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Every no-surcharge flight to Europe (80+) with American AAdvantage miles

by on Mon August 4, 2014 • 104 Comments
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If you have American AAdvantage miles burning a hole in your pocket thanks to the recent deals on the American AAdvantage credit card, there’s nothing more disappointing than trying to book a  ticket to Europe or beyond and only finding flights with $700+ surcharges on British Airways.

We have a rundown of where to look for award space that doesn’t have fuel surcharges here.

But to make it even easier, MileCards.com has reviewed the schedules of American and its OneWorld partners to find all the routes from North America to Europe and the Middle East that let you avoid British Airways flights.

You can see the list of 85 routes below.

With the exception of Iberia you’ll avoid fuel surcharges altogether, and with Iberia the charges are much less than if you used British Airways to cross the Atlantic.

Gateway cityDestinationAirlineFrequency
BostonMadridIberiaDaily April - Septmber, 2 days / week in October
BostonParisAAMon, Wed, Fri, Sun until 8/17
CharlotteBarcelonaUSDaily until 10/24
CharlotteBrusselsUSDaily until 9/1
CharlotteDublinUS6-7 days until 10/24
CharlotteFrankfurtUSDaily
CharlotteLisbonUSDaily until 9/28
CharlotteLondonUSDaily
CharlotteMadridUSDaily
CharlotteManchesterUSDaily until 9/2
CharlotteParisUSDaily
CharlotteRomeUSDaily
ChicagoAbu DhabiEtihadDaily
ChicagoAmmanRoyal JordanianDaily until 9/10, then 5-6 days / week
ChicagoBerlinAir BerlinDaily until 10/24, then Tue, Thu, Sat
ChicagoDohaQatarDaily
ChicagoDublinAADaily
ChicagoDusseldorfAADaily until 10/25, resumes 3/29
ChicagoHelsinkiAADaily through 8/17
ChicagoLondonAADaily
ChicagoMadridIberiaDaily
ChicagoManchesterAADaily until 1/6, resumes 3/29
ChicagoParisAADaily
ChicagoRomeAADaily
Dallas-Fort WorthAbu DhabiEtihadWed, Fri, Sun starting 12/3
Dallas-Fort WorthFrankfurtAADaily
Dallas-Fort WorthLondonAADaily
Dallas-Fort WorthMadridAADaily
Dallas-Fort WorthParisAADaily
DetroitAmmanRoyal Jordanian2-3 days / week
Fort MyersDusseldorfAir BerlinTue, Thu, Sat
Los AngelesAbu DhabiEtihadDaily
Los AngelesDusseldorfAir BerlinTue, Thu, Sat, Sun until 11/1
Los AngelesLondonAADaily
Los AngelesMadridIberiaDaily until 9/5, then 3 days until 10/24
Los AngelesParisAir Tahiti Nui5-6 days / week
MiamiBarcelonaAADaily
MiamiDohaQatarTue, Thu, Sat, Sun
MiamiDusseldorfAir BerlinDaily
MiamiFrankfurtAmericanDaily starting May 14
MiamiHelsinkiFinnairTue, Thu, Sat 12/16 - 3/21
MiamiLondonAADaily
MiamiMadridAA, IberiaDaily
MiamiMilanAADaily
MiamiParisAADaily
New York - JFKAbu DhabiEtihadDaily
New York - JFKAmmanRoyal JordanianTue, Thu, Sat, Sun
New York - JFKBarcelonaAA, IberiaDaily
New York - JFKBerlinAir BerlinDaily
New York - JFKBirminghamAADaily starting May 7
New York - JFKDohaQatarDaily
New York - JFKDublinAADaily until 10/23, resumes 3/29
New York - JFKDusseldorfAir BerlinDaily
New York - JFKEdinburghAADaily starting May 7
New York - JFKFrankfurtAADaily
New York - JFKHelsinkiFinnairDaily
New York - JFKLondonAADaily
New York - JFKMadridAA, IberiaDaily
New York - JFKManchesterAADaily
New York - JFKMilanAADaily
New York - JFKMilanAADaily
New York - JFKParisAADaily
New York - JFKRomeAADaily until 10/23
New York - JFKZurichAADaily
PhiladelphiaAmsterdamUSDaily
PhiladelphiaAthensUSDaily until 8/17 (6 days / week 8/18 - 9/28)
PhiladelphiaBarcelonaUSDaily until 3/5, resumes 3/29
PhiladelphiaBrusselsUSDaily in summer, then 6 days / week
PhiladelphiaDohaQatarDaily
PhiladelphiaDublinUSDaily
PhiladelphiaEdinburghUSDaily until 9/8
PhiladelphiaFrankfurtUSDaily
PhiladelphiaGlasgowUSDaily until 10/5
PhiladelphiaLisbonUSDaily until 10/6
PhiladelphiaLondonUSDaily
PhiladelphiaMadridUSDaily
PhiladelphiaManchesterUSDaily
PhiladelphiaMunichUSDaily
PhiladelphiaParisUSDaily
PhiladelphiaRomeUSDaily until 2/5, resumes 3/5
PhiladelphiaShannonUSDaily until 9/1
PhiladelphiaTel AvivUSDaily
PhiladelphiaVeniceUSDaily until 10/12
PhiladelphiaZurichUSDaily until 10/25, resumes 4/14
RaleighLondonAmericanDaily
San FranciscoAbu DhabiEtihadDaily starting 11/18
TorontoHelsinkiFinnairTue, Fri, Sun until 9/21
Washington DullesDohaQatarDaily

How can this help me?

The hardest part about American miles is finding space on flights across the Atlantic that aren’t on British Airways.

So if what you find first on AA.com doesn’t work for you, try looking for segments on the partners above individually until you find one that does work. Then, work backward to find flights that will connect to and from that flight.

And there’s no need to entirely avoid British Airways. For connecting flights within Europe the surcharges are much more reasonable than on long haul flights.

Can I go via the Middle East?

The Gulf carriers Etihad, Qatar, and Royal Jordanian are tempting options to get across the Atlantic.

But you can’t travel to Europe or Asia via the Middle East on one award ticket. Instead you’ll be charged for two separate award flights, which often isn’t worth it.

You can travel to Africa via the Middle East as long as you’re flying Qatar Airways via Doha, which is a really useful option given British Airways is the only real alternative.

In addition, Qatar needs to publish a fare from your origin to your destination. For example, flying Qatar Airways from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, South Africa, you’ll have to make sure Qatar sells tickets with that route.

Usually that’s only an issue if you’re trying to add connecting flights from smaller cities like Oakland or San Diego that aren’t gateways. The solution is to find your way to the gateway city another way.

What about next summer?

Many of US Airways and American’s routes to Europe are seasonal, operated only during the summer months.

While you can now book flights for next summer, these routes aren’t yet in the system as the airlines typically don’t decide whether to bring those flights back until early next year.

The good news is American lets you change the date of award tickets for free up to 21 days prior to departure, so if a better route opens up to your destination, like one of these seasonal routes, you can switch to it then.

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104 thoughts on Every no-surcharge flight to Europe (80+) with American AAdvantage miles

  1. Pam

    Thanks for your info. After searching for weeks to make my miles go from Texas to Venice I ended up spending most of them on the trip from DFW to Venice on AA cost $5.30. Could have gone through IAH but on BA and I could pay for a flight for the fees. I am now trying to find the best way home to DFW and this is on my dime. I can leave from any city that goes to DFW or even land somewhere Southwest flys. Lots of Southwest easy to use miles. What is the cheapest departure city? Frankfurt London Barcelona etc? Can’t seem to find this answer anywhere. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  2. Cara

    Trying to fly back to either LAS or LAX on April 20th or 21st and avoid BA. Our cruise lands in Germany. I tried a multi-route on AA.com from Berlin to CDG and then CDG to the US. But, I get charged 12.5 from Berlin then 47.5 from CDG. How can I do this as one trip? Do they have to be the same day or can we stay over in Paris for a day? If I try just Berlin (or any airport in Germany), all I get is AA, BA or Alaska choices. I unclick BA and of course not as many options. Help!

    Reply
  3. Mike

    So incredibly frustrating…..We have over 400,000 American Miles and we’re trying to book 4 Business Class Mile Saver tickets to ANYWHERE in Europe in July. There is not 1, NOT 1!!!, flight that doesn’t route through London on BA with availability. The only flight we found was on the Qantas website on Iberia but American cannot book it for us. To rub a little more salt in the wound i jumped on our United Mileage Plus account and our first search returned Business Class tickets on Swiss for all 4 of us 70k miles per ticket + $86.00.

    What am i missing here? Is OneWorld really that terrible when it comes to premium award travel?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Mike – Sadly you’re not missing much. It’s dreadful right now. If it’s any consolation, surcharges are cheaper if you book separate one way tickets and fly from a low surcharge airport like Dublin Ireland. You can get it down to closer to $695 in taxes / fees for a roundtrip. Not great, but a touch more palatable.

      Here’s some more info:

      http://milecards.com/1588433974/the-airports-in-europe-with-taxes-so-low-ba-business-class-awards-are-only-200-in-fees/

      Another alternative is if you’re willing to get up to Toronto, Jet Airways (an airline from India, but legit) has lots of award space from Toronto to Amsterdam in July. They’re an AA partner. You’ll have to call AA to book – have them check YYZ-AMS with Jet.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        @milecards.com hmmm where are you seeing the saving? I just priced SFO to Barcelona through London one-way for 4 people in Business Class Award Saver and the fees were $1,918. So thats $1000 per per person return in fees.

        Reply
        1. Aaron

          Hey Mike, try routing through Helsinki on Finnair…my wife and I are flying to Europe for a 3 week vacation and found availability from Miami–>Helsinki–>Barcelona at the end of June. Return flights in mid July route us Milan–>Helsinki–>Miami. Where are you trying to depart from in the US?

          Reply
          1. Mike

            Hi Aaron, trying to depart from somewhere in California. LAX, SFO, SJC…anywhere really. Did you find business class awards?

  4. lily

    Why does American Airlines not offer any flights into Eastern Europe?
    Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Krakow…these are popular destinations, and yet AA doesn’t offer any flights… Is there a reason AA caters to Western European countries but not Eastern European countries?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @lily – They are popular, but other US airlines also don’t serve many of those cities nonstop yet. But who knows, if the economy keeps growing, it’s possible.

      Reply
      1. lily

        thank you for your reply. I assumed that other US airlines didn’t offer the itineraries either; they also aren’t doing the business that AA does. Are there any plans to add flights? Or will we have to route through Heathrow (that’s what’s showing up on the website)?

        Reply
  5. Lupe

    It will be our 25th wedding anniversary, and we have been saving points for years to go business class (57,500 miles per person). Looking to fly from LAX one way or round trip for two to any of the following without BA surcharges (also have enough United to fly business class one way 70,000 miles per person) and we can do United or AA first or reverse. BUD, PRG, DBV, OTP, POL, FCO, and ATH. We would like to leave around the 19th of June and back around the 5th of July. Can you help out a couple for their 25th?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Lupe – If you’re willing to spend an evening in Manchester, England, there are seats for 57.5k from Manchester to LAX on AA flights on July 5, 6. You can just buy a cheap cash ticket from one of your other cities to Manchester – or get a really early morning flight to Manchester.

      For the way out just use the United miles.

      Reply
  6. Katherine

    I have over 80k AA miles and am trying to book travel from San Diego to Venice Italy. Only finding BA with huge surcharges. Can you help with a workaround??? Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Babetta Daigle

    When searching on BA for Iberia flights, sometimes NONE show. Does BA really post Iberia flights? Is Quantas more reliable for searching for Iberia? I seem to find more on that search engine. Also, do you have any recommendations for Seattle to Zurich with AA miles?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Babetta – The BA site doesn’t handle connections well. Try searching the Iberia nonstop routes on their own – ORD-MAD, LAX-MAD, JFK-MAD, BOS-MAD, MIA-MAD and piece from there.

      As for Seattle to Zurich that’s tough – check AA flights out of Chicago to London, or consider flying into Munich or Geneva.

      Reply
  8. In need of a vacation

    I want to go see a very good friend and his wife in Munich (been a very long time). Looking to Fly American if possible as I am still trying to re qualify for exec plat for next year. Low budget with three kids so hoping to find a low cost ticket. mid October to November is best option for me. Longest route possible would be ideal. I

    Thanks to anyone who can help

    Reply
  9. Casey Long

    We have a wedding in London in August, 2017. We are wanting to use aa miles, but the only flights I can find coming up (even though we are a year in advance) only allow you to fly BA back to the US for the 30,000 mile mark…which translates to $800 for the two of us in surcharges! Is there any way to get a flight on a non BA flight back to the US using 30,000 miles so we don’t have to spend so much? (We are flying out of DFW, but are totally flexible) I’ve been checking the flights daily to be the first person to book with miles- but it seems they are not even allowing you to book AA or any other non BA airline with the economy miles… Thank you so much for your help!

    Reply
  10. Barbara

    Cannot find Milesaver awards on Aa for Sept 25-30 from Krakow to Kona
    Trying to fly to an Aa hub and get to Kona from there but still no Milesavers
    Any ideas?

    Reply
  11. Jenny

    Hello, I’ve tried to look for a route from SFO to Brussels (Belgium) and back from Barcelona to SFO in summer 2017. I have stocked AA mileage and wonder what airline should I use with that mileages, thank you very much.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Jenny – If you’re looking for just one seat, Finnair flights from Chicago to Helsinki (and then option to go onward to Belgium) seem to have decent availability. Check the Chicago to Helsinki separate from the other legs and see what pops up, and they may be able to piece it together over the phone.

      Reply
  12. Michelle

    I am looking ahead to summer of 2017. We are planning a trip to Scotland. From all my research, it will cost us at least $700 to fly from DFW to EDI or GLA. Any advice for cutting that number down? We are considering travel in the second half of June 2017.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Michelle – Have you considered Manchester? Flight on June 18 on AA DFW-PHL-MAN available for at least 2 passengers without the big surcharges.

      For the way back, flights haven’t been loaded yet for the last week of June, so keep an eye daily. Also remember you can always change the dates / flights from BA to AA free as long as your origin / destination / award price stay the same, and you’ll get the BA fees back if you end up switching to an AA option.

      Also, the short connector flights from London to EDI or GLA have very low surcharges. So if you can find an AA flight to/from the London then that should work well too.

      Just remember no matter what airline you fly, you’ll pay about $200 in taxes per person because the UK levies a stiff tax on long haul departures.

      Reply
  13. Edward Wilhelm

    I’m trying to go to London for Christmas this year, 19th-30 (or around those dates.) What is the best airport to fly into to avoid the massive charges? Trying to save as much money as I can, and taking a train wouldn’t be an issue or another cheap flight within the UK.

    Reply
  14. kskel

    How can I use AA miles to fly one way to Pittsburgh from Vienna (or Budapest) and also avoid LHR with its outrageous fees? Thanks!

    Reply
  15. laila

    I have 100,000 AA miles . Would like to travel to Spain , portugal and Marrakesh in morroco from New York. I would like to travel business if possible , will go economy otherwise . Dont want to pay surcharges or extra $$. Please help
    Travel dates month of July 2016. If changing the month gets me a much better deal I can work around my schedule.
    Thanks

    Reply
  16. Tony Ross

    Hello,

    We are wanting to go from DFW to either Zurich or Geneva anytime from August 31 thru October 10, 2016. We have sufficient points for Business class. All the flights on AA that come up go through London with the surcharge and taxes. Are there other routings we should be looking at? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. swordman

      Take a look at the DFW-Munich then either train / plane back. That will get you 1st to Philly then biz to Munich. Save the $500 fuel charge and enjoy the train.

      Reply
  17. bryan ercolano

    trying to go from vegas to venice or rome in september…sept 5 to 17th. british airways cant be avoided. any suggestions on how to avoid or to get an iberia?

    Reply
  18. Karen

    Thank you for this list! Last June we booked LGA-LIS (through PHL) for this coming April and last week were told the PHL-LIS portion was cancelled. I’m also trying to avoid BA and find direct AA flights to somewhere in Europe for only 20k. At this point not much is available w/o surcharges. But I’m also asking for an updated list since this is pretty old. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Karen – If they cancelled the flight, they should be putting you on another flight the same day on AA regardless of whether the ‘Saver’ award is available or not. So for example you could go PHL-LHR on AA, then LHR-LIS and avoid the big BA fees.

      Reply
  19. Hannah

    I’m a bit confused. Are you saying I can book BA flights from the BA website without the surcharge that comes up on American? We are trying to get from Chicago to Prague, Munich, or Berliin without British Air and it’s hard. So should I go to the partnership websites and book from there?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Hannah – No, there is a surcharge on any BA flight to/from Europe. But if you only use BA for the short flight within Europe (like London – Prague) the surcharges are very small, typically $20-$40.

      Reply
      1. Hannah

        @MilesCard thanks … but if I’m using AA miles then I need to avoid BA altogether, right? I was confused because Wembley mentioned finding a 20k flight on the BA site and talking on the phone. Is it worth calling AA to get information?

        Reply
  20. KEGardenGirl

    Just learning about using AA miles and love all the information you have posted! Did not realize it would be such a hassle to find decent flights from the Washington DC area to AMS.

    I will have my 8yr old with me and am trying to plan his first European adventure in June 2016. We have friends in AMS and also in TLS. Trying to find the best flights to avoid LHR and just land somewhere in Europe. Any thoughts?
    Many thanks in advance!

    Reply
  21. lena

    Hello,

    Thank you for great info on your blog. My husband and I would like to go to Marrakesh sometime in 2016 (spring April – early June) or in the fall (Oct. to November). I planned on using UR points, AAdvantage points or SPG to transfer to airline partners). We prefer to fly from LAX , but willing to find inter-US flight to another airport that would give us shortest flight, minimal stop over, lowest frequent miles either economy, PE or business. Any ideas? I know there is a flight to Marrakesh from Madrid (we are not interested in going to Casa Blanca), but to get there we would either have to fly on BA via London and get hit with over $300 for fuel tax/surcharge. From Madrid we can use Avios points 7,500 plus $28. Can you give me some ideas on how to skirt out of London to avoid these fees.

    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @lena – Try Iberia’s Chicago – Madrid flight. Much lower charges, and 2 seats in business on most days in November, as well as some days in April/May.

      You can search space on BA.com looking for ORD-MAD or RAK to get to Marrakesh. Then work with AA on the phone to see if any of those dates have Saver award flights to/from LA and Chicago, or just buy that segment on its own.

      You’ll need to call AA to book these flights anyway as they don’t show on the AA website.

      Reply
  22. wembley

    I used the BA website to find available 20k award itineraries to Europe this March 2016 for 3. I found Iberia Mia to Mad 3/11 and return AA Frankfurt to Mia 3/21. But talking to AA I was quoted $80 pp on outbound and $118 pp inbound charges. But on AA website the round trip to Frankfurt was just $118 pp.
    So am I better off booking a round trip into and out of the same destination? Is Frankfurt to Mia the same charges 1 way as round trip?
    Frankfurt is not the #1 choice but has availability and is cheap to get to from Spain. Would love some other layover options (vienna, milan, paris) but can’t find availability on BA for Iberia flights.

    cheers
    wembley

    Reply
  23. Julee

    Hi Milecards.com, This list was published nearly 18 months ago and American Airlines has gone through many changes since then. Will you publish an updated list or could you point me in the direction of one?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Julee – We’ll dig into it – would say the most reliable routes right now are to and from Manchester, England as well as London itself.

      Reply
  24. Jani

    Need help using AA miles, and avoiding the BA fuel surcharges.. Trip is Milan to San Diego or if not possible to LAX . Right now the taxes and charges are over 400 dollars. I found some non British Airways flights but the connections are terrible with an over night layover. This trip is for early April to mid May. Round trip it cost 40,000 miles economy, not wanting to go much more over that if possible. Not sure how to find better deals, help is appreciated .
    Thank you very much
    J

    Reply
  25. Steve

    Want to visit Helsinki with my family (4 of us) and I of course have enough miles on AA but it’ll cost me more using my miles than if I just bought the tickets on Norweigan…Flying out of NYC, you have any suggestions? I could fly out of Boston or Chicago if I really had to…

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Steve – When are you trying to fly? One strategy may be to use miles one way and Norwegian the other, since their one way fares are half the price of a roundtrip.

      Reply
  26. Martha

    I’m trying to book flights to the UK for April/May and fly out of SLC. I can’t find any non-BA operated flights when I search from SLC. When I search from JFK or others that you mentioned, I can find AA-operated ones, but this doesn’t help me so much since I need the SLC-JFK (or whatever hub) leg as well. How can I book the ticket so that it encompasses these needs? Any tips?

    Reply
  27. Eliza

    I refuse to pay over $3,700 in charges because I want to fly from either Philly (1st choice), EWR (next closest airport) or JFK to Europe lvg December 28th. Our niece inconveniently set her wedding date for Jan 9 in Edinburgh so we would like to visit Milan for new years eve and head to EDI for the wedding week. My ideal itinerary: USA – Milan – EDI – USA shouldn’t be that difficult nor expensive, right? Its not a matter of miles. Last Dec we did EWR-MAD-EDI-LHR-PHL by just adding an easy jet flight MAD to EDI ($50 each). Every other flight was using our USAIR miles and the total surcharges/taxes came to $1,400. Very reasonable for four people. Now I can’t get onto any USAIR dividend site, it redirects you to American and that Awards site only gives you American flights or BA flights – all this flights route through LHR or LGW and carry heavy surcharges. However there are several USAir flights from PHL to Europe that would work. Help? I won’t be beaten on this one and appreciate your help greatly. E

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Eliza – At the moment there are seats in Economy and Business on JFK-MAD-LIN (Milan Linate) with Iberia on December 28th.

      One of the unfortunate tricks about AAdvantage is they don’t display several of their important partners on their website. But you can get around that by using the British Airways website and setting up an award account there to search. Yes, that’s really cumbersome.

      The alternative is to call an agent and check.

      Either way you’ll have to call in to book the flights.

      And on the 11th looks like there are some EDI-LHR-JFK options with AA on the LHR-JFK.

      Reply
  28. Kevin

    I have 84000 AA miles. I’d like to go to Paris useing miles and $ for two in Aug/Sep 2015. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  29. Phil T

    Deciding if I want to collect AA or United points for a 2016 trip back to London. AA flights from BOS are tempting and my initial search shows no fuel charge add-on. BUT I do see this “Flights not on American Airlines, American Eagle, or AmericanConnection® are on a request basis only. Fares and availability are subject to change.” Is that the part that will eventually lead to the ‘fuel surcharge?” The searches keep showing the FC included in the price but all the posts I read tell me differently… AA provided thru BA WILL have Fuel surcharges. BTW the best routes seem to be thru BA. Should I abandon my AA search and concentrate on United instead??? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Phil T – Out of Boston Aer Lingus to Dublin can be a good bet via British Airways Avios points. No fuel surcharges, just 12,500 points one way, and a nonstop from Boston. Then from Dublin get a flight to London for 4,500 points one way and minimal charges.

      Reply
  30. Chris

    I would like to ask your opinion of what’s best way to use AA miles to fly to Eastern Europe, and specifically Bulgaria (economy, or business if need be) from MSY. I am in this hobby of ours for 6-7 years now, and I collect mostly United and American miles, but while the United award tickets are so very easy to book, I still can’t find the best use of my AA miles to fly to Eastern Europe.
    As widely known, booking on AA site tickets to Europe will always bring results with BA and their huge taxes. I am aware of searching on Qatar, British Airways, and Iberia for availability, but still nothing really works as it is supposed to, even if booking very early. I also know that there are good flights on Air Berlin from USA to TXL and DUS, but then I can’t find a way to combine that in the same reward ticket from there to SOF.
    Preferably, I am looking to have two connections only, MSY–hub place in US–Airport in central Europe–SOF.
    I would appreciate your advice! Thanks!
    Chris

    Reply
    1. Norbert

      I live in NYC and have 500,000 advantage miles. I would like to take my wife and 2 kids to London next summer — first class.

      It seems like the AA fees to do this are about $4k — ridiculous.

      Are there any affordable options open to me?

      Reply
      1. MileCards.com

        @Norbert – If you insist on First Class rather than Business Class the big issue is American has stopped offering First Class on several of its flights to London. So you can’t even buy First Class on most flights now. But the Business Class seats replacing them are brand new have better privacy than old Business Class, so it should be a good experience.

        In fact, several days have 4 seats from JFK to LHR on American’s own flights, with no surcharges, including June 6, 7, 8. That’s a good value for your miles.

        Reply
  31. JB

    Last night, I was able to hold a late July booking for two from SAT to Madrid utilizing Iberia for 50k AA miles plus $98. I figured I might of gotten lucky on that one. Need to book by midnight tonight.

    Now trying to find two saver AA biz awards for an August 11th or 12th return from Lisbon to SAT. No luck using any combos. I wanted to book R/T awards to capitalize on a free 1-way trip at a later date. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. JB

      Forgot American discontinued free stopovers last year! Still looking to use my mountain of AA miles (thanks to your links) for two saver awards.

      Reply
  32. Sam

    hello
    Hi, we are from New York. We will do next June a land tour starting from Paris to London, Amsterdam and back to Paris. We had to leave from Paris to avoid paying exorbitant fees if the flight would started directly to London. It was not our intention to go to Paris. Anyway, we still had to pay U $ S 371 of fees for the return flight makes Paris-London-New York. (Paris-London by BA). I now regret having paid those fees. Do we could have chosen another way to make that trip. Maybe I’m still time to change it. We don’t know if we could ask of a return these fees already paid.
    Thank you.
    Sam

    Reply
      1. Sam

        Hi
        We are using AA Advantage. Clearly, the return of Paris always have to make a stop in London.That’s why I had to pay the fees.

        Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Sam – Yes if you manage to get an AA flight from London to New York you could get them down to $150 – $200 per ticket, but that’s about it given you are transiting London. The $150 – $200 are airport fees, not airline fees.

      If you find for example the nonstop CDG-JFK on AA you can switch to that for free if it’s 21 or more days before departure and get the difference in taxes paid back to you. So keep an eye open for that.

      Reply
  33. Sarah

    I’m so glad I found this site! This is very helpful. However, I stayed up very late last night trying to look at the options above and everything still has BA. My husband and I would like to travel to Europe from Pensacola, Florida (willing to pay for a ticket to a hub and for inter-Europe flights to get to where we need to) to go on a cruise in either August or September. It is our ten year wedding anniversary and I would love to fly him business/first abroad because he has never experienced it. I have 230,000 miles to work with. I am willing to book a cruise around when we can find flights. I’m even willing to fly economy over there if we have to if we can get business back. As I’m looking the fees are crazy if flying through London or on any BA flight. Any help you can give would be GREATLY appreciated!!

    Reply
      1. MileCards.com

        @Sarah – September 9th and September 23 have availability on AA for London – Miami in Business Class, with the 9th having seats all the way to Pensacola. You might also find connections on BA to those flights from cities like Paris or Frankfurt.

        On August 25th and August 31st there is coach availability on AA for Pensacola – Frankfurt.

        Reply
  34. Randy

    Hi there. this is very helpful information.
    Can you please suggest the best option to get roundtrip from DFW (USA) to Hyderabad (INDIA ) for a family of 3 using American miles?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Randy – You’re going to want to check out options with Qatar Airways or Etihad. Neither have surcharges. And you’ll have no problem finding some dates with your wide range of flexibility. To check Qatar, you can use the BA.com award booking tool to see which flights have availability.

      For Etihad, use this tool and look for flights that have ‘Guest’ level awards available.

      http://www.etihad.com/en/plan-and-book/book-redemption-flights/

      Both airlines fly out of DFW.

      You’ll pay 90,000 miles roundtrip each in Economy, 130,000 miles in Business Class. Ignore the prices you see on the Etihad or BA websites.

      Right now you can only book through part of March (as you can only book flights up to 330 days out). But on March 11 there are 5 seats on Etihad from DFW – HYD.

      And you can use Etihad going one way, and Qatar the other if you’d like. You can also call AA on the phone to look for these flights.

      Reply
  35. Larry

    Trying to plan an AA miles Bus class trip from the Northeast to Stockholm/Helsinjki. Certainly want to avoid BA but also trying to limit the stopovers. In sept. So many different options from Boston, NYC or Philly. So many days without Bus options. Can fly in and out of either city. Very flexible on dates.
    Any suggestions for just trying to see what options there are.
    Live in CT so I assume I’ll fly to a departure city.
    Thanks, Larry

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Larry

      September 15th BOS-CDG-HEL is open with AA across the Atlantic.

      September 21st – HEL-LHR-JFK-BOS is open (or just get off at JFK) with AA across the atlantic.

      Reply
  36. CW

    We have 100,000 us air miles and trying to find the best way to use them to go round trip from CLT to DUB in Sept ’15
    since us air flies direct I figured that would be the best flight
    Ive never used air miles before and not quite sure the best way to use them
    thanks

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @CW – You’ll need 60,000 miles each to travel in September so you only have enough for one ticket. If you’re willing to wait until October you can do it for 50,000 miles each, as long as your return flight is October 15 or later.

      They end the nonstop service on October 24.

      For example, October 11, 12, 13, and 15 are available going to Dublin. And October 14, 15, 16, and 19 are available coming back to Charlotte.

      Reply
  37. Rachel

    Hi there and thanks for such an informative post! I am trying to go from Entebbe, Uganda to Geneva, Switzerland and found a flight that redeems miles for 37.5 but as it connects through London there is a $360 British Airways fee tacked on.

    That said, I was able to find a flight through Etihad that has connections in Nairobi and Abu Dhabi but I am a little confused on what to do next. Is there a way to enter your AAdvantage number when booking a flight through Etihad? Or would you suggest calling AA to book? Any guidance would be much appreciated!

    Reply
  38. Dean

    Thanks for the list. I’m working on planning a return trip from India with a stopover in Europe (40k miles with AA instead of 45k for direct), but the only option is to LHR through BA. Getting across the Atlantic is actually the easy part. Any advice on getting out of India?

    Reply
  39. Daniela Hubbard

    Thank you so much for this information. Lifesaver! I am wondering if there is any way to fly out of San Diego instead of Los Angeles. Traveling with a small child…

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Daniela – The only nonstop flight out of San Diego to Europe is on British Airways so you’d get hit with the surcharges there. The alternative would be to fly to one of the cities in the list above if seats are available.

      Reply
  40. CBW

    I’m trying to book a Milesaver flight from SMF, OAK, or SFO to London (or anywhere near there) for mid- August, 2015. It seems impossible without BA. Please help!

    Reply
  41. Sarah

    I have 2 one ways on hold for DFW-LHR on 4/21. Only had coach available. If i try to book business out of Philadelphia or Charlotte and then tack on the leg getting to either of them from DFW how will it price in total miles? Only interested in 50k per flight as I don’t have a massive amount of miles. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Sarah – Yes it would be the same price as long as the MileSAAver level is available on the DFW-PHL or DFW-CLT legs. You may want to call in about this as for example if coach was available on the short leg, but business wasn’t the website won’t show you the lower price for the whole trip.

      Unfortunately at this point the CLT-LHR and PHL-LHR legs don’t have space in Business.

      Reply
  42. Heather

    If I wanted to book from LAX to ROME in the fall if was able to get a non BA flight to Europe could I get a 2nd segment to rome under the same award?

    Reply
  43. Linda

    Help! Is there somewhere I can get help booking AA award travel next spring to and from Italy, and avoid British Airways, which is the only carrier they show on return routes. The AA people say they can only book what shows on their screen. If I hold out to wait for more routes to open up on their website, I may lose out entirely (can’t afford the $$ for a ticket).

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @Rich- Excellent point and added. Going 20 years strong on that route, the only survivor of that brief hub.

      Reply
  44. Miles

    This is excellent information. Fuel surcharges are such a ripoff, I’m glad to find a listing of routings and flights that avoid them.

    Reply
      1. Marlene Met

        Hi, I am so thankful for your help on this site. I was in despair about how to use my AA award miles without going bankrupt on their stupid London fuel surcharge fees.
        I want to fly from San Francisco to (near) Naples Italy around end of April to return mid- or late May, 2016. I prefer Economy seat but I can go Business Saver on one direction if thats all there is. Just one ticket, going by myself.

        Reply
        1. MileCards.com

          @Marlene – On the way out try April 26 SFO-LAX-LHR on AA, then on BA LHR-FCO (Rome). BA only serves Naples via Gatwick rather than Heathrow airport, so connecting is tough and there isn’t anything into Naples in Economy that day, but there are now high speed trains between Rome and Naples that make it easy to use Rome as an airport. The fees on BA for short Europe flights are low – only about $40 one way in fuel charges.

          May 19 there is an LHR-LAX-SFO on AA. You can grab an FCO-LHR flight to meet up with that. Or if you want to fly out of Naples, then fly Naples – LGW (Gatwick Airport) the night before, spend the night in London, and catch the LHR-LAX-SFO out of Heathrow the next day.

          Reply

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