ACT QUICKLY: Entire First Class Cabin Open for Awards, American’s New Los Angeles-London Flight

I noted yesterday that American is launching a second daily Los Angeles – London flight. That gives American two flights, and their joint venture partner British Airways two flights. (BA used to operate three flights, but reduced frequency when they up-gauged to an Airbus A380 from LAX.)

Often when flights are loaded into a system there are anomalies with frequent flyer award space. And sometimes they’re just lightly sold so award space is more available than you’d otherwise expect. (On the other hand, sometimes with a new route an airline isn’t sure what its sales patterns will be, they don’t have historical data, so they can be extra tight-fisted.)

Per One Mile at a Time, when between March 28 when the new flight comes onto the schedule and May 31 the first class cabin on Los Angeles – London is completely open for awards — every day.

Here’s American’s award calendar for 6 passengers in first class in April and May 2015:

Same story for the reverse, London Heathrow – Los Angeles:

The flight is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, which means it is American’s new first class and not the old Flagship Suite.

There’s both a first class Flagship Lounge at Heathrow, and an Arrivals lounge which I much like. And of course you can also connect beyond Heathrow especially using American’s partner British Airways.

I don’t see any business class availability on thee flights, but the incremental mileage cost of first class is just 12,500 miles each way. This is a great value, worth jumping on, especially as West Coast – Europe premium cabin awards can be really tough to get.

Lucky also notes that the new American flights that start in May from New York JFK to Birmingham and Edinburgh do not have business class award space loaded but economy is wide open on both.

This definitely won’t last so if these award flights can possibly help you, you’ll want to jump now!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I just tried one from LAX-LHR and it came out with $649 in fees/taxes for 2 people. That’s a lot!

  2. @mark,
    This is the definition of pretty obvious. This happens very frequently when a new route is opened. Only surprise is the there are no business class seats available.

  3. OK, so it’s $11.20 LAX-LHR and $637.80 return … guess I’ll go one way!
    Thanks for the heads up – looks great.

  4. @Frank if you return from somewhere other than the UK the price will drop (eg Paris – London – Los Angeles) and also make sure you are flying American and not British Airways to avoid fuel surcharges

  5. AA pulled this in the most infuriating way. Instead of deleting availability, they still show the flights as available. Only when you pick one, and attempt to book it, it then shows it as unavailable.

    It’s not that the site is down due to some glitch, nor that the flights have filled up. You can still book it Anytime, and the flights still show only one, or sometimes no seats booked when you check on them thru Anytime.

    They just keep holding the football there for you, then snatching it away when you go to kick it, over and over again. Charlie Brown and Lucy style. 🙁

  6. Yeah, frustrating. I was able to put two one-ways on hold, but just as soon as I got them and was trying to get some other flights for my parents, the “no longer available” error started coming up with AA108/109.

  7. I called AA to report the phantom availability. The Res agent confirmed nothing is open, and transferred me to web services, who were only interested in confirming that the awards were not available. But seemed utterly uninterested in doing anything about it. Thousands of AA elites trying to book phantom awards and getting utterly frustrated in having those awards disappear when they try to book them? Yawn…um too bad. No one even apologized for the frustration their site is causing. They seemed to feel just saying “it’s not available” was enough. Geez…

  8. The availability was pulled this morning when AA realized they had opened the floodgates on these flights, congrats to those who got the seats!

  9. I’m in the UK now. By flying home from Paris I avoided the LHR departure tax. The savings paid for Eurostar tickets for two and a Paris hotel.

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