The New Pattern for Finding 2 First Class Seats on American’s Premium Transcon Flights

As a follow on to my discussion of how tough it is to get premium domestic cross country award flights in business class except at the last minute, a word about first class is in order.

American is the only airline offering a separate cabin 3-class first class product. You can read up on it here and also here.

A good reminder that every rule about award availability works until it doesn’t anymore, I had pretty much internalized that American only releases one first class seat at a time on its New York JFK – Los Angeles and San Francisco new premium cabin A321T flights.

Here’s the new pattern for finding first class award availability ofr two passengers on the premium transcon flights.

@hungariannomad points out that American has changed things up and now makes first class awards for two passengers available on Tuesdays and Saturdays, beginning in mid-August.

Here’s the New York JFK – Los Angeles route for two passengers in first class.

Tuesday availability disappears right around the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years holiday dates. But otherwise the pattern continues and picks back up after New Years through January.

Then starting mid-February it’s just Tuesdays that have the availability becoming more sporadic across Tuesdays and Saturdays around late March, then resuming the normal Tuesday/Saturday pattern for April-May through end of schedule.

Los Angeles – New York JFK, though — the other direction — seems to mostly be available just on Saturdays.

New York JFK – San Francisco follows a very similar Tuesday/Saturday pattern to New York JFK – Los Angeles, with only 1 stray Friday that I found.

It turns out that first class — though only available a couple of days a week — is a bit easier to get for two passengers than business class!

Update: You may notice availability from yesterday shown above. THat’s because I managed to not hit ‘publish’ on the post when I wrote it. Heh.

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,

    Really enjoying the recent posts on award availability patterns. This is an under-blogged aspect of airline programs, and I hope you will consider putting together a guide for availability patterns among the top 25 airlines major routes. Maybe get your BA brethren to pitch in as a service to the community? Along the lines of general trends in timing of availability, which programs have access and good rates, by class, etc.

  2. A week out you can get get even 5 seats on the same flight.
    A lot of times this cabin goes out half empty

  3. Gary, great post, thank you for doing this analysis. Great to know that there is possibility of 2 F class seats on this route, very exciting to see this pattern!



  4. Agree with Jig. This is great to know. It seems much of the commentary in the blogosphere is more focused on earning tricks than actually redeeming.

  5. ditto Jig and Brian…….smart award sweet spot tables are as important as learning which card yields the best signup………and the cc offers can still be rolled into the post……no harm no foul………..

  6. Gary, since there are multiple flights a day on this route, If one gets one flight at say 4PM and another at 6PM, Are there any suggestions on how to both get on the same flight together at the last minute? would this have to be done at the airport or online/phone a few days before? thanks

  7. Great, Thanks Gary. Do the standard $75 fee apply to Biz or First class award bookings?

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