American Fare Sale between US and Europe

American Airlines and Oneworld Member Sale

American Airlines along with British Airways and Iberia are offering discounted fares between the United States and Europe.  Fares in Economy Class are as low as $289 each-way, including taxes and fees, with a round-trip purchase required.

It’s possible other airlines will match these fares, so keep your eyes open and be sure to check with other airlines, both via their websites and an online booking agency.  On occasion, online booking engines will construct fares differently providing a lower fare or better itinerary.

The discounted American Airlines flights are available on aa.com and seats on sale are limited.  To take advantage of the sale, all tickets must be purchased by April 10 with a seven day advance purchase.  The fares between US and Europe are the lowest  Monday through Thursday.  Travel between the US and United Kingdom is cheapest Monday through Wednesday.  Fares on other days will be higher.

A Saturday night is required and the maximum stay allowed is 180 days.  Fares are valid for travel between April 3, 2012 and May 21, 2012 and again from August 24, 2012, through October 27, 2012.  Tickets must be issued 24 hours after initial reservation is made.

Many of the discount fares are between $800 and $900 round-trip with all taxes included.

IBERIA CELEBRATES LAX ROUTE

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Iberia Airlines has been flying the Airbus A340-300 between Los Angeles (LAX) and Madrid, Spain (MAD) for one year now. Nearly 77,000 passengers have flown the route in the past year and the flight routinely has an average cabin occupancy rate of 80%, unusually high for a new route.

As part of the sale, Los Angeles (LAX) to Madrid (MAD) is on sale starting from $791 round-trip with all taxes and fees. Purchase by April 10, 2012, for travel starting April 3, 2012, until May 21, 2012, and again between August 24, 2012, and October 31, 2012.

Why Are Airfares so High?

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I’ve heard this question asked many times from individuals looking for inexpensive off-season fares to Europe.  I’ve even heard this asked about US domestic travel as many consumers attempting to locate that $200 fare to Florida are now finding $400 fares.

To begin with, fares will always go up and down, depending on yield management, but that alone is not what has driven fares as high as they are.  We’re all paying more for fuel as we fill up our cars and the airlines, like the general public, are paying more for fuel.  Additionally, some US carriers have aircraft in their fleets that are anything but fuel efficient.

The second significant reason is less competition in most markets – airlines of the past including TWA, Reno Air, Continental, and Northwest no longer exist.

Both Northwest and Continental flew most major routes out of my primary airport, but today Northwest is part of Delta while Continental is part of United.  The low cost carrier AirTran is being merged into Southwest.  While Southwest may be the most liberal of US carriers when it comes to things like ticket changes, their airfares are often competitive with the legacies.

When it comes to flights between the US and Europe, the fuel surcharges have been keeping the fares high.  I’ve seen base fares of $251 round-trip only to have $476 in fuel surcharges and other taxes added on.

If you jump back six of seven years ago it was easy to locate trans-Atlantic flights from most parts of the US for under $500, round-trip, all taxes included, for off-season travel.

Looking at the 2011 financial reports of major airlines, the largest item eating into their revenues is the cost of fuel, which carriers are passing onto consumers in the form of higher fuel surcharges along with the operation of less flights.

 

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