How to Book US Airways Off-Peak Award Flights to Europe for 30,000/35,000 Miles Round Trip
US Airways off-peak flights to Europe are amazing. I went to Europe in January 2013 and visited Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, Munich, and Brussels. In January 2014, I went back to Europe and visited Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome. Of course it is cold in January, but if this SoCal boy can handle a bit of snow, I’m sure you can too. The weather in southern Europe, specifically Spain and Italy, is usually pretty good year round. Rome in January was about 50-60 degree each day. Amsterdam and Vienna were about 30-40 degrees each day. Berlin was freezing, probably 10-20 degrees each day.
With that said, a winter getaway could be just what you need. Thanks to US Airways and their off-peak awards to Europe, you only need 35,000 US Airways miles to fly from the US to many cities in Europe. The rules are:
- You must travel only on US Airways operated flights (no American Airlines or One World Alliance partners)
- You must travel in economy class (no business or first class allowed)
- You must complete your travel between January 15 and February 28
If you want to see the full US Airways award chart and other off-peak dates, please click here.
One of the great perks of having the Barclays US Airways Credit Card is that you get a 5,000 mile discount on every award flight. So that 35,000 mile off-peak award to Europe will cost only 30,000 miles per passenger. If you are interested in applying for this credit card, please check out my Credit Card Page.
To begin our award search, we must search for all routes operated from Philadelphia and Charlotte. Here are all the award flights from Charlotte, North Carolina to Europe from January to February (link). All cities with red boxes have award space in January and February.
Here are the award calendars for all of January and February for various flights from Charlotte to Europe. Look for award charts that have the lightest color or blue and charge only 17,500 miles each way. If there is a red line across the chart, that means there are no off-peak award flights on any days that month. No love for Barcelona in the winter :(
Pretty good award space to Paris.
Pretty good award space to Dublin.
Decent award space to Rome in January, but not many days in February.
Very good award space for Frankfurt.
Excellent award space to London.
Continuing our search for award space, here are all the award flights from Philadelphia to Europe from January to February (link). Cities with green boxes are season flights and do no operate in January or February.
Here are the award calendars for all of January and February for various flights from Philadelphia to Europe. Look for award charts that have the lightest color or blue and charge only 17,500 miles each way. If there is a red line across the chart, that means there are no off-peak award flights on any days that month. Pretty good award space to Amsterdam.
Once again, no love for Barcelona during January and February.
Pretty good award space to Brussels.
Very good award space to Paris.
Pretty good award space to Dublin.
Once again, decent award space to Rome in January, but not many days in February.
Absolutely amazing award space to London!
Excellent award space to Madrid too!
Very good award space to Manchester.
Very good award space to Munich too.
No love for Zurich in January and February.
For this example, I live in SoCal, so I need to look at award flights from Los Angeles to Philadelphia and Charlotte from January to February (link). LA to Philadelphia award space is amazing.
LA to Charlotte award space is amazing too!
Now that I know award space is pretty good, I need to find the perfect flight. Go to US Airways’ award travel page (link) and fill in the info below. The first option doesn’t matter, since the award calendar will let you know if there are any off-peak seats available by their color coding. Then pick your city pair and wide range of dates (you can select actual dates on the next page). All my award searches from above were for 2 passengers, so you should have good luck finding award space for at least 2 passengers per flight, possibly more. Search for coach seats, select 2 or more connections to see every possible option and calendar view.
I would like to spend 2 weeks in Paris, so I pick the Saturdays that work for me. Both dates are 17,500 miles each way, so my total is 35,000 miles and $148 in taxes/fees. There is no way to avoid the taxes and fees since US Airways charges $50 per award seat and each airport has it’s own taxes and fees.
Now I can pick my flights. Only look at the flights entirely operated by US Airways, since those will show up at 17,500 miles each way.
For the return flight, there are so many options, but only 2 worth considering.
Double check that your flights are correct and that your award seats cost the same as the previous page.
This page shows the total for 2 passengers. All you do now is fill in each passenger’s information and pay the taxes/fees.
To reiterate the message above, if you have a Barclays US Airways Credit Card, you will get a 5,000 mile discount per passenger on each award flight. If I had the Barclays US Airways Credit Card, I would have saved a total of 10,000 miles. Pretty cool card feature, right? If you are interested in applying for the credit card, please check out my credit card page.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.