I recently enjoyed a US Airways business class flight in their Envoy Suite from Philadelphia to Venice, which I mentioned that I booked with American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Now that US Airways has officially joined OneWorld, and is in the process of integrating operations with American Airlines, it is very easy to book award space on US Airways flights using your American AAdvantage miles! The ability to do this is especially advantageous for transatlantic flights from the US to Europe.
Before the addition of US Airways, your options for flying to Europe with American miles were relatively limited. Most of the options involved a connection at London-Heathrow on either American or British Airways. Aside from the headache involved with transiting one of the World’s busiest international airports, these flights include significant taxes and fees that significantly decrease the value proposition of redeeming your miles. Other than this, American does offer some non-stop flights from the US to other gateways in Europe, but those seem to be increasing difficult to find on points.
This is where US Airways comes in.
Since they started to merge with American earlier this year, US Airways non-stops to Europe are also bookable online on American’s site. Since you’d be using American miles, you would use the American partner award chart. American charges 20k-30k in economy (based on the season), 50k in business, and 62.5k in first class for a one-way flight between the US and Europe or vice-versa. Since US Airways only has economy and business class, we will be focusing on business.
I will search for a flight to Venice from Philadelphia (though the mileage price would be the same from any city in the US — you’d just need to change planes). To search for these awards on the American site, it’s important to check the “Redeem miles” checkmark. I usually search one-way awards, and if a round-trip is needed, book it as a round-trip once I’ve verified availability.
This is available for 50k miles + $2.50 per person (please note that if the reservation is made inside of 21 days, there will be an extra $75 charge per person for passengers without elite status on American).
As I mentioned in my previous post, I consider the product on US Airways to be one of the best business class options to cross the Atlantic (on their A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft). American offers a similar, but newer product on their new B777-300ER aircraft, but these currently only fly to Europe between New York-JFK, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and London-Heathrow with very limited award availability. American seems to be releasing this very comparable business class award space on these US Airways non-stops even mores than some of their own flights to Europe.
US Airways currently operates the following routes to Europe, which are all bookable using your American AAdvantage miles:
*Be sure to check the operating aircraft, because the Envoy Suites product is only offered on their A330 planes.
All in all, it’s pretty easy to do this if you have a bunch of American miles. Even if you don’t, it’s easy to accumulate American miles through generous signup bonuses for one of many Citibank AAdvantage credit cards.