All three major alliances (Star Alliance, SkyTeam, Oneworld) are currently selling very cheap business class tickets to almost all North American cities for less than €1,500 (often even less than €1,400), as long as you start your trip in Hungary, Denmark, Italy, or Greece. The list of possible destinations is huge, regardless if you wish to fly with British Airways, American Airlines, Lufthansa, United, Finnair, Air France, Delta, Air Canada, etc. Availability is generally very high from March through May 2021.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
Here are some of the cities that all alliances will fly to:
- Washington DC: €1,342
- Vancouver: €1,384
- Calgary: €1,388
- Houston: €1,392
- Denver: €1,392
- Minneapolis: €1,428
- Salt Lake City: €1,429
- Austin: €1,429
- Atlanta: €1,433
- Raleigh: €1,436
- Nashville: €1,440
- and more…
The flights are usually the cheapest from Budapest, and not all alliances and destinations are always available from each city, but generally, availability seems to be quite good for those 4 countries to the North American destinations.
Most of these flights will have 1-2 layovers in the alliance’s main hubs, such as Munich, London, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Toronto, etc. The possibilities are almost endless.
Search & Book
The three alliances did not only copy each other’s prices, but even their fare rules are almost identical, especially for SkyTeam and Oneworld. You can search for your perfect flight on Google Flights, as you’ll be shown the prices for all three alliances there. You can also use the filters to find the flight that suits your preferences the most.
SkyTeam & Oneworld
You can purchase the SkyTeam flights until November 22, 2020 and there’s no official expiration date for the Oneworld prices. The trips have to include a Sunday and your flight to North America has to be from Tuesday to Thursday, while returning to Europe from Monday to Wednesday.
You can fly until May 31st, as long as you respect a minimum stay requirement of 6 days.
The Star Alliance tickets are usually issued in booking class P. To give you an example, a Lufthansa roundtrip from Budapest to Vancouver via Munich should get you:
- 18,282 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 13,836 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
- 11,866 Points on SAS EuroBonus
- 11,864 Miles on Miles&More
- 11,070 Miles on LATAM Pass
- 11,070 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 11,070 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
- 11,068 Award Miles + 2,212 PQP on United MileagePlus
- 10,718 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
Most Oneworld tickets are issued in booking class I. To give you an example, a British Airways roundtrip from Budapest to Austin, with layovers in London, should get you:
- 29,146 Award Miles + 17,488 Tier Miles on Alaska Mileage Plan
- 23,454 Points on Finnair Plus
- 17,488 Avios + 360 TP on British Airways Executive Club
- 17,488 Avios + 1,230 TP on Iberia Plus
- 17,488 Miles on American AAdvantage
- 17,488 Avios on Aer Lingus AerClub
- 14,572 Avios + 102 Qpoints on Qatar Privilege Club
- 14,572 Award Miles + 170 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
- 14,572 Miles on SriLankan FlySmiles
- 14,572 Miles on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 14,572 Miles on LATAM Pass
- 14,572 Miles on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 14,572 Miles on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 11,658 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
The SkyTeam flights are issued in booking class Z. To give you an example, a KLM roundtrip from Budapest to Minneapolis via Amsterdam would get you:
- 19,632 Miles on Aeromexico Club Premier
- 19,632 Miles on China Eastern Eastern Miles
- 19,520 Award Miles + 14,640 MQM on Delta SkyMiles
- 19,014 Miles on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- 17,278 Miles on China Southern Sky Pearl Club
- 14,640 Miles on MEA Cedar Miles
- 14,640 Miles on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 12,396 Miles on Xiamen Airlines Egret Club
- 12,200 Miles on Saudia Alfursan
- 12,200 Miles on Vietnam Golden Lotus Plus
- 12,200 Miles on Aeroflot Bonus
- 12,200 Miles on Czech Airlines OK Plus
- 12,200 Miles on Air Europa Club
- 12,200 Miles on Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- 12,200 Miles on Aerolineas Argentinas Plus
- 12,200 Miles on Korean Air Skypass
- 12,200 Miles on China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- 9,758 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
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 Canada
The North American country of Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of surface area. In Canada, English and French are the official languages. Tourists visit Canada because of its many natural attractions and large cities, and the flight prices vary between the east and west coasts. Flights to the east coast e.g. to Toronto or Montreal regularly cost less than 400€. For flights to the west coast, e.g. to Vancouver or Calgary, prices are closer to 400€ – 600€. Other destinations are mostly only reachable with an additional domestic flight. Just like in the USA, most airlines now only offer cheap fares that do not include checked baggage. For checked baggage you should budget an additional 50€ per direction.
Best Time to Travel
Canada is a huge country with many varying climate conditions, but it is safe to say that the winters (November to March) are very cold and snowy in most regions. Summers are relatively mild and partly rainy.
Immigration & Visa Requirements
Most EU citizens do not need a visa for tourist stays of up to 6 months. However, an electronic travel waiver (eTA) must be applied for, similar to the ESTA required for entry into the USA. This costs CA$7 (~€5) and is valid for up to 5 years.
Canada’s national currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). One euro is approximately CA$1.36. Many credit cards may charge a foreign currency fee of up to 2% to pay in CAD.
Transfer from Canada to the USA
Canada is located north of the USA and is the only other country apart from Mexico that shares a border with it (2 borders, actually: Alaska borders Canada in the southeast!) At many airports in Canada US immigration is already done before departure, so you arrive in the USA as a “domestic” passenger in the domestic terminal which can potentially save you lots of time since you do not have to stand in line at customs upon arriving. By land the same entry formalities take place as at the airport or by train at the station in Canada. Most EU citizens don’t need a visa and can instead make use of the digital ESTA procedure.
→ All Dealz for Canada