ACT FAST: Many European Cities from Around the US From Just $414 Roundtrip

There have been several amazing airfare deals in the past few weeks. Fares are down from a year ago, with fuel prices low and profitable airlines competing more vigorously against each other — at least on specific routes or for specific periods of time.

What we’ve seen a lot of is flash sales, with one airline going after another and then that airline responding like Delta offering super-cheap business class fares to and from United hub cities.

Now United and American are both offering coach roundtrips between several cities in the US and several cities in Europe for a little over $400. That’s amazing, considering a not insignificant portion of that cost winds up being taxes.

Sample cities:

  • San Francisco – Zurich
  • Newark – Dublin
  • Washington Dulles – Paris
  • Chicago – London (a bit higher thanks to UK taxes)

There are also fares to Shannon, Istanbul, Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Rome, Munich, Lisbon, Prague and Budapest at least.

It’s a nationwide sale in the US, with most West Coast cities a bit pricier than East Coast cities and many destinations available. Given pricing, and number of destinations, this may be the best (non-mistake fare) Europe sale I’ve seen.

In fact, the ‘more expensive from the West Coast’ doesn’t always hold. Check out San Francisco – Zurich on American (note that it’s American flying out of a United hub, that’s often how these sales work).

This is actually a $50 base fare each way plus fuel surcharges and taxes.

This particular fare has rules which are typical of those being offered by American right now.

  • Outbound travel must be August 23 through October 29 or December 16 to 23, or April 7 through May 12.

  • 90 day minimum advance purchase required, so August 23 departures aren’t actually possible.

  • Minimum stay is a return the first Sunday after arrival.

  • Tickets must be issued today, the fare will expire after that.

  • $300 change fee

American’s Executive Platinum members of course can confirm upgrades using their VIP systemwide upgrades. Most other members would find themselves using miles and a cost-prohibitive cash co-pay if space is available (and if it’s not available to confirm at booking, would waitlist and be above elites of a higher tier).

So anyone other than an American Executive Platinum should plan to fly these fares in coach.

Similarly United mileage upgrades will come with a prohibitive cash co-pay, and United’s 1K systemwide upgrades have minimum fare requirements that won’t be met by this sale.

(HT: The Flight Deal and Eric Goldner)

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, 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. For the April/May 2017 window, though, American Executive Platinums cannot use a systemwide upgrade unless they’ve already requalified for next year, correct?

  2. Been working on this half the morning…got us SFO-JFK-ZRH-JFK-SFO for Feb 2017 all lie-flat biz (via SWUs) for $414/person! Very sweet!

  3. The Washington – Paris deal appears to be on Icelandair ($443, at least in August) as opposed to AA or UA, just FYI. UA is about $640.

  4. FARE ALERT BUSINESS CLASS: British Airways/American have Atlanta-London at $1,735 right now for travel Sep-Nov lots of dates and far fewer dates Dec-March. Use AARP $400 discount link to get this rate.

    Also available from Salt Lake City for about $100 more.

    I am not around my own computer today, so no post on this coming from me until later today, if it is still around.

  5. The best deals are for west coast to Europe.

    I had no trouble finding the UA fare DC to Paris for Christmas week-$420. I couldn’t get a couple fares to Vienna or Munich Google Flights showed-they’re not accurate.

    The fares are only Roundtrip- 1 way is more .

    The fares are only for 1 week or more and there’s a maximum stay (not sure what but short, 14-21 days).

  6. @Andrew The United $443 fares are there for the fall (I think starting October) through mid-December. I booked nonstops both ways (!) IAD-CDG-IAD for that price in December for a seven-day trip.

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