US Airways pioneered the ‘reverse herringbone’ business class seat, which is one of the best in the sky. As a result their business class hard product on Airbus A330s is really up there compared to some of the best airlines in the world. Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, and American among others have followed suit with their own versions of the seat.
So while US Airways meals and service may not be the equivalent of the best carriers in the world, business class is fundamentally about the seat. And the US Airways seat is similar to the American seat onboard their 777-300ER, just a bit older and without as many minor touches. It’s great for sleeping in my opinion.
This is American’s version of the seat:
US Airways is Offering Unprecedented Upgrade Space Right Now
US Airways upgrades come out of the ‘C’ inventory bucket. I use Expert Flyer to search for C availability. You can search 7 days at a time (plus or minus 3 days around a given date you enter).
Picking some routes and dates at random, I see days showing 9 confirmed upgrade seats available on their Charlotte – Madrid flight. Nine is the most they’ll display and really means ‘nine or more’.
There’s great space available Philadelphia – Madrid as well.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Philadelphia – Athens is wide open.
Strong availability, but not “9+” daily, is Philadelphia – Rome.
This isn’t the case on every route. For instance, I don’t see great upgrade space available on Philadephia – Tel Aviv or Philadelphia – London. But it seems pretty prevalent across many routes.
How to Upgrade
You can upgrade on US Airways international flights one of two ways:
- American Airlines Executive Platinum members receive 8 confirmed upgrade certificates good on any paid published fare. (Lifetime 2 million milers receive some as well, and more upon crossing each subsequent million mile threshold.)
- You can use miles and a cash co-pay
Upgrades need to be processed by phone, you can’t do it online.
Confirm Your US Airways Upgrades Right Away
American is about to begin moving US Airways flights over to their single reservation system. That should happen within the next two weeks. When it does I wouldn’t be surprised if flights 3 months and more into the future start seeing more restrictive availability. So at least for anything mid-October forward, you want to book now.