Fantastic American Airlines Awards Space to England and Europe

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American Airlines is releasing a ton of Business Class award space from New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago to Manchester, England for Summer and Fall 2016.

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This award space is easy to connect to from anywhere in the United States, and you can connect elsewhere in Europe with American Airlines partners. These connecting flights do not add to the Business Class mileage price of 50,000 American Airlines miles each way. Business Class awards go up in price to 57,500 American Airlines miles one way on March 22, 2016, but you can lock in your Summer or Fall vacation now at the current price. United and Delta charge 57,500 to 70,000 miles for a Business Class award.

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For a limited time, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

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Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles. That’s enough for a roundtrip in Business Class to Europe.

Product

The New York and Chicago flights fly retrofitted 767s that feature fully flat beds in Business Class at least some days of the week. Make sure the seating chart matches the retrofitted 767 seating chart before booking.

The Philadelphia route flies a former US Airways A330, also with flat beds in Business Class.

These are both very good Business Class products for a short transatlantic hop. If you compare flat bed American Airlines Business Class to Emirates First Class, you’ll be disappointed. If you compare it to economy, you’ll be ecstatic.

Award Space

Award space is very good from New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago to Manchester in September and October 2016 and fairly good over the heart of the Summer. Right now you can book through November 4, 2016, and you can book one day later every day.

These calendars are for two award seats.

New York to Manchester: Business Class Award Space for 2 pax 12/29 days in June and July

Award space is pretty good over the heart of the Summer.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.28.51 PMStarting in September it gets really good, with award space on 24/29 days in September/October.

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Award space for just the one way to Europe costs 50,000 miles + $5.60 per person.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.31.00 PMHowever if you book a roundtrip, you pay the punitive Air Passenger Duty for flights departing Great Britain, bringing the total to 100,000 miles + $267 per person.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.32.26 PMI have a strong preference to avoid those high taxes, so I would return from a different European country with lower taxes.

Philadelphia to Manchester: Business Class Award Space for 2 pax 10/29 days in July and August

During the heart of Summer, most award space to Manchester is on the decidedly inconvenient departure days of Sunday and Monday.

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But after September 1, award space really opens up throughout the week.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.33.48 PM

Chicago to Manchester: Business Class Award Space for 2 pax 11/29 days in July and August

The Chicago route is seasonal, only operating over the Spring, Summer, and Fall. It shows a similar pattern of more award space in September than July.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.34.28 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-09 at 12.34.45 PM

Connections

If you don’t live in New York, Chicago, or Philadelphia, you can still take advantage of this space. Those are two huge hubs for American Airlines with flights to most of the country. You can tack on Economy, Business, or First Class MileSAAver award space onto these international flights for zero extra miles.

If you don’t want to go to Manchester, or you want to fly an open jaw award, this space is still useful. American Airlines partners with flights from Manchester:

  • British Airways (London; Billund, Denmark; Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • Iberia (Madrid)
  • Finnair (Helsinki)
  • Qatar (Doha)
  • Etihad (Abu Dhabi)

Connecting within Europe in economy or Business would add zero extra miles. Connecting to the Middle East would add to the miles price. You can search award space for British Airways and Finnair on aa.com, Iberia and Qatar on ba.com, and Etihad on etihad.com.

Booking the Award

If your award contains only partners that are searchable at aa.com, you can book right on aa.com.

If your award contains other partners, you must call 800-882-8880 to book the award. The phone fee should be waived, since you couldn’t book online, and make sure that it is.

Pay the taxes with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes on an award ticket definitely count.

The card also comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to 13 types of airline miles or used like cash toward the purchase of any ticket.

Getting the Miles

For a limited time, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.44.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.59.13 PM

Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles. That would be enough to book two one ways in Business Class between the United States and Europe.

Bottom Line

Book your Summer or Fall 2016 trip to Manchester or anywhere else in Europe with fantastic award space in American Airlines Business Class.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. Scott,
    I see ORD – MAN non-stop.
    But if I plug in STL- MAN it routes me ORD-PHL-MAN (or some other route). Never do I see a routing of STL-ORD-MAN. Do I have to call to get this routing? And will they charge me?
    Thanks

    • Maybe there is no STL-ORD award space. If there is, and you can’t pull up the full itinerary online, call in. They will try to charge you, and you should argue that you couldn’t bring it up online.

  2. One more related question… how would I add a flight to Helsinki or other European destination to the above itinerary?

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