Nested tickets offer some real advantages for buying discount airline tickets for peak season travel. A summer vacation in Europe in July sees fares typically push upwards of $1,000 round trip from places like California. In this post I show an example of nested airline tickets strategy available today from Los Angeles LAX to Dublin, Ireland and several airports in Scandinavia Denmark, Norway and Sweden to potentially book two trips to Europe, one winter or spring and one in peak summer season for as low as $1,200 with American Airlines AA or United Airlines UA or many of their partners.
Today there are fares from $604 to $684 with Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance airlines flying Los Angeles LAX to Dublin or a bucket of airports around Scandinavia for departures from January into spring and summer.
Nested Tickets airline ticketing strategy
Nested tickets have a bad rap due to business travelers circumventing minimum stay rules for a ticket to get a deep airline ticket discount. Airlines prohibit that practice.
The basic nested tickets airline ticketing strategy I show here for two trips to Europe does not circumvent any prohibited rules if you ticket correctly.
1. Plan dates for two trips to Europe. This is often the hardest part for me to organize two sets of dates for travel several months apart. Plan dates carefully since you will likely lose $400 to $600, if you cancel. Consider buying trip insurance.
2. Buy a traditional round trip ticket from Los Angeles to Dublin, Ireland. Example given below is $656 round trip Lufthansa LAX-DUB Tuesday March 14 departure.
3. Set your return date months later for Friday, July 28 to fly Lufthansa Dublin, Ireland to Los Angeles LAX on this round trip ticket.
4. You arrive in Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday, March 15. Your second ticket purchase for Dublin to Los Angeles round trip determines the length of your trip.
5. My example uses Wednesday, March 22 as the date to fly back to Los Angeles. There are multiple airlines with low fares allowing a choice of many dates.
Ticket #2 cost $571 round trip Dublin to Los Angeles flying March 22 Ethiopian Airways, another Star Alliance airline. Return to Dublin is Saturday July 15 on Ethiopian Airways LAX-DUB nonstop.
6. Fly home on Friday July 28 on Lufthansa return flight segments of first ticket LAX to Dublin flown March 14.
Total Cost: $1,227 for two trips Los Angeles to Dublin, Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day festivities and July summer trip.
- $656 Lufthansa Airlines LAX – DUB, Ireland March 14 – July 28
- $571 Ethiopian Airways DUB – LAX March 22 – July 15
Los Angeles LAX – Dublin, Ireland DUB
(return flight DUB-LAX in late July is traditionally one of the year’s most expensive tickets for Europe-USA travel.)
- Air Canada LAX-Dublin $609
- Lufthansa $625
- American Airlines/Aer Lingus $648
- United/Aer Lingus/Air Canada $651
- Ethiopian Airways – Star Alliance LAX – Dublin $604 (March 16-July 26)
- Air France – SkyTeam Alliance $682 (Mar 14-July 26)
Lufthansa Airlines $656.01 (all LH operated flights).
Los Angeles LAX – Munich MUC – Dublin DUB – Frankfurt FRA – Los Angeles LAX
(lower fare available at $625 fare with Air Canada on July return)
Dublin DUB – Los Angeles LAX
- $501 (448 EUR) Virgin Atlantic/Aer Lingus (Expedia.ie)
- $571 (522 EUR) Ethiopian Airways (see below)
- $591 Air Canada
- $593 British Airways
Arrive Dublin Ireland on other ticket Wednesday, March 15 for 7 nights and leave Dublin Wednesday March 22 on second ticket.
Ethiopian Airways Dublin, Ireland – Los Angeles LAX nonstop
$571 USD (522.39 EUR) Sunday March 26 – Sat July 15
Ethiopian Airways Economy O class earns 50% flight miles in United Mileage Plus and 100% flight miles in several other Star Alliance programs.
Cost for two nested tickets shown here flying Star Alliance airlines Lufthansa and Ethiopian is $1,227 total. The same strategy applies to American Airlines/British Airways for about the same price.
This ticket price can potentially drop down to $1,100 with fares shown here by flying Virgin Atlantic Dublin-LAX at $501 and Ethiopian or Air Canada LAX-DUB for $604-$609.
$1,105 for two tickets and two trips to Europe.
Low cost RyanAir flights from Dublin Airport to countries all over Europe is another advantage of Dublin as your gateway to Europe, even if you want to travel somewhere else in Europe.
Ireland is just one example of a nested ticket strategy opportunity available today.
Scandinavian airports of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm offer potentially lower nested ticket opportunities, as low as $800 to $900 all-in for two tickets. I typically travel to Scandinavia since this same kind of nested ticket strategy can be achieved for under $1,000 round trip and flights around Europe are typically only $40 to $80 one way. Norwegian Airlines flies all over Europe from these airports. Star Alliance and Oneworld ticket prices are currently in $400s from several Scandinavia airports to Los Angeles LAX and San Francisco SFO.