In my post about the surprising availability of American Airlines premium cabin awards on a plethora of transatlantic and transpacific routes on.. Wednesdays, some readers suggested that I may have buried the lede.
I’ve covered American loosening up availability on the Sydney route. And I covered the floodgates opening for award space on London routes. And how they opened up China flying. That was just the start.
American Airlines Boeing 787 Business Class
The key point – because readers have been wondering “what’s going on?” – may be the comments shared by American Airlines:
The changes you noted were test markets and there are more changes to come.
In short, we’ve done an overhaul on how we handle premium inventory. Not everyone route will have more availability, but there is a net increase across the system for C [business class upgrade] and U [business class award inventory]. Flights to Europe and trans-Pacific will be the most noticeable…
Sounds like you should be able to get a better view of the C/U inventory changes over the next few days and weeks.
We need to keep watch over what happens here. But we’re seeing better award availability start to trickle out, and American says they’re releasing more business class upgrades and awards as well. And that this will continue based on the tests we’ve been seeing them perform.
With prices going up for many premium cabin awards on March 22, they should make more awards available.
- Because of the basic economics of the program, there’s going to be more revenue attached to each award. The higher price for the seats should be able to shake loose more seats from inventory management. (Of course these seats will also – presumably – be available to partner frequent flyer programs and whether the prices those programs are paying is sufficient is an unknown in this equation.)
- Because they want members to continue to believe they’re getting strong value out of the program. AAdvantage is profitable on a standalone basis, and drives revenue to the airline as well.
This could be really good for a lot of members, though of course I continue to prefer to redeem my AAdvantage miles for travel on their partners much of the time (although I think their new fully flat all aisle access business class seat stands up to anyone’s especially on the Boeing 777-300ER, and I tend to favor that for Europe).
American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Business Class
What’s a reasonable amount of award space? What should we expect from a program? What do you think?