Hump Day Fare Hacks: July 20, 2016

Since starting Hump Day Fare Hacks two weeks ago, I’ve looked forward to re-evaluating the prices of intercontinental flights. This list is by no means the five “cheapest” flights from each of Boston and New York (comprised of both JFK and EWR) to the rest of the world, but it consists of 10 deals that I feel have a high “value for price.”

Given that this list changes from week to week, calculating the percentage difference of all 10 routes would be analogous to comparing apples and oranges. However, of the six routes that were in last week’s edition that are again profiled this week (BOS-LGW, BOS-OSL, and BOS-SNN, and NYC-ARN, NYC-HKG, and NYC-LHR), prices profiled dropped by 5.6%. And while a lot of that had to do with the massive decrease in one route’s price, the savings — which were already astounding — are so impressive that I’m not even miffed about the fact that one outlier skewed the data set more than I would have anticipated.

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 6-8, 10-23, 26-30
  • October 1-3, 5, 6, 10-31
  • Any date in November
  • December 1-10

Carrier: Hainan Airlines
Price: $658

Thoughts: While there’s been some fluctuation in fares since I booked my flight to Beijing a couple of months back for $659, I was surprised to see it drop below that level (if only a dollar). That said, the fact that a $658 fare is available throughout the entire month of November — and not just a few dates — is absolutely incredible.

In addition to the daily flights it operates to Beijing, Hainan is offering identical fares on its thrice-weekly flights to Shanghai (leaving on September 29, October 1, 4, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, November 24, 26, 29, and December 1 and 3).

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • October 23, 30, 31
  • November 7, 13, 14, 28, 30
  • December 2, 4
  • 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, 12, 13, 15, 17

Price: $337
Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle

Thoughts: I feel like I’m going to be profiling this flight ad nauseam until the end of time, but the price is simply too exceptional to ignore.

 

Boston – London Heathrow

Leave on:

  • August 23, 24, 29
  • September 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28
  • October 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, 31
  • November 1, 2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28-30
  • December 5-7
  • January (2017) 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30-31
  • February (2017) 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27, 28
  • March (2017) 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29

Carrier: British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Price: $674

Thoughts: I don’t know what to think, anymore. First, BA flights between BOS and LHR were around the $700 mark following Brexit. Then, after BA’s post-Brexit fare sale ended, they shot up to around the $980 mark, before retreating back to being less than $700 recently. Regardless of whether this turns out to be a long-term price or a short-term deal, $674 for a BOS-LHR is very good, especially considering BA and VS fares have historically been around the $1,000 mark. And with so many dates to choose from, it’s sure to be a tempting option for travelers looking to go to the UK and beyond.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

  • September 19, 26, 30 (return September 27 and October 4 and 8).
  • October 10, 14, 17 (return October 18, 22, 25).

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $289

Thoughts: A great price, and one that will only last until late October. It’s not clear when flights will be available for purchase for travel next spring — or, indeed, if they will be available at all. Regardless, a sub-$300 transatlantic flight is something we wouldn’t have even thought possible a few years back, so this is something worth considering if you want to visit Scandinavia.

 

Boston – Shannon

Leave on:

  • November 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11-17, 19, 21, 22, 24-30
  • December 1-9, 11-15, 30, 31
  • January (2017) 1, 2, 4, 6-9, 11, 13-16, 18, 20-23, 25, 27-30
  • February (2017) 1, 3-6, 8
  • March (2017) 1, 2, 24

Carrier: Aer Lingus
Price: $496

Thoughts: In addition to being a fantastic value-for-money offer, as Aer Lingus is a top airline with excellent customer service, this offer just got better: the number of dates for which this fare is available has increased from 15 to 69. And while I’m tempted to say that I think this price will hold for a while and that this fare could become available on even more dates, I’m also inclined to say that — given its unpredictable movement in the last week — that it could change soon. If this route is of interest, I’ll say this: wait to book at your own risk.

 

NEW YORK

 

Newark – Hong Kong

Leave on:

  • September 6, 7, 14, 27-29
  • November 2, 24

Carrier: United Airlines
Price: $488

Thoughts: When I posted the $637 EWR-HKG Cathay Pacific round trip last week, I meant it when I said that it “might be the most insane international deal that I’ve found, period.” A week later, I’ve found that United has beaten that price by more than $100.

When I started looking at cheap flights to Asia, I noticed that the cheapest flights, albeit from Boston, were generally speaking 1-stop flights on United to various places in China. And though I paid approximately $100 more to fly nonstop from Boston to Beijing on Hainan, I was still astounded that one could get a ticket to Asia for less than $60o — even if a layover was necessary. What I didn’t expect was to see flights would start going for less than $500, not to mention a nonstop flight.

A note to Cathay Pacific: while your $637 EWR-HKG nonstop is still impressive, is available on far more dates than this one, and features service on a 5-star airline, I’m sorry to say that you’ve lost the unofficial crown of “most insane international deal” to United after just one week. The range of dates for this deal may be rather limited, but given that these flights have historically gone for well in excess of $1,000, it’s simply too good to ignore.

 

New York JFK – Johannesburg

Leave on:

  • August 17, 18, 24, 25, 29-31
  • September 4-9, 11-15, 18-22, 25-30
  • October 2-5, 9-12, 14, 17-22, 24-31
  • November 1-4, 6-18, 22, 28

Carrier: South African Airways
Price: $904

Thoughts: This is a very solid deal, especially since this fare is bookable as early as August. Sure, it’s more expensive than most nonstop European flights would be at their cheapest, but anything less than $1,000 to South Africa is very good.

 

New York JFK and Newark – London Heathrow

Leave on: October 21, 22, 28, 29

Carriers: American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways
Price: $512

Thoughts: A slight uptick from last week’s $504 EWR-LHR flights on United. Despite the price increase, I’d still say that this is an incredible deal — a $512 transatlantic round trip to Heathrow on is exceptional, especially on BA or VS, and most certainly won’t stay that cheap for long.

 

New York JFK – Oslo

Leave on: January 20, 2017 (return January 29, 2017).

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $264

Thoughts: I made mention of a $263 fare on JFK-OSL during the first week of the blog. And while it’s gone up by a whole dollar during that time, this is still an exceptional snag. That said, be prepared: Norway in the winter is a whole different prospect than the Northeast. With this hot fare, however, the trip may well be worth it.

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 14, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 4

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $294

Thoughts: Not quite as much of a steal as JFK-OSL, but still extremely good. I hadn’t looked much at Stockholm before starting Hump Day Fare Hacks, but it’s certainly got my attention now.