$85 Business and First Class Sale Fare, Europe – US on Several Airlines

Hat tip to this Flyertalk thread, it’s possible to purchase tickets between several cities in the UK and several cities in the US — in business class — for under $100 roundtrip.

You have to originate in Europe. This works from London, but not exclusively so.

This was first discovered on United, but it appears to work for most carriers. Here’s some of the airlines that the ITA Matrix will price an itinerary like this in business class — in Danish Kroner (so you’ll want to use a credit card with no foreign currency fees when purchasing).

And here’s ITA Matrix pricing first class, it even prices for Swiss and Lufthansa first class.

The question is, where to book. It was initially suggested to use United.com, and indeed you can get the price to come up there, but with a US billing address for your credit card the site may not be willing to let you purchase what it prices in Danish Kroner. And Expedia.dk doesn’t seem to price itineraries this way.

You may need to experiment with booking sites to find one that will allow you to price this way in Danish Kroner and let you purchase with a US credit card.

Let’s walk through pricing at United.com: the way you buy in Danish Kroner is just to walk through a purchase and then when you reach the ‘Complete Purchase’ stage after you’ve selected an itinerary, you have the option to change your billing country.

Change your billing country to Denmark and the website will price in Danish Kroners (DKK).

You may need to pick your flights again, but pricing will be very favorable — sale pricing will be revealed, instead of $11,000 or more you may see prices of just over 500 DKK or US$80.

Indeed, I was able to select an itinerary in business class between Newcastle, UK and San Francisco for 559 DKK all-in (US$85).

But as I say, a US credit card forces you back to US dollars and a higher price. Your credit card may or may not allow the purchase to go through leaving billing country as Denmark.


Update: One Flyertalk member using United.com says,

on the last page after entering my us address and zip I left the country as Denmark.No problem at all

Another says,

use paypal as payment method and then you can pay with paypal with a danish billing adress with no issue whatsoever

Update 7:23am Eastern: This works from the UK to other parts of the world, too — here’s first class London – Sydney roundtrip.

And here’s first class London – Johannesburg roundtrip.

Update 7:32am Eastern: Remember that American AAdvantage will give you 3000 – 12,000 bonus miles per segment for long haul international first class and many business class fares on American or US Airways flights or on codeshares operated by British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas.

Update 7:37am Eastern: A Flyertalk member points out,

you can do stopovers in US on the way to south america 2 trips 1 ticket.

[Honolulu] is a valid stopover point to South america by the way

Update 9:13am Eastern: Confirmed this is still alive.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A good airline would honour the mispriced tickets. Quite recently Singapore Airlines had a similar issue, and loads of Australians managed to book first class tickets with economy prices via travel agents (first class usually costs $15k and economy about $3k). At first SQ implied that they were going to make the travel agents pay the difference (as it was the agents’ fault and not SQ’s website error), but in the end they made an official statement and said they would just “let the matter go” and honour the mispriced tickets, so as to not damage their company’s image. Good PR strategy, I’d say!

  2. @iahphx – The legal definition of fraud is “An intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act.” To take advantage of this sale, you must intentionally misrepresent your billing address (an “existing fact”) for the purpose of inducing the other person (United Airlines) to act (issue a ticket at a deeply discounted foreign currency price). While it is highly unlikely that someone taking advantage of this would ever be prosecuted, there is no doubt that they have committed a crime.

  3. @Doug — if you think that theory flies, you must not be very fun at parties. 🙂

    BTW,I believe the UN’s Human Rights Commission is actively investigating the thousands of incarcerated Americans who got a kid’s meal for their 12-year-olds even though the menu said it was valid only for “under 12.”

  4. Darn; missed it. I need to get up earlier — this was even better than last year’s deal to ICN!

  5. @iahphx, are you saying that this is not fraud by the legal definition, that it is only a minor fraud similar to feeding a 12 year old a kids meal (saving a couple of dollars), or that you think that it is fraud on a pretty major scale (with some people seemingly booking tickets into the 6 digits), but that either nobody will be punished for it or that nobody should be punished for it?

  6. Anyone have any tips on how to cancel these? Mine was booked into D and A class on LH/LX as UA Codeshare but when I go to cancel it says “This reservation has no refundable value if cancelled. A refund will not be credited.”

  7. Went all the way to the end , changed the billing location and it repriced the whole thing 🙁 , what a shame

    amazing deal though !

  8. Tickets booked at united.com are refundable for 24 hours even if the fare doesn’t allow refunds, call united to cancel if the website won’t let you

  9. I just looked at my UA account via the first email after purchase this morning, and I have two e-tickets with ticket numbers. One way from LHR-ATL for $110. That’s for two people. Awesome if it sticks.

  10. Trying to get this to work but united will not show me the fare in DKK even if I change my country to DKK. Also the Matrix shows a cheap one way fare on Delta but Delta’s site will not allow me to change country to DKK either.

  11. They will cancel all tickets withou a doubt and we will have wasted our valuable times. I cannot believe I am admitting that after wasting the last couple of hours !!!

  12. @gary thanks – so the premise that the 24 hour rule doesn’t apply since it was a non-USA website are inaccurate?

  13. @Nick – this was never going to last long. If anything, Business Insider picking this up from Dans Deals, calling United probably killed it (but only then perhaps minutes or an hour earlier than otherwise)

  14. No but it has a ticket number assigned to it…good luck to those with LX flights getting Swiss to honor them

  15. @Jeff – I got my confirmation email at 9:38 EST but still haven’t gotten email with ticket numbers. When I plug confirmation # into united.com, I can see the receipt and the ticket numbers. I saved them, just in case. Booked LHR-EWR in May for 2 in BusinessFirst.

  16. @ Gary Leff — Yeah, I’m amused by the various blog posts complaining that somebody killed this deal. Whatever happens, I think we can say with 100% certainty that a deal on the web offering $75 transatlantic biz class tickets was going to end sooner rather than later!

    BTW, why didn’t you buy a ticket? Heck, it was worth getting one just so nobody could claim you were a sore-loser for expressing skepticism that the deal will be honored!

  17. Confirmation email at 9:00am CST. I haven’t received my ticket numbers yet via email but I can see them when I go to United.com, view my reservation and click “view receipt”

  18. I booked on United but put down Western Union to pay. It’s an extra $80 but who cares. Anybody try Western Union yet?

  19. @iahphx Didn’t buy a ticket largely because the travel I need to do over the coming months (work) is all domestic, the leisure trips I’ve thought through are booked and I’m happy not wasting time positioning via Heathrow, basically I’m sitting happy and while this is a truly amazing deal if honored I was good just sitting, watching, and enjoying. 🙂

  20. Maybe this is a stupid question, but are all of you taking advantage of this sale expats living in Europe? Trying to figure out how someone in the US can take advantage of this if the flight has to originate in the UK.

  21. I will pay my reservation Western Union today after work. They quote the Western Union fee in USD so I assume USD is ok to pay for the reservation as well and should not through up a flag. I hope it works!

  22. I will pay my reservation Western Union today after work. They quote the Western Union fee in USD so I assume USD is ok to pay for the reservation as well and should not through up a flag.

  23. @Logan, I’m in US, just purchasing a return flight cheap (if it holds) and worrying later about how I get there.

  24. Denmark seems to have been removed from the United site as a country of purchase option on the top right. I don’t see it in the listing.

  25. Wow, they did just delete Denmark at United! I barely made it under the wire. Hope they honor my reservation.

  26. Guys, calm down, these tickets are ALL going to be canceled. The laws against “bait and switch” pricing don’t apply since you all incorrectly entered “Denmark” as you billing address country. This is the technicality that United will use without any doubt to cancel these sales. You have all wasted your time.

  27. I did the “Pay with Western Union” option. I have until the 14th to pay. I’ll wait 24 hours to see if this is cancelled before paying.

  28. Just let you guys know. I will follow your name, your birthday and your credit card number to find you. And close your account and ban you forever.

    Let’s wait and see.

  29. The IT error appears to be an error in the overnight currency table load, the cross-reference between GBP and DKK is a bit off from my ticketed fare breakdown below

    Airfare: 6,164 GBP
    Equivalent Airfare: 62 DKK

  30. Looks to be dead… I was just about to buy, and the country choice of “Denmark” that was there when I started the search is now gone! Only goes to Dominican Republic 🙁

    Hope everyone else gets to enjoy their trip!!


  31. Yes, it sounds like they messed up currency conversion due to using a period instead of a comma or the other way around. And then I guess other airlines automatically priced match although it wasn’t bookable.

  32. Specifically, the trailing 3 non-decimal significant digits were truncated, which translated 62000DKK as 62DKK

    6164 British Pound Sterling equals
    61812.59 Danish Krone

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