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Many in the miles and points world share the travel goal of flying to Europe in business class using airline miles. In lie-flat business class, you can stretch out and hopefully sleep on the flight over, resulting in arriving rested enough to not waste time on the ground in a jetlag induced fog. Flying to Europe in lie-flat business class is a solid and achievable mileage goal, but these days it is a goal that often will cost you in the neighborhood of at least 50,000 – 70,000 miles each way per person. That isn’t too terrible considering that paid business class tickets are usually thousands of dollars, but the number of miles required gets pretty hefty in a hurry when you need two, or three, or four tickets…and you presumably want to eventually come home, necessitating more than a one-way flight. If you are hoping to fly round trip to Europe in business class with a family of four, the number of miles can easily ring in at the half million mark unless you jump on sales and award chart sweet spots.
One solid way to fly to Europe in business class can be found via Iberia Avios. They use a distance based award chart that is very fair, and there are occasionally transfer bonuses from the Amex Membership Rewards program to Iberia and British Airways. A couple of times I have even seen Iberia offer a discount on some of their awards to Europe, and note that they don’t charge fuel surcharges for awards on their own operated flights. You can instantly move British Airways Avios to Iberia Avios without a charge if you meet some criteria as outlined here
Fly to Europe in Business Class from 25,500 Iberia Avios
As luck would have it, Iberia is currently offering a 25% discount on some awards if you book by January 31, 2018, for travel to Europe from February 1 – March 23, 2018, and April 1 – May 15, 2018.
The two US cities that seem to be benefiting from this sale are Chicago and Boston, and both ring in at the following one-way prices to Madrid during the sale on off-peak travel dates:
- Economy Blue: 12,750 Avios + $87.77
- Economy: 16,500 Avios + $87.77
- Premium Economy 19,150 Avios + $87.77
- Business Class 25,500 Avios + $99.71
If you wanted to fly round trip from Chicago – Madrid in business class during this sale, that would cost you 51,000 Avios and $237.13 in taxes and fees, which is truly fantastic. For reference, if you booked the exact same flight using American Airlines miles it would cost 115,000 American Airlines miles plus about the same number of taxes. Some spot checks on award availability when booking directly with Iberia looked pretty good, even in business class.
If you are considering a trip to Madrid, and I highly recommend it, here are some of our tips. You can just connect in Madrid onto another Iberia flight to Europe or beyond, though it will cost additional Avios.
Fun math on stacking deals
Just for fun math, if you happened to transfer Avios from Amex Membership Rewards to Iberia during their most recent 40% transfer bonus earlier in 2017, you could have transferred just 37,000 Amex Membership Reward points to Iberia that would have become 51,800 Avios. Thanks to this Iberia sale, that would be more than enough for a round trip business class award from Chicago to Madrid. If you needed four round trip tickets, you are looking at just 148,000 Membership Reward points instead of the 1/2 million number that often needed in a number of programs if you happened to have stacked both of those deals. I know that doesn’t help you right this second if you didn’t transfer Avios durng that bonus, but it is an example of why those transfer bonuses are so valuable.
Of course, business class isn’t the only way to get to Europe and back, so being able to fly in economy from just 12,750 Avios each way or in Premium Economy from just 19,150 Avios each way thanks to this 25% Iberia discount is also great. Remember to get the lowest award rates via Iberia Avios you need to book by January 31, 2018.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.