Last week I highlighted copious transatlantic award space on American Airlines in business class for the whole family. That’s a bit of a unicorn. Ever since US Airways management took over at the airline, finding overwater business class saver awards has been a challenge. They raised $10 billion in debt against their loyalty program but still don’t see frequent flyers as paying customers when redeeming their miles.
Transatlantic awards using American AAdvantage miles are especially tough because not only are awards rare on American’s own flights, but their primary partner across the Pond is British Airways and those flights incur monumental fuel surcharges. Taxes and fees an exceed $1500 roundtrip. (Hint: if you are going to book these flights, book one-ways, because fuel surcharges will be lower than a roundtrip originating in North America.)
There’s another interesting opportunity using American’s miles to fly transatlantic right now, and I wanted to flag it because it highlights another principle. There’s great award space in business class for four or more people on the Charlotte – Munich route during the first four months of 2022.
These are not saver awards. That means you can only book these flights for this many passengers using American’s own miles. If they were saver awards they’d price at 57,500 miles one way. Instead, depending on the date, awards are being made available for 60,000 or 66,000 miles.
At the point where they’re willing to take 60,000 miles the award, is it that hard to make seats available and call them saver?
American Airlines features two different business class seats on Boeing 777-200 aircraft. This is the Zodiac ‘Concept D’ seat.
Instead these are ‘web specials’ which means that there are no changes permitted. For simple itineraries that’s no big deal because American eliminated all cancel and redeposit fees for awards (for all members, this is no longer a benefit restricted to Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members). That means you can cancel the ticket, get your miles back, and book a new ticket.
Web savers, then, simply aren’t as restrictive as they were before the pandemic when they were not changeable and redeposits came at a cost.