Yesterday, I wrote a tip entitled How to Save Big on Money and Miles When Booking Flights. The tip featured two tricks that can save you a lot of money and miles. I’m not sure if you noticed but one of the screenshots I used as an example happens to be the best deal to fly first class, nonstop, in a lie-flat bed between Southern California and New York.
As you probably know, flying between Los Angeles and New York is one of the most lucrative routes for the airlines. That’s because so many business travelers and high profile people commute between the two cities. This is why the airlines put their best planes and premium seats on this route.
Unfortunately, unless you booked your flights last year when travel was way down, it’s very difficult to get a good deal on this route using money or miles.
American Airlines typically charges 130,000 miles one-way for First Class; 97,500 miles for Business Class and 35,000 miles for Economy! United is currently charging 63,000 miles for their Business/First and Delta charges between 75,000 and 110,000 miles for Delta One.
The trick to getting American Airlines (AA) lie flat seat is to wait until the day before and price out SNA to JFK. SNA is John Wayne Airport, Orange County in Santa Ana and is only 41 miles from LAX. Thanks to the pandemic American Airlines has added one A321T plane a day on this route. This is the same plane they use on the LAX/SFO to JFK but since the airlines cut back on frequency when business travel tanked they decided to add a SNA-JFK option.
I’m not sure how long it’s going to last because the plane seems to be pretty empty in First and Business but get it while you can. AA starts lowering the amount of miles at the last minute. If you’re willing to gamble, you can get Economy for 15,000 miles; Business for 25,000 miles and First for 37,500 miles. Keep in mind both class have lie-flat seats. Business Class is configured 2×2 while First is a plush 1×1. See screenshots below.
The first one was taken five days before the flight and the last one was taken the day before the flight.
See how much AA lowered the price? Awesome, right?