Next week I begin a five week quest to fly 30,000 EQM for American AAdvantage Executive Platinum elite status. I registered for this offer in June and I need to fly 30,000 EQM by October 9. I purchased all my airline tickets through AA.com one month ago.
Ironically, American Airlines sent me another elite fast-track offer yesterday. I wondered if I had not signed up the first time, but when I tried to sign up, a message came back saying I was already registered. The only difference in terms for the AAdvantage offer yesterday were the qualifying dates. I would have had until December 23, 2015 to complete the 30,000 EQM.
British Airways First Class $800 Prague to Cancun
Yesterday, Gary Leff posted a mistake fare for British Airways First Class tickets from Prague to Cancun priced in the high $700s. I checked out the deal since I will be in Prague at the end of next week. I could have booked the First Class ticket yesterday during the brief window of time it remained available after Gary’s post, but I would have only been able to schedule one night in Cancun. I’d rather hang out drinking beer in the Czech Republic for the week.
The low First Class fare was gone within 30 minutes of Gary’s post.
In theory, I could have earned 30,000 EQP with two round trip tickets flying British Airways First Class Prague to Cancun for $1,600. My three economy class tickets between California and Scandinavia priced at $1,500. Of course, I would not be in Prague next week if I had not already booked my September travel.
Unlike yesterday’s British Airways mistake fare, there were all kinds of low fare deals on Wednesday with American Airlines and Oneworld Alliance carriers in reaction to Delta and Skyteam low fares to Europe from US hub airports for American Airlines routes.
American Airlines attacks Delta in Atlanta Dublin $528, Paris $655, London $669 and more Europe airfare deals
Here is part of a post I wrote in the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug 26. I did not post this piece since the airfares increased by $500 or so as I was writing up deals.
Wednesday, August 26
American Airlines has dropped fares in the past few hours from San Jose and San Francisco to several airports in Europe. This is a continuation of a fare war launched by Delta today that has picked up steam with American Airlines lowering fares throughout the day.
As an example, New York to Dublin was $530 on Delta, then dropped to $450 as American dropped to $477. Now American is down to $335 round trip JFK-DUB.
American Airlines San Francisco SFO – Philadelphia PHL – Rome FCO
$637.50 Thursday November 12 – Tuesday November 17
This is a dynamic sale and fares are coming and going quickly around the USA. SJC-DUB was $531 when I started this post and that fare increased to $1,100.
(end of Loyalty Traveler post excerpt)
Bottom line is timing makes all the difference in the world of low airfares. Mistake fares can happen anytime and are simply your luck for the moment to see a deal and buy a ticket before the mistake fare is corrected.
Fare wars, like we saw between Delta and American on Wednesday, are predictable. This is the second time in two weeks Delta started a fare war for Europe routes and American Airlines followed suit. Star Alliance airlines did not match on Wednesday for the money routes like London, Paris and Rome.
The phrase I heard this week several times on the financial news outlets was “like trying to catch a falling knife”.
August 26 was one of those falling knife days for airfares. You could have bought a low $530 JFK-DUB round trip ticket on Delta in early morning and had a good deal, or bought an even better deal on Delta at $440 a few hours later when American was $477 round trip. Of course, waiting to catch the falling knife at the incredible $335 round trip with American during the small window of opportunity in the afternoon was the real trick.
The discount ticket deals to Europe will be back. This was only round two of the Europe discount tickets fare war. Expect another fare war to come within the next two weeks. I have a feeling the major airlines will be trying again to book up their flights around Labor Day for fall travel to Europe.
There have been some great deals to Europe this week. I am not disappointed that I purchased my tickets to Europe one month ago. I paid $680 to fly to Copenhagen from California, but my real bargain tickets are two round trip tickets I purchased for $376 and $398 flying Bergen, Norway to San Francisco SFO.
There were airfare deals one month ago when I planned and ticketed my American Airlines 30,000 EQM in flights for September, but they were limited to only a few Scandinavian airports. The airfare deals this week were not significantly lower than what I paid for 30,000 EQM in tickets. The primary difference in airfare this week was an opportunity to travel to nearly any country in Europe for a fare under $700 round trip from California.