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Doing its part to keep the award travel game interesting (or incredibly frustrating, depending on your perspective), United has a tendency to add and remove partners from its website. Last year, the airline deliberately began blocking Singapore award space on United.com, forcing MileagePlus members to call in to book. In addition, LOT was unavailable (though it has since returned), and Brussels Airlines also disappeared for a spell.
While you might not have noticed Brussels going offline, the airline has had relatively generous award availability between the US and Europe during peak periods in the past. Since it wasn’t available on United.com, expert travelers who knew how to find availability (typically by searching on ANA’s website) had a great transatlantic option at their disposal — considering the relative difficulty of booking Brussels Airlines flights, there wasn’t much competition for award seats.
It seems that period of “exclusivity” may have come to an end. Brussels is once again available for booking on United.com, though while there’s plenty of business class availability in 2016, there currently isn’t any to speak of through December of this year (hopefully that’ll change soon). You’ll find quite a bit of economy availability every month through the end of the schedule, however, both on Brussels’ nonstop flight from JFK and its seasonal nonstop from Washington Dulles (IAD).
Once you get to Brussels, you can book a connecting flight to many destinations in Europe and Africa, in addition to Tel Aviv. If you’re heading to Europe, you’ll need to redeem 30,000 United MileagePlus miles for one-way travel in coach, or 70,000 miles one-way in business. If you book as a round-trip, you can also work in a free stopover and/or open-jaw.
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With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
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