Well this deal came out of the left field. American Airlines is running a web special where you can fly in First Class to Hong Kong for 61,000 AA miles one-way. This is a significant discount from the usual saver cost of 110,000 miles one-way. Alternatively, you can fly Business Class for 50,000 AA miles one-way, which represents a discount from the usual cost of 70,000 miles.
For example, searching for a departure from my hometown of Pittsburgh, I am seeing 61,000 miles one-way in First Class. On many dates, there are even 4 seats available in First Class—that represents literally half of the cabin! If you have enough miles in your account, this could be a great way to get your entire family to Asia in style.
I would say that American Airlines’ calendar view is actually much improved when it first came out. This is a handy way to get a bird’s eye view on which dates have First Class available.
As a reminder, American Airlines has a generous award hold policy. You can put your award on hold for up to 5 days, and don’t even have to input a credit card number. This can help you book first and ask question later—if you decide that the trip isn’t going to work out after all, you can simply not ticket it and you would incur absolutely no loss.
Web Special awards cannot be changed once the ticket is issued. However, you can still request to cancel and re-deposit the miles to your account if you change your mind later. This is subject to a $150 fee for the first award, and $25 for each additional passenger on the same record. The fee is waived if you hold Executive Platinum status with American Airlines.
The Dallas to Hong Kong flight on most itineraries is operated by the Boeing 777-300ER. Now, American Airlines First Class service can frankly be downright embarrassing as far as international First Class goes. Still, the hard product is actually not bad. With a wide flat bed, it’s not such a bad way to cross the Pacific even if you have to suffer through apathetic and occasionally militant flight attendants. Or, you might luck out and end up with an excellent crew, like I did when I flew to Beijing a few years back.
HT: Doctor of Credit
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