We are not big fans of Europe during the Summer. There are too many tourists and all the hotels are way overpriced. That said, we have received numerous questions on whether or not there are deals to Europe for travel between June and August.
As always, if you have miles, check to see if there’s award availability. Assuming you are not redeeming for flights with fuel surcharges in coach, award tickets are the cheapest way to fly.
Map generated with GCMAP by Karl L. Swartz. (www.gcmap.com)
Under our criterion of 6 cents per mile, there aren’t any deals on paid tickets. But here are some tips on finding somewhat acceptable fares (under $1,000 roundtrip).
Milan is a good starting point
Emirates launched nonstop service between Milan and JFK last year. With a new competitor, Alitalia, American, Delta and United have matched Emirates’ fares. Non-peak travel (January – May, September – November) have pretty much been in the low to mid $600s. Prior to Emirates launching service, this route was about $1,000 roundtrip.
At the moment, it is about $880 for June travel, $900 for July and $880 for August travel. As a reminder, Emirates is not searchable on Google Flights but is on ITA Matrix. American, Alitalia, Delta and United are on both Google Flights and ITA.
Norwegian Air Shuttle is your friend
While we probably will never fly Norwegian Air Shuttle because their miles/points are useless to us, it is our best friend right now. Thanks to them, the sales that we had this month to Scandinavia would not have existed. We did a quick check for June travel from New York to Copenhagen and saw a bunch of $800ish roundtrip fares. Norwegian is not searchable on ITA Matrix or Google Flights
Consider XL Airways if you are going to France
XL Airways is a low cost carrier from France. Take a look if you are going to France. We priced a June travel date for around 650 Euros or about $900 US Dollars. XL is not searchable on ITA Matrix or Google Flights and XL has no rewards program that we know of.
Icelandair is another option
And all their fares pretty much allow for free stopovers in Iceland on the way to Europe. Icelandair is searchable both on ITA and Google Flights.
Check Business Class Fares
During the Summer months, Business Class fares are sometimes not much more than a coach fare to Europe. If you are going to pay a lot, might as well fly in comfort.
Use SkyScanner to search for intra-Europe flights
Not everyone wants to go to Milan, Scandinavia or France. Use them as a gateway to Europe and then use SkyScanner to find low cost carrier fares within Europe. If you do use a low cost carrier in Europe, please read their policies carefully to avoid being hit with potentially significant fees.
This is not exhaustive, just some quick tips. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. If there’s enough interest, we can put together something similar and more specific to our other coverage cities.
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