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.