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Ultimate Guide for Using Miles and Points To Get To Europe

If you are flying from the United States to any country in Europe, you will be pleased to know that some airline carriers can make your international travel more delightful. Here is an ultimate Guide for Using Miles and Points To Get To Europe. If you are wondering how the simple answer is using your miles and points which you earn as rewards each time you fly with an airline carrier. We are going to talk about this more in detail here.

In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at how you can use your miles and points to get to European destinations and without the need for additional expense.

Best Miles and Points Programs for Flying to Destinations in Europe

Sometimes, you will find it a lot more convenient to fly in economy class and save some of your points for a future trip. There are thus, several factors that play a key role in determining the best flight for a specific route, or even for a specific passenger. A few such factors can include if you would prefer Business/First class lie-flat seats, great meals, or perhaps, expecting to have a friendly crew, or maybe, you just want all of these. So, deciding on the best airline for you to travel to, particularly when getting to Europe would come down to evaluating your own personal preferences.

However, there are a few best options worth considering for using your miles and points rewards for flying in economy class, Business class, and First class cabins.

United Airlines

United has a fairly straightforward program that is easy to understand and use. Many of their partners are available to search for award space and book on the United website. For instance, United Airlines’ MileagePlus program is one of the most popular ways to book award flights to Europe. This is because of the airline’s extensive reach via the Star Alliance network.

When booking an international reservation, if you select ‘My date is flexible’ when searching, you can view the reward availability calendar for one month at a time. This makes it easier to find reward space. Although the mileage rate of their European award tickets is not the absolute best you can find, Manchester United still has a lot to do.

Thus, the following are particularly true:

  • United miles are super easy to redeem
  • No (or very small) fuel surcharges
  • Great starter program for miles and points

How to Fly to Europe with United Airlines Miles Award

Here are the prices in miles that you will have to pay for travelling to Europe on different class of cabin selection.

Economy Class

  • 60,000 miles on United flights
  • 60,000 miles on partner flights

Business Class

  • 140,000 miles on United flights
  • 140,000 miles on partner flights

First Class

  • 220,000 United miles on partner flights

Thus, you will notice from the above-mentioned that there are separate award prices in order to redeem points when flying on United Airlines flights and their partner airlines.

So, if you want to fly in Business or first class with a partner airline, then you will require more miles. If you want to take a first-class ticket with a partner airline, United will charge 60,000 miles more than if you take a United-operated flight. This difference is sufficient to meet the need for a completely independent round-trip ticket in economy class.

However, if you still want to fly on First class, then your key decision would be to fly with Lufthansa. Bear in mind thatFirst class awards with Lufthansa are almost always not bookable until 15 days before the departure date.

Another European airline called Swissair does not offer first-class to partners. In fact, you will need to have the top VIP status of Swissair in order to book all these awards. In addition, almost all European-centric Star Alliance partners such as Brussels Airlines, Polish Airlines, and Turkish Airlines do not offer first class.

If you look at Singapore Airlines, it operates First class suites on their New York City (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) route. However, itcannot be booked with United miles. You can book only with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles.

There is however, one trade-off when booking First class with a United’s partner airline. While booking reservation will cost you quite a lot of miles, United Airlines, on the other hand, will not hit you with surcharges imposed by the airline carrier. So, this can save you several dollars in fees when you book First class with Lufthansa. This is quite light on your pocket as other airline carriers’ loyalty programs will pass those charges onto you.

If you want to fly in coach, choosing to fly with United or their partners should not matter. It will cost the same amount of miles either way.

The following Star Alliance members and United partners operate flights between the U.S. and Europe, so you can book with your United Miles:

To be sure that a country falls within United’s definition of Europe, you can check their region’s definitions page for more information.

Routes Bookable with United Miles

There are a lot of ways you can use United miles to travel tovariousdestination cities in Europe:

  • Flying from San Francisco (SFO) to Zurich (ZRH) on SWISS International Airlines
  • Flying from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Munich (MUC) on Lufthansa
  • Flying from Boston (BOS) to Dublin (DUB) on Aer Lingus
  • Flying from Los Angeles (LAX) to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
  • Flying from New York City (JFK) to Frankfurt (JFK) on Singapore Airlines/Lufthansa

However, keep in mind that United miles can only be used to book Economy class ticketwhen flying with Singapore Airlines on this route.

How to Earn More United Miles

In addition to earning miles when you fly with United Airlines and its partners, you can also transfer miles to programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott. Chase bank transfers instantly at a 1: 1 ratio. While Marriott transfers in less than 24 hours, it also has an improved transfer ratio over the standard 3: 1 ratio.

For example, if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Points, you will earn 22,000 USD Miles, plus a 25% bonus, and thus, your total points increased to 27,500 Miles for 60,000 Marriott Points.

ANA Mileage Club

ANA offers some unbeatable round-trip return rates for business class flights. ANA excels in all frequent flyer programs with round-trip business class award prices. Also, most of the time, they blow the competition out of the water in terms of your score value.

They also do not charge additional fuel surcharges on some airlines. Therefore, you can choose to fly them to reduce the cost that you pay out of pocket.

How to Fly to Europe with ANA Miles

Given below are the round-trip prices of flights to/from North America and Europe:

  • For Economy Class, mileage cost with partners is 55,000 ANA miles
  • For Business Class, mileage cost with partners is 88,000 ANA miles
  • For First Class, mileage cost with partners is 165,000 ANA miles

The Business class rate in particular, is quite attractive that you may just want to book a random trip to maximize this redemption.

ANA is an easy program to redeem miles with. You can make bookings completely online using their award search engine.

Routes Bookable With ANA Miles

Here are the international routes to Europe that you can easily book using ANA miles.

  • From Los Angeles (LAX) to Zurich (ZRH) on SWISS International Airlines
  • From Montreal (YUL) to Frankfurt (FRA) on Air Canada
  • From Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv on United Polaris
  • From Newark (EWR) to Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines
  • From Washington D.C. (IAD) to Brussels (BRU) on Brussels Airlines

How to Earn More ANA Miles

In order to earn more ANA miles, there are two transfer partners, which include American Express (Amex) Membership Rewards and Marriott.

American Express transfers at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with 5,000 ANA bonus miles after each 60,000 Marriott point transfer.

Air Canada

If you remember, several years ago, Air Canada’s Aeroplan program was a staple for many travellers. However, even after the devaluation of the RMB, you can still use Aeroplan miles to fly to Europe in many ways. Air Canada Aeroplan is an easy-to-use program. They have several partners flying to Europe, and the airline miles required to fly are reasonable.

Unlike many airline loyalty programs, Air Canada divides Europe into two regions. One of these include many western European countries, while the other includes many eastern European countries, and a couple outliers, such as Iceland.

Now, to make sure about the region in which your destination falls, you can check the region definitions provided by Aeroplan on their website for more information.

Also,keep in mind that Air Canada’s Aeroplan is a separate loyalty program that Air Canada partners with for rewards. They are not run by the airline carrier. Although this will change soon, as Aeroplan will be acquired by Air Canada.

How to Fly to Europe with Aeroplan Miles

Here are the Aeroplan miles for different cabin class for flying to Europe.

  • On Economy class, you will need 60,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 1 (western) region and 75,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 2 (eastern) region
  • On Premium Economy class, you will need 75,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 1 (western) region and 90,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 2 (eastern) region
  • On Business class, you will need 110,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 1 (western) region and 115,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 2 (eastern) region
  • On First class, you will need 140,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 1 (western) region and 160,000 Aeroplan miles for Europe 2 (eastern) region

Air Canada is also a member of the Star Alliance, but unlike United, it does not charge additional miles for travel on its partners. However, they have an additional fee that the carrier charges when they book the rewards on their own and some partner trips. These fees can be very high, especially when traveling in Premium Cabins. This is just another variable that you should consider before booking. So, if higher fees and taxes aren’t in your budget, you’ll want to make sure you’re booking with a partner that doesn’t include the higher fees and taxes.

Among its Star Alliance partners flying to Europe from the United States, Air Canada does not add additional fuel surcharges to the prizes reserved on the following airlines:

  • Brussels Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss Air
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

In addition, carrier-imposed surcharges on LOT Polish airline carrier are fairly low. Although you will still have the option to book flights on Air Canada, or any of their partners that impose surcharges.

Conclusion – Guide for Using Miles and Points To Get To Europe

There are several airlines that fly daily routes between the U.S. and Europe. Just make sure you are taking into consideration the higher fees and taxes, especially when determining the value of your awards and deciding if you want to book your trip to Europe.

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