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.
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
Friday May 1, 2015
Thursday April 30, 2015
Wednesday April 29, 2015
Tuesday April 28, 2015
Monday April 27, 2015
Sunday April 26, 2015
Friday April 24, 2015
Thursday April 23, 2015
Tuesday April 21, 2015
Monday April 20, 2015
Sunday April 19, 2015
Saturday April 18, 2015