Never in my life did I think I would be able to fly business class to Europe. The cost is just insane, $3,000 (and up to much, much more) for a one-way flight?! Just a tad out of my price range! I would see those seats and be so envious and imagine what it would be like to fly like that. Then I figured out travel hacking and realized that just maybe, it was possible. I thought it would take a long time to save up and cost a ton of points, but I quickly realized there is one card out there that could get me a business class flight very easily!
Enter, The AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard. What’s awesome about this card is you get the points for simply making one purchase! No having to spend $1,000-$5,000 in 3 months. It doesn’t get any easier than this. You do have to pay a $99 annual fee but $99 to fly business class to Europe is much more inside my budget!
At the time of publishing, this card is offering 60,000 points after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee.
I signed up for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard (wow that’s a mouthful!) back in December of 2018. When I signed up, it was offering a bonus of 50,000 miles after making one purchase and paying the annual fee. I made the purchase, paid the fee, and got my points!
My plan was to use the points to fly business class from Salt Lake City to London. The cost for that flight was 57,500 miles. I was in a hurry to get the points and book my flight so my plan was to buy the extra miles from American Airlines. I don’t advise this usually but it was getting close and I didn’t have the time to earn the points another way. Luckily, I didn’t have to buy the miles. Shortly after getting the points, the bonus on the card increased to 60,000 points. I sent them a message through my account and requested to be matched to the newer higher bonus. They did it! Soon I had another 10,000 points deposited into my account for a total of 60,000!
Once I received my points I booked my flight from Salt Lake City to London. It was 57,500 miles plus $5 in taxes. When it comes time to book make sure you book a flight on an AA plane. American Airlines is partners with British Airways and many of their flights to London are on BA planes, you don’t want to book one of those! British Airways imposes a fuel surcharge on award flights so your taxes will be hundreds of dollars! After paying my annual fee and my $5 in taxes my total out of pocket costs for this flight was just $106!
Something to keep in mind is that it can sometimes be difficult to find these cheaper flights when booking on points, especially out of the airport you want on a specific day. You may need to be flexible with your dates or consider a positioning flight if you are unable to find a flight at the price you want.
My business class flight to Europe left in the evening from Salt Lake City. The first leg of my flight was in first-class to Chicago. The plane was tiny and minus a few extra snacks it felt very much like I was in economy still. It was very underwhelming, especially when I asked for a blanket and I was told there were out ????. Mind you every other person in first class had one. The service on this flight was pretty bad.
Due to some delays, my connection ended up being very short. I made it with time to spare but that is never a good feeling! Combined with my disappointing first flight, and the time crunch, I boarded my flight in not the best of moods. All that all drifted away as I walked on to that Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I was instantly so happy upon finding my seat. It is hard to explain, I know it is probably weird, but flying in business class just makes me so happy and full of excitement.
Upon walking onboard, the most friendly flight attendants were instantly there offering me a beverage and asking how they could help. It was a night and day difference from my flight to Chicago! I found my oversized chair complete with an amenity kit, a menu for my onboard meals, noise-canceling headphones, a blanket, and a pillow.
Next up I checked out the onboard entertainment and planned what movie to watch while I waited for dinner. I reclined my seat, raised my footrest and got cozy with my blanket during the movie. After a really nice dinner followed by dessert, it was time to rest for a little bit. With a press of a button, my reclined seat became a fully-flat bed.
I actually didn’t sleep great on this flight, my mind wouldn’t turn off…don’t you hate when that happens? Also, the flight had a little turbulence and my cranapple juice fell off my tray and landed on me while I was sleeping ????. Luckily it mostly got on the blanket and I had a good laugh about it. I slept through breakfast and before I knew it the plane was landing in London. Even though I didn’t sleep amazing the whole experience was so nice and relaxing and I found myself wishing that the flight was a couple of hours longer!
Traveling like this seems very out of reach for most of us, but it’s so much easier than you’d think! By opening one card you can fly business class to Europe for under $110! Booking flights like this does sometimes require some flexibility. You may not be able to find the price you want for your home airport on a specific day but with some flexibility and a positioning flight, you can really get a lot of bang for your buck!
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