If you are planning to hit the skies this summer and would like to fly in business class, keep an eye on business class fares in coming weeks. They have been all over the map during the last few weeks, with some deal sites posting biz class round trips Europe for as little as $2,200. (That’s an incredibly good deal, especially from California cities.)
Airlines are in a quiet fare war, which appears to be the result of low-fare upstart Norwegian Air barging into the US to Europe market. (Its Boeing 787 flights from Oakland to Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen crank up in May.) This has forced SAS to drop its prices…and now US airlines are following suit. Norwegian Air does not offer business class, but it does offer a premium economy seat that’s equivalent to US domestic first class– a big seat with plenty of legroom, but it does not recline into a flat bed.
Below are some examples of summer business class sale fares I’ve found with a cursory search for July-August trips from SFO today. These could periodically dip by more than $1,000 as they did this week, so if you are interested, set up fare alerts or keep checking airline sites. (Norwegian’s premium economy fares are even lower.)
Peak summer season economy class airfares from the West Coast to Europe will likely hit $2,000 round trip during the July-August peak this year. If faced with a fare like that, it might make good sense to just pay the extra grand or so for a nice big seat at the front of the plane, right?
Keeping in mind that business class from West Coast to Europe typically runs in the $5,000-$7,000+ range, here is what’s currently on offer in business class:
- SFO-Copenhagen or Oslo or Stockholm SAS $3,027 (Norwegian Air’s premium economy is about $1,900)
- SFO-Paris American/British Air one stop $3,859
- SFO-Frankfurt United nonstop $3,758
- SFO-Rome Virgin Atlantic one-stop $3,911
JETBLUE JETS AWAY
JetBlue announced this week that it will dump its nonstop flights between Oakland and Washington-Dulles. It’s also nixing its nerd bird flight between SFO and Austin. Both flights end on June 16.
In a statement, the carrier said that is will use the aircraft from these routes to bulk up its presence at Washington Reagan National Airport, where it recently acquired slots due to the American/US Airways merger agreement.
JetBlue told TravelSkills: “Any customers with existing reservations for flights after the last operating date will be contacted with the option to be re-accommodated on other JetBlue flights or to cancel their reservation and receive a full refund. Customers will also receive a $50 good will credit for their inconvenience.”