American Airlines is releasing a ton of First Class award space from Miami and Dallas to Madrid for July though October, 2016.

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This award space is easy to connect to from anywhere in the United States, and you can get anywhere in Europe with an Iberia flight from Madrid. These connecting flights do not add to the First Class mileage price of 62,500 American Airlines miles each way. First Class awards go up in price to 85,000 American Airlines miles one way on March 22, 2016, but you can lock in your Summer or Fall vacation now at the current price. United and Delta both charge at least 62,500 miles for a Business Class award.

Madrid gets scorching hot in the summer, so September and early October are an ideal time to visit. I stayed in Madrid from May 11 to June 10 this year, and I enjoyed the food scene, nightlife, bike share program, weak euro, and weather immensely.

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For a limited time, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

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Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles. That’s just short of the 125,000 American Airlines miles needed for a roundtrip in First Class to Europe.

Product

Both the Miami and Dallas to Madrid flights fly older 777s that feature fully flat beds in First Class.

I reviewed this product on a 2013 flight to Buenos Aires. It is far from the newest product, and you don’t get much in the way of privacy or service, but the bed is plenty comfortable to sleep, and I actually really liked the food.

If you compare the product to Emirates First Class, you’ll be disappointed. If you compare it to economy, you’ll be ecstatic.

Award Space

Award space is really great from Miami to Madrid from July to October, 2016. Right now you can book through October 20, 2016, and you can book one day later every day.

These calendars are only for one award seat. The catch with all this award space is that I didn’t find any days with two award seats in First Class. Couples will either need to fly one day apart, in different cabins on the same plane, or one routing through Miami and one through Dallas.

Madrid to Miami: First Class Award Space 32/58 days in July, August, and September

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Madrid to Miami: First Class Award Space 22/54 days in July-October

First Class space is a little worse on the return. It really picks up for Tuesday through Friday returns in September and October.

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Dallas to Madrid: First Class Award Space 28/57 days

Dallas definitely has more space than Miami to Madrid. The pattern is reversed for when the space is though, with more space in July and August than later in the Summer and Fall.

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Madrid to Dallas: First Class Award Space 31/57 days

There is plenty of return space including the coveted Sunday returns to minimize necessary vacation days.

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Connections

If you don’t live in Miami or Dallas, you can still take advantage of this space. Those are two huge hubs for American Airlines with flights to most of the country. You can tack on Economy, Business, or First Class MileSAAver award space onto these international flights for zero extra miles.

If you don’t want to go to Madrid, or you want to fly an open jaw award, this space is still perfect. Iberia flies to dozens of European cities for Madrid.

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You can search economy and Business Class Iberia award space at ba.com (here’s how), and tack it onto these awards for zero extra miles.

For instance, the Miami flight lands in Madrid at 9:15 AM. You can connect to this 11:15 AM Iberia flight to Paris if that’s where you want to go.

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The Miami flight leaves Madrid at 11:15 AM. You can start your return in Sevilla for no extra miles on this 6:55 AM Iberia flight.

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Booking the Award

If your award contains only partners that are searchable at aa.com, you can book right on aa.com.

If your award contains Iberia flights, you must call 800-882-8880 to book the award. The phone fee should be waived, since you couldn’t book online, and make sure that it is.

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A roundtrip to Europe in First Class costs 125,000 American Airlines miles. A roundtrip to Madrid has $60 in taxes.
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Pay the taxes with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes on an award ticket definitely count.

The card also comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to 13 types of airline miles or used like cash toward the purchase of any ticket.

Getting the Miles

For a limited time, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

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Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles. That would be just shy of the 125,000 miles needed for this award. You could get the extra miles with extra spending or by purchasing them. Or you could go one way in First Class and one way in economy for 82,500 to 92,500 miles.

Bottom Line

Book your Summer or early Fall 2016 trip to Madrid or anywhere else in Europe with fantastic award space in American Airlines First Class.

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