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Want to go to Europe next summer in the big seat with your American AAdvantage miles?
Prepare to be flexible. Very flexible.
We’ve just finished a MileCards.com snapshot of Business / First Class award seats on every route currently available to book using AAdvantage miles from the U.S. to Europe without British Airways’ $1,000+ taxes and fuel surcharges.
The cold fact: 52% of routes have zero MileSAAver level (50k or 65k miles one-way) availability on non-BA flights.
We looked for availability for two passengers on the 40+ days currently available for booking next summer, up to mid-July.
That includes Iberia, Air Berlin, and Finnair routes in the mix, with the results by gateway and destination below.
Where are seats open?
Madrid is your best bet right now. American and US Airways are offering MileSAAver level seats about 25% of the time from Charlotte, Miami and Philadelphia, with easy connections onward to the rest of Europe via Iberia flights.
At this point, Iberia’s own flights have no availability from the U.S. in Business Class.
Here’s the roundup:
[table "135" not found /]
Helsinki is another bright spot, with seats open on American’s Chicago – Helsinki and Finnair’s New York – Helsinki routes over 25% of days. From there you can connect to many European cities via Finnair.
But popular cities like London, Paris, and Rome have almost no availability on non-stop flights from the U.S. You can snag a seat on American’s 777-300 in First Class from New York to London on two days next summer as of the time of our snapshot. Otherwise it’s bone dry.
Does booking exactly 331 days out help?
It never hurts to be diligent and check exactly 331 days ahead of when you want to travel, but for American and US Airways flights there doesn’t appear to be a wide release of seats then. Air Berlin appears more consistent about having seats available 331 days out.
Some seasonal flights like Boston to Paris on American haven’t yet been loaded into schedules, so availability can’t yet be checked. But the vast majority of routes operating this summer are already loaded for next year. You can see a list of all no or low-surcharge routes to Europe and the Middle East currently being operated. We also have tips on how to search for award seats on other airlines like Iberia.
Your best bet is to lock in some of these seats now if Europe is in your plans next year. You can change dates for free up to 21 days before departure, so if something more convenient opens up you can grab it. But with US Airways now influencing how AAdvantage awards are allocated, this looks to be the toughest summer yet for using AAdvantage miles to Europe in the big seat.
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