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AA Eliminating First Class to Tokyo?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Trevor H, May 21, 2020.

  1. Trevor H

    Trevor H New Member

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    I booked First from DFW to HND for November when they offered the 55k web special in April. When I checked my reservation today, I noticed that I was downgraded to business. I did some casual searching, and it doesn’t appear that AA offers any first class to Tokyo anymore (at least in November when I was scheduled to travel). Does anyone know about this? Would I have any recourse in terms of getting a partial mileage refund, etc? If another flight with First eventually becomes available, will AA allow me to rebook onto another flight with First even if it’s on a different route than the initial itinerary? Would it need to show award space available? Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Yes, @Mikewarren1000 ran into this same issue. He can fill you in on how he changed his flights.
     
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  3. Mikewarren1000

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    Hey Trevor I had a whole trip planned last month that had AA F from DFW to HND. I was flying from LA to just to be able to do F on a web special, although not nearly as good of a deal as you got.

    Tuesday I opened the App and got the same message as you did. Its a 772 now. You really cant switch a Web special to anything so I think the only option is keep it or cancel it . Its unfortunate b/c you really got a great deal. I'm not aware of anyway you can re use that same F special for a future F flight, even if it was the same destination. Btw, it does look like in Spring 2021 they are doing F to HND. Maybe they are doing it then b/c originally thats when the service of DFW to HND was going to begin, i think March 27th. But it never happened.

    For you at 55K to get downgraded from F to J that doesnt seem fair/worth it although at the same time 55K is still a really good deal even for J.


    I cancelled my flight right away b/c there is no reason to go to Dallas to fly in J when I can do it from LAX on a 789, which i think is a great plane and has the best AA J seats. I was bummed for sure b/c also no FFD b/c of this plane switch.

    Also, not sure if you know, but the 772's are a crab shoot on which seats you get. You have a 40% chance of getting the crappy Zodiac rocking seats that are connected to each other with half facing rearward. You dont even really find out until a day or 2 before which plane you will have.
     
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  4. Mikewarren1000

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    I happen to be returning home on Delta from HKG so i decided i would see if i could switch things up and return on AA from HKG knowing they have F from there and i dont see them changing that since its a financial hub and also seems like an important flight on their schedule.

    So i cancelled my Delta flight home, no redeposit fee, and booked Delta outbound lax to hnd, same plane, same DL One Suites. Just Lax Delta sky club and catering for the flight, both of which are pretty bad, but maybe i will be pleasantly surprised. Worked out good though b/c in doing the switch I avoided a China Eastern flight from HKG to PVG.

    Anyways i booked AA home from HKG to LAX on a killer web special in F. And then the plus of this vs how i had it with Delta is now I can get into all the awesome CX lounges which i have never been to but am so excited to check out.

    I hope you are able to resolve it so you still get F somehow and at a good deal.
     
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  5. Trevor H

    Trevor H New Member

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply! I’m sort of on the fence about what to do. While 55k isn’t a terrible price for J, I’d rather just pay the difference and fly on JAL J if at all possible. The only problem is that I am flying with 3, so availability could be a little more challenging. Since I won’t be traveling until November, maybe I’ll wait it out a bit to see if they change planes again depending on how demand evolves. Similar to HKG, I would think TYO would be a premium market for AA. Thanks again for your input!
     
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  6. Mikewarren1000

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    I have no clue why TYO isnt or hasnt been considered as premium as HKG but it does seem like it hasnt, for AA. LAX/HKG has always been a 77W and LAX/NRT i have seen both a 77W and 772/787. Moreso the 772/787. Does it have anything to do with HKG being such a financial capital. Or that neither DL or United do lax/hkg non stop. I really dont know but based on what i have seen in the past i feel like my HKG/LAX flight is safe with the 77W. I just hope the trip goes as planned this time. If not Corona, now the situation in HKG might be getting worse. My go to for anything AA related is @OCTinPHL . Maybe if he sees this he can answer better the premium market question of HKG vs TYO

    Are you going anywhere in China on your trip after Japan? From anywhere in China you could connect to HKG and do what I did. Btw, when you search HKG, if you do, i found way better deals adding another city to the end of the trip. Something close to LAX like LAS, PHX or SAN. I think there was an article recently on here about great AA F & J deals if you connect from a diff city than the major gateway city or hub city.

    I've never flown JAL but just personally from the reviews i have read CX is much more appealing to me. I could have gone Tokyo to Singapore on JAL easier but am doing CX instead, but partly do try their 777 in F.

    As far as your situation you will get all the miles back no charge so you can just apply it towards JAL J but a 789 on AA lax-hnd would be nice too. Such a nice plane and the best seats and obviously no 40% chance of getting the rocking seats.

    Maybe wait it out though b/c right now it looks like J is 100K+ miles one way, from Dallas or LA.., even with a web special.
     
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  7. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    I honestly wonder if it's because AA knows they can't compete with JAL or ANA, which are endlessly superior in any class of service. If somebody can afford F, why go with AA? J in both JAL and ANA are far superior to AA F. And Singapore Airlines also flies direct between LAX and TYO so that's yet another competitor that none of the US carriers can keep up with. HKG has more limited options for direct flights.
     
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  8. Trevor H

    Trevor H New Member

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    I am just going to Japan on this trip, so wanted to avoid the more expensive mileage award to SE Asia (since HKG is quite a bit more expensive than TYO). I will play around with searching the deals though (I am ultimately flying to/from NYC). I wonder if AA would let me change my trip to next spring when they resume flying first class (as you pointed out). I’ll give them a call to see (unlikely though since there isn’t award availability). Thanks again for the thoughtful replies, and best of luck in your travels! I love it in HKG too.
     
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  9. Mikewarren1000

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    Makes total sense what you said @Clem I was thinking more about HKG and not what made Tokyo less attractive for AA to make it more of a premium route..

    I know the new ANA J seat is supposed to be amazing but the JAL Sky suites, all 3 variations, dont look like much. They seem really stiff and low to the ground too. I know both those airlines and also CX all blow AA away when you're comparing F to F but you think so even comparing J? I like being in a smaller cabin with just 8 ppl, not having a cubby for my feet to have to fit in and also the access to the F lounges at HKG and FFD at LAX. No doubt the actual service on the AA flight will be far less as good as on the Asian carriers.

    @Trevor H let me know what you end up doing. If Spring is an option you could just cancel and then keep checking for web specials in F. If you stick to your current flight and you care about not being in a rocking seat (should you end up on the bad 772) you can check flightaware or flightradar and then cross reference AA tail numbers to see which seating set up the plane will have. You can do this 3 days before I think. I believe 1, 7 & 10 are the only rows with non rocking seats. Not 1L though. And 7 faces the rear.
     
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  10. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    You are right that the JAL J cabin has far more people but privacy is really good - particularly if you steal a window seat.
    The reason I would also pick ANA/JAL J over AA F is because with AA, the risk of getting terrible service and bad food is very high. To me, that would ruin the whole experience. With ANA/JAL, I know what I'm getting: great service and stellar food :) .
    The seat might be not as spacious than AA F, but I know it will still be an amazing experience.

    Now that being said, with the AA promo, things are for sure a bit different, 55k is a great price. But when you think about it, that's 110k round trip, while you can get a 120k roundtrip on ANA F via VS - granted availability is very very sparse most of the time, so that's also an important factor to take in.

    @Trevor H - apologies for hijacking your thread :). But do let us know what you end up doing!
     
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  11. Mikewarren1000

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    ANA F for 120K thats a killer deal. That ANA J seat with the door looks super wide and a ton of space, although every time i look at it i feel like the bottom of seat has no depth. Maybe its just the way the pic is taken of it. Looks wide but looks short like more of your legs would be hanging off.

    I completely agree about AA service and food, i'm already worried i'm going to have a horrible crew and ruin the whole experience for my first ever Asia and international F trip. I gotta start thinking positive, maybe it will be a great flight I've actually had worse food on Delta of late. I feel like their food has gone down hill, the whole Delta One catering has been streamlined, at least in the US. However, there FA's are so much nicer than AA.

    Food is super important to me, its my fav thing. I just have given up thinking i will have a great meal on a plane hence why i was thinking AA F gets you to the best lounges at HKG so have some killer food on the ground at Haven & The Dining Room. Although, my United Polaris meal in SFO in December was absolute trash so who knows.. but maybe thats like apples and oranges comparing Polaris to the CX F lounges.

    In regards to JAL one issue for me is the 2 things I dont eat are sushi & Beef and in previewing their menu it seems like you either have the Japanese option or a beef tenderloin. I def. feel like the Cathay menu is far more diverse so i'm excited to be trying them in F for a HND to HKG flight.

    And i find the cubby holes drive me nuts and i can never really move my feet so i do value a seat where your feet arent restricted, hence why I do feel there is some argument to be made for them over JAL J.

    Sorry for switching subjects @ Trevor H
     
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  12. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    Hah yeah if you don't eat raw fish or beef, it could be tricky. They do have vegetarian dishes or stuff like lobster, but you'll miss on so much if you're not having the rest. I just checked the JAL menu again to jog my memory, I was drooling all over :D ! It's so incredibly elaborated and sophisticated (and the Salon champagne!). I don't think it can even be compared to AA, sadly.
    And you're right, in the end the seat IS more spacious in AA F vs JAL J.
    But at least, you'll have Cathay F, so there's that and it should be a wonderful experience :) . Enjoy and let us know how it goes!
     
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  13. Mikewarren1000

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    I read a really great review that was about comparing JAL F and CX F and the person gave CX the win in every category except the food. He was speaking of the food the same way you are. I'm not even thinking my AA F flight, even with it being super long haul will compare in any way to the 5 hours in CX F from HND to HKG but I'm curious how it compares to the Delta J flight over from lax to hnd. I feel like the door on the Suites will make it feel more private and intimate and not like you're in a cabin with 30 ppl. I'm just not expecting anything on the food front from Delta but nicer FA's than AA.

    Just hope things in HKG dont get too crazy and force me to have to re route the trip and avoid HKG. I've never had a trip have so many different things come up that required me to change something so I'm just hoping everything will be better by December... Most worried about Singapore, thats the location I am looking forward to the most but I know they will be one of the last governments to let ppl in.. I hope I'm able to get in and I hope the new Qantas F lounge re opens, I want to try a full on Neil Perry sit down meal.
     
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