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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Update: The Flight Deal is reporting that these fares are dead, but I am still finding them loading on Wideroe all the way through the checkout page, though I have not purchased any, so they may be gone, but if you’re flying this spring, it could still be worth investigating in case any of these fares are left.
One of my favorite sites to check for mileage runs and low airfares is The Flight Deal, and today the site is reporting some amazingly low fares on United from various US cities to numerous European destinations.
Now, you won’t find these on the ITA Matrix or on United.com itself. Instead, you have to go to a Norwegian site called Wideroe and search from there. It’s just like any other online travel agency, only it’s based in Scandinavia and flights will price out in Norwegian Kroner (NOK), so you have to do a little currency conversion for yourself to see if a fare is worth it, but just keep in mind $1 USD = 6 NOK, I would also suggest using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to purchase your airfare since you’ll be billed by a foreign company, so if your card does have those fees, you’ll end up paying an extra 2-3%, so I’d use something like a Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard instead.
Just to test it out, I priced out a sample itinerary in January from Newark to Oslo, which came in at 2,095 NOK…or $345!
It looks like the airfares are so low because Wideroe is not including fuel surcharges on United itineraries. The date range appears to be from the beginning of January to the end of March 2014 – so this might not be useful for end-of-year mileage runs but could be a good way to get a jump on 2014 elite status qualification if you’re a United flyer. Tickets book in the L fare class.
But if the New York area isn’t your base, and Scandinavia is not your destination, don’t worry, you don’t have to travel to the great white north to find some good deals. Flight Plan and people on this FlyerTalk thread are reporting some great low fares to and from other cities in Europe and even to India, Australia and the Middle East including:
SEA-OSL for $432
EWR-LHR for $411
ORD-LHR for $520
EWR-MXP for $370
IAH-TLV for $354
SFO-LHR for $573
LAX-SYD for $711
A Word of Caution
As with all deals like this, if you’re interested, you need to jump in right away because deals like this tend to disappear very quickly. Because these aren’t insanely low, like $20-$100, I suspect that they’re not exactly mistake fares and that United will honor them. However, there’s no way of knowing whether you’ll actually end up flying or not. Once you purchase and have a ticket number and confirmation number, though, you’ll have some more leverage, and hopefully a lot of us will end up getting over to Europe and beyond this spring (and rack up thousands of miles) for a really low price.
If you do end up getting in on some of these airfares, please leave a comment below reporting on what you were able to purchase – cities, dates, etc. – so that other readers can benefit.