USA: €351 Star Alliance Flights from Paris (€441 with Luggage)

Star Alliance member United Airlines continues to issue interesting nonstop fares from European airports to its hubs in the USA like Chicago, New York and San Francisco. With departure from Paris, you can reach the US West Coast for as little as €351 – a fare that includes hot meals and a cabin bag, but no checked bags. Luggage comes with the price tag of €90 for a round trip on Lufthansa’s website.

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You have to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days to enter the United States, with an approved vaccine, unless you are a US resident/citizen. You can read more about the entry requirements at the CDC.

Our availability calendar highlights all available flight dates at the lowest fare for trips up to 28 days. You can either book the flights on the Lufthansa Group’s website, or on United’s website. Either way, both websites display the same flights and prices.

Out of these destinations, San Francisco offers by far the best value for money, even if New York has the cheapest price.

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All promoted prices are Star Alliance fares without checked luggage allowance. Especially when flying United, you will also have other cutbacks:

Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian

On flights with Lufthansa Group carriers, you will be able to select your seat for free at the time of check-in. Star Alliance Gold member can currently bring one checked bag (23 kg). But it is not sure how long this will be possible.

United Airlines

When flying United you can still bring two pieces of checked luggage (23 kg each) as a Star Alliance Gold member, MileagePlus frequent flyer can even bring three pieces (32 kg each). But there are other disadvantages:

  • No seat selection. You will be assigned a seat during check-in and can’t change it anymore
  • Lowest priority while boarding
  • For MileagePlus members:
    • No complimentary Economy+ seats
    • Only 50% tier miles (instead of 100%)
    • No same-day changes
    • No upgrades
Air Canada

Air Canada’s Basic Economy fare isn’t as restricted as the one from Lufthansa and United. Star Alliance Gold members can still bring one piece of checked luggage (23 kg), and Air Canada Altitude customers can bring up to three pieces (32kg each).

  • Altitude members:
    • Only 25% earning rate for international flights, no miles for domestic
    • No upgrades

While you need to change planes at least once during your trip (most likely in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna or Zurich) for the cheapest price, a nonstop leg with United Airlines is almost always available on the in- or outbound leg. For a few euros more, you could also fly non-stop in both directions.

United uses Boeing 787 aircraft on flights between Paris and their American hubs. Those come with 3-3-3 seating in economy class and personal, on-demand entertainment for every passenger.

Search & Book

According to the fare rules, flights at the quoted fare are on sale until June 7, 2022. You have to stay at least six days or one night from Saturday to Sunday at your destination to get the cheapest tickets. The maximum stay length is three months.

Google Flights previews flight dates accurately. Use Google’s or – even better – our calendar to see when prices are cheapest and go directly to Lufthansa’s website or our flight search.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Better Customer Service
    In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines 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 receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.

    This especially applies for 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.
  3. 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.

Mileage

Here’s an example of how many miles you’d earn for the flights displayed in the screenshot above:

  • 3,005 Points on SAS EuroBonus
  • 2,731 Avios on Aer Lingus AerClub
  • 1,966 Award Miles + 393 PQP on United MileagePlus
  • 1,820 Miles on Asiana Club
  • 1,820 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • 1,820 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
  • 1,820 Miles on South African Voyager
  • 1,820 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • 1,820 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • 1,820 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
  • 1,820 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
  • 1,820 Miles on Azul TudoAzul
  • 1,820 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
  • 1,820 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
  • 1,820 Miles on Air India Flying Returns
  • 1,465 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
  • 1,208 Award Miles + 2,096 Tier Miles on Miles&More
  • 1,092 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
  • 910 Miles on TAP Miles & Go
  • 910 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
  • 910 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
Data provided by wheretocredit.com. Without guarantee on correctness.

Since operating carriers and possible connecting airports vary greatly, it might be best to use our mileage calculator. All carriers issue tickets in booking class K.

Destination

Hotel prices in New York and San Francisco are infamously high, even in lower categories. Whichever category and hotel you opt for, make sure to get the best price! Our recommendation is to search on booking.com, or even on our own Travel-Dealz hotel search:

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.

Climate diagram for New York City, New York (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)
Climate diagram for Los Angeles, California (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)
Climate diagram for Miami, Florida (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)

Currency

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 San Francisco

The city on the Pacific coast in California captivates with unique buildings like the Golden Gate Bridge but also with the serenity, enlightenment and cultural diversity of the population.

Best Time to Visit

Temperatures in San Francisco are quite warm and moderate all year round. But in winter you have to expect to get more rain. The best months for traveling are April to October.

Top 3 Sights

Golden Gate Bridge: There are only a few buildings that say ‘USA’ as much as the bridge that connects with San Francisco to Sausalito. You can pass the bridge either by car, on foot or by bike. The latter is highly recommended because it is somewhat tricky to get on the bridge by foot. When planning your trip, you should always check the weather forecast, as the bridge is often covered in thick fog. This might be great for taking spectacular pictures of the bridge, but passing it could be rather disappointing due to the limited visibility.

Alcatraz Island: You can reach the legendary prison island, on which Al Capone was imprisoned, by ferry. You can book tickets on the official website. Attention: Other sites that also offer tickets are only re-sellers who charge excessive prices. It is worth to book the tickets in advance because especially during high season the ferry can be full due to the limited number of seats.

Fisherman’s Wharf: An excellent place to start your visit to San Francisco. This old part of town – once the Little Italy of San Francisco – is famous for its shops, restaurants and the beautiful atmosphere by the water. It’s a nice place to walk around and get a taste of the city. It’s also a starting point for tours with spectacular views of the city.

→ All Dealz for San Francisco

Information & Tips for New York

It is THE dream destination in the USA. The 5 districts of New York City offer more than any other metropolis in the world. And due to the high number of flights to New York, it is usually the cheapest way to get to the USA.

The Best Time to Travel

The best travel time with moderate temperatures is from April to June and from September to November. Summers can bring heat waves with high humidity. Winters are often snowy and very cold.

Climate diagram for New York City, New York (Source: WMO World Weather Information Service)

From the airport to the city

New York City is served by three commercial airports: John F. Kennedy Intl. Airport in Queens (probably the most famous), Newark Intl. Airport in Newark, New Jersey (which is not located in NYC, but serves the metropolitan area just like the others) and LaGuardia Airport also in Queens (which is closest to the city).

John F. Kennedy Intl. Airport

Public transport: From Manhattan by subway or LIRR to Jamaica (price varies from $2.75 – $10.00), continue with AirTrain to JFK ($6). Travel time 45 – 60 minutes.

Taxi: To Manhattan $52.50 (+ $5.50 toll), 45 – 90 minutes depending on traffic.

Newark Intl. Airport

Public transport: Almost $20 with a combination of AirTrain Newark and NJ Transit to Penn Station. Almost 45 minutes drive.

Taxi: To Manhattan $50 – $70 (+ $8 toll), journey time 35 – 60 minutes depending on traffic.

LaGuardia Airport

Public transport: LaGuardia is only served by buses, these are slow and don’t have much space to store luggage, but with $2,75 they are very cheap.

Taxi: To Manhattan $20 – $30, journey time 15 – 30 minutes depending on traffic.

→ All Dealz for New York

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