Hurry: As Many As 15 Business and First Class Award Seats on the Same Transatlantic Flights

Reader L.B.K. emails,

Have you ever seen that much award space on 1 flight [British Airways, London – Boston]? 8 in [business and] 7 in [first class] on the same flight. Also lots of space in early January to all other BA locations in [North America].

To illustrate this I ran a quick search for 4 business class seats, January 4-14, for London – New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Boston.

These dates have at least four business class seats on the noted routes (some cities with more than a single flight a day offering these seats).

It’s worth noting that there’s both business and first class seats broadly available — and not just to these cities. For instance, I saw a ton of first class space on the London – Houston route.

I didn’t see as much space London – DC, Miami, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

But the point remains that there’s an amazing amount of British Airways award availability out there. There are flights that have both as many as 7 first class and 8 business class award seats. On the same flight.

To be sure, you’re going to pay fuel surcharges to book British Airways awards — whether you’re using British Airways points, American miles, or Alaska Airlines miles. And those can total ~ $450 each way per passenger.

  • British Airways: London – Boston, New York, or Chicago are under 4000 miles so 60,000 miles each way in business class (80,000 in first). Farther distances in the US are 75,000 miles each way in business (100,000 in first). Connectin flights not included.

  • American: US-Europe is 50,000 miles each way in business class, 62,500 in first class.

  • Alaska: US-Europe is 60,000 miles each way in business class, 70,000 in first class. US domestic connections on Alaska Airlines only.

But if you’re looking for lots of premium seats on the same flights, and you’re willing to view it as:

  • The fuel surcharge being a discount economy fare that earns no miles
  • With a confirmed double upgrade to business class or triple upgrade to first class

.. then it’s still a phenomenal deal (albeit not a deal for everyone).

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. LOL, British Airways space is always wide open, because only fools would book it with the copays, or someone who really badly wants to fly first class for 6 hours.

  2. I’m sure this space is more wide open than usual but I never have a hard time finding BA space. I just have a fear of touching that fuel surcharge “third rail”.

  3. I flew BA 1st class for the 8+ hours LHR-ATL the other day as that was all I could find using AAdvantage miles for a trip with no alternate dates possible .(No big deal although it left me with under 1,000,000 miles in the account). Yeah, the surcharges were significant but they were a lot less than a one way paid economy ticket. The Concorde Lounge was good, seat 3A was fine as was the service and wine, but the meal was mediocre at best. It’s better to order from the bistro menu onboard or eat beforehand in the lounge IMO. I really wish AA would open up some business class availability once in awhile. It’s more than adequate.

  4. Is there any other options to get from JFK or BOS to LHR in First class? I find economy tickets for $800-900. Or I can use my AA miles on BA (125K for first class plus $1250.00 in fuel surcharges) that is unacceptable to me. Why doesn’t AA have any rewards on there own flights? and is there another way to go where I could use my AMEX MR miles instead of AA miles?

  5. A question! Can this companion certificate be used by family members, even if the cardmember is not traveling with them?

  6. Does this extend to end of schedule? Anything from the West Coast (assuming not, since you don’t mention it)?

    As for the value – it’s fantastic if you have a Chase BA card and use a 241 cert.

  7. Never any decent connecting flights on AA. They want me to do LAX-Bo’s on a 738 and pay $900 RT for the Bos/LHR part.

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