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Reader Nguyen asks “May I ask how you “How to Book Round Trip Business Class Tickets to Europe on Airberlin by spending only $100 a ticket?””
Flying to Europe can be expensive, so I am going to illustrate How to Book $100 Round Trip Business Class Tickets to Europe. Even though they are the same costs dollars wise, they are not the same costs miles wise. Economy could be a great deal because it could cost as less as 40,000 miles roundtrip to fly to Europe offpeak. Business class costs 100,000 miles roundtrip but the retail price could cost up to $4,000 a ticket.
Over the summer, I used 100,000 American Airline miles to fly from Los Angeles to Rome and Paris to Los Angeles. There are several options to fly from US to Europe using AA miles. Flying on AA itself would be the cheapest ($50-100), and flying British Airways would be the most expensive ($800-$1000 a roundtrip ticket). I think everyone has not heard great things or had good experiences with American Airline flights, so I would not recommend them. British Airways fuel surcharge fees are too expensive in my opinion. However, if you do fly BA, First Class is the only way to make the fuel charges worth it.
A great option with low fees and overall comfort would be Airberlin. I had a pleasant experience with them and the flight was great. Airberlin seats are now refitted with an angled-flat seat that is very new and comfortable. Although some people dislike the angled-flat seats, I found it fine because I can sleep almost anywhere. The meals are also pretty tasty.
Here are some steps on obtaining business class airfare on Airberlin for $100.
1. Collect AA miles. There is currently a way to get 100k AA miles by signing up for two Citicard AA credit cards at the same time. See this Flyertalk Forum Post. You will need to open one application in Internet Explorer and another in Firefox and submit them both at the same time. You will need to spend $2,500 for each card in 4 months. Google Amazon Payments, and you can transfer $4,000 in 4 months and will only need to spend $1,000 in 4 months!
2. Check AA.com for availability. Airberlin flies directly from US to Dusseldorf, Germany. You should put in your departing city and arriving city as DUS. Select non-stop flights to show Airberlin flights. Once you find availability from your departing city to DUS, then you can connect to other cities in Europe. For example, if I find availability LAX-DUS on March 10, then I would enter LAX-MXP on March 10 to get to Milan.
On the way back, I recommend flying open jaw, which means departing from a different city. For example, you could fly from Zurich back to LAX connecting in Dusseldorf. I would first search DUS-LAX. If I found availability on March 29, then I would enter ZRH-LAX on March 29to find my flight back.
3. Be Flexible. Award availability could open up 330 days before departure. I usually look 9-10 months before departure. The great thing about AA award tickets is that you have free date changes up to a year of ticket issue. Also, award tickets have an insurance policy in itself. It costs $150 to cancel one ticket and $50 for an additional ticket.
4. Travel off-peak. From October 15 to May 15 you could travel to Europe for only 40,000 miles roundtrip. This is a great deal! Economy has great availability on Airberlin.
5. Add a free one-way. For more value, you can add a free one-way ticket from your North American gateway city to another North American city. For example, I could add LAX-ORD 4-5 months after coming back to LAX and EWR-LAX 2 months before. You have one year to complete your travel. The final itinerary would be EWR-LAX-DUS-MXP-ZRH-DUS-LAX-ORD. All in business class for $95!
6. Enjoy and don’t complain. Using miles to travel for free is awesome, so don’t complain if you have a bad flight experience. Even though on my way from LAX-Europe I had the old business seats, which are recliner chairs, I still enjoyed the experience. The return flight were new angled-flat seats, I think 170 degree incline. Check out the Airberlin site for pictures and more info.
Feel free to ask any questions on How to Book $100 Round Trip Business Class Tickets to Europe. Thanks.