Muted Scandinavian Rhapsody

July 22, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Scandinavian Airlines is having a sale for late summer and fall travel, with Delta hot on its flaps and Continental likely to catch up sooner or later, and we've got it all wrapped up for you. First off, these deals are no screaming bargains, but then the only screams we hear around here these days is when the hair pulling gets too intense—no happy outbursts, no songs of joy, let alone rapturous rhapsodies, just endless grousing and grumbling peppered with a few choice expletives we have to keep under wraps.

    In fact, for travel to this part of the world there hasn't been much to raise our voices about since the spring of 2007, when Malaysia Airlines still offered nonstop fares from Newark to Stockholm for as little as $380 round-trip, before some spiteful bean counter apparently realized that this was no way for an airline to make money and his boss took the route so far up-market in a desperate do-or-die move you can just forget them!

    If you were paying attention, we did alert you earlier on this blog to a small price war that raged uncharacteristically for a couple of days in mid-May, with peak summer fares to Copenhagen going for well under $600 (I was lucky enough to get a ticket and will be going soon, so please be sure to miss me). Since then things have been very quiet on the Northern front, and this non-event probably won't do a whole lot to upset the peace.

    As far as we can tell, prices have merely returned to the more reasonable levels seen earlier this year, so it's a little like getting a second chance. Still, that's small comfort and the nicest thing we can say about this sale is that fares are actually a bit better than advertised. Now, that's a lot like getting excited about the extra meat in your gourmet wrap, until you remember that it's still just chicken and you're still paying too much for it. But, hey, if you're hungry, you gotta eat, doncha?

    And that, folks, is a wrap!