May032015

The Flight Scene low economy fare deals to the world for the masses

Business travelers are busy. As I basically have a retirement travel lifestyle, I look for ways to cut the cost of travel, rather than pay more to save time in travel. Once I am out of my house, the entire journey is the travel experience.

The page I placed on Loyalty Traveler called The Flight Scene is a compilation of low airfare deals that I think are usually in the lowest 25% of airline ticket prices for the route during the year. Airline ticket prices are in constant fluctuation. Like watching ocean waves, there are high wave ticket prices and low trough ticket prices. In a poor analogy to surfing, I curate the best low airfare deals when it is a good time to jump in with your wallet and fly out over the sea.

In March 2015, I decided to get back into writing about the air travel scene and keep track of airfare deals around the world, primarily for California departures, but with other major US airport deal coverage too.

A reader asked in March why I suddenly started writing about airfare deals? I did not have an immediate response. Why did I start focusing on airfare deals after seven years of being focused primarily on hotel loyalty programs?

In 2007, I stopped seeking airline elite status after years of United 1K and American AAdvantage Platinum and Alaska MVP75 elite. The price to fly had become exorbitant and I could not justify paying a $1,000 per ticket to fly to places where I had been flying for $400 per ticket a few years earlier.

Air travel ticket prices have seen a great decline in the past year for international flights. I purchased a $400 round trip ticket from Boston to Copenhagen last October for July 2015 travel. That seemed to me to likely be the best deal going for summer 2015. I was wrong. Really wrong on that bet. Travel to Europe and around the world has been priced lower in 2015 than just about anytime in the past decade.

The addition of low cost carriers flying from the USA to Europe has resulted in lower airfare from the legacy carriers in the major alliances. Scandinavia, Iceland and Ireland have become low fare hubs for Europe arrivals. And once in Europe, London is the low fare hub to the rest of the continent. RyanAir and EasyJet airlines carry more passengers within Europe than Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways.

And not only Europe, low fare deals departing from the USA have been prevalent for all regions of the globe. Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific are the one place where low fares under $1,000 still have very limited availability. Just about any place else in the world is available for under $1,000, if you grab the low fares during the short time windows they are periodically available and you are not blinded by one alliance of airlines for your flights.

An observation on when a deal is not really a deal

Chris McGinnis of Travel Skills has written a couple of posts I read over the past six weeks that read more like advertisements for specific airlines to me than real travel deals. This is not personal, strictly an observation.

On March 19, Travel Skills Now’s the time to book summer flights to Europe focused on an Air France sale:

  • New York – Paris from $1,001
  • Miami – Paris from $1,143
  • San Francisco – Paris from $1,341

Chris was correct about March 19 being the time to book summer flights to Europe, but those Air France airfares were not the deals to book.

That same date I wrote American $655 LAX–Copenhagen July and August 2015 and AA $2 fare SFO-Stockholm for $695 all-in June/July departures and Summer Deal Star Alliance San Francisco to Gothenburg, Sweden $604 to $639. That same week had these deals: Emirates Two to Italy Summer Sale JFK-Milan MXP nonstop flights $688 and Vancouver to Venice Italy $727 July Air Canada and Pisa $673 June Lufthansa, among a dozen other low fares to places around the globe.

Then on May 1, I read this article on Travel Skills – Surprise: Deep discounts on summer fares to Europe. The piece is about low fares on British Airways in late August. Boston to London $826 August 24-31. New York to London $973 August 26 to September 2. Los Angeles to London $1,126 Sep 8-15. San Francisco to London $1,224 August 26 to September 2.

Is this a Travel Skills advertisement for British Airways? Those fares do not look like low fares at all to me. I don’t need to pay more to fly nonstop between San Francisco and London. There have many better deals in the past month for getting to London in late August for $500 less than those fares from California and plenty of opportunities to buy tickets from New York to London for under $800 round trip.

Here are Flight Scene deals posted from the past two weeks to give you an idea how inexpensive it is to travel the world on low economy class fares.

The deal I wrote about yesterday flying San Francisco to London via Gothenburg, Sweden cuts the $1,224 August 26 to September 2 fare down to $631 on United.com and a $43 round trip ticket on RyanAir to London from Gothenburg.

RyanAir aircraft

You don’t get the same number of redeemable miles with United Mileage Plus tickets in 2015 as you will with American AAdvantage for British Airways flights, but would you rather have 7,000 more miles in your frequent flyer account or $500 in your pocket?

Loyalty Traveler – The Flight Scene

Saturday May 2, 2015

SFO to London $657 Lufthansa and RyanAir, Paris $681 May-June 2015

Delta Los Angeles to Bali $689 and low Skyteam fares to many SE Asia cities for fall travel

British Airways to South Africa $795 to $850 from Houston, Miami and New York

JFK to Singapore Air China $775, LAX $735, SFO Singapore Air $665

Friday May 1, 2015

AA San Francisco to Brazil Sao Paulo $665, Rio $685 all months to October

Fare Alert $741 KLM LAX or SFO to Cape Town South Africa May to Dec 2015, Nairobi, Accra, Lagos, Entebbe too

Thursday April 30, 2015

Philadelphia to Copenhagen $616-$690 July-August all alliances

Portland or Seattle to Anchorage $177 to $197 JetBlue with many summer dates and earn 7,000 bonus points

Wednesday April 29, 2015

Aeroflot JFK to Paris $622, Venice $588 in June and other Europe deals

Las Vegas to Stockholm $468 round trip Thanksgiving week Norwegian Airlines

United and Delta USA to Dubai $641 to $741 many airports

Flash Sale April 29 only Air France Los Angeles to Tahiti $999 for travel in May 2015

Tuesday April 28, 2015

Star Alliance SFO-BOM Mumbai India $800 roundtrip

Los Angeles to London Gatwick $625 round trip Norwegian Air fall 2015

Monday April 27, 2015

American $444 Stockholm to San Francisco; $447 Oslo to San Francisco round trip

AAdvantage Mileage Run Potential? Copenhagen to Los Angeles $421 round trip

Iberia New York JFK to Marrakesh $605 or $614 Casablanca, Morocco

Long Beach to Anchorage $263 round trip JetBlue, $293 in July; Delta $328 LAX-ANC

Los Angeles and San Francisco to Dubai $741 United and Delta, SFO-Abu Dhabi $774 KLM

Sunday April 26, 2015

Spirit Airlines Los Angeles Denver $87 to $97

Friday April 24, 2015

British Airways Nairobi, Kenya $800 to $850 low fare deal, many USA airports

Fare Alert British Airways to Cape Town $891 from California, less from other airports

Santiago, Chile $708 from UA and AA hubs, May to 2016

Summer fare alert Los Angeles to Copenhagen $625-$698 all alliances July-August dates

San Francisco to Gothenburg Sweden $661 United Airlines July 2015 dates

Thursday April 23, 2015

New York to Quito Ecuador $548 TAME, $430 Fort Lauderdale to Guayaquil

Tuesday April 21, 2015

United $671 Tokyo NRT sale from AA hubs

Monday April 20, 2015

Aeromexico Los Angeles to Mexico City $228 April to December most dates

Sunday April 19, 2015

United-ANA Houston to Singapore $825 in July

San Francisco to Cape Town British Airways $1,040 or Delta $1,007

Saturday April 18, 2015

American Airlines Orlando to Oslo $688, Stockholm $692, Copenhagen $702 June to August

Fare Alert: United $606 San Francisco Stockholm July 2015 Star Alliance

Star Alliance Los Angeles Billund Denmark $632 July 2015

Los Angeles Singapore $733 China Eastern May 2015 or $720 Air China August to November 2015

San Francisco Gothenburg Sweden $617 Swiss April and May 2015

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. While I agree that there are some good int’l airfares out there, I think most folks with flexible schedules would do better these days to redeem frequent flyer miles for their travel. Most Americans with good credit can probably do enough sign-up bonuses to accumulate the miles they need. Those with more travel needs could do the relatively simple “manufactured spending” techniques like Visa gift cards with an Ink card. The biggest problem with redeeming miles is award availability, but those with “retirement lifestyles” should have enough flexibility that this won’t be a problem.

    I would also note that the switch from “a mile earns a mile” to revenue-based programs at most airlines makes buying cheap airline tickets a worse deal than it used to be. Also, airfares have dramatically increased the last few years — particularly domestic airfares — such that truly good fares are few and far between.

  2. On your change of focus, I say, let the man write about anything that he is interested in – I’m sure it will be worth reading.

    I was inspired by your past nature articles. Last week, after a few days at Morro Bay and travelling through the Big Sur, I enjoyed a day at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, five hours of hiking the trails, what an awesome place!

Comments are closed.