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Lately we’ve seen more and more great international first class fares. It used to be that airlines would consistently discount business class tickets but that first class fare sales were rare, but that has been changing. Nowadays it’s not unusual to see transatlantic first class fares of $2,500 or less, especially if traveling roundtrip from Europe to the US (rather than the other way around)
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some great American and British Airways first class fares valid for travel from many European gateways to the US. Well, there are some more great fares for this summer, for anyone looking to travel from Europe to the US.
SecretFlying notes that American and British Airways have very attractive first class fares for travel in July and August. To get the fares you have to originate in Oslo and then return to Stockholm, Gothenburg, or Hamburg (so you’ll want to use the multi-city feature on ITA Matrix or Google Flights). There are great fares to several US cities, though Miami is among the most attractive options.
Just to give a couple of examples, you can fly from Oslo to Miami to Stockholm in first class for ~$2,270:
Or you could fly from Oslo to Los Angeles to Stockholm in first class for ~$2,490:
These tickets are a great opportunity to earn lots of miles. For example, Alaska Mileage Plan awards 450% redeemable miles for flights in British Airways first class, not factoring in any elite bonuses (you’ll need the flight to actually be on British Airways rather than American to earn miles at that rate). Then MVP Gold 75K members earn a 125% mileage bonus, meaning you could earn as many as 575% redeemable miles for such a ticket, which is incredible.
For example, a roundtrip ticket to Los Angeles would earn about 50,000 redeemable Alaska miles without elite status, and I value those miles at ~$1,000.
These tickets issue on American ticket stock, so if you’re crediting to American AAdvantage, unfortunately you’ll earn redeemable miles and elite qualifying dollars based on how much you spend rather than how many miles you fly.
I should mention that you can’t use the British Airways Visa Card or AARP discounts on these fares, since tickets don’t originate in the US.
If you do book one of these tickets and have access to US credit cards, make sure you maximize the points you earn. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines, which is a great option if you’re booking directly with the airline. Meanwhile the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card offers triple points on airfare purchases, and also offers fantastic travel coverage in the event of irregular operations.
Is anyone considering taking advantage of one of these great first class fares?
(Tip of the hat to Andrew B)