Calgary to Lisbon, Portugal - $790 roundtrip after taxes
For those of you that were following the KLM contest (and even those that weren't), the votes are in, and Lisbon, Portugal has been chosen to go on sale for the next 48 hours from Calgary.
It's perhaps not *quite* as exciting (to me, personally) as the deal to Turkey for $750 last year, but $850 to Lisbon is still a pretty amazing price, relative to the usual bottom price of about $1300-$1400.
Kudos to KLM for holding this contest once again. The world of airfares is cut-throat, so to have an airline drop their price drastically below their usual levels and force their competitors do the same is a rare and welcome treat, especially when it's to interesting destinations.
Just like last year's Turkey deal, other airlines have responded by dropping their prices to Lisbon as well, to match KLM's price drop.
The easiest way to explore what's available is to use Google Flights Explorer.
After setting it up for Calgary to Lisbon, I would change the number of stops to 'Up To 1 Stop' from the pulldown menu and begin exploring. (Although some of Air Canada's flights have 2 stops in one direction, and it will eliminate those).
As far as availability goes, the cheap fares are available on flights from mid October to the first week of May.
However, as long as you depart on or before May 6th, you can come back later than mid-May. May 6 to May 21 is valid for example. You can even come back in July if you want, as long as you depart May 6 or earlier.
Once you've narrowed down your dates, you may want to try them on Kayak, which can offer more powerful filters and sort capabilities than Google Flights.
And as I mentioned, various airlines besides KLM are matching this price, which includes Air Canada, Air France, and Lufthansa.
UPDATE: British Airways is now undercutting all other airlines on this price drop. Their flights to Lisbon are down to $804 roundtrip, but it's also causing certain flights to drop as low as $790 roundtrip when a combination of airlines are used.
Certain airlines always offer a free stopover (or just a few dollars more). On KLM for example, you can get a free stopover in Amsterdam. On Air France, you can get a free stopover in Paris.
Here's a tutorial on how to book free stopovers in Amsterdam on KLM. The process is similar for booking a free stopover in Paris on Air France.
Temperatures in Lisbon in October are fairly pleasant, with average highs of 22C and average lows of 15C. May is similar, with average highs of 22C and lows of 13C. The months in between are 5 to 8 degrees cooler.
These prices should be around on most airlines, until KLM changes their fares back in 48 hours on Friday, July 26 .
For those of you that watch the Bachelorette (I don't, I swear!), you may remember that they recently visited Madeira, which is an island that is about a 2 hour flight from Lisbon...
Madeira has always been pretty high on my list of places that I want to visit (again, long before the Bachelorette ever visited, honest) and it can be reached on TAP Portugal from Lisbon for a very cheap price, often for under $120 roundtrip after taxes.
Search for flights from Lisbon (LIS) to Madeira, Portugal (FNC) in your favorite search engine. Potentially, you could visit Lisbon, Madeira, *and* either Paris or Amsterdam for less than $1000 for all flights, after taxes.
The Azores Islands are also pretty cheap to get to from Lisbon (under $150 roundtrip), and are about a 2 hour flight away. Whale and dolphin watching, diving, hot springs, and volcano climbing are some of the highlights of the Azores. Look for flights from Lisbon to Ponta Del Gada (PDL).
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