Wide Open Europe Business Class For 90,000 Miles Roundtrip

“Fifth freedom” routes are sometimes the easiest to book on miles, and the most fun to fly. Emirates, the Dubai-based carrier, actually operates two flights between the U.S. and Europe – New York JFK to Milan and Newark to Athens. And the Newark – Athens flight is wide open for awards in business class.

Moreover, while Emirates’ program often charges quite a lot of miles for first class, relatively short distances like U.S. – Europe in business class are quite reasonable. In fact this one is a steal at just 90,000 miles roundtrip and $220. This deal was first spotted by Thrifty Traveler‘s premium airfare deal alert service.

That’s fewer miles than Delta will charge one way in business class to Europe. And Emirates miles are easy to come by, too, since Amex, Chase, Citi, Capital One, Bilt and Brex all transfer to Emirates.

Availability is generally excellent October through February. That’s not when you’re gong to want to visit the Greek isles but I love the holidays in Europe and spending time there when it’s not packed with American teenagers. The only caveat is that outbounds to Europe become tough around Christmas itself. Here’s what availability for business class awards for two passengers looks like in December:

Bear in mind that Newark – Athens is served by an Emirates Boeing 777 which doesn’t have the airline’s flagship business seats or business class bar.

Expect to pay 140,000 or more miles roundtrip in most programs for Europe business class, so this is a steal still at 90,000 miles. At that price it can even be worth positioning to and from Newark to take advantage of this if you do not live in the New York area.

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. Gary, I dont have any miles in my Emirates account but when I search as a round trip, I am seeing 72K plus $87 for the outbound and 72K plus $137 for the inbound for a total of 145K and $219 per person.

  2. @ Gary — Won’t transferring miles and then buying a ticket for your spose get your account closed by Emirates? Also, isn’t EK’s business product on the 777 NOT fully flat?

  3. Early October might still find nice weather in the Islands. Maybe some restaurants will still be open. But of course it is all off season

  4. My wife and I spent a lovely week in Athens itself in early December one year. The restaurants and tourist sites were uncrowded, and the weather was cooperative, with only one rainy day. Other than the rainy day, we walked everywhere.

  5. Gary, for the 15th time, Emirates has gotten rid of the round trip discount. These awards are not 90K round trip. Get it together.

  6. Gary,
    I cannot find anything in December 2022 from EWR to Milan for less than 285,000. Are you still seeing availability and if so for what dates.

  7. Susanne – note that their routes are EWR-ATH and JFK-MXP. Searching EWR-MXP probably won’t yield much success.

    Gary – any tips on how to find that nifty monthly availability calendar you included in your post?

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