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On Monday, we saw the launch of Chase’s first ever transfer bonus: Now through June 16, you’ll get a 30% bonus when transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios. This transfer bonus amplifies all kinds of sweet spots in the Avios award chart, and we are going to highlight some of these over the next week.

Today, let’s focus on how you can fly AA’s best international business class products on domestic routes for just 12,000 Ultimate Rewards points in each direction.

In This Post

The Sweet Spot

Here’s how this sweet spot breaks down: American Airlines codes its “domestic first class” seats as business class. And it only costs 15,000 British Airways Avios for nonstop business class awards on flights less than 1,151 miles. But, it gets sweeter: AA sometimes flies its internationally-configured aircraft on domestic flights. Even sweeter: The 30% transfer bonus from Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Avios means you only have to transfer 12,000 UR points to British Airways to book these award flights.

Finding nonstop award availability can be tough on American Airlines flights, especially since AA made some annoying changes to how it releases award availability in late 2017. However, it’s not impossible to find award space — and flights on these premium-heavy wide-body aircraft usually end up having more award availability than on domestic aircraft.

The problem is, the schedules for these internationally-configured aircraft on domestic routes vary from month to month. So, we here at The Points Guy dig into AA’s schedule regularly to unveil where you can find these excellent seats. With an eye toward just those routes that are 1,151 miles or less, let’s take a look at the routes where you can book some of AA’s best international business class seats for 12,000 Ultimate Rewards.

Routes

777-200: B/E Aerospace Super Diamond or Zodiac Concept D

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond business class on some AA Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy.
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond business class on some AA Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy.

American Airlines’ 777-200 is a bit complicated. While the seat maps look identical, there are actually two business-class seat options. While both are lie-flat, one is significantly more spacious and stable than the other. However, either one would be a huge improvement from standard domestic first-class products you’d find on other aircraft. So, here are the domestic routes under 1,151 miles where you can currently fly the 777-200:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW MIA 317 16:45 20:44 7-Jun 7-Jun One-Off
DFW MIA 797 11:00 14:59 3-May 5-Jun Daily
DFW MIA 1219 16:40 20:30 3-May 30-Jun Daily
DFW MIA 2206 18:15 21:55 2-Apr 30-Jun Daily
DFW MIA 2239 14:25 18:24 6-Jun 6-Jun One-Off
DFW MIA 2386 7:00 10:56 7-Jun 30-Jun Daily
DFW MIA 2541 17:01 20:47 2-Apr 2-May Daily
JFK MIA 243 15:30 18:51 2-Apr 2-May Daily
JFK MIA 243 15:59 19:27 4-May 30-Jun Daily
MIA DFW 408 10:40 12:51 3-May 3-May One-Off
MIA DFW 1335 15:40 17:53 2-Apr 2-May Daily
MIA DFW 2239 10:54 12:59 6-Jun 6-Jun One-Off
MIA DFW 2469 17:15 19:28 3-May 5-Jun Daily
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 13:59 7-Jun 30-Jun Daily
MIA DFW 2575 7:16 9:25 3-May 30-Jun Daily
MIA DFW 2808 9:00 11:16 2-Apr 30-Jun Daily
MIA JFK 1199 16:05 19:01 2-Apr 5-Jun Daily
MIA JFK 1199 15:41 18:52 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily

787-9: B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy.
Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy.

Another way that you can try out the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond business class seats is on AA’s Boeing 787-9 — which is available between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD):

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW ORD 82 12:45 15:05 3-May 5-Jun Daily
DFW ORD 2412 12:25 14:52 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily exc. Sat
DFW ORD 2412 12:35 14:59 8-Jun 29-Jun Saturday
DFW ORD 2631 12:30 14:47 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 312 20:30 22:51 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily
ORD DFW 2300 18:55 21:27 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 2300 18:25 20:51 3-May 26-May Daily
ORD DFW 2300 18:25 20:51 27-May 4-Jun Daily exc. Thurs
ORD DFW 2738 22:09 0:26 30-May 5-Jun Wed-Thurs

787-8: Zodiac Concept D

While it’s certainly not my favorite American Airlines business class product, the lie-flat seats up front on AA’s 787-8 are definitely worth booking over a standard domestic first class seat. And you can try it out at least daily between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD):

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW ORD 149 6:50 9:09 2-Apr 2-May Daily
DFW ORD 1258 12:10 14:29 3-May 5-Jun Daily
DFW ORD 1258 11:30 13:59 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily
DFW ORD 1294 20:45 23:00 2-Apr 2-May Daily
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:27 3-May 26-May Daily
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:27 27-May 2-Jun Daily exc. Wed
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:27 3-Jun 5-Jun Mon-Wed
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:31 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily
DFW ORD 2418 16:35 18:54 2-Apr 2-May Daily
DFW ORD 2520 18:30 20:48 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 830 17:37 20:01 3-May 30-Jun Daily
ORD DFW 1106 10:50 13:18 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 1408 13:20 15:46 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily
ORD DFW 1625 7:05 9:30 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 2429 15:05 17:30 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 2501 16:55 19:20 2-Apr 2-May Daily
ORD DFW 2754 13:22 15:51 3-May 26-May Daily
ORD DFW 2754 13:22 15:51 27-May 2-Jun Daily exc. Wed
ORD DFW 2754 13:22 15:51 3-Jun 5-Jun Mon-Wed

A330-200: Envoy Suite

Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy
Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy

In some ways, US Airways is still alive and well within American Airlines. One of those ways: the old US Airways Envoy Suites business class product is still flying on AA’s Airbus A330s. You can find these domestically between Philadelphia (PHL) and Charlotte (CLT) or Orlando (MCO). The PHL-CLT route is under 500 miles — meaning any elite can upgrade for free on this flight — but the PHL-MCO route is a better use of miles. Here’s the schedule for both:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
CLT PHL 2191 16:39 18:33 2-Apr 2-May Daily
MCO CLT 461 8:16 10:06 3-May 3-May One-Off
MCO PHL 1899 9:01 11:29 2-Apr 2-May Daily
PHL CLT 793 12:55 14:47 2-Apr 2-May Daily
PHL MCO 1919 18:10 20:48 2-Apr 2-May Daily

Boeing 767-300

Business class on AA
Image of AA’s Boeing 767 business class courtesy of American Airlines.

While AA’s 767-300 business-class seat isn’t winning any awards, the seat does lie flat, and it’s a huge upgrade from standard domestic first-class products. Here are the routes and flights:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
JFK MIA 243 15:59 19:32 3-May 3-May One-Off
JFK MIA 291 12:59 16:12 3-May 30-Jun Daily
JFK MIA 1571 10:59 14:08 2-Apr 2-May Daily
JFK MIA 2572 13:30 16:44 2-Apr 2-May Daily
MIA JFK 54 8:55 11:52 3-May 5-Jun Daily
MIA JFK 291 8:49 11:52 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily
MIA JFK 1571 6:56 9:57 2-Apr 2-May Daily
MIA JFK 2572 18:59 22:01 2-Apr 1-May Daily
MIA PHL 1623 6:56 9:47 4-May 30-Jun Daily
MIA PHL 2333 19:55 22:50 3-Mar 30-Jun Daily
MIA PHL 2570 13:50 16:42 2-Apr 30-Jun Daily
PHL MIA 1533 9:00 12:10 3-Apr 2-May Daily
PHL MIA 1623 10:49 13:50 6-Jun 30-Jun Daily
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:49 4-May 30-Jun Daily
PHL MIA 2595 17:45 20:49 2-Apr 30-Jun Daily
PHL MIA 2665 10:50 13:56 3-May 5-Jun Daily

What About Award Availability?

American Airlines has become known for having very unsatisfactory award availability on nonstop flights, but I’m finding a decent amount on some of these flights. That is helped by the sheer number of business-class seats on these aircraft. Remember to use the best techniques when searching to save yourself time and hassle.

For example, here’s one 777-200 flight from Dallas/Forth Worth (DFW) to Miami (MIA) with seven business-class award seats available through British Airways. Even better, a hot dinner is served on the flight.

How to Book

Now that you know the routes, you might be wondering how to take advantage of this opportunity. Thankfully, we have step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

First, make sure that you find award availability before transferring points. Then, to transfer points, log in to your Ultimate Rewards account, click “transfer to travel partners” and click “transfer points” next to British Airways Avios.

In our experience, Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to British Airways Executive Club instantaneously. You’ll want to transfer 12,000 UR points to get enough Avios for a one-way award. Note that Chase will only show that you’ll get 12,000 Avios, British Airways will add another 3,600 Avios after the transfer is completed:

Once the Avios are in your account, search for the award flight you found, select your flight option from the search results and then click “Continue” at the bottom. Read and agree to the terms on the next page, clicking “Continue” again to progress. On the next page, your personal information should be populated from your account profile. Update as needed and click “Continue” again. On the final page, complete your payment information to finalize the booking.

Remember to use a credit card with trip delay and baggage insurance protection. Top choices are the Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 6+ hour delay), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay), Chase Sapphire Preferred Card ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay) and the Citi Premier Card (12+ hour delay).

Earning Points

Since this transfer bonus runs for less than two months, the promotion is going to be best for those who already have Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the bank. But if you don’t have points in your UR account — or want to resupply after taking advantage of this deal — here are three great credit card welcome bonuses that are currently available:

Bottom Line

While it’s a lot more fun to fly these lie-flat business-class products overseas, it’s also nice to try them out on domestic routes. In addition to the extra space, I’ve found the food and drink to generally be better on these internationally configured aircraft — surely assisted by having better ovens and larger galleys. So if you’re flying between one of the cities above, check to see if you can try out one of these aircraft for yourself using just 12,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Featured image by JT Genter / The Points Guy

Related Video:

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

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