Business Class Fare Alert For European Users (OneWorld)

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While this isn’t even remotely to do with timeshares, Marriott or Starwood, the amount of interest our our other “fare alert” posts got means that we almost feel compelled to keep letting you know when we see something worth considering.

This time it looks like some OneWorld  airlines are offering some super-low business class fares from Europe to the West coast over a few days in November. It will take a bit of flexibility to make the most of the fares on offer but, if you have some Avios to burn on positioning flights, these fares could be very tempting.

As usual we found these flight via the ITA Matrix search engine. Those not yet up to speed with how ITA Matrix work should take a look at our two introductory blog posts on this subject:

  • ITA Matrix Airfare Search – The Basic Search
  • ITA Matrix Airfare Search – Advanced Options

back to the flights….

To replicate our results you’ll need to replicate our search criteria (we started off by searching for flights to Seattle for trips of 2 to 4 nights in length):

When ITA had finished crunching the numbers the results looked like this:

As you can see ITA found fares as low as $1,734 (approx, £1,125) between Europe and Seattle – don’t forget that this is Business Class tickets that we’re pricing up!

When we take a look at the airlines that are offering these fares we can see that ITA confirms that they are available on British Airways.

If we elect to go with a departure on 25 November (for a trip of 4 nights) these are the flights we see offered:

You’ll see that the price offered has actually dropped further, down to $1,677 (approx £1,090). Although the airline offering the flights is American Airlines, closer inspection will show you that you’d actually be flying on British Airways planes all the way (BA code shares extensively with AA).

By this stage anyone with a keen eye will have spotted the small (ish) inconvenience with the flights – they depart from Dublin but arrive back to Milan’s Linate Airport (you could also pay a little more, $1,734, and fly in and out of Dublin if that’s more convenient).

This is where your Avios balance, if you have one, will come in to play (if you don’t have enough Avios then you may well be able to find some cheap short haul flights that will allow you to make the most of these fares). November isn’t exactly high season around Europe so you should be able to flight British Airways RFS (reward flight saver) fares to and from Dublin/Linate from your home airport.

Now, if we’re being honest, Seattle in November isn’t really our thing – we love the city, it’s the rain we’re not that fond of! So this led us to try a flight search to Los Angeles. And this is where things get a little bit more interesting:

Unsurprisingly our eyes were immediately drawn to the $1,568 (approx. £1,020) fare, which looked amazing. When we checked to see which airline was offering the price (we had all fingers crossed that it wasn’t Aeroflot!) we saw that it was US Airways (now part of American Airlines):

But the good price is where the good news ended for that set of flights. A quick look at the details of the flights revealed this:

The transatlantic flight only goes as far as Philadelphia and it was on a 757.

Two golden rules of booking long haul business class tickets are:

1) Book direct flights wherever possible.

2) If you can’t get a direct flight to where you’re going make sure you take one very short flight and one long flight. Do not under any circumstances, if you can help it, book two medium length flights.


Because airlines tend to use medium sized, mediocre aircraft on medium length flights – they reserve their better (best?) business class product for their bigger aircraft on longer flights.

We think that it’s preferable to put up with a short flight where the business class product is distinctly average (e.g. Dublin to London) if you can then follow it up with a much longer flight with a great business class experience (e.g. London to Los Angeles)

In this case, if we were to select the US Airlines option, we’d be paying for a less than stellar business class product on both flights. And what fun would that be?

The better option, in this case, would be to pay a bit more ($1,637, approx. £1,065) and take the American Airlines/British Airways offering (Dublin-London-Los Angeles-London-Dublin, all on BA planes):

it may cost a little more but it would be a vastly better flying experience.

There are almost certainly more great fares out there so we suggest you have a play around on the ITA Matrix site and see what works for you. If you find anything that looks impressive come back here and let us (and everyone else) know – bragging about the deals you find is half the fun!


  1. […] Continue reading at the Vacation Smarter blog for even better deals […]

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