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.