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Israel in Business Class for 115,000 points roundtrip using Amex or Citi points with no fuel surcharges

by on Wed November 19, 2014 • 2 Comments


Israel is an expensive destination to reach if you want to fly in Business or First Class.

Most mileage programs classify it as a Middle East award, which means prices are high, like…

  • American AAdvantage – 135,000 miles
  • Delta SkyMiles – 140,000 miles
  • United MileagePlus – 140,000 miles – 160,000 miles

Among international programs bookable with the major transferable points programs (Chase, Amex, and Citi), Air France Flying Blue is usually regarded the cheapest at 125,000 miles, since it considers Israel part of its Europe region.

But it’s hard to find space without fuel surcharges.

If you’re looking for more value, AsiaMiles can get you there for as low as 115,000 miles roundtrip all year round.

AsiaMiles is the mile program of Cathay Pacific, a OneWorld member, and a transfer partner of both Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou.

AsiaMiles has two award price charts, both basing award prices on the total distance you fly. One is for trips that involve just one airline, or one airline plus Cathay Pacific.

The other, which we’ll focus on here, applies when you fly two or OneWorld partners of Cathay Pacific, for example, American and AirBerlin.

AsiaMiles charges 115,000 miles for trips of  10,000 – 14,000 miles in distance that involve two or more OneWorld airlines, which puts the Eastern U.S. to Israel in range.


The keys to getting a 115,000 mile Business Class award are:

  • You must have 2 or more OneWorld airlines in your trip (for example, American connecting to Air Berlin)
  • The flown distance of your flight segments must be less than 14,000 miles – which means departing most places East of the Mississippi puts you in range, and some others West, like Dallas-Fort Worth, are also in play.

So you can take advantage of Air Berlin to get to Israel with no fuel surcharges. AirBerlin flies to the U.S. via these routes:

  • New York – Dusseldorf and Berlin
  • Chicago – Berlin
  • Miami – Dusseldorf
  • Fort Myers -Dusseldorf

Of course you could also fly other OneWorld airlines like American or Iberia, but you’ll be hit with substantial fuel surcharges.

Here are some examples that follow the 2 airline, under 14,000 miles roundtrip rules. They all involve using American or US Airways to connect to an Air Berlin flight.

12,880 miles roundtrip

map (1)

13,500 miles roundtrip

map (2)

14,000 miles roundtrip

map (3)

If you have extra time, you can take advantage of AsiaMiles’ generous 5 stopover rule on multi-airline tickets. So you could tack on some flying within Europe from AirBerlin and its sister airline AirNiki’s hubs in Dusseldorf, Berlin, and Vienna.

For example, this dream trip with stopovers as long as you’d like in Berlin, Paris, and Vienna, is fewer than 14,000 flown miles roundtrip. Just note you can’t stopover more than once in the same city, but you can cross back over the same city as a connection.

map (4)

Or consider trying Royal Jordanian via Amman on the way back, with this itinerary under 14,000 miles flown.

map (5)

The catch in all of this is that AirBerlin has no Business Class to offer on flights within Europe and to Israel. They are all-Economy Class configured planes.

But that’s a small sacrifice when you consider Air Berlin’s great lie flat seat on the trans Atlantic flight, the ability to work in some stopovers in world class cities, and avoiding fuel surcharges, all for 115,000 miles.

How can you find award space?

You can search for all of the award space on American Airlines’ website –

And when you’re ready to book, give AsiaMiles a call on 1-866-892-2598.

One annoying aspect of their phone line is that if it’s very busy they won’t let you wait on hold, and instead ask you to leave a voicemail with your name and number for a callback.

But for these savings, you should expect a little hassle.

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2 thoughts on Israel in Business Class for 115,000 points roundtrip using Amex or Citi points with no fuel surcharges

  1. micky Tiroche

    which card(s) can i have on a Swiss account that would allow me to be charged in the currency i spend (Euro, USD, GBP) and would give me mileage points mainly on BA



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