Introducing Hump Day Fare Hacks: Profiling Cheap Flights from Boston to Europe

Whether or not you own a car, chances are that you’ve noticed that fuel prices have dropped significantly this year. In fact, it was just 2 years ago that the average gas price was greater than $3.00 per gallon. And while there are numerous factors that have contributed to gas prices falling, the impacts are being felt in numerous areas, one of them being airlines. Commercial aircraft may not use the same unleaded fuel as your car, but they, too, have become cheaper to fill up in the last few years. As a result of this, as well as supplemental factors, airline ticket prices have fallen.

Given that I watch airfares pretty consistently, I’ve decided that it might be fun to pass on some of my observations. That’s why I’m starting a new blog series: Hump Day Fare Hacks. Each Wednesday, I’ll post a variety of low prices that I’ve found on nonstop routes between Boston and a number of different European cities. And while I don’t have the attention span nor the resources to profile transatlantic routes from other airports, I’ll keep an eye on flights out of airports like New York JFK, Newark, and Philadelphia, and will post the route and cheapest flight that I’ve found.

Note: All routes profiled are based on a 7-day round trip (departing and arriving the same day a week apart), unless otherwise noted. That said, I strongly encourage you to play with a variety of dates and trip lengths and see what you can find.

 

Boston – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • September 6, 7, 13, 14, 26
  • October 4, 11, 12, 17
  • December 5

Carrier: Scandinavian Airlines (operated by PrivatAir)
Price: $697

Thoughts: A bit more expensive than some flights to Europe out of Boston, but this flight is operated by a PrivatAir BBJ, giving travelers a bit more space than if the route was operated by certain other wide body aircraft. For those seeking an even better deal, Norwegian Air Shuttle operates BOS-CPH round trips for as little as $337, although you’d have to choose either a 2-day or 9-day stay to take advantage of that price.

 

Boston – Dublin

Leave on:

  • November 9, 10, 19, 27, 30
  • December 7

Carrier: Aer Lingus
Price: $536

Thoughts: While the range of dates for the best price on this route is rather limited, there is good news: the overall prices in November and December tend to be between $500 and $600. If you’re looking to visit the western part of Ireland instead of Dublin, there are a number of dates in November where Aer Lingus has BOS-SNN nonstops going for $517-$530, although these are not as ubiquitous as deals on BOS-DUB.

 

Boston – Frankfurt

Leave on: October 4-6, 11, 17, 18
Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $547

Thoughts: This is a good deal, especially considering that you’d likely be flying on Lufthansa’s new Boeing 747-800. However, you’ll have the choice between the 747-800 and the 747-400 if you travel prior to October 6th, as there are two flights on those days.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • October 23, 30, 31
  • November 2, 4, 7, 13, 14, 16, 25, 27, 28, 30
  • December 2, 4, 5
  • January (2017) 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $334

Thoughts: This fare is simply astounding. Flights to England have, in my observation, always been relatively expensive, due to a variety of economic factors. However, for all the controversy that it’s caused with a variety of other airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle has absolutely turned the market for transatlantic flights on its head with incredibly low prices. This isn’t the cheapest round trip that it has offered from Boston, but it just might be the most in-demand.

 

Boston – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • September 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28
  • October 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26
  • November 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26

Carriers: British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Price: $831

Thoughts: While more expensive than the Norwegian flights, some folks may prefer to fly into Heathrow. After all, Heathrow is located in London proper, while Gatwick is 30 miles south of the city in West Sussex, and boasts significantly more potential connections than the latter. Additionally, your airfare on these particular flights include checked baggage, a meal, and more, so the difference in fare may be worth it to some. Either way, a sub-$900 round trip to London is not to be scoffed at.

 

Boston – Munich

Leave on:

  • November 18, 20

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $671

Thoughts: To me, this is a very good deal. Passengers flying between Boston and Munich will be on one of Lufthansa’s Airbus A330-300 or A340-600, which are two of the most modern, sleek aircraft in the skies today. And if those two aforementioned times don’t work for you, there are a number of different dates in October and November which Lufthansa has round trips between this city pairing going for $700-$800.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • October 14, 17, 21 (return on October 22, 25, 29)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $318

Thoughts: Not quite as cheap as my $298.30 Oslo roundtrip, but $318 is still extremely cheap. While I enjoyed my Norwegian experience, I pulled a weekend trip, which I would not advise to anyone except for the most fervent of mileage runners/aviation fanatics/etc., so stay for the week if you’re going to go.

 

Boston – Paris

Leave on:

  • October 31
  • November 1, 2, 7-9, 14, 16, 21-23, 28-30
  • December 5-7, 12-14, 26, 28
  • January (2017) 2, 4, 9-11, 16-18, 23, 24, 30, 31
  • February (2017) 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
  • March (2017) 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29
  • April (2017) 3-5

Carriers: Air France, Delta Air Lines
Price: $859

Thoughts: In my experience, Paris has been one of the more expensive European cities to book for. And while you can probably snag an even cheaper deal through WOW Air, $859 for a Paris nonstop is definitely something worth considering.

 

Boston – Tel Aviv

Leave on:

  • November 22, 24

Carrier: El Al
Price: $650

Thoughts: Tel Aviv is not technically in Europe; however, given that BOS-TLV is still a transatlantic flight, I’m fine with listing it here. Regardless, considering prices for this route run around $800-$900 normally, I’d give this a good rating. Obviously, this might not be the most convenient of times for many families who are celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S.A., but this appears to be a good snag for those with family in or a desire to go to Israel.

 

Boston – Zurich

Leave on:

  • October 4-7, 10-13, 16-20

Carrier: Swiss Airlines
Price: $532

Thoughts: In addition to the dates listed above, week-long trips starting on any of October 23-December 15 are currently $542 round trip, so definitely check those out if you have Zurich on your list of places to visit.

 

Other Deals

It’s safe to say that, at this time, I don’t have the time or resources to keep this detailed of an inventory for other airports. However, I’ll give a quick mention to notable fares that I’ve found between other East Coast cities and places across the pond. (Deals deemed “extremely cheap” by me are in bold).

New York JFK:

  • Amsterdam – $506
  • Brussels – $535
  • Dublin – $496
  • London Gatwick – $388
  • London Heathrow – $723
  • Manchester – $536
  • Oslo – $263
  • Paris – $374
  • Shannon $517
  • Stockholm – $295

Newark:

  • Amsterdam – $506
  • Belfast – $571
  • Brussels – $535
  • Glasgow – $558
  • London Heathrow – $674
  • Lisbon – $659
  • Manchester – $536
  • Munich – $591
  • Paris – $596

Philadelphia:

  • Amsterdam – $506
  • Dublin – $528
  • Frankfurt – $788
  • London Heathrow – $723
  • Paris – $596
  • Munich – $581

 

The “Brexit” Impact on Airfares: Flights to the U.K. Are Crazy Cheap

While I’m personally unhappy with the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, I’d be lying if I said that the outcome was all bad news for Americans who like to travel.

As someone who went to England in 2014, I was faced with a relatively high exchange rate between the Great Britain Pound and U.S. Dollar — around $1.60 per £1.00, if I remember correctly. In addition to the exchange rate being expensive, the flights were expensive, too: my round trip base fare on British Airways was $952, although the final total was a bit higher, as I reserved window seats both ways. Indeed, while it was undoubtedly the best trip that I’ve taken to date, it was by no means cheap.

Now, however, things have changed. Given that I hope to visit England in the next couple of years, I’ve been (somewhat regularly) looking at Boston to London Heathrow on Google Flights, playing with various dates to see when the best time to travel would be. Up until last week, the cheapest round trip prices hovered around $800, with cheaper flights available to London Gatwick through WOW Air (via Iceland) or Norwegian Air Shuttle on its new nonstop BOS-LGW service.

Despite the fact that the cheaper flights are — in my observation — those into LGW, I’ve been very much a British Airways and LHR loyalist for years. Given the choice, I probably wouldn’t fly to London on any other airline or into any other airport.

That said, if prices continue to drop, I may have to rethink my above proclamation. For example, BOS-LGW flights are showing for as little as $374 round trip, which is insanely low considering the aforementioned WOW flights were well north of $400 from what I can remember. While I flew on Norwegian to Oslo for less than $300 round trip, the BOS-OSL market doesn’t have nearly the same demand as flights between the United States and the U.K. Moreover, I booked on the cheapest possible dates I could find, so the average price on that route is likely higher. Regardless, a $374 nonstop BOS-LGW round trip fare is insanely low.

25 miles northwest of LGW at LHR, passengers will find that flights into and out of LHR have dropped quite a bit. From BOS, you’d normally expect to pay at least $800 for a non-stop, round trip to LHR and back on one of British Airways, Delta Air Lines, or Virgin Atlantic Airways. This morning, however, I found a variety of dates for both this year and next year where all three of BA, DL, and VS had BOS-LHR round trips going for $692.

While the pool of flights that I’ve profiled is specific to two markets (BOS-LHR and BOS-LGW), the underlying point is the most important thing to consider: flights to the U.K. are, for now, at the cheapest they’ve been in years. And though the exchange rate between the USD and GBP will likely lose some of the parity that it’s recently gained, I wouldn’t be surprised if these savings stayed for weeks, even months to come.

 

200+ Round Trip Flights for Less Than $100

As a kid growing up, I often thought that flying was inordinately expensive. And, to a certain degree, my perception was accurate: when I was seven, I asked my mother how much a round trip plane ticket to Florida from our home in Maine was. (She replied that it was well north of $300 which, in 2016, would be around $432.00). And while obviously my sense of money wasn’t what it is now, as $10 seemed like a lot of money to this particular seven-year-old, I came to think that it was very much a luxury that I would seldom get to enjoy throughout the rest of my life. I found this to be a shame, as there were many things that I really enjoyed about flight — from the sheer excitement of takeoff and landing to the intricate logistics that comprise the operation of commercial flights.

However, as time has gone on, there have been myriad factors that have made the price of flying drop drastically: increasingly efficient aircraft, the saturation of seats in certain markets, and low-cost carriers providing the legacy carriers with increased competition (to name a few). At 24, I’ve flown 12 times in the past two years, which is exactly double the six times that I flew in the first 22 years of my life. Part of that is due to the fact that I have my own income and choose to spend money on flying instead of other things — I don’t rack up hundreds of dollars on bar tabs, fancy restaurant bills, or shopping trips — but it’s also due to the increasing affordability of flights everywhere.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to look at Google Flights and compile a list of sub-$100 round trip flights that I found from my home airport of Boston Logan (KBOS) to a variety of domestic destinations throughout this summer. This list is somewhat disorganized, as it was very much something I did for fun, but I’ve taken two sub-$100 trips on flights that I found researching for this spreadsheet, so I can even vouch for its effectiveness. And though the volatility of fuel prices — which have been low for the past few months — is unpredictable, meaning that ticket prices could increase dramatically, I think that it’s worth noting how affordable flying has become, and how you, too, can find plenty of affordable flights if you’re able to analyze market behavior and book accordingly.

Disclaimer: I do not guarantee that any of the information in this spreadsheet is accurate as of today. This list was compiled some time in early May of 2016. As such, many of the prices will have increased significantly in the month or so that has passed (as of today, I’ve noticed that prices for Newark, in particular, have increased); moreover, some of the dates here have passed altogether. You are free to tell me of any changes that you observe, but the purpose of this sheet was simply to show that there are a number of affordable flights out there rather than highlighting a certain fare, route, or carrier.

(Of course, these round trips are solely flights originating in Boston. However, there are a variety of other cheap flights that you can find throughout the United States.)