Since US Airways took over revenue management at American Airlines, the carrier has been incredibly tightfisted with both business class saver award inventory and confirmed upgrade space to business as well. When inventory has popped up it’s been for only a brief period of time.
Right now is one of those times, at least for travel between the U.S. and Europe over winter. That’s not when most people are wanting to go to Europe, to be sure, but even then we wouldn’t expect to see flights listed as “C7” which means at least 7 business class upgrades confirmable at a time on a single flight.
And winter is the perfect time for many American Airlines flyers to confirm upgrades. Executive Platinum and ConciergeKey members of AAdvantage receive systemwide upgrade certificates each year that generally expire January 31. There are a lot of people looking at upgrades that’ll expire unused at this point. This is a great opportunity to use them. For everyone else it’s also an opportunity to redeem 25,000 miles and $350 cash co-pay each way.
The very best upgrade space is probably on routes to and from London Heathrow – even notoriously difficult routes. C is the number of upgrade seats available right now. Here’s Los Angeles – London Heathrow:
And to be clear it’s available in the other direction as well. Since we’re looking at winter, let’s not just look for dates prior to those January 31 systemwides expiring (some agents will allow you to use them to confirm upgrades now for travel past expiration, and often that’ll happen anyway if you’ve already requalified if the system pulls the nearest-expiring upgrade).
Here’s Dallas – London Heathrow, another notoriously difficult flight.
And in reverse, London Heathrow – Dallas:
I’m also seeing good space out of Chicago and Philadelphia; some space out of New York JFK and Chicago; and wide open in and out of Miami and Raleigh. The only American Airlines London flights where I’m not pleased with confirmable upgrade space are out of Phoenix.
Confirmable upgrade space isn’t limited to London Heathrow flights, either. Check the European destination of your choice. For instance here’s Dallas Fort-Worth – Madrid:
And Dallas Fort-Worth – Paris:
If you’re considering upgrading to Europe on American Airlines, now is a great since those upgrades are confirmable.
Meanwhile, award space isn’t nearly as good however connecting flights through Charlotte and Philadelphia abound, especially midweek.