Great Transatlantic Fares on Delta and United Originating in London

I don’t write often enough for the benefit of primarily European readers.

Well, this doesn’t work starting off in the U.S., you have to begin in London. But Delta has filed a £1 fare plus taxes and fuel surcharges for London to several US cities and back, I’ve found it so far to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington Dulles, Chicago, and Houston — United hubs. I did not find it for Newark, although for Newark and New York JFK I do see the lowest fare as US$68 plus taxes and fees. (I also did not find it for Cleveland or Denver.)

Here’s fare basis TPRGB for roundtrip London – San Francisco.

  • Outbound travel must be October 18 through December 14, or December 25 through March 21.
  • Earliest return is the first Sunday after departure.
  • Must take Delta flights only.
  • Fuel surcharges are $194 each way.
  • Non-refundable, change fee is £100

The fare is widely available, here it is with a calendar for February and priced in US dollars.

Here’s a sample itinerary.

And here’s how it prices.

I love the 80 cents each way, the fuel surcharges are a killer, no?

This doesn’t look to me like a mistake fare, it’s coming up in very strategic markets, so probably a short-term fare war.

It’s not upgradeable and for those folks who would try to come up with ways to eliminate fuel surcharges from the ticket while end-on-end ticketing is permitted it appears to be allowed only with certain Skyteam carriers and with Alaska Airlines.

This is about 12,000 flown miles, at a decent price. And about as good as it gets, with a wide range of dates available, for folks over in Europe. Hope someone can use it!

Update: It’s a fare war, United now has similar fares into Delta hubs of Atlanta, New York JFK, Detroit, and Minneapolis (but not Memphis, Cincinnati, or Salt Lake City).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @sandman, just book a flight from the US on Christmas Day to take advantage of the cheaper flights ( in theory that day) and set your return flight for the Spring of 2013. Then buy one of these fares from the UK for late December or early January to fit your needs. Then set your return to the UK prior to your Spring flight back to the US. Two trips for the price of one and close to a mileage run. Or you could try to see if they will do a cheap fare on this deal on a one way to the US and you’ll just need a one way to the UK to start the trip.

  2. for what it’s worth i only said i ddn’t think the price could be lowered on the DELTA itinerary. i haven’t tried with united and haven’t looked up the fare rules to see if end on end is permitted, etc

  3. The supposed fuel dump could save 100%, and I still wouldn’t book this. No upgrade = stay home. Gary, it is much your fault that I am now completely spoiled… 🙂


  5. WorldWingedExplorer said,
    There is a dump that can shave at least 90%.


    Thank you. Could you please show me how to do this – I’m a student and money is tight.

  6. One way to get to the UK relatively inexpensively is with a one way “saver/PlanAAhead” award (available from AA or UA; can also fly on US or BA metal).

    I think these fares are legit – fares under $600 all-in SFO-LHR used to be common during non-peak travel seasons.

  7. @MikeS

    Fuel dumping usually involves adding a final segment usually on another carrier to a third destination (which you throw away). This triggers the dump. Since it was widely publicized a while back it’s kind of gone underground. There is a well known Flyertalk thread called “trick it” and has a good introduction, but expect to invest several hours or days of time. Could be worthwhile if you have many years ahead as a student.

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