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What's the Deal: Sales to Europe Are Popping Up

Carol Sottili

It's been slim pickings for sale fares to Europe. We told you about some business-class sales last week, but this week, we have even better news. Iberia has launched a sale from Washington Dulles to destinations across Europe. And United and Virgin Atlantic are offering sale fares to London. The sales don't apply to summer travel, but they give us hope that some late sales may pop up for July and August flights.

London's calling . . . and maybe it's affordable enough to take the call. (AP Photo/Martyn Hayhow)

Here are the details:
*Iberia's sale extends to many cities in Europe, but the best fares are to destinations in Spain, specifically Barcelona. The round-trip fare on flights from Dulles is $554 including taxes. Although the sale allegedly extends to departures through May 31, with return no later than June 30, the cheap seats are basically sold out anytime after mid May. And there is a March 14-24 blackout period. Deadline to buy is March 31.

*Virgin Atlantic announced a fare sale of $209 each way ($584 with taxes) from Dulles to London Heathrow, but then raised the price to $219 each way ($606 including taxes) for departures March 24-May 25 and return by June 25 (booking deadline is March 16). Meanwhile, United one-upped Virgin with its own across-the-board London fare sale to introduce its new nonstop service from Denver to London. The fare from Dulles is just $550 round trip, including taxes, for March 30-May 15 departures (you can return as late as June 11 at that fare). Cheapest seats are for Monday-Wednesday travel; buy by March 26.

I'm interested if anyone who bought tickets to Europe within those sale date is sorry now. Did you pay more? If you've bought your tickets to Europe for summer travel, tell us what you paid and when you bought so we can try to figure out whether buying in advance saves money.

By Carol Sottili |  March 7, 2008; 7:10 AM ET  | Category:  Carol Sottili , Deals , Europe
Previous: What's the Deal: DC to NYC . . . for a Buck? | Next: Insta-CoGo: Southwest Flying Cracked Planes?

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We're planning a trip to Athens in August. Fares right now are around $1,300. Anyone have any advice as to how long we should wait to see if fares come down at all? Our dates are somewhat flexible.

Posted by: 123go | March 7, 2008 8:58 AM

Paid $997/ticket on Air Canada via Montreal for a trip to Paris between 6/11 and 7/3.

Posted by: Alexandria | March 7, 2008 9:45 AM

Ack! I bought my ticket last week for London. I paid $660 for the end of April.

Posted by: Washington, DC | March 7, 2008 9:52 AM

Bought a round-trip Paris/Newark non-stop ticket last month for travel mid/May returning beginning June for $752 on Continental

Posted by: oni06 | March 7, 2008 10:36 AM

Athens traveler: Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to do much better. August is high season and Athens is never cheap to fly to. You may be able to find closer to $1100--that's about the best price I could find last summer, and I have to say it wasn't particularly convenient routing.

Posted by: mtdb | March 7, 2008 11:10 AM

I bought two tickets for non-stop IAD-LHR roundtrip from June 26 thru July 6 for $1042 each back in mid-October. Haven't seen anything lower since on Kayak or anywhere else.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2008 1:22 PM

I have tickets to fly to London on Virgin next week that I bought about 2 months ago. The total cost including taxes was $585. I am happy with what I paid and since my dates were non-negotiable, it paid to book early

Posted by: MLH | March 7, 2008 2:39 PM

I found out about the Iberia sale about a month ago (before Pres Day) while looking for a ticket to Paris on Kayak. I am leaving on Tuesday, coming back a week and a half later on Sunday IAD-CDG through Madrid was $660. With tax.

Posted by: TSD | March 11, 2008 12:06 PM

We were able to get $570 round-trip on US Airways from DCA to Shannon, Ireland (via Philly), from 6/28 to 7/7. We bought about 5-6 weeks ago.

Posted by: CB | March 11, 2008 4:34 PM

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