Award Seat Availability

May 22, 2013
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. American Airlines does not make available even one mileage award seat for travel in business or first class from any of their hubs (DFW, ORD, LAX, etc) to any major European hub such as London, for months to come (nothing before November). That is unless you spend double miles or fly with their partner BA with multiple stop overs and paying more than double in fees and taxes.


     
    Seems to be a little excessive when there are no available seats for months on end. Can’t anything be done?

    A. There are definitely too many miles chasing too few award seats, so it makes one wonder whether it's still worthwhile collecting them. AA recently offered miles for sale with a 50% bonus, which results in still more miles chasing fewer seats. Sometimes they open up seats, at the lower award level, at the last minute if they haven't sold them. I'm not sure if AA does this, but I know United has been aggressive in offering last minute paid upgrades at huge discounts to business and first… $800 to upgrade an economy class seat to business class on the LAX to JFK route for instance (for a seat that would normally cost $2300 each way), rather than offering those seats as free upgrades to elite flyers or as award seats. It doesn't seem fair, does it, but the airlines hold all the cards.

    Comments