Award space is wide open in Business Class on United flights to Brussels and Amsterdam for Summer 2017 for 2+ people. That means you can book your family flat beds to Europe for as little as 40,000 miles plus taxes with no fuel surcharges.

Product

United Business Class features a comfortable flat bed, but it isn’t up to the standards of the absolute best products in the world because there are as many as eight narrow beds per row.

Only true aficionados will complain. The rest of us will just get a good sleep on the flat bed that features improved meals and new bedding from December 1, 2016.

Here are trip reports from flying United Business Class, so you know what to expect:

Award Space

Award space is wide open for 2-4 people in Business Class from Washington-Dulles, Chicago, and Newark to Brussels and all those American cities plus Houston to Amsterdam.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to connect on United flights from your home airport to Houston, Chicago, Washington, or Newark. All four airports are huge United hubs with flights from all over the country. Connecting flights within the continental United States and Canada will add nothing to the mileage price of the award.

If you’re not interested in Brussels or Amsterdam, you can connect in Brussels to Star Alliance carrier Brussels Airlines. They have a big route network in Europe and Africa. From Brussels, they serve all these destinations:

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Add in a layover or stopover in Brussels for street waffle time.

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Award Space to Brussels

All screen shots in this post show award space for two people. Dotted lines indicate Saver Business Class award space; solid lines indicate Saver economy award space.

Chicago has excellent award space to Brussels next July and August with economy award space on 42/46 days and premium award space on 37/46 days.

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Washington-Dulles has even better award space between the United and Brussels Airlines flights.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-22-04-pm There is economy award space on 43/46 days through August 15 and premium cabin award space on 42/46 days.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-22-15-pm

Newark has the spottiest award space, but it is still excellent: 35/46 days in economy and 25/46 days in Business.
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Award Space to Amsterdam

There is great award space in economy and good award space in Business Class from Houston and Chicago to Amsterdam. There is even more Business Class award space from Dulles and Newark.

Houston has only 19/46 days with Business Class award space.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-24-46-pm screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-24-55-pmChicago has only 17/46 days with Business Class award space to Amsterdam next July and August.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-25-39-pm screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-25-47-pm But Dulles has 44/46 days with Business Class award space for at least two people to Amsterdam.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-26-35-pm screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-26-43-pm And Newark has 30/46 days with Business Class award space.screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-27-13-pm screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-12-27-18-pm

Cheapest Miles

Just because the award space is on United planes does not mean you should use United miles to book the space. All United partners have equal access to the Saver award space on United flights you see on united.com (as long as you don’t sign in before searching.)

Here are the award prices for the United award space one way between the United States and Europe.

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Let me explain a few things:

  • United has two award charts. The cheaper one for flying United (or mostly United if you follow these rules) and the more expensive one is to fly its partners.
  • Aeroplan divides Europe into two regions. The cheaper region is for Western Europe and the more expensive region is Eastern Europe. You can see the complete region definitions here.
  • All these miles allow one way bookings except ANA. The real ANA price is twice the ones listed here for one ways or a roundtrip.
  • None of these programs collect fuel surcharges on United flights to Europe except Lufthansa.

So, for a one way award Asiana is clearly the best at 40,000 miles one way in Business Class. For a roundtrip, ANA awards are not far behind at 88,000 miles. United charges 57,500 miles one way for its own flights.

Getting the Miles

The only ways to get Asiana miles are from the Asiana credit card or transfers from SPG points.

You can get ANA miles by transferring from American Express Membership Rewards or SPG points.

The easiest miles to get are United miles since United releases several credit cards and is a 1:1 transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards.

Right now the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months.

The card earns 3 points per dollar on travel and dining expenses and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

After spending that $4,000 in the first three months, you will end up with at least 104,000 Ultimate Rewards–more if some of that $4,000 was spent on travel or dining. That’s almost enough (115,000 miles) for a roundtrip United award in Business Class to Europe.

Bottom Line

There is excellent United Business Class award space to Brussels and Amsterdam next summer with connection options throughout the United States and Europe. Book the space with any Star Alliance miles.

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