How I’m flying to Europe for $136 (and how you can too)

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How I’m flying to Europe for $136 (and how you can too)

cheap flights to Europe

cheap flights to Europe

How I’m flying to Europe for $136 (and how you can too)

I’ll take you back to February 2011. I was checking in for my flight to Oslo at New York’s JFK airport. I walked past a flight crew dressed in red uniforms. They were all Asians and I looked for some kind of mark identifying their airline. Were they from Air China, ANA, Asiana, Singapore Airlines? I couldn’t tell. Later as I was boarding the plane, I was surprised to see the same flight crew. Norwegian Airlines had outsourced their whole crew!


I’m always on the lookout for good flight deals. I have the advantage of a flexible schedule because of my location independent lifestyle. For short haul flights, I generally fly low-cost carriers. But they’re not always available for the long haul.
Usually one airline emerges each year with trans-Atlantic deals beating every competitor. In 2012 it was Iceland Air. They had the added bonus of a free stopover in Reykjavik. Before that, it was Aer Lingus with the best deals. Last year, as well as this year, it’s Norwegian. That’s why I’m flying into Oslo. Again.
I’m fortunate to have a friend in Oslo. It helps to know somebody when you land. I also have the added benefit of traveling with a Eurail pass. In a day, I can be down in Denmark, and from there it’s only another day to Germany, the Netherlands, and much of the rest of Europe.
cheap flights to Europe

A word of caution about Oslo

Be careful. That $147 you spent on your flight could easily be your bar tab on your first night in Oslo. One time a Norwegian friend of mine asked me to pick up a bottle of duty-free rum for him. I did. Later that evening he took me out for a beer. The cost of the beer at a pub and bottle of liqueur nearly canceled each other out.
Do some research and be prepared. Oslo is one of the most expensive cities on earth. But I’ve been there twice and it hasn’t broken me. If you avoid eating and drinking out and minimize your accommodation costs, you won’t come out too badly. Most of the sites and museums are free or well-priced. Take a look at my Poor Man in Oslo post for specific ideas.
cheap flights to Europe

Where you can find cheap flights to Europe

I booked directly on Norwegian’s site. They’ve got great deals to cities all over Europe from New York, Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, and Oakland/San Francisco.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. avery says:

    hey stephen, thanks for this great tip. i tend to hear about these deals after all has died down. any suggestions on being on the up and up regarding which airline is the hot one of the year?

  2. Stephen Bugno says:

    Hi Avery, Some deal are short and end quick. I’m talking more about which airline is having the best rates for a season or year. So you should catch them in time. Just scanning travel headlines and travel social media and subscribing to travel newsletters is a good way to find out.

  3. Claus Gurumeta says:

    This is amazing!

    When I moved back from London UK to Vancouver Canada, I flew with Iceland Air… it was not AS cheap, but it was still an amazing price, especially for a one way trip! The stopover option is great too, as it allows people to add another country to their travels (And Iceland was a magnificent country to visit).

    Will check Norwegian Air for my next Europe trip, thanks for the trip 🙂

  4. Stephen Bugno says:

    Iceland Air is convenient for the stopover, but they are not the cheapest anymore. Now there is Wow Air which is a budget airline serving Iceland. But Norwegian is great because they fly so many destinations and are cheap.

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