(EXPIRED) 25.5K business class Brussels to New York

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Dan’s Deals reported this evening on a phenomenal deal via an Avianca LifeMiles award sale: through the end of the schedule, there has been wide open Brussels Airlines business class availability from Brussels, Belgium (BRU) to New York (JFK) for just 25,500 Avianca LifeMiles and about $100 in taxes and fees. That’s an amazing deal — it’s even cheaper than economy flights on the same days — and on some days I am still seeing four seats available (though availability is pretty spotty now in the summer, but there are still some late August dates with 2 seats and a better handful of February / March dates with 4 seats.

a close up of a beach

The trick here is one that I’ve pointed out about LifeMiles before — you can’t leave it on the default “Smart Search” setting but rather you need to manually choose a “Star Alliance” search from the drop down on the search page. Don’t try to get slick and choose “Brussels Airlines” from the drop down — that won’t show any business class availability. Choose Star Alliance.

a screenshot of a web page

Then you’ll find dates where business class costs less than economy class.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

That space is indeed bookable. In fact, I took my own advice from this morning’s post about how to go about booking a family in business class and split my family up to fly over two consecutive days, with my wife and one son on one day and my our other son and I traveling on a consecutive day so that we could get peak summertime availability.

That said, I did consider early March since I can still find dates with four seats still now as shown in the screen shot above (taken just minutes before posting this). Note that this is a publicly-advertised sale on the LifeMiles website that explicitly says that Brussels to New York in business class is on sale for 25.5K miles one way. I fully expect this deal to be honored based on the way it is publicly advertised and European regulations. I obviously can’t guarantee that it will be, but given that they are advertising this price publicly and that Iberia has occasionally put business class on sale at this rate (on its routes that price 34K off-peak), I think Avianca would have a hard time arguing this is any sort of obvious mistake. It’s a phenomenal deal for sure.

a screenshot of a computer

According to our transfer time database, transfers to Avianca LifeMiles should be instant.

That said, when I went to transfer from Membership Rewards, Amex warned me that the transfer may take up to 72 hours. Dan from Dan’s Deals says that the transfer will either be instant or overnight with no way to predict which will happen. I believe I had an experience with a transfer that didn’t execute until overnight earlier this year.

I was momentarily panicked when I executed my transfer a little while ago and I got an error on the Amex side saying that it couldn’t be processed right away and to try again later. I almost immediately tried to transfer again, but thankfully I thought to go back to my Amex account home page first, where I noticed that my Membership Rewards total had decreased by the correct number of points for the transfer. Sure enough, despite the error message I received, my transfer had successfully gone through after all and was immediately available in my LifeMiles account.

I was able to book two of us on two different dates without a problem. While I didn’t receive an email with a ticket number, and pulling up my reservation on the Brussels Airlines website provided only very limited information about my booking, I was able to successfully access my booking via the Swiss Airlines website using the confirmation code provided by Avianca. At Swiss.com I was able to see my ticket numbers and select seats for the Brussels Airlines flights.

Unfortunately, there is not availability in the other direction via Brussels Airlines (at least not in business class). However, in this morning’s post, I showed some dates with nine seats in Swiss business class from New York to Geneva. I booked something else entirely for my ride to Europe — more on that in a separate post. That said, even if I weren’t able to book a way to Europe right now, I’d have probably been willing to gamble on this one and hope to find a flight to Europe at some later juncture. It’s not too often that you can fly transatlantic business class for 25.5K miles and a hundred bucks. Sometimes you have to strike while the iron is hot.

According to the LifeMiles website, the current Star Alliance award sale is valid for bookings between October 24th and October 28th. I don’t know if that means this deal will end imminently or if it means that the sale is on until the end of October 28th, but either way I don’t expect it to last long.

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The real beej

I booked this deal for a flight that was scheduled to fly from Brussels to JFK in a couple of days. I went onto the Brussels/Lufthansa/Swiss websites earlier today to ensure my passport info was loaded and my seats were still assigned. When I pulled up my reservation it showed as canceled. I cross checked and Brussels did in fact cancel the flight on my travel date but I did not receive any notification of this. I called the US Brussels phone number and was connected to an agent within 10 minutes. He apologized and gave me one option on my travel date (I need to be home on this date) for a connecting flight on Lufthansa. Brussels was selling a direct flight (operated by United) to Newark on my travel date. I asked if it was possible to be put on that flight but the agent was insistent that I couldn’t be on that flight as the origin and destination had to remain the same as my original booking. I mentioned JFK/Newark both being NYC but he wasn’t having it and told me I could take it up with Lifemiles. Wanting nothing to do with Lifemiles customer service, I reluctantly had him book me on the connecting flight. My question is: did I have any recourse in this situation to be accommodated for flights in and out of different airports given that Brussels proactively canceled this flight? I realize that this was quite a deal and I’m certainly glad they were able to accommodate me on a connecting flight on my desired day of travel. I’m just curious as to what my realistic options are if something similar to this comes up in the future. Any insight you guys can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks.


I am looking at the end of April and don’t see any nonstops BRU to JFK. I do see some Lufthansa with stop in FRA for 30,000 in business. Destination is TPA. Is Lufthansa decent for business?


Must have looked at it wrong. Any other tips for business class from Brussels to NY or TPA? Need end of April but flexible.


I booked this for next August, but I will need to position to BRU. If I fly Brussels Airlines from BUD-BRU that morning (6:40-8:45), 1:50 layover, is there a way to “link” the two flights so that any delay of the 1st one will protect me on the 2nd flight from BRU-JFK? Does it matter if the BUD-BRU leg is booked with points or with cash? I do not plan to check luggage, so I really just want the protection if I miss the 2nd flight in the event the 1st is delayed. I am hoping since it is the same airline for both that there is something that can be done.

Li Yang

My points transfer from Amex showed up this morning but the deal seemed gone. Each time I selected the date I could not finish booking and it’s gone when refreshing. Anyone still can book today?


or anyone who booked Brussels via LM before. How do I select seats? I can pull up the reservation on Brussels but it says I cant select seats till checkin time 24 hours before flight. We are a family of 4 and want to ensure we are together.


That worked. Thank you! I really like Brussels Biz Class Layout, I can now trap our 3 year old on the window seat so he has nowhere to run!


You can select the seats in the app.


We had great flights in J on Brussels from Oslo to Brussels to JFK a few years ago (I asked the customs agent at JFK if we could keep the two boxes of chocolates the airline gave us, and his response was “if you don’t want them, I’ll take them”) but I have to wonder whether business class on a seven-hour or eight-hour flight is really worth it if I’d have to split my family apart and fly on separate days. Adds to the logistical issues and doubles the possibility of IRROPS happening to at least one group of flyers When I can do it, I’ll fly all five of us in front on points (you should have seen the looks when my then four-year old said a bit too loudly “Daddy, I LIKE FIRST CLASS”), but finding availability on points is certainly getting harder. Seems like a lot less stress to fly everyone together on the same plane and everyone starts the family vacation at the same time, even if everyone needs to sit in the back. Sure, you absolutely found a great deal, but isn’t there a cost in family harmony if something screws up–especially if the screw-up is in the group that doesn’t include you?


Thanks Nick. You are doing many smart things in your plan to reduce risk (sending wife first, if you are delayed she is in the USA at an airport hotel, and you are accompanying her to the airport). Maybe we have been less fortunate than you on IRROPS, but we’ve tried to reduce our risk as much as possible (nonstops if available and if not, no less than a two hour layover), but we’ve still as a family gotten nailed. Seven hour delay in Tahiti because United’s 787 wouldn’t pressurize and they needed to fly in a plane from China, which blew our connection in San Francisco. Five-hour delay flying Paris to Chicago, which blew our connection in Chicago (AA Flagship Lounge was nice though). Four hour delay at DFW because someone needed oxygen on the plane before takeoff and then AA had to search the airport for the correct replacement oxygen bottle. Delta flew us from Atlanta to off the coast of Virginia to back to Atlanta because a piece of equipment malfunctioned and the pilot was reluctant to continue to NYC airspace. A few months ago, our daughter was travelling alone from Costa Rica and AA cancelled her connecting flight in Charlotte, leaving her airside from 9:30 p.m. to 4:45 a.m. to pull an all-nighter with the cleaning crew (long story–thanks AA and TSA). There were more. Just wonder whether J is worth it on a short trans-Atlantic flight when all of you could be together in E and you could deal in person with any issues but I totally realize everyone’s view on that (as well as the particulars of their family situation) can be very different. You do what you can and hope for the best!


Yeah, but I’ve already booked our next seven trips and just waiting for a some more points to be added to my account so we can book two more. Roll with the punches!


Wife was upset I missed the best one. Wife and our three kids in F (5 of the 12 seats in F) on Aadvantage miles from NYC to DEN. Flight diverted to Colorado Springs due to thunderstorms in DEN. Then, when we landed, the thunderstorms hit Colorado Springs and we couldn’t leave or even deplane for three hours since the lightning was too close to the jetway. By the time the storms let up, the crew had timed out. So we were let out by AA in the wrong city, after 10:00 p.m., with no available hotels, and AA told us to have a nice rest of the night since there was nothing else they could do. And you almost never hit IRROPS more than two hours? How do I become you?


Call the airlines and make sure that Lifemiles/ Avianca actually confirmed and ticketed your tickets . I booked Over the phone with Avianca- Lifemiles to fly Turkish Airlines business class – received ticket numbers from
Avianca record locator and confirmed with them. Confirmed and select seats with Turkish thought the website but never ask if my ticketed was actually ticketed .When I try to check in at the airport with Turkish in Miami they pull me to the side in the business class check in and told me my ticket was not ticketed by the third party they just made a reservation but never confirmed . Hope everything works for you ..

Phil Ridolfi

Three seats available on Nov 29. We’ll be there, but need to come home Saturday or Sunday; not available then. Almost!


“I believe I had an experience with a transfer that didn’t execute until overnight earlier this year.” That was the case for me with Cap One. It took overnight even though I received email messages from Avianca (and Cap One) saying that the miles were in my Avianca account. Very frustrating to see the availability disappear, while I refreshed and refreshed before giving up and going to sleep. One bright note is that I was able to find and book for two the next morning. Now to search for a flight/train to Brussels. I see no availability via Virgin Atlantic, but do see it on Air France.

Adventure NML

Kind of a shame Swiss doesn’t seem to want you to select the “throne” seats