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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.
With strong demand from travelers recently, business class deals to Europe are few and far between. Finding a sub-$2,000 business class deal — especially when avoiding premium economy-style products like Icelandair — can be especially elusive. But today, we are seeing a few different options in true business class to Europe for under $2k round-trip, and many of these are even available during peak summer travel season.
The main deal that we’re going to focus on is from Houston to Milan on British Airways. When you go to Google Flights, you’re going to see these flight options starting at $1,812 round-trip. However, after applying two discounts (AARP and Chase), you can book these same flights for as little as $1,475 round-trip.
While looking for other possibilities, we stumbled across a couple of other deals from other cities to Europe for under $2,000 round-trip in business class that we’ve added to the round-up.
How to Book the British Airways Deal
To get the $1,475 round-trip business class rate, you’re going to need an AARP membership. The good news: anyone can pay just $16 per year to get this membership and save $200 per person per round-trip off business class flights from the US on British Airways — or up to $65 per person per round-trip off economy flights on BA. Here are the full details of how the discount works.
On top of that discount, you can save 10% off British Airways marketed and operated flights by applying the latest Chase Visa discount code at checkout.
For this deal, I’d recommend finding cheap dates that work for your schedule through Google Flights first. Since the flights must be operated by and marketed by British Airways, you’ll want to limit the airline to British Airways and select London as your connection airport. Here’s a link with these two filters selected to get your search started.
Once you have dates selected, you’ll need to start the booking on AARP’s British Airways discount page. Note that British Airways’ AARP discount page makes it seem like you’re only searching economy flights, but business class options will appear in the results.
The next issue you’re likely to run into is an error saying there’s no economy flights — which is a very strange error to get. Just click “continue”:
Once you get through those annoyances, you can pick out flights. Again, make sure to select British Airways-operated flights to get both discounts. After selecting flights and clicking continue, you’ll need to click “Promotion code or eVoucher” and enter the discount code CHASEBA10 and click submit:
Despite only paying around $1,500, these flights will earn the following when credited to American Airlines AAdvantage:
- Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM): 21,668
- Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD): 2,708
- Award miles: 13,543 — before elite bonuses
The other flights are from Newark (EWR) to Nice (NCE) and Paris (ORY) on La Compagnie and if you’re willing to go a bit out of your way, you can fly Avianca’s Boeing 787 business class from New York (JFK) or Miami (MIA) to Barcelona (BCN) or Madrid (MAD) from $1891 round-trip.
Airlines: La Compagnie, British Airways, Avianca
Routes: EWR/IAH/MIA/JFK to NCE/MXP/ORY/MAD/BCN
Cost: $1,399+ round-trip in business class
Travel Dates: March 2019 to January 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus trip delay insurance), Citi Premier Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Newark (EWR) to Nice (NCE) for $1,399 round-trip nonstop in business on La Compagnie in June:
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Milan (MXP) for $1,475 round-trip in business class after AARP and Chase discounts in November:
Newark (EWR) to Paris Orly (ORY) for $1,498 round-trip nonstop in business on La Compagnie in June:
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Milan (MXP/LIN) for $1,506 round-trip in business class after AARP and Chase discounts in July:
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Milan (MXP) for $1,506 round-trip in business class after AARP and Chase discounts in June:
Miami (MIA) to Madrid (MAD) for $1,891 round-trip in business class in April on Avianca:
New York Kennedy (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN) for $1,896 round-trip in business class in May on Avianca:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus trip delay insurance), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at Marriott and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,200 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the annual fee makes sense for you.
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