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United releases a ton of award space in all cabins–economy, BusinessFirst, and Global First–from Brussels to Washington-Dulles, Newark, and Chicago. These are three little-known routes that allow easy returns from Europe to the United States, even at peak times like May and June 2015, at the lower prices for United awards on United flights.

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United partner, Brussels Airlines, has service to Brussels from the rest of Europe, and awards that feature United’s flights are very reasonably priced from Europe to the United States:

Click the cabins for trip reports.

  • economy: 30,000 United miles
  • fully flat BusinessFirst: 57,500 United miles (vs. 70,000 for partner business class)
  • fully flat Global First: 80,000 United miles (vs. 110,000 for partner first class)

Other routes have more award space to Europe, but returning from Europe, United’s Brussels routes are tough to beat.

Now is a great time to book awards to Europe for May and June 2015 for 2+ passengers with United miles!

  • How good is the award space out of Brussels?
  • What if you don’t want to go to Brussels?
  • What routes have more award space to Europe?
  • Africa, anyone?

I pulled up award calendars for two passengers on United’s three routes from Brussels back to the United States.

  • White dates have no Saver award space.
  • Yellow dates have Saver economy space.
  • Blue dates have Saver business and/or first class space. There’s no way to know which without clicking the date.
  • Green dates have Saver economy and premium cabin space.

Award space is only available on United flights through June 11, 2014, 337 days from now.

Brussels to United States

To Chicago

Brussels to Chicago has award space for two passengers almost every day except Saturday. Premium cabin award space is wide open in May 2015 especially for weekday departures.

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Many days have award space in all three cabins.

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To Washington-Dulles

The returns from Brussels to Washington-Dulles also have ample premium award space for weekday departures in May and June 2015.

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Again, it is not difficult to find days with 2+ award seats in Global First, BusinessFirst, and economy.

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To Newark

Like the other routes, Brussels to Newark has great premium cabin award space for departures from Sunday to Wednesday for two passengers.

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Are you sick of this picture? There are plenty of days with award space in all three cabins for 2+ passengers.

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You’re Not Visiting Brussels?

First of all, reconsider if you like street waffles!

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These United flights serve all of Europe through connections on United partner Brussels Airlines. These are the Brussels destinations in Europe:

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You can use a connecting Brussels flight for zero extra miles. Premium cabin awards can fly business class or economy on Brussels. Economy awards can only connect to economy flights on Brussels Airlines.

Brussels Airlines award space is not searchable on united.com. Search for it on aeroplan.com. Any award space that appears there is bookable by calling United.

I searched for award space from Rome to Brussels to connect to Business Class space from Brussels to Newark on June 2, 2015.

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Award space is available on four Brussels flights from Rome to Brussels that day. One lines up perfectly with the United flight from Brussels to Newark.

I’ve X’ed out the price on aeroplan.com because these flights can be added to our United award for zero extra miles.

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Remember that you can use an economy flight intra-Europe to connect to a premium cabin flight back to the United States if necessary. If no award space had been available in Brussels business class, I would have changed the cabin searched to economy at the top of the results.

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Connecting from Newark, Chicago, and Washington

After you’ve gotten from Europe back to the United States, it shouldn’t be too difficult to connect on continuing Unitd flights to your home airport. All three airports you might land at are huge United hubs with flights all over the country. Connecting flights within the upper 49 states and Canada will add nothing to the mileage price of the award.

Outbound Space to Europe

Don’t expect to find space on United flights to Brussels. That space is almost non-existent. Here’s the calendar for Washington-Dulles to Brussels in May and June 2015.

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And here’s Newark to Brussels.

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The best options to Europe during May and June are on United partners like Lufthansa. Award space is wide open between Chicago and Frankfurt, mainly on Lufthansa’s flights.

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The bad news is that business class costs 70,000 miles each way. First Class is unavailable to United MileagePlus on Lufthansa flights until 15 days before departure at which point it costs 110,000 miles each way.

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Also Great for Africa

Brussels Airlines also has awesome connections to Africa. Check out all their destinations.

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You can use the Brussels flight from Africa to Brussels and the United flights back to the United States. The price:

  • 40,000 miles each way in economy
  • 80,000 miles each way for Brussels Business plus United BusinessFirst
  • 85,000 miles each way for Brussels Business plus United Global First

Booking These Awards

The United flights can be booked on united.com, but if you add a Brussels Airlines segment, you will have to call 800-UNITED-1 to book. Here’s how to put the United flights on hold first to avoid paying the $25 phone booking fee.

You can also book these awards with Lufthansa, Singapore, Avianca, or any other type of Star Alliance miles, but using Lufthansa miles will incur fuel surcharges on all the flights. Using Singapore miles will incur fuel surcharges on the Brussels flights. Avianca LifeMiles awards don’t have fuel surcharges.

If you want help booking this–or any other award–hire the MileValue Award Booking Service for only $125 per person!

Getting the Miles

United miles are extremely easy to get. Pick up a United personal or business card or any card that earns Ultimate Rewards like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold.

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With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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