We’ve seen a lot of amazing business class fares to Europe lately. Over peak times they sure look a whole lot more like economy fares, actually.
SkyTeam has just published some truly spectacular business class fares to Europe, which are even valid throughout all of next summer. SkyTeam is charging ~$1,500 roundtrip for business class travel between the west coast and Europe.
Two such fares are for travel between Portland and Madrid as well as for travel between San Francisco and Barcelona. I’m sure there are other city pairs with equally good fares as well.
These fares have wide open availability for travel on Air France, Delta, and KLM, so you can fly nonstop from the west coast, or connect further east. The routing rules are extremely generous, so you can take almost any SkyTeam flight you want. You can even fly nonstop on Air France or KLM from the west coast to their hubs in Europe.
Based on my business class flight a couple of months ago on one of KLM’s 747s, I’d certainly fly with them again.
KLM 747 business class
Here are a few “basic” itinerary examples:
When you look at the fare breakdown, the fare is ~$300 each way, plus taxes, fees, and of course the whooper $856 roundtrip in fuel surcharges:
I’m a bit short on requalifying for status with Alaska this year, so am tempted to book one of these. San Francisco to Barcelona via Amsterdam is about 12,500 “butt in seat” miles roundtrip, plus the 25% class of service bonus that Alaska offers, for a total of ~16,000 elite qualifying miles. 10 cents per elite qualifying mile in paid business class is pretty darn good.
Now if only oneworld would match these fares, as those fares could be stacked with the AARP and British Airways Visa Signature Card discounts, to bring the fare down to ~$1,000. Add in the fact that they’re offering bonus miles for transatlantic premium cabin travel, and they’d basically be paying you to fly business class across the Atlantic.
Regardless, if you plan on traveling to Europe next summer from the west coast, I think it’s an absolute no brainer to book paid business class rather than trying to redeem miles. Award space from the west coast to Europe is really tough to come by, and even if you value miles at just a penny each, you’ll come out ahead by booking a paid ticket in almost all cases.
The best place to search for availability is on ITA Matrix, and then you can go to the airlines’ individual websites to book.
(Tip of the hat to Delta Points)