Why have flights to Europe been so pricey, even in spring?

Tracy Stewart, March 19, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q: Why are airfares so high to Europe, even for spring travel? I've read that the airlines have shifted a lot of their planes over to foreign routes, which are more profitable than domestic, so wouldn't the increased capacity lead to lower fares? When will we see some deals?

    A: With the weak US dollar, many Europeans are discovering that our country is a shopping paradise and an all around bargain, so they're coming here in large numbers, and of course, they have to go back home too, so I imagine that is keeping fares high. Plus, there are so many fees, taxes, and surcharges associated with international fares that the final price can be a shocker. Having said that, last April the airfarewatchdog.com team found (are you sitting down?) $378 round-trip, all-tax-included, fares from Boston to London on Virgin Atlantic for June, July, and August travel, so there's no telling when deals will pop up (it can really be worth while to check fares every day. These fares were available only on Travelocity.com, and only during a sale period of about four days until you find something). They were not advertised. We've also seen some great fares for spring travel from New York's JFK, such as nonstops on Air France to Paris for $450 round-trip including all taxes, for May travel. So you might consider searching from New York as well (even adding $78-$100 round-trip flights on JetBlue from Boston to JFK, you may still save money compared to flights from Boston.