For a long time, the only specialist low-fare airlines flying the Atlantic were charter affiliates of large tour operators, mostly European carriers hauling vacationing Europeans to the Unites States. Only a few airlines tried low-fare transatlantic flying without package-tour-market backup, including PeoplExpress and World Airways, but none lasted. Now, however, as the giant legacy airlines hike up their cheapest tickets, low-fare start-ups might again have a price “umbrella” under which to thrive, and a few are trying it out. adventure trips planning an epic adventure travel safety tips
Currently, most low-fare transatlantic flights are still on European airlines affiliated with tour packagers. Two lines, however, are doing it without a built-in tour-market base. And more will probably follow. Here’s a roundup of some of your primary low-fare transatlantic options, with notes on plane types, fares, and routes. adventure trips planning an epic adventure travel safety tips
Test fares shown are in U.S. dollars, for round-trip travel in July on airlines with less-than-daily frequencies. Keep in mind that on some carriers, flying a few days later or earlier could make a difference of several hundred dollars in your fare. Also, on nonstop routes, competitors may offer lower fares on one-stop-connection itineraries. Except where noted, major OTAs and metasearch engines include flights on these low-fare airlines. adventure trips planning an epic adventure travel safety tips
Airberlin is something of an anomaly: Although it started with a low-fare strategy and absorbed longtime low-fare carrier LTU, it is morphing into something more like a traditional airline.
Routes: Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York/JFK to Germany—mainly Berlin and Dusseldorf. It also offers connecting service from dozens of North American cities to dozens of cities in Europe.
Equipment: A330s, with economy in a relatively conventional two-four-two arrangement and at a tight 30-inch pitch, plus business class with flat-bed seats.
Sample Fares: Nonstop New York–Berlin starts at $1,079 plus $21 in online baggage fees on the lowest fare. Business class starts at $4,322.
Verdict: Airberlin is a good option. It has the best prices for economy nonstops to Berlin, with a product comparable to legacy airlines. adventure trips planning an epic adventure travel safety tips