I Found My New Best Friend Traveling to London: Part 12 – Return Business Class Flight to US

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Emily:   I love to travel, and my mom does, too!

When I was growing up in Ohio, we could only afford road trips to local amusement parks.  But collecting miles and points has opened up a whole new world of travel neither of us thought possible!

She and I decided to go to London and Paris for a mother-daughter getaway.  We flew Business Class and stayed in 5-star hotels.  I paid for this trip for a fraction of the retail cost by using airline miles and hotel points.

I’ve never traveled so long with my mom before, and at the end of the trip, I felt like I had a new best friend!  Without the miles & points hobby, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience the joy of traveling with my mom.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Headed Back Home – I Was Missing Mom Already

In this series, I’ll show you how you can get to Europe, too!

New British Airways Business Class

Mom and I used British Airways Avios points to fly to London.  But we ended up paying a lot in fuel surcharges.  So it’s better to use American Airlines miles or United Airlines miles if you have them.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

We Booked the New British Airways Business Class Seats!

British Airways Business Class is really pretty, and plenty spacious.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Mom Was Super Happy With Her Big Comfy Seat!

The cabin filled up quickly.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Our Row Was Second to Last, So We Had a Full View of the Cabin

Even the little things like headphones makes my mom happy!

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

You Should Have Seen Her Tear Open the Amenity Kit

We sat across from each other.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Yeah, We Can Pass as Sisters!

There was plenty of storage space for stuff like my purse.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Perfect Size for My Purse!

The seat were also fully flat beds.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Mom Didn’t Want to Sleep Right Away. She Didn’t Want to Miss Out on Her Business Class Seat Experience!

The TV was a good size as well.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Fold-Out Entertainment Instead of Seat-Back TVs

There was an outlet to keep my laptop and cell phone charged.  Having all these amenities really makes for a more comfortable flight…I feel so thankful that I can share these experiences with my family!

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

A Precious Commodity at 30,000 Feet

Shortly after boarding, we were served starters.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

One of My Favorite Parts of Business Class – Fancy Food!

There was a divider that could separate my mom and me for added privacy, but we never used it.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

I Spend Too Much Time Away From My Mom as It Is!

Our main course was roast chicken and gratin potatoes.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

High-Quality Food for an Airplane

I had cheese for dessert.

I Found My New Best Friend Traveling To London Part 12 Return Business Class Flight To US

Any Time Is a Good Time for Cheese

You Can Do It, Too!

We used British Airways Avios points to fly to London.  But we ended up paying a lot in fuel surcharges.  And we stayed at the Intercontinental London Park Lane.

But there are cheaper ways to get to London on miles & points!  And plenty of options for hotel award stays.

Here are my top recommendations for booking award flights to London.  And some ideas for where to stay!

Flights

1.   American Airlines

Using American Airlines miles to get from the US to Europe costs:

  • 30,000 miles one-way in coach (22,500 miles between November 1 and December 14, and January 10 and March 14) + taxes & fees
  • 57,500 miles one-way in Business Class + taxes & fees
  • 85,000 miles one-way in First Class + taxes & fees

Note:   Make sure you don’t fly on British Airways planes, because American Airlines will pass along the fuel surcharges!  Try to cross the ocean on an American Airlines or Air Berlin plane.

It’s easier to earn American Airlines miles than you might think!  Right now, Citi American Airlines credit cards are offering:

Redeeming American Airlines miles is simple, too.  Look for flights on your desired dates by logging into either your American Airlines account.  Make sure you click on “Redeem Miles” and then Show Full Calendar” for the fewest number of miles needed if your dates are flexible.

Check out my guide on how to book American Airlines miles!

2.   United Airlines

You can fly from the US to Europe on United Airlines for:

  • 30,000 miles one-way in coach + taxes & fees
  • 57,500 miles one-way in Business Class + taxes & fees (70,000 miles if you fly on a United Airlines partner)
  • 80,000 miles one-way in First Class + taxes & fees (110,000 miles if you fly on a United Airlines partner)

You can earn United Airlines miles quickly by signing-up for these cards:

  • Chase United Explorer – 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Chase United small business card – 50,000 United Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United at a 1:1 ratio with:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred – 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Check out my ultimate guide to booking United Airlines miles!

Note:   Remember, Chase has changed their application rules for airline and hotel cards.  So if you’ve opened 5+ credit cards in the past 24 months (except these business cards), it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for any of these cards.

Hotels

1.   IHG

You can book IHG hotels for between 10,000 and 60,000 IHG points per night (or just 5,000 IHG points per night during IHG PointBreaks!).

I stayed at the 5-star Intercontinental London Park Lane, which costs 60,000 IHG points per night.  But you can stay at cheaper options, like the Holiday Inn Stevenage30 minutes north of London, for just 10,000 IHG points per night.

2.   Hyatt

Hyatt charges between 5,000 and 30,000 Hyatt points per night.  I’ve previously stayed at the Hyatt Regency London – Churchill and loved it!  The hotel costs 25,000 Hyatt points per night.  But you can also stay in cheaper hotels, like the Hyatt Place London Heathrow, which costs 12,000 Hyatt points per night.

3.   Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, & Starwood

Marriott and Starwood have merged!  You can link your accounts, and transfer points between your Marriott and Starwood accounts at a 3:1 ratio.  And Marriott and Ritz-Carlton essentially have the same rewards program, just with different branding .  So if you collect Marriott or Starwood points, you’ll have lots of options in London!

It costs between 7,500 and 70,000 Marriott points to stay at a Marriott or Ritz-Carlton hotel.  And Starwood hotels charge between 3,000 Starwood points (2,000 points on weekends) and 35,000 Starwood points for a free night.

You could stay at The London EDITION, a 5-star Ritz-Carlton hotel, for 50,000 Marriott points (or convert 17,000 Starwood points into Marriott points).  Or you could stay at the Aloft London Excel for 10,000 Starwood points (or convert 30,000 Marriott points to Starwood points).

4.   Hilton

Hilton has lots of hotels to choose from in London!  You can stay at the incredible Waldorf Hilton, London for 60,000 Hilton points per night.  Or you can stay at the more affordable Hampton by Hilton London Croydon for 20,000 Hilton points per night.

Bottom Line

Mom and I used British Airways Avios points to fly Business Class to London.  And we loved every minute of the experience!  But we ended up paying fuel surcharges.

There are other ways to get to London on miles & points without the hefty fees.  For example:

You can use American Airlines miles to get from the US to Europe for as low as 22,500 miles one-way in coach, depending on the dates you leave (just remember to choose a flight that is not on a British Airways plane, or you’ll get big fuel surcharges passed along to you).

Or you can fly from the US to Europe on United Airlines for as low as 30,000 miles one-way in coach.  Plus, you can easily transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United at a ratio of 1:1.

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 responses to “I Found My New Best Friend Traveling to London: Part 12 – Return Business Class Flight to US

  1. A big problem is just that leaving from London yields really high departure taxes. I’ll be there in April – sounds like you had a great trip!

    • Yeah, it’s too bad. But we still have it pretty good. 🙂 Have an amazing time, and tag us with your pictures and video on Facebook and Instagram! 🙂