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Rotterdam’s Rich with Maritime History and Modern Culture

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Rotterdam's Rich with Maritime History and Modern Culture

Rotterdam is both an historic city and a dynamic, modern metropolis. The Netherlands second largest city, it’s known as “Manhattan on the Maas” for its high rises and impressive architecture. The city also boasts more than a dozen museums dedicated to architecture, contemporary art, natural history, maritime history and ship building.

Located within the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt river delta and on the North Sea, Rotterdam is a thriving transit center that’s also a gateway to Europe. More than just an historic port and museum town, the city is a cultural center hosting many events, including one of the largest Caribbean carnivals in Europe and the largest Jazz festival on the continent.

Although only two carriers from the major airline alliances fly to Rotterdam, it’s still easy to get there. It’s not much harder than finding an award flight to Amsterdam, which is one of the world’s major international airline hubs. You can fly with the oneworld alliance on British Airways via London, or on Star Alliance’s Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.

As an added bonus, Rotterdam’s airport actually serves two cities: Rotterdam and the Hague. They are very close to each other, so you can easily visit both in one trip.

American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

Since the only oneworld alliance carrier that goes to Rotterdam is British Airways, you’ll have to get to London first. You shouldn’t fly over the Atlantic on British Airways since they add a considerable fuel surcharge on long-haul flights.

Instead, you can fly to London on American Airlines. Unfortunately, you’ll have to then transfer to London City Airport before flying to Rotterdam on British Airways. You’ll save a lot of money for only a little hassle because British Airways only charges a small tax for its intra-European flights.

Rotterdam, Historic Delfshaven
The historic Delfshaven area of Rotterdam

Round-trip tickets to Rotterdam on American Airlines and British Airways cost:

  • 60,000 miles in economy
  • 140,000 in business
  • 220,000 in first

If you fly off-peak between October 15 and May 15, round-trip tickets in economy are only 40,000 miles.

United Airlines MileagePlus Miles

In order to get to Rotterdam with the Star Alliance, you’ll have to fly the last segment on Turkish Airlines from Istanbul. Finding an award ticket is not difficult, but it might be challenging to get a non-stop flight to Istanbul from North America. Availability is good, though you may be stuck with two layovers.

Round-trip award tickets to Rotterdam on Turkish Airlines or a combination of Turkish Airlines and another Star Alliance member costs:

  • 60,000 miles in economy
  • 140,000 in business
  • 220,000 in first

Dutch old houses in Rotterdam
Row of historic houses in Rotterdam

Delta Airlines SkyMiles

Even though Delta SkyTeam partners don’t fly to Rotterdam, you can still use SkyMiles to get there. Just fly into Amsterdam and take the short, 40-minute train ride to Rotterdam. The train costs 15 to 20 Euros, and takes you directly to the city center.

Finding a nonstop Saver award flight might be challenging, depending where you’re departing from in the U.S. In general, availability is excellent, even in the summer. Delta Airlines flies to Amsterdam from the following U.S. cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • New York (JFK and Newark)
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Salt Lake City

Delta SkyTeam partner KLM flies to Amsterdam out of the following U.S. cities:

  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • New York (JFK)
  • San Francisco
  • Washington (Dulles)

Erasmus Bridge, River Meuse, Rotterdam
Erasmus Bridge across the River Meuse at Rotterdam

Flying roundtrip to Amsterdam on Delta or KLM costs:

  • 60,000 miles in economy
  • 125,000 in business

First class tickets can’t be booked with SkyMiles.

If you’re looking for an economy award flight to Rotterdam, any of the three major airline alliances will get you there for the same cost. Unfortunately, every route has its disadvantages.

Using AAdvantage miles and avoiding high surcharges means an airport change in London. If you use SkyMiles you’ll have to take a train ride from Amsterdam. And MileagePlus awards often require two layovers. However you decide to get there, though, Rotterdam is ready for you.

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