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Every year many carriers discount premium tickets to Europe by up to 50% or more. Some fares even work for Christmas/New Years travel and recently many of these fares were filed. Many just require a Saturday night stay, but some do require a week. Play around with ITA software so be flexible to find the lowest fares. Remember, you can’t book your flight on the ITA Matrix, once you know your dates and flight numbers you can look up the trip by going directly to the airline website or your preferred online travel agency such as Orbitz to book.
The fares I found were generally cheapest from New York City, and a lot were on Delta, though I did find some other decent (not awesome, but good) options from other cities. Here’s a quick hit list of the sample fares I found.
New York City JFK and EWR
- London Heathrow on Delta for $1,613.00 total roundtrip (6,902 miles).
- London Heathrow on United $1,613 total roundtrip (6,930 miles).
- Rome on United via Washington Dulles for just $1,761 total roundtrip (7,810 miles.)
- Munich aboard Lufthansa for just $1,689 total roundtrip (8,354 miles).
- Paris on Brussels Airlines through Brussels for $1,790 total roundtrip (8,334 miles).
- Madrid on Delta and Air Europa through Barcelona for $1,658 total roundtrip (8,662 miles).
- Istanbul on Lufthansa through Frankfurt for $2,055 total roundtrip (10,032 miles).
- Rome on Lufthansa through Munich, returning on Brussels Airlines through Brussels for $1,784 total roundtrip (8,563 miles).
- Istanbul on Delta and KLM through Amsterdam (the JFK-AMS flights are operated by Delta) for $2,051 total roundtrip (10,038 miles).
- London on United for $2,033 total roundtrip (7,906 miles)
- Paris on United returning through Brussels for $2,186 total roundtrip (8,811 miles).
- Madrid on Delta through Atlanta and returning through JFK with both the first and the last flights in First Class for $2,069 total roundtrip (9,270 miles).
- Rome on United through Dulles with for the both the first and the last flights in First Class for $2,181 total roundtrip (10,188 miles).
- San Francisco to London on Delta through JFK and returning through Minneapolis/ Saint Paul for $2,391 total roundtrip (11,641 miles).
- Los Angeles to London on Air New Zealand for $2,453 total roundtrip (10,912 miles).
- Los Angeles to London on Delta and Air France through Detroit and returning through Paris for $2,400 total roundtrip (11,915 miles).
- Washington Dulles to London on United for $2,033 total roundtrip (7,354 miles).
- Miami to Madrid on Delta through Atlanta on the outbound and JFK on the return for $1,859 total roundtrip (9,609 miles).
- Atlanta to Rome on Alitalia for $2,867 total roundtrip (10,072 miles).
- Denver to London on Air France operated by Delta through New York and returning through Minneapolis/Saint Paul for $2,391 total roundtrip (10,042 miles).
- Houston to Paris on Air Canada through Toronto (IAH-YYZ flights are operated by Air Canada Express Jazz) for $2,174 total roundtrip (10,062 miles).
Here are the itineraries themselves.
JFK to London on Delta for $1,613.00 (codeshare with Air France), departing on November 26 and returning on December 2. The Delta 767 aircraft are fitted with the BusinessElite seats with 60 inches of legroom and 160-degree recline.
Newark EWR to London Heathrow for $1,613 on United from Tuesday, November 26 – Monday, December 2.
Comparable flights just a week later were going for $3,821 on British Airways, American, United and Virgin Atlantic – pretty much standard from this route, but over twice as much as the low Thanksgiving fares!
It’s not just to London, though. You can get from JFK to Madrid on Air France (operated by Delta) and Air Europa through Barcelona for $1,658.
And from JFK to Munich aboard Lufthansa for just $1,689.
Or choose JFK to Rome on Lufthansa through Munich, returning on Brussels Airlines through Brussels for $1,784.
Although things there are unsettled at the moment, the fall is a lovely time to visit Istanbul (I went in December myself) and hopefully things will be calmer then, so if you’re interested, you could fly JFK to Istanbul on Lufthansa through Frankfurt for $2,055.
Or if you’re a SkyTeam flyer, you can travel JFK to Istanbul on Delta through Amsterdam (the AMS-IST flights are operated by KLM) for $2,051.
While I wouldn’t call $2,000 business class airfare an amazing deal, it’s still a better figure than what you’ll be paying to fly a week later on the same routes, which is more in the range of $3,325 on the non-stop from Turkish Airlines.
Washington Dulles didn’t pull up too many interesting options, but you can get to London on United for $2,033.
Venturing on to other cities – I looked in Miami, where I’m based, to see what was available and found a few interesting options including a roundtrip flight from Miami to Madrid on Delta from Wednesday, November 27-December 3 via Atlanta on the outbound and JFK on the return for $1,859.
There were also a few deals to be found farther west, including this itinerary from Chicago to London on United for $2,033.
As well as flying Chicago to Paris on United returning through Brussels for $2,186.
One of the better options was taking Delta from Chicago to Madrid via Atlanta on the outbound and returning through JFK with both the domestic flights in first class for $2,069.
Chicago to Rome on United through Dulles also clocked in at $2,181.
Unfortunately, fares from the West Coast aren’t quite as attractive, but they’re still at a significant discount from how high fares normally run.
You can get from San Francisco to London over the holiday for about $2,391 flying Delta via JFK on the outbound and Minneapolis on the return.
While not inexpensive, that’s a full $1,000 less than flights are going for just a few days later and throughout December, when you’d have to fly Frontier to Denver then Icelandair via Reykjavik or pay around $5,600 for the same routing on Delta.
Less impressive is the lowest fare I could find from Los Angeles to London, which came in at $2,453 on Air New Zealand.
Finally, just for some variety, I searched for some Denver fares and found this one to London through New York and returning through Minneapolis/Saint Paul on Delta for $2,391.
As well as this itinerary from Houston to Paris on Air Canada via Toronto (IAH-YZZ flights are operated by Air Canada Express Jazz) for $2,174.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind before you go crazy booking business class fares.
First, these fares are still expensive and not for everyone – especially those hitting over $2,000. But even the expensive ones can be discounts of up to 50% on certain routes, and I figured they were worth reporting on – especially if you can take advantage of them for upcoming travel.
Right now, if you’re a Oneworld flyer, you probably won’t have much luck finding discounted flights – American, Iberia and British Airways weren’t giving me any love, though they did participate last year so I expect them to load discounted fares sooner or later (I did see some NYC to Paris for $2,300, but I bet it will go lower).
I only searched about a dozen different routes and fares to get a feeling for what was on sale, but if you score an amazing deal or find out new information on any of these or other destinations you can get at huge savings, please share it with the rest of us in the comments below.
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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.