There is a great one day fare sale offered by oneworld carrier Air Berlin for today (Dec 19th) only. Rates are sub $390 and slightly more all over January and February, but that's where the party ends.
Using matrix.itasoftware.com I was able to load the calendar with JFK-TXL (Berlin Tegel - BER has been delayed in opening). January as you can see has several dates showing $401, though upon closer examination, I am only able to replicate at $390. I am always happy when the prices come back lower.
Busy in January? How about February?
Again, dates all over the place are open, and others very reasonable. Even a basic long weekend has convenient flights and would be affordable if you wanted to get to Europe for a bit. According to the flight times I was able to produce, you could surprise your Valentine with an evening flight (5:55PM) on February 13th and celebrate Valentine's day in a cafe in Berlin coming back Monday afternoon in time for dinner in NYC.
There are worse gifts you could think of... I am pretty sure I have given them in fact.
For those that are unaware, Air Berlin joined oneworld last year and therefor you can earn status and miles for the AAdvantage (or any other oneworld) program. But don't get too excited. These book into fare class W which according to the following chart earns 50% elite qualifying points and 25% redeemable miles flown. Ouch, that's just 3950 EQP and 1975 miles for a $390 trans-atlantic ticket.
There is another way to look at it though of course. It's a $390 trans-Atlantic ticket! Who am I to complain?
I toyed around with some other bits of the fare, like reversing the direction. Say you wanted to pick up on another fare you had already purchased, or were based in Europe - you could fly TXL-JFK for the same price. You could also adjust the dates and come back on any days that appear to have the lowest fare available.
For our purposes, the Sherpa and Sherpstress could use a flight back in late January but want to extend out our departure back to Europe (for which we will have to find a one-way or yet another bookend) as far as possible leaving Berlin for the States January 23rd and essentially booking the first part of another trip back to Europe at the end of February (27th). This fare allows long stays.
The best part about these fares however, is that you can piggy-back other fares off this deal. We use MAN (Manchester) as a base in the UK as we have friends there and know the fares well. A god deal is usually $700-800 depending on the time of year to either Chicago or onward, maybe closer to $680 for New York, but because of the very high Air Passenger Duty (an oppressive British tax), the fares usually do not get much lower.
If we apply this deal and dates, and go open-jaw with a long trip, TXL-JFK stop JFK-MAN I can get great rates through March and perhaps beyond. It looks as though other carriers have matched some of these segments as well.
Just $613 for this trip is a great deal so don't be afraid to adjust departure and arrival cities for a little more money if it makes more sense for you.
At $389.90 per roundtrip, this should make just about anybody a buyer!