Premium Economy is coming to American Airlines and many AA frequent flyers are rightfully concerned about what this will mean for upgrades – will systemwide upgrades only be eligible for upgrades from Economy to Premium Economy? We will soon find out (once AA figures it out themselves), but if AA is anything like its close partner British Airways, upgrading from Economy to Business will not be possible. But all is not lost, for there is one clear upside to this new cabin class that should excite AA frequent flyers – the ability to book Premium Economy class on other carriers will open up several additional award options, making points go further even as AA devalues in March 2016.
Using AA Miles to Book Premium Economy on oneworld Carriers
AA’s oneworld partners with Premium Economy include:
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
In other words, we are talking about four significant partners that serve six continents and often make Premium Economy space available even when there is no Economy or Business space (in the case of JAL and Cathay).
Having more redemption options makes the AAdvantage program more valuable, particularly since AA does not pass on fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific, JAL, and Qantas. I find it inconceivable AA would introduce Premium Economy on its own metal and not allow access to its partners’ Premium Economy cabins, which are already available for redemption with miles in many loyal programs.
So no concrete news on many of the issues surrounding AA’s announcement on Wednesday, but expect to be able to redeem across oneworld for Premium Economy for AA miles sometime after the March 2016 AAdvatnage devlaution.
Premium Economy on Cathay Pacific