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        Best Ways to Fly to London with Points & Miles; London City

        伊朗队Full Disclosure:伊朗队 We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure?for more details. We appreciate your support!

        There are tons of great ways to fly to Europe with miles and points, and any number of redemptions can help you get from the U.S. to London. However, many of these options require you to connect in another country in continental Europe.

        There’s nothing wrong with a connection, and they can even be fun when you visit an amazing first class lounge — like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal (FCT) at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) when flying Lufthansa first class.

        That being said, sometimes vacation time is limited, and cutting down on transit time to pack in more fun at our destination is the number 1 priority. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ways you can fly directly to London from the U.S.

        Let’s dig into some great economy, business, and first class options so you can decide how you want to book your next trip across the Atlantic.


        When looking for ways to book award flights to London, you will want to keep an eye on carrier-imposed surcharges, as well as the miles required by the frequent flyer program you are using.

        If you do that, you can get some great value out of your miles and points and visit an amazing city.


        American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L
        Doesn’t this American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat look like a comfortable place to spend 12 hours? Image Credit: Stephen Au

        The American Airlines AAdvantage program will probably be the easiest option for booking flights operated by American Airlines or its Oneworld partner 伊朗队British Airways. You can search for award space on American Airlines’ website and complete the entire booking process online.


        American Airlines award booking example
        Sometimes, you can find award availability on American Airlines at even cheaper prices than the prior 57,500 miles price! Image Credit: American Airlines

        Ever since American Airlines AAdvantage moved to a variable award pricing scheme for AA flights, you’ll find terrible premium cabin prices, for the most part. However, there are a few dates on which you can actually find cheaper prices than before this change was in effect.

        American Airlines operates flights to London from several airports in the U.S. The American AAdvantage program also uses a region-based award chart so you can add a connecting flight from smaller airports to any of these gateway airports without increasing the number of miles required.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop American Flights to London伊朗队
        Charlotte (CLT)Los Angeles (LAX)Philadelphia (PHL)
        Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)Miami (MIA)Phoenix (PHX)
        Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)New York City (JFK)Raleigh-Durham (RDU)


        Delta One Suites A350-900
        Delta One Suites is bookable on select flights to London. Image Credit: Stephen Au

        Moving over to the SkyTeam alliance, we have the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program. With tons of Delta flights from the U.S. to London, this is a fantastic program to book award tickets.

        You might think of using Delta’s SkyMiles program initially, but give Flying Blue a look before you decide as it has better redemption rates to London.


        Booking Delta One with Air France Flying Blue
        For 123,000 Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles, you can book a round-trip business class award ticket on Delta between the U.S. and London. Image Credit: Air France

        You can use Flying Blue miles to book nonstop flights on Delta from several airports in the U.S. With its region-based award chart, you won’t need any additional miles if you are connecting from another airport.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop Delta Flights to London伊朗队
        Atlanta (ATL)New York City (JFK)
        Boston (BOS)Portland, Oregon (PDX) — Seasonal
        Detroit (DTW)Salt Lake City (SLC) — Seasonal
        Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)

        伊朗队Hot Tip:?伊朗队Air France/KLM runs regular award sales for specific routes called Promo Awards and has some other great award booking options, so make sure you check out the 伊朗队best way to use Flying Blue miles.


        A major advantage of the Flying Blue program is just how easy it is to earn miles with the program. While there aren’t any American credit cards that earn Flying Blue miles directly, Air France/KLM has partnered with 5 transferable points programs.

        You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points, 伊朗队Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Points, Capital One miles, and 伊朗队Marriott points. Amex, Chase, and Citi transfer to the Flying Blue program at a solid 1:1 ratio. Capital One transfers at a 2:1.5 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.

        Amex, Chase, and Citi transfer almost instantly. Capital One transfers in around an hour and Marriott Bonvoy transfers take around 1 business day.

        Our favorite ways to earn Flying Blue miles are through credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards since both Chase and American Express provide cards with great bonus categories.

        伊朗队Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)伊朗队

        Chase Sapphire Preferred? - This is our 伊朗队favorite beginners travel rewards card伊朗队 which has a 60,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

        This 伊朗队sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases伊朗队 (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you 伊朗队multiple round-trip flights伊朗队 or hotel stays.
        Chase Sapphire Reserve? - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee.
        伊朗队Chase Freedom Unlimited?伊朗队 - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

        伊朗队Recommended Chase Cards (Business伊朗队伊朗队)伊朗队

        Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card - This is our 伊朗队#1 recommended business card伊朗队 and right now comes with a 伊朗队100,000 sign up bonus伊朗队 after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. 伊朗队This bonus is worth $1,250伊朗队 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year.
        Ink Business Cash? Credit Card - earn 伊朗队$500 bonus cash back伊朗队 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This no annual fee business card earns up to 伊朗队5% cash back on a range of business expenses伊朗队 such as office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services.

        We generally suggest people start with Chase Ultimate Rewards because of the Chase 5/24 rule, but after that Amex Membership Rewards are a top priority.

        伊朗队Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)伊朗队

        伊朗队The Platinum Card? from American Express伊朗队 - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months, 伊朗队worth up to $600 towards travel.伊朗队 Terms Apply.

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        This is our #1 card for accessing 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass). We leverage ~$3,000+ in value from the card every year. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
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        With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and up to $100 airline fee credit per calendar year, it's a strong choice. For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click 伊朗队here.

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        United Polaris Business Class
        Traveling in United Polaris business class is one of the best ways to maximize your frequent flyer awards. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

        Next, we have our first option in the Star Alliance. All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club is a great frequent flyer program from one of the best airlines in the world. Sure, a Japanese carrier’s loyalty program probably isn’t what you’re used to for booking award tickets, but don’t overlook this one!


        ANA London Redemption
        It only takes 88,000 ANA Mileage Club miles to book a round-trip business class award ticket on United Airlines. Image Credit: ANA

        ANA Mileage Club can help you book nonstop flights to London on United Airlines from 6 airports across the U.S. If you don’t live in one of United’s hub airports, you can connect from your home airport to one of these hubs and continue to London for no extra ANA Mileage Club miles.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop United Flights to London伊朗队
        Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)**Newark (EWR)**
        Denver (DEN)San Francisco (SFO)**
        Houston (IAH)**Washington, D.C. (IAD)**
        Los Angeles (LAX)*

        * Air New Zealand also offers a nonstop, fifth freedom flight, but this service is ending in October 2020.
        ** United offers its newest Polaris business class from these cities


        Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Upper Class Seat 9A from Aisle
        Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 New Upper Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

        Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer program is called Flying Club. One of the best ways to fly to London is to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class. Specifically, its new Upper Class seats are flown regularly between New York City (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX). You can also book Delta One with Virgin Atlantic miles, but you can access better award availability on Virgin Atlantic’s own flights.


        Virgin Atlantic availability
        You can find availability for Virgin Atlantic flights on many nonstop routes to London. Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic

        Virgin Atlantic offers flights to several U.S. hubs and gateways. Some of them include:

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop Virgin Atlantic Flights to London伊朗队
        Atlanta (ATL)New York City (JFK)
        Boston (BOS)Orlando (MCO)
        Las Vegas (LAS)San Francisco (SFO)
        Los Angeles (LAX)Seattle (SEA)
        Miami (MIA)Washington, D.C. (IAD)

        As a reminder, Los Angeles (LAX) and New York City (JFK) are the only cities currently offering the new Upper Class service.


        Delta One Seat
        If you’re willing to fly on Delta’s non-Suite business class, you can access better availability by booking directly on Delta’s website. Image Credit: Delta

        Delta’s SkyMiles program is often derided for the unannounced devaluations that tend to happen quite regularly, but there is still some value to be found in its award chart — which it doesn’t publish.


        Delta London Redemption
        You can redeem 140,000 Delta SkyMiles for a round-trip business class award ticket to London. Image Credit: Delta

        While it’s tough to trust that Delta won’t devalue its unpublished award chart without warning, if you have a nice chunk of SkyMiles, you can easily book a nonstop flight to London. For those not living in one of Delta’s hub cities, you might even be able to connect for no extra miles.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop Delta Flights to London伊朗队
        Atlanta (ATL)New York City (JFK)
        Boston (BOS)Portland, Oregon (PDX) — Seasonal
        Detroit (DTW)Salt Lake City (SLC) — Seasonal
        Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)

        Virgin Atlantic also operates several nonstop routes from the U.S. that can be booked with Delta SkyMiles, which were mentioned above. The chart is reproduced below for reference.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop Virgin Atlantic Flights to London伊朗队
        Atlanta (ATL)New York City (JFK)
        Boston (BOS)Orlando (MCO)
        Las Vegas (LAS)San Francisco (SFO)
        Los Angeles (LAX)Seattle (SEA)
        Miami (MIA)Washington, D.C. (IAD)


        伊朗队American Airlines Flagship First Class
        On international flights, American Airlines Flagship Business Class features spacious Zodiac seats, just like on its transcontinental Flagship First Class flights. Image Credit: Stephen Au

        If you’re looking for the cheapest mileage requirements, look no further than our second Oneworld alliance option, Japan Airlines. There’s only 1 exception to this: when American Airlines has off-peak economy award prices. Other than that, Japan Airlines is the best option if you want to use as few miles as possible.

        Unfortunately, Japan Airlines miles are some of the hardest miles to earn, which is why they’re more valuable.


        British Airways booking with Japan Airlines miles
        For nonstop, round-trip award bookings, you won’t find a way to book for fewer miles and points than the Japan Airlines Mileage Bank program. Image Credit: Japan Airlines

        Booking one of the numerous nonstop flights from the U.S. to London on British Airways with Mileage Bank miles is a great way to get to London. The 1 caveat to keep in mind is that Japan Airlines uses a distance-based award chart for partner bookings.

        As a result, if you need to connect to one of American Airlines’ hub airports, your award ticket might require more mileage. Make sure you consider the impact of a connection on the total number of miles required for your award booking.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop British Airways Flights to London伊朗队
        Atlanta (ATL)Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)Nashville (BNA)Phoenix (PHX)
        Austin (AUS)Denver (DEN)Newark (EWR)Pittsburgh (PIT)
        Baltimore (BWI)Houston (IAH)New Orleans (MSY)San Diego (SAN)
        Boston (BOS)Las Vegas (LAS)New York City (JFK)San Jose (SJC)
        Charleston (CHS)Los Angeles (LAX)Orlando (MCO)Seattle (SEA)
        Chicago (ORD)Miami (MIA)Philadelphia (PHL)Washington, D.C. (IAD)


        United Polaris Middle Seats
        You can transfer Ultimate Rewards to United to fly to London. Image Credit: United Airlines

        Our second Star Alliance option is United Airlines MileagePlus. While it doesn’t have as competitive redemption rates as ANA Mileage Club, particularly for business class award tickets, it does open up different points-earning options.

        Although you’ll generally pay a premium with United MileagePlus on business class seats, you’ll get the added benefit of accessing enhanced award availability on United Polaris class.


        United London itinerary
        United MileagePlus is an easy program to use if you want to book an award flight to London. Image Credit: United

        United Airlines’ MileagePlus program is a great way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book award flights to London. It doesn’t have the best redemption rates, but the program is easy to use and won’t require more miles if you need a connecting flight. As we mentioned earlier, many of United’s nonstop routes feature their newest Polaris class product.

        伊朗队Airports With Nonstop United Flights to London伊朗队
        Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)Newark (EWR)
        Denver (DEN)San Francisco (SFO)
        Houston (IAH)Washington, D.C. (IAD)
        Los Angeles (LAX)


        The above carriers will generally be the go-to options when booking awards from the U.S. to London. However, there are a couple of other interesting ways to book business class awards.

        If you were wondering when we would discuss using British Airways Executive Club Avios, we’re about to dive in. Additionally, we’ll show you another SkyTeam alternative with the Korean Air SKYPASS program.


        Earning British Airways Avios is easy, especially when you consider that it is transfer partners with 伊朗队Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and 伊朗队Marriott Bonvoy.

        Chase and Amex transfer at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to British Airways. Chase and Amex transfer almost instantly, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers in around 1 business day.

        You can also earn British Airways Avios directly through the co-branded British Airways Visa Signature? Card.


        Korean Air miles aren’t exactly the easiest out there to earn. Still, Korean Air is transfer partners with 1 major rewards currency: 伊朗队Marriott Bonvoy. You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to Korean Air.

        Unfortunately, it may take a while for the points to transfer. Sometimes, it can take up to 19 days to transfer the points!


        London Heathrow Terminal 5
        Flying out of London means paying the Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee. It’s particularly expensive for long-haul business class and first class bookings. Image Credit: Greg Stone

        Now that we have taken a look at some of the best ways to book award flights, we need to discuss an important aspect of booking trips to London: the Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee?that applies to flights departing from the U.K.

        The cost of this fee is determined by both your class of service and the distance of your flight. Currently, the APD fees are as follows:

        伊朗队Flight Distance伊朗队伊朗队Class of Service伊朗队伊朗队APD Fee伊朗队
        Short-haulBusiness?26 (~$35)
        Short-haulEconomy?13 (~$18)
        Long-haulPremium Economy, Business, First?172 (~$211)
        Long-haulEconomy?78 (~$105)

        Another increase to the APD is coming on April 1, 2020, for premium cabin long-haul flights. This time the increase will be an additional ?4 (~$5). There will not be another increase to economy class long-haul flights.

        伊朗队Flight Distance伊朗队伊朗队Class of Service伊朗队伊朗队APD Fee伊朗队
        Short-haulBusiness?26 (~$35)
        Short-haulEconomy?13 (~$18)
        Long-haulPremium Economy, Business, First?172 (~$230)
        Long-haulEconomy?78 (~$105)

        Fortunately, these fees are not imposed on flights伊朗队 landing or connecting伊朗队 in the U.K. If you want to avoid these large fees, you can take a short flight to another country within Europe and book your return from there. Since the APD fee is much more manageable on short-haul routes, you can pay that instead of the long-haul APD fee.

        Keep in mind that these will have to be separate bookings. If you book a flight back to the U.S. that connects in another European country, you will still get hit with the long-haul APD fee.


        It’s no surprise that London is a popular destination for many Americans, with its rich history and ease of travel thanks to our common language. For those on the East Coast, it’s also one of the closest international destinations available.

        London also has the benefit of being one of the easier destinations to reach with an award ticket. With tons of airlines flying nonstop routes from the U.S., you’ll be able to avoid connections in Europe so you can have more time in London and less time in airports if you so choose.

        Even better, 5 major transferable points programs — 伊朗队Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One, and 伊朗队Marriott Bonvoy — can help you get there thanks to their airline partnerships.

        If you are booking an economy class award from the West Coast, we suggest you consider using 45,000 American AAdvantage miles to fly American Airlines during its off-peak season as you can easily earn the necessary miles through its co-branded Citi and Barclays offerings.

        From the East Coast, using American AAdvantage miles during its off-peak time frame is still a solid redemption, but JAL Mileage Bank can book the same flight on American Airlines for 45,000 miles.

        For those who want to book a business class award, ANA Mileage Club offers the best rate at 88,000 miles round-trip (one-way award bookings are not permitted) on United Airlines. As a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, it won’t be too difficult to earn the necessary miles.

        Now, as we discussed, taxes and fees for round-trip bookings are steep because of the Air Passenger Duty fees. This is especially frustrating for business class and first class award tickets, and even worse if you book on an airline that hits you with steep carrier-imposed surcharges (such as British Airways).

        Even with these concerns, though, you can see that there are plenty of ways to book award tickets and save a ton of cash on your flights to London. Using the information above, you’ll have no trouble figuring out which option is best for you.

        The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant? American Express? Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited?, Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card, and Ink Business Cash? Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.?

        For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business? American Express? Card, click here.
        For rates and fees of the Platinum Card? from American Express, click here.
        For rates and fees of the American Express? Gold Card, click here.
        For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles? Gold American Express Card, click here.



        If you book a flight on British Airways, you will be required to pay carrier-imposed surcharges, regardless of what frequent flyer program you use. Additionally, if you book a flight on American Airlines with British Airways Avios, you will be required to pay carrier-imposed surcharges.

        Korean Air requires you to pay the surcharges on Delta flights to London. It’s not a bad way to book business class award tickets, but you shouldn’t book economy class with the Korean Air SKYPASS program.

        ANA Mileage Club passes on carrier-imposed surcharges when booking award tickets with many partners, but not on flights with United Airlines or Air New Zealand, so you won’t have to worry about that when flying to London.


        Japan Airlines Mileage Bank will require the fewest miles from the East Coast for an economy class award ticket, at just 45,000 Mileage Bank miles round-trip. Just make sure you book award flights on American Airlines and not British Airways so you don’t get hit with high surcharges.

        Because Mileage Bank miles are a bit harder to earn, it could be easier for you to use American AAdvantage miles to book off-peak economy class award tickets for 45,000 miles?round-trip on flights operated by American Airlines. These miles are easier to earn since American Airlines has co-branded cards provided by Citi that earn AAdvantage miles directly.


        From the East Coast, Japan Airlines requires 80,000 Mileage Bank miles to book a round-trip business class ticket on either British Airways or American Airlines.

        To fly United Airlines or Air New Zealand, you can use 88,000 ANA Mileage Club miles for a round-trip award.

        You can book an award seat in Delta One (business class) with 80,000 Korean Air SKYPASS miles.


        If you want to fly first class to London, you will need to fly either American Airlines or British Airways — they’re the only carriers to offer a first class product between the U.S. and London.

        When booking with American AAdvantage miles or Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles, you will want to make sure your flights are operated by American Airlines to keep your cash cost low.

        Generally, the only time it makes sense to book a British Airways first class award is by using the British Airways Travel Together Ticket so you can get 2 first class seats for the miles of 1. You will have to pay the very steep taxes and fees for each ticket, which will come out to around $2,500 total.

        伊朗队 Stephen Au


        Born and raised in Los Angeles,?Stephen?has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

        伊朗队Disclaimer:伊朗队 Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


        1. Michael伊朗队 February 13, 2018

          Appreciate the article Spencer. I like how you broke down each program, the points required for all fare classes, and how to earn points for each redemption.


        2. karen伊朗队 June 20, 2019

          You left Phoenix off the list for nonstop AA flights to London.



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