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What is the current status of business class redemptions to Europe?

What is the current status of business class redemptions to Europe?

Old Aug 5, 19, 7:03 am
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What is the current status of business class redemptions to Europe?

Most of the travel blogs and charts seem to indicate that business class seats from the US to Europe are still generally available for 50,000 to 60,000 miles at the saver level across a number of points programs. However, due to dynamic pricing, lack of saver ability and growing fuel surcharges, this seems to be simply out of date, especially out of New York. American barely has any availability on its own metal, United is going to dynamic pricing, Delta is Delta, BA has fuel surcharges, Air France is dynamic, who knows how United's move impacts Air Canada and such, etc.

So I guess the question is what is the "standard" cost in miles we should be accepting now for lie flat business class flights from NYC, CHI, BOS, etc to Europe? Is it 70,000-80,000 miles? 50,000 miles + $600 surcharge? If the going market price for non-stop or one-stop flights from NYC to Europe is really going to be 75,000 or 80,000 miles, I can accept that, but I just need to know there aren't readily and easily available, better options out there.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 8:23 am
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Blogs are selling credit cards. Credit cards rely on the fiction that there is award space available, especially in premium cabins... As you note, this is a mirage. But also medium term very inflationary.

The standard price for today is whatever ffps charge for BA + surcharges, and 70k UA for *A partners, as they are the main options for J.
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Old Aug 6, 19, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
...
So I guess the question is what is the "standard" cost in miles we should be accepting now for lie flat business class flights from NYC, CHI, BOS, etc to Europe? Is it 70,000-80,000 miles? 50,000 miles + $600 surcharge? If the going market price for non-stop or one-stop flights from NYC to Europe is really going to be 75,000 or 80,000 miles, I can accept that, but I just need to know there aren't readily and easily available, better options out there.
A very general guide, but does not show all ffp's or may not be accurate for multi segment awards
Link--->https://www.awardhacker.com/#f=New%2...=1&c=j&s=1&p=1
But (saver/standard) award availability is the issue.
Some, but not all, ffp/airlines have carrier imposed surcharges (=100% airline profit)
With dynamic awards no real standard cost.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Aug 6, 19 at 5:57 pm
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Old Aug 7, 19, 1:43 pm
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American miles are the new sky pesos IMHO. Extremely poor availability from NYC to any European destination. PHL is slightly better. I'm heading to ZRH next month on Delta business booked in February for 138,000 each. I have no experience with United.
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Old Aug 7, 19, 2:53 pm
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I book 11 months out, as soon as award space is open. I'm searching from San Diego and Los Angeles. I'm dismayed at what I am seeing when I try to use UA or AA miles. They are virtually unusable at any sane redemption level. I have found good redemptions with Air France, as low as 52K plus $200ish one way. Fortunately, AMEX points and Ultimate Reward points can be moved into the Flying Blue program.

I just gave 100K AA miles to a niece for 4 domestic RT coach tickets because I despair of using them for long haul business.
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Old Aug 7, 19, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I just gave 100K AA miles to a niece for 4 domestic RT coach tickets because I despair of using them for long haul business.
It may be difficult to find travel on AA, but we had no problem using our AA miles to book J to Tokyo on JL. (Yes, it's not Europe, but it shows that AA miles are not useless for long-haul J.)
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Old Aug 7, 19, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
It may be difficult to find travel on AA, but we had no problem using our AA miles to book J to Tokyo on JL. (Yes, it's not Europe, but it shows that AA miles are not useless for long-haul J.)
It seems relatively easy to book long haul to Asia compared to Europe. Perhaps that is because there is a lot of paid business travel to Europe and carriers donít want to release award space. I am trying to focus on lie flat to Europe, with minimal connections and predictable availability (willing to pay more in miles for that)
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Old Aug 7, 19, 8:03 pm
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Just booked AMS - IAD on United for next April through Air Canada's Aeroplan - 55K.

Your profile says you have AMEX MR. Aeroplan is a transfer partner.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I just need to know there aren't readily and easily available, better options out there.
I don't think business class redemption to anywhere has been "readily and easily available" for a long, long time (if ever).

Ie, you can't just look on a random day (from 1 to 365 days out) for N business class seats to your desired destination on a specific travel day wanting reasonable routing and expect it to always be available.

If you do a lot of research, do lots of test searches, book either 11 months out or 2 days out, are flexible with travel dates, are flexible with routing, are flexible with travel time, are flying solo, etc, etc, then it becomes easier, but because of all that effort and all those constraints, if wouldn't dare call it either "readilly" or "easily" available.

Here's the thing you have to consider: Because of all those blogs, there are now zillions of people who get miles solely through credit cards and are competing for the very same flights you are. If it was "too easy" the people who booked 10 seconds before you did would all the flights, and you'd still miss out. So "readily and easily" may have worked back when the only people with miles were frequent travelers, but mow that they're mostly frequent card churners, it's all different.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 4:44 pm
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Great topic. Thank you for posting.
I got an AA saver business class award booked for two for February 2020. On Iberia ORD-MAD. Did the same thing for this year 2019. There is no real availability from the west coast except on BA + big surcharges. From the west coast, I've had to do saver business class awards with mixed class. That means economy from the west coast to ORD. I too have noticed that the availability has gotten more difficult over the years.

A corollary topic would be "What is the current status of upgrade redemptions to business class, going from NA to Europe?" Any insights or should that be a new thread?
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Long Zhiren View Post
A corollary topic would be "What is the current status of upgrade redemptions to business class, going from NA to Europe?" Any insights or should that be a new thread?
This the Travel Buzz subforum. Look in the specific airline ffp forum.
For upgrades a big different in policy & ff entitlement/expectation when it comes to upgrades between USA based airline and Eu based airlines.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 5:43 am
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Problem with redemptions to Europe is that those routes are competitive and the airlines have no trouble filling in rev flyers.

To redeem points for biz class long haul the best points deals with North America to South America, or North America to Asia, or Europe to Asia.

I think most of the time you're better off flying prem-economy in cash, as its a huge step up from reg economy and in some cases cheaper then economy. I saw ATL to Madrid roundtrip via PHL in American prem economy for only $850 the other day. I expect those fares to drop significantly now that Delta, United, American, BA, and Airfrance and others are all offering bona-fide prem economy whose hard product is relatively on par with USA domestic first class, and slightly worse food.

Norweigan also offers a very decent recliner seat they label as "prem economy" but is really a step up beyond that for often cheaper then the traditional carriers are charging for econ.

Also Turkish offers a really good biz class product sometimes you can get RT for under $2k, great if you are heading to Eastern or Central Europe nearby. If you used the CSR portal you could be looking at 110k-140k cost with zero copay + 10-20k United miles +6k CSR miles given on the backend, not that far off from the "incredible" aeroplan deal, esp when you take into account the high copays.

Not having layflat for me on 6-8 hour flight isn't such a big deal anyways.

My best redemption was 55k + $200 copay JFK to Berlin via Zurich using Aeroplan we did in 2017, but availability was super tight, just got lucky.

My opinion is if you can save the points for something else. Even if you find 55-60k availability, its only 7-8 hours anyways.

Last edited by PointsPanda; Oct 15, 19 at 5:53 am
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