There is a good opportunity today to purchase round trip tickets to Europe with Delta or United from Chicago, New York or Washington for travel September to December on a weekend mileage run. The deal is Icelandair has a 96-hour sale running through midnight, Sunday June 12. American, Delta and United lowered fares to key cities in Europe including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels and Zurich from US airports with Icelandair routes.
Fares from Chicago are mostly in the $500s and low $600s to these cities, but if you book a Friday or Saturday departure with a 2-day Sunday or Monday return, then these cities and many more airports around Europe are priced in the $400s round trip with Delta and United. American is about $100 more. That might not seem like a raw deal, but at least AA is competing. American is not competing at all on the 2-day return tickets fare war between DL and UA from Washington D.C. airports, a place where Delta Air Lines has all kinds of deals to France and Italy and many other countries in the $400s.
These are perfect for an end-of-year mileage run with Delta/SkyTeam or United/Star Alliance programs to earn elite miles. American/Oneworld matched low fares on regular itineraries from Icelandair hubs in the USA, but AA not participating in these lower two day ticket prices for mileage runs. There are many cities in Spain available as three day trips with American Airlines from Chicago.
Delta/SkyTeam have extensive low fares in $400s to dozens of cities across Europe from Washington DC area airports IAD/BWI/DCA.
Delta/SkyTeam Chicago Fares to Europe
Friday November 4 – Sunday November 6
United/Star Alliance Chicago Fares to Europe
Friday September 17 – Sunday September 19 (or other 3-day trip dates)
$485 ORD – Paris CDG United/Air Canada; $498 all United
$487 ORD – London LHR United; $476 UA/Swiss on LH ticket
$495 ORD – Vienna VIE United/Austrian (Austrian nonstop outbound)
$523 ORD – Amsterdam AMS LOT Polish (available for longer itineraries too. This LOT fare was around before Icelandair fare war of June 9-12.)
American/Oneworld Chicago Fares to Europe
3 Day trips like Nov 4-6
Important to watch out for with American Airlines itineraries is be sure the low fare does not involve a change of airport in London. This is a big factor in tickets to Spain, where American drops you off in LHR and the low fares tend to be for British Airways flights out of London Gatwick. Travel between London LHR and London LGW is about $30 each way by bus and 2+ hours travel time for transportation. You can do it for about $10 and 4 hours, if you take Underground to London and train from Victoria Station. Much easier to pay higher fare with no London airport transfers.
$547 ORD – Paris CDG American/British Airways (All these low fares only ticket by American Airlines. No $65 AARP discount available. BA tickets are priced in $800s).
$562 ORD – London LHR American
$579 ORD – Malaga AGP American/British Airways/Iberia (This is one of the LHR-LGW transfer tickets for outbound. Inbound is Iberia MAD-ORD).
$581 ORD – Lisbon LIS American (another change of airport low fare)
$608 ORD – Nice NCE American
I am not a fan of mileage runs anymore since I have the flexibility to create my own life schedule most of the time and I prefer two week trips to Europe. But when you need more flights for status and all you have are weekends available for travel, then a quick trip to Europe Friday – Sunday or Saturday – Monday can be the fix and a good investment of $500 for status and miles.