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There appears to be a potential fare war brewing on flights to Athens.  It started with a fare sale by Emirates (h/t Running With Miles) on their direct Newark to Athens fifth-freedom flight (EWR-ATH).    That fare sale is for $433 roundtrip, but you get a discount for multiple passengers

If you fly with 2 people, you’re looking at about $770 total ($375 per person).  The direct Emirates EWR-ATH flights are blocked as follows

  • EWR-ATH 11:50pm – 4:10pm (+1) (9hr 15m)
  • ATH-EWR 5:25pm – 9:30pm (11hr 5m)

which is a fairly late arrival into Athens and not a super convenient return time for connections on the way back to Newark.

United and the Star Alliance strike back?

While I was messing around on those fares this morning (my son wants to go to Athens next year), I noticed that the Star Alliance was matching those fares out of New York, connecting in Zurich, Munich or Frankfurt usually.  I saw multiple dates into the spring as low as $463

The dates are much more wide open than the Emirates deal as well – check Google Flights for full information

(SEE ALSO: 6 reasons Google Flights is the best flight search engine out there)

Long layovers also an option

Using Google Flights and the multi city tool, I also found a few options where you could have an entire day in Zurich or a couple of different European cities

That priced out at $468 with a full day in Zurich on the outbound.

Other cities?

I did not see any comparable deals from any other US cities – though there are decently cheap fares from all of the big places (Chicago, Washington, etc)

If you book the Emirates deal, I’d imagine you’d need to book directly through Emirates as I’m not sure OTAs would correctly capture the multi-passenger discount (but maybe they would).  For the Star Alliance sale, you can book through Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline or any other OTA.

Good luck and happy booking!

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