Few discount business class to Europe

Old Nov 25, 17, 9:22 pm
  #1  
txp
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Few discount business class to Europe

I have noticed very few discounted business class fares to Europe for next summer. With few exceptions (IAH-AMS, EWR-MAN, etc.) there is nothing in the $2,500 range, even with advance purchase. Everything seems to be $4,000 or more. I don't remember seeing the prices that high in at least ten years. Also, confirmed upgrade space is almost impossible to get (which was not the case last time when fares were so high).

Does anyone know the reasons why the fares have gone up this year? And, can anyone provide an educated guess on where the business class fares might be heading into the spring? My proposed travel is in the summer 2018.

Thank you!
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Old Nov 25, 17, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
I have noticed very few discounted business class fares to Europe for next summer. With few exceptions (IAH-AMS, EWR-MAN, etc.) there is nothing in the $2,500 range, even with advance purchase. Everything seems to be $4,000 or more. I don't remember seeing the prices that high in at least ten years. Also, confirmed upgrade space is almost impossible to get (which was not the case last time when fares were so high).

Does anyone know the reasons why the fares have gone up this year? And, can anyone provide an educated guess on where the business class fares might be heading into the spring? My proposed travel is in the summer 2018.

Thank you!
Are you booking one ways? Roundtrips? What routings? What "fare classes" are these expensive fares booking into on UA.com? P? Z? D?
Confirmed upgrade space has noticeably decreased as many have pointed out. You just have to be flexible and it seems that you are.

I'll let someone else speculate your other questions as they'll probably have better insight than me.
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Old Nov 25, 17, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Are you booking one ways? Roundtrips? What routings? What "fare classes" are these expensive fares booking into on UA.com? P? Z? D?
Confirmed upgrade space has noticeably decreased as many have pointed out. You just have to be flexible and it seems that you are.

I'll let someone else speculate your other questions as they'll probably have better insight than me.
I am looking for round-trips with 150 day advance purchase in P or Z. These types of fares used to be less than $3,000 from IAH to pretty much any EU destination. Right now, even the P fares are close to $5,000. The only reasonable fares are from the East Coast, but that requires that I break the travel into two separate tickets which has some drawbacks.
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Old Nov 25, 17, 10:25 pm
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LBJ
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I would suspect they will have some sales in the coming months. I wouldn't take anything as cast in stone at this point. And, sorry, but I don't recall anyone offering fares in the $2500 range to a large number of EU destinations outside of fare sales. Usually, fares in that range to a large number of EU destinations cause quite a bit of clamor in the blogs and the premium fare deals forum on FT. As you noted, IAH-AMS is $2464 RT with pretty good availability, I also see IAH-BUD under $2500. IAH-OTP/ATH/NCE are under $3K.

Last edited by LBJ; Nov 26, 17 at 10:54 am
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Old Nov 26, 17, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
sorry, but I don't recall anyone offering fares in the $2500 range to a large number of EU destinations outside of fare sales.
Agree. Last two summers have been mostly dry for *A bargains to Europe (though there were some great ST sales last summer, and the *A $1400 bonanza in April 2014).
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Old Nov 26, 17, 2:32 am
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Way too early for deep discount fares for next summer.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
I would suspect they will have some sales in the coming months.
This. OP, you may be too early. I don't know if you were expecting anything out of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but in my experience sales for next summer season don't appear before the ball on Times Square has dropped. January, for example, usually has TATL sales on the EU POS and those may influence pricing on the US POS too. Over the past few years, I've seen TATL sales of varying degrees on the US POS in every month between January and July.

When you say you compared to previous years, were you also comparing to the prices in November of those years?
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Old Nov 26, 17, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
Does anyone know the reasons why the fares have gone up this year?
1.) Strong world economy.
2.) Instability (e.g., terrorism-related instability in North Africa) elsewhere helps making Western Europe a more popular destination. In any case, tourism to Europe is booming and has been for a few years.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:12 am
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It's definitely still possible to snag a [relatively] cheap business UA flight to Europe. One has to be vigilant and sometimes think out of the box.
I'm on a GREAT deal purchased through United back in May for mid-December 2017 travel: EWR-ZRH-EWR (first segment on Swiss, return on United).

Just keep looking and possibly choose some not-so-obvious routes.

United has some fantastic choices to Europe.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 7:55 am
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There is a ton of cheap C-class out there right now. Bulk fares (so no PQD). Check consolidators. $2-2.5k.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 8:20 am
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Once you are in Europe, it's really easy to get around. So if nothing comes by way of sales/promotions before the summer, get the P fare to AMS.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
There is a ton of cheap C-class out there right now. Bulk fares (so no PQD). Check consolidators. $2-2.5k.
Thanks.
I am not familiar at all with that market. Could you give me a brief idea on how it works?

Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
This. OP, you may be too early. I don't know if you were expecting anything out of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but in my experience sales for next summer season don't appear before the ball on Times Square has dropped. January, for example, usually has TATL sales on the EU POS and those may influence pricing on the US POS too. Over the past few years, I've seen TATL sales of varying degrees on the US POS in every month between January and July.

When you say you compared to previous years, were you also comparing to the prices in November of those years?
Two years ago I bought DFW to MAD for $2300 RT. I bought the ticket in late Sept. This year, that fare has been $4000 throughout the fall...

Originally Posted by 1flyer View Post
1.) Strong world economy.
2.) Instability (e.g., terrorism-related instability in North Africa) elsewhere helps making Western Europe a more popular destination. In any case, tourism to Europe is booming and has been for a few years.
Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Once you are in Europe, it's really easy to get around. So if nothing comes by way of sales/promotions before the summer, get the P fare to AMS.
Thanks. I've been thinking along the same lines.

My choice is to buy IAH-AMS now (final destination is Switzerland) or wait till January to see if I can get a better deal to ZRH or GVA. The two factors you mentioned are unlikely to change till January so this argues for buying now.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 26, 17 at 6:31 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Nov 26, 17, 11:32 am
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I cannot think of a better way to spend the day after an overnight flight than to catch a train from AMS to Switzerland.

My choice is to buy IAH-AMS now (final destination is Switzerland) or wait till January to see if I can get a better deal to ZRH or GVA. The two factors you mentioned are unlikely to change till January so this argues for buying now.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
Two years ago I bought DFW to MAD for $2300 RT. I bought the ticket in late Sept. This year, that fare has been $4000 throughout the fall...





Thanks. I've been thinking along the same lines.

My choice is to buy IAH-AMS now (final destination is Switzerland) or wait till January to see if I can get a better deal to ZRH or GVA. The two factors you mentioned are unlikely to change till January so this argues for buying now.
I caught that cheap MAD fare from DFW also. We were probably in Spain at the same time.

I have also noticed a lack of similar fares this year. I have been using IAH-AMS as my go-to all year. Transavia is a perfectly fine airline with tons of destinations from AMS, so in my opinion the IAH-AMS flight is the way to go.

As noted, the train for a closer destination like France or Switzerland is a great choice.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
Thanks.
I am not familiar at all with that market. Could you give me a brief idea on how it works?
use e.g. Momondo, they will come up.
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