American Award Redemption Before the Devaluation: Go to Europe for the Holidays in Business Class

With American AAdvantage devaluing its award chart March 22 there’s a ton of last minute requests for space.

And for the conspiracy theorists out there expecting American to remove all award space until March 22 arrives, I’ve pointed out fantastic space to South America. There’s decent Asia availability come the end of the year. And here’s a route to try when nothing else works.

I was searching for awards this morning late in the year and discovered that you can go to Europe for the holidays as well.

Here’s Los Angeles – London in business class for four passengers.

Oddly it’s Los Angeles – the farthest flight and with the best business class product, American’s 777-300ER, that has the best availability.

American Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

American Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

Here’s Chicago – London in business class for four passengers.

This is, by the way, restricting the search to only American non-stop flights. That avoids British Airways flights which would incur fuel surcharges.

There’s good Philadelphia – London space as well for four passengers. And that gets you a similar seat to American’s 777-300ER, fully flat reverse herringbone with direct aisle access.

Key things to note:

  • There are some dates with 6 or more business class seats available.

  • More dates are available for just two passengers.

  • There are some dates available with 2 or more first class seats.

  • Where there are award seats available you can generally find confirmable upgrade seats available.

And there are destinations other than London available, for instance Philadelpha and Dallas – Madrid flights both have some availability in business class around the holidays. These are useful because you have oneworld member Iberia’s full route network beyond Madrid, and if staying within Europe for no additional miles.

American still charges just 50,000 miles each way for business class between the US and Europe, and that includes connecting flights on both sides of the Atlantic with no fuel surcharges when flying American.

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. Gary, how can you be sure the above calendars are showing AA and not BA availability? I believe BA serves all of those routes nonstop as well.

  2. The picture for the PHL includes BA metal on Jan 10 & 11, there are no AA award tickets available those days.

  3. @Ian When looking for award availability on AA com, you have the choice of:
    “American Airlines, and American Eagle”
    “American Airlines, American Eagle, and oneworld”
    at the bottom of the “Find Flights” page.
    Checking the former eliminates BA flights from appearing.

  4. The dates I have looked at are ALL MIXED CABIN!

    Economy LHR to JFK and then first JFK to LAX!


  5. There was availability for Business Class from LAX and SFO to LHR on several dates I checked around December 25 during holiday break flying AA metal for 50,000 + $5.60.

  6. Taxes are pretty high. I searched for FCO from the west coast for two tickets and the taxes were more than $2000.

  7. Hi Gary,

    I wanted to book flight from CDG-DOH-SYD on Qatar, the BA website shows 2 seats, but AA agent couldn’t pull out the seat. What should I do?

  8. Why are the taxes $283 for a one way on AA in Business Saver in Jan. LHR-DFW ?? That seems high. This plane is an AA plane, flight AA 51. Does $283 sound right? Granted, it’s an $8,800 seat …

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