Thought about heading to Europe during the wonderful Christmas season to experience the Holiday Markets? Counting on traditionally low Business Class fares from anywhere in the USA to most of Europe during November/December? Hoping to spend $2500-$3000?
Not Happening This Year!
For some reason, Lufthansa (at least for now) has not offered their typical attractive fare deals to lure Americans to Europe for the Holidays. For years, I’ve been able to book tickets in Business Class for travel this time of year for as low as $2400 to perhaps as much as $2800. This year, there’s nothing even close to this price point except for a couple of rare combinations. One being Houston – Budapest and the other being NYC to Frankfurt. Otherwise you’re going to be paying $5000-$9000 to fly in Business to Europe to drink your spiced wine.
Hell, for $4100, I flew from Chicago to Johannesburg and back a few weeks ago with SWISS in Business.
In fact, I was looking to book a couple of seats for my wife and I for Thanksgiving Weekend, and the best LH Biz fare I see is $8400 for Chicago – Vienna. LOT Polish only wants $4000. Looks like an easy decision for which carrier to chose. But even the ‘LO’ fare is nuts for this time of year!
On LH, JFK – Munich is $6000 and Washington – Frankfurt is criminal at $9400!!! At this point, they’re charging First Class prices for Business Class seats.
Oh, and there’s this from LH.com when looking at Houston – Budapest. Those of you familiar with LH gateways within the USA will get a kick out of this…..do you see what’s wrong with this picture?
I suspect that with Air Berlin’s demise, LH feels less pressure to compete on price for travel to Europe even though AB hardly had a US presence. Despite Lufthansa saying that pricing would continue to be competitive even with the lack of competition, it’s obvious that they’re not living up to that commitment and are already passing the impact of AB’s collapse to passengers.
In fact, I’m seeing some Premium Economy fares reaching $2000 from the midwest and east coast which would have been only a few dollars less than Business Fares in previous years.
If any of this changes, I’ll follow up with the info, but with November only days away, we may be out of luck as far as seeing any decent pricing to get from the States to Europe this Holiday Season.