First sighting of this year's Business Class fare deals to Europe

As I've written about before, many airlines offer Business Class fare deals between the US and Europe during the summer when business-related travel is low and vacation travel is at its peak.
UPDATE (7/2018): Trip Report here!
We really want to attend a college friend's 50th Birthday party this summer in Poland, so I've had SkyScanner and Google Flights tracking fares and emailing me with any deals that show up. Based on previous years, I was expecting to actually purchase the flight sometime in April, but I got an alert last night (mid February!) that Singapore Airlines has a great deal on their direct service from New York to Frankfurt – many dates around or below the $2000 mark! Keep in mind that an Economy ticket on the same flight is currently $1578 (and competing airlines' flights are all north of $1400).

I bought our tickets with my Chase Sapphire Reserve, and as with my SAS flight last summer, I'll earn $300-ish worth of Chase and United points for this flight, bringing the effective price very close to that of an Economy ticket. I didn't even investigate using points for these flights because it's very difficult to make above 2¢ per point when fares dip this low. I'd rather save them for flights to Asia where we routinely get 3¢ or more for them (and where there aren't these kinds of regular Business Class sales)

A great deal!

We've actually taken this flight before in 2012 and it's perfect – it's late enough departure that you can actually fall asleep as soon as you reach cruising altitude and then land in Frankfurt with the whole day still ahead of you. (Many transatlantic flights leave and arrive several hours earlier, making sleeping onboard difficult). Singapore's A380 has very wide Business Class seats that convert into fully-flat beds.

Singapore A380 Business

End of an era?

The brand-new 737 Max and the A321LR planes are poised to transform the transatlantic market in 2018 and beyond. These comparatively cheap, single-aisle planes will now allow Low Cost Carriers to offer service to Western Europe from the East Coast. Primera Air is one of the first new entries in this category, but we're going to see JetBlue and WestJet enter this market as well. Norwegian is also ordering a bunch of these planes to expand their low cost offerings. Even legacy carriers like Aer Lingus are getting on board with the new plane.

All of that means this will likely be the last year for the "traditional" summer Business Class fare sale. If we decide to to go Europe next year or in 2020, who knows how the added competition will have shaken things up. Maybe we'll be blowing our stash of JetBlue miles for a transatlantic Mint flight. Or maybe one of the carriers will expand the currently-tiny number of daytime eastbound crossings and we'll be on an LCC (Economy and Premium Economy are vastly more tolerable on a daytime flight). Maybe British Airways will retire some of their 747s on the NY – London run to decrease capacity and drive up costs. Maybe Newburgh (SWF) will succeed at becoming New York City's hub for transatlantic Low Cost Carriers. Until then I'm excited about being back on the upper deck of an A380!


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