There is a good ticketing opportunity available today if you would like to travel to Europe two or three times over the next eight months, especially if you need to travel during holiday periods like Thanksgiving week, Christmas and Easter periods. The major alliance airlines have dropped round trip fares down to as low as $350 to $450 from many cities in Europe to many cities across the USA for travel September to March 2017.
This post shows a real-time example of how a person living in the western USA (or most anywhere in the USA) can save several hundred dollars on the ticket price for two trips to Europe visiting two different areas – Amsterdam and Vienna. These are two random cities I chose among many low fare cities in Europe. Yesterday I showed low fares for Spain to USA and Italy to USA in the $400 range. A comment stating these low fares for travel starting in Europe does not make much sense to save a few dollars. In this post I show how two trips from San Francisco to Europe with Amsterdam during Thanksgiving week and Vienna during Christmas holidays can be booked for under $600 round trip each trip with a savings of $655 compared to the lowest ticket prices available for these same dates when buying tickets starting in San Francisco. There are more than a dozen other cities with similarly low $400 fares from Europe to California or dozens of cities across the USA.
Since round trip airfares from a city like Amsterdam to Miami are $403, yet Amsterdam to Las Vegas is only $414 round trip, Phoenix $426, LAX $434, Denver or Salt Lake City $440 and San Francisco $453 with American or United, the best values tend to be tickets from Amsterdam to western USA or middle America where there are far less frequent low fare deals for tickets from the USA to Europe. A person taking two or three trips to Europe can potentially save $500 to $1,000+ in airfare compared to the price of tickets from western USA states to Europe.
Europe to USA Cheap Round Trip Tickets
Here are sample round trip fares from Amsterdam to Los Angeles. There are more than a dozen other cities in Europe with similarly low or lower fares.
Amsterdam (low fares Sep to early April departures)
- American $428 Sep
- British Airways $436 Sep
- United $429 (Thanksgiving week)
- Swiss $429
- United $430 (April 4-15)
Fares shown above are normal 7 to 10 day trips. But for a USA resident, the normal ticket length does not apply. These deals only work if you can fly to USA and return months later for your next vacation period at similar low fares.
My wife is a public school teacher, so we know her vacation schedule for the next year. The reason this reverse ticketing strategy works well for us and families with children on school schedules are vacation periods coincide with travel dates when airfares peak in the USA. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Summer are the really expensive flight times.
Flying to Europe at Thanksgiving can be an expensive ticket and exorbitant at Christmas. The fare savings with these low Europe-USA round trip tickets only comes when planning two or more trips and using frequent flyer miles to get to Europe or booking a low cost carrier to Europe on a one-way ticket.
In this post I show how Norwegian and WOW can be used for positioning flights from USA to Europe at the beginning of Thanksgiving, then fly home on a cheap ticket from Europe to San Francisco and go back to Europe in December.
United Airlines Amsterdam AMS – Frankfurt FRA – San Francisco SFO – Washington IAD – Amsterdam AMS
$461.08 (412.60 EUR) round trip Sunday November 27 – Saturday December 17
Compare $461 round trip AMS-SFO to San Francisco to Amsterdam round trip ticket price for Thanksgiving week Sat Nov 19 – Sun Nov 27.
Aer Lingus is $718 round trip for the lowest SFO-AMS ticket price over Thanksgiving week.
I only need to spend frequent flyer miles for a one way award ticket to get from California to Amsterdam and conserve my precious miles by purchasing a low cost from Amsterdam to San Francisco. I also schedule my next trip back to Europe at Christmas time with the return flight. But I don’t necessarily have to go back to Amsterdam.
Open Jaw Tickets at similarly low $400 fares allows travel around Europe
Another aspect of this fare sale are similarly low prices to many cities in Europe making open-jaw low cost tickets an option. I want to spend Christmas week in Vienna. I already have my ticket. My wife does not have a ticket yet.
American Airlines Open Jaw Ticket Amsterdam – San Francisco – Vienna
Amsterdam – London LHR – San Francisco SFO – London LHR – Vienna VIE
$445.02 USD (398.22 EUR) Monday November 28 – Monday Dec 19
The prices to travel to Vienna in December for the holidays is significantly higher when starting from San Francisco.
Over $1,000 round trip to fly SFO-Vienna during December holidays.
While I could use frequent flyer miles to potentially book two award tickets for SFO-Amsterdam in November and SFO to Vienna in December, I can book one ticket with frequent flyer miles and pay for a second nested ticket at a low fare.
Two Trips to Europe Itinerary with Nested Tickets
- Saturday Nov 19 Frequent flyer one-way award Monterey/San Francisco to Amsterdam
- Monday November 28 Amsterdam – San Francisco American Airlines $445 round trip ticket
- Monday December 19 San Francisco – Vienna AA open jaw return flight to Europe
- Friday December 30 Vienna – Monterey/San Francisco frequent flyer one-way award
- Spend Thanksgiving week in Amsterdam and Christmas in Vienna for the price of one round trip frequent flyer award SFO-AMS/VIE-SFO and $445 for a nested Europe-USA round trip ticket.
A large part of my personal challenge is trying to ticket low fares in peak holiday periods. These deals are much easier to plan if you can travel outside of peak holiday periods. Still, my life revolves around a school schedule and I find different ticketing strategies to tackle those challenges.
Norwegian and WOW alternative to Frequent Flyer Miles
I don’t even need to spend frequent flyer miles. By shortening the travel to Amsterdam by a couple of days there is a low Norwegian Airlines fare Oakland to Amsterdam on Monday, Nov 21 at $268 one-way.
Or leave from LAX and pay WOW bag fees to stick to the Sat Nov 19 departure date.
A frequent flyer ticket might be hard to find in late December. Again, Norwegian has low fares out of Scandinavia making a paid ticket one way flight from Stockholm to Oakland possible if I don’t have frequent flyer miles to spend or I can’t find a low priced reward ticket.
Of course this means a ticket from Vienna to Stockholm is needed. Flights within Europe are amazingly inexpensive most of the time.
Air Baltic Vienna – Riga – Stockholm ARN
$84.93 USD (74.99 EUR) one way Thu Dec 29
Even with the purchase of three additional one-way tickets for positioning flights, these itineraries for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel are hundreds of dollars less than ticketing USA-Amsterdam for November and USA-Vienna for December holiday period travel.
Two Holiday Trips to Europe Itinerary
- Monday November 21 Oakland – Amsterdam $268 Norwegian Airlines one-way
- Monday November 28 Amsterdam – San Francisco $455 American Airlines (open-jaw return to Vienna)
- Monday December 19 San Francisco – Vienna, Austria (return flights of $455 round trip open-jaw ticket)
- Thursday Dec 29 Vienna – Stockholm, Sweden $85 Air Baltic one-way
- Friday December 30 Stockholm – San Francisco $327 Norwegian Airlines one-way
Total Price: $1,135 for two trips to Europe at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Thanksgiving trip: $496 round trip Nov 21-28 San Francisco/Oakland – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Christmas trip: $640 San Francisco/Oakland – Vienna, Austria
Or you can stick with traditional ticketing and pay $718 to fly SFO to Amsterdam at Thanksgiving and $1,072 United Airlines ticket price for SFO-Vienna at Christmas time.
$1,790 – 1,135 = $655 airfare savings per person for these two trips at Thanksgiving and Christmas to Amsterdam and Vienna.
This is one of the most extensive sales I have seen from Europe to the USA in the past year. While this is a great opportunity for Europeans to pick up a low fare ticket to the USA for a vacation or business trip, this is also a good opportunity to plan some out-of-the-box trips from the USA to Europe using these low fares starting in Europe to get a deep discount on the price of travel to Europe.
Next up is a list of cities in Europe with these low $350 to $450 fares available today for travel from September to March 2017.
Loyalty Traveler – Oneworld $400-$425 Barcelona/Madrid to LAS/LAX/PHX/SEA/SFO Sep-March 2017 (July 30).
Loyalty Traveler – Star Alliance/Oneworld Milan/Rome to USA $400 Sep-March 2017 (July 30).