Flat bed award space from the West Coast to Europe has been rare in the past, but options are opening up with the addition of LOT Polish’s Los Angeles to Warsaw route in April, as well as Austrian’s new route with (continued) Business Class availabiltiy from Los Angeles to Vienna.

Currently there is one Business Class award seat available almost every day on LOT Polish’s new route between Los Angeles and Warsaw this coming Spring and Summer 2017.

The LOT Polish flights between Los Angeles and Warsaw will fly four times a week on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
787 Dreamliner, Photo by BartlomiejMostekd

Product

LOT Polish Business Class has 18 flat bed seats laid out in three rows of 2-2-2. This is not 100% ideal since not everyone has aisle access, but they are totally lie flat beds. I’ve never flown the product but it looks pretty solid. 12 hours for a direct flight is a long haul, so a totally flat bed

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-9-40-23-am

One Mile at a Time has a trip report with lots of photos flying a 787 from New York to Warsaw.

Award Space to Warsaw

There is one Business Class seat from Los Angeles to Warsaw and back almost every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday beginning in April and lasting through mid September of 2017.

Connections are widely available to/from Los Angeles and to/from Warsaw for no extra miles (unless United’s award search engine decides not to show you the route you want, and then it could cost you more United miles– read more about the recent United devaluation here). From Warsaw, LOT Polish serves all these destinations:

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-9-58-06-am
Outbound Calendars

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

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-1-23-29-am

Los Angeles to Warsaw starts four times a week on April 3, 2017.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-00-25-am
Here is the award space for one person on the direct flight. Almost every day the flight runs there is a Business Class seat open.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-02-22-amscreen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-03-41-amscreen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-04-12-amReturn Calendars

Warsaw to Los Angeles starts April 3, 2017 and also flies four times a week.

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-11-24-am

Here is award space for one person from Warsaw to Los Angeles. Almost every day has one Business Class seat.
screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-08-40-amscreen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-16-12-amscreen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-17-04-am

Cheapest Miles

The award space is on LOT Polish planes, but you can use any Star Alliance mils to book it. Here are the award prices for this award space one way between the United States and Europe with different types of Star Alliance miles.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-50-04-am

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 like this Austrian route.
  • Aeroplan divides Europe into two regions. The cheaper region is for Western Europe and the more expensive region is Eastern Europe (which includes Warsaw). You can see the complete region definitions here.
  • United, Copa, and LifeMiles don’t collect fuel surcharges on LOT Polish flights (or any for that matter).  Asiana, ANA, Singapore, Lufthansa, and Aeroplan do.

The cheapest miles price in Business Class is Asiana by far (40,000 Asiana miles one way), but you’ll pay about $250 in fuel surcharges in each direction. Avianca and United will charge you more miles but you don’t have to pay any fuel surcharges, just taxes.

If you have a variety of miles to choose from, you’ll have to do your own math to figure out whether or not saving the miles is worth it to pay those fuel surcharges.  For example, if I was able to choose between spending 40k Asiana miles + $250 or 70k United miles, I’d definitely choose to spend the Asiana miles, because that’s like buying 30k United miles for $250 ( or .83 cents each),

Other redemption options include:

  • 44,000 ANA miles (+250 fuel surcharges)
  • 52,000 Lufthansa miles (+250 fuel surcharges)
  • 57,500 Aeroplan miles (+250 fuel surcharges)
  • 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles (no fuel surcharges)
  • 65,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles (+250 fuel surcharges)
  • 70,000 United MileagePlus miles (no fuel surcharges)

You can figure out the fuel surcharges by calling the airline whose miles you want to use or just looking on ITA Matrix. In this case, Los Angeles to Warsaw roundtrip in Business Class has $499.60 in fuel surcharges (YQ) and $577.56 in taxes plus fuel surcharges (total out of pocket cost).

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-28-37-am

Getting the Miles

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

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

The easiest way to get LifeMiles is to buy them when they are on sale for under 1.5 cents like they were back in September. Then you could buy enough LifeMiles for a roundtrip award in Asiana Business Class for under $1,500, which is quite a bit under the retail price of the flights.

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.

The card also offers a $300 statement credit each calendar year to offset travel expenses including the taxes you’d pay on the United award. (And including hotels, car rentals, or flights in Europe.)

Bottom Line

Thankfully, we are seeing Business Class award space from the west coast of the United States to Europe open up with the addition of new routes on LOT Polish Airlines and Austrian Airlines.

Currently there is one Business Class award seat four days a week between Los Angeles to Warsaw next spring and summer, with connection options throughout the United States and Europe. Just one Business seat is not the best news as the majority of you probably don’t travel alone, but if you are a solo traveler or have the flexibility to travel on a different day than companion(s), this space could be very useful.

Book the space with any Star Alliance miles. I recommend Asiana miles if you have access to them (you can transfer SPG points) or if not, Avianca or United miles.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 80,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months and 2x points earned on dining and travel spend, this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Learn More

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.