American Airlines Business Class From $1,787/£1,350 (UK – New York)

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Manchester appears to be the center of a mini fare war between American Airlines and Delta/Virgin Atlantic and this is great news for UK-based travelers. I’m running two back-to-back posts today which separate out the Delta/Virgin and American Airlines fare to make each a little easier to read and digest – this post details the American Airlines fare so, if you’re looking for the Delta/Virgin Atlantic fare follow this link.

At the end of the first week in July I posted some great American Airlines Business Class fares between Manchester and Chicago (still available!) and now I’ve just noticed that both American and Delta/Virgin Atlantic have some great fares between Manchester and New York too.


I’m going to hold my hands up and say I don’t know how long these fares have been available (I may have missed it in previous searches) but that doesn’t really matter right now. What does matter is that you can fly direct from Manchester to New York for $1,787/£1,350 between September 2016 and June 2017….and that’s a great fare for a departure from the UK.

Fare Rules In Brief

This doesn’t appear to be a sale fare (the fare rules don’t show an end date for the fares) so these could disappear at any time.

The highlights of the fare rules are:

  • Travel dates are September 2016 to June 2017 (may extend into July)
  • Must book a minimum of 28 days in advance
  • Saturday night stop required for best fares
  • Maximum stay is 12 months
  • Unlimited paid stopovers at £200 each

American Airlines: Manchester – New York Business Class From $1,787/£1,350

Availability for this American Airlines Business Class fare is pretty good for most months….although things start off poorly in September. For anyone wondering how to find these fares, it’s pretty easy and I’ll show you how a bit further into this post.

I’ve set out screenshots of what availability looks like in each month (from September to June) below – just click each month to enlarge the view in a new window.



Don’t let the lack of orange numbers (the lowest fares) put you off – there are still some good fares available in October including during the school vacations.



If you’re determined to visit New York over Christmas or the New year then you’re probably going to be better off with the Delta Business Class fare I posted here.




This is actually pretty incredible availability as the best fare is available for departures on every-single-day in March and April….and that’s the Easter holidays covered.




Hopefully we can agree that availability isn’t exactly lacking for this Business Class fare:)

The fares are for travel on American Airlines aircraft….


…and are easily found on…..


or the well-known OTAs:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 13.20.04

……so there should be no trouble booking something you find on ITA Matrix (where I found the fares).

That’s the good news about this fare, now for the bad.

There is an issue here that doesn’t apply to the Delta/Virgin Atlantic fare and that issue is the aircraft that American Airlines offers on the Manchester – New York route.

American Airlines Aircraft

Up to 29 October American Airlines operates the Manchester – JFK route with one of its Boeing 767 aircraft which, fortunately, have now all be refitted with a new Business Class cabin….so that’s not too bad.

American Airlines 767 Business ClassAmerican Airlines 767 Business Class seats

The cabin isn’t great (I wasn’t a huge fan when I tried it out on a JFK – Milan flight earlier this year) but it isn’t bad…..and it’s considerably better than what you get if you’re sitting in the Economy Class cabin.

One of the positives of the cabin is that it offers all-aisle access at every seat so there’s no annoying need to clamber over someone else if you need to get up to stretch your legs.

american-airlines-767-seat-mapAmerican Airlines 767 Seat map – screenshot from

Now here comes the bad news.

Between 30 October and 3 April (inclusive) American Airlines takes the 767 wide-body aircraft off this route and replaces it with a narrow-body 757 (ugh!).


As you can see from the seat map below, the front cabin only seats 16 passengers……


…but what you can’t see is that the seat are only angled Business Class seats and not fully lie-flat seats that you’d hope to have in a 2016 Business Class cabin – this could be a trip to New York AND a trip back in time!

This is in no way a good aircraft to take for a Business Class flight and, while it’s naturally better to be up front on this aircraft than in the back, I’m not sure I’d pay to fly in this antique unless I absolutely had to.

Mileage & Tier Point Earning For American Airlines AAdvantage & BA Executive Club

  • Routing: MAN – JFK – MAN
  • Miles Traveled: 6,681
  • Fare Class: I

American Airlines Earnings:

As of 1 August American Airlines has moved over to a revenue based mileage accrual system (more info here) so the number of redeemable AAdvantage Miles accrued is based on the fare – specifically the base fare + airline fees (taxes are not included).

In this instance the base fare + airline fees comes to $1,518:


So,  redeemable mileage earnings will be as follows:

  • No status – 7,590 AAdvantage Miles
  • Gold – 10,626 AAdvantage Miles
  • Platinum – 12,144 AAdvantage Miles
  • Executive Platinum – 16,698 AAdvantage Miles

Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) are earned at a rate of 2 EQM/mile flown on “I” fares so this fare will earn all travelers (regardless of status) 13,362 EQM.

Lastly, if you’re flying in 2017, Elite Qualifying Dollars will come into play (more info here).

For American Airlines marketed flights (like these), EQD are calculated as the base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees. These flights would therefore earn $1,518 EQD.

British Airways Executive Club Earnings

Things are a lot simpler with the British Airways Executive Club (thankfully!):

Avios for flights on American Airlines are awarded based on distance of the flight, the cabin flown and status:

  • Blue – 8,322 Avios
  • Bronze – 9,986 Avios
  • Silver – 11,652 Avios
  • Gold/Gold Guest List – 14,980 Avios

Tier Points

Status has no bearing on the number of tier points awarded and, on “I” fares, British Airways will award 140 Tier Points in each direction for a trip total of 280 Tier Points.

Finding The American Airlines Business Class Fares

As usual I used the ITA Matrix search to find these fares so, if you want to replicate my results, that’s probably the place to start.

If you’re not sure how to use the ITA Matrix search you’ll find an ITA Matrix beginners guide here and a slightly more advanced ITA Matrix guide here.

Here are the parameters I suggest you use to find the better American Airlines Business Class fares:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 14.19.10
Make sure you change the departure date and the length of stay to whatever suits you best and, if you leave the rest of the settings as set out above, you should be able to find the same fares as I did.

Once you’ve found a set of flights that works for you you’ll have to go to one of the airlines’ website or to your preferred OTA and purchase the fare there (ITA Matrix cannot sell you a ticket).

Bottom Line

Just like the Delta/Virgin Atlantic option this is a very good fare for a departure from a UK airport…but there are serious issues with the quality of the aircraft during the winter months.

The 767 is a perfectly ok aircraft with a reasonable enough Business Class cabin as long as you go into the experience expecting just that – you may be disappointed otherwise.

The 757 is not an aircraft I’m willing to fly in Business Class if I’m paying for the experience (either with money or miles). It’s not a great experience and it’s a cabin I always suggest people avoid if they possibly can – even at these prices.

If you can find dates that work for you when the 767 is flying the route then you’ll be ok but, if you’d like to go to New York while the 757 is operating the route, I suggest you take a closer look at the Delta/Virgin Atlantic option.

Featured image courtesy of Eric Salard via Flickr


  1. […] Manchester appears to be the center of a mini fare war between American Airlines and Delta/Virgin Atlantic and this is great news for UK-based travelers. I’m running two back-to-back posts today which separate out the Delta/Virgin and American Airlines fare to make each a little easier to read and digest – this post details the Delta/Virgin Atlantic fare so, if you’re looking for the American Airlines fare follow this link. […]

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