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The travel blogs are noting lots of very inexpensive airfares from the United States to various European cities.
Scott’s Cheap Flights has an email out this afternoon with flights to Spain (Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Madrid, Mallorca, Santa Cruz Palma, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife and Valencia) in the $400s round-trip. The airlines with these low fares include American and United, and probably Delta. Austin is not among the listed departure cities, but Atlanta is and you can take Southwest non-stop from Austin to Atlanta (2 daily flights each way). Secret Flying notes that you can fly out of Houston on American.
Icelandair flies from DFW to Iceland and then on to various continental European cities for $300+ r/t (but remember all the fees for “extras”). Million Mile Secrets has a good write-up on this deal. One Mile at a Time notes that Icelandair will even begin flying to Kansas City starting in May! When researching a flight from JFK to LHR recently, I noticed that trip-cancellation insurance added only 2% to the ticket price on Icelandair…that seems like a pretty good deal.
When it comes to inexpensive flying to Europe, these are truly “the good old days.”
Some airfares price considerably lower in one currency than another, or to persons in one country against another.
For example, this Loyalty Lobby blog post shows how a British Airways airfare from London to Budapest was priced 40% cheaper on a Chinese website than on the BA website. Same date, same time, same airplane, just 40% less.
Similarly, some airfares on Norwegian Airlines price out cheaper if you select Norwegian kroner instead of U.S. dollar.
Skyscanner.com is often a good place to go for such comparison shopping. You can enter whichever country, language and currency you want, then see what prices you get. Interestingly, it does not show prices to one of my bucket-list destinations, the Galapagos Islands.
And if you just want to fly but aren’t decided where, Skyscanner’s “Explore our Map” page will show you destinations all over the world and the airfare to get there from your home airport.
With Norwegian you pay for all extras, like checked luggage and food. You may be able to find an even lower price by going to the Norway version of Norwegian’s website and paying in kroner…the Chrome browser can translate for you, and you can check exchange rates at xe.com.
You can travel aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which boasts larger windows and greater passenger comfort than older aircraft. Light hand luggage is free, you have to pay for other items like checked baggage and assigned seating.