“Cheap” has always been a relative term when you’re trying to jaunt across the Atlantic. Traditionally the dollar hasn’t stacked up against the euro or the British pound, so most of us are left outside, looking in, at those selfies at the Louvre and humblebrag posts from the Colosseum.
But if you’ve been keeping tabs on the near-daily offerings of discount flights to Europe that’ve been cropping up this summer, you’ve no doubt noticed some routes have become surprisingly affordable, if not flat-out cheap. And it’s not just flash-in-the-pan deals. Some players, it turns out, are scheming to make low-cost flights to Europe a permanent business model.
The airline that seems to be letting the air out of all the airfares is one you might not have heard of, let alone flown: Norwegian. But it’s doing yeoman’s work to make flights across the pond a non-luxury. The world’s sixth-largest low-cost carrier regularly sells no-frills tickets from the East Coast to Barcelona for $150, to Paris for $149, to London for $99, and to Copenhagen for $139. It will fly you from Oakland and LA to Barcelona and Paris for dirty-low rates as well. When you scope the full list of Norwegian destinations, add 20% to the quoted euro prices to get your rough total in dollars.