Everyone wants to go to Europe this summer for all the usual reasons. Add in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, and we might be looking at some unprecedented demand, creating some painful searches for travelers looking for cheap flights across the Atlantic.
Sadly, from what our team of flight deal analysts has seen for summer 2024 flights, that's exactly what's going on.
This search of flights from my home airport of Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) is showing some frankly offensive $1,000+ airfares to all the best destinations in Europe for the middle of next summer. Look later into August and you'll see some slightly better fares, but not by much.
Not one of these roundtrip fares would be considered a deal for our Thrifty Traveler Premium members. Yet, we've sent more than a dozen peak summer deals to Europe in the last three months alone. How, you might ask?
Well, the best deals aren't flying economy. The best value for flying to Europe next summer is in lie-flat business class.
Don't believe me? Let me show you.
Air France Business Class
If the Paris Olympics are on your radar for a trip next summer, Air France is your best chance at flying straight into the host city. And on every Air France flight are beautiful business class seats like this one.
Not every seat on every flight is available to book with points and miles, though, and award space can be especially hard to find during the busy summer months when travel demand is high. Honestly, we never thought we'd see peak summer availability like this open up, but it did, and we keep finding great Air France deals like this one.
About a month after we sent the deal above, we dug up another way to book these same seats for even fewer points!
Thanks to a 25% transfer bonus from Chase to Air France/KLM, you could book these seats for as few as 33,000 points each way. Travelers in Boston, Miami, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. all were able to snag these seats during the Olympic games, too.
For reference, most of these flights were pricing out at about $900-$1,200 roundtrip … in economy. If you have points and miles, this is the way to snag a much comfier experience at a ridiculous value.
TAP Air Portugal Business Class
TAP Air Portugal doesn't get a lot of credit in the airline world, but the budget-friendly carrier is a great way to cross the ocean. If you can do it in one of their business class seats, it's downright amazing.
This TAP Air Portugal business class deal included availability during peak summer, including Olympics availability from Boston (BOS) and Montréal (YUL), too.
You can take these flights to Lisbon (LIS) for a Portuguese getaway, or take advantage of their huge network to connect onward elsewhere in Europe, too.
With so many ways to book, it shouldn't be hard to cobble together the points you need to jump on these TAP flights. The cheapest way is to book through Turkish Airlines, which only charges 45,000 miles each way! You can transfer those points to Turkish from any of the major banks. If all you have are United miles, though, you can still make this seat your home for 88,000 each way, too.
Condor Airlines Business Class
I wouldn't blame you if you've never heard of Condor or had no idea they had as beautiful a business class seat as this one.
But now you know, and if you have some Alaska Airlines miles, you could fly in this seat over to Frankfurt (FRA) this summer for just 55,000 miles each way.
Peak summer availability could be found all over the U.S. and Canada on Condor's unique route network. Whether you're based in Anchorage (ANC), Edmonton (YEG), or Toronto (YYZ), you could take this comfy ride to Germany and skip the expensive economy flights.
Lufthansa Business Class
Earlier this year, Lufthansa announced two brand new routes to the United States: Raleigh (RDU) and Minneapolis (MSP).
We love new routes here at Thrifty Traveler because those new routes are loaded into the system empty. Airlines are eager to fill those seats, and that usually means wide-open availability to book business class with points and miles.
We didn't have to wait long for this to happen on Lufthansa's new Minneapolis (MSP) route!
Not only did this deal include award availability for up to nine passengers per flight, dates over both the Paris Olympics and Oktoberfest, and connections onward to the rest of Europe…it was available almost every single day of summer 2024.
Just 70,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles could get you there, or 88,000 United miles, too!
JetBlue Mint Business Class
Thrifty Traveler Executive Editor Kyle Potter has flown just about every single one of these business class seats to Europe, but this one quickly became his favorite.
JetBlue Mint Business Class is one of the newcomers in the lie-flat game over the Atlantic, and it might just be the best.
If you want to travel to Europe for the summer months in one of these sweet seats, you're in luck. Thanks to JetBlue's new partnership with Qatar Airways, you can now transfer points to Qatar (or British Airways) to book these seats to London (LHR, LGW), Paris (CDG), Amsterdam (AMS), Dublin (DUB), or Edinburgh (EDI) in 2024.
No Points, No Problem
Whether you're just getting started with points and miles or your stash is depleted, cash deals flying business class across the Atlantic next summer have been surprisingly good lately, too.
With economy flights coming in right around $1,000 or more roundtrip during the peak summer months, for just about twice that you can have an experience that is at least 10 times better.
La Compagnie is an all-business class airline flying to France and Italy. That's right: There are no economy seats on La Compagnie's planes, just 76 business class seats, and only dedicated service.
These $2,398 roundtrip fares were about half-off the usual business class rates flying to Europe in peak summer.
While this British Airways deal hit inboxes a few months ago now, it provided some slick mid-summer business class fares to Europe.
We don't see BA discount their fancy Club Suites business class seats very often, so we couldn't believe it when they did so for summer 2024 travel.
If you live in any of these British Airways hubs, this is yet another great option.
Summer in Europe is always busy and high demand usually creates high flight prices. With the Olympics coming to Paris in 2024, we expect more of the same for economy flights this year.
But something different is happening for business class flights: We're seeing some of the best prices and best award availability to fly business class to Europe next summer that we've ever seen.
If you're looking for the best value, look at flying business class, not economy, for your summer 2024 trip.