The Best Ways to Fly to Lebanon With Points and Miles

Emirates Inaugural World's Shortest A380 Flight - First Class Cabin

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When contemplating flying to Lebanon, you’ve probably already done your homework. You intend on visiting one of the richest Arab cultures in the world, thanks to its cultural presence predating recorded history.

In addition, you probably want a taste of the Middle East and possibly already visited Dubai or Jordan. This rich country ranks high on the list of must-see countries, with awe-inspiring tourist attractions and a unique culture influenced by the likes of Romans and Ottoman Turks.

What you might not have known is that Lebanon’s flag carrier is Middle East Airlines, a SkyTeam partner. Unfortunately, Middle East Airlines doesn’t operate a diverse long-haul fleet, with only A330-200 aircraft being used for high load-factor regional routes and A320-200 for lower capacity flights.

Even with their long-haul flights, the business class product is an angled-flat 2-2-2 configuration, which is nothing to write home about. In this guide, we’ll be focusing on the best aircraft products to take to Beirut, all of which will be connecting flights. Let’s get started.

Best Programs to Use to Book Flights

Since there are no nonstop flights from the U.S. to Lebanon, we’ll be looking at the best value, highest quality connecting flights to take to Lebanon.

The possibilities are endless — you can build Lebanon into a round-the-world trip or visit via a simple connecting flight. Nonetheless, all major alliances will be discussed here, with a focus on the Star Alliance.

Our focus on Star Alliance is due to the competitive mileage prices, and not necessarily the absolute best products, so just keep that in mind. Also, the only airport open to the public in Lebanon is Beirut (BEY), so all of the flights will be landing there.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites
You can fly on Singapore Airlines First Class Suites on the A380 en route to Lebanon. Image Credit: Alex Miller / Upgraded Points

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is our biggest, and admittedly unexpected, winner. On flights to Lebanon, which is considered the Middle East by most mileage programs, a few reasons put KrisFlyer on top in our book:

  1. Ability to fly Singapore First Class Suites on the A380.
  2. Unusually good redemption rates.
  3. Tons of transfer partners.
  4. Plenty of ways to fly Star Alliance carriers business class.

One of the few ways to fly on a phenomenal first class product is by using KrisFlyer miles. With so many ways to earn KrisFlyer miles, you can accrue enough points very quickly to book flights to Lebanon from the U.S. Singapore has many award charts, but the main things to remember are that one-way flights to Lebanon are priced as follows:

Class of ServiceSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles Cost
Economy45,000
Business76,500
First99,000

Specifically, first class pricing is excellent. Singapore KrisFlyer charges 86,000 miles for the sole Singapore Airlines first class suites flight between New York (JFK) and Frankfurt (FRA), so adding 13,000 miles will get you all the way to Beirut on Lufthansa.

You can also add a stopover in Frankfurt for $100, should you decide to stay in Germany before heading over to Lebanon, by calling KrisFlyer over the phone.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suites and Lufthansa business class for 99,000 KrisFlyer miles + ~$176 in taxes and fees (add $100 for a stopover in Frankfurt).
  • New York City (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Singapore Airlines business class and Lufthansa business class for 76,500 KrisFlyer miles + ~$176 in taxes and fees (add $100 for a stopover in Frankfurt (FRA).
  • Houston (IAH) – Manchester (MAN) – Istanbul (IST) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Singapore Airlines business class and Turkish Airlines business class for 76,500 KrisFlyer miles + ~$176 in taxes and fees (add $100 for each stopover in Manchester or Istanbul).

Here are the steps you’ll want to take to book your Singapore Airlines ticket:

  1. Go to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
  2. On the homepage, under the trip search box, click Redeem flights.
  3. Type in your destination and origin cities, departure and return dates, number of passengers, and class of booking.
  4. Click Search.
  5. Log into your KrisFlyer account.
  6. Find the flights that you wish to take.
  7. Complete the booking by paying with KrisFlyer miles and for any applicable taxes and fees.
    • If you want to book a stopover or an itinerary you can’t see online, you’ll want to give Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer a call at 800-742-3333 and ask them to help you book your ticket.

Earning Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is arguably the easiest to earn airline currency out there. Boasting partnerships with all the major transferable points, Singapore KrisFlyer is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy, and there’s no shortage of ways to rack up points and miles in a hurry.

Chase, Amex, and Citi transfer instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Capital One’s transfer ratio is not as good, with a 2:1 ratio. Capital One transfers take 1-2 business days to execute.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio in ~6 business days with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to KrisFlyer. This means that you’ll earn a total of 25,000 KrisFlyer miles for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, up to 240,000 Marriott points per day.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card 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 sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (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 multiple round-trip flights 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 $450 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Easy earning at 1.5% on all purchases. Just know that you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and comes with a whopping 80,000 sign up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Also, if you pay for your cell phone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. In addition, get up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses such as office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services. This is one of the best no annual fee business cards.

Emirates Skywards

Emirates First Class Window Suite
Emirates first class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

To fly on Emirates first class, undoubtedly one of the world’s best first class products, to the Middle East would be an absolute dream. If you’re interested in doing so, be prepared to pay up both in miles and fuel surcharges.

You can actually book first class all the way to Lebanon from the U.S. The only other airlines that offers first class flights the entire way to Lebanon are Air France and Kuwait Airlines, both of which are difficult to book with points.

Instead, Emirates offers a much-appreciated means of flying first class. Here is the award chart for flights between the U.S. and Lebanon:

Class of ServiceEmirates Miles Cost (Flex Plus)Taxes and Fees
Economy70,000-73,750$347
Business110,000-117,500$872
First150,000-160,000$872

These may seem expensive, but you can actually book 2 free stopovers on these one-way flights to take advantage of the extra value.

Here are some great example routes leveraging 2 stopovers you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Milan (MXP) – Dubai (DXB) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Emirates first class for 150,000 miles + ~$872 in taxes and fees with stopovers in Milan and Dubai.
  • Newark (EWR) – Athens (ATH) – Dubai (DXB) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Emirates business class for 110,000 miles + ~$872 in taxes and fees with stopovers in Athens and Dubai.

If you want to save on miles and book round-trip tickets, you’ll find that round-trip award flights are a better deal. Round-trip first class tickets are eligible for Flex bookings, which makes a round-trip ticket cheaper than 2 one-way tickets, and round-trip economy/business class tickets are eligible for Saver bookings.

Here’s the award chart for Emirates flights from the U.S. to Lebanon on round-trip tickets:

Class of ServiceEmirates Miles Round-Trip CostTaxes and Fees
Economy (Saver)80,000-85,000~$695
Economy (Flex Plus)140,000-147,500~$695
Business (Saver)160,000-170,000~$872
Business (Flex Plus)220,000-235,000~$872
First (Flex)240,000-255,000~$872

When you consider how many fare types Emirates has, it can get extremely confusing. Let’s break down what Saver, Flex, and Flex Plus mean:

  1. Saver – The cheapest award ticket category.
    • Available on round-trip economy and business class only.
    • 1 stopover allowed.
    • Up to a 3-month stay.
    • $25 change fee for travel dates.
    • $75 cancellation fee.
  2. Flex – The mid-tier award ticket category.
    • Available on round-trip tickets.
    • 2 stopovers allowed.
    • Up to a 3-month stay.
    • No change fee for travel dates.
    • $50 cancellation fee.
  3. Flex Plus – The most expensive award ticket category.
    • Available on one-way and round-trip tickets.
    • 2 stopovers allowed.
    • Up to a 1-year stay.
    • No change fee for travel dates.
    • No cancellation fee.

To say that Emirates’ award ticket structure is confusing would be an understatement, but understanding it can be worthwhile in extracting lots of value from the program. The large taxes and fees are unavoidable on U.S.-Middle East routes if booking through Emirates, but it’s a small price to pay on a world-renowned first class product.

Here are some great example Emirates routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Dubai (DXB) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip on Emirates First Class for 255,000 miles + ~$1744 in taxes and fees.
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Dubai (DXB) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip on Emirates business class for 170,000 miles + ~$1744 in taxes and fees.
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Dubai (DXB) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip on Emirates business class for 160,000 miles + ~$1744 in taxes and fees.

Here are the steps you can take to book Emirates flights online:

  1. Visit Emirates.
  2. Under the search box, type in your departure and arrival airport, followed by your travel dates, number of passengers, and class of booking.
    1. Be sure to check off the box that says Classic rewards.
  3. When prompted, log into your Emirates account.
  4. Choose the flight that you like.
  5. Use your miles and complete your booking by paying with any taxes and fees.

Hot Tip: If you want to book stopovers, you need to call Emirates at 800-777-3999 after finding availability of each flight segment you wish to take. 

Earning Emirates Skywards Miles

There are tons of ways to earn Emirates miles. The main means to earn Emirates miles is to transfer them from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase and Amex transfer at a 1:1 ratio instantly. Capital One Rewards transfers at a 2:1 ratio instantly.

Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio and takes around 3 business days. For every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to Emirates, you’ll get a bonus of 5,000 Emirates miles, bringing up your total to 25,000 Emirates miles for every 60,000 Marriott points. You can transfer a maximum of 240,000 Marriott points per day.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000, on purchases within the first 3 months.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

All Nippon Airways Mileage Club

Lufthansa-Business-Class-Cabin
Middle seats provide direct aisle access in Lufthansa business class. Image Credit: Lufthansa/Pinterest

At Upgraded Points, we are huge fans in All Nippon Airways’ frequent flyer program. With tons of ways to redeem ANA miles for max value and plenty of ways to earn them, there’s no wonder that it’s near the top of our list.

ANA is a Star Alliance airline, so you’ll have access to their broad network of routes on flights to Europe. As a result, you’ll want to pay attention to the partner award chart as follows:

ANA Partner Award Chart
ANA partner award chart. Image Credit: All Nippon Airways

ANA doesn’t allow one-way award bookings, but the good news is that their round-trip prices are excellent.

Lebanon falls into ANA’s African and the Middle East region, corresponding to Zone 8. The one-way award costs are therefore:

Class of ServiceANA Miles Cost
Economy65,000
Business104,000
First195,000

With ANA, you’ll be able to book Star Alliance flights, in addition to their non-alliance airline partners. With major airlines such as Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and more, your possibilities are nearly endless.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip for 104,000 miles + $750 in taxes and fees on Turkish Airlines business class.
  • Detroit (DTW) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip for 104,000 miles + $1,564 in taxes and fees on Lufthansa business class.
  • Chicago (ORD) – Stockholm (ARN) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip for 104,000 miles + $1,565 in taxes and fees.

As you can see, ANA passes on fuel surcharges, which are egregious on most European airlines. These fuel surcharges can be somewhat mitigated by traveling on airlines that don’t levy huge fuel surcharges, such as Turkish Airlines or United Airlines.

Here’s how you can book flights to Lebanon using ANA miles:

  1. Visit All Nippon Airways’ website.
  2. Click the button on the homepage that says Award Booking.
  3. Log in with your ANA Mileage Club Number and Password.
  4. Type in your origin and destination airports, choose your travel dates, and toggle the class of booking along with the number of travelers.
  5. Find the flights that have award availability.
  6. Pay with ANA miles and use your credit card for any taxes and fees.

Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles

The best way to earn ANA miles is to transfer them from credit card partners. ANA is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

Amex Membership Rewards transfers at a 1:1 ratio within 3 business days. Marriott Bonvoy transfers to ANA at a 3:1 ratio within 4 business days. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to ANA, you’ll earn a bonus of 5,000 ANA miles. You may transfer a maximum of 240,000 Marriott points per day, which would get you 100,000 ANA miles.

Asiana Airlines Asiana Club

Etihad First Class Apartment
Etihad Airways First Class Apartments are bookable with Asiana miles! Image Credit: Alex Miller / Upgraded Points

Alongside Emirates and Qatar Airways, Etihad completes the “Big 3” of the Gulf airline carriers. All of these airlines are reputed for opulent first class products, and Etihad’s First Class Apartments can be booked with points!

One of the best ways to book Etihad first class is using Asiana miles. Since Asiana is an Etihad airline partner, you can redeem Asiana miles for Etihad flights, which includes their first class product.

While Etihad flies to a number of destinations from their home base in Abu Dhabi (AUH), the First Class Apartments are offered only on their A380 aircraft. The sole route from the U.S. that is operated by the A380 from Etihad is New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH).

Etihad’s First Class Apartments usually get all the fame and glory, but the Abu Dhabi-based airline also offers an excellent business class product on select aircraft. Specifically, you’ll want to try your best to fly on either the A380 or 787, which offers a product called the Business Studio.

Hot Tip: Etihad flies to 4 U.S. gateway hubs: Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City (JFK), and Washington, D.C. (IAD). For more information, check out our definitive guide Etihad’s direct routes from the U.S.

Unfortunately, Asiana’s routing rules aren’t very permissive except on Star Alliance round-the-world tickets, so there are no stopovers allowed in Abu Dhabi en route to Lebanon.

Asiana Airlines charges the following prices for one-way flights between the U.S. and the Middle East (of which Lebanon is a part of):

Class of ServiceAsiana Miles Cost
Economy40,000
Business60,000
First80,000

A hugely appreciated aspect of booking Etihad first class is that there are no fuel surcharges. Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way for 80,000 Asiana miles + ~$98 in taxes and fees in Etihad First Class Apartments.
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way for 60,000 Asiana miles + ~$98 in taxes and fees in Etihad business class.
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way for 60,000 Asiana miles + ~$98 in taxes and fees in Etihad’s Business Studio.

In addition to Etihad, Asiana miles can be used to fly on Star Alliance partners — but given how amazing Etihad is, why would you bother with any other product?

Earning Asiana Club Miles

Earning Asiana miles is slightly more complicated than Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles or ANA miles. There are, however, still lots of ways to boost your miles, especially by transferring from Marriott Bonvoy.

Currently, the only transfer partner is Marriott, and they have a ratio of 3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. Transfers take around 10 days to transfer, so be aware of that when you are thinking about booking your flights.

Recommended Marriott Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Qatar Qsuites A350, Passenger Enjoying Movie, Alex Miller of Upgraded Points
QSuites is one of the best business class products in the world. You can fly them to Lebanon via Doha. Image Credit: Alex Miller / Upgraded Points

American Airlines’ own frequent flyer program, known as American Airlines AAdvantage, is yet another great way to spend miles to fly to Lebanon. This time, we’ll be looking at how to leverage the Oneworld alliance for flights to Lebanon. The Oneworld alliance is the major airline alliance that contains a spectacularly useful partner: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways, perhaps the least well-known of the “Big 3 Gulf Carriers,” has deservedly won the world’s best business class with their amazing product called the QSuites.

Flying on QSuites en route to Lebanon is a fantastic way to get to Lebanon while avoiding a pesky layover in Europe. By booking QSuites, you’ll be able to get a proper night’s rest and enjoy the full business class experience.

Best of all, fuel surcharges are extremely low and the price is very competitive when using AAdvantage miles. Here’s the award chart for one-way flights from the U.S. to the Middle East on Oneworld partners:

Class of ServiceAAdvantage Miles Cost
Economy40,000
Business70,000
First115,000

As you can see, there’s a fairly obvious sweet spot in business class, which fits well with flying a world-renowned business class product like QSuites.

As we alluded to above, your fuel surcharges will not be passed on when booking using AAdvantage miles, so you’ll pay around $45 in taxes and fees for a one-way flight in the world-famous QSuites. The only drawback is that you can’t get a free stopover in Doha when using AAdvantage miles.

Here are a few great example routes you can take:

  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Doha (DOH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites and business class for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + $45 in taxes and fees.
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Qatar Airways QSuites and business class for 70,000 AAdvantage miles + $45 in taxes and fees.

Convinced? Follow these steps to book your QSuites flights using AAdvantage miles:

  1. Visit American Airlines’ website.
  2. One the homepage, choose either Round trip or One way.
  3. Click the box that says Redeem miles.
  4. Select your city pairing, number of passengers, and departure date(s).
  5. Click Business MileSAAver in the Award Legend to filter by business class availability.
  6. Find your desired award flights and pay with AAdvantage miles and a credit card for taxes and fees.

Overall, the process is mostly painless. There are some issues with phantom award availability when using AAdvantage miles, so double-check award space using British Airways or Qantas’ website.

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

American Airlines AAdvantage’s sole transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy.

Because Marriott points can be used for tons of value elsewhere, we generally don’t recommend transferring to AAdvantage unless you’re short a few thousand miles to top off your balance.

Nonetheless, Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to AAdvantage, up to 240,000 Marriott points per day.

Instead, the best way to earn AAdvantage miles is directly through credit card spending on their co-branded Citi and Barclays cards.

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands

Turkish Airlines Business Class
Don’t be fooled by the hard product of Turkish Airlines business class because everything else is phenomenal. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines/YouTube

The next best winner is a mileage program that flies under the radar for the most part. While some of the redemptions are poor deals when using EVA Air miles, flying from North America to the Middle East is a great deal!

Here’s what the award chart looks like for one-way flights from the U.S. to the Middle East:

Class of ServiceEVA Air Miles Cost
Economy43,000
Business67,500
First105,000

The cost of a business class flight is actually the sweet spot here. Although fuel surcharges will be passed on, you can partially avoid this by flying on airlines that don’t levy huge surcharges.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Newark (EWR) – Athens (ATH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on United Airlines business class and Aegean Airlines business class for 67,500 miles + ~$642 in taxes and fees.
  • Miami (MIA) – Warsaw (WAW) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on LOT Polish business class for 67,500 miles + ~$290 in taxes and fees.
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Istanbul (IST) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Turkish Airlines business class for 67,500 miles + ~$339 in taxes and fees.

You can only book online using EVA miles when flying on EVA Air, so you’ll have to call EVA Air to book. Here are the steps you can take to achieve this:

  1. Find award availability by first searching on United or Aeroplan.
  2. After you’ve located availability, call EVA Air Infinity MileageLands at 310-362-6600.
  3. Feed them your flight numbers, travel dates, number of passengers, class of booking, and city pairing.
  4. Confirm award availability and ticket the reservation by paying with EVA Air miles and for any taxes and fees.

Earning EVA Air Miles

Earning EVA Air miles is best accomplished by transferring from Citi ThankYou Rewards, their sole transfer partner. There are no easy ways for U.S.-based travelers to earn EVA Air miles directly through co-branded credit cards, so Citi is the only option.

Nevertheless, there are a number of ways to easily earn Citi ThankYou Rewards points.

Citi ThankYou Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and takes around 2 days to complete.

Iberia Plus

Iberia Plus is the frequent flyer program of Iberia, one of the flagship Oneworld partners. As is the case with AAdvantage, you can redeem Iberia Plus Avios for flights on Oneworld partners, including Qatar Airways QSuites.

British Airways First Class 787-9
British Airways First Class. Image Credit: Alex Miller / Upgraded Points

However, if you can’t find the rare availability on QSuites, you can also book British Airways first class or Iberia business class using Iberia Plus Avios.

Iberia Plus employs distance-based award charts with off-peak pricing and different prices for each carrier. When booking using Iberia Plus Avios, you can avoid a portion of the fuel surcharges that you’d normally encounter when using British Airways Avios.

Since the 2 programs are interchangeable, transferring your British Airways Avios to Iberia Plus is extremely easy.

We won’t get into the exact peak and off-peak dates, distance award brackets and corresponding pricing in this guide — we have a guide on the best ways to redeem Iberia Avios that gets into all of the above’s nitty-gritty.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Barcelona (BCN) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Iberia business class and Vueling business class for 100,000 Iberia Plus Avios + ~$300 in taxes and fees.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – London (LHR) – Beirut (BEY) one-way during off-peak dates in British Airways first class for 119,000 Iberia Avios + ~$300 in taxes and fees.
  • Boston (BOS) – London (LHR) – Beirut (BEY) one-way during off-peak dates in British Airways first class for 85,000 Iberia Avios + ~$300 in taxes and fees.
  • Atlanta (ATL) – London (LHR) – Beirut (BEY) one-way during off-peak dates in British Airways first class for 102,000 Iberia Avios + ~$300 in taxes and fees.

Hot Tip: Flights involving more than 1 Oneworld airline are not subject to peak/off-peak dates. Instead, they abide by a different award chart.

The only Oneworld flights from Beirut to Europe are through London (LHR) or Barcelona (BCN) so you’ll need to find a flight that first arrives into one of those cities. In our case, a great value redemption is the San Francisco (SFO) – Barcelona (BCN) flight on Iberia business class, which can be had for a great price.

These bookings can be made completely online by following these directions:

  1. Visit Iberia Plus’s website.
  2. On the homepage, type in your departure and destination cities.
  3. Check the box that says Pay with Avios.
  4. Choose either One way, Return, or Multiple Journeys for your flight type.
  5. Select your departure dates, class of service, and number of passengers.
  6. Click Search.
  7. Find the availability by playing with dates.
  8. Complete the booking by paying with Avios and for taxes and fees.

Earning Iberia Plus Avios

Earning Iberia Plus Avios is extremely easy. First, Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus belong to the same parent company. Their mileage currencies are interchangeable and you can freely move one balance into another.

So, anytime you earn Iberia, British Airways, or Aer Lingus Avios (perhaps through the co-branded Chase credit cards), you can pool them together and make redemptions that way.

Also, Iberia Plus is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase transfers instantly at a 1:1 ratio and Amex transfers within 1-3 business days at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio in ~6 business days. Also, for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to Iberia Plus, you’ll earn a bonus of 5,000 Avios.

Korean Air SKYPASS

Aeroflot Business Class
Aeroflot’s business class is a decent and convenient way to fly to Lebanon via Moscow. Image Credit: Aeroflot

Korean Air is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and their frequent flyer program is called Korean Air SKYPASS. Additionally, they’ve got partnerships with other airlines like Emirates and Etihad Airways.

Unfortunately, there are a number of conditions that might discourage travelers from using Korean Air miles:

  • You can only book round-trip flights on partner airlines.
  • Earning Korean Air miles can be difficult.
  • All fuel surcharges are passed on.
  • You have to jump through a lot of hoops to redeem points for others, and you can only book award flights on behalf of your direct family members. To get around this you can create a frequent flyer account for each traveler.

Nonetheless, Korean Air represents the best mileage price for select redemptions. Here’s the award chart for round-trip flights using Korean Air SKYPASS miles between North America and the Middle East:

Class of ServiceKorean Air SKYPASS Miles Cost
Economy80,000
Business120,000
First160,000

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Rome (FCO) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip in Alitalia business class and Middle East Airlines business class for 120,000 Korean Air miles + ~$1,004 in taxes and fees.
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip in Air France business class for 120,000 Korean Air miles + ~$580 in taxes and fees.
  • Miami (MIA) – Moscow (SVO) – Beirut (BEY) round-trip in Aeroflot business class for 120,000 Korean Air miles + ~$766 in taxes and fees.

You’ll notice that the taxes and fees are often huge, but you can mitigate these by flying on Air France or Aeroflot.

While some flights are bookable completely online, you’ll want to book over the phone because there’s no guarantee that your ideal flight will show up online.

When you’ve decided on using Korean Air miles, follow these steps to book:

  1. Search for SkyTeam availability by using Delta’s or Air France’s website.
  2. After you’ve located award space, call Korean Air at 800-438-5000.
  3. Request an award hold for your flights.
  4. Transfer the points from Marriott, which may take up to 3 weeks to do so.
  5. After the points have successfully, transferred, call Korean Air back and ticket the reservation.

As we mentioned above, using Korean Air miles can be a bit cumbersome, especially with transfer times and passenger restrictions, but the added value can help offset some of the time investment you put in.

Earning Korean Air Miles

Korean Air SKYPASS is transfer partners with one major points currency: Marriott Bonvoy. The transfer times are all over the place — sometimes they take 7 business days, sometimes they take less than 2 business days, and sometimes they take nearly 3 weeks, as was the case for our reviewed Korean Air A380 First Class flight.

The uncertainty is somewhat offset by the fact that you can hold airline awards using Korean Air, so that’s a plus.

Korean Air transfers from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. This means that you’ll earn 25,000 Korean Air miles for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, up to 240,000 Marriott points per day.

Avianca LifeMiles

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Bed
Lufthansa first class is glorious and using LifeMiles is a great way to book it. Image Credit: Greg Stone

If paying for fuel surcharges is something that doesn’t interest you and you’re happy with paying more miles in lieu of out of pocket expenditures, then you’ll love Avianca LifeMiles.

Avianca LifeMiles never passes on fuel surcharges, so your out of pocket costs will be at an absolute minimum. Furthermore, the redemption prices are reasonable, and there are plenty of transfer partners, so let’s take a moment to discuss Avianca LifeMiles.

When you spend LifeMiles, you can redeem for Star Alliance partner flights, which includes partners like Lufthansa and SWISS. Here’s the award chart for one-way flights originating from the U.S. to Lebanon (the Middle East):

Class of ServiceAvianca LifeMiles Cost
Economy42,500
Business78,000
First105,000

Using Avianca LifeMiles is one of the only ways and certainly the most cost-effective way to avoid fuel surcharges on European carriers, particularly Lufthansa. However, LifeMiles doesn’t allow free stopovers.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Lufthansa first and business class for 105,000 LifeMiles + $31 in taxes and fees.
  • Detroit (DTW) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Lufthansa business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$31 in taxes and fees.
  • Miami (MIA) – Copenhagen (CPH) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on SAS business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$31 in taxes and fees.
  • New York City (JFK) – Stockholm (ARN) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on SAS business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$31 in taxes and fees.
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Warsaw (WAW) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on LOT Polish business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$31 in taxes and fees.
  • Houston (IAH) – Istanbul (IST) – Beirut (BEY) one-way on Turkish Airlines business class for 78,000 LifeMiles + ~$31 in taxes and fees.

Here are the steps you’ll want to take to book your LifeMiles redemptions:

  1. Visit LifeMiles’ homepage.
  2. Change the language by clicking the flag icon on the top-right corner and selecting English.
  3. Click Fly on the top ribbon.
  4. Choose your trip type: One-Way Round-Trip, or Multi-City.
  5. Type in the destination and origin airports, along with number of travelers and cabin class.
  6. Choose your travel dates.
  7. Log into your LifeMiles account.
  8. Find the flights that you like.
  9. Pay with LifeMiles, select the travelers, and pay for the taxes and fees.

Overall, booking flights using LifeMiles can be done completely online and is mostly painless.

Earning Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles are extremely easy to earn. They enjoy transfer partnerships with American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

With Amex and Citi, LifeMiles can be earned at a 1:1 transfer ratio and transfers process instantly. With Capital One, you’ll transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio instantaneously. Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio usually within 1 day with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to LifeMiles.

There are a few other ways to earn LifeMiles, like through the co-branded Banco Popular credit cards.

Also, LifeMiles often sells points with huge bonuses, upwards of 125-145% on top of your miles purchases. So, buying miles could be an excellent idea to book award travel, especially Lufthansa first class.

Recommended Capital One Cards (Personal)

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500 toward travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi regularly stay at hotels.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200 toward travel) after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Air France Business Class
Air France exudes french elegance and classic luxury. Image Credit: Air France

The very last major option we’ll be discussing is Air France/KLM Flying Blue. This SkyTeam option is great for people who want a simple means of redeeming points to fly in business class.

Specifically, you can redeem the following amounts using Flying Blue miles for one-way flights from the U.S. to Lebanon based on their dynamic pricing:

Class of ServiceFlying Blue Miles Cost (Lowest)
Economy34,000-39,000
Business85,000

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Air France business class for 85,000 miles + $290 in taxes and fees.
  • Indianapolis (IND) – Paris (CDG) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in Delta One and Middle East Airlines business class for 85,000 miles + ~$290 in taxes and fees.
  • Houston (IAH) – Amsterdam (AMS) – Beirut (BEY) one-way in KLM business class for 85,000 miles + ~$530 in taxes and fees.

If you’re ready to make your Air France booking, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
  2. Be sure to choose the USA as your region.
  3. On the homepage, click Use your miles.
  4. Click Sign in and log in using your Flying Blue number and password.
  5. Type in your airport routing, travel dates, number of passengers, and class of service.
  6. Click Find a flight.
  7. Find your desired flight and pay using Flying Blue miles and a credit card for taxes and fees.

For the routes that Air France can’t search, you might want to call them to book at 800-375-8723. Overall, it’s a relatively cost-effective way to fly to the Middle East using points.

Earning Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles

Air France/KLM Flying Blue is transfer partners with all major currencies. You can earn lots of Flying Blue miles quickly, especially through transfer partners Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase, Amex, and Citi transfer almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio. Capital One Rewards transfers at a 2:1.5 ratio instantly. Also, Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.

Overall, there are lots of ways to earn Flying Blue miles, so booking these flights should be easier thanks to the plentiful transfer partners.

Other Options to Fly to Lebanon

There are a lot of other ways to book flights to Lebanon, including United MileagePlus, British Airways Avios, Delta SkyMiles, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, Air Canada Aeroplan, and more.

However, we’ve covered most of our bases here, and we think that you’ve got an excellent head-start with the above options.

Final Thoughts

In all, the complexity of booking premium travel to Lebanon is complicated by the fact that there are so many many different frequent flyer programs that can be used to book flights.

No need to sort through the noise as we’ve covered major alliances, along with other glamorous airlines such as Emirates and Etihad Airways. Fuel surcharges are going to hit you most of the time, but you can strategically avoid them by booking using the right miles.

Now you have a great idea of the best ways to fly to Lebanon with points and miles. Happy booking!


FAQ

Which airlines include carrier-imposed surcharges on award flights to Lebanon?

Unfortunately, most, if not all, carriers levy fuel surcharges on flights to Lebanon. The only way to avoid or minimize this is to either fly on carriers with milder surcharges or to use a booking program that won’t pass on all the fuel surcharges, such as United MileagePlus.

What is the fewest number of miles you can use to book an economy class award flight to Lebanon?

If you fly only on British Airways flights, you can spend as little as 32,500 British Airways Avios plus $274 in taxes and fees for a one-way flight to Lebanon from the East Coast. Alternatively, you’ll spend anywhere from 34,000-39,000 Flying Blue miles plus $132 in taxes and fees or 40,000 Aeroplan miles plus around $50 in taxes and fees.

What is the fewest number of miles required to fly business class to Lebanon?

You can spend 67,500 EVA Air miles, 70,000 AAdvantage miles, or 76,500 KrisFlyer miles one-way for business class flights to Lebanon.

What is the fewest number miles required to fly first class to Lebanon?

The cheapest use of points would be 80,000 Asiana miles to fly on Etihad or Star Alliance partners in first class. You can also spend 80,000 Alaska miles to book British Airways first class or 99,000 KrisFlyer miles to book Singapore Suites and Lufthansa business class.

What are the best business class airlines to fly to Lebanon?

The best airlines you can fly in business class to Lebanon are Air France, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, and SWISS.

What are the best first class airlines to fly to Lebanon?

The best first class airlines are Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines. You can’t fly Singapore Airlines or Lufthansa the entire way to Lebanon — you’ll have to fly in business class from Frankfurt to Lebanon.

Stephen Au

About 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.

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