This is a pretty crazy/amazing deal, and almost most definitely a fare mistake (which means it could be pulled at any time and there’s no guarantee they’ll be honored). That being said, U.S. to Europe trips for under $300 roundtrip have been essentially unheard of for quite some time now.
Alitalia Japan, the Japanese website of the Italian-based Alitalia Airlines company, has a special promotion where you can score airline tickets for 25,000 Yen off (equivalent of $320 USD off)! That means you could get short-haul flights within Europe for essentially free, or you could get NY to Madrid for a little less than $300 roundtrip!
This is all possible because Alitalia flights themselves are already incredibly cheap, with roundtrip tickets from NYC to Madrid for approximately $650 for the basic economy seats. With ticket prices this low (average economy seats with most airlines start at roughly $900 roundtrip), don’t expect to get any sort of comforts with the flights. (I wouldn’t be surprised if you had to pay extra for each in-flight meal.)
This promotion, which again is most likely a mistake fare, will definitely not last long—or at least, the ticket sales that come out to $0 or ridiculously cheap won’t. So if you’re feeling adventurous and want to go to Europe for cheap, this is a great once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to get in on it!
Travel dates are for November 5th to March 7th and must book by October 26th. (But my bet is that this promotion won’t last until October 26th, so be a little be spontaneous if you’re on the fence about this and decide quickly.)
- You book via the Alitalia Japan website (remember to change to Japan version; use Google Chrome to translate back to English) and during checkout, enter the promocode “PROMOJP” which takes 25,000 YEN or approximately $320 USD off.
- Use ITA Matrix tool to find availabilities. Enable advanced routing code and enter “az+” to search Alitalia flights only.
- For full details, how to book, and the original article on all of this, please check out this article by gents over at TheFlightDeal. They’ve explained it much better than I could have, and have some more info on all of that.
Personally, I won’t be taking part in this crazy fare sale because I already have quite a few trips planned–including a trip to Europe for next summer. I would say that since Alitalia is one of those incredibly low-cost and low-comfort airlines, and that this deal clearly seams like a mistake on their part, there is a chance these tickets may not be honored. (If that’s the case, you should be able to get a full refund.) There have been situations in the past where frequent flyers took risks on mistake fares like this, and got lucky and got their tickets honored. So it does sometime pay to be spontaneous and adventurous! As always, book at your own risk.
Good luck and happy travels!
UPDATE at 11:50 PM Pacific on 10/20/12: Looks like the code is DEAD. Short lived. For those of you who snatched a cheap flight, congrats! Hopefully it’ll be honored. Alitalia still has some pretty cheap fares to and from Europe. The 25% off coupon code still works on the U.S. version of the website. Just enter promo code “SPECIAL” at checkout. Here’s a more detailed version of the instructions from TheFlightDeal.