Book business class flights to Europe for 44,000 points next summer with Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines isn't the most well-known Star Alliance carrier — but it should be on your radar.
The Lufthansa Group carrier operates a hub in Brussels (BRU), where it flies around Europe and to Africa, the Middle East and North America. Here in the U.S., you can fly the carrier to Brussels from New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles (IAD). The airline also offers nonstop service from Toronto (YYZ) to Brussels, providing a convenient connection for many U.S. travelers.
But the best way to book Brussels Airlines isn't with Star Alliance miles like United MileagePlus. Instead, you can leverage the carrier's non-alliance partnership with Etihad Airways to book business class flights to Europe on the cheap. Its nonstop routes to/from the U.S. cost just 44,000 Etihad Guest miles each way in business class, which is a steal compared to other booking options.
There is open Brussels Airlines award space from New York and Washington to Brussels next summer, giving you an easy way to score an excellent deal on a summer vacation. Let's take a closer look at the award space and how to book it with Etihad Guest.
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Airline: Brussels Airlines
Routes: JFK and IAD to BRU
Cost: From 88,000 Amex, Capital One or Citi points round-trip (transferred to Etihad Guest)
Dates: July-Aug. 2022
How to book: Find award space with your favorite Star Alliance search tool and call Etihad Guest to confirm award space. Then, transfer points to Etihad Guest to finalize your booking.
Pay Taxes/Fees With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel; on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel) for travel protections on the award flight.
Related: The best ways to travel to Europe using points and miles
Is it worth it?
Flights to Europe — whether to Brussels or elsewhere — aren't cheap during the summer months. For example, this round-trip Brussels Airlines flight from New York-JFK to Brussels in business class costs over $3,400 next August.
Flights from Washington are even more expensive, with the least expensive business class round-trip on Brussels Airlines being $3,738 next August.
Beyond just price, Brussels is a great European destination. It's full of historic sights, great beer and excellent food (make sure to try the waffles). The summer is a great time to experience the city, with moderate temperatures that make it a joy to walk around the city and enjoy al fresco dining.
Brussels Airlines has a huge European route network too, so you can add a stopover for marginally more miles. Take a look at Etihad Guest's full Brussels Airlines award chart (PDF link) and add the miles required to go from Brussels to your final destination to the 44,000 miles it costs to fly from the U.S. to Brussels.
Related: Etihad Guest miles continue to fly under the radar
One quick note: you need to find award space with your favorite Star Alliance search tool — United.com is a great option — and call Etihad Guest to book the ticket. Thankfully, this should be a quick process barring any long hold times. Just make sure to look for flights operated by Brussels Airlines, as flights operated by other Star Alliance carriers cannot be booked with Etihad Guest for 44,000 miles one-way.
Each of the dates listed below has, at the time of writing, award space for at least one passenger, though many dates have more seats available.
New York-JFK to/from Brussels (BRU)
- July: 4, 19 and 26
- August: 4-6, 10, 12, 19 and 21-23
- September: 6, 12, 15, 20 and 28
- July: 24, 26 and 30
- August: 8, 10, 12, 15-16, 18-19, 21-23 and 26-28
- September: 2-3, 7, 9, 26-27 and 30
Washington-Dulles (IAD) to/from Brussels (BRU)
- July: 12, 14, 16, 19, 21 and 24
- August: 5, 7, 12, 14 and 20
- September: 2, 16, 18, 22, 25 and 30
- July: 2-3, 7-8, 15, 24, 26 and 28
- August: 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 28, 23, 25, 27-28 and 30
- September: 8, 15-16, 22 and 25
Related: 7 great airline mileage programs for booking Star Alliance awards
Boosting your Etihad Guest balance
Etihad Guest is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou. Here’s a look at some of my favorite Amex cards and their current welcome offers, some of which will give you more than enough points to book a Brussels Airlines ticket through Etihad. Each card has its own set of benefits and fees, so do your own research and see which is best for your wallet.
- American Express® Green Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Plus, 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases in the first six months, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit. Earn 3x points on dining at restaurants, travel and transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, tours, and ridesharing services), 1x points on all other purchases ($150 annual fee; see rates and fees).
- American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of card membership. Earn 4x points on dining at restaurants; 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x points); 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or American Express Travel; 1x points on all other purchases, ($250 annual fee; see rates and fees).
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or with American Express Travel (earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 5x on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts; 1x on all other purchases, ($695 annual fee; see rates and fees).
Related: Transfer and maximize: The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards
Brussels Airlines has open award space next summer from New York and Washington D.C. If you're interested, you'll want to book quickly as this award space can disappear at any time.
Remember, you can book with any Star Alliance miles, but you'll get the best deal when booking with Etihad Guest. The program charges just 44,000 miles one-way for a business class flight from the U.S. to Brussels.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Feature photo by Massimo Borchi/Atlantide Phototravel via Getty Images