This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines is the only carrier now operating and promoting a 3-cabin first class product between New York and Los Angeles (and soon to be San Francisco). Fares on this route for first class are usually in the $2,935 one-way. However, there are a bunch of dates in April and May where fares are as low as $491.99 each way for the 6am departure. I generally don’t like flights that early, but I’ll always get out of bed early for a good deal!

First class drastically cheaper than business class
First class drastically cheaper than business class

Sadly, I’ve only found this fare for JFK-LAX and not the other way around, but still- the first class fare is thousands less than business class and sometimes less than $200 more than economy making this a no brainer for those traveling on the available dates.

These are P fares which earn a 50% class of service bonus and 1.5 EQPs, but will incur a $200 cancellation/rebooking fee, but will let you hold fares for 24 hours so I’d recommend at least doing that because these fares will likely not last very long.

Class of Service Purchased Fares Booked in: Base Miles (elite status qualifying) Class of Service Bonus Miles Elite Qualifying Points per Mile Earned
First Class A, F, P 100% 50% 1.50

AA 24 hour hold

I pulled up non-stop fares on the ITA Matrix for JFK-LAX in April/May/June and found the below- usually the days with $492/$500 fares are those with the super cheap 6am American Airlines departure in first class.

April cheap fare dates
April cheap fare dates
May cheap fare dates
May cheap fare dates

I flew this product recently and thought it was a really solid product and at this price it’s a no brainer!

Not the biggest first class seat, but certainly comfortable for a transcend and better than most other options
Not the biggest first class seat, but certainly comfortable for a transcend and better than most other options

You can book through an online portal to maximize your miles/points and also put your purchase on the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card for 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or the Sapphire Preferred, Arrival or Citi AA cards for 2x miles/points.

Hat tip Dealspin

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at Terms apply.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.