Hump Day Fare Hacks: July 27, 2016

With Hump Day Fare Hacks in its fourth week, I feel the need to look back at what I’ve seen so far in the month of July.

Of course, Norwegian Air Shuttle has dominated the lists, so it should be no surprise that it operates half of the 10 flights profiled this week. Regardless of what your opinion might be on the Norwegian vs. USDOT saga, it’s undeniable that Bjørn Kjos has turned the transatlantic market on its head. A few years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to pay more than $300 to fly domestically – in fact, depending on where you live, it still isn’t. Now, however, insanely cheap intercontinental flights are becoming more and more common, and Norwegian seems to operate most of them.

Even with Norwegian’s dominance this week, I think that the unofficial “best deal” title goes to Cathay Pacific’s $533 New York to Hong Kong flights, as it’s extremely rare that an intercontinental flight between the United States and Asia goes for less than $1,000, not to mention less than $600, and it’s even rarer that those sub-$600 fares are on flights operated by a five-star airline. That said, I don’t think those prices will stay that low for long, as I think that there might be an over saturation of seats in a variety of transpacific markets – something which may well be remedied by cuts, particularly if fuel prices do start to rise – so I’d book sooner rather than later if you have any interest in those fares.

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: $302

Thoughts: While the window of available departure dates is extremely limited (probably an understatement), and it’s not quite as cheap as Norwegian’s BOS-OSL flights, this is still an excellent deal. If I had to guess, October is an excellent time to visit Denmark.

 

Boston – London Gatwick

Leave on:

  • October 30, 31
  • November 13, 14, 28
  • December 2
  • January (2017) 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31
  • 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

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $336

Thoughts: I really don’t need to keep writing about this for all of you to understand its value…right?

 

Boston – Munich

Leave on:

  • November 5, 12, 19, 26
  • December 3

Carrier: Lufthansa
Price: $565

Thoughts: While this deal is limited to five Saturdays in late fall, this fare is the lowest that I’ve seen it. Additionally, the last time it was profiled, it was limited to two dates and was more than $100 higher, so we could well see further downward price movement, an expansion of available dates, or both. Either way, if you’re looking to travel to Germany during this time period, I’d advise that you book sooner rather than later.

 

Boston – Oslo

Leave on:

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

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $287

Thoughts: If a sub-$300 transatlantic trip wasn’t good enough for you, a $2 reduction in the lowest base fare should be.

 

Boston – Ponta Delgada

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 6, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31
  • February (2017) 3, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
  • March (2017) 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17

Carrier: Azores Airlines
Price: $466

Thoughts: The average winter temperature in the Azores hovers around 60ºF, making it significantly warmer than the majority of Europe. Only word of caution: this route will likely be operated by Azores Airlines’ Airbus A310s which are significantly older (and likely less comfortable) than more modern aircraft. That said, I have no reservations about the safety of Azores (formerly SATA International), and I think that this is an excellent deal for those looking to enjoy Europe in the winter without having to button up.

 

NEW YORK

 

New York JFK – Dublin

Leave on:

  • November 2, 10, 11, 13, 15-17, 25, 27, 29, 30
  • December 1, 2, 4-8
  • January (2017)5, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30
  • February (2017) 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 27
  • March (2017) 2, 30, 31

Carrier: Delta Air Lines
Price: $492

Thoughts: A fairly impressive assortment of departure dates available for this. And, if you’re so inclined, Aer Lingus is selling a number of dates (including 26 of the 31 days in January) for just $4 more on the same route.

 

New York JFK and Newark – Hong Kong

Leave on:

  • October 18-20, 24-27
  • November 1-3, 8, 10, 15-17, 22-24, 28-30
  • December 1, 5-7

Carrier: Cathay Pacific
Price: $533

Thoughts: Two weeks ago, Cathay Pacific had EWR-HKG going for $637. Last week, United advertised fares on the route for $488, a $149 decrease, which – considering the price in the first place – was insane. This week’s base fare may be higher, but I think that most people would pay $45 more to fly on Cathay Pacific, a five-star airline renowned for the quality of its long-haul service. Bottom line: this is an excellent value-for-money deal.

 

New York JFK – London Heathrow

Leave on: December 14, 15

Carriers: American Airlines, British Airways
Price: $652

Thoughts: To be sure, the range of dates for this exceptional fare are extremely limited. However, $652 for a transatlantic flight on either of AA or BA is exceptionally good, and between the two carriers there are 10 flights per day in each direction.

 

New York JFK – Paris

Leave on:

  • December 4, 6
  • January (2017) 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, 31
  • February (2017) 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 21, 23, 26, 28
  • March (2017) 9

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $324

Thoughts: Not in the same echelon as the $488 EWR-HKG fare profiled last week, but JFK-CDG for less than $400 is certainly a solid snag – especially considering Air France’s fares on the same route are well north of $700.

 

New York JFK – Stockholm

Leave on:

  • January (2017) 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28, 30
  • February (2017) 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 20, 25, 27

Carrier: Norwegian Air Shuttle
Price: $278

Thoughts: A $16 week decrease from last week’s low price on the same route. Not sure how attractive Sweden is in the winter for most people (I personally would love to go to watch the cross-country ski World Cup), but this transatlantic fare is hard to beat.