SkyTeam carriers Delta, Air France, and KLM have teamed up to offer very cheap business class flights from Helsinki to various US destinations. Fantastically, the cheap prices are also available for flights to the West Coast.
Air France and KLM will let you cancel all trips until December 31 for free. You would first get a voucher, which you can then get a full refund on. If you’re traveling in 2022, you can only rebook the flights, paying a (possibly high) fare difference. You can read the exact rules here.
The outbound flight has to take place from Monday through Thursday. There’s availability from November onward.
All reasonable destinations from Helsinki:
- Seattle: €938
- Boston: €938
- Washington DC: €943
- Dallas: €943
- Tampa: €947
- Houston: €973
- Orlando: €973
- Philadelphia: €981
- Pittsburgh: €981
- Chicago: €1,003
- San Francisco: €1,010
- Miami: €1,012
- Los Angeles: €1,061
- Nashville: €1,139
- Cleveland: €1,144
- San Diego: €1,170
- Phoenix: €1,175
- Charleston: €1,185
- Memphis: €1,191
- Savannah: €1,202
- Portland: €1,207
- Denver: €1,121
- St. Louis: €1,235
- New Orleans: €1,235
- Las Vegas: €1,262
- Palm Springs: €1,287
- Austin: €1,288
- San Antonio: €1,342
For a similar price, you could also depart from Riga, Vilnius or Tallinn when booking through Delta Air Lines.
Usually, the flights will have a layover, usually either in Amsterdam or Paris. During the flights, no matter which airline you select, you’ll receive free food and drinks.
We expect further shakeups in the airline industry over the following months. Some services might be cancelled, aircraft changed or downgraded. The schedule we describe may very well change.
Before Covid-19, Air France still had 4 different business class versions, but now, as the A380 & A340 have left the fleet, only 3 remain. The business class in the A380 was no longer up to today’s standards, unlike the business class that’s installed in the Boeing 787-Dreamliner and Airbus A350, which is modern and comfortable. This business class is now continuously being installed in other Air France planes as well.
By now, modern seats have also become the norm at KLM. Its business class is definitely not a bad choice, also thanks to the good service. Like many other airlines, the Boeing 787 always has the newest business class seats installed.
If you’re travelling to North America, Delta is surely not a bad choice, especially if the route is operated with an Airbus plane. The seats in the Boeing 767 are good, but already quite old. The seats in the A330 and especially the A350, however, are on an extremely high level. All A330neo and A350 planes already have the Suite seats installed, which offer maximum privacy.
Search & Book
The minimum stay requirement is one Sunday. The outbound flight has to take place from Monday through Thursday. You are allowed to take the inbound flight up to 3 months after the outbound flight.
You can find suitable dates via Google Flights (instructions). You should book directly on KLM’s website or Air France’s website once you’ve found your ideal dates.
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.
The long-haul flights are issued in booking class Z, while the short flights to Paris/Amsterdam are issued in booking class J. The flights should at least give you a 110% credit, potentially more depending on your frequent flyer program of choice. Here’s an example mileage credit for a roundtrip to Seattle:
- 12,434 Kilometers on China Eastern Eastern Miles
- 12,406 Miles on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- 12,360 Award Miles + 9,859 MQM on Delta SkyMiles
- 11,321 Kilometers on China Southern Sky Pearl Club
- 9,271 Miles on MEA Cedar Miles
- 9,271 Miles on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 8,315 Miles on Saudia Alfursan
- 8,315 Miles on Czech Airlines OK Plus
- 8,020 Miles on Vietnam Golden Lotus Plus
- 8,020 Miles on Aeroflot Bonus
- 7,784 Miles on China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- 7,784 Miles on Xiamen Airlines Egret Club
- 7,726 Miles on Aeromexico Club Premier
- 7,726 Miles on Aerolineas Argentinas Plus
- 7,726 Miles on Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- 7,726 Miles on Air Europa Club
- 7,726 Miles on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 7,726 Miles on Korean Air Skypass
- 6,476 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 3,352 Award Miles + 51 XP on FlyingBlue
Hotels in the US are definitely quite pricey. Because of that it definitely makes sense to compare prices but also location and reviews, just to get the best quality possible for your budget. A good tool to do that is booking.com:
If you are lucky, you can also use on of our hotel vouchers and coupons:
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
Cover Picture: © Air France