Hump Day Fare Hacks: December 28, 2016

Norwegian Index for December 28, 2016: 246.2

The past few years have seen – anecdotally speaking – a massive influx of low-cost transatlantic flights into various air travel markets. With that in mind, I decided that it might be interesting to see what an “average” price for these particular transatlantic flight deals might be. That’s how the Norwegian Index was born.

If you’ve followed Hump Day Fare Hacks, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the Norwegian Index trend downward throughout the year. It’s fitting, then, that the Index set a new record low in its final iteration of 2016. I’ll leave you to look at the fares, as they speak for themselves.

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

 

Boston – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • April 4, 2017 (return April 13, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $266

Thoughts: This may be just a single date in 2017, but the price is good enough that it may be worth taking advantage of.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 23, 25, 29, 30

  • February (2017) 6, 8, 13

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $260

Thoughts: By far the lowest that this has been.

 

Boston – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 15-20, 22-27, 29-31

  • February (2017) 1-3, 6-10, 12-15, 20-24, 26-28

  • March (2017) 1-3, 5-9, 13-17, 19-23

Carriers: Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Price: $473

Thoughts: The SkyTeam members are offering identical, sub-$500 fares.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 3, 10 (return April 11, 18)

  • May (2017) 1, 8 (return May 9, 16)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $254

Thoughts: Not the lowest it’s ever been, but certainly “up there” (or, perhaps, down there).

 

Boston – Paris

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 15-20, 22-24, 26, 27, 29-31

  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5-7, 9-10, 12-14, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26-28

  • March (2017) 1, 2, 5-8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19-24, 26-31

  • April (2017) 2-7, 9-11, 19-21, 23-28, 30

  • May (2017) 1-5, 7, 8

Carriers: Air France, Delta Air Lines
Price: $425

Thoughts: As a route that usually goes for well north of $500, this one came out of left field.

 

NEW YORK

 

New York JFK – Barcelona

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 26-29, 31

  • February (2017) 2-5, 7, 9, 14

Carrier: American Airlines
Price: $376

Thoughts: Cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap.

 

New York JFK – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 15-31

  • February (2017) 1, 2, 4-15, 19-28

  • March (2017) 1-23

Carriers: Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Price: $473

Thoughts: Same prices as DL and VS are offering on BOS-LHR.

 

New York JFK – Milan

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17, 18, 24, 25, 31

  • February (2017) 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28

  • March (2017) 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29

  • April (2017) 4, 11, 12, 19, 25, 26

  • May (2017) 2, 3, 10

Carriers: Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, Emirates
Price: $496

Thoughts: Sub-$500 Emirates flights don’t come along every day! (Oh, and Alitalia and Delta operate this route, too.)

 

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 3, 23

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $203

Thoughts: Giving the JFK-ARN all-time low a run for its money, no pun intended.

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30

  • February (2017) 1, 3, 4, 27

  • March (2017) 1, 24

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $248

Thoughts: The fact that a $248 fare on JFK-ARN isn’t considered unusual says a lot.

The Top 10 Deals Found in 2016

With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time for reflection – particularly, reflection on the flight prices of the year.

Of course, there will still be one final edition of Hump Day Fare Hacks – to be published on Wednesday, barring the apocalypse – but I figured it might be fun to have a look back in advance. That’s why I’m compiling a list of the 10 best deals that I found in 2016 – both domestic and international.

Contrary to what you might think, these prices are not listed from most expensive to least, but rather by how good I believe the value of each flight to be. It’s subjective, so feel free to disagree, but the great thing about America is that we each get our own opinion.

Note: To my knowledge, none of these fares are promotional fares. There were certainly some prices that were even lower than this, but I excluded fare sales.

The Full Top 10:

10. Boston to Chicago O’Hare – United Airlines – $97 round trip

9. Boston to London Heathrow – British Airways – $460 round trip

8. Boston to Nashville – jetBlue – $77 round trip

7. New York JFK to Paris – American Airlines – $357 round trip

6. Boston to Copenhagen – Norwegian Air Shuttle – $279 round trip

5. Boston to Oslo – Norwegian Air Shuttle – $252 round trip

4. Newark to Hong Kong – United Airlines – $488 round trip

3. San Francisco to Beijing – United Airlines – $478 round trip

2. New York JFK to Oslo – Norwegian Air Shuttle – $217 round trip

1. New York JFK to Stockholm – Norwegian Air Shuttle – $199 round trip

 

Hump Day Fare Hacks: December 21, 2016

Norwegian Index for December 21, 2017: 269.0

While this week didn’t hit any records in terms of lowest fares, there were a number of big surprises across the board. Perhaps the biggest is that Norwegian flights from both Boston and New York to Copenhagen are selling for less than $300 round trip. Of the three major European destinations (the other two being London Gatwick and Oslo) that are served by Norwegian from both Boston and New York, I would have guessed that Copenhagen was the least likely to break the $300 mark. Then again, I wouldn’t have guessed that BOS-MAD would still be going for below $400, either. Either way, all flights listed are below $500 round trip, so these are opportunities worth exploring!

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

Boston – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 4, 11, 25 (return April 13, 20, and May 4)
  • May (2017) 2, 9, 16 (return May 11, 18, 25)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $279

Thoughts: Of the three Norwegian routes in Boston, I figured this was the least likely to break $300. Shows how much I know.

Boston – Frankfurt

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 5, 11, 20, 24-30
  • May (2017) 1-3

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $495

Thoughts: This route has hovered around $500 in recent times, but I certainly didn’t see this one coming.

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 22, 25, 27, 29
  • February (2017) 1, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $303

Thoughts: The low-water mark for this route. Could it break $300?

Boston – Madrid

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 6, 16, 20, 27, 29

Carrier: Iberia
Price: $381

Thoughts: I still don’t get how this one is so cheap.

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • March 27, 2015 (return April 4)
  • April (2017) 10, 24 (return April 18 and May 2)
  • May 1, 2017 (return May 9, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $286

Thoughts: Beat out by CPH this week, but still running very cheap.

NEW YORK

New York JFK – Barcelona

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17, 20, 21, 24, 26-29, 31
  • February (2017) 2-5, 7, 14, 20

Carrier: American Airlines
Price: $376

Thoughts: Considering this is a legacy carrier, this is on the verge of exceptional.

New York JFK – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 6, 8, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 6, 8 13, 15, 22

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $239

Thoughts: This seems to be Copenhagen’s week.

New York JFK – Helsinki

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17-31
  • February (2017) 1-7, 12-16, 19-24, 27, 28
  • March (2017) 2, 3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24

Carrier: Finnair
Price: $401

Thoughts: Out of left field.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17, 26, 29, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5, 7, 28
  • March (2017) 21, 23, 26

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $263

Thoughts: This seems a bit more “normal” than the low of two weeks ago. Still fits in the bargain category.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 4, 6, 10, 22, 24, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 6, 8, 17, 24, 26

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $244

Thoughts: It’s not as cheap as it’s been in the past, but still a bargain.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: November 30, 2016

Norwegian Index for November 30, 2016: 280.8

In pretty much all other weeks, a new record low by 3.5 points for the Norwegian Index would undoubtedly be the main story of the week. This week, however, there’s an even more noteworthy story: JFK-ARN going for $245.

$245. That’s less than the cheapest BOS-LAX nonstop I’ve found, and a full $11 less than my base fare of $256.30 last spring on BOS-OSL. Of course, my desire to have a window seat for the return flight saw me pay $298.30 when all was said and done, but I still found $256.30 to be cheaper than I thought I’d find on a Norwegian flight – or any intercontinental flight – in the future. Apparently not!

Elsewhere, for the third week in a row, all other prices – including legacies – stayed below $500. Impressive, no doubt, but unfortunately for the legacies, JFK-ARN gets the majority of the praise this week.

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

Boston – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 4, 25 (return April 13, 2017 and May 4, 2017)
  • May 2, 2017 (return May 11, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $310

Thoughts: A $1 increase over last week doesn’t change that this is exceptionally cheap.

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • February 23, 2017
  • March 16, 2017

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $492

Thoughts: Unchanged from last week. Even with a couple of dates retracted, this is still very good.

Boston – Madrid

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 2, 5, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 29, 30
  • April (2017) 3, 5

Carrier: Iberia
Price: $381

Thoughts: At a quick glance, virtually identical to last week’s offerings.

Boston – Munich

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 10-12, 16, 17, 19, 20, 24-26, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 2, 5, 6, 8
  • April (2017) 3-5

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $427

Thoughts: The previous low that I’d seen for this route was around $490. This is significantly cheaper than that.

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • March 27, 2017 (return April 4, 2017)
  • April (2017) 10, 24 (return April 18, 2017 and May 2, 2017)
  • May (2017) 1, 8 (return May 9, 2017 and May 16, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $288

Thoughts: Like BOS-CPH, up $1 from last week, but still exceptionally cheap.

NEW YORK

New York JFK and Newark – Barcelona

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 14, 20-22, 27-29
  • February (2017) 3, 28
  • March 6, 2017

Carriers: American Airlines, United Airlines
Price: $477

Thoughts: Up a significant amount ($90 to be exact) from last week, proving that all good things must come to an end. Still, the fact that EWR-BCN is available for cheap as well is promising.

New York JFK – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 23, 27, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 8

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $296

Thoughts: Not “exceptional” by Norwegian standards, but pretty darn good.

New York JFK– Madrid

Leave on:

  • December 3-8
  • January (2017) 9, 11-31
  • February (2017) 1-17 19-28
  • March (2017) 1-29
  • April 4, 2017

Carriers: American Airlines, Iberia
Price: $481

Thoughts: Another Spanish city, another $90 increase over last week. Still, sub-$500 to Spain with a variety of available dates in January and February is very, very good.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  •  January 31, 2017
  • February (2017) 5, 7

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $265

Thoughts: Have you ever seen an athletic competition where both the winner and runner-up blow away the world record? JFK-ARN may get all the press – so perhaps I am an enabler – but JFK-OSL deserves its own special mention as well.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January 23, 2017
  • February 6, 2017

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $245

Thoughts: The price says it all.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: November 23, 2017

Norwegian Index for November 23, 2016: 284.3

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

A new record low for the Norwegian Index by 4.7 points, but that’s far from the only crazy thing to happen this week. I didn’t change any of the flights from last week to this week: partly out of the fact that all remained cheap, and partly for comparison purposes. Of the 10 routes, 9 decreased in price, each by an average of $4 – the one exception was TAP Portgual’s BOS-LIS flights. For the second consecutive week, all 10 routes – including legacy carriers – remained under $500 round trip. That is astounding, and I’m quite frankly not sure what else to say, so I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. Meanwhile, be sure to enjoy turkey and family (and football) tomorrow!

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

Boston – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 4, 25 (return April 13, 2017 and May 4, 2017)
  • May 2, 2017 (return May 11, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $309

Thoughts: Down $3 from an already-super-cheap price. Spring in Copenhagen is pretty tempting at those prices.

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • January 26, 2017
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 23
  • March (2017) 1, 16

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $492

Thoughts: Up $13 from last week, but still exceptional – and with five more available dates!

Boston – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 9-31
  • February (2017) 1-16, 20-28
  • March (2017) 1-9, 12-17, 19-24

Carrier: British Airways
Price: $462

Thoughts: Down $2 from last week – still pinching myself.

Boston – Madrid

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 2, 5, 6, 9, 13, 16, 19, 23, 30
  • April (2017) 3, 4, 6

Carrier: Iberia
Price: $381

Thoughts: Down $1 from last week, and still here when I certainly thought it would’ve gone by now. New normal?

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • March 27, 2017 (return April 4, 2017)
  • April 24, 2017 (return May 2, 2017)
  • May 22, 2017 (return May 30, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $287

Thoughts: With a $2 decrease from last week, spring time is looking like Norway time (if you haven’t already bought your ticket to Copenhagen).

 

NEW YORK

New York JFK – Barcelona

Leave on:

  • December 1, 2, 5, 7
  • January (2017) 13, 15, 17, 20, 22-24, 26, 27, 29-31
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 5, 7, 14, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 5 April 4, 2017

Carrier: American Airlines
Price: $387

Thoughts: This is nuts. JFK-BCN didn’t just break the $400 mark – it obliterated it, and added a number of available dates.

New York JFK– Madrid

Leave on:

  • November 30
  • December 1, 2, 4-7
  • January (2017) 9-13, 15-20, 22-27, 29-31
  • February (2017) 1-3, 5-10, 12-17, 20-24, 26-28
  • March (2017) 1-3, 5-10, 12-17, 19-23, 28, 29
  • April (2017) 3-5, 11, 24-27
  • May 2, 2017

Carriers: American Airlines, Iberia
Price: $391

Thoughts: The $462 Air Europa fare on this route from last week was pretty insane, but it pales in comparison to this. Wow.

New York JFK – Moscow

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 5, 6

Carrier: Aeroflot
Price: $480

Thoughts: Russia in the winter might not be ideal, but this is still insanely cheap given the distance.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 20, 24
  • February 7, 2017

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $275

Thoughts: $2 off last week and a new February date.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • December 5
  • January (2017) 13, 16, 21, 23
  • February (2017) 1, 27
  • March (2017) 6, 24

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $266

Thoughts: Insanity.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: October 19, 2016

Norwegian Index for October 19, 2016: 292.0

The Norwegian Index matched its all-time low, but the real story of the week is the legacy carriers.

Yesterday, I discovered that BOS-LHR had hit the lowest I’d ever seen, at $499.96 on British Airways. However, that wasn’t even the most incredible legacy deal that I found this week, as there were three even cheaper: JFK-CDG on American ($357), BOS-MUC on Lufthansa ($489), and JFK-MXP and EWR-MXP on Delta, Emirates, and United ($496).

In addition to Brexit, there are myriad factors playing into the emergence of this new reality. For one, low-cost carriers like Norwegian are certainly increasing competition on routes, affecting a number of markets in ways never seen before. Another change is that fuel prices have fallen significantly in the last year, making it cheaper for planes to fly. Moreover, airlines are implementing more fuel-efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which will help carriers realize both short-term and long-term fuel savings.

Though I’m not sure if the drop in prices is primarily due to positive changes such as a decrease in operating expenses, or (from the airlines’ perspective) negative changes such as competition from Norwegian, WOW Air, et al, one thing is for certain: travelers are the ones to benefit.

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

Boston – Amsterdam

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 5, 11-24, 27-30
  • February (2017) 2, 4-16, 20, 21, 24-28
  • March (2017) 1, 4-9, 11-25, 28-31
  • April (2017) 3-6

Carrier: Delta Air Lines
Price: $548

Thoughts: Flights between the U.S. and Amsterdam have traditionally been very expensive. And while the New York flights to the Dutch capital were the first to decrease in price, it appears that BOS-AMS is following suit.

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • December 4
  • January (2017) 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 20, 22, 26, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 6, 20, 22

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $324

Thoughts: A new low-water mark for this route. It doesn’t have the same number of dates as the route profiled below, but it’s an exceptional price for those looking to score a deal.

Boston – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • November 16, 22-24, 26-30
  • December 1-8, 12, 13, 18, 30, 31
  • January (2017) 5-31
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 6-28
  • March (2017) 1-24

Carrier: British Airways
Price: $499.96

Thoughts: Normally I round up to the nearest dollar, as that’s what Google Flights generally does, but BOS-LHR being less than $500 round trip is such a low price that it absolutely had to be conveyed in its exact form.

Boston – Munich

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17-31
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 4-15, 21-28
  • March (2017) 1-3, 6-9, 13-18, 24, 25, 31

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $489

Thoughts: I was pretty pessimistic on the potential longevity of this price last week ($490), but it’s gone down by a dollar, so what do I know?

Boston – Paris

Leave on:

  • November 16, 21, 23, 26-30
  • December 1-8, 11-13
  • January (2017) 9-12, 15-17, 19-24, 26-31
  • February (2017) 20, 21, 23-28
  • March (2017) 1, 2, 5
  • April (2017) 5, 6

Carrier: Air France
Price: $551

Thoughts: Another lower-than-normal price by a legacy carrier on a traditionally expensive route.

NEW YORK

New York JFK – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 21, 28
  • February (2017) 4, 11, 18, 25
  • March (2017) 4, 11, 18

Carriers: Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Price: $514

Thoughts: While this week does represent a shift in the available dates for the lowest price, there are still a number of April and May dates for even cheaper than last week’s lowest price. Things are looking good, New Yorkers.

New York JFK and Newark – Milan

Leave on:

  • October 26
  • November 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
  • December 6, 7, 13

Carriers: Delta Air Lines (JFK), Emirates (JFK), United Airlines (EWR)
Price: $496

Thoughts: If it was just Emirates offering this fare, I’d say that it was likely a fare sale, as it’s extremely rare for the world’s #1 airline (according to Skytrax) to charge so little. But since three carriers are offering the fare, it may well be a shift in the market.

Note: Not all three airlines will necessarily be offering that fare for all of those dates. However, those are the dates when flights between New York (including EWR) and Milan are running for $496 round trip.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • February (2017) 5, 7

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $282

Thoughts: I would anticipate that the number of available dates will expand in due course.

New York JFK – Paris

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17-27, 30, 31
  • February (2017) 1-3, 5-11, 13-15, 20-28
  • March (2017) 6, 8, 15, 22, 28, 29

Carrier: American Airlines
Price: $357

Thoughts: Having put forth the lowest price I’d ever seen American charge for a transatlantic route last week ($433), the carrier went and lowered the price by a further $76, beating the pants off of even Norwegian. I believe “floored” is the term that best describes my reaction.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • February (2017) 3, 6

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $285

Thoughts: The same sentiment expressed in the JFK-OSL deal applies here.

Heathrow Hacks: Cheap British Airways flights from Boston to London

While perusing Google Flights the other day, I put in “BOS” and “LHR.” Though non stop flights between the two airports have dramatically decreased in price from the $952 round trip (that was the base fare: total cost of $1,034, as choosing window seats ahead of time was $41 each way) when I went to England in the Fall of 2014, they still run generally between $750 and $990.

With all that in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I saw a non stop flight from Boston to London Heathrow that was priced at $512 round trip. Yes, $512. And this wasn’t just one flight that was priced so low: I looked further and found a number of dates in November and December in which round trips of varying lengths – everything from a few days to a week and perhaps even more – are priced significantly lower than normal.

lhrhack1
First example of dates.

 

lhrhack2
Second example of dates.

You might’ve noticed that the links next to the buttons say “Book with American.” The reason for this is that these fares are being sold through American – British Airways’ price is significantly higher. The reason that AA can sell BA flights is because – given that both are members of the oneworld alliance – they have a codeshare, which allows them to sell each other’s flights. This is usually helpful when a neither a direct flight nor multiple flights on the same airline are available between a given origin and destination, so – instead of booking multiple tickets on multiple airlines – the customer only has to buy one ticket that will work on all segments of the route. Even so, that begs an interesting question: why can American sell the fare cheaper than BA?

Great question, and I wish I knew the exact answer. It’s possible that this is an example of a “mistake fare,” where the price is set incorrectly. However, I’m not sure that this is the case, as a mistake fare is often priced at significantly less than 50% of the normal fare (e.g. a $1,200 Emirates flight going for $150).

Moreover, these fares are being offered in a particularly slow time of year for international travel: the period between the end of fall and the Christmas holidays. For example – although I myself did – not many people travel to the U.K. for Thanksgiving, which perhaps drives the prices of flights between the U.S. and the U.K. down. Of course, this is an unconfirmed hypothesis – I’d have to check a number of other fares to see how prevalent it is – but I can very much see it being the case, and I’d be willing to guess that such is the case here.

But what about Norwegian?

If you’ve read Hump Day Fare Hacks, you’ll know that Norwegian Air Shuttle tends to offer super low ($300-$400) fares on the Boston to London Gatwick route. So why is this – at $100+ more expensive – such a good deal?

First off, BA is what is called a “full-service” airline. This means that – at the very least – you get a checked bag, a meal, drinks, and refreshments included with your fare. Meanwhile, as a low-cost carrier, Norwegian charges for each of those things. If you simply want to get from A to B, Norwegian is undoubtedly cheaper. However, should you want the same amenities on Norwegian that you’d get on BA, you’ll likely end up spending an amount comparable to the price of the BA ticket.

Second, BA has four daily flights each way between Boston and London. Going over, there’s a morning flight BA238, an early evening flight BA212, and two night flights, BA214 and BA202. Coming back, there’s a late-morning flight, BA213, two late afternoon flights, BA203 and BA215, and one night flight, BA239. Norwegian, meanwhile, has just one each way – DY7148 going over, DY7147 coming back – and it operates four times per week. Moreover – and this may only matter to avgeeks like myself – BA will operate three different types of aircraft on the route – the Boeing 787, 777, and 747 – each with its own layout and perks. Norwegian, meanwhile only flies the 787, although I must say that Norwegian’s 787s are extremely comfortable based on my trip to Oslo. All other things equal, BA gives travelers a significantly larger number of options than Norwegian does.

Third, Gatwick, located in the county of West Sussex, is a bit further from the heart of London than is Heathrow, which is located in London proper. However, this is negligible, as while a train from Heathrow is quicker, it’s not by much – the Gatwick express is almost as fast.

Finally, some prefer the fact that Gatwick is smaller and easier to get around than Heathrow. Think of Gatwick being like Newark compared to New York JFK being like Heathrow: Newark does have its own issues, and JFK will give you more options, but Newark is – in my opinion – much easier to get in and out of than JFK. The same could be said for Gatwick compared to Heathrow.

Bottom Line: Do what works for you!

Personally, I’m a BA loyalist, although Norwegian’s prices are certainly tempting. That said, I can definitely understand why many would prefer to fly for significantly cheaper on the latter, even if Norwegian doesn’t have as many flight options or amenities as BA boasts. I myself flew Norwegian from Boston to Oslo this past April, and I thought they did a fantastic job, especially for the price. And though I’ve likely firmed up my travel plans for the fall, leaving me with no room to plan a spontaneous trip to England, I encourage any Boston-based travelers thinking of a trip to the U.K. to consider this deal – although I don’t believe it will last!