Amazing Thanksgiving fares to Europe: $2,400 all-in for Lufthansa first class!

At first I thought this was a mistake fare, but after doing some research it appears to be a legitimate fare.

Thanksgiving is one of the slowest travel periods between the US and Europe, so it’s not unusual for the airlines to have fare sales, especially in premium cabins, given the lack of business travel between the US and Europe the week of Thanksgiving.

First, it appears that many airlines have fare business class sales from various points in the US to Europe for the week of November 20. For example, from New York to Munich I see base fares of $860 roundtrip in business class, plus taxes and fees, for an all-in cost of $1,600. Tagging on flights to somewhere warmer (like Barcelona) doesn’t cost that much extra.

That’s a great fare, given that I usually don’t see them dip a whole lot below $1,800 all-in. But it’s not unheard of.

What’s a first for me is the Lufthansa first class fare sale. New York to Munich roundtrip in first class, for example, is $1,720 base, and about $2,400 all-in with taxes.

The major restriction for these fares seems to be that outbound travel has to occur between November 20 and November 25, with a minimum stay of three days and maximum stay of ten days.

The business class fares books into “Z” class, while the first class fare books into “A” class.

There are fare sales out of other airports as well, though the fares aren’t quite as good as out of New York. But still, first class from the west coast is only about 50% more expensive, which is still very reasonable.

I’m sure the next logical question is “well, can I get into Airbus 380 first class on this fare?” Sadly the answer seems to be no. Lufthansa doesn’t fly the Airbus 380 to New York that time of year. The only destination they serve it with is Miami. While there’s a decent first class fare out of Miami, they have blocked out all of the “A” space (first class code needed for this fare), so there’s no way to book it.

This fare can be booked through Orbitz, Expedia, etc. If you want to help out a friend of mine who’s a travel agent, he can book it for you. You don’t pay anything extra for booking through him, he’ll walk you through finding the best fare available, and ultimately if you need to make a change you deal with him instead of an outsourced call center. Just email me at onemileatatime@hotmail.com and I can put you in touch (and no, I’m not getting anything out of making this recommendation).

(Tip of the hat to Steven)

Comments

  1. Funny, I just noticed how cheap Business fares were over the same period. ~1600 for BWI/DCA to most major European cities. Pretty cool stuff. Wish I were richer.

  2. Great find, although when searching directly on lufthansa.com, this fare does not come up (it is much higher around $16k+). I do see the low fare on orbitz, but seems strange that the lufthansa.com site does not show the same fare when you search. Any insight?

  3. I’d be just a TAD bit leary of this. As an example, I was trying to book some fares earlier this year to FRA from ORD. Was looking at business, and first flights. All the regular sites were showing business at say 4500$, with first at say 10,000 $ but ORBIT was showing some FIRST seats at 4350$. That just didn’t make any sense. So, some further research showed that it was on Continental, even though it was showing as a United Fare/Service, but it was continental – which only has “business first” and so that was the rub. can these flights above be cross checked with Lufty for flight # and Fare, it doesn’t appear to be available on the LH.com site

  4. LH is the only carrier flying A330 between MUC and JFK, so that’s a pretty sure thing.
    To be 100% you can simply look up the fare rules on Orbitz when booking.

  5. Wow.. $250++ coach, EWR-FRA on CO, but when you select, it says no longer available 🙁
    Any fuel dump options explored??

  6. Does this mean that award availability in premium cabins is easier to access over Thanksgiving as well between the US and Europe?

  7. Lucky, I commented on this C & F Europe sale on my blog back in August after being made aware of it from a LH Mile & More mailing. Full details are found at the link below. http://chitownscorner.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/star-alliance-thanksgiving-business-class-fare-sale-november-2011/

    It is a Star Alliance wide sale, so you can book it UA-CO-US-LH, etc. One interesting thing I found was that the CO flights( even booked as CO codeshares operated by United) allowed much more mileage friendly routings than the UA fares. Outbound travel is valid Nov20-25, inbound Nov 25- Nov 30. These fares also show up on the Farecompare YUP Flyertalk listing page found here. http://www.farecompare.com/search/yupfares.html

  8. Good catch on those Transatlanic fares over the TG holiday, Lucky. The downside of the deal is that unless one lives near NYC or other major gateway cities, getting to the gateway just before the Amerikan TG holiday could be difficult and expensive. Domestig (US) air travel leading into the long TG weeked is often considered ‘hell week’ for airlines and PAX alike. A lot of the problems that appear during hell week are the result of increased loads of inexperienced flyers… As much as I would enjoy spending an early winter week in Bavaria, flying LH First, maybe returning via Frankfurt and trying on their First Class terminal, I don’t really see this as a reasonable trip. The front end domestic travel would not be fun. Great find for those near a gateway – JFK etc. -C.

  9. @ Andrew — Award availability is generally very good to Europe around Thanksgiving. It’s the domestic segments that are near impossible, though.

  10. Don’t forget that Thanksgiving is not a holiday outside the US, so you will arrive in cities where it’s business as normal. Great for touristing, but perhaps not if you want to get into the holiday spirit.

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