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Right now, American Airlines and United Airlines are offering some excellent Business Class fares to some of the European cities that they serve and with these fares available for travel through the end of 2021 and into 2022, they may be a great way for a lot of us to get back in the air.
Keep in mind that although these transatlantic routes may not take you to your preferred final destination, they can be used to get you to Europe in comfort and you can then catch a cheap intra-Europe flight to wherever it is that you wish to vacation.
Key Fare Rules
- Reservations must be made a minimum of 14 days before departure
- A Saturday night stay is required
- Maximum stay is 6 months
- Tickets must be issued on/before 31 March 2021
Note: Just because the rules say that tickets must be issued by 31 March doesn’t mean that these fares will be around for that long – airlines can pull fares whenever it suits them.
Note: I didn’t find any good non-stop United/Star Alliance fares to Milan or Rome.
All of these fares are available for travel starting in May, but as it’s unlikely that many people will be allowed to travel to Spain and Italy before the summer and as I suspect that a lot of readers will probably feel most comfortable booking travel for later in the year, I’m going to focus on the availability of these fares from September onwards.
The good news is that these fares are incredibly easy to find, they’re readily available for departures on all days of the week (at least in the case of the AA fares), and they’re available for travel as far out as the airlines will currently let us book.
Availability on all 4 routes is pretty similar so to give you an idea of just how readily available these fares are, here’s what I see when I search Google Flights for a 7-day trip to Rome:
Unusually, these excellent Business Class fares can be booked for travel covering the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Use The Best Credit Card
The Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card offer the strongest options here as they both combine fantastic earings (5 points/dollar) with good trip delay, interruption, and cancellation protection.
I’d choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card as the second-best option because it combines a good earning rate (3 points/dollar) with the same good trip delay, interruption, and cancellation protections that the Platinum Cards offer, and the bonus points will be earned even if the spending isn’t made directly with an airline or through Amex Travel (this is the card to use when booking through 3rd party sites).
The Amex Green Card earns 3 points/dollar for just about all travel spending (like the Sapphire Reserve) but doesn’t offer the same level of protection as the Platinum Card or the Sapphire Reserve, and although the Citi Prestige Card matches the Platinum Cards with its earnings of 5 points/dollar on spending made directly with airlines, the fact that it offers no travel protections at all makes it a considerably less appealing option.
American Airlines and United Airlines are currently offering non-stop Business Class fares between NYC and Europe from $1,833 so with the number of vaccinated people in the US increasing significantly every day and with Europe finally ramping up its vaccine rollout, this may be the time to consider making a booking for later this year.
Featured Image: Rome courtesy of IHG