Hump Day Fare Hacks: November 16, 2017

Norwegian Index for November 16, 2016: 289.0

After a brief hiatus last week (read the China trip report if you haven’t already!), Hump Day Fare Hacks is back.

A new low-water mark for the Norwegian Index is exceptional. All 10 fares – more than half of them from legacy carriers – under $500 round trip is an even more notable accomplishment.

Perhaps the most surprising was BOS-MAD for $382. This is a seasonal route, one that’s been known to be expensive, and usually cheap fares originate from routes with one or more of the following:

  1. Low-cost carriers
  2. A significant number of flights (supply)
  3. High competition between carriers

As basic economics would indicate, if demand outweighs supply, then the price goes up. However, if the inverse is true, then the price goes down. What’s peculiar about this example, though, is that none of these factors are true for BOS-MAD: Iberia is a legacy carrier, it flies once daily (at maximum), and it has no competition on the dates listed: Air Europa is slated to start flying on that route, but that won’t happen until June 2017.

This could well be a one-off, or perhaps Iberia is trying to increase customer loyalty in Boston in anticipation of more competition? Who knows. Either way, it’s an interesting development, and one I certainly didn’t expect.

Bottom line: With JFK-BCN and JFK-MAD similarly cheap, it seems that next spring is the time to visit Spain!

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, 2017, April 20, 2017, and May 4, 2017)
  • May 2, 2017 (return May 11, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $312

Thoughts: Down $5 from the last edition of Hump Day Fare Hacks.

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • March 6, 2017

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $479

Thoughts: Too lazy to sift through the archives and check, but I believe this is the lowest this route has ever been.

Boston – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • December 14, 15, 30, 31
  • January (2017) 7, 9-31
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 4-16, 19-28
  • March (2017) 1-24

Carrier: British Airways
Price: $464

Thoughts: Still way below $500 – far longer than I would have imagined.

Boston – Madrid

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 23, 30
  • April (2017) 3, 4, 6

Carrier: Iberia
Price: $382

Thoughts: Certainly unexpected, but all I’ll say is “we’ll see if it lasts.”

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: $289

Thoughts: Like its BOS-CPH counterpart, Norwegian’s BOS-OSL route went down by $5 from two weeks ago.

NEW YORK

New York JFK – Barcelona

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 22, 23, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 5, 20, 28
  • May 2, 2017

Carrier: Delta Air Lines
Price: $405

Thoughts: The first of two Spanish destinations from New York JFK this week, travelers can fly on Delta’s Boeing 767 or Airbus A330. Having flown on the former, I can vouch for its comfort.

New York JFK– Madrid

Leave on:

  • November 21-23, 29, 30
  • December 1, 6
  • March (2017) 15, 17-20, 22, 24-29

Carriers: Air Europa
Price: $462

Thoughts: Haven’t seen anything from Air Europa up to this point, but this is a very good price.

New York JFK – Moscow

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 23-27, 29-31
  • February (2017) 1-15, 17-28
  • March (2017) 1-9, 12-16, 20-30
  • April (2017) 11, 17

Carrier: Aeroflot
Price: $483

Thoughts: Aeroflot has been known to offer low fares, and this is no exception. A four-star airline, I believe the Russian flag carrier would offer a comfortable ride, although not sure how much people are looking to go to Russia in the winter, so perhaps the April dates are optimal.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • January 17, 2017

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $277

Thoughts: $5 down, and the low-water mark for Norwegian flights this week.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • December 7
  • January (2017) 16, 20, 25, 27
  • February (2017) 1, 6, 8
  • March (2017) 6, 13, 26
  • May (2017) 5, 7

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $278

Thoughts: $4 down from the last edition. Curious to see whether this this holds around the $280 mark, or drops even more.

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.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: August 10, 2016

While many of the usual suspects stuck around this week, there are a couple of new fares to look at that — I think — represent very good value. For one, TAP Portugal is now offering flights direct from Boston to Lisbon for less than $700 round trip. TAP’s co-owner, David Neeleman, is the former CEO of jetBlue, and his track record speaks for itself. Additionally, New York to Brussels for less than $500 is a very good price, and is something worth looking at if you’re looking to travel around Belgium and the surrounding countries. Yet those two deals aren’t the only ones worth looking at — even under the umbrella of “already existing” deals, there are still many that represent excellent value: perhaps

Though I can’t say that there were any new deals that truly jumped out at me in the way that the EWR-HKG on United for $488 a few weeks back did, this week still has three sub-$300 fares. And the fact that those fares aren’t complete anomalies anymore has me continually rethinking the possibility of whether Norwegian’s low fares are becoming the “new normal.” Can’t say I’d be against it.

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 4, 11, 18 (return October 13, 20, 27)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $305

Thoughts: I’d be very curious to see if this route dips below $300 round trip. While the narrowing of available dates and the fact that it’s a seasonal service makes it unlikely, it could well happen next year.

 

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • September 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 19-22, 27-29
  • October 1, 3-6, 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, 22-24, 26
  • March (2017) 1-3, 5, 8-10, 12, 15-17, 19, 22-24, 26, 28, 29

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $629

Thoughts: TAP Portugal, which happens to be Portugal’s flag carrier, is one of the newest carriers at Logan, and is supposed to be good from what I’m observed. In addition to the range of dates advertised, there are a number of dates in November and December available for just a dollar more round trip (so, $630). Lisbon is said to be a great destination for fall, winter, and spring travel, so this seems worth a punt.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • 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, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 13, 15, 17

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $336

Thoughts: A slight narrowing of available dates, but a $4 price drop versus a high intrinsic value on the Boston to London market still makes this an excellent deal.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • September 30 (return October 8)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $285

Thoughts: This $16 price increase from last week shouldn’t scare you off (there’s also the option of October 4-12 for $1 more). What it does do, however, is — along with the narrowing of available dates for the lowest fare — reinforce that these sub-$300 prices won’t be around forever. Still, absolutely incredible value for your money!

 

Boston – Tel Aviv

Leave on:

  • November 24, 26 (return December 1, 3)

Carrier: El Al
Price: $650

Thoughts: The two days among a number of more expensive dates makes this price a true “fare hack.”

 

NEW YORK

 

Newark – Amsterdam

Leave on:

  • November 9-18, 20-30
  • December 1-15

Carrier: United Airlines
Price: $461

Thoughts: $1 less than last week’s price on a normally-expensive route. Worth the investment for those looking to check out the Netherlands.

 

New York JFK and Newark – Brussels

Leave on:

  • November 9-13, 16, 17, 19-30
  • December 1-15

Carrier: Brussels Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines
Price: $485

Thoughts: A very solid deal on a market that typically runs expensive, although not as expensive as Amsterdam.

 

New York JFK – Hong Kong

Leave on:

  • October 25-27, 31
  • November 1, 2, 8, 9, 15-17, 21-24, 28-30
  • December 1, 5-7

Carrier: Cathay Pacific
Price: $554

Thoughts: A number of dates for a fare that represents incredible value. Can’t believe that it’s lasted this long.

 

 

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • December 2
  • January (2017) 13, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 31
  • February (2017) 3, 5, 16, 17

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $280

Thoughts: Norway has overtaken Sweden (at least in terms of who has the cheapest Hump Day Fare Hacks destination) this week. A decent selection of dates.

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 20, 25, 27

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $281

Thoughts: Same dates. Same price. Same great deal.