Amazing Summer Business Class Fares To Europe!

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.

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Delta-Business-Fare-3

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.

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KLM 747 business class

Here are a few “basic” itinerary examples:

Delta-Business-Fare-5 Delta-Business-Fare-4

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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:

Delta-Business-Fare-6

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)

Comments

  1. @ Lynn — Of those airlines only Air France has first class, and no, you couldn’t upgrade on a discounted fare.

  2. Planning a trip to Florence Italy next June from LAX. I’d love to find something that would work for us. Any suggestions on which routes to check?

    I have a bunch of Avios points I want/could use for inter Europe connections.

  3. I’ve only looked at a few dates but it looks like these are western coastal US cities to Spain. Other western US cities price much higher as do destinations outside Spain.

  4. Thanks Lucky! I’ve been watching that route for a few weeks now. I think we’ll just have to jump on it now!

  5. While you can’t upgrade from Business to First on AF using miles, if there is space in First and you’ve purchased revenue Business you’ll often get an email offer a few days before departure from AF to upgrade for money. The one offer I saw was rather pricey — I think around $2,000 — but if you’ve only paid $1,500 for your roundtrip ticket to begin with, $2,000 may be your only feasible way to try out La Premiere on Air France since it’s nearly unattainable with miles unless you’ve got tons of AmEx points to spare *and* you happen to be a Flying Blue elite member.

  6. Thanks for sharing. About to purchase SFO-BCN in May!

    How does KLM’s business class (747 ex SFO) stack up against AF (777 ex SFO)?

  7. @ Sam — Air France I believe still has angled seats on their 777s out of San Francisco, some KLM’s business class would be much better.

  8. Oh, my god, they are old business class. I booked it from Delta. Do they have 24 hours free cancellation policy? I will change to Air France.

  9. @ Jeniffer @ Lucky

    Are you sure? Looking at seat map on Delta, the SFO-AMS flight on 13 April has three seats in row 1 and four seats in row 4 (1-1-2 configuration). This matches the new seat map on SeatGuru.

    @Sam – hasn’t AF switched all SFO-CDG flights to the A380?

  10. Thanks for the tips Lucky!! Has anyone found any destinations from SFO other than BCN for around the same prices? Based on my random searches so far, only BCN yields prices around $1600 in business.

    Also, lucky–this is a silly question–but even if I want to book on KLM or air france as a sky miles elite, should I book from the Delta site, or can I book on the other flights directly?

    thanks!

  11. @ Ashlee — You should be able to book directly on the website of the airline you’re flying, if you’d like.

  12. @ Sam – interesting… I guess the A380 is seasonal? Weird that AF would switch back to the 777 for the summer months.

  13. People were just asking about cities outside Spain – I just booked SFO-HEL(Helsinki) for $2050 in late June on KLM.

  14. As a Diamond flying on one of the fares in 2015, would all DL-marketed (regardless of operating carrier) flights earn MQMs at 2.75 x distance and RDMs at 11x fare (less taxes)? Don’t want to get burned later…

  15. Lucky—Is a one hour layover sufficient time to connect in AMS from SFO-BCN and BCN-SFO? Thanks!

  16. @ San Ramon Dad – I booked that exact flight for a trip in April. I figure the short connection time is okay, or otherwise they wouldn’t offer it! I’m sure Ben can confirm.

  17. @sanramondad when you arrive in Amsterdam you will have to go to the “Schengen” wing of the airport (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area). That means you will have to go through immigration. That can get busy although they just installed self center kiosks for Europeans that will make the lines much shorter. 1 hour should be enough but it will be a tight connection. As far as lie flat and angle flat is concerned. Personally I am much more comfortable on the AF angled flat seats than the narrow herringbone lie flat seats on Delta. When you like to sleep on your side, the narrow lie flat seats are uncomfortable. I was very comfortable on the AF A380 from JNB to CDG on the angle flat seats. I just put a pillow under my feet and made it it a Lie flat.

  18. hmmm, is this dead already? couldn’t find anything to work out of LAX or SFO to anywhere in Europe… bummer!

  19. Some of the fares are back today albeit a little high with ticketing due tomorrow. I snagged an 801 from Seattle to Helsinki in June – $1800 all in. That fare, plus 1000, is back today.
    For anyone in the Seattle area there is a great anomaly from Bellingham – BLI – to London at 1000 r/t in bizness, with extras comes to 2300 on Delta. The routing is via Seattle. Available all year long. This fare comes in and out of the system.
    Or if Manchester is your destination, base business fares on DL from SFO and Seattle at $1000 and change, grossing up to $2300 all in.

  20. Dear lucky,

    I booked SFO-AMS-BCN BCN-CDG-SFO in J on delta.com. Is it possible to add a stopover in AMS or CDG? thanks

  21. yes, it is paid ticket. I got this ticket for $1610 on J from your post. Many, many thanks! I am wondering if i can add a stopover for this ticket. It is deep discount and ticketed by delta. I can pay extra, but I want to know roughly how much it cost. SFO-AMS(stopover)-BCN-CDG-SFO. Bascially, I only changed the AMS to BCN leg. Thanks!

  22. They’re back again on Delta – its 510pm PDT Oct 29
    Seattle to Manchester – $500 base fare – $1790 all in
    Seattle to Madrid or BCN 765 base – $1750 all in
    Seattle to Helsinki $1301 base – $2250 all in

  23. Lucky,

    Thanks for the deal alert! I got 3 business tickets (Delta) from LAX-JFK-MAD-ATL-LAX @ $1615.90 each, in June.

    Thanks.
    HSong

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