Not much shocks me when it comes to the air travel industry, but a couple of things happened this past week that made me do a bit of a double-take.
One airline plans to drop its baggage fee. And some airlines have flights to Europe in the fall for around $300 round trip.
First, the bag fee: Hungary-based Wizz Air has been charging passengers up to $50 for carry-on bags but as of Oct. 29, they’ll fly the baggage for free. This brings the carrier in line with policies of other European discounters like Ryanair and Easyjet.
Are you listening, Spirit and Frontier?
As for those very cheap flights to Europe, all I can say is if you’ve ever dreamed of getting on a trans-Atlantic flight to visit the continent, your time has come.
These deals weren’t hiding. Most were found in seconds using my search site’s deal-finding tool; other sites have similar products.
All the fares were found July 19-20 and are good for travel in the fall (several can be found in November).
Best deals: Round-trip fares to Europe from $300 to $399
- New York to Oslo, $307
- Miami to Copenhagen, $312
- Boston to Madrid, $314
- Providence, R.I. to Edinburgh, $328
- Los Angeles to Stockholm, $352
- Newark to Zurich, $352
- Detroit to Rome, $383
- New York to Paris, $393
Honorable mention: Round-trip fares to Europe from $400 to $459
- Chicago to Brussels, $407
- Dallas to Paris, $409
- Dallas to Amsterdam, $410
- Washington, D.C. to Dublin, $412
- New York to London, $414
- New York to Madrid, $417
- Atlanta to Rome, $417
- San Francisco to Dublin, $422
- Los Angeles to Rome, $427
- Seattle to London, $459
Fares to Europe have been wonderfully cheap for some time now, but who knew this delightful state of affairs would last so long? And it’s not just discount airlines like Norwegian Air offering the deals; some of the fares listed are offered by Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa and other names you know.
How to find these super-deals? As noted, a deal-finding tool is useful but you can also find cheap fares simply by figuring out unpopular times to fly and inconvenient routes. For example:
- Look for unpopular seasons: Summer fares to Europe are expensive; fall and winter fares are cheaper, outside of major holidays like Christmas and New Year’s.- Look for unpopular days to fly: Departures and returns in the middle of a week are often cheaper than weekend flights. - Look for inconvenient routes: Connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstops but not always; some of the best deals in the above lists are nonstops. Always check to see which is a better deal. And of course, you should always compare fares; no single airline always has the best deal for U.S. flights or international travel. Have a safe flight!
Rick Seaney is the CEO of FareCompare, a website that curates the best deals on flights from around the world. Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.