Oneworld member British Airways continues pushing some astonishing first class fares. In addition to their existing offers, the airline now sells tickets from Helsinki to Chicago for just €2,203. Your itinerary consists of two business class flights from Helsinki to London and two first class trips across the pond, with amenities such as lounge access included. These prices show up for departure from January through March 2022.
Touristic travel to the USA should be possible again from November 8, 2021, and onwards for fully vaccinated Europeans.
British Airways allows you to cancel all flights starting before August 31, 2022, in exchange for a voucher. You can use that voucher for booking made up until September 30, 2023. It cannot be exchanged for a monetary refund, though.
Our availability shows you all possible flight dates at the lowest fare for trips up to 28 days. It will forward you to British Airways’ website with preselected flight dates.
Long haul flights are operated by Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The seats are open suites in a 1-2-1 seating pattern – similar to the picture above. Flights from Helsinki to London are Airbus A320 services by either Finnair or BA, where you can enjoy their European business class product.
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, tickets are on sale until for departures before March 26, 2022. The fare has no expiration date and can thus be withdrawn anytime. The minimum stay requirement is 3 days (or a Sunday). Furthermore, your stay cannot exceed 12 months. Availability is fairly good in February and March 2022.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airline has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead of receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem-solving.
This especially applies to premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
British Airways issues the first class tickets in booking class A. European feeders are in business class, booking in J.
- 43,514 Award Miles + 25,450 Tier Miles on Alaska Mileage Plan
- 40,958 Points on Finnair Plus
- 25,454 Avios on Aer Lingus AerClub
- 25,450 Avios + 580 TP on British Airways Executive Club
- 25,450 Avios + 1,380 TP on Iberia Plus
- 25,450 Miles on American AAdvantage
- 14,698 Miles on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 14,696 Avios + 112 Qpoints on Qatar Privilege Club
- 14,696 Award Miles + 190 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
- 14,696 Miles on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 14,696 Award Miles on LATAM Pass
- 14,696 Award Miles + 26 Tier Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 14,696 Miles on Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
- 14,696 Miles on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 14,696 Miles on SriLankan FlySmiles
You can get very close to the 600TP needed for British Airways Executive Club Silver (and Oneworld Sapphire) with this ticket. To make sure you get the four legs in British Airways you need for the status, make sure your flights from London to Helsinki are operated by BA, not Finnair.
Information & Tips for USA
The USA offers many sights, natural wonders and cultural significance. Thanks to numerous airlines offering flights across the Atlantic, it is always pretty inexpensive to get there. Alternatively, you can also cross the Atlantic by boat.
Immigration, ESTA & Visa Requirements
The USA has one of the strictest entry regulations in the world. Most EU citizens, among others, are lucky to be able to participate in the so-called Visa Waiver Program. If you get an electronic entry permit (ESTA) for approximately €20, you don’t need a visa for entry.
The Best Time to Visit
Due to its sheer size, the perfect time to visit the USA varies greatly from region to region. In winter, Florida is very popular due to the mild temperatures. In the summer the West and East Coasts are flooded by tourists which drives up the prices for hotels and flights and during the Indian Summer in late autumn New England is a very popular destination. The hurricane season between July and September can be dangerous in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida and the southern states are regularly struck by these tropical storms. Blizzards occur from the East Coast to the Midwest during the winter months and regularly put air traffic and public life on hold.
The US dollar is widely used throughout the world and accepted as a currency in most tourist hotspots worldwide. That being said, carrying cash isn’t necessary in the US, all you need is a credit card! These are very common in the USA and are accepted pretty much everywhere without any issues. If you already have a credit card in your wallet, you should make sure that it does not charge a foreign currency fee if possible. Carrying a few dollars in cash doesn’t hurt though. You might need cash e.g. for the bus ticket if you want to buy it directly from the driver. Most of the time you even have to give exact change.
→ All Dealz for USA
Information & Tips for Chicago
Chicago is the third largest city in the USA with about 2.7 million inhabitants and an important economic and cultural center. The city attracts about 55 million visitors every year and has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.
Best Time to Visit
The best weather for tourists is in May, June, September and October. Summers can become very hot and humid, winters are often associated with snow storms and double-digit temperatures below zero.
From the Airport to the City Center
Two commercial airports serve the metropolitan area of Chicago, the larger Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (DCA). Long-haul flights are serviced by ORD, which is also a hub for Star Alliance carrier United Airlines and Oneworld carrier American Airlines. MDW mainly serves domestic flights and is Southwest’s hub.
Chicago O’Hare Intl. Airport
By CTA train (Blue Line, journey time 35 – 50 minutes) the journey from the airport to the city costs $5, in the other direction only $2.25. A taxi costs – depending on traffic – between $40 and $50, Uber and Lyft are slightly cheaper. The journey time can vary between 30 and 60 minutes.
Chicago Midway Intl. Airport
This airport can also be reached by CTA train (Orange Line, travel time 25 minutes, same prices as ORD). Taxis take about 30 minutes and cost $30 to $40, Uber and Lyft are slightly cheaper.
→ All Dealz for Chicago
Cover Picture: © British Airways