American Airlines First Class Awards To Hong Kong Wide Open 4+ Passengers

American Airlines almost never offers premium cabin international saver award space. However you can sometimes find availability for just a few more miles. That means the seats are available to American AAdvantage members, but they aren’t available to partners. That’s the case right now for American’s Dallas Fort Worth – Hong Kong flight which is scheduled to return to service at the end of March 2022.

For April, July, August, September 2022 and October there are plenty of dates with availability for two passengers on the Dallas – Hong Kong flight in first class at 84,000 AAdvantage miles apiece. Next year there may be hope of visiting Hong Kong, or of using this flight to connect onward in Asia on American’s partner Cathay Pacific.

Availability on American’s Dallas flight is great because it’s a useful connecting point for most of the country. Here’s space for two passengers but July – October there’s almost as much space for four or more passengers at this price.

The only long haul aircraft in the American Airlines fleet with first class is their Boeing 777-300ERs.


American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER First Class, Credit: American

The American Airlines first class seat wasn’t one of the better ones in the industry when it was first introduced nearly a decade ago. Couple that with lackluster meal service that’s closer to business class, and bar service that lags as well, American’s international first class isn’t a competitive product even before you get to the service that American’s flight attendants seem to consistently fail to deliver in the cabin.

However it does come with access to American’s Flagship First Dining, which has re-opened in New York and Miami and should be re-opening in Dallas soon. Those facilities are actually really quite nice.


Flagship First Dining New York JFK


Miami Corn Chowder With Corn Fritters

I don’t like American not making these awards available at the saver level even when it’s cheaper than saver, as seems to generally be the case here. When partner frequent flyer programs can’t redeem on American but AAdvantage members can redeem on partners, the balance of payments is unequal. American sees a net cost for partner awards not because of the heavy redemption activity of its own members, but because of the stinginess of its inventory management.

Nonetheless, with net cash out of the door paying partners for awards (not offset by awards their members claim on American), it’s tempting for the program to conclude its partner award spending is therefore too high — and devalue partner award pricing to compensate. In other words, while at first glance it looks like American is protecting the space for its own members, in practice making seats available only to its own members may lead to devaluation.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Highly doubt this flight is actually going to run in April, much less tourists being allowed into Hong Kong by the spring.

  2. @Gary – Am I the only one not seeing Cathay space? While I haven’t checked the west coast much, the northeast is is showing nothing for weeks on end. If I’m flying to Hong Kong I’d rather do so on a quality airline.

  3. First class MileSAAver DFW-HKG should be 110,000, not 70,000. So, this is a good points discount even if not available with partners. That said, the service is not great and I’d rather fly CX business for 70k AA or 50k AS.

  4. @Gary, I have flown this DFW to HKG routing (mostly in First Class) many, many times before the pandemic. I own a business here in America, and have an office in Asia (currently have 21 employees there – still locked up behind a closed border …), so flew DFW to HKG and then onward (on Cathay Pacific) about every 6-8 weeks. While the seating is not the same as other premium carriers (such as First Class in Cathay Pacific, or even Business Class in carriers such as Qatar), it was nice to have a large seat with premium bedding and good pajamas. The service was always acceptable (nothing near to carriers such as Singapore, or EVA, or Cathay, or Qatar, but still acceptable). The food certainly lagged far, far behind the competition (and American does not seem very interested in raising itself to the level of its competition in the onboard food category).

    I’ve never used awards miles to fly this routing, but it sounds like a good deal. I know that AA has done away with allowing Systemwide Upgrades from a purchased full-fare Business Class ticket to a First Class ticket. Pity.

    I’m not sure when HKG will re-open. I highly doubt that it will be in March or April. Not even sure if it will be open in the Summer. It is a GREAT airport (I consider it among the World’s top 5). And the premier (as an Emerald, I was always in the First Class side of the Cathay Pacific Lounge that is by Gates 3 and 4) Lounge is about the best of any airline in the World.

    I’ve found new routings to Asia, and flew DFW to DOH (Doha) and onward already, and have another coming up in January. Qatar offers a very difficult-to-beat Business Class with their Q-Suites !!

    Thanks for the great update, @Gary !!

    EdSparks58

  5. I was able to buy good seats on this route for may and use SWU’s on the way to malaysia via Cathay but I think it if 50/50 if they will let pass throughs in the airport.

  6. Regardless if HKG is open or not, anyone with a 1/4 of a brain would use their points for PE with an Asian carrier over F on AA on this route.

    Now if someone really wants to experience what international F shouldn’t be and see first hand what horrible service is all about of course, they can book away. They’ll get the pleasure of an horribly dated seat that’s locked in place till after take off, crappy Pajamas compared to others, their meal will be horrible and forget about asking for a burger, Ramen or anything else an Asian carrier is happy to offer anytime you ask. You’ll get told there’s a snack tray at the front of the galley.

  7. We traveled to Hong Kong four years ago with our then four year old (before anyone chimes in — she behaved well and didn’t bother anyone. So zip it.) It was as fun as they say and the food was fabulous. Your post brought back good memories, but after everything that’s happened in Hong Kong in the past two years, crucially the crackdown on civil liberties and the introduction of the national security law, we doubt we’re ever going back, unless the Chinese regime changes… which isn’t going to happen. We have expat friends who have the privilege of being able to choose their future. Most are leaving or have already left Hong Kong. Multinational firms are also leaving or considering it seriously and relocating to Singapore. Long story short, I want to cry when I think of what’s happened to this once vibrant city… 🙁

  8. Cathay Pacific business class LAX – HKG was wide open for next summer as of a couple months ago for 4 people. I booked 4 tickets in July, hoping I can to do the trip. Consider checking that route as well.

  9. High fuel prices will do in this and other ultra long haul routes unless there is a very strong level of business demand. The 777-300ER burns more fuel than any other aircraft in the US airline fleet and American has no more seats on its 777-300ERs than Delta has on its all-new A350s than burn 34% less fuel even if Delta doesn’t fly to HKG. (and CX also flies A350s)

  10. You missed the best part of the seat!

    It swivels to look directly out the window! I love this 5Stars Flew MIA-LAX-MIA Flagship 77W last month for $2k status extension and had great views both ways. Luck out with nice FA

    and once i had to book last minute with only middle seats available – no one would switch and all had shades down whole trip I’ll pass on these seats

    as Far As Kong Honk goes, I’m hoping to get 2 transits in Cathay First JFK-HKG-FRA (140K AS miles May 22 JFK-HKG-HND (125K CX miles) July 22 And then I’ll be done with Hong Kong, Sad!

  11. @Brian L. Dying to know where you live that’s so idyllic that it makes Hong Kong seem like a place not worthy of traveling to. Seems like a better place to be and live than anyplace in the country I live.

  12. HK will not be opening to tourists until next summer (confirmed by the HKSAR Gov’t) so unless you are a resident or a citizen don’t bother booking. Two week quarantine is also needed so be sure to book your hotel room.

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