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For years I’ve written about routes that offers superior award space with United or other Star Alliance miles are often anything between the US and Brussels. That’s been even more true over the past year, although it’s also something that comes and goes in waves.
United charges 57,500 miles each way for travel on their own business class award flights, and they have strong availability. United charges 70,000 miles each way when business class transatlantic is on their partner Brussels Airlines.
Here’s availability for next summer Chicago – Brussels for 4 passengers. Solid lines show dates with non-stop economy availability, and dotted lines show dates with business class availability.
Here’s Washington Dulles – Brussels. Some of the availability will be on Brussels Airlines.
Here’s Newark and New York JFK – Brussels which has a bit less space. JFK flights are Brussels Airlines, Newark flights are United.
There’s better availability heading to Europe than coming back, though there is availability in both directions.
When searching for 8 passengers all the flights showing availability are going to be United flights, so a 12,500 mile savings in each direction. And while we certainly cannot expect new Polaris business class seats by next summer — we’ll see those rolling out soon but full deployment will take years — new dining starts in December and the Chicago Polaris lounge opens in December as well.
Here’s an availability calendar for 8 passengers Chicago – Brussels.
Here’s an availability calenbdar for Washington Dulles – Brussels, again 8 passengers.
You’ll see that dates where United flights are available, they have at least 8 seats generally.
If you’re using American Express Membership Rewards points, you can transfer instantly to Air Canada’s Aeroplan and they charge 55,000 miles each way with no fuel surcharges for these airlines (and I’m earning Membership Rewards points quickly again now that the Platinum Card by American Express earns 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines.
You can use the space to Brussels to travel elsewhere in Europe as well, since it’s the hub for Star Alliance member Brussels Airlines. And it’s convenient as a jumping off point for Paris even without an additional flight.
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