A fare war between alliance airlines launched over the weekend dropping prices down to low $400s from many Austria and Germany airports to several airports around the USA including LAX, SFO, ORD, JFK/EWR, BOS and MIA. This is great news for Europeans, but they were already only a short flight away from Scandinavia for cheap flights most of the year.
A couple of aspects of this current fare sale make it potentially exceptional for some flyers. Firstly, these low fare tickets are from several regional airports like Salzburg, SZG and Innsbruck INN, Austria and Stuttgart STR, Germany. Secondly, these fares are available over a long period of time from June to December for some of the routes. Thirdly, fares to Germany and Austria are seldom deeply discounted. Note: only Austria departures are deeply discounted for LAX/SFO routes. Germany sale is primarily Chicago, New York and Miami.
While most USA resident travelers have little interest in cheap round trip tickets to the USA starting from Europe, this was a fare I jumped on since I have spent the past two years flying cheap round trip tickets starting in Europe for my flights from California to Europe. Up to this weekend, I had a ticket from San Francisco to Norway in September for a trip I planned to Switzerland last month. I have traveled on multiple tickets to San Francisco, starting from Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, Dublin and Amsterdam. I am looking forward to starting another cheap $491 ticket from Salzburg, Austria to LAX in September after the Switzerland trip for a change of country from the Nordic region. My return flights on British Airways will put me in Vienna for Christmas. And I’ll have my eye watching for another low fare ticket deal to get back to California around New Year’s.
Memorial Weekend Fare War Recap
On Sunday, Oneworld partner Air Berlin offered a flash sale with low one way fares to Chicago or New York from several regional airports in Germany like Dresden, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and more, including flights from Vienna and Zurich, starting at $165 USD one way to New York or Chicago. The return portion from the USA to Germany was priced closer to $500-$600 for a final round trip ticket price around $700. But you could buy a one-way ticket on Air Berlin for only $165.
Loyalty Traveler – Air Berlin Flash Sale today Vienna, Zurich and Germany to New York and Chicago one way $165 to $200 June to Nov (May 29).
Air Berlin’s sale was scheduled to end at 6pm Germany time Sunday. By the end of the sale Lufthansa, United and Star Alliance carriers started a fare war by offering round trip flights from the same Germany airports to Chicago for around $405 round trip and Oneworld matched round trip fares.
Loyalty Traveler – Fare War Star Alliance/Oneworld Germany to Chicago $400 round trip June-Nov (May 29). Delta and Skyteam airlines joined the fare war late Sunday.
On Monday, I saw the fare war had expanded to also include Miami with low fares from Germany around $400 round trip.
Loyalty Traveler – Fare War German Airports to Miami, New York and Chicago all alliances (May 30).
There were fewer airports in Germany with low fares yesterday compared to Sunday when there were deals from several smaller airports. Berlin, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart are the primary Germany airports with low fares.
Sample fares from Germany to USA on Monday May 30: (today’s fare shown at bottom of post).
Berlin TXL – Chicago ORD Sep 3-17
- $403 Brussels Airlines
- $409 Lufthansa
- $454 Air Berlin
Berlin TXL – New York JFK Nov 19-28
- $527 KLM
- $540 Air Berlin
- $542 Finnair
- $552 United
Nuremburg NUE – Chicago ORD Nov 19-28
- $587 KLM
- $603 Swiss
- $604 Lufthansa
Dusseldorf DUS – Miami MIA Aug 22-31
- $407 Lufthansa
- $483 Air France
- $508 American
Dresden DRS – Chicago ORD Oct 4-11
- $410 KLM
As I searched low fares from Germany yesterday, Google Flights pointed out lower fares from Austria. I soon learned the fare war had expanded to Austrian airports with Star Alliance airlines Austrian, Swiss and Lufthansa offering low fares from several airports in Austria: Vienna VIE, Salzburg SZG, Innsbruck INN, Graz GRZ. Oneworld with British Airways offered low fares from Vienna and Salzburg. The main difference in the Austria fare war is Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston were added to low fare routes around $400 to $500 round trip for travel June to December 2016.
Sample fares today from Austria and Germany Airports May 31 5am Pacific time
- $510 British Airways
- $526 Swiss
- $532 Air France
- $462 American
- $479 Swiss
- $479 Lufthansa
- $464 British Airways
- $484 Swiss
- $465 British Airways
- $477 American
- $536 Air Canada
- Iberia $478
- American $483
- Delta $485
- British Airways $489
- KLM $419
- Delta $425
- Swiss $703
- $415 Austrian
- $419 United
- $421 Air Berlin (nonstop)
- $459 Lufthansa
- $480 Delta
- $483 British Airways
Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Promotions Guide May 2016.