Business class on flights within Europe is not usually renowned for high quality. In fact, flying Euro-Business class typically means sitting in a regular Economy seat at the front of the plane with a blocked middle seat. You’ll get a nicer meal, lounge access and personalised service on board. But there is nothing special whatsoever about the hard product.
Thankfully, there are some exceptions. A limited number of airlines use wide-body aircraft on some of their intra-Europe routes. These aircraft are usually configured for long-haul international flights, which means lie-flat seats in Business class. Some of these routes are fifth-freedom routes operated by airlines based outside of Europe. But others just happen to busy routes that justify the use of a larger aircraft.
We’ve put together a list of 10 intra-Europe flights with lie-flat Business class seats. All of these flights can be booked using frequent flyer points.
It’s worth also noting that Turkish Airlines also uses proper Business class seats on its flights between Turkey and Europe. The seats aren’t lie-flat, but Turkish Airlines does have dedicated Business class cabins with comfortable leather recliner seats on its Boeing 737s, A320s and A330s operating short-haul flights.
1. Frankfurt-Madrid on LATAM Airlines
LATAM Airlines flies every day from Santiago to Frankfurt, via Madrid using a Boeing 787 with lie-flat Business seats. Business class fares on the Madrid-Frankfurt leg are usually very cheap – starting at around $137 one-way for the 2.5 hour flight – making this not only a comfortable way to fly from Spain to Germany, but also an excellent Qantas status run.
As LATAM Airlines is a Oneworld airline, you can use Qantas points or any other Oneworld airline’s currency to book a seat on this route. A Business seat would cost 26,000 Qantas points + $31.60 taxes, for example.
2. Helsinki-London on Finnair
Finnair normally uses Airbus A320s with a typical Euro-Business setup on its short-haul flights. But the 8am flight from Helsinki to London (and 10.20am return flight from London) uses a long-haul-configured Airbus A350 with fully lie-flat Business seats. In addition, an A330 is sometimes used on one of the afternoon flights on this route.
Again, you can book a seat using points or miles with any Oneworld airline. A Business seat from Helsinki to London would cost 26,000 Qantas points + $93.
3. Helsinki-Brussels on Finnair
Finnair also happens to use A330s and A350s with “real” Business seats on its morning flights between Helsinki and Brussels… but only on Wednesdays and Saturdays, for some reason.
4. Larnaca-Malta on Emirates
Emirates flies a Boeing 777 every day between Larnaca, Cyprus and Malta. Both Business and First Class are available for 24,000 or 36,000 Qantas points respectively. However, the taxes and carrier charges are rather high, coming to $269.30 one-way.
5. Moscow-Stockholm on Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines’ flight from Singapore to Stockholm has a stop in Moscow (DME), and it is possible to just fly between Russia and Sweden on the Singapore Airlines A350. A Business Class seat from Moscow to Stockholm would cost 30,500 KrisFlyer miles or 26,000 Velocity points, plus $26 taxes.
6. Stockholm-Oslo on Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines also has a fifth-freedom route out of Stockholm to Oslo, Norway. The Business seats on the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 are certainly a step-up from “SAS Plus” on Scandinavian Airlines – SAS Plus does not even come with a blocked middle seat – although the flight only lasts one hour. You can book a seat from Oslo to Stockholm for 27,500 KrisFlyer miles + $31 taxes.
7. Amsterdam-Madrid on Air Europa
Air Europa flies a mix of Airbus A330s and Boeing 787s from Madrid to Amsterdam. These aircraft normally operate long-haul routes between Madrid and South America overnight, but Air Europa sends these planes to Amsterdam during the day rather than have them sitting on the ground in Madrid. Air Europa’s wide-body aircraft also pop up on flights from Madrid to Tel Aviv and Paris.
Book a seat using miles with any SkyTeam airline, such as Delta SkyMiles or Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. Or, redeem 22,000 Etihad Guest miles & taxes for Business on the Madrid-Amsterdam route.
8. London-Madrid on Iberia/British Airways
British Airways and Iberia carry thousands of passengers every day between their respective hubs of London-Heathrow and Madrid. Which such high demand on this route, some of these flights are operated by long-haul Boeing 777s, Airbus A350s and even Airbus A340s. You can book a seat using miles or points with any Oneworld airline.
9. Edinburgh-Dublin on Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines flies a Boeing 787 between Edinburgh and Dublin several times per week. Although Hainan Airlines is a partner airline of Virgin Australia, this route is not available for redemption using Velocity points. But you can book a Business class seat on this route for just 7,000 Etihad Guest miles, plus taxes.
10. Prague-Zurich on Sichuan Airlines
China-based Sichuan Airlines flies a wide-body aircraft from Prague to Zurich a few times per week. Unless you happen to have China Southern SkyPearl miles, you won’t be able to book an award seat on this flight – but paid airfares are reasonable.
Would you like help using your frequent flyer points?
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Award Flight Assist can help you to find the perfect flights using your points. Just let the team know how many points you have and where you would like to go, and they’ll prepare an itinerary for you.