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How to make AAdvantage award space for one person work for two travelers

by on Mon February 23, 2015 • 2 Comments


We get questions about award space to Europe in Business and First Class more than any other topic. Finding space that doesn’t involve hefty fuel surcharges is tough if all you do is a simple search.

Some things have made it easier. United MileagePlus’ award sale on partner flights has made it very easy to find awards to Europe for just 115,000 miles roundtrip. That deal ends on the 28th.

But for AAdvantage it’s been feast or famine. A few weeks ago there was a mistake that opened up a lot of space to Europe, which was quickly closed.

But now it appears a more distinct trend is settling in.

AAdvantage is offering very good space on American’s own flights if you’re a solo traveler.

Case in point – Paris.

Searching for one seat yields plenty of options…

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.02.54 PM

But asking for 2 seats dries everything up…

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.03.43 PM


London is a bit better – and in fact you should jump now if you’re looking to book for this summer, as London gives you access to all of British Airways’ connections throughout Europe. Here’s availability for 2 in July.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.07.30 PM

But it’s downright generous if you look for just 1 seat:

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.06.28 PM

Even in full on First Class

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.06.38 PM

So how can you make that generous space for 1 person work for a party of 2?

American’s flights to London use what’s called a 3 cabin airplane. That means in addition to Coach, they have both First and Business Class cabins.

As you can see above, many days have availability for 1 seat in both Business and First Class. Which often means there are really 2 premium cabin seats available on the same flight.

So to make this work for a party of 2, just book one seat in Business Class and the other in First Class on the same flight.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.14.38 PM

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.14.47 PM

You’ll pay 12,500 miles extra for the privilege, but it’s worth it to get 2 of you in the big seats on the same flight with no fuel surcharges. In case you’re wondering “well if I book the First Class seat, American will zero out the Business Class seat,” in our experience that’s not the case. In the example above, we were able to book the First Class seat, and the Business Class seat remained open to complete the booking.

As for sitting together…

If a seat in First Class opens up, you can pay the extra miles for the second passenger to upgrade with no cash fee or penalty.

Or, you can simply ask someone in Business Class if they’d like to switch with you onboard.

It’s a pretty easy sell…



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2 thoughts on How to make AAdvantage award space for one person work for two travelers

  1. Ken

    could you do this with 2 different aadvantage accounts in two browsers at the same time would that work using points for one ticket in each of the aadvantage accounts


      @Ken – Probably. The first and business inventory appears to be separately managed, so they should be able to each grab one.


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