Hump Day Fare Hacks: September 7, 2016

This week, I’m introducing a new measurement called the “Norwegian Index.” Before you accuse me of turning a user-friendly blog into pure airline jargon, I should say that the Norwegian Index is simply the average of all Norwegian Air Shuttle flights profiled by Hump Day Fare Hacks in a given week. I think this is a solid way of seeing what an average “low-cost” (e.g. non-legacy carrier) transatlantic fare is at a given time, and, as such, will provide a basis of comparison for the cost progression or regression, depending on how the market behaves. And while a more comprehensive version would perhaps be weighted by the number of available days for each route, I simply don’t have the time or interest to take that on. If you’d like to undertake that task, be my guest – I’ll be sure that you get the appropriate recognition.

Norwegian Index for September 7, 2016 (measured in dollars): 294.0.

Just to be clear – this does not mean that I’ll be profiling more or less Norwegian flights in order to generate a more favorable Index. The average will be computed after I choose the deals to be profiled in a given week, ensuring that the Index is calculated objectively.

Moving on – Lufthansa is the airline to watch this week, offering a range of flights for less than $510 on BOS-FRA, JFK-MUC, and EWR-MUC. The German flag carrier usually charges significantly more on transatlantic flights, so this is something to take advantage of if you have the desire to travel to Bavaria or Hesse. Additionally, Hainan is offering exceptionally low fares on BOS-PEK for a number of September dates – prices which seem unthinkable at first glance given that the closest one is just six days away.  Two different countries; two carriers synonymous with quality; four great deals. Can’t beat it. (Maybe they can, but I don’t see it happening).

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 – Beijing

Leave on:

  • September 13, 14, 21, 26, 27

Carrier: Hainan Airlines
Price: $638

Thoughts: It may well be too short of notice to plan a trip to China, but if you’ve got a week and $638 to burn, I can’t think of a better investment. I’m kidding, of course – however, the fact that this fare is available for a transpacific flight less than a week away is almost unthinkable.

 

Boston – Copenhagen

Leave on:

  • October 11 (return October 20)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $305

Thoughts: Just one date left. Either way, an exceptional deal, even if not as cheap as BOS-OSL.

 

Boston – Frankfurt

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 11, 13-16, 18, 20-23, 25, 27-30
  • February (2017) 1, 3-6, 8, 10-13, 15, 16, 18-28
  • March (2017) 1-23, 27-31

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $507

Thoughts: If a $1 decrease wasn’t enough, the fact that the number of available dates drastically increased makes this deal a very attractive proposition. Anything transatlantic trip for less than $600 on Lufthansa is an exceptional fare.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $330

Thoughts: A $3 increase with 2 more days of availability. Business as usual for Norwegian.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • September 30 (return October 8)
  • October 17, 21 (return October 25, 20)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $269

Thoughts: This is the second week that this fare and these dates are available. If you haven’t bought your ticket already and you have even the slightest of desire to do so, you probably should.

 

NEW YORK

 

New York JFK and Newark – Amsterdam

Leave on:

  • December 6-20
  • January (2017) 11-31
  • Any date in February (2017)
  • Any date in March (2017)

Carriers: Delta Air Lines (JFK), KLM (JFK), United Airlines (EWR)
Price: $439

Thoughts: This smells of an over saturation of capacity in the market – one that could well be rectified in the coming months. Either way, this is a fantastic deal to take advantage of – personally, I’d recommend KLM and its Boeing 747 or 777 over the Delta 767 or United 757, but you can’t go wrong with this price and the extensive range of dates.

 

New York JFK and Newark – Munich

Leave on:

  • December 6, 7, 12, 13

Carriers: Lufthansa, United Airlines
Price: $505

Thoughts: A pretty exceptional fare for Munich, and made even better by the fact that you have the option between two airports and two carriers. I personally would choose Lufthansa over United, but that’s just me – you can’t go wrong with this price.

 

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5, 7, 21, 23
  • March (2017) 2

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $262

Thoughts: Don’t know how Norway in the winter is – I imagine it’s probably cold. What I do know, however, is that this is an exceptional price.

 

New York JFK – Paris

Leave on:

  • December 8
  • January (2017) 19, 24, 26, 31
  • February (2017) 28

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $328

Thoughts: $1 more than last week. Guess this isn’t a good deal anymore (sarcasm).

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 15, 22, 27

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $270

Thoughts: I’d be curious to see what flights between New York and Miami are going for during the winter. I bet this price would be competitive with those fares.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: August 31, 2016

This week was certainly a remarkable week in the world of Hump Day Fare Hacks. While eight of the 10 routes profiled last week remained, seven of those decreased in price (by an average of $8)! Furthermore, the one fare that didn’t go down remained at the incredibly low price of $269. I wouldn’t be rushing to hedge my bets that the prices will go down yet again, but — based on what we’ve already seen — it’s entirely possible. Either way, these are incredible, in my mind, and I’d highly recommend booking ASAP if you have ambitions of traveling to any of these destinations.

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:

  • October 11, 18 (return October 20, 27)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $304

Thoughts: A $32 decrease in price from last week. Makes this good deal even better.

 

Boston – Frankfurt

Leave on:

  • November 29, 30
  • December 1-13

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $508

Thoughts: My prediction last week was that this deal won’t last. I was right: it actually got cheaper.

 

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • October 11, 13, 17-20, 24
  • January (2017)  9, 11-13, 15, 16, 18-20, 22, 23, 25-27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 1-3, 5, 6, 8-10, 12, 13, 15-17, 19, 20, 22-24, 26, 27
  • March (2017) 1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15-17, 19, 20, 22-24, 26-30

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $583

Thoughts: A great deal, especially considering the number of available dates in the wintertime.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

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

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $327

Thoughts: If I’m correct, this is the cheapest that BOS-LGW has ever been. Yes, it’s the same sentence I used last week, but it’s still accurate — the price went down by $1.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • September 30 (return October 8)
  • October 17, 21 (return October 25, 20)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $269

Thoughts: Not only is this an insane price, but it’s crazy that the number of available dates has expanded from one to three.

 

NEW YORK

 

Newark – Amsterdam

Leave on:

  • November 30
  • December 2-5, 7, 9-12, 14

Carrier: Delta Air Lines
Price: $388

Thoughts: I’ve often spoken about the generally high prices on flights between the United States and Amsterdam. When I first saw this fare, I thought that there had to be a layover. Surprisingly, there isn’t!

 

Newark – Beijing

Leave on:

  • September 14, 15, 27-30
  • October 1-3, 18-21, 24-28, 30, 31
  • November 1-15, 17, 18, 21, 23-30
  • December 1-8

Carrier: United Airlines
Price: $791

Thoughts: Certainly not as cheap as the EWR-HKG flights from about a month back, but still an incredible deal, especially considering the available window of dates.

 

 

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • December 2
  • January (2017) 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5, 7, 16, 17, 21, 23
  • March (2017) 2, 7

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $259

Thoughts: No elaboration necessary.

 

New York JFK – Paris

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 19, 31

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $327

Thoughts: $1 off last week.

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 22, 24, 27
  • March (2017) 13

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $268

Thoughts: The $2 price decrease on an already-low price would be even more impressive if the BOS-OSL flight wasn’t running for $259. Still, incredible.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: August 24, 2016

 

To give you a bit more insight into how I choose the deals for Hump Day Fare Hacks, I’ll start off by saying that these aren’t always the five cheapest intercontinental flights from Boston and New York. Instead, I look at current prices, and make a subjective judgement regarding which flights are the best “value.” This judgement is made given a number of factors, including the displayed price vs. normal price for that route, the distance of the route, the number of available dates, and the airline. So even though a Norwegian price, for example, might not be steeply discounted from the normal prices that Norwegian offers, the fact that its prices are significantly lower than many legacy carriers — whether the ticket is priced at a “normal” fare or “special” fare —  means that a number of Norwegian flights make their way into Hump Day Fare Hacks. And while I’m careful to not let this become a “list of Norwegian fares this week” sort of list, I do think it’s important to include them, as I’ve discovered that many people have no idea that you can fly to Europe for less than $300 round trip.

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:

  • October 11, 18 (return October 20, 27)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $336

Thoughts: A bit of a hike from last week, as well as a reduction of dates. Still a fantastic price.

 

Boston – Frankfurt

Leave on:

  • November 22, 24, 26-30
  • December 1-13

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $525

Thoughts: A Lufthansa round trip for $525. Tickets on this route generally go well north of $800, so don’t expect this one to last.

 

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • September 12, 13, 19, 22, 27
  • October 4, 5, 10-24
  • January (2017) 9, 11-13, 15, 16, 18-20, 22, 23, 25-27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 1-3, 5, 6, 8-10, 12, 13, 15-17, 19, 20, 22-24, 26, 27
  • March (2017) 1-3, 5, 6, 8-10, 12, 13, 15-17, 19, 20, 22-24, 26-29

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $585

Thoughts: I’d come to expect sub-$700 flights from TAP, but sub-$600 is well below market value, I think.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $328

Thoughts: If I’m correct, this is the cheapest that BOS-LGW has ever been.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • September 26 (return October 4)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $286

Thoughts: Thinking that sub-$300 Norwegian flights might need to be excluded because they’re so commonplace. That said, many people still aren’t aware of how cheap transatlantic flights can be, so out the window goes that thinking.

 

NEW YORK

 

Newark – Brussels

Leave on:

  • November 22, 23, 25-30
  • December 1-14

Carrier: United Airlines
Price: $460

Thoughts: Is sub-$500 the “new normal” for flights to Brussels? Time will tell, but I’m not super optimistic. Either way, this is a very good deal.

 

New York JFK – Johannesburg

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 11-31
  • February (2017) 1-10, 12-17, 19-23, 27, 28
  • March (2017) 1, 2, 6-8, 13-16, 21-23, 27-30

Carrier: South African Airways
Price: $906

Thoughts: A pretty solid spread of dates (although winter flights from JNB to JFK usually feature a stop in Senegal).

 

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • December 2
  • January (2017) 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5, 7, 16, 17, 21, 23
  • March (2017) 2, 7, 9, 14

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $261

Thoughts: $261. $261. Move aside, Stockholm, there’s a new king of the week.

 

New York JFK – Paris

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 17, 26, 29, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 28

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $328

Thoughts: $328 for Paris is well below market price — even adjusted for “Norwegian deflation.”

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • November 25, 30
  • December 2
  • January (2017) 11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 20, 22, 24, 27

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $270

Thoughts: $12 less than last week. That statement in and of itself would be good; considering that it was $282 last week, this is even better.