It can be tough to use miles right now at a decent rate, especially for business class travel to Europe. It can be tough to use miles even in normal times with a oneworld airline for travel to Europe because American Airlines releases so little saver space and British Airways awards come with insane cash co-pays (like $1500 roundtrip) as a penalty for using your miles.
There’s one place to look if you want to use American AAdvantage, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, or British Airways Executive Club points to Europe. (If you’re using miles from Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles, you’ll actually pay lower fuel surcharges for those British Airways awards.) That place is Iberia which is very good about releasing two business class award seats from 6 U.S. cities when booking six months or more in advance. Unfortunately you won’t find the space from the West Coast.
Right now you can find good availability for two saver business class awards out of New York JFK, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, Miami and Dallas – Fort Worth to Madrid. And Iberia offers connections beyond Madrid as well. In some cases you’ll find availability nearly every day in February but here I’ll focus on availability calendars closer to when many will want to travel (you’ll have to wait a month or so to book for peak summer 2023).
Here’s a sample of availability calendars for a few routes, but remember there’s great availability out of Chicago, Dallas, and Washington DC as well.
New York JFK – Madrid, 2 passengers business class
Boston – Madrid, 2 passengers business class
Miami- Madrid, 2 passengers business class
- American AAdvantage charges 57,500 miles each way and includes connecting flights to your international gateway in the U.S. and flights within Europe beyond Madrid on Iberia for that price (provided saver space is available on those as well)
- For the transatlantic flights only Iberia charges just 34,000 miles each way in business class for the shorter flights from the Northeast, 85,000 miles
- British Airways Executive Club has reduced its pricing for Iberia redemptions, obviating the need to transfer British Airways Avios over to Iberia Avios in order to book.
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan charges 75,000 miles each way between the U.S. and Europe in business class on Iberia.
Chase, American Express, Citibank, and Capital One all partner with at least one of the Avios airline programs (BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Qatar Airways) allowing you to move points to other Avios programs. One great upside here is that you can take advantage of a transfer bonus into one program and book through another.
For instance, Chase has a 30% bonus on transfers to British Airways through July 31, which gives you the opportunity to book roundtrip business class on Iberia for as little as 53,000 Chase points.
Last month there was even a 40% bonus on transfers to Qatar Airways which would have made redemptions for as little as 49,000 points possible. Back in April there was a 40% bonus on transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways as well.