Europe is small and very nicely interconnected. Don’t get bummed if you can’t get a business class award seat to your final destination there. The most important part is to cross the ocean and arrive relaxed and happy in that premium seat. Connecting from one point in Europe to another is a breeze compared to getting your perfect ticket across the pond.
AAdvantage miles can get you there because American Airlines has a lot of partners, so you have a lot of options to get to the continent. There are oneworld alliance partner airlines and individual partners as well.
Oneworld Alliance Partners
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Individual Airline Partners
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air
- Etihad Airways
- Fiji Airways
- Gulf Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Seaborne Airlines
Unfortunately, you can’t search and book awards on all these airlines by searching AA.com. Here are the ones you can:
- Royal Jordanian
So how do you go around searching award space for most other airlines? There are three options.
Calling AA is not ideal, especially when you are looking for a premium class seat. Not all customer service representatives are “fluent” in booking partners. The best way to get your award ticket is to find availability and then call and feed the info to an agent.
AAdvantage rates to Europe:
Best AA Partners for Premium Class Redemptions to Europe
We must immediately exclude British Airways from our plans due to its huge fuel surcharges, the only partners left are airberlin, Finnair, and Iberia. Note that American does add fuel surcharges for flights on Iberia, but they are moderate compared to British Airways.
You can search airberlin and Finnair on AA.com, and Iberia on BA.com. Please check our previous report, Best American Airlines First and Business Class Redemptions, on how to search the award space and the type of the premium class seat.
AAdvantage Rates between North America and Europe (one-way)
- Business Class: 57,500 AAdvantage miles (two-class aircraft)
- First Class: 85,000 miles (three-class aircraft)
Airberlin flies between Berlin and Düsseldorf and the following U.S. cities:
- New York (Berlin, Düsseldorf)
- Boston (Düsseldorf)
- Chicago (Berlin)
- Los Angeles (Düsseldorf)
- San Francisco (Düsseldorf)
Airberlin flies very nice, recently retrofitted A330-200s with lie-flat beds, 1-2-1 configuration, and access to the aisle from every seat in the business class cabin. And airberlin and its affiliate Niki have excellent intra-Europe coverage, too. There is only one problem: it’s very difficult to snatch an airberlin business class award seat.
Finnair’s 330-300 is a very nice product with a similar configuration in the business class cabin, but unlike airberlin, they only fly between Helsinki and New York (and seasonally Chicago). The good news, however, is that business class availability is much easier to find.
Iberia flies between Madrid and the following U.S. cities:
- New York
- Los Angeles (seasonally)
As we’ve mentioned before, you can’t search Iberia availability on the American webpage, but you can search it either on British Airways or Qantas. While Qantas is easier to search than BA, it’s also less accurate, often coming up with “phantom availability,” which are seats that are not really available. While you can only search the British Airways website day by day, which is akin to pulling teeth, the results might be more accurate. Finding a business class award seat on Iberia is not easy, but not impossible if you are looking way in advance.
The new business class cabin on A340-600 has a very nice and fully refurbished interior with fully lie-flat seats in 1-2-1 configuration and all-around access to the aisle, although Iberia’s old angle seats still pop up here and there.
Next:American Airlines and One World: Best Business Class Redemptions to South America and Beyond