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United MileagePlus is offering a great award seat discount for Business Class flights to and from Europe and most of Asia using Star Alliance partner airlines. The discount is valid through February 28 for travel until the end of 2015 (read more about it here).
To Europe these flights are typically 140,000 miles roundtrip, but with the sale you can get them for just 115,000 miles, a 25,000 mile savings.
Star Alliance award space to Europe and Asia over the summer is decent when you search United.com.
But you can maximize your chances of finding seats on the days you want by being creative.
One way is to look specifically for flights on Air Canada.
Thanks to its hubs in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, there are lots of easy ways to get to and from Europe via Air Canada.
The trick is that while Air Canada awards reliably display on the United website, it sometimes doesn’t know to show options if they involve long connections or more than one stop.
For example, if you search from Paris to New York this summer you won’t find many options with Business Class available (in green and blue on the calendars below).
But there’s lots of space if you search from Paris to Toronto
Or even Paris to Vancouver, thanks to Air Canada’s own nonstop flight.
And availability from Canada back to the US is great. You can also pick Economy flights for those legs if you want the most flexibility, which is a reasonable trade to make for a Business Class seat on the long Transatlantic leg of your trip.
So to help you out, below is a list of routes to Europe and Asia that Air Canada operates. So if you want to make sure you’re not missing out, search for exact routes like Toronto to Brussels or Vancouver to London to see if there’s space. Then look for space from your home airport to and from Canada, which should be easier to figure out.
You may have to call in to piece it all together.
Just beware that flights labeled as ‘Rouge’ are run by Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s discount carrier. Rouge does not offer a full lie flat bed Business Class product, so it’s not worth your miles to pay the Business Class price on Rouge flights.
But all regular Air Canada flights offer full lie flat seats in International Business Class with direct access to the aisle. And Canadian cities are worth a visit on their own, so consider adding in a free stopover in your Canadian gateway city.
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