(EXPIRED) Business class for $1300’s RT from Budapest to many US cities through summer 2023

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A member of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group reported a great business class fare deal today from Budapest, Hungary to many US cities for less than $1500 round trip on oneworld airlines. Note that this fare only works flying round trip from Budapest to the US and back to Europe, but I find this type of thing to be useful for someone planning two trips to Europe since this could cover your flight home from Europe on trip #1 and your flight to Europe for trip #2 (leaving you a one-way to book separately to complete each round trip.

The Deal

  • Fly round trip in business class on oneworld carries from Budapest to many cities in the US (and perhaps open jaw to return to a different European city) from the $1300’s or even a bit less
  • Use Google Flights to search for prices

Quick Thoughts

Again, this can be useful for people looking to visit Europe a couple of times. Note that as reported by this member of FMI, it will even work on open jaw flights, so you can “return” to a different city in Europe than Budapest.

The exciting thing here is that this deal works to many cities, not just places like New York or Chicago. For instance, here is Budapest to Albany departing Europe in May on Finnair for the long-haul and returning to Europe on British Airways in July for a total of $1384 round trip.

You should be able to find that fare through credit card portals, meaning that it should be bookable for about 93K Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have the Sapphire Reserve card or a net cost of less than 90K Amex Membership Rewards points if you use points from a Business Platinum card and you’re eligible for the 35% pay-with-points rebate.

Again it is worth noting that you can do as well or maybe even better with open-jaws. For instance, here is the same outbound option from Budapest to Albany in May with a “return” to Europe that goes from Chicago to Milan in July for $1291 round trip.

That would bring the net cost after rebate to less than 84K Membership Rewards points per passenger. Considering that you’ll earn miles on these paid business class tickets to book, that’s an excellent deal. Based on Alaska’s current earning charts, you’d earn at least 250% of mileage flown on the British Airways and at least 125% mileage flown on the Finnair segments (or at least 150% of mileage flown crediting to American). You could of course credit segments to different programs as you see fit.

On my “round trip” British Airways business class itineraries this summer/fall, my family members each earned almost 20K Alaska miles on the round trips. Depending on where you credit and which flights you take, you may earn less — but with round trips between the US and Europe running at least 7,000 miles or so in most cases with this deal, you should have no trouble earning a decent chunk of miles to offset cost even further.

I feel like British Airways business class doesn’t have the most exciting reputation in the blogosphere, but I found it surprisingly nice. The suites were comfortable enough and the doors closed. My 2yr old fell asleep in about 90 seconds after reclining the bed and closing the suite door. Service was friendly and food was decent. It didn’t rock my world, but I’d certainly fly with them again.

I haven’t yet flown Finnair’s new weird business class seat, but despite the initial skepticism all reports I’ve read from those who have actually flown in it have been quite positive. At these prices, I’d just be happy to have transatlantic business class.

Overall, this can be a great deal for those able to piece this together with other awards / tickets, particularly since I see these prices on certain days of the week even during peak summertime weeks.

(H/T: Bob in Frequent Miler Insiders)

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LarryInNYC

This is great, but I need it departing a week from Thursday!

Some questions:

1. If booked as a r/t with the west bound flight in this AAdvantage year but the return to Europe after February, will the west bound LPs post right away?

2. If one booked this without a perfect understanding of when you would actually want to use the return-to-Europe flight is it possible to change the second leg, at least the date, after you’ve started travel?

3. Do you know the earliest date for these fares?

4. What is the worst (longest) routing one could construct?

LarryInNYC

Thanks for the extensive response.

I wouldn’t be looking to get the return flight credited before I took them, my question was more about whether the first flight (Europe to US) would credit after I took it and before the return flight, or whether the entire itinerary would have to be complete before even the first flights credited. From your response I understand that they’re likely to credit in about a week after they’re flown, even if I haven’t “returned” yet.

LarryInNYC

Thanks. I have enough experience to know this works fine domestically when flying and crediting the same airline, I think I was wondering whether there are any complexities when crediting a partner.

You have intuited, I think, my “game” is satisfying this pathological craving AA (ironic acronym, in this context) has created in me for Loyalty Points. I’m returning from Scandinavia in a little less than two weeks and could easily kick off some kind of journey like this if it’s available when I’m ready to book the return. I had been playing around with HEL-DOH-CAI-DOH-JFK but it’s still just too much for me to pay.

Ralph

Finnair’s new business class seat isn’t so good for side sleepers. You hit the corner of the IFE monitor ever time you roll over. And that vertical bar that encroached on the foot area only makes it worse.
Seemingly things such a design conscious airline should have identified and corrected before roll out.