A New Year – what’s in store?

2018 has been and gone and was for me the busiest year I’ve had from a travel perspective. Between business and personal travel I ended up taking 61 flights on 17 airlines, traveling 96,000 miles through 33 different airports. I ended up the year with Delta Gold status and IHG Spire from flights and hotels which I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this year.

Most of the flights were in economy but I strategically used miles to travel in Thai First, Virgin Upper, Qantas and Cathay Business and thanks to Iberia’s promotion travelled up the front with them and BA. It was also interesting to try out Virgin’s and BA’s premium economy offerings across the Atlantic. As soon that will be the new business and business the new first for many business travelers.

While my intention was to travel less in 2019 the next six weeks show no sign of slowing down. A business trip to Tennessee will be followed by a long weekend in Europe spending a night Berlin and a couple in Dublin. I’ve been dying to fly on the Singapore A380 so used 30k United miles for JFK-FRA-TXL with the connection on Lufthansa and 13k Avios back from DUB – JFK with minimal charges.

Then February brings the years first “big trip” finally using the Hong Kong Airlines Error fare between LAX and PVG. I’ll be heading out to LA on the new United Dreamliner in Polaris on the way out and their new premium economy on the way back. The HKA legs will hopefully be on their newest A350s and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to sit in the queens nose once again, if only for an hour between BKK and HKT. The other flights will mainly be on 330s, which are still a nice change from the majority of my 2018 aircraft.

So by the end of February 35k miles and 17 flights will be flown. Further out, a weekend to visit to Boneyard in Tucson is planned and a week in Portugal booked for a very nice 44k SkyMiles in the height of summer.

I always find it nice to have a couple of trips booked in Jan/Feb to start the year off right and have something to look forward to in the New Year. That along with the fact that fares are cheaper and destinations less crowded make it the perfect time to travel. Wherever 2019 takes you enjoy it!!!

5 Great Ryanair routes in January for under a fiver

Earlier today I wrote about the Ryanair 7 day Black Friday Sale which is offering some really low fares around Europe in January. Here are some really great routes I found if you want to get away for a few days.

<img


src=”https://dealtravellercom.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/image003-7.png&#8221; height=”191″ class=”wp-image-816″ width=”910″>

Usually the places you actually want to go are restricted in sales like this. Not this time!! Get Booking.

Ryanair’s Black Friday 7 Day Sale

Love them or hate them Ryanair changed the way Europe travels. They now serve over 205 destinations and despite a few recent issues are one of the most on time and reliable airlines out there. Not to mention cheapest.

Presumably the recent pilot issues are behind this extended sale but they are offering a different deal a day until next Monday for flights in January.

A quick search today shows some real bargains. Dublin to London return for under €10 with respectable flight times. At that price you can even splash out and reserve a seat for €2.00.

Loads of routes are available so have a look, these prices almost make me want to move back to Europe.

United Airlines: Dublin – NYC just €273 Return


Last week we had Cork and Shannon and as expected today there are great fares from Dublin to NYC in November, December and early January with United Airlines. These start at €276 and are full service return fares with food, drinks, entertainment and will earn miles on any Star Alliance partner.


Available on Skyscanner and Momondo this  won’t be available for too long and is a much better option for crossing the Atlantic than some of the newer low cost options. 



Dublin – New York with United and Delta from €337 Round trip


Last month I wrote about my $200 round trip from Stewart airport to Edinburgh and back from Dublin with the new Norwegian Airlines service. While there are no fares that low in the coming months they have kept them pretty reasonable in the $300 – $400 range. I have been waiting for a reaction to these from the majors and it looks like today is the day.

http://bit.ly/2vuuXUd


United have just published fares for €337 ex. Dublin with Delta just a little bit more through the rest of the year and into 2018. When you take the time and cost of getting to Stewart into account these are great value as traditionally you were looking at €500+ who knows low long these will last but I wouldn’t be surprised to see AerLingus get involved and then we will have a nice little fare war on out hands. 

Static-Box

Another Canadian Error Fare: Vancouver to Dublin $245 


Looks like it’s Canada Day – there are also extremely cheap fares from Vancouver to Dublin in November and February next year. Again with Westjet and bookable via kayak.ie they are coming in at €208 or $245 


These include travel with British Airways and Westjet. So should be good for some Avios too.

Get booking.

If you would prefer leaving from Toronto check out the post from earlier here. 

http://bit.ly/2uK7xWU

Error Fare – Toronto – Dublin $227 USD 


Go to skyscanner.ca to book a super cheap error fare between Toronto and Dublin for $290 CAD or approx $230 USD with Westjet. There are stops in LHR and in Montreal on the way back so not the most direct route but is about $300 CAD cheaper than normal prices. 


Various dates are working in Feb so make your way to Ireland and try and catch a six nations game while you are there it won’t disappoint. As it’s an error hold off making other arrangements until the airline confirms the ticket. 

Slainte!!

Static-Box

Norwegian Airlines – Stewart Airport to Europe for $200 (Review)


Norwegian Airlines have been offering low cost transatlantic flights from Stewart Airport in Newburgh New York since the middle of June. Despite a few set backs the services are up and running to Dublin, Belfast, Shannon and Edinburgh using a mixture of brand new 737 Max and 737 – 800 aircraft. Over the past week the Deal Traveller has tried out both aircraft flying to Edinburgh on the Max and back from Dublin on the older 800 series. 

Getting to and from Stewart:


Stewart is located about 60 miles north of Manhattan. Outside of driving there are three ways of getting to and from the airport. 1.) There is a bus service from Port Authority Bus Station which costs $20 each way 2.) Metro North Hudson line between Grand Central and Beacon and a taxi from there. 3.) Metro North Port Jervis Line between Hoboken and Salisbury Mills and a taxi. 

The buses leave Manhattan well in advance of flight departures so I opted to take the train to Beacon for my outbound to Edinburgh. This cost $16.50 and took about an hour and forty minutes it was then a $30 taxi ride from Beacon to the airport. (The below number is the local cab firm in Beacon) The view along the Hudson is excellent when taking this route and arriving after the buses meant check in was  clear once I got there.


When I arrived back the experience taking the bus was seamless. It left about 30 minutes after the flight landed and got to Manhattan in under 90 minutes. Having already cleared immigration in Dublin arrival was super smooth and probably as good a commute as you can have from any of the NYC area airports. 

The Airport:


Stewart is a tiny airport with very little to do or look at. I would not recommend arriving with hours to spare. However on the brightside security moved very quickly and door to gate was probably 15/20 minutes. Pretty cool for an international flight. There is a small cafe and duty free shop but nothing else. 

However on arrival this is excellent gate to sidewalk was literally 90 seconds a huge benefit. 

The Aircraft:


My outbound flight to Edinburgh was on the brand new 737-Max. While it was cool to fly on an obviously brand new plane a 737 is still a 737 and there aren’t many differences to report. I chose to book seat 2F based off the original seat plan which was published when the flights went on sale. At that time there was not going to be a row 1 on the right hand side of the cabin. In the meantime they squeezed an extra row in and the lady in front of me looked very comfortable in 1F which had a lot of extra leg room. If row 1 is available it is worth paying th extra. There is no entertainment on board and all food and drinks cost extra. 


On the return from Dublin they operated the older 737-800 aircraft as it doesn’t have the range it means they cannot fly with full capacity so I got myself a row of three at the back of the aircraft for the daytime flight the allowed me stretch out a bit and sleep for most of the daytime flight. The captain announced a couple of hours in that we had a very clear view of Greenland and it was great to see and take some photos of for the first time. Unfortunately the ground staff got a little exited about boarding and left everyone wait in the tunnel for over 20 minutes which was unnecessary and very Ryanair like. 


Conclusion:

Crossing the Atlantic has always been exciting for me. Going to the big airports, travelling on wide bodied planes are part of the experience. While the food, drinks and entertainment in economy on the larger airlines has generally gone downhill over the years, I still find it a bit of an adventure. 

What Norwegian are offering kind of takes away from the romance of traveling. Sure this trip cost me under $200 in peak July for a round trip to Europe, absolutely unheard of even a year ago. But unless the savings are similar I don’t think I would use them on a regular basis. 

The ability to buy one way tickets is a bonus and a seamless arrival process was great but all in all it was a little disappointing. Bring back the 747….

Ireland to Vancouver €245 return Error Fare 


Amazing value this morning between Ireland and Vancouver. Fares that are usually as high as €1,000 can be booked from €245 from Shannon and Dublin. Flights are with Air Canada. 


These can be booked on momondo.ie and are through agent eflights.ie. Play around with dates and routes and see what fits but availability is in September and October. 

Book quick as they won’t last long. Happy travels. As it’s likely an error hold off booking any hotels etc until ticketed. 

Go backwards to go forward. Save big by connecting through London


The taxes on international flights out of London are notoriously high and are nearly always passed onto the consumer. However there are ways of getting around them if you start your route elsewhere and connect through London.

LHR-ORD-LHR


If we look at this Fare between London and Chicago at the end of the month, BA are charging over $1,800 for round trip economy. This is peak season but still very expensive.

DUB-LHR-ORD-LHR-DUB


However if we start the trip in Dublin and add a two extra flights to the itinerary the fare drops to under $1,100 for the exact same transatlantic flights as the tax has fallen off. 

While businesses don’t seem to mind this is a lot of money out of the leisure travellers pocket. You can also drop the second leg to Dublin if you don’t check a bag or make sure there is an airport change in the intinery. 

A $700 fare difference is considerable when you are sitting in the same seat on the same plane. While a one way from London to Dublin to position yourself would cost between $20 and $70 depending on the details. 

The next time you are flying out of Heathrow have a look. $700 would give you a very good night out in Dublin before you fly…..