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There are a ton of Canada-to-Europe Star Alliance routes with better availability in economy and business class this summer than USA-to-Europe routes.

Connections from the US to Canada are easy to find, connecting in Canada generally leads to less flying than connecting in the US, and all airlines I can think of allow a connection in Canada between the US and Europe.

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Since direct flight paths from the US to Europe cross Canada, connecting in Canada saves distance compared to connecting in the US.

What are the routes with award space? What miles can book the space cheaper?

The major Star Alliance players on Canada-to-Europe routes are Lufthansa and Air Canada.

Air Canada offers fully flat beds on its transatlantic business class flights. Air Canada doesn’t have first class.

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Lufthansa offers flat beds in business class on some flights. (The page Lufthansa set up to tell you whether a specific flight had the new flat bed product has displayed an error message for months. To figure out if your plane has flat beds, you can call Lufthansa.) Lufthansa first class award space is only released to partners 15 days before the flight and costs 110k United miles each way!

To get from the US-to-Canada, United and Air Canada both offer a ton of flights with good award space.

To see what Air Canada, Lufthansa, and United flights serve your home airport and where you want to go, use wikipedia.

Selected Routes

For all calendars below, the search is for award space for one person on the direct flights on the route being discussed.

  • Yellow days on the calendar mean there is Saver economy award space.
  • Blue means Saver business award space.
  • Green means Saver award space in economy and business.
  • White means no Saver award space.

Montreal to Munich (Lufthansa)

Lufthansa will operate a flight from Montreal to Munich daily this summer.

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Award space is good in June and phenomenal in July.

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Toronto to London (Air Canada)

Air Canada has several daily flights from Toronto to London.

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Award space is good on Fridays in July, which can maximize how many weekend days (and minimize how many weekdays) your trip to Europe includes.

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Montreal to Geneva

Air Canada has a daily flight from Montreal to Geneva leaving at 8:50 PM, which is late enough to easily connect in Montreal.

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Award space is fantastic on the route this summer.

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What other great Canada-to-Europe routes can you find on united.com?

Connections

If you fly the Lufthansa routes, which all go to Frankfurt and Munich, you’ll have incredible options for connections throughout Europe and beyond out of those Lufthansa hubs.

If you fly an Air Canada route, you will have better connection options if you fly into a Star Alliance hub than a non-Star Alliance hub like London or Paris.

Getting to a Canadian gateway should be easy on United or Air Canada flights.

What Miles to Use

Awards from the US to Europe (whether or not they route through Canada) on partner airlines currently cost 30k United miles each way in economy and 70k each way in business.

All* the awards mentioned in this post could also be booked with US Airways miles for the far cheaper price of 100k US Airways miles roundtrip in business class. US Airways charges the same 60k miles roundtrip in economy.

*Exception: US Airways is still blocking some Lufthansa award space. You have to call US Airways to ask if the agent sees the specific Lufthansa award space you found on united.com. If not, you can ask for a manual sell, but most of the agents will now refuse. For more, see Booking Lufthansa Flights with US Airways Miles.

If you want to take advantage of the cheaper price to Europe this summer with US Airways miles, you need to book by March 30, 2014, the last day that US Airways will be a member of the Star Alliance.

Recap

When searching segment-by-segment for a summer trip to Europe with United or US Airways miles, don’t forget to search the Canada-to-Europe flights, many of which have better award space than the US-to-Europe routes at the moment.

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