88K to Europe in Business Class


My sister and I have a huge trip booked for this fall. It starts in New York City, then on to London, then to Dublin, on to Florence, Italy, and finishes with Cinque Terre. While I’ve traveled to all of these cities before, except Dublin, they are first-time visits for my sister. It will be a fun trip, and they begin with points and miles redemptions of 88K to Europe roundtrip in business class seats – such a great redemption! Here is how I did it.


Flight Details

The main flight was always from the US to London. I considered several routes, including a fifth freedom flight of Singapore Airlines from Houston – Manchester. I also considered the Emirates flight from JFK-Milan, another fifth freedom flight. But then I remembered that ANA flies roundtrip to Europe (on United metal) for 88K miles. There is nothing that could beat that if I could find dates. Luckily, we were extremely flexible with dates. Our main plan was late September into early October but no specific dates.

I started looking and tried several options with NYC as a starting point. Finally, I found a date that was about 4 days later than our original plan. We had originally thought of going to London and finishing in NYC. However, it made more sense with our dates to do NYC and then fly to London.


Screenshot of reservation to London and price


Points Used

ANA is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. I have been offered multiple American Express Platinum Business cards without the lifetime rule stipulation. I used points from these cards to transfer to ANA and book my ticket. Unfortunately, the transfers to ANA are not instant – they take 2-3 days, so even though I had found availability for my flights, I was on pins and needles awaiting the transfer, hoping to book them once the transfer was complete. I did feel pretty comfortable that I could book even if it were a different date due to our flexibility. Luckily, once the points were transferred, the flights were still there!




My only concern was the early departure from EWR to London. 6:00 am is an ouch for me. And the first flight is in economy, but it is a short flight. I am also sad that we have a short connection in Washington, D.C. – no time for an airport lounge!

We will stay at a hotel near EWR on points, of course, so we don’t have to travel from NYC that morning.  With lay-flat seats for most of the trip, there will be plenty of time for napping. I also like getting into London at night, so we can just go to bed immediately – hoping that will help the jetlag.


Business class seat

I have always enjoyed flying United Polaris Business Class!


Bottom Line

Any way you look at it, 88K to Europe in business class is a very good redemption, especially roundtrip! I will be looking at booking trips this way more often. We will use cheap European airlines to get from city to city, returning to London for our flight home. Taxes and fees are always more expensive when traveling to London, so I expected a $300 surcharge. Not bad for business class seats, though! And I really enjoy United Polaris business class, so it is a flight that I look forward to!

Red bus in front of tall tower with clock

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  1. Kimberly Wood says:

    How far out do you find availability booking round trip on Ana? I can never find anything and always get an error saying my class is unavailable

    • Pam says:

      It has gotten much harder for sure – you have to grab it when it first comes out or occasionally, last-minute. I heard recently that United has been blocking some award travel on partner sites so this could be making it hard to find too. Time will tell if it gets easier to find. In the meantime, check out Air France – slightly more expensive but much easier to find!

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