American Airlines Business Class Saver Awards To Europe For The Whole Family This Summer

American Airlines is known for being particularly stingy with international business class award space on its own flights. I redeem AAdvantage miles more than any other airline currency, but almost always for flights on their partners.

The pattern of refusing to make international business class saver awards available to AAdvantage members has largely continued through the pandemic, with a few exceptions. Right now, though, there are some good opportunities to spend miles for summer business class to Europe – just as several European destinations plan to re-open at least to vaccinated Americans.

New York JFK – Rome has a bunch of dates with business class saver awards available for four passengers or more. (Availability for two is better still.)

Philadelphia – Paris starts to have nice availability for two business class saver awards in August.

And Dallas – Fort Worth – Frankfurt has nice availability this summer for four business class passengers or more as well.

What I really appreciate, with all of the uncertainty that remains in the pandemic and what destinations will work for travel, is that American eliminated mileage cancel and redeposit fees for all members. So you can make an AAdvantage award booking and if you need to change plans, put the miles back in your account for free. So grab opportunities while they’re available, you’re really just creating an option.

Since these are saver awards (priced 57,500 AAdvantage miles each way) and not web saver awards, they are available to members of partner frequent flyer programs like Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, British Airways Executive Club, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

(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 »

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  1. With the usual unnecessarily punitive married segment nonsense.

    Want to go to Paris from Miami? Sure – fly to LGA and then transfer to JFK.

    Want to go to Paris from NY? Sure – fly to MIA and connect there.

    I cannot understand why they would waste a seat that could be a revenue seat on the positioning flight? Do they really think people are going to say “well, I’m not connecting so I will pay cash and buy the nonstop J ticket!”?

  2. I’m with @TheJetsFan but Miami is easy. Try St Louis, Omaha or another random non-hub city. You want to fly STL-CDG, sure let’s go STL-CLT-LGA/JFK-CDG in a short 30 hours. Which is really sad when you can see sAAver space on the direct segments.
    You also need to make sure the 57.5 days aren’t on BA with YQ nonsense.

  3. How are you gonna find a COVID-19 test in France or Croatia before being allowed to board the plane back to the USA???

  4. @ Gary — Thanks, booked Paris for Labor Day. Maybe France will have their mid-May opening before then.

  5. As usual and even now that AS is in OW there is NO biz award seats from NW to London on AA.

  6. AA cancelled our biz class award flights to Zurich for August/ September , so unless we want to pay $2k in taxes on BA we had to cancel our 2 week vacation.

  7. @Gene – Thanks for posting that link, very informative. I’m a little confused though…if the PCR testing centers in the airports can take up to 48 hours for results to come back, that essentially is saying that to utilize them, you’d need to go to the airport, get the test done, go back to the city center, and then come back to the airport again to fly home? What the airlines really should do is open a clinic in the city center that tourists can go to during their trip.

    Also what happens if you happen to test positive? You’re then trapped in a foreign country and have to quarantine at your expense for two weeks? That alone keeps me from traveling…even with the vaccines, you can still get Covid (though you will most likely have a very mild or asymptomatic case).

  8. @ Matt — Yeah, good point. Hopefully there is a better system when they re-open. The US really should allow vaccination OR PCR test for re-entry…

  9. Gary, none of the business class “saver awards” are showing up on British airways website. They are only available for AA mileage booking despite appearing as “saver” value.

  10. @ Matt — I just extended our stay. At least if we have to trek to CDG or ORY just for a COVID test, it won’t take up too much of our trip. Those airports are certainly not our favorite things in Paris, but it will be an adventure if required.

  11. How to merge / transfer AA plan points with Alaska and Jetblue plan points?

    Which plan has the best redemption rate?
    All part of OneWorld and codesharing now.

  12. I just flew back to Germany from Dallas, I upgraded to business premium for me and my daughter for 25000 miles a piece. I was put on the standby list 8 hrs before departure with no problem on American.

  13. I would be ready to travel, but am still waiting till there is more certainty around quarantines and testing for those who have the vaccine. Once that settles down and there is more freedom of movement, I suspect many will want to travel. Of course, we could then see demand push up prices and all that discount business class disappear. But on the other hand, I see a lot of people who are terrified, always talking about this variant, or that study, or that no vaccine is 100% effective, and will likely stay home for years.

  14. I booked Rome – LAX (via DTW) for 57,500 each in Sept. Fingers crossed that it may be open by then but since there’s no penalty to cancel an award ticket, why not?

    To the question of how to get the COVID test in advance of returning, I would picture it a lot like Mexico now, where many of the resorts will offer it. Hopefully most people will be vaccinated by then too.

  15. So if I have CC points, I move those CC points to BA and then I can book on using BA points, or….? Sorry, I’m points noob.

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