American Airlines, United, and Delta fly flat beds on their daily flights between New York-JFK and San Francisco and Los Angeles. Delta also flies its flat beds between New York-JFK and Seattle.
- Which has the best flat bed award space on the routes?
- What are the prices?
- What are the products?
The Products & Prices
Delta throws 757s and 767s configured with flat bed seats at its transcontinental routes. Like all Delta planes, there are only two cabins–in this case sold as economy and BusinessElite. The 767s (on the right) are more comfortable in Business because their 1-2-1 layout gives full aisle access to every seat. The 757’s (on the left) 2-2 layout means climbing over your neighbor.
For Business Elite at the Saver level, Delta charges 32,500 miles one way. Here’s Delta’s page on what to expect on its transcontinental service.
United has a dedicated fleet of 757-200s for all of its transcontinental service that it sells as p.s. Premium Service. The fleet has two cabins, and Business Class is laid out 2-2 as on Delta’s 757s, meaning no direct aisle access from every seat.
United charges 25,000 miles each way in Business Class at the Saver level.
American’s transcontinental fleet is the newest and best. Its A321s have five rows of 1-1 First Class and five rows of 2-2 Business Class. All 30 seats convert to flat beds.
American charges 25,000 miles one way in Business Class and 32,500 in First Class. Here’s AA’s page on what to expect from the service.
All of that, especially the Saver award prices, is just theoretical if the airlines don’t consistently release award space on their flights at the Saver level.
From my searches, I found that Delta doesn’t release much–if any–Business Class award space on its transcontinental flat beds. Between Seattle and New York, the space is mainly 45,000 mile Level 2 space. Between California to New York, it is 67,500 mile Level 4 space. United releases some award space in Business Class at the last minute but has none released over the summer. American releases little Business Class space, but a lot more First Class space.
From Los Angeles to New York, I searched for two passengers. There’s one day in the Fall with award space in Business Class.
The bottom line on American Airline space: way more First Class than Business Class award space, way more award space for 1 passenger than for 2, and award space is released at the last minute.
Here’s the month after that. Still none.
In fact, I didn’t find 32,500 mile space between California and New York in either direction.
Nor did I find any between New York and Seattle, though it is widely available for the Level 2 price of 45,000 miles one way. Here’s a calendar of July dates. Every single day has 2+ award seats on multiple flights from Seattle to JFK for 45,000 miles per person.
We get the same view from New York to Seattle in the Fall.
The bottom line on Delta Saver space on transcontinental flights is that there basically is none.
United is coasting on its reputation from a few years ago of having the best award space. Right now its space on its transcontinental service is bad.
There is some space for one person from Los Angeles to New York in the next two weeks–six out of 14 days.
But other than the next month, there is basically no space. New York to Los Angeles in June and July has zero Business Class award space.
For two people, award space is even worse. One day in the next month from San Francisco to New York.
United, Delta, and American put fully flat beds on 5-6 hour flights because there is a demand for such premium products that rich people are willing to pay. Either because most of the flat beds are being sold or because the airlines just want to protect the products, award space on these routes is very hard to find.
The best space is for one person within a month of departure in United Business Class and American Airlines First Class.
Getting the Miles
Singapore miles are a partner of every transferable points program. Cards I like that earns points that transfer:
- Citi ThankYou® Premier Card: 40,000 bonus points total after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also earns 3x on gas and travel and 2x points on dining and entertainment
- Citi Prestige® Card: 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also comes earns 3x points on airfare and hotels and has a host of benefits like lounge access and $250 in free airfare per year.
- Sapphire Preferred: 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. 2x on dining and travel.
- Ink Plus (business card): 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 5x on office supplies and telecom bills.
- Whichever Membership Rewards card (Platinum or Gold, personal or business) is offering a big 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 point sign up bonus
Getting the Miles
American Airlines miles are super easy to get.
Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.
Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also comes with other awesome benefits like a 10% rebate on miles used for award bookings.
The business version, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®, also comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This card comes with 2x miles on select business purchases and a 5% miles bonus on renewal. One person can have both cards.