Tuesday, November 1, 2011

European Airfares Dip--Briefly! Here's How You Can Take Advantage

Its been a long time since I've seen airfares to Europe for less than $500 dollars. Wait, scratch that: I have seen sale fares advertised at  that price. But when taxes and fuel surcharges have been added in, the end amount has nearly doubled.

Lufthansa is taking a non-opaque tack with its current sale (applaud them for that!). Its leading price of just $438 for round-trips between New York and Dublin includes everything but the proverbial kitchen sink (and a few times today, I've seen that price drop even lower).

Other excellent Lufthansa fares (again, round-trip and including all taxes, surcharges and fees):
  • New York-Krakow: $610
  • Boston-Barcelona: $648
  • Dallas/Fort Worth-Zagreb: $757
  • Washington, DC-Budapest: $736
  • Los Angeles-Istanbul: $744
Now, there are no additional taxes on these fares, but there are some restrictions associated with them. First and foremost, they must be booked by end of day tomorrow (Nov 2) for departures between Nov 8 and Mar 26 (returns can occur well into May). A Saturday-night stay-over is required, and if you fly on the weekend a $60 surcharge will be added. As you might expect, holiday fares are NOT included in this sale (sorry!).

One more perk of flying Lufthansa: its new thinner seats. That might sound like a downside, but travelers are reporting they're quite comfortable. And because they take up less room, there's more seat pitch (ie room between the end of your knees and the seat in front of you).

For more information, click here.

Alas, I missed posting a one-day sale that Aer Lingus ran yesterday, also dropping fares to this level. Its current sale is nearly as good as Lufthansa's (click here) though the German carrier seems to beat Aer Lingus in a number of key markets. My guess: we'll see another one day super sale soon (the economic crisis in Ireland has put a big dent in business travel there, meaning the national carrier has a lot of seats to fill). To catch it, consider following Aer Lingus on Twitter or signing up for its fare alerts.

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