Flying to Europe: 2005
How do you find the best airfare to Europe - on a flight that's cheap, convenient, and reliable? Rick and the ETBD team usually let their trusted travel agents do the work for them. But some people prefer to research fares online and and make the reservations themselves. What's your strategy and why?
If you have questions about flying, we suggest you talk to a travel agent. You can also check out Rick's advice on flying.
Read the Distillation: Best Tips for Flying Smart, 2005
Flying home from Italy
Hi all. I am planning a trip next May and June. I'm flying into Shannon and traveling through Europe and flying home from Italy on June 21. My question is I was doing soem searching and it's nearly $120 cheaper to fly home from Venice than from Rome - any opinions on that? I'm looking at 690 vs 810 - should I wait longer or will prices not drop much more? I'm flying from Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA USA Thu 12/29/2005
re:Question about changing in price flights
JC- I am hoping prices will drop in January too. I read in the Sacamento Bee Travel section last week that the Travel Industry hits a bottom in the first three weeks of January. I am going to purchase my tickets to Europe at that time. Right now we are looking at $1260 for July/August.
We have to travel in the "high season" this year. I have actually found the lowest prices through ticket consolidators in the Sunday newspaper.
Sacramento, Ca USA Wed 12/28/2005
Question about changing in price flights.
I have really appreciated all of the info on this site.
My question: Is there a history of flight prices dropping after January 1st for European flights or is it not that predictable. A group of us are planning to go to Italy in the end of March. We have been watching prices and I have seen them consistently rising or the cheaper flights becoming fewer and fewer. We've been worried to pay too much but I don't know if it will get much better. The best from Portland that we have found has been between $700 and $800 (incl. all fees and taxes).
Would you all recommend waiting or getting it because the New Year makes no difference or could it?
Portland , OR USA Wed 12/28/2005
Seattle to Grenoble
Del, you won't find a non-stop flight from Seattle to Paris, so you will have to change planes somewhere. That makes flights to Geneve as easy as flights to Paris, and the time is about the same too. The fare from Seattle to Geneve might actually be a little less, and the fare from Geneve to Grenoble is about 1/3 of the fare from Paris. There is a 2 hour train connection that leaves the airport in Geneve at about 10:00 AM, about 2 hours after one of the flights arrives. If you miss that one due to a delayed flight there are also a number of slower connections. You can find them on Bahn.de, not sncf.
There are a lot more train connections through CDG, so you might not want to do the Geneve route, but it is worth checking into.
USA Mon 12/19/2005
SEATTLE TO GRENOBLE
Del: Every time I have flown to Europe I have found flights to Frankfurt cheaper that to other cities; I suggest you research that destination.
I have always found more airlines serving that city than other cities I considered.
Then you can train to Grenoble at about the same cost as from Paris. You might save some money.
TX USA Mon 12/19/2005
JUNE AIRFARE $1200
Larry: If you read this column often you will see the variety of experiences travelers have in buying air fares.
Some advise calling the airlines on a regular schedule: every 4 hours for weeks on end just to see the variations in fares.
Others advise calling your preferred airline after midnight on Wednesdays when some inventory managers count seats and reduce fares on surplus seats on specific flights.
I have decided it is all chance. That's why I would call every 4 hours every day for as long as I have patience to continue.
It all depends on how bad you want to find a good fare. I have bought 12 domestic fares for friends lately and found all of them cheaper on Orbitz.com.
You might also try travelocity.com, hotwire.com and priceline.com.
BOSTON, USA Mon 12/19/2005
Seattle to Grenoble, France
Any advice on best/inexpensive routing to travel from Seattle to Grenoble, France. Train from Paris to Grenoble appears to be best. Leaving June 1 anytime, need to be in Grenoble by evening of June 2 for wedding on the 3rd.
Yakima, WA USA Sat 12/17/2005
frequenf flyer fine print
A tip about counting on frequent-flyer reservations on American Airlines. Don't. American called me back about 36 hours after I made my booking to say they would not honor it--at least not the British Airways part to London. American said they have no legal obligation to honor a frequent flyer reservation. Only when the friquent flyer ticket is issued do they have any obligation. At least that is what they said, and this was a supervisor at the Gold level help desk. So the tip is don't make other plans such as hotel and land transportation based on a reservation with American Airlines...you could get burned like I did.
seattle, wa USA Thu 12/15/2005
Flying in 2006
2006 looks like an expensive year to be flying to Europe. I have been looking online and calling ticket consolidators and we are looking at almost double of what we payed in '04.
It looks like several factors are involved: *fuel prices *airport security costs that We are paying for *World Cup in Germany in June '06
I am trying to be patient and hoping for prices to drop in January or February.
Sacramento, Ca USA Mon 12/12/2005
Taxes and Fees
It's not a scam. The majority of the increase is directly linked to the aftermath of 9/11. All airports, both in the states and in Europe, have had to upgrade both their security procedures and hardware. Passengers pick up the tab for that. Next you will have noticed that the price of fuel has gone up - there is a surchage currently in place to reflect that. Then there are all of the European taxes you have to pay like departure tax. The USD has dropped in value over recent years so you pay more in real terms ( but we British have seen the rates go down on your aviation taxes for the same reason ).
When you do purchase any airline ticket there is a full breakdown of each and every tax element on it. Any ticketing agent will explain it to you in full detail.
Nottingham, UK Mon 12/05/2005
Taxes and Fees
We haven't flown to Europe since before 9/11... I've started looking for fares again and I don't remember "taxes and fees" being so darn high! Found a fare from DFW to London for $305 and was excited until I found out 'taxes and fees' were $200+... wow... why are they so high these days? Is that a scam or is that just the way it is post 9/11? No wonder airlines are in trouble if that much money is going to the government... or is the majority of 'taxes and fees' of the fee type that are hidden profits... too bad they won't break down exactly what 'taxes and fees' are.
Thanks for the insights!
Fort Worth, TX USA Thu 12/01/2005
I recently bought an OJ flight into London and out of Paris starting in Seattle for $545 on orbitz.com. I have looked everywhere possible for a cheaper airfare and never found one. Orbitz has my vote.
Puyallup, WA USA Mon 11/21/2005
Newark to Bristol - great option
This September, I flew Continental from Newark (EWR) to Bristol (BRS). It was a wonderful treat!
Though Continental's planes are 757s, and have the same tight seat pitch as their domestic routes, the service was fine and the flight wasn't at all bad. Arriving at Bristol Int'l is a throwback: airstairs and tarmac, though the terminal is very new and very clean.
It's a great way to avoid the hubbub of the London airports, especially if you plan on visiting Bath, Bristol, Cornwall or any part of southwest England. I'd do it again, fo sure!
Washington, DC USA Tue 11/08/2005
Lufthansa vs United Airlines
An interesting difference between Lufthansa & United Airlines I discovered in my Oct 2005 trip to Europe....United Airlines charges $5 for beer & wine on flights to/from Europe but Lufthansa does not....I'll be sure next time I book with Lufthansa that I'm actually traveling on one of their planes instead of a travel partner.
USA Tue 11/08/2005
Don't use expedia
I'd advise against using expedia. Our flights got rescheduled and it took hours of phone calls before it got fixed and the price wasn't that good.
CA USA Tue 11/01/2005
RE: What is a good airfare?
As of now an airfare will run you upwards of $600. I suggest changing your arrival and departure dates as they are on peak travel days. Wait until you find a fare below $500. It will come up. Check travel sites on a Thursday morning. This is when the airlines publicize the new flights. Don't be too anxious to buy right away. Wait it out and watch the prices for awhile. And don't freak if they suddenly spike, they tend to do that.
USA Mon 10/31/2005
What is a good airfare
Dear al on the forum:
Am intending to purchase a ticket from Ohare to Barcelona and Madrid back to Ohare for the period Mar 17 - Mar 26. Would anyone have an idea as to what makes a good airfare for that?
Am curious if there will be further discounts in a month or two.
IL USA Sat 10/29/2005
Best fares to Europe
I found from experience the cheapest way to get around Europe is fly from Boston to Shannon Ireland R/T. Then book Ryanair to any of your destinations. Shannon Ireland is the home of Ryanair.com
Auburndale, Florida USA Tue 10/25/2005
Flying & traveling with an 18 month old?
My Husband and I are using our freq. flier miles and booked a trip to visit friends in Athens in April 06. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to travel smoothly with our 18 month old (w/o a seat) for 10hrs or so on the plane and then getting around the city? I'm looking for tricks and possibly gear/packing suggestions. Thanks in advance!
Portland, OR USA Mon 10/24/2005
ETN and Best Discount Network
I would like to echo earlier comments in this thread re Best Discount Network. I used them recently for bookings from SFO to Budapest. Booking were done back in August for travel on Oct. 4th and I was billed in my August credit card billing cycle. On September 24th I found duplicate billing on my September credit card bill. Then followed a nightmare of rudeness and lies from Best Discount (Rachael and Arif)--apparently the booking they confirmed to me in August (telling me that it had to be confirmed that day) was not even ticketed as British Airways told me when I called them at the end of September for Oct 4th travel.
While they finally came through and did new bookings and refunded the double billing, the $100 saved over travelocity quotes was not worth the frustration of dealing with such rudeness and deceit.
Needless to say, I will not use them again.
Fremont , CA USA Tue 10/18/2005
Dear Fellow Travellers, I am glad to be here and so happy to share with you one of the best travel sites I came across on the net.There you can get the cheapest flight fares in the world; http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/cheapestflights http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/cheapestflights I have tried and tested this sites and I want you to enjoy it too. Check www.cheapestfares.tk for the best and the cheapest fares online.
Auckland, NZ Tue 10/18/2005
Re: Help Me
What month is the $510.00 price for? Currently this is an excellent price at anytime of the year and I doubt you'll find a much lower fare. Here's a trick: Go to Orbitz and see who's flying to your destination. Then call the airline directly. Never book with Orbshitz.
USA Fri 10/14/2005
I found a multi-city ticket from SEA to London and then from Paris back to SEA for $510. Is this ticket about as good as it will get?
Puyallup, WA USA Thu 10/13/2005
AIR FRANCE :-(
Air France is also notorious for losing baggage...you may NEVER see it again. They lost our baggage in Basel Airport and my wife and I actually had to go find it! Unbelieveable...as well as unacceptable.
Knoxville, TN USA Wed 10/05/2005
After returning from my first trip to Europe on Air France, all I can say is: NEVER AGAIN!!!! There is currently one of the all to common "strikes" in France, affecting all travel and luggage. This one is referred to as "Black Tuesday". On our return, we originated in Barcelona, connecting in Paris and on to Boston. In Barcelona only 1 counter agent was checking in hundreds of passengers, while at the adjacent Delta counter passengers zipped right through. Obviously, we missed our connection. Although they got us on a later flight to Boston, they neglected to inform us of the strike and could not have been more rude. Next time we'll pay the extra for an American carrier. Predictably so, our luggage is missing in action and who knows if we'll ever see it again. 3 hour waits in lines, multiple crammed bus shuttles, gate changes, delays, cancellations, impromptu strikes, rudeness, lost luggage......Air France: NEVER AGAIN!!!!
Boston, MA USA Wed 10/05/2005
Flying to Europe
www.kayak.com is a new find of mine. I like to know a fare so I scan when I am not in the market.
This year is different in terms of sales in fall. I think many airlines provided spring sales to unload cheap seats. Also, I have not seen the best fares offered on Orbitz in a while. They now put the most undesirable seats (long legs enroute) here at a discount. Unless you really want to endure I am guessing skip this sight at the moment. Don't remember that being the case in the past. I have been waiting for this switch as the airlines own Orbitz. Airlines switch where they offer deals now and again to keep us guessing.
I now see infrequent drops on American on thursday mornings before 11am (to Paris for Thanksgiving week). Not sure when in the morning it starts only know it goes back up again by 11. Others tend to follow along with cuts on Air France and Delta. This was the case for a Paris check.
Year round if you fly on a holiday its another way to cut back costs. Saved 900 flying on the 4th to Hawaii, every other day direct on Continental was $1500 from Newark. Pity I did not take head to impending pricing doom on the airlines, lol.
Just paid $661 to Paris last flights coming and going during Thanksgiving week, Air France. Price jumped down the following morning ...not a great deal but I am ticketed. Feel like I lost at the casino, if I WENT TO CASINOS.
Hard to guess this year I think.
New York, NY USA Thu 09/29/2005
Samara: That is a good price. I suggest you take it before it disappears. The number of discount seats is always limited and when they are sold, there will be no more.
You might try searching the same airline for another date to find if the fare is lower.
CHICAGO, USA Tue 09/27/2005
Samara--You didn't mention the time frame of your travel but if it's October that's about right. (I also prefer not flying across the US especially on the return flight...it's too many take-offs and landings.) In April-May we're flying SEA-CDG, out-bound through Detroit, but in-bound, CDG to Amsterdam, then right in to SEA. It's worth some $ to me to have an easier flight home. We do have to put up with a 3 or 4 hour transit in SEA to fly into Lewiston that you don't. PS: You'll get more answers if you post questions under "Helpline" rather than "Flying to Europe".
Lewiston, ID USA Tue 09/27/2005
I have found an open-jaw from SEA to London and Paris back to SEA for $600. Is this a good price? Should I buy?
Seattle , WA USA Mon 09/26/2005
Pricing Mistake works for me
I just bought roundtrip airfare from Atlanta to London for June 2006 for $388.00 base fare. My friends also tried to book it later in the day, but after being unsuccessful they called the airline directly and were told that the fare was actually intended for Fall 2005 travel. However the travel time was entered incorrectly and allowed a few lucky people (like me) to book several tickets before the mistake was corrected. If you're really on the lookout for a bargain you must be diligent in checking. Sometimes mistakes happen and you can end up being the lucky one.
TN USA Mon 09/26/2005
Heathrow to London via Underground - weekend closures
For those fans of taking the underground to and from Heathrow, be aware that they are closing the Picadilly line between Hyde Park Corner and Acton Town, and the District line fom Earl's Court to Acton Town, on various weekends through 2007. See http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/travelinfo/picc-dis-weekend-closure.asp for the list of weekend closures. You can still take the Central Line to Ealing, then south to Acton Town and transfer to the underground heading to Heathrow. But travel times will be as long as 90 minutes to downtown, and is not a route the management is advising for people with a lot of luggage.
Ottawa, Canada Sun 09/25/2005
Airfares have pretty much stayed the same this fall unlike past years where fares have typically fallen dramatically. Three examples: 1. October 2003 Round trip to London $429 2. February 2004 Round trip Berlin/Amsterdam, $538 3. November 2005 Round trip Krakow/Dresden $738 As you can see, prices are on the increase (which is essential considering the price of oil). Airlines simply must begin to charge enough to cover their costs. The fares that people are asking about in these posts are, indeed, the best you'll get right now. Who knows about the future, but for right now, the fares sounds pretty much right in the ballpark.
Portland, OR USA Sat 09/24/2005
Hi everyone. I'm looking at flying open jaw from Philadelphia to Ireland (either Shannon or Dublin), then from Rome back to Philly. I have a price right now of $737 round trip - is this a good price? should I wait? Should I get it now in anticipation of fuel prices going up? Thanks.
Philadelphia, PA USA Sun 09/04/2005
Flying to Europe
Currently there are many factors dictating the price of air travel. As well as the usual factors of availability, peak holiday times and popularity of route there are two new issues to consider.
The first is escalating fuel costs. Airlines do not have huge reserves of fuel. They are in the same situation as the ordinary car driver. If you notice prices going up when you fill up with gas all I can say is so do the airlines. These increases will in time be passed on to passengers. It's a case of when not if.
The second issue is the value of the US Dollar. All currencies fluctuate but right now any seasoned European traveller can see that the USD does not buy what it did five years ago. This also applies to air travel.
At present the trends seem to indicate that passengers travelling to Europe from the US are about to enter a period of increased cost. This is not definite, nobody can forsee the future but the current trends are indicating that this is the way it will go.
Nottingham, UK Wed 08/31/2005
Flying to Europe
I am looking at pricing to fly open-jaw to Amsterdam from Seattle and then from London back. The lowest price I found was $630. Is the price going to go up or down if I wait to buy. I leave at the end of February...help!
Puyallup, WA USA Thu 08/25/2005
From what I'm reading here, we should wait to buy tickets for our July, 206 trip. We're hoping to fly into Paris and out of Amsterdam or Frankfort. Personally, I prefer to buy direct from an airline rather than third-party, as a bit of insurance in case things change before or during a trip. Suggestions anyone?
Grand Rapds, MI USA Tue 08/23/2005
Discount travel firm
I would suggest caution if you are thinking of booking with Best Discount Network. BDN claimed to have issued an E-ticket for travel Boston to Bulgaria, but British Airways said they should have known that only paper tickets are valid for international flight. BA required us to pay a lost ticket fee of $70. We really sweated this out 2 hours before flight time. Needless to say we will book elsewhere next time.
Norridgewock, Maine USA Sat 08/20/2005
The Higher Cost of Tickets
Airlines are affected by the higher cost of fuel right now. Here in Canada, the airlines have increased their fares (ie, fuel taxes) to cover the increase in jet fuel. I assume this is also happening in the US. Hopefully, prices will go down by the winter as the demand goes down - I can dream :)
My advice is to keep checking the airlines' websites and when you see a deal, grab it - it may be gone within the hour.
Canada Thu 08/18/2005
For a June-July trip, I would start looking in January. If you wait until April or May to start looking for deals in June-July, you'll never find them. That's the busiest, most profitable time for airlines for flights to-from Europe. By late April or May, people will be scrambling to find tickets and the airlines will be jacking up the prices. Start looking in January and check every other day or so. When you see fares drop, buy your tickets.
Chicago, IL USA Wed 08/17/2005
Its way to early to buy a ticket. Airlines put out high fares in advance, thinking a few people will pay those prices. I say wait 1-2 months before your travel date and buy.
Wa USA Tue 08/16/2005
We assure that the post regarding Delta and Czech Air is completely accurate.
SC USA Tue 08/16/2005
Best Airfare and Rental car
Delta has the best airfare rates for a jaws flight for $783. Fly into Frankfurt and out of Geneva. AutoEurope had the best rate on car with taking it one way and crossing countries. Flying in September.
Portland, OR USA Sun 08/14/2005
I agree with Robert from NJ's post on ETN not being able to match the airlines pricing...etc. I've gotten four quotes from them in the last week and every one was at least $200 higher than I would pay finding them online myself.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 08/14/2005
I have flown on Delta many, many times, including at least a dozen flights to half a dozen cities in Europe. I can report that they have unfailingly provided good service with no baggage problems. I think the previous post is, if accurate, atypical.
New York, NY USA Sat 08/13/2005
Avoid Delta / Czech Air
My friend and I flew from Charlotte - NYC/JFK - Prague - St. Petersburg, RU: We checked four bags (we were bringing things over for friends in Russia) We arrived in St. Pete minus one checked bag. Baggage handlers did not get it on the plane in Prague. FOUR days after our arrival the St. Pete airport people bring it to us. On our return flight St. Pete. - Amsterdam - Atlanta - Charlotte Delta managed to lose THE SAME BAG, only this time in Amsterdam. Add to that that you have to re-claim your bags in Atlanta and re-check them if your have a connecting flight. When we arrived in Atlanta, Delta took so long to get the baggage on the carousel that we missed our connecting flight to Charlotte. And when we did not see that bag on the carousel and told one of the Delta ticket agents about it as we were re-booking our flight to Charlotte, they said (I am not making this up) that WE SHOULD NOT CHECK SO MANY BAGS! They also said that we could not find out about just where the bag was until we got to Charlotte. Once we got to Charlotte we of course found out that, in addition to the one bag left in Amsterdam, a second of our four bags was LEFT IN ATLANTA! I would not have flown Delta in the first place had I made the reservations since Delta has one of the WORST reputations all the way around. I WILL NEVER FLY DELTA AGAIN.
SC USA Thu 08/11/2005
hi We just returned from our fourth trip to Italy in as many years. Today I was checking the quotes for flights on Travelocity and was stunned to see a tax quote of about $220 per person. I purchased a ticket for this years trip in Febuarary and the tax was $67.35 per person on a $500 per person flight to Venice in July. What has happened to cause such a jump. There was no more security than on previous flights. Who's doing the taxing.
Patty and Ralph
Norfolk, Va USA Wed 08/10/2005
Flights to Italy
Hey does anyone know where to get cheap flights to Italy? Can anyone recommend a good travel agent? Thanks
Providence, RI USA Tue 08/09/2005
This past June I flew to Ireland on Aer Lengus through JFK. I arrived in JFK from Colorado at 11am. My flight was leaving at 10pm. However Aer Lengus allows anyone who pays a $30 fee to use their Executive lounges. I stayed in the lounge for 10 hours. Well worth it.
Canon CITY, CO USA Fri 08/05/2005
I went to Europe this past March and I flew as a passenger on Delta Airlines from Seattle to Cincinnatti to London, and from Rome to Cincinatti to Seattle. Very nice service, comfy seats, and lots of entertainment, such as music, movies, Telivision, etc. Plus you can request beverages whenever you want! (Very rarely delays or cancellations occur)
Tacoma, WA USA Wed 08/03/2005
I have used ETN and I found two consolidators who offered excellent prices to Europe from the USA - but that was two and five years ago. Now it seems the consolidators can not match the airlines direct and the consolidators at ETN aren't the good, reputable ones (like Cardinal Points Travel). That's good. You should always check with the airline first.
Newark, NJ USA Tue 08/02/2005
We flew Icelandair Boston - Reykjavik -Helsinki and back earlier this month. While not a perfect flight, I would definitely fly again with them on this route, it was a much better flight than we had previously on Finnair. Some people complained that the Icelandair flight attendants were distant and cold - I have never had a flight attendant in coach class on any airline be overly attentive, but Icelandair attendants were courteous, polite, not overly friendly, but no problems. The flights were on time and it was a nice break to be able to get off the plane in Iceland, walk around and get back on for the second leg to Finland. Breaking up the 9 hour flight like that made it seem shorter. One bad thing is that the food in coach is pretty atrocious (the same anemic piece of chicken on all 4 flights floating in either brown or neon yellow goo). The only palatable items were the deliciously creamy Icelandic butter and the dessert cake. Also, they neglected to tell us our stroller needed a tag when we left it outside the plane door and as a result it was lost somewhere between Boston and Helsinki and we had to buy a new one. However, the flight was pleasant and super cheap for high season to Finland and we will no doubt fly them again.
MA USA Sat 07/30/2005
Bonnie--I have never heard of this site but am definitely interested! If you post this question on the "Helpline", more people will see it and hopefully answer.
Lewiston, ID USA Sat 07/30/2005
I recently discovered a website called ETN that enables travellers to fill-in-the-blanks for their appropriate travel information and then receive personal quotes from up to 5 American travel agents offering the "lowest" fares on applicable flights.... has any1 used this site? Should I expect any hidden costs from the quotes? Some of the quotes I have received thus far do not include tax (my trip is for two from Seattle to Rome in the spring)... about how much should I calculate tax to be? Thanks for any feedback and cheers!
Bonnie Boglioli Randall
Seattle, WA USA Fri 07/29/2005
I will second Dawn in that the internet does not always have the best deals. I too have had the experience in having a travel agent get me better deals to Europe than I could find on the net. The net is a great source of info, though. It can give you an initial reference of cost and chances are that all the big players (Travelocity, Orbitz, Hot Wire, etc..) will be fairly close. A travel agent can get you those specials that only they get. Example: last year I went to Hamburg for $350 while the net rate was about $500.
Nashville, Tn USA Wed 07/27/2005
Internet prices are not always the best deal! I always call my local travel agent and ask what the best price is that she can get for my trip, and then do my own research. A couple of times the travel agent has come up with a better fare than any of the low-cost internet sites. It pays to compare!
KC, MO USA Tue 07/19/2005
Package Deals through Sam's Club
We booked our 8 day trip to Munich via Sam's Club. Air fare and 7 nights at a 4 star in Munich (K&K Hotel am Harras) was $3K. Hotel was great although the flight got a little long being in economy but when we heard what tickets were going for in First Class, decided we could deal with the uncomfortiness.
Las Vegas, Nv USA Sun 07/17/2005
Air France - one of the worst
We had the extreme displeasure of flying to Italy via Air France this past June/July. Going to Italy, the plane was 4 hours late getting to Florence. We thought that was just a one-time snafu. On the return trip the flight was delayed four hours in Florence. Once we were "loaded" on the plane we were told it would be at least another hour before departure due to mechanical problems. We were in the plane on the tarmac w/ no air for over an hour. The only circulation was the exit door that was left open. That delay caused us to miss our connections to the States. Only because I knew enough to ask did Air France provide us w/ hotel accomodations & meals. Then we were routed through Montreal. That plane was also late. Everyone we spoke w/ who was associated w/ Air France gave us a different story about the whereabouts of our luggage, when we would go through customs, etc. We finally found the luggage on our own. Of course by that time all flights to the U.S were either gone or full. So we were put up over night w/ one of Air France's hotel partners, a Hilton hotel near the airport in Montreal. One look at the voucher from Air France and the front desk clerks treated us with behavior that bordered on contempt. The next morning we flew to Cinncinnati, which was the only way we could get to Grand Rapids near my sister's home. Of course that plane was delayed 3 times for a total of @ 3 hours. The Air France return flight took 3 days instead of the usual 8 hours. I still had to get home to Georgia. The ticket to Georgia I had bought before leaving the States was now useless. I had to buy a last minute, one-way ticket to Georgia which was prohibitive in cost. Avoid Air France like the plague unless you want a similar experience.
Karen E. Nikula
Forsyth, GA USA Fri 07/15/2005
Cancelling Engine Noise
The seats in the center section of the big jets seem quieter than the side seats. I was able to hear the movie dialog better. It seems that the engine roar is felt as much as heard. Earplugs should help a little, but can't cancel the whole noise.
USA Wed 07/13/2005
For students, I am travelling to France in September and I have found the best airfares are either through STA (Student Travel Agency)- statravel.com - which provides you with an ISIC card that gets you discounts all over the place in Europe. Also, studentuniverse.com gets you some pretty cheap airfare as well. Check 'em out. I got my round trip to Marseille (MRS) for around $630 which is an expensive airport to fly into.
USA Fri 07/08/2005
Even if it isn't advised, arrive EARLY to the airport. My husband and I were flying from Krakow to London for a one night layover, then home to Chicago.
In Krakow, the over booked the plane and so they offered us a direct flight home. (This was British Airways) We declined because we wanted to get our day in London. We asked about compensation if we took the direct flight and were offered none. Had we not arrived early and had seat assignments, then we would have been on a direct flight to home and I wouldn't have my lovely pictures of Trafalgar square, with nothing to show for it.
Chicago, IL USA Wed 07/06/2005
Finding cheap tickets to Europe
I always book online. You won't find the cheapest airfare always on the same website. I am a writer and have a project that requires me to travel to Paris 2-3 times a year. When I went in Sept. 2004 I found the best airfare on CheapTickets.com. When I went back in January 2005 the best ticket price was with The Best Travel Store. For my trip this August 2005, I bought three ticket (me and my two kids) on Expedia for $616 per ticket, all fees and taxes included. I bought the tickets in April 2005, though. So compare online travel websites and book ahead.
Chapel Hill, NC USA Mon 07/04/2005
Noise Cancelling Head Sets
If you can, buy one of these before your next trip! I can't believe how much noise, specially from the jet engine they supress. Also, for listening to music they are great. They can be pricey, but Radio Shack has a decent set for under $50. You will never go back to regular ear plugs!
Orlando, FL USA Tue 06/28/2005
Airfare to Europe/Ireland
Airfare to Europe/Ireland I'm researching airfare to Dublin, Ireland from Portland,Oregon for mid-September, 2005. Justfares.com (Safi) in Seattle is coming up below $600. elizabethholmes.com (Rick's travel agent) website shows $550 but haven't called her yet. Hotwire, if you are brave, has a cheap airfare but you don't know the times until you purchase the ticket. Happy travels. If you find something let me know. I'm looking for a car agency for cheap car leasing. Any comments would be appreciated.
Portland, OR USA Mon 06/27/2005
flying in early September
I consider anything under $600 from Chicago to Europe during shoulder season to be a very good deal. September is the beginning of shoulder season. You MAY see a better price, but that's probably about as good as it's going to get. Although I don't know how much a student discount gets you...
Chicago, IL USA Mon 06/27/2005
flying in early September
I've been searching the internet for airfare from Seattle or Vancouver to Europe in early September. So far the best I can find is to Paris for around $650 including taxes. Is this a good price for that time of year, or can I do better? Keep in mind I'm a student and I do believe that price was for a student fare. Thanks!
Bellingham, WA USA Mon 06/27/2005
They're the sponsors of all this Rick stuff, and they're American. American Airlines has some wondeous fares you might want to see. I've flown with them to and from quite a few places. Visit www.aa.com!
Europe Airfare Summer of 2005
This is true. There are two main factors for the high prices. The first is that bookings are up after the slump caused by 9/11 so availability is limited. The second is that the routes between the US and Europe now carry an awful lot of additional charges and taxation which are mostly beyond the control of individual airlines ( $200.00 plus from IAD to MAN return for example ). For scheduled airlines the situation is going back to the pre 9/11 scenario so early booking usually gets you the best prices.
Nottingham, UK Wed 06/22/2005
Europe Airfare Summer of 2005
If you haven't purchased a ticket to Europe for this summer travel be prepared for the highest ticket prices ever. This year you are looking at a minimim of $900.00 (if you can find it) to about $1400.00 for coach tickets. I don't know how airlines will fill seats this summer at these prices. Maybe come mid-July they will start lowering the prices. Who can afford to pay $1000.00 for a ticket? If anyone knows of cheaper priced tickets please post here.
USA Tue 06/21/2005
Interestingly enough, my wife and I came back on a charter to the Dominican republic last spring with what I thought were the usual two-pronged headsets that they were charged for. However, one of the plugs could fold away, leaving one stereo plug still exposed. My daughter now uses this for her portable MP3 player. Maybe your own personal set will work if you just stick it into one of the jacks. In any event, charging for them is an outrage.
Ottawa, Canada Mon 06/20/2005
Not all aircraft headset sockets are a universal standard. Many companies have found it to be very lucrative to charge you for an adaptor when you discover that the headset you brought with you will not fit. In my opinion the charging for headsets on scheduled flights is an outrage and this topic warrants being on the tourist scam alert section. It's acceptible on charter flights but not on transatlantic sheduled flights. The next thing will be cabin crew expecting a tip when they bring you food and charging you to use the toilet facilities.
Nottingham, UK Mon 06/20/2005
We recently flew U.S. Air to and from the UK. As we usually fly Continental, who always provide free headsets (for international flights) for watching the in-flight movies, we were surprised that U.S. Air charges for headsets.
My advice is, if you have the option of keeping them, do. My husband and I had to pay $5 each for the privilege. I assume the size of the prongs is universal since most planes are made by the same few companies.
Columbus, OH USA Fri 06/17/2005
Beware of cheaptrips.com
Got into a trap with Cheaptrips.com - had to fly immediately - after a search in Internet joined cheaptrips.com - explained the agent about the situation - he enrolled me in and gave a temp id,password and customer service number. Could not login (id was invalid), customer service was not working on Saturday (agent enrolling does not know about this????) They charged my card, now trying to cancel and refund...it is taking for ever
irving, tx USA Thu 06/02/2005
I have flown Kuwaiti Airlines a number of times from JFK non stop to Kuwait. Great experience, very attentive flight attendents, comfortable seats and on time every time.
Great Mills, MD USA Mon 05/30/2005
FINDING DISCOUNT AIR LINES
I have read so many suggestions about finding discount air fares to Europe that I was impressed with a note I read recently. It said that inventory control managers for the air lines always put extra seats on sale at midnight on certain nights of the week. No way to know which night for each line, but always calling first thing after midnight of each line pays off.
TX USA Mon 05/30/2005
Has anyone flown on kuwait air?
scottsdale, az USA Sun 05/29/2005
Circle Tram #20 in Amsterdam
The Circle Tram #20 in Amsterdam no longer exists. Just thought travelers would want to know since Rick mentions it in one of his scripts. My friend who works for the transportation dept. said that it did not generate enough revenue. He had hoped that they'd reconcider and, at least keep it going during the heavier tourist season but nothing has been done yet. Maybe later???
Amsterdam, NLD Wed 05/25/2005
Converting Hilton Points to Flight Miles
We had a horrible experience while trying to purchase plane tickets for our trip to Italy. When using Hilton points, remember to ask specifically what the exchange rate is for points to miles. 1 Hilton point does not necessarily equal 1 sky mile. In addition, give yourself some time. Hilton says it takes 30 days to transfer your points, but, for an extra $25, they can "expedite" the process in 7 days. What a scam. Whay can't they just do it in 7 days anyway. They're just pushing a few buttons on a computer. The lesson learned: Unless you have a lot of time and patience, it is easier to just purchase tickets some other way and use the Hilton points at Hilton-Family Hotels. Other problems with using Hilton points include required stop-overs, blacked out fly-times, and opening unwanted "Preferred Customer" accounts with airlines.
Tempe, AZ USA Wed 05/18/2005
Need Advise Trip To Salzburg/Klagenfurt, Austria
I am looking to book for 9 people to travel to Munich next April..I really would like a great deal...How soon should I book to insure seating. Any suggestions. First time trip for all of us..going to Salzburg..on to Klagenfurt, Suetschach (dad's home village) and hopefully to Paris on return home. Flying out of SFO. Thanks for any suggetions. I was hoping I might get some great spring deals.. Yvonne
Tracy, Ca USA Tue 05/17/2005
Cheaper than price listed
I was looking for an open jaw from Seattle to Madrid and Milan to Seattle. I looked on Cheaptickets and the price was listed at $957/pp, but after I clicked through it said $860/pp after taxes, $80 less than any competitor.
Also, I looked most places with MIL for the airport, and it booked me through LIN, a smaller, mainly European destination airport. So it helps to try out different ones.
Seattle, wa USA Mon 05/16/2005
AIR INDIA AIRLINE CONSOLIDATORS
CHELSEA~~~I checked hotwire.com which is usually lowest fare I can find. ~~~ Without knowing when you go or to which city, I tried several in June and found $1000 the lowest fare.~~~ There may be other agents such as expedia.com and obritz.com you can search.
A. S. CHANDE
DALLAS, USA Mon 05/16/2005
Flying to England
I am planning to fly to Manchester, England in September and have been searching for a flight. Does any one have any advice on weather i should book a flight now or should i wait untill closer to my departure date I have never flown outside of the U.S.A. before any advice would be grateful.
Fort Thomas, KY USA Sun 05/15/2005
Buying Tickets on the Internet
I know Rick likes to use travel agents and in the pre internet days that is what I would do. However I find now that a couple of hours of work on the Internet can realize significant savings. Example, today I bought to tickets to Milan, two to Venice and four from Rome home for 20 percent less than the travel agent quoted. Shopped the big sites, expedia, orbitz, etc. and ended up getting the best deal on an airline's site (Delta). Got to pick seats so that everyone is together and either on aisle or legroom seat. I have found that consistently now I can get the best deal with the least hassle on the internet.
As to airlineconsolidator.com I have check them numerous times and have never found the tickets they actually have to be the best deal available.
If necessary I will pay a small premium to stay on the same airline for the whole trip because if there is a screw up they have to make it good, whereas with two airlines they can be pointing fingers at each other.My two cents for what its worth.
USA Sun 05/15/2005
Air India? Airlineconsolidator.com? Help!
I just took some of your recommendations to check airlineconsolidator.com. I searched for an open-jaw flight from Chicago to Italy and back and the cheapest flights were all on AirIndia. They are the cheapest I've found so far ($825) I'm not familiar with that airline and I was wondering if anyone had some last minute advice regarding Air India and also if anyone else has any experience with or advice on airlineconsolidator.com
Chicago, IL USA Sat 05/14/2005
AF/KLM summer award blackout for DL SkyMiles
Delta has imposed a blackout on use of SkyMiles for ff award tickets on Air France and KLM from June 1- Aug. 31, 2005. SkyMiles can still be used during the summer for tickets on Alitalia and CSA Czech airlines, and on Delta, Northwest, and Continental.It is uncertain if this restriction will apply in future years.
This makes using SkyMiles for travel to any of the many European destinations only served by connection flights on partners but not directly on Delta metal much more problematical this summer.
There is no summer blackout on Air France or KLM for using Northwest Worldperks or Continenal One Pass miles, so this is obviously something Delta instigated, rather than AF or KLM.
Why would we want to buy a paid ticket on Delta to Europe if they restrict our ability to use our ff miles for European travel in this way??
Ironically, this blackout was imposed just days after a lot of new ff seats were put into the system by AF/KLM.
It will not impact tickets already issued, but only new ticket requests.
Greenville, NC USA Wed 05/11/2005
ticketscentral.net has many other names on the internet. I just got scammed for $726.40. I feel so STUPID. Please research better than I did and DO NOT TRANSFER MONEY VIA WIRE TRANSFER
Casar, NC USA Wed 05/11/2005
Having had previous experience with Olympic Airways I knew I would be in for the Greek experience on my flight to Athens for the May 15 Rick Steves tour of Greece. However the experience has already started and we're not even on the plane yet! Olympic changed their airport in London from Gatwick to Heathrow, making our connection for our return flight not functional. We have to miss the last night & morning of the tour to fly into London early and stay there overnight in order to get to Gatwick for our return flight. Naturally Olympic didn't bother to honor the schedule for tickets already sold before they did this. Maybe EU can give them a brain transplant.
Diablo, Wa USA Tue 05/10/2005
Ticketscentral.net FRAUD SCAM
I ( as well as atleast dozens other) have been victims of a scam internet Travel operation.This site is called Ticketscentral.net I recently lost $328. Their scam consists of informing you that you're credit card was not approved, so therefore you're lured into sending them funds by Bank to Bank Wire method.Do not send them any money. They disappear after you wire funds.Vist this site below to see other victims as well:http://www.ripoffreport.com/search.asp
Hojbjerg Denmark, DK Denmark Tue 05/10/2005
Air France Sale
Purchase tickets before May 15 for travel between Nov. 1 and March 31. $299 round trip to Paris, (a little bit more to Marseilles, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux or Lyon,) not including taxes, from cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, New York, Boston. Other departure cities a bit more expensive. Also sale fares to Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Barcelona, Geneva and Zurich.
Williamsburg, Va USA Sun 05/08/2005
Flybe is a British low-cost airline. Smaller than Ryanair and EasyJet, they usually fly within Europe to smaller airports using smaller planes and do not offer the real bargain prices of some other airlines. Their flights to/from Newark are in fact provided by Continental under a codeshare agreement. Continental have also begun to offer direct flights from Newark to Bristol under their own name, and there are advantages to arriving at smaller U.K. airports, depending on your final destination.
Bristol, UK Sun 05/01/2005
Be on alert: TicketsCentral.Net
My sister and I tried to book tickets recently with a website called http://www.ticketscentral.net. After accepting our credit card information, they contacted us saying they would only accept a wire transfer for the ticket payment. We didn't trust that method and refused, and although they may be legitimate, I just wanted to alert anyone else thinking of using them first. There was no reason for them to deny the credit card - it wasn't over the limit and didn't have any blocks (we checked).
Louisville, KY USA Wed 04/27/2005
mia-cdg october 2005
looking for flight only mia-cdg end og october, 7 day stay, dates are flexible. does anyone have any suggestions/deals going on then? I seem to only find $700+ fares
ft laud, fl USA Sun 04/24/2005
Airport - CDG in Paris
Flew out of CDG airport in Paris on Monday. Would recommend more than 2 hours to arrive prior to flight. Three security screenings including one prior to being able to check in for your flight. Some odd security questions, and a constant flux of lines shifting from place to place but not moving forward at all. We got within 40 minutes of our flight time prior to even making it to the ticket counter.
Avoid this airport if possible, if not....get their early and expect to do a lot of standing around for unknown reasons.
Tucson, AZ USA Wed 04/20/2005
Flying to Frankfurt
Found a reasonalble fare from JFK to Frankfurt via Singapore Airlines...$628.00 R/T in the month of June '05..not bad and a nice airline
Tallahassee, FL USA Sat 04/16/2005
travel to sofia bulgaria
I am a retired travel agent, I like doing my own work, no one saves my money like me . My daughter lives in BULGARIA AND I live here in C.T.like to depart from R.I to park my car. two adults going to sofia in sept. good price only I am the senior husband is younger. I will travel more often if I get a good price.
maureen O'Donnell poling
norwich, Ct. USA Thu 04/14/2005
hello everyone we tried all the website to goto LONDON for 10 days from SFO and some how we were trying to get airlien ticket for $350 plus tax and after searching we found one who offer us on that price with ICELANDAIR which was great.so any one else wanna try them they can at www.lowfarefly.com
SAN FRANCISCO, ca USA Mon 04/11/2005
Flying to Europe
Last spring I was in Sicily and left just as the Alitalia strike started. I ended up taking Meridiana from Catania to Bologna. What can I say? I got there:) They were one of the 2 airlines flying the first of May from Sicily. The planes were very old 737 or 727's. The people were very nice and handled a chaotic situation well. Just a note, the seats on the plane I took were mostly broken. I cant' tell you how relieved I was to get on my Lufthansa flight to Munich.
Ft. Collins, CO USA Sat 04/09/2005
KLM is Fine
I flew KLM (You buy your ticket from Northwest website) in Nov 03 for a 12 day trip to Amsterdam and Rome. KLM is the ONLY airline that flys SFO - AMS Nonstop. The service was fine and will fly them again.
Danville, CA USA Wed 03/30/2005
American Airlines Advantage Travel
If you cannot book a trip using AA Advantage "Regular" miles on AA.com versus using double miles on AA's "anytime program" call American's Advantage desk. We could not book a free trip direct to Frankfort on the internet, but when we called the Advantage desk they routed us through England and we got the free trip using regular miles. It costs $5.00 a ticket but it is worth it to use fewer "advantage miles" get the tickets you want.
Dallas, USA Wed 03/30/2005
Just a reminder for travellers flying into/out of Heathrow's Terminal 4 who plan to take the subway. The station there is being revamped, so it's closed until September of 2006. They have a shuttle bus that takes you to Hatton Cross, the next stop up the line, where you can get aboard the subway for central London. The subway is still available to/from Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
Ottawa, Canada Mon 03/28/2005
Air New Zealand Sale to London
Air New Zealand is having a sale on airfare from Los Angeles to London (nonstop). You have to fly by August 31st if I recall correctly.. which is plenty of time. The ticket prices were about $300 less then I found anywhere else for the summer. I'm leaving late June, on a Saturday no less, and returning early July and I got a pretty good deal. So if anyone in the LA area is thinking about going to London ....
Hollywood, CA USA Sun 03/27/2005
Flying to Europe
KLM and its sister carriers are to be avoided. While you can book an inexpensive flight, be prepared to be bumped - even if you confirmed your flight and seat 24 hours before. The AMS-SEA flight is notoriously bad for service, overbooking, rude flight crews. KLM has taught me to suck it up and pay a few hundred more for better service. A day lost in Europe or back home because of KLM's mismanagement is not worth $200 savings.
Rainier, OR USA Thu 03/24/2005
KLM - Not!!!!
KLM is one of the worst airlines to fly from my experience. The overall service is terrible and many of their planes are older, packing people in like sardines in a can. The flight attendents can be down right rude to the passengers. I recomend British Airways or Lufthanza, in that order, depending on the destination. The airline & travel ticket websites list the plane make/model for each flight, so you'll know what you're getting.
CA USA Wed 03/23/2005
Getting good seats
I've seen a lot of complaints about seats particularly on long flights. I've been stuck with bulkhead seats and not much roomon my own flights. On any future flight check www.SeatGuru.com. It gives you the layout of the plane and pinpoints the bad seats.
Tucson, AZ USA Mon 03/21/2005
Mark, You did check the Ryanair Website din't you?
Under the "What time must I check in" section of the FAQ it says, "Standard opening of check-in desks is two hours prior to scheduled departure. Early check-in is greatly recommended. Check-in closes strictly 40 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation and to deny you boarding if you do not comply with this Check-in Deadline indicated."
As Ryanair is a budget airline it is in their interests not to allow you check-in 39 minutes before the scheduled departure time, that way they get to keep the money that you have aready payed them and sell you another ticket at full price without any Web Discounts or sell the seat to someone else at full price. Ryanair is a great airline providing you follow their rules to the letter. As they give away free tickets or sell them from as low as ?0.66 they have to make there money somehow and it sounds like you woud be a prime candidate if you tried to disembark from your arrival plane at Dublin, clear Customs, Immigration and any Police security check, retrieve your baggage, walk to the departures concourse, find the monitors to tell you where the Ryanair Check-In desk was and get to the check-In desk within the 34 minutes you woud have to meet the deadline, that is quite some feat even assuming that there was no queue at the check-in desk, that you arrived at Dublin on time and that your Ryanair Plane did not depart early as they often do.
I often fly all over Europe on Ryanair for as little as ?2 Round Trip, but only because other people miss their check-in times, forfeit the money they have payed for their flight and end up paying 3 times the cost of the discount fare, not to mention the people whose luggage is 1 inch too big or weighs a pound over the allowance who also get hit big time. I think Ryanair is great for its amazingly cheap fares but it only works for me because I obey their rules 100% and dont expect any kind of customer service.
London, UK Sun 03/20/2005
Whoops, here's the link:http://www.airfrance.us/cgi-bin/AF/US/en/local/home/home/homepage.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0081709533.1111336540@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccdaddedmffkekcefecekedfljdghm.0
USA Sun 03/20/2005
Fy to France starting at $252.00
I was searching for best flights to France and Air France has a special going on, but only until March 24th. Only $252 round-trip from New York. So if anyone if looking to be impulsive and wants to get a ticket, this would be a good pick. Check out the link becuase for me, it's only an extrra $50 to fly out of Dallas.
TX USA Sun 03/20/2005
I'm flying to Europe for the first time in a month. Is KLM airline decent? complimentary alcohol,etc? or should I book Lufthansa?
san diego, ca USA Sat 03/19/2005
HOW DO I GET PASSPORTS
help~~~~how do i get passports? ~~~~ Go to:http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/forms_847 and print the application form .~~~ Mail it to the address given on the webpage.
NYC, USA Fri 03/18/2005
Help with passports
go to your local main post-office. They can usually provide you with forms and give you exact instructions. Keep in mind it's not a quick thing to do. It can take weeks or even months if you need visas to get into special countries.
USA Fri 03/18/2005
I planed a "repositioning" cruise from the Florida to Europe and needed a one way flight back home after a few weeks in France. The best one way airfare to my home was approximately $1500. Round trip from France to my home and back was $680. Doesn't make any sense, so I bought the round trip and won't use the return
USA Mon 03/14/2005
European air travel
We have a group of 8 traveling to Rome this high season (mid-July). Rates are about 875 at the absolute best. I probably have tried more websites than anyone can imagine. Would be very satisfied with 700, but getting worried about that number at this point.
Warrenville, IL USA Sun 03/13/2005
iceland air is okay, but not very good value for money and the food is awful. plus, they charge for wine with dinner and don't provide amenities like toothbrushes, face masks, etc. not that this is the biggest deal, but when british airways and other carriers give you so much and offer very good fares in addition, then why fly iceland air?
chicago, il USA Sat 03/12/2005
Matt...there's a "left luggage" office in Rome's Termini station, down an escalator near track 24, right near where the "Leonardo" train from Fiumicino airport arrives. About 4 Euros a bag for 5 hours.
Ottawa, Canada Wed 03/09/2005
Source for ticket deals
A good place to find deals on air tickets is the Milage Run board at www.flyertalk.com
Washington, NC USA Tue 03/08/2005
in one years i make for trip
tomorrow i have flight miami milan to genoa and i like to have my 1000 milesflight willbe at 5.20 pm alitalia az 637 how i can have my 1000 miles or can you mark in the computer or notified for tomorrow if alitalia clerck to give me a riceved thank very truly from antonio donnarumma
hialeah, fl USA Wed 03/02/2005
Patti....I haven't flown them, personally, but I have several friends that have, and they said it was a good flight, with no problems. Icelandair used to be THE cheap way to get across the Atlantic years ago, before deregulation. Apparently, because they made a stop in Iceland, it wasn't considered a transatlantic route....you were technically flying from, say New York to Reykjavik, then from there to, say London. So they could offer lower fares without having to honour all those international air transport agreements between European countries, and the U-S. I'm pretty sure this doesn't apply any more, and their deals probably aren't as stunningly good as they were years ago....but they still should be a good airline with which to fly.
Ottawa, Canada Tue 03/01/2005
Mark ~~~~One hour is plenty of time for a small airport like Dublin, but if your plane is late, that might complicate making connections. Late arrivals are hard to predict. If you miss your connection how you get on another flight will depend on Ryanair.
cleveland, USA Mon 02/28/2005
Airlines to Germany
ltu (www.ltu.com) also flies to Germany from Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Their non-Florida flights are seasonal.
Ottawa, Canada Mon 02/28/2005
Thanks for everyone's advice about airfares. I'm thinking about the option to use Aer Lingus and Ryanair to get to the continent; it would save me about $250 per ticket. The only problem is that it only leaves me about 1 hr 15 minutes between flights. I've never used Ryanair and I've never been to Dublin. Is this doable? What would happen if I missed my connection? Thanks!
Los Angeles, CA USA Mon 02/28/2005
Airlines to Germany
We've used LTU ltu.com to purchase tickets online for trips to Germany and have had great success. They airline is fun and friendly. I think they have departures from Orlando, Ft Myers and Miami, but there may be more. I would highly recommend them.
Tampa, FL USA Mon 02/28/2005
Saw a posting about airlineconsolidator.com here and was curios if anyone has used this service. I'm always wary about buying tickets this way. Any bad experiences?
Rochester, NY USA Sat 02/26/2005
I've heard a few people trash Orbitz but I think I got a fare(sorry) deal on tickets. I like how you can easily compare the rates and find open jaw deals too. I tried travelocity and expedia but they were a good $200-$300 more expensive. Also checked the major airline sites. . not even close. I paid$715 RT from Portland to Florence / Rome to Portland on short notice. Also, any Oregonians might want to check out Lufthansa for direct flights from PDX to Frankfurt. 9.5 hours and you're in Germany! We went last year and were impressed with Lufthansa. Tickets are pretty reasonable too. We scored RT tickets for $385 last February. . .that may have been promotional as it was a new route but I've seen prices around $500-$600.
Portland, OR USA Fri 02/25/2005
FLYING IN JUNE TO PARIS
MARK....NOTE POSTING ON AER LINGUS FARES!!!(www.aerlingus.com).....good deals to Dublin! $770 US, LAX to Dublin direct in June/July. Then Ryanair, Dublin-Paris, 20 Euros ($25), Dublin-Rome, 40 Euros ($50) one way. (www.ryanair.com) Thanks Evan!
Ottawa, Canada Fri 02/25/2005
Try aerlingus...they are having a fare sale for the summer to dublin...then hop on ryan air to mainland europe
upstate, ny USA Fri 02/25/2005
I'm a first time traveller who is planning a trip to Germany and Italy this August but am having trouble finding reasonable tickets. I am trying to go with Rick's advice about "open jaw"tickets but it seems like all the websites I go to these tickets are extremely expensive! Is it wise to do this via the internet? Or should I call the airlines directly? Or even consult a travel agent? Any help would be much appreciated! :0)
first time traveller
FL USA Fri 02/25/2005
Flying in June to Paris
Mark.....just noticed an airfare site you can check....have never tried it, and it doesn't display fares, just sends them to you when you put in a request. But it can't hurt to try.www.justfares.com
Ottawa, O Thu 02/24/2005
FLYING IN JUNE TO PARIS
Mark~~~~I agree with Norm about flying into London. Many of the travelers on this page comment on the cheap fares to London and on to Paris or wherever they go. Some take the train and others fly. Try applefares.com and europebyair.com for discount flights from London to Paris. I have had success in searching google.com for ?discount air fares London to Paris?. If you hit a lucky day you may find a bargain. I would try every day for as many days as you can spare the time.
O K CITY, USA Wed 02/23/2005
Flying in June to Paris
Mark....that's the price you pay on the west coast for getting cheap prices to Asia and Oz! :) But don't give up yet. Here are a couple of options you may want to explore, if no one else has suggested them yet. You always find better deals from the east coast, so see if you can get a deal to NYC, Boston, Washington, etc, and then another deal to Paris. If you can find a good deal to London, take it. easyjet and Ryanair fly cheap flights from there to Paris, Rome, Milan, etc.(cheap, like $10 plus security fees, if you book early), although you'll probably need to set aside 5 or 6 hours to ensure you make it from Heathrow to their airports at Gatwick, Stansted, or Luton (all in the London area, via subway and train) That way, you could fly into Paris via London, then out via Rome-London, or something similar. This requires a bit of work to lock it all up, but the savings can be quite substantial. The best advice is, if you can, travel in April-mid June or Sept-Oct time frames. You'll get better deals, and avoid the crush! Good Luck!
Ottawa, Canada Wed 02/23/2005
FLYING IN JUNE TO PARIS
Mark ...try these phone numbers for bestfares.com. They are for various offices around the U.S. I have sometimes found special discounted fares for specific dates. 800 926 4400, 800 576 2242, 800 645 7829, 888 751 5351, 800 922 1847, or 800 940 4541. When you request a date, ask ?for the week of ______.? Give the agent some leaway.
TULSA, USA Wed 02/23/2005
Flying in June to Paris
Thanks for those who replied to my post. I'm getting a little discouraged since I can't seem to find any breaks. The best I've seen for the last week of June - first week of July for Italy/France is $974 on Hotwire. Maybe I should take that and be glad that I got in under $1000.
Los Angeles, CA USA Wed 02/23/2005
no real experience but I am looking at zoom right now. They fly out of Vancouer to the UK. their prices seem very reasonable. I also understand mytravel is starting to fly out of vancouver as well. I will be looking at both of those. I know someone using my travel in March so I will have a good idea when they get back.
vancouver, bc canada Tue 02/22/2005
Cheap Flights out of Italy?
An increasingly popular airport for cheap flights out of Italy is Orio al Serio airport in Bergamo, about an hour outside Milan by shuttle buses that leave from Milan's central railway station. Ryanair, the discount Irish airline, for example, flies out of there. The airport website is at http://www.sacbo.it/inglese/index.asp The bus service is run by the Italian firm, Terravision, which also runs buses to airports in Rome, Florence, and London Stansted. The website is http://www.terravision.it/
Ottawa, Canada Tue 02/22/2005
Cheap Flights out of Italy?
Just a small word of caution regarding Milan airports. Milan is a fantastic city and purely on a personal note I prefer it to Rome but it is served by two airports : the first is Malpensa ( MXP ) and is miles from the centre of Milan and a very expensive taxi fare, the second is Linate ( LIN ) and is very central. You can catch a quick, cheap, local bus to Linate. Make sure you pick the right airport or any savings you make on your air ticket can vanish in a taxi ride.
Nottingham, UK Tue 02/22/2005
Cheap Flights out of Italy?
I'm a novice European traveller and am planning a trip to Europe in May/June. Have just started looking for tickets and am planning flying open-jawed into Paris and out of a city in Italy (originally planned flying out of Rome). Have found that Milan is a lot cheaper to fly out of. Any advice on other cities in Italy that would be even cheaper?
Rochester, NY USA Mon 02/21/2005
Last year in January, I planned a trip November trip to Paris. I searched almost daily for months, knowing that the price fluctuates. I didn't buy the tickets until August! The price would drop $100 or so every now and then. When it dropped $200 down to what I paid the year before, I booked right away, directly with the airline. Be patient and keep searching. You'll know when you've got a good deal. Plus, the airlines frequently have specials.
Philadelphia, PA USA Mon 02/21/2005
Flying in August/September
I am interested in flying to Europe in late August and staying for about a month. After a few web searches, I haven't seen any airfare for under $1000. Is late August and September still considered peak travel season? I feel like I should be finding cheaper airfare, so maybe I'm just looking in all the wrong places. Also, I'm a student, but so far the STA travel website hasn't quoted me any good deals. I would either fly out of Seattle or Vancouver B.C., and am flexible to where I fly into. Does anyone have any experience getting good deals to Europe at this time of year? Thanks!
Bellingham, WA USA Mon 02/21/2005
Flying in September
We are flying from Honolulu to Paris in September. Rates listed are typically around $1,100. A couple of years ago we flew to Rome for $785. Have rates went up this much or are we just looking to early? If so when should we be booking?
Honolulu, HI USA Mon 02/21/2005
FLYING IN JUNE
Mark....I found a special fare for a friend from Dallas to Sweden for $400 in June by visiting travelocity.com. Give it a try. Some people fly to London because it is so much cheaper and then fly Ryanair.com or cheapseats.com or europebyair.com on to Paris or Rome. Some travelers say that the airlines reduce fares on planes with surplus seats on Wednesday each week. They call after midnight and find low fares.
DALLAS, USA Thu 02/17/2005
Airfare to France
Today we booked our roundtrip for the end of May, SF to CDG, after checking with a consolidator and digging through all the usual internet travel sites. A little research revealed thatDelta and Air France partner their flights. (We booked with Delta, but the plane is an Air France 747.) The exact same flight was $200 more (for 2) through Air France. So we booked it through Delta.Some travelers don't mind spending extra time making transfers and flying in smaller cabins. This was a perfect fit for us and will pay for our first night in Paris.
Bay Area, ca USA Thu 02/17/2005
It's a lousy time (at this date) to get anything other than about $1000 (or $1100). You might try juggling dates a bit.
Here, OR USA Thu 02/17/2005
Flying in June
I'm planning to do France and Italy the last week of June/first week of July. The airfares I'm finding are about $1100. I've tried consolidators, directly with the airlines, my travel agent. I know it's the high season, and unfortunately I can't help when I'm going, but is this as good as fares are going to get? Should I just bite the bullet and buy it, or wait hoping that fares will go down?
Los Angeles, CA USA Thu 02/17/2005
Maybe a year or so ago I made the mistake of signing up for something and forgot to uncheck the box saying that I was interested in taking, "Cheap Trips." Now every other week I can expect a call from Cheaptrips.com. At first I thanked them and tried to politely decline, but the person I'm speaking with always becomes rude, asks me why I signed up and simply won't leave me alone. I just got off the phone for the fifth time with this company and felt my head beginning to explode as the gentleman, er Jerk became unbelievably hostile with me telling me that I must have signed up either today or yester, since he just got the request. Of course this is the first time I've been online in days, so this is absolutely ridiculous. Basically what I'm trying to say is to stay away from them. You will be harassed and no matter how many times you ask them to leave you alone, they won't.
Troy, OH USA Mon 02/14/2005
I agree with Tim in SLC. Since I fly in just under 26 (by a couple months!) I too used STA Travel to get my tickets.I'm flying from San Francisco into Rome for Easter and out of Amsterdam back to SFO just after 4th of July. STA had the best deal for an unrestricted, changable ticket at $680. Comparable ticket on Orbits averaged near $1200 (restricted)! And, from talking to the travel agents at STA those over 26 can get deals too. Everyone should check them out.STAtravel.com
Oakland, CA USA Thu 02/10/2005
Consolidators - the final one
OK... ONE more on this. ;-) I received several emails so I'll add this info. There are many websites that explain the consolidator ticket process... such as http://www.hasbrouck.org/faq/ . There is even a listing of such companies on this very grafitti wall (by another poster): AIRLINE CONSOLIDATOR 800 468 5385,
AIR TREKS 800 350 0612,
AMERICAN PASSENTER CONSOLIDATORS 800 526 2447,
COUNCIL TRAVEL 800 226 8624,
DER TOURS 800 782 2424,
ECONOMY TRAVEL 800 222 2110,
FLY CHEAP 800 359 2432,
OVERSEAS EXPRESS 800 343 4873. Many of these companies now have websites as well (just do a Google search using "consolidator tickets" and lots will come up). Many of these outfits advertise in the big city newspapers (NY Times and SF Chronicle come to mind).
Portland, OR USA Tue 02/08/2005
Consolidator, last one ;-)
Wished I'd just added this to my first one:
Some travel agents will NOT consider finding you a consolidator ticket. They simply don't make as much money on these sorts of fares. Also, there ARE downsides to many consolidator tickets, which include:
1) VERY high cancellation fees (nearly the cost of the ticket)
2) some will not allow the use of a credit card (but most do nowadays)
Otherwise, these are the same seats on the same flights that you'll pay top dollar for.
Portland, OR USA Tue 02/08/2005
Forgot to add that I also arranged (for my father-in-law) a flight from Portland to London (going in early May and returning in mid August - prime times) and with a consolidator the price dropped from the going rate of about $850-950 down to about $700 (and we could have taken one around $650 but he wanted to choose his airline - British Air).
Portland, OR USA Tue 02/08/2005
Use a Consolidator when possible
I usually first try to get a "consolidator" ticket (AKA "bucket shop" or wholesaler)... and a local travel agent is willing to get these if they can. These are often available on international flights. As a point of comparison, for a flight from Portland, Oregon to Frankfurt to Venice (March 22) and back out of Rome (April 7), the going rate was about $950-1000 (with the best at around $900) on Lufthanza (which shares miles with United). The consolidator price which I finally got was $660 complete (taxes, etc.). Not bad for picking my date and times... and on the same Lufthanza flights.
Portland, OR USA Tue 02/08/2005
If you're a student or under 26, and traveling during the summer, STA travel could have the best deal...I paid about $730 from SLC, including taxes, and it's open jaw (Paris, London).
Delta has a great spring and summer rate (a special deal) to Berlin, but maximum stay is one month.
salt lake city, UT USA Mon 02/07/2005
we are going to europe in may ,just purchased our tickets to gatwick in uk one way $259.by Zoom airways.can anyone beat that?
toronto, ont can Mon 02/07/2005
BEST TIME TO GO TO EUROPE
The best time to go to Europe, if you are only concerned about cost of tickets, is during the low season which is winter months. I have found American Airlines the lowest the last few times I have shopped the majors. Go to the AA page at aa.com and ask for prices for varying months. You will usually find a variation.
Always ask for departure and return on Tues, Wed or Thurs for lowest fares. Last Saturday Tom Parsons, pres of bestfares.com gave a discount fare to Europe and a special phone number --- 800 926 4400. Call and ask for fares for the low season.
You might also go to travelocity.com where I found a super low fare for a friend on AA from DFW to Gothenburg, Sweden.
Some of the experienced travelers say they call the airlines immediately after midnight on any Wednesday to catch the low fares when the inventory control manager cuts fares on flights with too many unfilled seats. I have never had to try that one.
Others who have more time call the airline serving the departure and destination cities every day for several weeks asking for the "lowest fare available during the week of _______" without specifying a date.
DALLAS, USA Thu 02/03/2005
DISCOUNTED BUSINESS CLASS TO MUNICH
Discounted Business Class Air to Munich
DiDi~~~~~here are some consolidators you might call. This is an old list so some may be extinct.
AIRLINE CONSOLIDATOR 800 468 5385,
AIR TREKS 800 350 0612, AMERICAN PASSENTER CONSOLIDATORS 800 526 2447, COUNCIL TRAVEL 800 226 8624,
DER TOURS 800 782 2424, ECONOMY TRAVEL 800 222 2110, FLY CHEAP 800 359 2432, OVERSEAS EXPRESS 800 343 4873.
A. M. TRAVESTRY
TX USA Thu 02/03/2005
We are booked on Alitalia to Milan for our 17 day Italy R/S bus tour in April. Trying to buy carry-on bags airline will accept, but 22x14x10 bag is limited to 11 pounds. Most bags this size weigh 9 pounds empty. Anyone have experience with what Alitalia will allow?
Lilburn, GA USA Fri 01/28/2005
Low Cost to Europe
Another discount site to check is www.airlineconsolidator.com. They just sold me a one-way ticket next week on United from Portland OR to Paris for $455. On the United website the same ticket is quoted at $1599.
OR USA Fri 01/14/2005
Low-Cost to Europe
Check www.condor.com for flights from Las Vegas or Florida to Europe starting at $99 one-way!! Condor is a Lufthansa subsidiary...
Frankfurt am Main, GER Tue 01/11/2005
I have tried going to the various internet sights like cheap tickets but have found that after adding the taxes and extras they are not much cheaper than calling the airlines themselves and often route you all over the place and some will not even let you know the route until you pay for the tickets and i do not buy anything unless I know exactly what I am paying for
Since I live in Michigan and there is only one direct flight to Paris out of Detroit I am pretty much stuck with Northwest anyway . they often have on line sales if they fit their time frame and your vaction plans and if you have paid a higher price they will give you a voucher for at least some if not most of the difference for another flight and if you try to travel every year to Europe as wee do this is really nice And even if we don't buy our tickets or anything else to get frequent flyer miles I have signed up for the Northwest KLM program because as along as we are flying anyway we might as well earn them the price you get when you go to NWA.com includes all taxes etc and is the total price you will pay when you buy them.
Also I was reading the article about paper tickets.. NW discourages them and nowdays they really aren't necessary They email you a copy of your intinerary and you can click for details which will give you the times and flight numbers ind of plance what meals are sereved and a link to a map of the planes so oyou can choose your seat. You don't even need this to get on a flight They just take your name and look it up but i always carry it with me anyeway just incase there are any problems Also make sure all names are spelled correctly before you go and corrected. This can create a problem when trying to board at leasyt on your return trip
Janice L. Killingbeck
Saginaw, MI USA Mon 01/10/2005
NW Refer A Friend
Last year NW ran a refer a friend program and me and my new friends from this board scored lots of bonus miles! Which can later be converted to free tickets back to Europe!
If you are travelling on NW to anywhere not just Europe between now and May 31st 2005 and haven't flown on NW for a year...
All you have to do is email me your name and Worldperks # as it appears on your card... And you cannot have traveled on NW since January 1st of 2004.
That's it! Its easy and worth the few minutes become doglover's friend!
Portland, OR USA Sat 01/08/2005