For some people, flying in some of the best premium cabins is what they save/buy miles for. While buying miles can give you an opportunity to “buy” business or first class for little more than an economy ticket, it is always nice to fly on a paid premium ticket and earn big miles along the way – especially when it can cost only a little more than the miles you would have had to buy!
Fly Emirates Or Etihad’s Business Class On A380 For $1,800 [From Europe via UAE]
In the past (and still now but not as good as before), you could fly from Colombo, Sri Lanka on foreign carriers in first and business class for very low prices. A couple of years ago, that window closed with some of the very popular carriers but there is still potential for lower fares out of Colombo (and Cairo). Greece has kind of become the European version of those two cities for cheaper business/first class fares.
But here is an opportunity to get these cheaper premium cabin tickets leaving out of Europe! Instead of having to make your way to Sri Lanka or Egypt, you can instead leave from Greece and still get cheaper fares than what it would cost otherwise. The best part about these fares is that when you buy tickets to fly on Etihad and Emirates (and Qatar, for that matter), they have to backtrack to their hubs in the Middle East before continuing on the way to the US. That is a lot of business/first class and a great way to cap a trip to Europe on your return to the US!
First things first – these are not super cheap tickets by any stretch, this still requires you to put out almost $2,000 for a one way business class ticket ($2,800 for roundtrip). But, if you were going to buy miles to make a similar trip anyway or you wanted to fly back to the US from Europe on some of the most luxurious carriers, this is a great way to go about it. It is also a nice way to pick up some miles.
Finding The Tickets
To start, head over to Hipmunk to put your itinerary together. It will give you a whole range of options and does include premium cabin tickets on European carriers for lower-than-normal prices as well. If you would like to help another blogger, head over to TravelCodex before booking your flight on Hipmunk. You can support a great blogger (Scott, not me!) by doing that first!
- To get the cheapest fares, search for travel from Athens, Greece
- This will unlock the cheaper business class fares to the US on multiple carriers, specifically Etihad and Emirates
- Avoid Air Canada even though it will come back with very cheap “business” class fares – the tickets are actually for coach (view the details to see)
- You can search roundtrip to the US (specifically JFK) for about $2,800
- If you are interested in First Class (aboard Emirates A380 and Etihad’s A380 in the Apartment), it costs just under $3,000 for one way and $4,700 roundtrip on Emirates and $5,500 for Etihad
- If you are trying to get business/first class aboard Etihad’s A380 to JFK, make sure you are searching for travel after December 1
Once you make your selection, the next step will take you to one of many online travel agencies, one of which is Priceline. You can search for the tickets directly through them but Hipmunk gives you more booking options.
These more discounted fares are available to destination cities all over the US, but only JFK will be served by Etihad’s A380.
If you are an Alaska Air elite member, you could gain some serious miles by crediting your business class ticket from Emirates to Alaska. Counting the class of service bonus and your elite bonus, you could be earning about 20,000 miles for one way travel! Consider how much you would have paid if you bought those same miles and the Alaska Air miles to fly on Emirates business!
Is this “deal” for everyone? Most certainly not, but there are many people that are willing to pay for discounted business class tickets and being able to return back to the US (via Dubai/Abu Dhabi) aboard the beautiful Emirates/Etihad A380 is a nice deal at this price.