Use your Hong Kong Airlines Error Fare Miles to travel A330 Business Class in Europe.

Last week we had one a few good Error fares this year with Hong Kong Airlines releasing business class round trip fares from the west coast to Asia for approx $600. Lots of people jumped on these and the airline has committed to honoring them. This was great news and I look forward to a trip to Shanghai and beyond next spring.

An added bonus of these fares is that they have been ticketed in Fare class J, which means they will also accrue airmiles in their program Fortune Wings Club. These miles will be usable with their partners in this club which include Hainan Airlines amongst others along with international airlines such as TAP and Alaska.

One very interesting new redemption you could make with these miles could be on the new fifth Freedom route between Dublin and Edinburgh. This was launched earlier this year and is operated by a Airbus A330.

Based on the short distance would not require many miles to try out their business class once seats are available. The flight operates direct from Dublin to Beijing twice a week and via Edinburgh twice a week.

Many of the people who jumped on last weeks deal will be frequent travelers and looking for an interesting way to spend the attached mileage haul. So why not hop between Ireland and Scotland in style….

The highs and lows of the Error Fare – a missed Air France First Class opportunity.

I have had mixed success with Error Fares over the past couple of years. With every one you catch, you miss one or the dates, routes don’t work for you.

I don’t live on the west coast but would have happily made my way over there to connect onto this mornings fare. $637 one way or $1500 return to fly Air France A380 First Class to London via Paris.

I need to be in London that Friday so went straight for it once I saw it. Hoping to snare a one way ticket for the outbound leg.

Sadly when I got to the booking page the airline had pulled the fare and it was back to normal which is slightly higher and a little out of my price range, at $13,000 one way. So back to Norwegian it is……

It will be interesting to see if Air France honor this one as it may prove quite costly. If anything you can see the huge discrepancy in fares when these errors appear. Oh well you win some, you lose some – onto the next one.

Summer 2018, Primera Air: Newark/Boston – London/Paris/Birmingham from $99

Another year another low cost airline. Launching in April 2018 Primera Air will offer rock bottom, no frills fares across the Atlantic. They have leased two A321 neos which will operate from Boston and Newark to London Stansted, Birmingham and Paris.

Much like Norwegian and Wow the lowest fares will only get you a seat and once you add seat selection, meals etc. the price will rise. But we’re all getting used to that now so what’s the big deal.

Currently the basic fares out of the US in the summer months are very reasonable actually starting at the promised $99 and rising to $200. The return legs are slightly higher but it is possible to get a round trip for between $400 and $500. They are charging $80 to upgrade and include seat selection, checked bag an a meal. So even if we call it $660 it’s still pretty reasonable for peak summer.

The Newark flight to London departs at 10.50pm so really all I would be concerned with is a decent seat to try and sleep. Those are pricing at $50 for exit and XL seats and $40 for anywhere else onboard. Rows one to four are a premium class which is pricing closer to $750 all-in the day I looked.

I’m pretty tempted to buy a one way $139 fare in June as I know I’ll need it and I don’t believe anyone will go cheaper. While Stansted isn’t ideal in some respects it will allow low cost connections all over Europe without the need to go into London.

However I do think it will be interesting what the major airlines do next summer and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a price war as there are now so many seats over the Atlantic. So if you are booking a summer family round trip maybe avoid for now, but if you need a cheap one way they are unlikely to go lower than this.

St. Patrick’s Day in NYC for just €338 with Aer Lingus ex. Dublin

Aer Lingus are offering fares from €338 between Dublin and New York in March 2018. These are usually between $550 and $600. March is a great time to visit New York with the St. Patrick’s day festivities a highlight. Aer Lingus is a great way to cross the Atlantic with a comfortable modern fleet and famously friendly crew. 

Available all through March and bookable on momondo and skycanner grab these fares before they go. 

Christmas in New York: Swiss Airlines London – NYC £300

Big Push on NYC today from Europe. There are fares available on Swiss Airlines from London via Zurich outbound and Geneva inbound to New York over the Christmas period. Usually fares at this time are much higher as you can see in the other deals as they are always unavailable during Christmas and new year. 

Swiss operate A300s on this route and offer excellent service. These flights will also accrue airmiles with Star Alliance. Booking is through Momondo. 

Christmas in New York is something to experience. From the tree at Rockefeller centre, ice skating in Central Park to some pretty serious shopping. You won’t find a better fare to get there from London this year.

Error Fare Success Story- Europe and Brazil for $210 

An Error Fare is when an airline or travel agency booking system offers lower fares than usual due to some sort of system glitch. They occasionally leave off certain taxes, fees or surcharges which can dramatically reduce a ticket price. 

While in the grand scheme of things very rare,it is not surprising as many of these booking systems are now very old and would require huge investment to renew. Meaning the airlines tend to let these go through as leakage and would in most cases honor any bookings made. 
When an Error Fare pops up there tends to be an online frenzy as people from all over the world try to make dates work and book at the same time, hoping the airline doesn’t find and fix the problem before they book. Usually they don’t fit into people’s travel plans and are not from/or to convenient airports. However with every rule comes and exception. 

Last year I knew early on that I would need to be in Europe and Brazil for separate weddings within a week of each other. Living in New York this was going to be a stretch financially based on “normal airfares”. However along came an Error Fare to my rescue. 

One morning in March twitter exploded with a TAP Fare starting in the US and ending in Brazil with a stop in Lisbon. It was perfect and I jumped on it ending up with two flights New York to Lisbon on September 8th and Lisbon to São Paulo the following week on September 12th. The fare cost $210 and I even could have added extra legs to it in Europe and onward in Brazil had I not panic bought as soon as I saw it. To put in perspective the same flights with TAP this year are well over $1,000. 
Booking the main flights so early gave me ample time to work on my itinerary within Europe and in South America. Using a mixture of discount airlines and Air miles this turned into a pretty epic trip taking in 8 countries and using 10 different airlines. (More on that to come) In addition TAP use the bid upgrade system allowing you to bid for an upgrade to business class. I entered the minimum of $325 for the JFK-LIS leg and it was accepted. So the trip started in style.

When an Error Fare pops up and it fits travel plans book it. The worst that can happen is the airline cancels it. So maybe hold off on hotels etc. until a period of time has passed and your ticket is confirmed. But if you are flexible and a little adventurous book it and come up with a plan. I missed an Air Philippines fare to Cebu round trip a few months back. It was under $200 and I pulled out at the last minute. While Cebu is a little out of the way, it is A) probably worth a visit and B) has cheap connections to all over Asia. 

It is all the more satisfying looking out over Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon knowing you got there for half nothing.