The Wide Open Swiss Award Seats You CAN Book With United (and Other) Miles)

Earlier today I wrote about Swiss first class award space showing up at — something very rare, and when it happens a mistake — and suggesting that it appeared to be phantom availability.

Booking the seats errored out at the payment page, and while availability showed up at it wasn’t appearing available to other Star Alliance partner airlines.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t book Swiss premium cabin awards, in fact Swiss business class awards are wide open this summer.

Note that there’s plenty of business class phantom award space showing up at, especially over the next few months. But if you look into the summer, much of it is real. As I suggested in my earlier post, confirm availability with the Aeroplan website.

Here’s New York JFK – Zurich in July (both directions) for 2 passengers in business class:

The source of this data is Aeroplan’s website, not United’s, so not subject to the United phantom availability issue. You’ll see availability on other Swiss routes as well.

You may not have any interest in Zurich (although consider it for a stopover — or ‘excursionist perk’ on a United Europe award — but you should have interest in these award seats either way. You can fly beyond to other destinations in Europe.

Book with:

  • United MileagePlus: 70,000 miles each way. Chase points transfer to United.
  • Aeroplan: 55,000 miles each way (although if you connect to ‘Europe 2’ the price goes to 57,500). American Express points transfer to Aeroplan, but fuel surcharges are added.
  • Avianca LifeMiles: 63,000 miles each way.

I’ve left some other routes on the calendar above that came up in the search on the map. New York JFK – Geneva is business class award space on Swiss as well. New York JFK – Vienna is business class award space on Austrian. New York JFK – Lisbon is business class award space on TAP Air Portugal. This isn’t exhaustive and only shows when the connecting flight onward to Zurich is also available.

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, 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. Thanks as always!

    How would you compare Swiss business vs Austrian business class, especially hard product

  2. Gary —
    Thank you! I just booked a United Flight from SFO- Barcelona and tried to use miles to upgrade.
    They wouldn’t touch the Swiss Air portion — Zurich-SFO. I was annoyed. Should I call Swiss to see about an upgrade using United miles?

  3. Hard product is nearly identical on many planes. Austrian offers a more elaborate meal service. Crew is about identical. The new Swiss Business Class lounge in Zurich is amazing and superior to Austrians Vienna lounge.

  4. Is it worth trying to book with Singapore? What would that be for Business? For First? Most my points are tied up with Citi and Amex. Hopefully there’s still the availability I need when I get off this plane!

  5. @rupert – I think you’re confused, first class isn’t ticketing (as I said) and there’s plenty of phantom business space, but much of the space over the summer is ticketing — the point of this post 🙂

  6. This is great – thanks Gary.

    Just reserved JFK-ZRH, GVA-JFK in July, Swiss Business for 110,000 plus $62CAD, two seats. I’ve been looking for business class for months and couldn’t find anything without fees that are more than an economy ticket. Still have to get from FLL to JFK, but that’s easy.

  7. Britt44 – Yes did, both MIA-ZRH and MIA-GVA and didn’t see any availability on SWISS in Business, at least not not eh dates we want to fly. Just checked and still don’t.

  8. Which product is better, UA 747 Polaris F or Swiss A340 C? I’m flying SFO to Madrid later this month and ticketed Swiss C for now. Both are available.

  9. Which product is better, UA 747 Polaris F (80k miles) or Swiss A340 C (for 70k miles)? I’m flying SFO to Madrid later this month and ticketed Swiss C for now. Both are available. Lufthansa F is also available for 110k miles on the A340. Worth it?

  10. Hey Gary! Great Work! Great Blog! Thanks!

    Found RT TLV/USA on United via Aeroplan for only 80,000 miles and less than $100 tax!
    Have a screen shot if you want it.

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