Amazing United Airlines Business Class Award Space For The Whole Family, Several U.S. Cities To Europe

The European Union is working on its re-opening to tourists for this summer. Some countries are already re-opened. You may need to be vaccinated, or bring a negative Covid-19 test. But even if vaccination is required, young children are expected to be able to enter with a test only.

You may not be ready to travel, but want to plan something out into the future. Although summer is peak season for travel, I tend to prefer visiting when fewer tourists abound. United Airlines has you covered for both scenarios with business class award space to Europe for the whole family right now.

There’s saver award space on United’s transatlantic flights for four or more passengers both for summer and for the start of 2022. And if you change your mind, United doesn’t charge to cancel and redeposit the miles from an international award as long as you let them know to do this 31 or more days prior to departure.

Here’s a look at summer 2021 for 4 business class award seats on United, Chicago – Brussels. Note that the dotted lines signify dates where business class is available (solid line is for coach).

Availability continues even into the first quarter of 2022 for this route:

Also for winter you can book 4 or more business class awards Chicago – Frankfurt which is great for onward connections with partner Lufthansa.

Chicago – London Heathrow has similar winter 2022 availability.

You can travel with a family of 4 or more from Washington Dulles to London Heathrow next year as well.

Or Washington Dulles – Munich, potentially connecting onward on Lufthansa, as well.

Out of the New York area your gateway to Europe and elsewhere this summer is United’s Newark – Frankfurt flight, convenient for Lufthansa connections for your family of 4 or more in business class.

How to book:

  • United MileagePlus will generally charge 60,000 miles each way for business class between the U.S. and Europe, with no fuel surcharges added. Chase points generally transfer instantly to United.

  • Air Canada, an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, charges 60,000 miles each way as well.

  • Avianca LifeMiles, which sells miles on the cheap, charges 63,000 miles each way usually (though there are sometimes ways to drop the price, such as with connecting segments in coach) with no fuel surcharges.

  • ANA Mileage Club, an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, charges just 88,000 miles roundtrip but points do not transfer instantly. It’s the cheapest award option, but there’s always the chance that the space could be gone by the time points are in your account to book.

  • Aegean Miles & Bonus, a Marriott Rewards transfer partner, offers one-way business class between the U.S. and Europe for 55,000 miles, but the points don’t transfer instantly there either.

United is usually among one of the tougher airlines when it comes to finding business class award space on their own flights. It’s notable when that space opens up, and it’s done so just as there’s a lot more interest in crossing the Pond which is great news.

(HT: robb)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Sorry said that wrong. 53,550 Amex MR transferred to LM = 63,000 w/ the 15% bonus.

  2. Gary, don’t forget our old favorite, 40K Korean takes you to CDG on Air France, and 40K Asiana takes you to Europe on any Star alliance route. I prefer using this for Lufthansa J class.

  3. Follow up – Of course the only transfer partners to both of the above are Bonvoy points.

  4. Up to a week ago there was also good inventory from SFO and LAX to Europe this summer. A month ago it was fantastic. Alas, not much left now except for connections through the gateways listed above.

  5. Or 45K Turkish Miles & Smiles via Citi TY points. Turkish won’t pass surcharges.

  6. Avianca never seems to have business class available even if United does. Am I missing something?

  7. France is classified by the state department as a level 4 risk. Insurance companies may deny coverage for policy holders who travel to foreign countries at this risk level. Might be a good idea to point out to readers that they could be travelling in a foreign country during a pandemic and not have any health insurance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *