Business or First Class to London Using MileagePlus and SkyMiles


London is an unofficial European hub. Even if it is not your final destination, it is cheap, and easy to get almost anywhere else in Europe from there whether using miles or paying cash.

In a previous post we discussed premium class award opportunities to fly to the capital of England using American AAdvantage miles on American as well as its partners. While it is one of the best ways to fly to London in style. It is not the only way. There are also United and Delta.

United Airlines

Saver premium-class awards to Europe have gone up since the last United Airlines devaluation, but they are nowhere near as bad as the new award rates to Asia or Australia/New Zealand. However, the United MileagePlus program is different from many others. United Mileage Plus award seats are priced one way for their own flights (and some partners) and differently for other STAR Alliance partners. In the case of London, you should try to fly on United Airlines or Aer Lingus if you want to avoid paying exorbitant fees.

One way (roundtrip) to Europe on United Airlines and Aer Lingus

  • Business: 57,500 (115,000) miles.
  • First: 80,000 (160,000) miles.

One way (roundtrip) to Europe on other partners

  • Business: 70,000 (140,000) miles.
  • First: 80,000 (160,000) miles.

United Airlines has refitted many of its London non-stop aircraft with flatbed seats in both first- and business-class, so you can expect a comfortable flight either way. There is no reason to pay extra for getting a little more comfort and service on their Star Alliance partners. Aer Lingus is in the process of updating their planes, too.

United Airlines flies to London nonstop out of Newark, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington.

Aer Lingus flies out of Boston and New York via Shannon.


I am not a huge fan of the Delta SkyMiles program, and that’s putting it mildly. But Delta usually has great business-class Saver award availability to London outside of peak season. You can’t redeem SkyMiles for first class. What makes Delta SkyMiles even more valuable on that route is that you can redeem them on their partner Virgin Atlantic without paying Virgin Atlantic high fuel surcharges.If you want to experience Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, with its beautiful color scheme and futuristic bar, this is your chance.

If you travel to London often from one of Deltas U.S. hubs, start collecting SkyMiles now. You can’t go wrong.

Delta Boeing 757
Delta Boeing 757

A business-class saver award seat to London will cost you 125,000 miles roundtrip. Delta Airlines charges the same for one way, although they are switching to one-way redemptions next year. Delta has flat bed seats on most of it Business Elite flights to London..

Delta Airlines flies to London out of Boston, New York’s JFK airport), Seattle-Tacoma airport, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and is scheduled to begin flying out of Los Angeles in October.

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