United Airlines has opened the business class award floodgates on several flights between the US and Europe for next summer with as many as 9 (and perhaps more) award seats per flight.
This is especially concentrated out of Washington Dulles, though there are some flights out of Chicago like this and even a few from Newark. It’s especially true on flights that have recently been upgauged to Boeing 777s, though not exclusively. (Legacy United Boeing 777 business class is dorm-style 8-across, but if fully flat.)
Award availability this good doesn’t last, so grab these seats while you can.
Now, the first thing I do when searching United award space is check out the United award calendar. It’s quick and easy and doesn’t require being logged in. Here’s a look at Washington Dulles – Brussels for 6 passengers in August.
And here’s Washington Dulles – Munich for 6 passengers in business class.
Here’s Washington Dulles – Paris.
Dates in green should mean there’s business class award availability meeting the search criteria.
However the new United.com website often shows phantom availability on the award calendar. So it’s just a rough guide.
While not perfect for revealing all United award space, I like the Aeroplan search tool. And for bulk searching and a great display, I like to use Award Nexus.
The route with the single best availability is probably Washington Dulles – Rome for July and August. Here’s what Aeroplan is showing available (and thus these really are available), searched date-by-date for six passengers in business class, in July:
There’s a handful of dates where Chicago – Rome and Munich are available.
And a handful of dates where Newark – Birmingham is available (as an aside: there are also a few dates with Scandinavian business class award space for 6 on Newark – Copenhagen).
- Since the overwater segment is on United metal rather than partners, this costs just 57,500 United miles instead of 70,000. You can transfer Chase points instantly to United.
- Aeroplan currently charges 45,000 miles each way between the US and nearer Europe (going up to 55,000 on December 15) and 52,500 each way between the US and ‘Europe 2’ (going up to 57,500). Aeroplan doesn’t add fuel surcharges to awards on United.
- Avianca LifeMiles charges 63,000 miles each way for US – Europe.