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How To Fly Business Class to Israel from the US for Just 45K Miles

award booking
Written by Charlie

For just 45,000 miles, you can fly business class to Israel from the US! That is just 2,500 more miles than United Airlines charges for economy on the same route! Find out which miles to use and how you can get them to take advantage of some great business class seats on the long flight to Israel.

Israel is probably one of the most confused countries when it comes to listing it for award regional classification. There are 4 different classifications from 4 different programs for this little country! But, to the people traveling on miles, this can be a big help! For 45,000 miles, you can fly business class to Israel – just 2,500 miles more than United charges for ECONOMY on the same route!

How To Fly Business Class to Israel from the US for Just 45K Miles

What Airlines Would You Be Able to Fly On?

For this award, we will be using Aegean’s Miles+Bonus program. Because of that, you can use any Star Alliance airlines for you travels from the US to Israel. That means Austrian, Swiss, LOT, Lufthansa, Turkish, and, of course, United. Any of those airlines are great ones to fly in business class as they offer a very nice hard product and airlines like Austrian and Turkish even offer catering in business class!

Also, United has begun flying their actual Polaris business class seat on the Newark to Tel Aviv route so this means you would be able to fly the best United business class seat around (maybe – see below!).

Flying Business Class for Just 45,000 Miles to Israel

This is a great deal since airlines like United actually charge 85,000 miles to fly through Europe in business class from the US to Israel and 75,000 miles to fly non-stop on United from the US to Israel. This is a savings of 30,000 miles at least when you use Aegean miles instead of United miles.

business class to Israel for just 45,000 miles

The elusive United flight that flies non-stop to Israel!

How to Book Business Class to Israel for Just 45,000 Miles

Since last year, Aegean has made it possible to book partner awards online. However, their award booking engine is not the best so I advise you start by searching on United’s website. To make it easy, search for your departure city in the US to Israel and make sure you select for business class and that you want to look at the 30 day calendar to see all the options. On dates you see 75,000 miles, that is the United flight while the 85,000 mile options are partners that fly through Europe.

Note: There is one thing to be aware of – Aegean only lets you have one connection on award tickets. This means that if you fly through Europe, the major airport in the US that you would depart to fly to Europe must be your originating airport for this ticket. For example, if you are flying LOT, you would be flying something like New York – Warsaw – Tel Aviv. You cannot go Buffalo – New York – Warsaw – Tel Aviv. But, you can fly from your regional airport if you catch that United business class flight from Newark as that is the only non-stop from the US to Israel with Star Alliance.

To actually search for and select business class flights on Aegean, you must have the required miles in your account. So, just search through United to get started.

Fuel Surcharges 

Aegean does pass on fuel surcharges so you will need to pay more in cash when flying on airlines like Austrian, Lufthansa, and Swiss. Turkish charges less and LOT and United do not have any. United awards do not charge any fuel surcharges so make sure you take this into account.

business class to Israel for 45,000 miles

The high fuel surcharges on some airlines could be a negative!

Which Flights to Book?

business class to Israel for 45,000 miles

This same flight would cost 85,000 miles with United!

business class to Israel for 45,000 miles

The best option would the United Airlines flight from Newark. The problem is that business class award space on this flight is very hard to come by! I searched through the calendar and did not find any until April! It can open up but you will either need to plan very far in advance or pretty much last minute.

On the other hand, there is a ton of availability with LOT Airlines (through Warsaw). They have a newer lie-flat business class seat that is supposed to be very good so this is a great option. Plus, you could take one of the longer layovers to get out and check out a bit of Warsaw while you are waiting.

business class to israel for 45,000 miles

LOT business class

If you fly with Turkish, your fuel surcharges from the US will be around $250-300. If you fly with Austrian, Swiss, or Lufthansa, expect to see fuel surcharges over $500 for one way!

So, if you want to pay as little out of pocket as possible, look for flights in this order:

  • United
  • LOT
  • Turkish
  • Everyone else
How to Get Aegean Miles?

Ok, now that you see you can get an awesome business class deal for just 45,000 miles, how do you go about getting those 45,000 miles? Fortunately, Aegean is now a transfer partner of SPG so you can convert SPG points to Aegean at a 1:1 ratio (with the regular 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred). That means you only need 40,000 SPG points to do this.

You can also transfer points from other people’s Aegean accounts! It only costs €15 per transfer so that can be a great way to move other people’s miles to your account. If you have Aegean elite status, you can setup a Together Account and pool up to 5 other people’s miles into your account for free.

Finally, if someone sets up an Aegean account, they get a free 1,000 bonus miles. So, that is at least 5,000 miles if you use a Together Account.

I have been to Israel probably 20 times and have both purchased tickets and used miles. This is honestly the best mileage deal for many people if you want to fly to Israel from the US! I mean, United charges 42,500 miles to fly this in economy! I know United miles are easier to come by but that example just underscores how great of a deal it can be to use Aegean miles!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Thanks for the wealth of info you provide on RWM. Have been wondering what to do with a small balance of SPG points. This is a very compelling option!

  • United also flies from sfo direct and ac flies from yyz (and Yul like three times a week I think) direct so you can book you’re regional connection to there

  • @Charlie

    Thanks for this. As I am looking for a way to go to Israel for my faith pilgrimage.
    Any option from SFO? If I depart from SFO, it will be on United metal all the way to Tel Aviv? Which city will be my stopover? And is the mileage required in J still 45k?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Sounds great! Yes, United flies from SFO now, direct. If you can find space on that one, you will not have a layover. One great option, if you cannot find that, is to search for Turkish Airlines. They have the lower of fuel surcharges for the airlines that charge them and that has had some nice availability. Another is Swiss, but the fuel surcharges are much higher. All business flights are 45,000 miles from North America to Israel (which is actually in North Africa, according to Aegean) and Europe.

  • How do you see that you’ll need 45K miles? I am searching SFO to TLV and it shows 60K on Aegean site. I don’t have enough points for the award, so it’s not showing the full info. Also, how long does the SPG transfer take? TYA

    • That must be utilizing more than 1 connection or it is over 24 hours on a connection. Another possibility is that it is first class (it is only 60K miles for first class between the US and Europe and Israel).

  • 45k Aegean points are about as hard to get as 90k united points, so the comparison is misleading. It’s like saying you can fly to Israel for only 300 kuwaiti dinar where you would normally spend $1000.

    • Yeah, I didn’t say “united miles” in the title. Just miles. And if you cannot earn Aegean miles, you just aren’t trying. 1,000 miles for joining, family pooling, cheap transfer fee, SPG partner, and decent earnings on many airlines make Aegean miles much easier than you think. If you are talking in credit card ways, yeah, united miles are easier and they are also easier to earn than AA miles so stop with the “misleading” stuff.

      • Fair enough, there are some good ways for earning Aegean miles through flying with partners, or pooling point . But as you said if your mile currency comes mainly from credit cards it becomes a little tricky. After the SPG – Mariott merger the transfer ratio to Aegean becomes 3:1 with a 5k bonus on every 60k points transferred. If you can get your hands on the new SPG business card you can score 100k sign up bonus, which would convert to almost 40k Aegean miles, 5k short from this business award. That is not a great deal imho, but I agree that it’s subjective to individual circumstances.

      • With the new SPG marriot merger, is it still the same amount of SPG needed to transfer? Or has it also changed?