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Right now there’s an excellent British Airways Premium Economy fare to the West Coast being widely discussed but it comes with the catch that you need to be prepared to depart from Oslo. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this fare pop up so, because it comes up reasonably often, because it can be tricky to find and because Oslo isn’t the only departure point that offers up good BA Premium Economy fares, I thought I’d explain how to find them.
Finding Great British Airways Premium Economy Fares To The West Coast
A little bit of experience helps here because there are certain departure cities that, historically, offer up these great British Airways Premium Economy fares to the West Coast. These are:
You may occasionally find good Premium Economy fares for departures from Helsinki or Düsseldorf but, in my experience, those two cities are more likely to offer up good Economy Class fares.
What can make finding these fares tricky is the fact that the stalwart of the great fare search, ITA Matrix, is very likely to let you down when you’re searching for these fares (unless you know how to use very specific Matrix commands) – Google Flights is the search facility to use.
Unfortunately, because Google Flights only allows you to search for departures from up to 5 airports, if you didn’t already know to search for departures from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen, finding these fares may take you some time….or you may miss them completely.
ITA Matrix allows you to search for departures from as many airports as you want but, in this case, it’s incapable of finding the Premium Economy fares that we’re discussing even if you input reasonably specific search criteria.
Here’s an example of Google Flights pulling up one of the great Premium Economy fares between Copenhagen and LA for travel in November:
Sadly, even if you’re specific enough to let ITA Matrix know that you’re looking for….
- British Airways flights with a connection
- Departing Copenhagen
- Booking into the Premium Economy cabin
- For any dates in November
…you’ll end up with nonsense results like this:
Even if you ask Matrix to search for oneworld fares rather than specifically BA advertised fares you still get a nonsensical set of results:
The great Premium Economy fare is there but ITA is not showing it in the results….which isn’t very helpful.
Yes, I could now explain how to use ITA Matrix commands with specific fare codes which would help you find these fares but that’s just unnecessarily complicated.
The best way to search, as I’ve mentioned, is to use Google Flights. Make sure you select Premium Economy as the class of service you’re looking for and then specify Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as your possible departure points.
Even before you go to enter the dates of travel the search facility may start showing you when the great fares are to be found:
Don’t limit yourself to LA as a destination either – you’ll often find great Premium Economy fares to San Francisco….
….and San Diego too:
Other Things To Consider
Positioning to cities like Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen before flying on to your preferred destination can be a great way to save quite a bit of money but, if you don’t think things through, you may not save as much as you could have done.
Here are a few things to think about:
Check how much it’s going to cost you (in cash or in Avios/miles) to get to Oslo/Stockholm/Copenhagen. There may be great Premium Economy fares available from all three but getting to one or more of those cities may be costly and uneconomical.
Check to see which of the options available to you would allow you to connect (safely) on the same day as the departure to the West Coast. Copenhagen is usually a good bet for this as there’s usually a departure around 12:50……
….which gives you plenty of time to get to Copenhagen earlier that same day and avoid the need to pay for a hotel for the night before.
Try Searching For Multi-City Itineraries
Positioning to another city to book a great fare will save money but can be inconvenient….so why inconvenience yourself in both directions if you don’t have to.
To get the best Premium Economy fares you’ll usually have to depart from and arrive back into one of the three cities I’ve been discussing but, if you’re prepared to pay a little more, you may be able to fly directly back into your home airport.
Take this example of a multi-city itinerary which originates in Copenhagen but returns the traveler back into London Heathrow:
This itinerary costs around $200 more than one that returns back to Copenhagen but, for some, $200 may be a price worth paying if it means not having to fly on to Copenhagen after a transatlantic overnight flight only to fly back to London almost straight away.
Also, the extra cost of flying directly into London (and terminating there) is partly offset by not having to pay for a flight to get you back to London from Copenhagen (in this example).
Great BA Premium Economy fares to the West Coast aren’t a rarity – you just have to know which cities they’re most likely to be offered from and how to search for them. Everything is pretty simple after that.