Summer Business Class to Europe for Less Than $1500 Roundtrip

There’s a real business class fare war to Europe going on right now, mostly initiated by United, for business class travel out of many airports that aren’t United hubs (or co-terminals with United hubs, and except on specific routes that are pretty unique to Delta like New York JFK – Venice).

So you can buy business class tickets for less than $1500 roundtrip this summer — about what you’ll pay for coach for summer travel in many cases.

Fly from cities like:

  • Allentown, PA
  • Westchester, NY
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Las Vegas
  • Orlando
  • Seattle
  • Honolulu
  • Portland
  • San Jose
  • Orange County

To cities like Rome, Milan, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, Florence, Nice, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Barcelona, and Madrid.

Key information:

  • Book on Orbitz, or at United.com
  • Must purchase at least 60 days in advance (not a problem, since travel can’t commence until June 27)
  • Outbound travel has to be between June 27 and August 30; return travel must be between June 29 and September 4.

Here, for instance, is what an availability calendar looks like for Baltimore – Rome business class roundtrip in July.

A ‘normal’ discount advance purchase business class fare for the route, if you can talk about such a thing, is twice as much.

I don’t think this is a mistake fare, just a fare war, but I do not expect it to last even through the day so act now if you’re interested in summer travel to Europe.


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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. @Sadie, yes it was available earlier in the week too. Even though that fare was written about publicly, I first saw it on a private list so did not write about it. It’s now been on several blogs, twitter, etc. this time.

  2. @Carl, they didn’t pile on earlier in the week and it’s not really targeted at their hubs as far as I see, so I doubt they need to retaliate.

  3. @Carl, pretty unlikely I’d imagine as United is simply trying to grab market share in cities in which they aren’t hubs.

    These are pretty incredible prices, I wish I could just prebuy a bunch of these for work trips I know I’ll take – just not where or when yet.

  4. @CW – It looks like an attack on Delta (the only place I’ve seen it matched or responded to is Chicago with Istanbul flights, oddly enough)

  5. Has anyone tried to ticket one of these through yet? I’d be curious…ITA is showing some of these fares at the $1500-$1600 price point (I searched from BWI to CDG) as including transatlantic return legs in J on AC or LH. I am skeptical…

  6. Interesting. I’d think that the fact that LH J legs are included might be worth a mention if that’s really the case. Certainly nicer than UA.

  7. Just snagged IAD to IST on AF/DL RT in Biz for $1100 in Aug. Jump on it. It seems Delta and UAL are at hub wars.

  8. Also bookable through AMEX Travel. I used some MR points (will get 20% back b/c of Biz Platinum) to offset the $ cost.

  9. @Dia – next time you’re tempted to do that I think I can find you a more lucrative offer on those points… 😛

  10. The fares here that interest me are the ones where you can “dump” the YQ fuel surcharges (huge on some these flights — two-thirds the ticket price!) by adding an additional flight like from Mexico City to Cancun at the end of trip. This seems to be easier to book on the European online travel agencies, like Expedia. Unfortunately, the people who are experts at this guard the secrets with the zeal of a military operation (not unjustified — the airlines like to close these loopholes). Still, if anyone wants to post a fuel dump that will work, it will save Gary’s readers tens of thousands of dollars today.

  11. DL matched (not sure if still currently active) out of IAD. IAD-ATH//IST-IAD on AF/DL (marketed by DL) was ~$1100 yesterday

  12. San Jose CA (SJC) to Venice R/T in C, first week of August for $1,500 each (bought 2 tickets).

    SJC-IAH-FRA-VCE and reverse. LH A380.

    Could not pass it up.

    Thanks Lucky & Gary.

  13. I’ve never booked to Europe before. Would open jaw work with these fairs? Flying from SNA to Paris and then Barcelona to SNA. June 27-July 27 give or take a day.

  14. FYI, if traveling from Texas, Austin or San Antonio work (mostly, Austin). Nothing directly from Houston or Dallas, AFAIK.

  15. Is this deal dead? The flights I was looking at are no longer coming up at the deal price(SAN-CDG, SAN-AMS)

  16. Aaargghhh!!! Had 5 seats SNA-FCO for $1496. was on the payment page when it hanged.. refreshed.. and back to 5K fares :/

  17. I booked BWI-EWR-CDG and return for $1560. I wanted the nonstop from IAD to CDG but could not find it for this fare. I am happy to go through EWR for this fare. Thank you Gary. Your post really helped me.

  18. Looked last night and fares from HNL to cdg were great, gone this morning! Any chance they will return?

  19. While UA fares may be dead Delta is offering competitive business class fares out of UA hubs. Found fares from SFO-FRA for ~$1800 RT.

  20. United asks for 115k points for roundtrip. so point value: 1473/115k=1.3cpm

    I feel people tend to use the highest biz/first class prices divided by lowest possible award points to calculate the point value, overhyping how much points are worth (even without considering all the restrictions and the fact that you seldom use all your points for a ticket.)

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