Flying is Cheaper Than Ever Before – at the Cost of Comfort: Why airlines are cutting legroom, food, and more

There is perhaps nothing in the world that is simultaneously admired yet scorned as the experience of flying.

Excuse my romanticism here for a minute, but I think it’s worth recounting just how exceptional flight is. The fact that we have an invention which can weigh over a million pounds, travel near the speed of sound, and have the endurance to travel halfway around the world is remarkable. Trips that once took weeks, even months, can now be conquered in a number of hours – though that number is greatly variable, as Austin is closer to Boston than Australia, for example. Even so, this is astonishing.

In past decades, flying was a luxury. Comfortable seats and high-class meals were the tenets of an exclusive experience. Of course, the price tag on a plane ticket made it something that could only be afforded by the wealthy – but for those who had the means, the end was worth it.

How the Times Change

Fast-forward to the early 2000s. From TWA to Trump Shuttle (yes, a real carrier), airlines had come and gone over the century before. As the 2000s came along, people were much more likely to be ranting about the perception of being treated poorly going through security checkpoints, at the gate, or on the plane. And while September 11th certainly had a significant, negative impact on airlines, one that took years to overcome, the cost-cutting had already started: for the most part, airlines were no longer serving meals, and the era of ancillary revenue (fees for things that would have been standard 50 years ago) had started.

Who knew olives were so expensive?

There are certain carriers that are synonymous with charging for the majority of amenities. I’ve joked that Spirit Airlines, for example, charges for everything except oxygen, as it even charges those who want an in-flight bottle of water. Norwegian Air Shuttle, meanwhile, has become known for charging for meals – something once unthinkable for those traveling on transatlantic flights. Regardless of whether these actions have precedent or not, these carriers have begun to develop reputations for being extremely stingy with what they provide to customers in their respective markets.

To be fair, it’s not just the “budget” carriers that are cutting costs – the legacies are equally culpable, especially in the United States. A famous tale about carriers “penny pinching”: former American Airlines CEO Robert “Bob” Crandall found that he could save the airline in excess of $100,000 per year by removing olives from the salads served in coach (predictably, he kept the olives in the first-class salads).

That’s an extreme example, of course, but carriers are always finding ways to cut costs. Generally, it’s the people flying coach that have to bear the brunt of the reductions in service. For decades, no American carrier served complimentary meals in economy class on domestic flights, and – despite that trend being bucked by American and Delta earlier this year – currently the only way to get a complimentary economy meal is to be on certain transcontinental flights. Ultimately, if you’re lucky enough to be served a free meal on one of those flights, you’re in the minority – the majority of passengers flying domestic economy within the U.S. will not get a free meal (for the time being).

A Rock and a Hard Place

I have no problem admitting that I’m a British Airways fan. From the Union Jack tail and Speedmarque to the majestic combination of the two on the carrier’s Boeing 747-400, I can name numerous reasons that I like the flag carrier of the United Kingdom. I even had yet another excellent experience flying BOS-LHR-BOS on BA back in April.

However, I am not afraid to say that, in my view, the carrier has made a number of mis-steps in its effort to cut costs. The decision to start charging for food (albeit food from Marks and Spencer, a high-quality brand) on intra-Europe flights was, at best, a slight reduction in service to cut costs. At worst, it was the first step of a long-respected carrier losing its reputation as a customer service darling.

More than Meals

It’s not just the food that has passengers questioning the quality of Britain’s flag carrier. Since CEO Alex Cruz, the former head of Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, took over in 2016, many have alleged that Cruz – along with Willie Walsh (CEO of parent company IAG and former BA CEO) – is trying to turn the carrier into a low-cost carrier of sorts, as a litany of “customer-unfriendly” changes are in the works in both the premium and economy classes. In addition to removing the second meal on westbound long-haul flights, he sounded out the possibility of charging for meals on long-haul flights in the future – a possibility that BA adamantly denied was on the cards at the time, but nevertheless one that upset passengers.

I’ve certainly been critical of Cruz since he’s come in. Additionally, I don’t think that running a low-cost carrier like Vueling is necessarily great preparation for running one of the world’s most venerable brands.

At the same time, I can somewhat understand why he’s making these (admittedly undesirable) changes. After all, new, low-cost carriers like Norwegian and WOW Air have begun putting pressure on transatlantic carriers to cut their prices in order to stay competitive. For example, when Norwegian can sell a JFK-LGW ticket for $300, it certainly makes one think twice about shelling out $600+ to fly JFK-LHR on one of the legacies, even if it means paying for checked bags or eating at the airport restaurant to save some money.

It certainly doesn’t provide the same allure as flying Emirates, but, as of this writing, British Airways is still listed as a SKYTRAX four-star airline – one star better than any of the American legacy carriers in American, Delta, and United. Yet amidst a number of recent complaints about the experiences in both the premium and economy classes, many would say that BA is not making it easy to justify paying extra for an allegedly less-than-stellar experience. The challenge for BA will be to balance its cost-cutting measures with improvements in passenger experience – improvements that will enable passengers to justify paying a premium to fly “the World’s Favourite Airline.”

Consumers Drive the Market

Food and amenities aren’t the only thing that airlines are cutting. Aside from staffing reductions, perhaps the most controversial cuts in the airline industry have been to something that directly impacts the comfort of (most) passengers: legroom.

That’s right: carriers – including American Airlines – are reconfiguring planes to hold more seats, which ultimately reduces the amount of legroom that each passenger is entitled to. In fact, Spirit of all carriers is giving American a run for its money. Just to underline how notable this is, Spirit is the same carrier whose planes are so crammed that its seats can’t be reclined (the carrier calls them “pre-reclined” – which, however disingenuous, is a brilliant turn of phrase, I must say).

Why would American do this to itself? United President Scott Kirby – who formerly held the same role at American – put it simply:

“Seat pitch has come down…because that’s what customers voted with their wallets that they wanted. … [E]very time airlines put more seat pitch on, customers choose the lowest price. Customers have to be willing to pay if they want more seat pitch. And the evidence is that they aren’t willing to.”

I have to say that I have some reservations about Kirby’s oversimplified supply-and-demand equation, as I don’t believe that load factors would suffer as much as he might claim if ticket prices were raised as a result of more legroom. Yet as much as we might hate to admit it, he is (mostly) right. These days, it’s all about finding the lowest price – although those low prices are more due to low oil prices and increasingly fuel-efficient aircraft rather than the benevolence of airlines.

Even so, I am as guilty of this as any: I almost always go for the cheapest ticket, as it is much easier to justify spending a sub-$100 amount to fly somewhere for a weekend versus shelling out $200+ but having more legroom. The unfortunate reality is that the current trend will likely continue: as we continue to demand cheaper prices, airlines will continue to shrink legroom to stay competitive.

On a lighter note, there is one thing you can do to combat experiencing ever-shrinking legroom: fly on my favorite American carrier – jetBlue!

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.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: December 14, 2017

Norwegian Index for December 14, 2017: 256.8

Although the $199 that JFK-ARN was going for didn’t last, the Norwegian Index still dropped by another 7.5 points to a new record low. And while this is largely due to the $217 found on JFK-OSL, it is also complemented by the $254 that BOS-OSL is going for. The $311 on BOS-CPH gives the Index a bit of normalcy, but – even so – it still dropped by 7.5 points. Even so, only four of 10 flights profiled this week were Norwegian flights, and all were under $500 round trip.

What does this mean? It means that transatlantic flight prices – across the board – appear to be going down, both legacy and low-cost carriers (LCCs). This isn’t news, of course, but it’s still exciting for all of those who are looking to travel across the pond.

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)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $311

Thoughts: Was up $1 last week over the week before, and now back $1. What goes up must come down (by the same amount)?

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 5, 6, 12, 13

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $479

Thoughts: $1 off of last week, and with three more available dates. Can’t beat it!

Boston – Madrid

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 2 , 6, 16, 27, 29

Carrier: Iberia
Price: $381

Thoughts: This has held for a lot longer than I’d have anticipated.

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • March 27, 2017 (return April 4, 2017)
  • April (2017) 3, 10, 24 (return April 11, 18, May 2)
  • May 1, 2017 (return May 9, 2017)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $252

Thoughts: Has to be the lowest I’ve seen this route – even considering the $256 base fare I saw last spring.

Boston – Zurich

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 8-11, 18, 19, 23-27, 29
  • May (2017) 1-3

Carrier: Swiss Airlines
Price: $473

Thoughts: Up $26 from last week, but this is still exceptional.

NEW YORK

New York JFK – Berlin

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 11, 12, 16-19, 23-26, 30, 31
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 7-9, 13-15, 21, 23, 28
  • March 1, 2017

Carrier: airberlin
Price: $466

Thoughts: Can’t say I thought an airberlin flight would make it on Hump Day Fare Hacks, but the numbers don’t lie!

New York JFK – Dusseldorf

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 12, 16-19, 23-26, 30, 31
  • February (2017) 1, 2, 6-9, 14, 21
  • March 7, 2016

Carrier: airberlin
Price: $446

Thoughts: Make that two airberlin flights!

New York JFK – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • February (2017) 3, 6

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $479

Thoughts: A pretty good pair of options, with other sub-$500 options to be found elsewhere in February.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • February 5, 2017

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $217

Thoughts: If it wasn’t for the $199 deal last week on JFK-ARN, this would be revered for plenty of time to come. Still, it deserves recognition in its own right.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 4

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $245

Thoughts: I knew $199 was too good to last, but this is still exceptional.

Hump Day Fare Hacks: December 7, 2017

Norwegian Index for December 7, 2017: 264.3

Oh my Stockholm.

Obviously, the new Norwegian Index record by 16.5 points is somewhat stunted due to Stockholm’s barely-believable fare. Even so, two of the other three Norwegian routes profiled this week are “insanely cheap” (less than $300 round trip).

I would guess that a $199 round trip is about as low as a transatlantic flight will go, and I would imagine that the route will be back to $250+ next week. However, I’ve been wrong before, so we shall see!

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: $312

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

Boston – Lisbon

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 22, 23, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 5, 6

Carrier: TAP Portugal
Price: $480

Thoughts: $12 off last week!

Boston – Madrid

Leave on:

  • March (2017) 2, 6, 13, 16, 27, 29

Carrier: Iberia
Price: $381

Thoughts: March in Madrid is looking good.

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • March 27, 2017 (return April 4, 2017)
  • April (2017) 3, 10, 24 (return April 11, 18, May 2)
  • May (2017) 1, 8 (return May 9, 16)

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $291

Thoughts: Still a member of the sub-$300 club.

Boston – Zurich

Leave on:

  • April (2017) 8-11, 18, 19, 23-27, 29
  • May (2017) 1-4, 6-10

Carrier: Swiss Airlines
Price: $447

Thoughts: A good deal indeed.

NEW YORK

New York JFK – Barcelona

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 13 17, 19-24, 26-29, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5, 7, 9-12, 14, 20, 27
  • March (2017) 1, 2, 21, 29

Carrier: American Airlines
Price: $477

Thoughts: Spain seems to be the place to be.

Newark – Dublin

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 10, 11, 13, 16-18, 22-25, 27, 29
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5-7, 9, 12-14, 20, 21, 24
  • March 7, 2017

Carrier: United Airlines
Price: $522

Thoughts: Luck of the Irish.

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, 25, 26
  • May (2017) 2, 3, 9, 10 $496

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

Thoughts: $496 for Emirates? Yup.

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 27, 29, 31
  • February (2017) 5, 7, 21
  • March 21, 2017

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $255

Thoughts: Pretty darn good.

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 23, 28
  • March 24, 2017

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $199

Thoughts: Not a misprint.

Cork Popped: NAX to pick from PSM and PVD as alternatives to BOS

Just days after Norwegian received DOT approval for flights between Boston Logan and Cork, Ireland, the carrier made a big announcement. Instead of flying out of Logan, it will fly its Boeing 737-800s out of either Portsmouth, NH or Providence, RI. Norwegian will continue to operate 787s between Boston and Copenhagen, London Gatwick, and Oslo.

The chosen location would be the carrier’s second base to open in the U.S., after the announcement that NAX would open a base at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, NY (SWF), around an hour north of New York City.

The Reasoning

Norwegian’s explanation for its decision is quite interesting, in my view. “To operate the Boeing 737s … from a primary airport [such as Boston] becomes much more expensive with a small aircraft type than a larger aircraft type due to limited passenger numbers,” Norwegian spokesman Anders Lindstrom said.

A Cost-Benefit Analysis

While both airports are approximately an hour from Boston, each has its own unique advantages.

Portsmouth’s advantages:

  • Pease has just one airline who operates scheduled service to the airport – Allegiant Air, a low-cost carrier whose focus is on domestic operations.
  • Less-congested city (approximately 30,000 people vs. 100,000)
  • Close to Interstate 95
  • Hourly bus service to Boston

Providence’s advantages:

  • It would appear that the catchment area for potential passengers is much larger than Pease
  • MBTA Commuter Rail service to Boston
  • Close to Interstate 95
  • Better potential for connections from other airlines
A Closer Look

There is some business sense in Norwegian’s decision. Certainly, there’s something to be said for lower operating costs, especially considering the airline’s low-cost model. Yet it remains to be seen if passengers are willing to travel an hour or more just to save a few bucks. This will be pertinent, particularly considering the extensive number of ancillary fees that Norwegian charges. Moreover, while negotiations have been going on for some time, it is a bit perplexing that Norwegian waited so long to make this declaration.

Of course, it could well be that these flights are a hit, and are the start of a big transformation. Who knows!

The Saga is Over: Norwegian gets approval for Boston-Cork flights

After what seemed like an eternity, Norwegian Air International has finally received USDOT approval to start flights between Boston and Cork, Ireland. Norwegian will fly Boeing 737-800 aircraft between the two cities. This aircraft is smaller than the 787s it currently flies between Boston and Copenhagen, London Gatwick, and Oslo.

The controversial decision – generally hailed within the European Union and condemned within the United States – brings the end of a three-year saga. During that time, Norwegian sought approval for the route, saw its application delayed, and threatened arbitration.

Reaction

Cork Airport officials are predictably ecstatic. As the second-largest city in Ireland, this will be a huge boon to residents and businesses in the area.

A subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, Norwegian Air International was established in Ireland in 2014. This enable the carrier to utilize certain benefits that carriers based in the European Union receive. Particularly, NAI being in Ireland enables the carrier to utilize the “open skies” agreement. Until now, Norwegian has only been able to serve approved destinations. By establishing a headquarters within the E.U., Norwegian is able to increase the scope of its network.

The Other Side of the Pond

However, extensive U.S.-based opposition means that things have not gone so smoothly for NAI.  The main claim from a variety of U.S. aviation and government officials was that Norwegian has gained an unfair competitive advantage by underpaying pilots – who are allegedly employed under Asian contracts – and that its establishment in Ireland is simply a flag of convenience designed to get around labor laws.

Predictably, Norwegian denies these allegations. It says Norwegian operates under the labour laws of the country in which a crew lives. Moreover, Norwegian alleges that its expansion into U.S. airports is simply good for consumers. It believes U.S. competitors are afraid of the increased competition these Norwegian routes would bring.

Reflections

While I often profile Norweigan flights in Hump Day Fare Hacks and other parts of Speedbird Spotter, I believe that both sides have compelling points, so I can’t say whether this is “good” or “bad” for U.S. aviation. What I can say, though, is that it is certainly good for travelers who care about ticket price.

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.