close. Let’s take a look at the award calendar.
The cheapest business class award option is 215,000 points. That’s this flight:
It’s understandable that on a premium route with their best aircraft they’ll want to be a bit conservative releasing award space. At this time there is not a single day during the entire 11 months of the schedule that there’s even one business or first class saver award Los Angeles – Sydney. That’s absurd. But it’s worse than that.
They aren’t just protecting seats hoping to sell them, not knowing yet what seats are going to go unsold. Even when it is 100% obvious that seats are going out empty, they’re still extorting members for more than 200,000 miles for a one way flight. That’s some dirty pool.
[…] even brought this oddity to the attention of travel blogger Gary Leff from View from the Wing, and his findings were similar to mine: American simply did not release any seats for low-level premium awards on any of their new […]