View From The Wing notes this afternoon that standard award availability is now showing up on both American Airlines and US Airways’ websites for award booking using miles from either airline.
Some people reading this just said, “Why would I want to book a standard award? Those prices are horrible.”
Yes, they can be. But, here’s an example where it would make a big difference for me. Late last year I was attempting to book a trip to Europe this year. I was trying to avoid fuel surcharges which meant focusing on US Airways gateways (Philadelphia and Charlotte are most convenient for me).
I found instances where I could book 4 saver seats in business class for my family to get to Europe. Great!
I also found plenty of instances where I could book 3 seats in business class for my family to get home from Europe. Not so great, because I couldn’t book a standard award for that last seat using my AAdvantage miles because they didn’t have access to US Airways standard inventory. And, US Airways won’t book a one-way award. Well, technically they will:
Very generous of them.
With these most recent developments, I could book that one-way standard award if I wanted to. And, in the grand scheme of things, the math isn’t that bad for an option like that:
4 Saver Business Class One-way awards to Europe: 200,000 miles
3 Saver Business Class One-way awards from Europe to US: 150,000 miles
1 Standard Business Class One-way award from Europe to US: 135,000 miles
Total: 485,000 miles, or 121,250 miles per ticket and no fuel surcharges. That’s a bit higher than the price for a United award and much less than a United partner award (140,000 miles).
And, certainly a better option for me than buying one ticket in Business Class.
It’s important to note that, even though Gary has noted the wide open availability for standard awards, I’m seeing some gaps. For example, I searched the Philadelphia-Amsterdam routing that I was considering for our summer trip. The availability calendar at US Airways shows mostly 62.5K first class seats available (these are two-cabin flights, not 3):
But, when picking specific dates, I got quite a bit of unavailable inventory on the US Airways side:
Note that there’s no First (high or low) inventory available on this date despite what the calendar shows me. Different story on the American side:
I found examples like this on a handful of international routes I ran queries on. Not sure how widespread it is, but it’s clear that changes are coming, and they give us more options as customers (even if the price is painful sometimes).
One of the oldest rules in the book applies in this situation. If you’re looking for something specific and don’t see it online, call American Airlines or US Airways and get an agent to help you. Even with phone booking fees it may work out better for you, and you can always plead your case that the website inaccuracy is why you had to call.
For those hunting for award seats, please report back and let me know what you find.
The post More US Airways Award Inventory Available For American Airlines Customers was published first on Pizza In Motion.
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