American Airlines now has a very good business class product on its London to New York route. It is a herringbone layout and looks like this:
…. on the new Boeing 777-300ER (77W in AA parlance) and:
….. on refurbished older Boeing 777-200 (772 in AA speak) aircraft.
Those of you of a certain age will know that the US airlines used to have laughable business class products. American has now not only caught up but, in terms of Club World, overtaken.
The reason I’ve never reviewed the new seat is that American is incredibly stingy at opening up reward seats. On Tuesday, however, it opened up huge chunks of space from New York and selected other destinations to London (and other European cities) for much of 2018.
This is good news because, as a British Airways partner, you can book these seats using Avios.
How to find American Airlines business class availability
The easiest way to search is at americanairlines.com even though you will be booking via ba.com using Avios.
On the AA home page, open the ‘Advanced Search’ box. Scroll down and ensure you’ve got ‘MilesAAver’ and ‘Business’ and ‘American Airlines’ selected under ‘Options’. Make sure you have ‘Book Using Miles’ selected.
On the results page, select ‘Business / First MilesAAver’ and ‘Full Calendar’.
This is what you see for April as at 10pm last night to New York from Heathrow (click to enlarge):
and from New York to Heathrow:
You want days showing 57,500 miles seats. Click through and make sure that the flight offered is direct. The 77W flights on new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are the ones to go for, if reputation is anything to go by, but a similar seat is on the 772 (Boeing 777-200) aircraft which also fly the route.
Go over to ba.com, plug in the same dates and the same flights will show.
For clarity …. you do NOT pay 57,500 miles. That is the price if you have AA miles. You will pay 60,000 Avios each way which is the peak day one-way cost of an Avios redemption to New York. All American Airlines flights are charged at peak day pricing. You cannot use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.
Other routes are also showing good availability
Reports on US frequent flyer sites suggest similarly good availability from Los Angeles, Charlotte and Raleigh to London. Other AA hubs such as Miami, Philadelphia and Chicago are not so open.
I did NOT see much availability – although there is some – on American’s other routes to the UK:
Edinburgh to New York (Summer only)
Glasgow to Philadelphia (Summer only)
Manchester to Chicago
Manchester to Philadelphia
Let’s talk taxes
To be honest, if you have any oneworld miles except Avios then use those instead. In almost all case you won’t pay any surcharges, because AA doesn’t actually add surcharges. However, if you book with Avios, BA adds on a surcharge (which it pockets) in order to equalise the taxes between the BA and AA services across the Atlantic.
This is why a return flight on AA to New York comes with $300 of taxes compared with £500+ if you book exactly the same flight with Avios via BA.
If you only have Avios, of course, it is a moot point!
Hopefully the availability will still be there when you read this on Wednesday morning for anyone who wants to give the American Airlines business class product a try to the US.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)