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You Can Still Fly Biz Class to Europe This Summer For Cheap (Yes, Really)

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Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

Attention Thrifty Traveler Premium members:

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Nobody saw this coming.

Even as the calendar flips to July, business class flights to Europe for this summer are still available at great rates whether you want to use points and miles or pay cash. 

It's a trend we thought unthinkable as travelers flocked to the skies – especially in the front cabins – in droves the last few summers. This year, with Taylor Swift touring the continent, the UEFA Euro Championships, the Tour de France, Wimbledon, the Paris Olympic Games, and all the other incredible reasons why travelers love European summers all happening at once, we expected painfully high flight prices and nonexistent award availability (flights you can actually book with points and miles).

That's not what happened, though. Instead, travelers gobbled up expensive economy tickets, leaving the fancy lie-flat seats empty…and airlines eager to fill them. 

 

Why are Business Class Seats Still Available to Europe This Summer?

So what, exactly, is going on here? I want to fly business class to Europe this summer. Doesn't everyone? 

To figure it out, I turned to the simplest economic idea: Supply and demand. We assumed, of course, it would be a supply issue. There must be way more business class seats criss-crossing the Atlantic this year than last year. That's why there are so many available seats, right? 

 

ITA Airways business class seat
ITA Airways Business Class

 

Not really. In 2023, when business class seats were impossible to find and crazy expensive during the summer months, 3.5 million business class seats flew to or from the United States and Europe, according to data from Cirium, an aviation analytics company. This year, according to the same Cirium data, 3.7 million business class seats will fly between the two regions, only about 250,000 more seats, or a 6.8% increase. That's not a big enough change to create the kind of availability we're seeing. So what's different? It's the demand. 

Travelers are still going to Europe this summer, they're just not booking the front of the plane. And that means you can. 

Over the last few summers, we heard from travelers who had saved up hundreds of thousands of points and miles and were ready to use them on the trips they put off for years following the pandemic. Last year was the year everyone booked that big, splashy, business class trip to Europe, and this year, more travelers appear to have chosen a less splashy economy trip instead. 

Economy flight prices to Europe this summer are hovering around $1,000 roundtrip or more because of all this demand, all while the front of the plane sits empty and ready. 

 

Norse Atlantic economy cabin

 

Before the pandemic, this was a common airfare trend. And it's back. 

Business class – once geared exclusively towards business travelers and not toward points and miles people like you and me – was always easier to book over the holidays and during the summer when there was simply less business travel. Instead, the airlines would raise prices on leisure travelers, who are more likely to book economy tickets. 

And while that pattern went away during the pandemic when travelers were either staying home or paying a premium to sit in private up front, the airfare patterns of 2019 are returning. 

So, here's your sign to beat the airlines at their own game. The forward cabin awaits if you procrastinated booking a European vacation this summer – or want to rebook your flights to indulge in a little luxury. But where to go?

 

The Best Biz Class Deals to Europe We've Found Lately

American Airlines Biz Class from 45K Miles Each Way

American Airlines has been on a roll lately, offering up their best business class seats to travelers with AAdvantage miles and Alaska Airlines miles. 

 

AA business class

 

Get points and miles deals like this in your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium! 

And the rates you can book these seats for are tantalizing. 

 

AA business class fares

 

Nearly every American nonstop route flying over to Europe this summer has been on sale at some point. This latest deal from just a few days ago included many of them. 

 

Air France Biz Class From 50K Miles Each Way

The 2024 Summer Olympics are being held in Paris July and August, and with all the travel demand to see the Games, you would think there would be zero business class seats available, especially to book with points and miles, or at least exorbitant prices.

But even as recently as last week, Air France was releasing business class seats to Paris (CDG) from many of its U.S. gateways bookable for just 50,000 Flying Blue miles

 

Air France flight deal

 

Read our review of Air France's new business class suites! 

Peak summer. During the Olympics. Flying lie-flat to Paris. These fares are unbelievable, and if you have credit card points from American Express, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, Citi, or even Wells Fargo, you could transfer them to Flying Blue to make your Olympic dreams come true this year. 

 

Air France info

 

If you live in any of these cities, run – don't walk – to secure your spot at the Olympic games. 

 

Air France fares

 

ITA Airways Biz Class from 75K Each Way

Lie-flat to Italy, anyone?

 

ITA business class

 

Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium to get more business class award alerts like this! 

ITA Airways is flying this lovely business class seat to and from the U.S. and Canada this year. We just flew it and thought it was a comfortable ride across the Atlantic, with some fun Italian flair thrown in. 

 

ITA business class info

 

For a seat this nice, availability this wide and deep shouldn't be available at this point in the summer, but we sent this deal last week during the last week of June. You can snag the Italian summertime jaunt you've always dreamed of for just a few weeks from now. 

 

ITA business class

 

Booking through partner airline Virgin Atlantic, you can get these seats for as few as 75,000 points each way. Points from Amex, Capital One, Chase, Bilt, and Citi can all be transferred to Virgin to book. 

 

SWISS Biz Class to Zurich from 56K Each Way

These well-appointed SWISS Business Class seats are worth every hard-earned point, especially when you only need about 60,000 of them. 

 

SWISS business class

 

Wouldn't you know it: SWISS business class seats are still available to travelers looking to head to the Alps this summer – a trend nearly unheard of last summer or the one before that. 

 

SWISS business class fares

 

Whether you want to book with Air Canada Aeroplan miles (transferable from Chase, Amex, Capital One, and Bilt) or with Avianca Life Miles (transferable from Amex, Capital One, Citi, Bilt, and Wells Fargo), you can get these routes at some low, low rates. Yes, still!

 

Austrian Biz Class to Vienna from 58K Each Way

Want to head to the other side of the Alps? Think Austrian Airlines and its lovely business class seat. 

 

Austrian business class

 

This month, next month, or through the peak ski season in the Alps, you can secure these seats from just 58,000 LifeMiles each way from New York (JFK) or up to 70,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points – or even less if you can take advantage of a transfer bonus

 

Austrian fares

 

Condor Biz Class to Frankfurt from 55K Each Way

Our team agrees: One of the best business class seats in the world right now is on a German budget airline called Condor. 

They're known for their hilariously painted striped planes (they look like beach towels), but have a slick lie-flat option inside. 

 

Condor business class

 

And if you have Alaska miles, you can snag these seats from just 55,000 points each way in summer and through fall. 

 

Condor business class

 

For many of these cities, this is the best summertime availability to Europe ever. If you have Alaska miles and the desire to fly lie-flat to Germany, now's the time to book!

 

La Compagnie Business Class from $1999 Roundtrip!

No points? No problem! La Compagnie is a business class-only airline that flies between Newark (EWR) and Milan (MXP) and Paris-Orly (ORY). 

That's right: These planes have no economy seats, just 56 business class seats instead. It's a cool concept that leads to exceptional service and stress-free flying. 

 

La Compagnie

 

And lucky for all of us, these seats go on sale from time to time, leading to sub-$2,000 roundtrip fares to Europe – including this summer! 

 

La Compagnie business class

 

Bottom Line

It might already be July, but business class flights to Europe this summer are somehow still available for great points and miles and cash rates. 

It's a wild trend that has more to do with passenger demand than it does airline supply, but the reason it's happening doesn't matter. The end result is that you have the chance to book (or rebook) a last-minute lie-flat seat to Europe this summer. 

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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