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.