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I don’t know whether this has something to do with the strong dollar, the weakness of the Euro (and the Pound), or if this is simply just a part of a sale announced earlier this month, but I’m currently seeing some excellent Business Class deals on transatlantic fares departing from New York.
I don’t really track transatlantic airfares for departures out of NYC so I’m not sure how long these deals have been around – that may be new or they may have been around a while. Still, it doesn’t really matter when they first appeared as all that really matters is that they’re available right now and that they represent very good value.
I’ve been playing around with a few dates in 2023 and these are some of the fares that I’ve seen for departures out of JFK and/or Newark.
- Frankfurt – from $1,805
- Lisbon – from $1,804
- London – from $1,651
- Porto – from $1,842
- Vienna – from $1,665
- Zurich – from $1,666
More great fares to other destinations may also be available (I haven’t checked them all!)
These fares are for travel with TAP Air Portugal and there are a number of things that you need to be aware of before you rush to get your credit card out.
- Most of these fares are for travel on TAP’s new A321 narrowbody transatlantic aircraft and not the airline’s larger A330-900neos (most fares on the A330s appear to start at over $2,000). The A321 Business Class cabin still offers lie-flat seating, but it’s not as spacious as the Business Class cabin on the A330, and not all seats will have direct access to the aircraft’s aisle.
- Most of the better deals appear to be for departures out of Newark but good deals are available out of JFK too.
- Some of the cheaper deals are being offered by online travel agencies and not TAP Air Portugal. TAP’s fares are all (mostly) in the $1,800s so it’s up to the traveler to decide what works best for them – a cheaper fare but with the risk of having to deal with a middle man if something goes wrong or changes need to be made, or a slightly more expensive fare booked directly with the airline.
- Keep in mind that if you choose to book with an OTA, you should use a credit card that offers bonus points for general travel and not just flights booked directly with airlines (e.g. Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card). If you choose to book with TAP, a card like the Platinum Card® from American Express will offer you 5 points/dollar – terms apply).
- Unusually for TAP, most of the better fares can be booked without the need for an overnight stop in Portugal. The exceptions to this appear to be the sub-$1,700 fares to London which require an overnight stop on the return journey. Paying a little bit more to avoid the long layover may be the more economical option as what you save in airfare by staying overnight you’ll probably pay out for a hotel stay.
- If you’re flying to anywhere other than Portugal, you will need to stop over in Portugal to change aircraft before flying on to your final destination.
- If TAP doesn’t appear to be offering a good Business Class deal to your preferred destination, don’t give up. It may be worth booking a non-stop Business Class fare to Lisbon and a cheap (low cost?) fare from Lisbon to wherever it is that you’d like to go.
Whatever happens, make sure that you take time to check exactly what it is that you’re booking before you part with any money (e.g. check the journey time, the aircraft you’re booking, and which airports you’re flying out of and into) so that you’re not caught out when it comes time to travel.
One or two of these fares can be found for travel in 2022 but almost all of the good deals that I’ve seen are for travel in 2023.
The availability of these fares is more or less the same for all of the destinations discussed so here are screenshots showing fare prices for a 7-day trip to London to give you an idea of when the better deals are available.
What you should be able to see from the images above is this:
- There is plenty of availability in January, February, and March 2023
- There’s an obvious gap in availability between the middle of March and the middle of April 2023 (European vacations).
- The sub-$1,700 fares all but disappear after the end of April but fares in the $1,820 – $1,890 range are still commonplace in May and June 2023.
- In the peak months of July and August, the best fares are all over $2,000 and no longer represent a good deal.
Quick final thoughts
If I was booking these fares I would avoid the OTAs and book directly with TAP. I’m not saying that because TAP is a Traveling For Miles affiliate (we get a small commission if you book through one of our links), I’m saying that because I think that paying a small premium is worth it if it means that I don’t have to deal with a 3rd party when/if something goes wrong with my trip.
I would also choose to book with TAP and not an OTA because I’d like to earn 5 points/dollar through my Platinum Card® from American Express (terms apply) and I’d like to enjoy the comfort of the travel protections that my Platinum Card offers me.
Note: If you choose to book through an OTA, please try to pay using a credit card that offers good travel insurance, and don’t just focus on which card offers you the most points. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card, the Ritz-Carlton Card (not open to new applicants), and the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card all offer excellent travel cover.
Tap Air Portugal is currently offering some very good transatlantic Business Class fares for travel out of New York. Roundtrip fares start at under $1,700 but if you want to book directly with the airline you may have to pay a little more. Keep in mind that while these fares can offer a very economical way to cross the pond in comfort, the Business Class cabin that you’ll probably be booking will be on a narrowbody aircraft and so will not feel as spacious as the bigger widebody cabins that we often write about. Still, on an East Coast to Europe flight, that shouldn’t really matter.