Family Travel: Use Miles to Visit Study Abroad Students in Europe

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Are you planning a family trip to visit your son or daughter studying abroad in Europe?

There are many ways to use rewards credit cards to save thousands of dollars off regular airfare prices for your trip.

Family Travel Friday Part 1 How To Use Miles To Visit Your Child Studying Abroad In Europe

Use Miles to Visit Your Son or Daughter Abroad in Florence and Take in the Panoramic Views

I’ll give you helpful hints and ideas for making a family trip to Europe possible using miles and points.

First Time Using Credit Card Points to Book Travel?

Link:   Beginner’s Guide to Miles & Points

Before you begin signing-up for credit card bonuses for a trip to Europe, read my Beginner’s Guide for an overview of how this hobby works.

When you’re new to this hobby it’s important to start slow with 1 or 2 credit cards.  If you’re looking to earn miles and points quickly, consider having your partner apply for cards as well.  It’s all about teamwork!

The lucrative sign-up bonuses are key for making Big Travel a reality!

Which Credit Cards Do You Need?

The miles & points you should collect for travel to Europe depends on your departure city and desired European destination.  Knowing the airlines that serve your home airport will help a great deal in making a decision about which miles and points you should collect for award flights!

You don’t have to fly to Europe and back on the same airline.  So if you earn miles and points on 2 credit cards with different airline transfer partners, you might be able to book 2 one-way flights.

That’s why using credit cards that earn transferable points are a good option for keeping your options open, like:

Picking a European Country to Visit

Because I have many friends who’ve studied abroad, I know students use weekends to travel frequently to different countries.  So your child might be living and studying in Florence, but they use the weekends to get away to Paris, Barcelona, Rome, or Amsterdam.

Family Travel Friday Part 1 How To Use Miles To Visit Your Child Studying Abroad In Europe

You Might Be Able to Meet Your Son or Daughter in a Different Country Than Where They Are Studying Abroad

If you plan ahead, you might be able to save lots of miles, points, and money by meeting your child in a country he or she is visiting instead of where they are studying.  Also, once you get to Europe you can travel to different countries cheaply using budget airlines.

Getting to Europe and Back for Close to Free

Here are options for getting to some of the top study abroad cities in Europe.

Barcelona

Using American Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 American Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 American Airlines miles in Business Class.

You can fly non-stop from:

  • Charlotte
  • Miami
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia

Or use American Airlines miles for award flights on oneworld partners like British Airways and Iberia.

Using Delta Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 Delta miles in coach and 62,500 Delta miles in Business Class.

You can fly non-stop from Atlanta and New York (JFK).

Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, so you can use your Delta miles to book flights to Barcelona on partner airlines like Alitalia and Air France.

Using United Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class.

There are non-stop options from Newark and Washington, DC.

You can also redeem 30,000 United Airlines miles for a coach award ticket on Star Alliance airlines like Lufthansa.  But, you’ll have to pay higher taxes and fees.

Family Travel Friday Part 1 How To Use Miles To Visit Your Child Studying Abroad In Europe

Visit Your Son or Daughter in Barcelona Using One of Many Award Flight Options

Berlin

Using American Airlines Miles

Because American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance, you can use American Airlines miles to book direct flights on Air Berlin.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Chicago
  • New York (JFK)

Alternately, you can use Air Berlin for non-stop flights to Dusseldorf from Fort Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.

Using British Airways Avios Points 

British Airways is also part of the oneworld alliance, so you can use British Airways Avios points to book direct flights on Air Berlin.

The price depends on distance traveled, but award flights start at 20,000 British Airways Avios points in coach and 60,000 British Airways Avios points in Business Class.

You’ll have the same non-stop options as listed above.

Using United Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class.

You can fly non-stop from Newark.

Dublin

Using American Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are available for 30,000 American Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 American Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop options from:

  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Miami
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia

Using British Airways Avios Points

You can use British Airways Avios points for award tickets on Aer Lingus.  Depending on your departure city, award tickets costs 12,500 to 25,000 British Airways Avios points in coach and 37,500 to 75,000 British Airways Avios points in Business Class.  For folks departing from the East Coast, this might be your best option!

Non-stop flights from:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Hartford (starting September 2016)
  • Los Angeles
  • New York (JFK)
  • Newark (starting September 2016)
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, DC

You can NOT search for (or book) Aer Lingus award flights on the British Airways website.  But you CAN search for available award seats on the United Airlines website then call British Airways to book at 800-247-9297.

Using Delta Miles

One-way tickets are available for 30,000 Delta miles in coach and 62,500 Delta miles in Business Class.

Non-stop from:

  • Atlanta
  • New York (JFK)

Using United Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles (70,000 United Airlines miles on partners) in Business Class.  Aer Lingus is also partnered with United Airlines, so you’ll have non-stop options from the airports listed above.

You can also use United Airlines miles to fly Ethiopian Airlines (a Star Alliance partner) non-stop between Los Angeles and Dublin.

Florence

Unfortunately, there are no airlines with non-stop flights to Florence from the US.  But, you’ll still have options to book an award flight.

Using Alitalia MilleMiglia

Alitalia is an AMEX Membership Rewards transfer partner.  You can move Starwood points to Alitalia as well.  One-way tickets are 30,000 miles in coach and 48,000 miles in Business Class.  Alitalia is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, so you can use Alitalia miles to book on partner airlines like Air France or Delta.

Alitalia is also an Etihad partner but award tickets will cost more.

You can fly Alitalia to Florence with layovers from:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York (JFK)

You’ll have more options on SkyTeam partners like Air France or Delta.

Using American Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 American Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 American Airlines miles in Business Class.

Using British Airways Avios Points

You can use British Airways Avios points for award tickets on Air Berlin.  Award tickets depend on distance traveled and start at 24,500 British Airways Avios points in coach.

Using Delta Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 Delta miles in coach and 62,500 Delta miles in Business Class.

Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, so you can use your Delta miles to book flights to Florence on partner airlines like Alitalia and Air France.

Using United Airlines Miles 

One-way tickets are 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class.  You can book award flights to Florence on Star Alliance partner airlines like Lufthansa or SWISS, but keep in mind partner Business Class awards are more expensive.

London

Using American Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 American Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 American Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop options from:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Newark
  • New York (JFK)
  • Phoenix
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco

Using British Airways Avios Points

One-way tickets start at 20,000 British Airways Avios points in coach and 60,000 British Airways Avios points in Business Class.

But I don’t recommend using British Airways Avios points for coach flights in or out of London because there are high fuel charges and taxes.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New Orleans
  • Newark
  • New York (JFK)
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Seattle
  • Tampa
  • Washington, DC

Using Delta Miles

One-way tickets are available for 30,000 Delta miles in coach and 62,500 Delta miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia
  • Seattle

Using United Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Newark
  • San Francisco
  • Washington

Using Virgin Atlantic Miles

Using Virgin Atlantic miles isn’t the best deal for flights in or out of London because there are high fuel charges and taxes.

But one-way award flights are available starting at 17,500 Virgin Atlantic miles in coach or 40,00Virgin Atlantic miles in First Class.  Award flights can cost slightly more depending on your departure city.

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Detroit
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York (JFK)
  • Orlando
  • Seattle

You can transfer Citi ThankYou points, AMEX Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and Starwood points to Virgin Atlantic. 

Family Travel Friday Part 1 How To Use Miles To Visit Your Child Studying Abroad In Europe

Book an Award Flight to London and Visit Your Son or Daughter in One of the Most Popular Study Abroad Cities

Paris

Using Alitalia MilleMiglia

One-way tickets are available for 30,000 miles in coach and 48,000 miles in Business Class on Alitalia or one of the SkyTeam partners like Delta or Air France.

Non-stop flights available on SkyTeam partners from:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • Newark
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC

Using American Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 American Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 American Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Miami
  • New York (JFK)
  • Newark
  • Philadelphia

Using Delta Miles 

One-way tickets are 30,000 Delta miles in coach and 62,500 Delta miles in Business Class.  You’ll have the same non-stop flights as Alitalia because they are a partner airline.

Using Flying Blue Miles

One-way tickets are 25,000 Flying Blue miles in coach and 62,500 Flying Blue miles in Business Class.  You’ll have to pay extra taxes and fees when you book on Flying Blue.

Non-stop flights on Air France and SkyTeam partners from:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • Newark
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC

Flying Blue is now a transfer partner of all 4 flexible points programs!

Using United Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are available for 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Chicago
  • Newark
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, DC

Rome

Using Alitalia MilleMiglia

You can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Alitalia.  One-way tickets are available for 30,000 miles in coach and 48,000 miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York (JFK)

Using American Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 American Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 American Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights from:

  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • New York (JFK)
  • Philadelphia

Using Delta Miles 

One-way tickets are 30,000 Delta miles in coach and 62,500 Delta miles in Business Class.  You’ll have the same non-stop flights as Alitalia.

Using United Airlines Miles

One-way tickets are 30,000 United Airlines miles in coach and 57,500 United Airlines miles in Business Class.

Non-stop flights are available from Newark and Washington, DC.

Family Travel Friday Part 1 How To Use Miles To Visit Your Child Studying Abroad In Europe

Book an Award Flight to Rome and Explore the Colosseum

Helpful Hints

Round-trip award flights on Alitalia cost less than 2X the price of a one-way.  So you’ll save miles booking round-trip award tickets.

If you book an off-peak award ticket on American Airlines, you’ll only need 22,500 American Airlines miles one-way in coach (instead of 30,000 American Airlines miles).  The off-peak dates are from January 10 to March 14, and from November 1 to December 14.

Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, so you can use your Delta miles to book flights on partner airlines like Alitalia and Air France.

You can also redeem United Airlines miles for an award ticket on Star Alliance airlines like Lufthansa.  But, you’ll have to pay higher taxes and fees.

Need More Airline Miles?

The below is a guide for the transferable points programs you can use if you’re short on airline miles.

Alitalia

American Airlines

British Airways 

Delta Airlines 

Flying Blue

United Airlines 

Virgin Atlantic

Remember you’ll earn a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to an eligible airline partner.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning a trip to visit your son or daughter studying abroad in Europe, there are many options for free or cheap award flights!

Sign-up bonuses from cards with transferable points give you the most flexibility like the:

You could save thousands of dollars using points and miles for your trip to Europe instead of paying cash.

Have you visited your child studying abroad?  Let me know if you used miles and points for big savings!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

One response to “Family Travel: Use Miles to Visit Study Abroad Students in Europe

  1. Al Aldrich

    more points, yes … THANKS

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