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Lie-Flat Seats to Italy are Easier (& Cheaper) to Book Than Ever
Lie-Flat Seats to Italy are Easier (& Cheaper) to Book Than Ever
Apr 14, 2024 7:06 AM

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Booking lie-flat seats cheaply is tough enough, but when you add in a sought-after destination like Italy, it might seem impossible. That's not the case in 2024, though.

Our team of flight deal analysts at Thrifty Traveler Premium has been seeing a fun trend in airfare and award availability for lie-flat seats to Itlay this year making it easier to book these flights with points and miles and for less cash.

Every summer, North Americans make the trek to Italy to experience everything that country has to offer. This year that will still be the case. The difference is that there are so many airlines competing to get flyers to Milan (MXP), Venice (VCE), Rome (FCO), Naples (NAP), and more, that there are thousands of business class seats bound for Italy every day. That means more seats available to book with points, and that competition can lead to lower cash prices, too.

Let's dig into this trend and how to make one of those lie-flat seats yours in 2024.

Why is This Happening? Let's take a look at all of the airlines flying nonstop to Italy from the U.S. this summer:

Air Canada American Delta Emirates ITA Airways La Compagnie Neos Norse Atlantic United WestJet Not to mention all the European airlines like Air France, KLM, Iberia, British Airways, SWISS, Lufthansa, Brussels, and selling quick, one-stop itineraries to get you to any of Europe's airports, too.

The result? All of these carriers want to be the one that takes you to Italy, and now they need to compete to be the ones to get you there. 

But it's more than that, too. Unlike economy, business class seats are cheaper and more available to book with points for the peak summer months than the shoulder and off-seasons. While economy fares get four or five times more expensive during the busy summer travel season, business travelers tend to stay home in the summer months, often leading to cheaper airfare (or more award availability) to fill those empty seats. 

So while the typical business travelers stay home for the summer and with all the competition flying lie-flat seats to Italy, the runway is clear for you to book that cheap trip to Italy in 2024.

Here are some examples.

Emirates Business Class Emirates is one of the best airlines in the world at giving its first and business class customers memorable and luxurious flying experiences.

But you don't have to fly to Dubai (DXB) to take advantage of Emirates' premium offerings from the U.S. The U.A.E. carrier actually runs two special routes between New York (JFK) and Milan (MXP) and Newark (EWR) and Athens (ATH), and the Milan route is onboard the gigantic, double-decker A380, a.k.a. The Whale.

In the past week, we found availability for not one, but two Emirates business class flight deals on the Whale to Milan for our Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers.

The first deal was simply to book these flights straight through Emirates Skywards Miles for just 87,000 points and $100 in taxes and fees each way. And it's easy to do so as you can transfer points to Emirates from American Express, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, or Citi, too. Plus, with Emirates, you can get a discount for booking roundtrip just 108,000 points! 

Read our review of Emirates Business Class, A380 New York to Milan!

This deal included tons of dates in June, July, and August, meaning your trip you weren't limited to the shoulder season to fly in luxury. You could book a lie-flat trip to Italy during the peak summer season!

But somehow this deal got better.

A few days later, we discovered these Emirates flights were also bookable through the Australian carrier Qantas for just 75,000 points each way. Qantas points are similarly easy to earn transferable from Amex, Capital One, or Citi.

If you want to fly business class to Milan (MXP) on an A380 and have a drink at the onboard bar while you're in the air, these deals are for you.

ITA Airways Business Class There's a new business class seat flying to and from Italy this summer, too, and it belongs to Italian flag carrier ITA Airways.

When ITA first unveiled its new business class seats, we assumed booking these nonstop business class flights to Rome (FCO) would be hard, but we were sorely mistaken.

Thanks to ITA's SkyTeam alliance partners Virgin Atlantic and Air France/KLM Flying Blue, these seats can be booked affordably with points and miles. Just a few weeks ago, we sent this stunner of a deal for our Thrifty Traveler Premium members with peak summer availability!

A few weeks before that, we also found the same seats from Chicago (ORD) at some of the same rates, too!

But if you don't have a stash of points and miles, have no fear. These seats were also steeply discounted in cash rates from the New York City airports JFK and Newark (EWR).

You could snag a lie-flat ride on ITA Airways or a few other carriers flying to Rome (FCO) or Milan (MXP) starting at just $2,267, at least half-off the normal rates.

Again, to our surprise, this deal included peak summer availability from all the cities on this list.

American Airlines Business (or First!) Class Flying American Airlines business class is tricky because the seats aren't always easy to book using points and miles. This year, however, American has given travelers ample opportunities to secure these lie-flat seats to Italy, in both business and first class.

This business class deal allowed travelers with Alaska miles to book these for just 58,000 points each way. Or if you have American miles, you could also book these between 62,000 and 69,000 miles! Right now, too, travelers earning points with Bilt could transfer them to either airline to book.

You could also book these seats through other OneWorld Alliance partners like Cathay Pacific, or Etihad for just a few miles more in most cases.

We were floored when American did the unthinkable and released some Flagship First Class seats bookable with points, too!

This might be the comfiest way to fly nonstop from JFK to Rome (FCO), and for just 72,000 miles each way, it's a huge win for travelers with American, Alaska, or other OneWorld partner miles.

Flying up front in business class is fun, but when you can do one better and fly first class, that's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Air France or KLM Business Class It's not just flights from the U.S., we also search every day for business class flights from Canada to Europe. Often, Canada's business class flight pricing is much more competitive than in the U.S., too.

The latest example was this deal with dozens of sub-$2,000 fares flying lie-flat Air France, Delta, and KLM business class to tons of destinations in Europe including cities like Milan (MXP), Rome (FCO), and Venice (VCE).

Five different Canadian cities benefitted from the low, low fares.

If you can snag a $1,394 roundtrip business class fare to Venice, do it! Some of these fares were sublime, and at least three or four times cheaper than the usual price.

Read our review of Air France business class!

La Compagnie Business Class Only If you haven't heard of La Compagnie, it's a business class-only airline. That's right! They have about 75 business class seats onboard their planes and nothing else.

La Compagnie isn't always the cheapest, but a few times a year they run big sales. Their best one every year is their Valentine's Day sale, where they offer flights from Newark (EWR) to Milan (MXP) from just $1,899 roundtrip so long as you book two tickets.

It's a significant discount on these fares if you book during the sale dates. But La Compagnie isn't afraid of launching random sales like this at any time of year, so stay tuned to your inboxes to grab the next great deal on these one-of-a-kind aircraft.

Bottom Line Flying lie-flat to Italy might sound expensive, but in 2024, a trend toward cheaper and easier-to-book lie-flat flights to Italy is taking hold.

Plus, many of these fares are during the peak summer travel season in Italy, where the same flights in economy might cost you $1,200 or more to book.

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