February 6, 2004 -- Northeasterners should be used to snow by now, so there's no reason to fear Eastern Europe in the winter. The super-low roundtrip fares we've been seeing from Finnair and Austrian Airlines are making it worth braving the cold in these inexpensive, exotic destinations -- you'll save hundreds on airfare over summer rates.
Finnair has had a sale on for a while now; their sale ends Saturday. The prices are excellent, and seats are still available. For flights from New York's JFK airport via Helsinki, you're looking at (plus the usual $130 tax):
- Copenhagen, Stockholm or Tallinn: $249
- Helsinki, Riga, Warsaw or Vilnius: $299
- St. Petersburg or Moscow: $399
To get these fares, book by tomorrow for flights between Feb. 14 and April 4. You must stay over a Saturday night, and you can't stay longer than 30 days. Go to www.finnair.com/us/offer to book, and make sure to give them your American Airlines frequent flier number, as you can earn American miles on these flights.
We're not sure when Austrian Air's sale will expire, so book these next fares as soon as possible (their reservation agents didn't know when we called, either.) They're selling cheap tickets from New York and Washington, D.C. to the following Eastern European spots (prices are all before the $130 or so tax):
- New York to Klagenfurt, Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck: $259
- New York to Budapest or Prague: $289
- New York to Zurich: $299
- New York to Berlin: $309
- New York to Sofia: $379
- Washington to Klagenfurt, Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck: $279
- Washington to Budapest or Prague: $309
- Washington to Zurich: $319
- Washington to Berlin: $329
- Washington to Sofia: $399
These fares are good for outbound flights every day of the week through March 15 and returns through March 31. There's no minimum stay, but you can't stay more than 30 days, and a three-day advance purchase is required.
For very limited flights in February, Austrian Air is also offering a $239 fare from New York and DC to Vienna. This fare is good for the following flights:
- From New York: Flights out on 2/15, 17, 18 and 19 if you fly back on the 17, 18, 19 or 20; also for the flight out on 2/24, returning up to a month later
- From DC: Flights out on 2/18, 2/21 and 2/24, returning any day between 2/20 and 3/25
To book any of the Austrian Airlines low fares, go to https://book.aua.com/an/leisure/US/framesnew/e_specials.htm.
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