United Opens Business Class Award Floodgates for Summer, Book Now

In general the best award availability to Europe on United’s flights has long been to Brussels and to a certain extent Amsterdam. With premium cabin European travel down, and with Brussels having been affected by terror fears especially, this is doubly true now.

In fact, there’s widespread availability to and from both Brussels and Amsterdam from multiple United gateways for 4 or more passengers in business class next summer. And there are other routes where availability is great, as well.

The nice thing about Brussels is that it’s a Star Alliance hub city, Brussels Airlines can fly you to elsewhere in Europe (or North Africa) as part of the same award.

Here’s Chicago – Brussels for four passengers, a solid line means the day has coach availability and the dotted line means business class availability. This is a search for non-stop availability only.

Here’s Washington Dulles – Brussels again non-stop for four passengers.

Availability for four passengers in business class Newark – Brussels isn’t as good, but where it’s available I’d prefer connections here versus Chicago or Washington Dulles (despite always wanting to avoid New York airspace) because the flight is operated by a legacy Continental Boeing 777 rather than a legacy United one. Those old United birds, though fully flat, are eight-across in business class.

You’ll find great availability to Amsterdam from Houston, Newark, Washington Dulles and Chicago — with Chicago the weakest. Here’s what Dulles – Amsterdam availability looks like for four passengers in business class:

You’ll also find great availability for Newark – Hamburg and Newark – Berlin. And out of Houston there’s great space to London as well.

United is rolling out a new business class seat but most routes won’t have it yet. The soft product — bedding and meals — does start December 1 of this year however.

Award cost:

  • Book United business class, including connecting flights in the US and in Europe, for 57,500 miles each way. Chase points transfer to United instantly.

  • You can also book via Air Canada’s Aeroplan for 55,000 miles each way and Aeroplan doesn’t add fuel surcharges onto United award travel. American Express Membership rewards transfer to Aeroplan instantly.

  • Avianca’s LifeMiles charges 63,000 miles each way, with no fuel surcharges, and sells miles cheap.

(HT: MileCards)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Meanwhile STILL no discounted fares to UK airports outside London? And without doubt the Polaris stuff deffo won’t be on those routes either (eg. Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh) so they can just keep fleecing us with same prices for same old cr*p!

  2. BRU flights ex-EWR were wide open during mid-summer 2016 (July 2016 dates), even up to 2 weeks prior.

    (I was searching for 3 pax in biz, and finding those were easy. Earlier in the year one could also score 3 x F seats as well to BRU ex-EWR)

  3. The dotted line doesn’t necessarily mean business class – it could be first class. It seems that on some ORD>BRU flights, they’re only opening up the first class cabin (which will soon cease to exist?).

  4. Thanks Gary! This made me go look, and I scored 6x first SFO-FRA-SFO. Usualyl I have to waitlist them 1 by 1 and waikt for them to clear…much easier this year and only 1 PNR 🙂

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