Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
UPDATE: Most Aer Lingus space is no longer bookable in Business Class. Ethiopian Airlines space using United miles on Saturdays, Mondays, and Thursdays is still widely available.
If you live on the West Coast and are trying to get a family to Europe you know that finding Business or First Class awards that don’t involve hundreds of dollars in surcharges is tough even in the dead of Winter.
And during the Summer it can be next to impossible.
Enter Aer Lingus.
They’re starting a new nonstop route from Los Angeles to Dublin in May, 2016. And award space on these flights is wide open in Business Class, with 4 or more seats on just about every flight all Summer long. And there aren’t hundreds of dollars worth of fuel surcharges to worry about. Ethiopian also operates 3x a week from Los Angeles to Dublin, also with wide award space in Business Class on its 787.
Here’s space to Dublin in June and July as shown on United.com…dates in green and blue have Business Class seats available for 4 or more people…
And here’s space back to Los Angeles.
The flights run 4 days a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Some days have space on Ethiopian Airlines’ nonstop from Los Angeles to Dublin, but most of what you’ll find is for the Aer Lingus flights.
Aer Lingus plans to operate an A330-200 on the Los Angeles flights, and it’s configured with its brand new lie flat Business Class seat.
While a few seats don’t have direct aisle access, which is fine if you’re traveling as a couple or family, the experience got good reviews on the San Francisco to Dublin route, so you can rest assured you’re getting a modern product with your miles.
You can book Aer Lingus flights with United MileagePlus for 70,000 miles one way in Business Class. United MileagePlus is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards so you can take advantage of points you’ve earned via the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Or, you can use British Airways Avios and book the Los Angeles – Dublin flight for 75,000 Avios one way, with no nasty fuel surcharges.
You can search book with United MileagePlus directly on United.com. If you’re using Avios you’ll need to call BA on the phone to take care of the booking, as Aer Lingus flights don’t display on BA.com. But you can check for space first on United.com, so you’re prepared when you speak to an agent.
BA’s parent company IAG has acquired Aer Lingus, so the opportunity to enjoy surcharge free flights on Aer Lingus across the Atlantic with Avios may come to an end as that moves along. But for now, surcharges are just $26 roundtrip, which may as well be zero, so take advantage of it and get your whole family in Business Class.
Once you reach Dublin, there are lots of cheap flights on both Aer Lingus and Ryanair to the rest of Europe.
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