The SECRET to Business Class award availability to EUROPE on AA METAL!

image

The SECRET to Business Class award availability to EUROPE on AA METAL!

SECRET OF EUROPE AA AWARDS

Besides the wonderful massive devaluation that American Airlines will be dropping on us after March there are other problems with the Aadvantage loyalty program these days.  Namely…availability. It doesn’t matter how many miles an award cost or how many miles you have if there aren’t any flights to use those miles on.

american airlines planes

Now there are always “AAnytime” awards but they are such terrible value it is hard to ever justify them on international flights.  That means you really want to have “SAAver” awards to book your flight, but these are the ones that seem to be an endanged species.

saaver award american airlines aadvantage

Now you can use your miles on American Airlines partners which is actually the only way I have used them internationally but sometimes you just need American Airlines metal like when traveling to Europe!  Which is likely the most often traveled to continent out side of North American for most Americans.

American Airlines’ partners in Europe are Finnair, AirBerlin, Iberia and British Airways.  Each of these have flights to several US cities but the only one with an extensive network to North America is British Airways which usually means if there is any availability to Europe it is on BA.  So, this should be great right?  British Airways sounds like a good airline.  I mean the British are so proper and have that great accent, they must have a great airline, right?  Well they are really middle to back of the pack in terms of quality but that’s not their real problem.  The REAL problem is that they impose ridiculous “fuel surcharges” (AKA bullsh@#% fees) to gouge their customers even when using miles.  The average Business Class tax/fee including BS fee I saw on British Airways award flight using AA miles to Europe were between $400-500 per ticket, EACH WAY!

british airways us destinations

LOTS of British Airways destinations in North America

SO this brings us full circle.  We can’t find AA Saaver awards, their partners have a limited network and the flights we do find charge us OVER $450 each way!

I mean you really just need to get SOMEWHERE in Europe and then there are flights all over the place.  So what’s the secret?

MANCHESTER, UK!  The city of Manchester seems to be the mother-load when it comes to American Airlines business class availability to Europe on AA metal.

767 american airlines business class

New American Airlines 767 Business Class

AA has flights to Manchester from Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK) and Philadelphia (PHL) and there are usually 2 seats from one of these airports and sometimes all 3 most days this coming summer and fall!!  The ORD and JFK flights are flown by a 767 which has a nice looking new business class and PHL has the US Airways reverse herringbone configuration.  All the searches I did were for 2 seats.

routes to MAN on american airlines

And once you get to Manchester, it is a short, hour BA flight to London which has connections to anywhere in Europe.

Check out the Months below from July to October:

JFK-MAN

award chart american airlines

July 2016

award chart american airlines

July/August

award chart american airlines

August/September

award chart american airlines

September/October

award chart american airlines

October

PHL-MAN

award chart american airlines

July 2016

award chart american airlines

July/August 2016

award chart american airlines

August/September 2016

award chart american airlines

September/October 2016

ORD-MAN

award chart american airlines

July 2016

award chart american airlines

July/August 2016

award chart american airlines

August/September 2016

award chart american airlines

September 2016

award chart american airlines

October 2016

So you get the picture, there is a lot of space.  Now there may be some overlap as they may route you from Chicago to Philly to take the flight but most I checked had at least 2 of the cities with flights open.

There are some sporadic seats here and there to cities in Europe on AA metal throughout the year but as your can see there are tons of flight to MAN for this coming summer and fall!

So get your flights now while Business Class is still only 50K AA miles!  These awards will go to 57.5K after March.

There are a few less now than these screen shots show because I had to nab a few flights to take my parents and in-laws to London next September!!

PS: Flights to Dublin on AA metal have some seats also 9-11 months out.

Anyone else notice this?  Anyone going to take advantage of it?

11 Comments on “The SECRET to Business Class award availability to EUROPE on AA METAL!

  1. Availability is very good to MAN, though much better come September. You’re actually picking up some BA connecting availability in your calendar searches. To avoid that you need to set # of stops to Non-stop only rather than No Preference on the calendar display. If you re-run your searches you’ll see it’s not quite as good over the summer as your graphics suggest.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    • Thanks Gary, should have done that. It shouldn’t be picking up any BA flights however because I actually set it to AA and American eagle flights ONLY. What it might be is that by not clicking the non-stop option it is picking up flights from other US airports. Like it might show availability from JFK to MAN and ORD to MAN, but really the ORD to MAN is a ORD-JFK-MAN flight.

      • For what it’s worth and I realize this makes no sense, but even when you choose AA/Eagle only you’re still going to see BA results on the calendar!

          • Fair enough. There might be less than shown in some of the images but there is virtually nothing to most cities which is why it suprised me. I do definitely agree that AA’s search can be very glitchy. About a month ago they were showing tons of Finnair award space (up to 6 seats a flight), but none of them actually existed if you seached on BA.com or called.

          • I went back and put the one way filter in and still see zero BA awards, but I agree that it does not look as prevelent at individual cities now. However, the real point is that from one of these 3 cities there are 2 seats available the vast majority of days from July to November. Which is great since there is usually next to nothing on most routes. Of course there are 6 less days with seats since I took 6 of them HAHA

  2. I agree with Gary on the AA.com glitches where you select AA metal only. It will still include partners in the results many times. Dublin is notorious for this in my experiences where you end up on a connection to BA via LHR.

  3. Is there any way to access these deals using Avios – sorry if this is a stupid question – I’m a newbie at this

    • Hey Dave,
      Yes, you can use Avios on American Airlines flights as well, however it may cost you more miles so I would check both before booking. For Avios you pay by distance and segment unlike AA where you pay a single price between regions.

  4. MANchester is a joke. You can go “anywhere” only to LHR on BA.
    I tried matrixitasoftware.com MAN to FCO and it came back as no flights even with a stopover.

    • So in terms of the “anywhere” you are quoting, that is from London which I said, “And once you get to Manchester, it is a short, hour BA flight to London which has connections to anywhere in Europe.”

      I am also not sure what you are searching exactly but when I search award flights on BA.com in September I am finding several award flights a day on the LHR-FCO route.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *