Deal alert: Fly to Europe this winter for as low as $316
If you're anxious to return to Europe or want to plan your first trip overseas, winter may be the perfect opportunity.
There is a slew of cut-rate fares to some of Europe's most desirable destinations. Our friends at Thrifty Traveler discovered these sale rates offered by Scandinavian Airlines, a Star Alliance member. Round-trip tickets are available for travel from various big cities to Europe for as low as $316! Keep in mind many of these routes are often priced close to $1,500. There are even some nonstop flights available at these prices to Stockholm; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Oslo, Norway.
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Airlines: Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airlines.
Routes: BOS/EWR/IAD/LAX/MIA/ORD/SFO to CPH/HEL/ARN/BGO/FRA/HAM and others.
Cost: The lowest fares start at $316 round-trip, including premium economy; some nonstop routes are available as well.
Dates: January-March 2022.
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), the Citi Prestige® Card for 5x on airfare, the Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees) or Chase Sapphire Reserve for 3x on air travel, the American Express® Gold Card for 3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2x on travel.
The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Some examples of the round-trip fares that are part of this deal are:
- Chicago (ORD) to Stockholm (ARN) starting at $348 round-trip.
- Los Angeles (LAX) to Helsinki (HEL) starting at $367 round-trip.
- Miami (MIA) to Copenhagen (CPH) starting at $433 round-trip.
- Newark (EWR) to Hamburg, Germany (HAM), and Tallinn, Estonia (TLL), starting at $349 round-trip.
- San Francisco (SFO) to Gothenburg, Sweden (GOT), starting at $316 round-trip.
Usually, discounted deals like this are for bare-bones fares, with no seat assignments. What makes this sale especially appealing is many of these prices are for SAS Plus seats. That's Scandinavian's premium economy offering, which comes with a larger reclining seat, free seat assignment and two free checked bags, as well as lounge access.
Another bonus is that SAS is allowing free changes and cancellation for a voucher on these fares, so you can book your tickets without risk. Also, note that you can credit miles earned on SAS flights to your United MileagePlus account.
Related: The best websites for searching Star Alliance award availability
Let's get to the bargains, and this first one is amazing -- Chicago (ORD) to Stockholm (ARN) for $348 round-trip in January. Did we mention that's for a nonstop flight? That's right.
There is fairly wide availability for this route in January, mostly for one-stop itineraries, but there are some nonstops to be had.
I found this nonstop fare from Miami (MIA) to Copenhagen (CPH), also in January, for just $433.
Los Angeles (LAX) to Helsinki (HEL) is also seeing incredibly low prices in February and March. Is $367 for a round-trip ticket something you might be interested in?
If you live in the tri-state area and are hankering to visit Germany, February seems to be your best bet. That's when you'll find the best availability for flights departing out of Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) to Hamburg (HAM). The best price we found was for $349 for a round-trip ticket, with a layover in Copenhagen.
Newark to Munich is also available for $377, more than 50% cheaper than the usual cost for a round-trip ticket.
We've saved our cheapest deals for last. You can fly from San Francisco to Gothenburg in February for just $316 round-trip!
San Francisco to Copenhagen is also a superb bargain at the moment. A nonstop ticket can be had for only $432.
How to book your flights
The easiest way to do it is if you're a Thrifty Traveler Premium subscriber. You can also simply use Google Flights, plug in your destination city and start searching for dates that fit your travel schedule.
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on air travel), American Express Gold Card (3x on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel), Citi Premier Card (3x on air travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.