“Airline demand is falling right now,” Clark says. “It normally does in the fall, but they are falling more than normal and fares are looking a lot lower than they were at this time a year ago.”
Why Now Is the Time To Travel to Europe for Cheap
Indeed, according to data from travel site Hopper, domestic fares are down 14% over the Thanksgiving holiday compared to last year and “International travelers will see price relief compared to last year.”
Clark says Southwest Airlines has been leading the way with fall fare sales, which cover travel through autumn and winter until the end of February — but they’re not alone.
“A number of other airlines — Hawaiian, Alaska, JetBlue – have been doing various versions of sales for the off-peak travel, which is generally now through the end of February,” Clark says. “This year, there are going to be unusually good bargains.”
American, United and Delta Air Lines have mainly stayed on the sidelines when it comes to fall travel deals, so Clark says, “You have to look particularly at the mid-priced airlines to find the better deals in the marketplace.”
Want To Get the Cheapest Flights to Europe? Read This
Because prices to Europe are so cheap right now, you should be able to find a competitive fare from your home airport. If not, Clark has recommended the following two-step process.
1. Buy a Cheap Fare to New York on a Discount Airline
You don’t have to book on a major airline – and spend a lot of money – to get to New York. Here are some discount airlines that fly to New York (but make sure to check all the airlines):
2. Buy a Cheap Fare From New York to Europe on a Mid-Priced Airline
Clark points out that the most expensive flights typically will be to London, Rome or Paris, because that’s where American travelers want to go. To find a deal, consider other European destinations or fly into a city that’s not as popular and then take a small carrier to London, Rome or Paris.
To give you a sense of the types of fares that are available from New York to Europe, I went on Google Flights and plugged in a roundtrip fare from JFK to Lisbon, Portugal in mid-January 2024. The cheapest fare I found was on Air Portugal for $442.
Screenshot via Google Flights
Google Flights indicated that U.S. flights to Lisbon are $71 lower than they normally are at this time.
Screenshot via Google Flights
How To Find Cheap Flights to Europe
To find cheap travel deals to Europe, Clark says, “You’ve got to shop around.”
Go to Google Fights
- To find deals to Europe, go online to Google.com/Flights.
- Instead of typing in your home city as your departure city, type in “New York.”
- Scan the map to see fares from select cities. Don’t forget to zoom in to see more destinations.
- Comparison shop between the local airports there – LaGuardia, JFK and Newark – to find the best deal.
If you have some flexibility in your trip dates, click on the Price Graph to find a time when fares are even cheaper.
Clark says now is the time to book your European trip. If the flights from your home city are beyond your budget, try flying out of New York.
“It’s just ridiculous how much money you can save right now,” he says. “There’s just so much airline competition in New York that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the United States.”
Want to save big on travel? Follow Clark’s #1 travel rule.