DIscounted Airline Awards: Europe from 25,000 Miles Round Trip!

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It often takes a bunch of miles to move a family around the world on award tickets when you are multiplying by many travelers, so that’s why families are the ones who benefit the most from award chart sweet spots and limited time discounted awards.  It can be hard to keep track of the different discounted awards that are out there, so I wanted to offer a summary of some of the discounts available right now.  Even if you can’t lock something in at the moment, just knowing that these discounts can happen may help when you go to make a booking down the road.

Fly to Europe from 25,000 Miles Round Trip:

Flying Blue (the frequent flyer program of Air France KLM) offers a monthly listing of discounted awards that price as low as 50% off, or 25,000 miles from United States – Europe round trip (in economy).  Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program and the transferable cards in the Citi ThankYou program, as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest Program.  With the automatic 5,000 mile bonus, that means that 20,000 SPG points transferred to Flying Blue will result in 25,000 Flying Blue miles.  In other words, you can potentially fly round trip to Europe for the same points price as it would cost for one non-peak season night at the Category 6 W in Austin.  The W in Austin is nice and all, but flights to Europe vs. one night in downtown Austin…

Houston – Europe 50% off in economy (25,000 miles) on KLM or Air France 01/12/15 – 02/28/15

JFK- Europe 50% off in economy (25,000 miles) on KLM or Air France 01/12/15 – 02/28/15

Chicago – Europe 50% off in business (62,500 miles) on KLM  01/01/15 – 02/28/15

Washington DC – Europe 50% off in economy (25,000 miles) on KLM  01/12/15 – 02/28/15

Miami – Madrid 50% off in business (62,500 miles) on AirEuropa 01/01/15 – 02/28/15

Discounted Flying Blue AwardsThere are fuel surcharges on these tickets that will vary, but the taxes/fees came to about $225 on the economy award I priced to Europe (Houston – Amsterdam – Houston).  Some awards will have higher fuel surcharges, but you can easily price that out on their website even if you have 0 miles in your account.

Thanks to View from the Wing for sharing the new list. 

Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards – Domestic Round Trip from 15,750 miles:

The American Airlines AAdvantage program has a list of discounted cities each month for co-branded card holders.  Depending on the type of card you have, you can fly round trip in economy for as low as 17,500 miles (7,500 miles off) or 42,500 miles in first (also up to 7,500 miles off).

To get the discount, you need to find MileSAAver availability, have one of the co-branded cards, and call 1-800-882-8880 to book, referencing the discounted mileage awards.

Here is a sampling of what is available:

November 2014: Boston, Houston, Colorado Springs, Montreal

December 2014: Toronto, Norfolk, Memphis

January 2015: Vancouver, Austin, Vail, Crested Butte, Jackson Hole

There are lots of popular ski destinations on the list for January 2015!

As a practical example, you could fly nonstop JFK – Vail Eagle (EGE) for a long weekend of skiing January 22 – 27th for just 17,500 miles….which is further reduced to an actual cost of 15.750 miles counting the 10% redeemed miles rebate that comes via cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard®.  That is a huge value during ski season which gives a return of over 3 cents per mile on an economy domestic ticket (2 cents per mile is a threshold I often use when deciding whether to use airline miles).

Saver Availability AA

To give a few other discounted airline award examples:

Delta economy awards currently available with a 5,000 – 10,000 miles discount

Alaska Airlines had a Fall Discounted Award Sale 

US Airways operated awards are always discounted 5,000 miles when you have The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®

I have seen discounted Virgin Atlantic flights as low as 25,000 miles round trip to Europe

Discounted off-peak awards are available with several programs, including US Airways and American Airlines


Which discounted awards have you been able to use in order to stretch your family’s miles?

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  1. The good thing: AF includes Israel in Europe (we flew 3 people for 25,000 miles RT each last summer to Tel-Aviv -woo-hoo!).

    The worse thing: They impose surcharges, although those are modest, e.g. $100-$150 per person each way to a typical, non-high cost European city (Munich, Madrid, etc.) London and Moscow, for example, would be higher.

    The bad thing: Starwood transfers to AF take a long time. Mine took so long that seeing award availability dwindle, in the end I had to buy AF miles to top off the account. Now I have a few stranded miles. Oh well, maybe it is an early deposit to the next trip. 🙂

  2. The real benefit with the Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mile awards is that if you LIVE in a city that is on the list, you can literally go ANYWHERE in the US and Canada for the reduced price.

    For example, I live in Cincinnati (CVG), which is on the list each month for the next 4 months. So I can book a roundtrip to anywhere (even places that are not on the list) for the 17,500 mile amount

    • That is awesome when it happens! I have heard mixed reports on success with that but “hang up call back” can be a good recourse. 😉

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