shhhDear Flier,

Under a little-known promotion, Delta and American Airlines have created a new Business Class fare to Europe that makes Business actually affordable to select destinations, and marks the death of frequent flier miles as we know them.

On both airlines you can now buy a discounted economy fare on certain routes to Europe or Africa, and then pay a flat $250 for an automatic upgrade on any non-stop flight. For connecting flights, it’s another $50. First Class Flyer’s Matthew Bennett provided us with the following info in his December newsletter.

Now anybody can fly Business Class for as little as $1,222, inclusive, round-trip to Europe.
You DO have to book 60 days in advance, and for now it only applies to select routes, providing that certain inventories are available. For many luxury travelers such advance booking isn’t an option, but when it is, and the itinerary fits, you hit the Business Class jackpot.

Let’s look at Delta’s New York-Dublin route to see the new policy in play.

The “cheapest” Business Class fare for this route, round-trip, was previously $4,627. The airline’s new fare is $1,222: that’s $3,405 and 74% less expensive.

Some more examples:

Route New Fare Old Fare Decrease Airline
NY-Madrid $1,627
Chicago-Frankfurt $2,145
LA-Zurich $1,845


Death of Frequent Flier Miles?
These new automatic upgrades often make miles obsolete.

Again, we can see this revolution in action by looking at American’s New York-Dublin route; this time let’s assess mid-September travel. American allows mileage upgrades on most published economy fares, starting at $753, plus the “co-pay” of $700, plus 50,000 miles. The miles have a replacement value of $1,548. This brings the cost to $3,001—that’s $1,125 more than using the new automatic upgrade fare.

For the same itinerary, you would pay $1,876, while earning 25% more miles and saving 50,000 miles, to use on a trip that doesn’t have the new upgrade option. You get the idea.

The secret is out. With at least 60 days advance booking, on select routes, Business Class is now an option for the general public.


Cook Travel