Per Dans Deals, another discounted United business award on partner airlines is for Europe to the Middle East. The normal rate on partner awards in business class on this region 45,000 miles one-way. United is 10,000 fewer miles at 35,000 miles one-way, but there is really not a lot to choose from on United metal from Europe to the Middle East! 🙂 So, partner flights is where it is at.
Discounted United Business Awards – Europe to Middle East
Regular Partner Business Award Price – 45,000 miles one-way / Discounted Price – 35,000 miles
To spend 45,000 miles one-way (90,000 miles roundtrip) on a European to Middle East business class ticket is almost insane. Except for some of the farther destinations in each region, these are shorter flights that really should not command that high a price in miles. Having that decreased 10,000 miles each way is certainly helpful if you find yourself looking for business class between these regions.
Obviously, some of the easter European countries to countries as near as Israel would not be the best way to utilize this. For example, you can fly Aegean’s business class product from Athens to Tel Aviv but that is only about a 2 hour flight and on an inter-European business class (not worth paying to upgrade to). So, flying from the western European nations to further Mid East destinations would give the best bang for the buck.
- United’s award calendar is easy to use
- Most awards can be booked right online
- Fees are cheaper than other airlines
- Potential for international business class seats
- Great availability on partners
- Even at a discount, it is still 5,000 miles more than AA’s business class awards
- Many of the Star Alliance flights will be more inter-European business class – not as nice as international
BUT, AA’s Business Class Awards Are Cheaper
Regular Business Class Award Price – 30,000 miles one-way / FIRST CLASS – 40,000 miles one-way
Even with the discount on the partner flights, AA is still 5,000 miles fewer than United’s price for business class awards. Not only that, but United’s 35,000 mile awards is only 5,000 miles less than first class with AA miles for those regions. I mean, 5,000 more miles can get you on London – Abu Dhabi aboard Etihad’s new A380 in Apartments class!
They have many partners in the Middle East region – Etihad, Gulf Air, Jet Airways, Qatar, and Royal Jordanian – so they can provide a great network for travel. AA’s list of Middle East/Indian Subcontinent countries
- Partners for these regions are strong – Etihad and Qatar, to name two
- Business class cabins on partners are really good
- Better lounges when using Etihad and Qatar in the Middle East
- Only 30,000 miles for one-way business and 40,000 miles for one-way first class
- The Middle East region includes the Indian sub-continent – so more destinations – Excellent coverage of a greater amount of countries
- Some partner flights will need to be booked over the phone with booking fee
- More fees on some partner airlines
- Availability on all partners is not as easy to obtain as when using United’s miles for Star Alliance flights
It is nice to see United discount another region, but if you can find what you need with AA miles, you will save miles and more than likely fly a better business class product! Sure, it is nice and easy to book with United miles since you can do it online, but AA will give you better value if you put the pieces together.