There are business class fares to many European cities this summer for under $1,500 — and unlike some past fare sales you can get these prices from the West Coast, too. The only catch is that major Star Alliance hubs like SFO and LAX don’t seem to be eligible departure cities. Seattle, and to a lesser extent Portland, work just fine. (HT View from the Wing)
Most of the departures I found were in July or later. Availability certainly improves with longer trips, but I was able to find a couple of one-night turns if you’re interested in booking this as a mileage run. The rest of you may just want to get a good deal to Europe this summer. It’s not uncommon for economy class fares to reach these prices.
Many of the fares I saw booked into Z or P class on Lufthansa and Air Canada at first pass. These are discounted business class and should earn 100-150% credit with United Airlines. But I found many more results when I restricted my search to United Airlines-operated flights, probably because ITA was timing out with too many options. These were also P fares and are not eligible for a further upgrade to first class using a Global Premier Upgrade.
If you’re concerned about earning Premier Qualifying Dollars for elite status, I recommend booking through United Airlines’ website in order to ensure 016… ticket stock. And of course you can book now and cancel with 24 hours through most sites, so it may make sense to bite the bullet before you’ve confirmed your plans while these fares are still around.