American Airlines has released a batch of Business Class award space to London (some totally lie-flat seats, some angled lie-flat) from many cities, January 2018 through the end of the calendar (April). This is news because American Airlines doesn’t normally have so much premium cabin award space, and the majority of the other award space bookable with American Airlines miles to Europe is on British Airways which incurs ridiculously expensive fuel surcharges.

I would act quickly if you want to book this award space, as much of it has already been snatched up. I don’t see what’s left lasting much more than a day or two, considering the usual desert-like conditions of SAAver Level award space (especially premium cabin).

Routes / Product

The routes with Business Class award space are to London from the following cities:

  • Los Angeles (777-300ER, lie-flat beds)
  • New York (777-300ER, lie-flat beds), (777-200, angled lie-flat beds)
  • Chicago (787-8, lie-flat beds)
  • Raleigh (777-200, angled lie-flat beds)
  • Miami (777-200, angled lie-flat beds)
  • Dallas(777-200, angled lie-flat beds)
  • Philadelphia (sparse, but it exists) (A330-300, lie-flat beds)

I checked the aircraft type of at least one flight of all the routes–the planes are listed next to the origin city.

You can check the aircraft type by clicking the Aircraft type link (on the flight schedule results page when you click a specific day from the calendar).

The pop-up lists American Airlines’ planes and the seat pitch of each class on each type of plane.

Award Space

Business Class award space is available in spurts from Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Raleigh, and Philadelphia to a London on American Airlines flights in early 2018 through April.  All calendars in this section are for direct flights only. I wanted to get this post up as soon as I saw the news, so calendars below (unless otherwise noted) are only for one traveler, but a few quick searches showed space for two and there could possibly be more.

According to View From the Wing, American Airlines search engine hasn’t been filtering out American Airlines only flights via the Advanced Search option lately, but like his results, most of mine showed only American Airlines flights. You should still double check before believing the calendar however.

I also wanted to isolate direct flights in my search results, to eliminate the number of connections necessary (in case you need to add another American or Alaska flight from your hometown– see the Connections section of this post below). To do this, on the left side of the search results page that displays the calendar, check “Non-stop only” in the drop-down menu next to Number of Stops:

Each screenshot below shows a month period between January and April with (relatively) lots of space).

Los Angeles to London

New York to London

Chicago to London

Raleigh to London

This calendar is for two travelers…

…and this calendar is for one traveler.

Miami to London

Dallas to London

Connections

If you don’t live in any of the cities mentioned above, you can still take advantage of this space. The cities are hubs for American Airlines with flights to most of the country. You can tack on economy, Business, or First Class Saver award space on American or Alaska to these international flights for zero extra miles.

If you don’t want to go to London, this space is still useful. You could take American Airlines partners British Airways, Iberia, or Finnair to elsewhere around Europe.

Award Prices (Including Taxes and Fees)

I would avoid returning to the United States from London. London airports charge big departures taxes.

A one way Business Class ticket from the United States to London on American Airlines costs 57,500 miles + $5.60.Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 7.12.27 PM

A one way Business Class return from London costs 57,500 miles + $264.96 (no fuel surcharges, just taxes).

If you stumble across British Airways award space, you’ll notice exorbitant fuel surcharges are for flying their Business Class across the Atlantic.

Both things are easy to avoid to limit the out-of-pocket cost of travel to Europe.

If you want to connect in London to a British Airways flights, taxes and fuel surcharges stay reasonable. Do an open jaw and see two or more cities in Europe and start the return on the continent in a low tax country like Helsinki to save yourself extra cash and enhance your trip.

Off Peak Economy Awards to/from Europe

If you don’t mind flying one of the ways on your Euro-trip in economy, you can save a lot of miles by taking advantage of American Airlines Off Peak prices to Europe. Fly the economy leg sometime between January and March or November to mid December, and it will only cost 22,500 American Airlines miles.  The Off Peak dates line up nicely with the current Business Class award space, so you could treat yourself one way and save miles on the other.

Booking the Award

You can search for award space and book these awards right on aa.com.

Best card to pay for taxes and fuel surcharges?

Bottom Line

Book your trip to Europe with lots Business Class award space options in American Airlines Business Class. Half the routes offer a product with a totally lie-flat bed, and the other half offer angle lie flat, so make sure you check the aircraft type (and perhaps double check with SeatGuru). Availability is drying up fast, so move your feet or lose your seat.

Hat tip View from the Wing.

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