Oneworld Transatlantic Business Class: Great Fares & Lots Of Miles!

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This month we’ve seen several business class fare wars to Europe. For example, at the beginning of the month we saw ~$2,000 fares between the West Coast and Europe. In the middle of the month we saw similarly good fares between the East Coast and Europe. And then last week we saw some equally low fares between the West Coast and Europe.

The best part of these offers was that they were stackable with some other great promotions — you could receive a $400 discount when booking through AARP, and then save a further 10% when paying with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, as long as all flights are operated by British Airways.

A week ago oneworld announced a promotion offering bonus miles for premium transatlantic travel, offering up to 125,000 bonus miles after three trips.

Through this promotion, both American and British Airways are offering 20,000 bonus miles after your first roundtrip, 40,000 bonus miles after your second roundtrip, and 65,000 bonus miles after your third roundtrip, for a total of up to 125,000 bonus miles.

American-Bonus-Miles
American AAdvantage promotion

British-Airways-Bonus-Avios
British Airways Executive Club promotion

The discounted business class fares were noticeably absent for a short while following that, though it looks like there are once again some very good business class fares.

For example, I see sub-$2,300 business class fares between Seattle and Amsterdam on British Airways. After the $400 AARP discount and 10% discount from the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, that brings the cost down to ~$1,700 roundtrip.

British-Airways-Business-Fare

For each roundtrip you could potentially earn 23,850 miles:

  • 10,600 base miles
  • 10,600 bonus miles (AAdvantage Platinum and Executive Platinum members)
  • 2,650 bonus miles (class of service bonus for business class)

Say, theoretically, you fly that three times. You’d earn 71,550 miles, plus 125,000 bonus miles for completing the promotion.

That’s not quite mileage run worthy, though you’d be earning ~200,000 AAdvantage miles, which isn’t half bad when you’re flying exclusively in paid business class.

Put another way, if you do one roundtrip you’d earn 20,000 bonus miles, plus the 23,850 miles for the flights (assuming you’re Platinum or Executive Platinum), for a total of 43,850 miles. I value American miles at ~1.8 cents each, so that’s ~$800 worth of miles earned from your first roundtrip. Subtract that from the $1,713 fare, and you’re looking at paying the equivalent of ~$900 for a business class ticket to Europe — now that’s damn good!

Bottom line

This isn’t really mileage run worthy (unless you really value status and refuse to fly economy), but if you’re going to Europe anyway, it does make it lucrative to just fly paid business class, given all the bonus miles you’d earn. These great business class fares seem to be primarily available to SkyTeam hubs, like Amsterdam, Madrid, and Rome.

British-Airways-A380-Business-Class
British Airways business class

I’m certainly tempted to take advantage of this…

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Comments

  1. @Ben — Madrid’s not a SkyTeam hub! It’s a OneWorld hub and the great business class fares to MAD are only available on SkyTeam carriers (SkyTeam’s hot spots, as far as I can tell, from the US are MAD and HEL).

  2. @Lucky, touche. Didn’t even cross my mind. (Then again, does AirEuropa cross anyone’s?) So is MAD reachable by *both* SkyTeam and OneWorld sub-$2000 fares?

  3. @Nick – yes, you can reach Madrid via OW. I just booked two RT from the East Coast to Miami for ~$1,670 each after the AARP discount. My dates are Thanksgiving and Xmas, which are low volume dates from a business-traveler point of view.
    @Ben – As you said, very tempting offer; I am trying to accommodate a third trip in early 2015 in order to reap the extra 65,000 miles and to secure an early start for EXP qualification in 2015.

  4. @ Narwhal — I’d say they’re generally comparable. If you’re on a paid ticket I do think it might be worth flying oneworld over Austrian to earn these bonus miles.

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