Wide Open Business Class Europe Awards With No Fuel Surcharges for American and Even BA Members!

airberlin is a oneworld airline, partner of American and British Airways, that’s largely controlled by UAE-based Etihad.

They have a great business class product for long haul travel, and they do not add fuel surcharges to their fares. That means when redeeming miles, even British Airways miles for travel across the Atlantic, there are no fuel surcharges.

They’ve just announced new service starting in May to 3 US cities:

  • Dallas, effective May 6 (four times a week on Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Friday)
  • San Francisco, effective May 6 (three times a week until June 8, and then 5 times a week on Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday)
  • Boston, effective May 7 (three times a week until June 11, then 4 times a week on Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday)

The great news is that these new flights have loaded into the schedule with 2 business class award seats (in both directions) pretty much every day. That’s really useful:

  • The San Francisco flight is uniquely valuable because West Coast – Europe awards in business class are tough.

  • The Dallas flight is uniquely valuable because you can connect on American Airlines from much of the US to take it across the Atlantic.

The space isn’t searchable at aa.com, but then the American Airlines website has been especially glitchy for award search the past couple of days. You can find it on the British Airways website and the Qantas frequent flyer site, then call American if using AAdvantage miles.

Here’s award space for 2 passengers in business class, San Francisco and Dallas to Dusseldorf in June:

American charges 50,000 miles each way for business class, and includes flights in the US to the connect to your airberlin flight, and also on airberlin (or other partner airline) beyond Dusseldorf to other destinations in Europe. For additional miles you can even connect in Europe to destinations in other regions.

British Airways charges:

  • 60,000 points each way for Boston – Dusseldorf
  • 75,000 points each way for Dallas – Dusseldorf
  • 90,000 points each way for San Francisco – Dusseldorf

They charge separately for each flight segment. But this is still useful if you have British Airways points, because of the lack of fuel surcharges. And it’s useful because British Airways is an American Express and Chase transfer partner.

airberlin also flies from Chicago, Fort Myers, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles but those award seats can get snapped up quickly. This is a great opportunity.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Why do PR companies encourage actors in such adverts to look so f*cking smug!? It’s not an attractive quality and surely doesn’t help market the product.

  2. This BOS route could be quite useful for us DCA-based folks, because BOS is one of the few domestic feeders we can reliably count on availability for. It’s often harder to find the leg to JFK/ORD/MIA than it is to find the international product.

    Flew the AB J product a couple months ago and it is nice. Would be tight for sleeping for a larger person, but a great option across the pond. Good food and professional crew.

    Connections onward from DUS fairly limited compared to TXL.

  3. Sweet, thanks for the heads up. I see availability even into sept and october when I want to go. I actually want to go to Italy, any idea what routes would be the best trafficked from DUS (ie which cities in Italy I should check?)


  4. I can’t actually book the return yet, it is more than 331 days away. But I could book 2 one ways and at least lock in one way now. The only drawback of that I am aware of is double points/fees to change tickets. Anything else? Does American allow a stopover on a round trip to Europe? If so I’d give up that option as well.

    First class is only 62500 compared to business at 50000, seats are probably much better?

    Right after I return I am going to my Hawaii house. Anybody know a carrier that has low mile business class from Europe to Hawaii? I could do that on my return and skip the mainland.

    Sorry for the questions, I just don’t flly enough internationally to keep track of all the changes.

  5. I also haven’t been able to find any DUS-DFW or DUS-SFO availability.. Are you sure it’s only available ex-US?

  6. It has to be only to DUS and not from. I cannot find any DUS-DFW spots, only to DUS. Maybe I’m missing something.

  7. I’ve yet to see a single seat ex-DUS to any current or newly announced destination. Been searching for a few days for next summer.

  8. @Cindi You are correct regarding the double fees for two one ways in case of change. You are not missing out on any stopovers as American has cancelled those a while ago. I don’t think you can go to Hawaii from Europe directly. You will have to transit in mainland US. American seems to have the best award chart but transatlantic availability can definitely be an issue. Iberia is another one world carriers flying to US with minimal fuel charge so you have AA, Air Berlin and Iberia from One World (and ofcourse BA and their high fuel surchages)
    .Also Air Berlin and Iberia do not have first class.

    @Stephanie, Alex, Ben
    I was able to find 2 DUS-DFW in business in May so perhaps the system has been updated recently?

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