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80,000 miles + $295 for Alitalia Business Class to Europe?

by on Mon March 21, 2016 • No Comment
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Alitalia MilleMiglia is a mysterious mileage program, but one that can get you good value if you’re looking to get to Italy in Business Class.

  • It’s a partner of Amex Membership Rewards, so you can instantly transfer your Amex points into Alitalia miles online.
  • It has a really low award price for Business Class to Italy: 80,000 miles roundtrip from the U.S. with about $295 in taxes and surcharges, or 48,000 miles one way plus $120 – $175 in taxes and surcharges. Compare that to 125,000 miles plus about $70 or so with Delta SkyMiles, and you’re paying about $200 to save 45,000 miles.
  • But redeeming miles takes some legwork, though isn’t as risky as you might fear.

Yes, the $295 is a real ballpark you’ll get from Alitalia. While most Business Class award tickets to Europe with surcharges will set you back almost $1,000, award tickets using Alitalia miles have taxes and surcharges that are more reasonable. They also don’t match what you see marked as surcharges when you look up Alitalia award flights via its partner Air France Flying Blue (where they come out to around $500), and it’s been this way for several years.

Right now, Alitalia is offering a 50% bonus on purchased miles until March 27, and you can get a maximum of 75,000 miles this way.

So, you can buy 48,000 miles for $800 Euros (or $900 USD). That gets you a one way ticket in Alitalia’s luxurious business class for about $1,000, when you add the taxes and surcharges, which is a solid price.

buymiles-48k

Or, better yet, transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to Alitalia and get the flight for close to nothing (just $120 – $175 each way in taxes and surcharges).

Before you do it, make sure there’s award space.

You can get a sense by logging into the Alitalia site and using its clunky award search tool.

alitaliabusiness

Don’t try using partner airline sites like Delta.com or AirFrance.us to check, because the space they see is often different than what’s available when you use Alitalia miles.

Once you find a flight with space, you’ll want to put the award on hold before you purchase or transfer any miles.

To do that, you’ll need to call Alitalia directly on 1 800 223 5730, where you’ll reach an English speaking agent (generally in Albania). Or, if your language skills are adventurous, try the Italian call center on +39 06 65649.

They can put awards on hold for up to two weeks.

Some agents will insist you ‘activate’ your Alitalia account by having 1,000 miles in it before putting a reservation on hold. You can take care of that with a quick transfer from Amex Membership Rewards.

But we would not advise sending all the points over for an award until you have a reservation on hold with a confirmed price.

Some other notes:

  • From North America, Alitalia serves New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, and (seasonally) Los Angeles.
  • Alitalia also lets you book SkyTeam awards for the same number of miles, so you can for example fly Delta to an Alitalia gateway city, or fly anywhere in Europe on a mix of SkyTeam airlines, but only roundtrip awards are allowed.
  • Changes of dates are free, but changing your origin/destination costs 55 Euros, and awards can’t be redeposited, so once you book an award ticket the miles need to be used for an award flight within a year.
  • Alitalia’s current mileage program officially ‘ends’ August 31, 2016, at which point your miles may expire, so don’t move miles without a specific flight ready to book.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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