Booked my first business class flight today

MarkD

Level 2 Member
My wife and I are going back to Europe next summer so I booked SFO-YUL-LHR on Air Canada with 52,500 Avianca LifeMiles before the devaluation in October. I went for the convenience of less connections over more time spent in a premium cabin on a 777-300ER.

This is a major change from our first trip to Europe a couple of years ago where we took about 6 connecting flights and spent 30+ hours awake to get to Barcelona.

Now I just need to find a way back with AA miles.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome! Prices back are annoying due to the fees- maybe consider Dublin or Paris?
 

SherryFD

Level 2 Member
Supporter
I've had great luck booking business class on AA at the saver level of 50K each way. Recently booked a trip to Barcelona (from Raleigh) for next April and although not completely wide open, there were plenty of date choices that worked. Congrats on booking your first biz class ticket to Europe!
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
My wife and I are going back to Europe next summer so I booked SFO-YUL-LHR on Air Canada with 52,500 Avianca LifeMiles before the devaluation in October. I went for the convenience of less connections over more time spent in a premium cabin on a 777-300ER.

This is a major change from our first trip to Europe a couple of years ago where we took about 6 connecting flights and spent 30+ hours awake to get to Barcelona.

Now I just need to find a way back with AA miles.
You might consider booking an economy flight for now since it is in the daytime and you might be able to reticket later if business opens up. That way you will have a seat on a plane.
 

MarkD

Level 2 Member
Awesome! Prices back are annoying due to the fees- maybe consider Dublin or Paris?
We did both cities the last time we went to Europe although we didn't get near enough time in Dublin. I love the fact that you can use 12.5K avios for economy or 25K avios for business class from DUB-BOS. Dublin is definitely high on my list of return cities. Now where is that beer icon smily like on the iPhone??? :rolleyes:
 

NEPIC

Level 2 Member
hmm I thought they were cheaper than London? Oh well, there goes that great idea!
Passenger Service fees and Airport Taxes are definitely cheaper ex-CDG than the UK, but still a non-negligible amount.

Here's a rough rundown for J (though only France and the UK differentiate with Y):

Ireland: $20
Spain/Belgium/Netherlands/Switzerland: ~$40
Germany: $110
France: $130
UK (excluding BFS): $300
 

NEPIC

Level 2 Member
My wife and I are going back to Europe next summer so I booked SFO-YUL-LHR on Air Canada with 52,500 Avianca LifeMiles before the devaluation in October. I went for the convenience of less connections over more time spent in a premium cabin on a 777-300ER.

This is a major change from our first trip to Europe a couple of years ago where we took about 6 connecting flights and spent 30+ hours awake to get to Barcelona.

Now I just need to find a way back with AA miles.
Given the beer reference, if you are also interested a stop in Germany, I'd recommend taking a look at AB out of DUS (or TXL). If you can find space into JFK, ORD or MIA you may be able to work it without 4 connections! Another less obvious, but still beer worthy, option is Jet Airways ex-BRU to EWR/YYZ. This is only searchable and bookable via phone, but given this, space seems plentiful.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
hmm I thought they were cheaper than London? Oh well, there goes that great idea!
They are but still more than Spain and others. Thanks @NEPIC for that info. I had never actually seen the breakdown. I just knew that Spain was cheaper than UK and France.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
They are but still more than Spain and others. Thanks @NEPIC for that info. I had never actually seen the breakdown. I just knew that Spain was cheaper than UK and France.
The reason I like France is for the Channel Tunnel (which you can use Avios for if you have a UK address)
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
The reason I like France is for the Channel Tunnel (which you can use Avios for if you have a UK address)
I cannot tell you how many times I have been to UK and France (ten times each?) and I have never done it. Of course many of the times were before the Channel Tunnel. You can use Avios? That is very cool. No UK address though, at least not yet.
 

asthejoeflies

Moderator
Staff member
The dark truth comes out about Matt's arrows!

Anyway, there is a direct MAD-LAX flight on Iberia that gets you pretty close to home that you can book with AA
 

asthejoeflies

Moderator
Staff member
AA only shows American, US Airways, Air Berlin, British Airways, Finnair, Qantas, and Royal Jordanian. For the rest I use British Airway's website, it's clunky but the only way to do it. For Iberia I actually use my expertflyer account to search business class awards, I'm happy to do that for you if you'd like (it takes like 30 seconds). I wrote about how to search on ba.com here if you'd rather DIY.
 

MarkD

Level 2 Member
AA only shows American, US Airways, Air Berlin, British Airways, Finnair, Qantas, and Royal Jordanian. For the rest I use British Airway's website, it's clunky but the only way to do it. For Iberia I actually use my expertflyer account to search business class awards, I'm happy to do that for you if you'd like (it takes like 30 seconds). I wrote about how to search on ba.com here if you'd rather DIY.
Thanks but my dates are still farther than 331 days our right now so I've got another week to wait. I've searched BA too and it doesn't seem to show the partner only awards. It will route you through LHR/LGW/LCY just about every flight on BA metal. I've got a few flight alerts set using the WATT tools so I'm hoping they tip me off when something comes up.
 

asthejoeflies

Moderator
Staff member
The majority of the time, if BA doesn't show it, it doesn't exist. Be sure to search for one person (because you'll be able to see if there are seats for 2 anyway)
 

MarkD

Level 2 Member
The majority of the time, if BA doesn't show it, it doesn't exist. Be sure to search for one person (because you'll be able to see if there are seats for 2 anyway)
I can see one available seat in business class on Iberia for 50K Avios + $165.31 but not on BA or AA. Frustrating... :mad:

This is all just prep work as my dates are not available until next week some time. Thanks for the suggestions guys. Worst case I can transfer some of my BA avios to Iberia and book.
 

knarayan

Level 2 Member
I booked our first flights for April next year. Flying into Paris and out of Zurich. Paris had nothing available coming back. Zurich was wide open on AA. I did book a few weeks back. Not sure what it is now.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
I can see one available seat in business class on Iberia for 50K Avios + $165.31 but not on BA or AA. Frustrating... :mad:

This is all just prep work as my dates are not available until next week some time. Thanks for the suggestions guys. Worst case I can transfer some of my BA avios to Iberia and book.
You know the oddity I assume, that you have to have some Avios already in your Iberia account in order to transfer to it, no?
 

NEPIC

Level 2 Member
The majority of the time, if BA doesn't show it, it doesn't exist. Be sure to search for one person (because you'll be able to see if there are seats for 2 anyway)
What's your experience with being able to book seats that show on Iberia, but not on partner sites, with IB's avios? I assume this is a case of IB offering its own members better availability, but I have not confirmed this myself or read anything about it.

I've seen a few cases over the last months and after the OP's post, saw another case MAD-LAX - and I'm now curious.
 

MarkD

Level 2 Member
You know the oddity I assume, that you have to have some Avios already in your Iberia account in order to transfer to it, no?
Yes, I've heard that. I have no IB Avios currently but I did sign up for a promotion a while back for a few hundred IB Avios. I will have to investigate. Thanks for the reminder!

I really want to book this on AA though...
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, I've heard that. I have no IB Avios currently but I did sign up for a promotion a while back for a few hundred IB Avios. I will have to investigate. Thanks for the reminder!

I really want to book this on AA though...
Yeah, I signed up for that too, but still no Avios. Fortunately, I have 15 from something else I did awhile back.

I book miles on AA all the time. I usually do at least three business or first international redemptions with them a year. I am EXP and I think I have some extra inventory when I search. Also, I can call in and get right through to an agent and usually have an easy time finding something. But I often look first on Expert Flyer for partner availability and that helps a lot.
 
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