This post originally was designed to show how a flyer in California can use Norwegian Airlines cheap one-way flights to position yourself in Europe and pick up low cost $400 round trip flights back to California from many different countries flying American, Delta or United. A change in airfares today has negated many of the open-jaw itineraries that were available over the weekend to fly from a place like Spain or Italy to California and then fly back to a place like Dublin or Vienna on the return for around $400 round trip. There are still some deals, but far fewer than were around for Saturday and Sunday bookings.
To cut my editing time losses now that some of the $400 fares are gone, this post focuses more on great one-way fares to Europe on Norwegian Airlines as postiioning flights for low round trip tickets starting in Europe to LAX and SFO. There are still some $400 round trip fares from Rome and Milan, Amsterdam, Dublin, Salzburg and Vienna to LAX and SFO. Spain deals and Baltics fares have gone up to $600s and $800s.
United still has most of its low fares, while AA fares have risen for several countries.
There is a great opportunity this week to plan two or three trips to Europe for about $400 round trip by combining Norwegian and WOW low one way fares to Europe with a major fare sale offering round trip tickets from many countries in Europe $400 to $500 round trip on alliance airlines American, Delta and United with their European partner airlines.
Unfortunately, many of the low fares from Europe to the USA have gone away. The $400 round trip fares from Spain to California on Oneworld carriers are now in the $600s. Italy, Amsterdam, Dublin and Austria are still low fares. The Baltics and Spain have risen in price. Many of the open jaw tickets available yesterday for around $400 round trip are much more difficult to find today, although I still see some options like Italy-California-Austria for under $500 round trip.
In this post I show examples of what is possible for travel in September to December using a combination of Norwegian, WOW Air and major alliance airlines.
To understand where I am coming from with this advanced ticketing strategy post, you might want to read some of the articles I wrote over the weekend about incredibly low round trip ticket prices from 11 countries in Europe to California and many other cities across the USA. While my focus in this article is on LAX and SFO, this ticketing strategy works from anywhere in the USA with low fares through Norwegian or WOW, or if using miles to position yourself in Europe, then any city in the USA with low fares for Europe-USA travel works and that list comprises cities all across the USA.
The basic deal is get yourself to Europe with miles or a one way ticket on Norwegian or Wow Air from LAX or SFO. Once in Europe you can choose from many countires to travel and pick up a cheap round trip flight back to California. Even better, low fares around $400 round trip from 11 different countries allows for open-jaw ticketing to fly a routing like Amsterdam – San Francisco – Rome for about the same ticket price.
First, get to Europe on a one-way low cost ticket with Norwegian or WOW (or use miles for award ticket).
My previous post showed $200 one way tickets from LAX and SFO to Paris on WOW Air or $180 to Iceland. WOW Air does not have any other mainland cities in Europe priced as low as Paris.
Loyalty Traveler – WOW $200 LAX/SFO to Paris, $180 to Iceland one way Sep-Dec (Aug 1).
Personally my airline preference is Norwegian over WOW, so unless I had a stopover planned for Iceland, I’d head to somewhere else in Europe on Norwegian with a choice of a dozen or more cities under $250 one way.
Norwegian Airlines Oakland OAK – Stockholm ARN – Amsterdam AMS
$244.20 one way Monday September 26
Norwegian charges outrageous fees for a seat assignment ($45 OAK-ARN + $18 ARN-AMS) and checked bag ($63) and meal ($45).
If you are willing to risk a middle seat on a long-haul flight, then you can gamble and go with ticket purchase only and hope to move seats. The seat map for this flight shows most of the plane is currently not filled (or else most other flyers did not pay for a seat assignment either.
Assume carry-on bag only and your positioning flight to Amsterdam is only $244.20 without pre-assigned seats or $307.20 with pre-assigned seats. As far as meals, I pack my own. Yes, I am the guy who smelled up the Stockholm-Oakland toilet on the flight last April when my smoked salmon leaked in my hand bag and I washed my bag in the 787 economy lavatory at the beginning of the 10-hour flight. That salmon oil was difficult to wash down the sink.
Google Flights Norwegian Airlines One Way Fare Map OAK – Europe Monday Sep 26
OAK – Stockholm, Sweden ARN $180 one-way
OAK – Helsinki, Finland HEL $227
OAK – Gothenburg, Sweden GOT $232
OAK – Berlin, Germany TXL $233
OAK – Vilnius, Lithuania $233
OAK – Copenhagen, Denmark CPH $234
OAK – Oslo, Norway OSL $235
OAK – Amsterdam, Netherlands AMS $245
OAK – London Gatwick, UK LGW $245
OAK – Paris Orly, France ORY $251
OAK – Nice, France NCE $261
Another option is to fly into Stockholm ARN on the $180 fare and pick up a separate ticket for under $100 to just about anywhere in Europe.
Arrival time in Stockholm is 12:35 in the afternoon on Tuesday Sep 27.
Google Flights Map Stockholm ARN – Europe one way fares Tue Sep 27
$35 London Gatwick LGW Norwegian; $41 SAS
$35 Vilnius, Lithuania VNO Norwegian
$41 Budapest, Hungary BUD Norwegian (Sep 28).
$59 Athens, Greece ATH Norwegian (Sep 28).
This list of flights from Stockholm reveals the kind of deals you can find to travel around Europe. The biggest cost factor is getting yourself to anywhere in Europe to take advantage of low fares intra-Europe.
In the list above these are simply the lowest fares that allow a same day connection from Stockholm on Tuesday, Sep 27 or in a few cities, the fare shown is for the next day. An overnight in Stockholm is not too expensive if you use a strategy of buying Choice Privileges points and take advantage of one of the hotels at 10,000 points per night.
Loyalty Traveler – Stockholm Clarion Hotel Sign great deal on points, convenient airport train access (July 13, 2016).
Loyalty Traveler – Review Quality Airport Hotel Stockholm Arlanda 10,000 points Choice Privileges reward night (April 21, 2016).
LAX – Rome – Los Angeles – Vienna
Still the concept is the same and you just need to find dates that work for travel from LAX or LAS on Norwegian to coincide with low fares back to LAS/LAX/SFO with one of the major airlines.
Assume you take the flights from Oakland to Stockholm to Rome with either a stay in Stockholm or a direct connecting flight from Stockholm to Rome.
Norwegian Airlines Oakland – Stockholm ARN – Rome $261 one way Sep 26 with two separate tickets. There is a disconnect here since I originally planned these itineraries for San Francisco, but you can find deals to Europe on Norwegian from LAX and LAS too.
Spend 7 nights in Rome, Italy and return on American Airlines ticket to Los Angeles with flight back to Vienna, Austria for Thanksgiving week.
American Airlines Rome FCO – Charlotte CLT – Los Angeles LAX
$503.86 round trip open jaw Tue Oct 4 – Fri Nov 18
Return to Europe for a second trip during Thanksgiving week.
Ticket prices are lower if you do a simple round trip or an open jaw in the same country like Milan and Rome or Salzburg and Vienna.
United Airlines Vienna VIE – San Francisco SFO – Salzburg SZG Austria
Fly back to California using miles or low cost Norwegian or WOW one-way ticket.
Or plan another $400 round trip ticket starting in Europe.