Just now getting around to planning that August trip to Europe? Well, fares won't exactly be cheap, not this late in the game. Considering the money you'll spend just to squeeze in coach, you're not so far away from a business class fare. Might as well go Biz, right? That's the persuasive logic behind Air France's August Business Class Sale, at least. How does it compare with other Business Class fares out there? Voila!:
- Detroit to London, advertised as $957 one-way. Checking for travel from August 1 through August 9, we had no problem finding that $957 one-way fare, which comes to $2,196 round-trip, taxes and all. We searched Orbitz for business class flights on these dates, between Detroit and London, and Air France was listed at number one with a fare of $2,207 round-trip, with taxes.
- New York to Paris, advertised as $1,308 one-way. Using August 14 through August 22 as our dates of travel, we easily found the advertised fare of $1,308. Round-trip and with taxes, you're looking at a fare of $2,764. Plug in these dates on Orbitz, and you'll find a biz class fare of $2,176 round-trip, with taxes, on American Airlines. And better yet, all-business class newbie airline L'Avion (tel. 866/692-6759; www.us.lavion.com), which operates between Newark and Paris, has a much better fare for these dates. Round-trip, taxes and all, we found $1,693.
- Miami to Madrid, advertised as $1,137. This fare isn't as easy to come by, but we did find it for August 9, combined with a $1,138 return fare for August 21, for a total of $2,375 round-trip, with taxes. We found a slightly lower by-a-nose fare of $2,351 round-trip with American Airlines by searching Orbitz.
- San Francisco to Florence, advertised as $1,478. We searched for travel from August 8 through August 20 and found a total round-trip fare of $3,079, with taxes. That's far better than our $5,985 fare with British Airways in our Orbitz results for these dates.
- Los Angeles to Vienna, advertised as $1,425. For travel from August 1 through August 16, we found a fare of $2,982 round-trip, with taxes. Our follow-up search on Orbitz also lists Air France as having the best fare, at $2,986 round-trip, with taxes.