Cheap Business-Class Fares to Europe are Still Available from $1,696 Round-Trip!
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
As they have in recent years, several airlines are offering deep-discounted business-class fares from the US to Europe during off-peak travel periods, such as the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December. Discounted fares are available on all of the major carriers, but you'll get the best deal on Oneworld airlines, thanks to AARP's $400 discount when you book through British Airways (more on that below).
You can find discounted fares from several cities around the US, but you'll get the best deal when departing New York. Nonstop flights are available to London, Madrid and Paris — you can also connect in London and fly on to other cities in Europe, such as Munich or Zurich for a similar price.
You do need to be an AARP member to get the lowest fares, but anyone can join AARP for just $16 per year. You'll get the deepest discount on flights operated by British Airways or OpenSkies, since you can apply an additional 10% off coupon (more on that below) when you pay with a Visa card. Note that flights are also available on American Airlines, though the additional 10% discount won't apply. Note that the $400 British Airways AARP discount is only available through October 31, 2015.
Airline(s): British Airways, OpenSkies, American Airlines, Iberia and others
Route(s): NYC to CDG, LHR, MAD and others with a connection at LHR
Cost: $1,696-$1,867 round-trip in business
Dates: Select dates in November and December 2015
Elite Mileage Earning: At least 10,320 elite-qualifying points
Fare Class: I
Booking Link: British Airways via AARP
Pay With: American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Preferred
Here are a few examples of flights we found:
New York (JFK) to Munich (MUC) in business class on British Airways for $1,696:
New York (JFK) to Paris (ORY) in business class on OpenSkies for $1,697:
New York (JFK) to London (LHR) in business class on British Airways for $1,793:
New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) in business class on Iberia for $1,867:
Here’s how to book in five easy steps:
Step 1: Head to AARP’s British Airways discount page to save $400 off this flight (per person). You do need to be an AARP member, but anyone can join for $16 per year (as low as $12.60 per year if you pay $63 for a five-year membership). Log in to verify your membership and click through to British Airways.
Step 2: You should be redirected to a special British Airways booking page. Select New York as your departure city and one of the cities listed above as your destination, enter your dates and be sure to select Business/Club class, then click Get Flights.
Step 3: Select your flights and click Continue to price. Remember: Only British Airways is eligible for the extra 10% off.
Step 4: On the next page, you should see a fare of about $1,992 round-trip (or less), including taxes and fees. Scroll down to the Promotion Code Or eVoucher field and enter promotion code “CARDOFFERU” and click submit.
Step 5: Review your fare and click through to purchase. If all goes well, you should see an additional 10% discount applied, dropping the fare by $199 to $1,793. Confirm all flight details — you can cancel for a full refund within 24 hours of purchase, or you can cancel any time before departure for a $500 fee.
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
See TPG's reviews of business class on British Airways and OpenSkies.