Flying to Europe: 2006
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
Be advised that the Vienna International Airport isn't laid out like most I've been through in the US. If you need to eat or drink, do it before you get in the "security line," because the security checkpoint is right at the lounges for individual gates. All of the food and duty-free shops are located BEFORE the security checkpoint, and there's nowhere to buy food, water or souvenirs once they've checked your carryon luggage. Some of the shops will sell you food or water and put it in a large, clear plastic bag that's totally sealed. You can't even open the bag until you get on the airplane. We ended up going to the lady's room to slurp water from the sinks so we could take pre-flight medication. Also be aware that Austrian Airlines will spoil you rotten; their wonderful service made up for the airport's strange way of doing things.
Old Bridge, NJ USA Wed 12/20/2006
Any comments on Air India? Thinking about utilizing this airline for a flight to Paris.
NJ USA Sun 12/10/2006
Flights from US to London
We are looking at our flight options and I have two questions. One is about the airline to use. If the prices run about the same would you recommend Virgin Atlantic, United, Aer Lingus or BMI? The second question is about layovers. If we fly out of the US, have a layover in Dublin and then land in London do we have to go through customs in both Dublin and London? What if we have a layover in Manchester? Do we go through customs in Manchester and London?
Thanks for any help...
Decatur, IL USA Sun 12/10/2006
Flying to Germany in August
I am planning a trip to frankfurt to see family in Mid august 2007. What's a good price for this time of year? Probably staying 3 weeks
Seattle, WA USA Fri 12/08/2006
Paris Charles DeGaul Renovations
Charles DeGaul Airport Terminal 1 is undergoing renovations on the arrivals level. The PoissyBus to Paris is not at door 10, but tickets and loading take place between door 32-34 outside.
Arvada, CO USA Sun 11/26/2006
International Flexible Date Search
ww.zuji.com also does international flexible date search.
USA Sat 11/25/2006
Internation flexible date fare search
Go to http://www.itasoftware.com/ to do a flexible date search for international flights. Click on "Looking for airfares" and click "Month long search". Log in as a guest if asked. I know of no other site that allows this type of search for international fares since Travelocity was forced to stop their service. This should be a powerful money saving too.
Iowa USA Sat 11/25/2006
Paris Shuttle Vans
FYI--we had a great trip to Paris & the western side of France in September. Getting in & out of CDG not the horror we expected--actually much easier than Geneva (2 countries) or even the airport from ____, O'Hare! But we chose the wrong van company; should have used GoldenAir, as Rick recommended. PLEASE do not sign on with BlueVan! They were over an hour late getting us back to CDG; many calls and a lot of run-around excuses; the hotel clerk told us that they NEVER uses this company because they are unreliable! Lucky for us, we arranged a very early pick-up, so we made the flight, but beware the BlueVan !
Laura & Dave McIntire
Clayton, Ca USA Sun 11/19/2006
Finding Best Buys for Flights to Europe
You can have good experiences and bad; there is no way around it these days. Having just taken a two week trip to Europe may I offer my recomendaions. I found my best price from Seattle to Amsterdam by going directly to the airline web site. North West Airlines non stop from Seattle to Amsterdam roundtrip was $825 (all fees included). This was the best price of any site. Key was I booked the flight in March and my trip was late September. Same flight then was almost $300 more. Booking early pays. Plane was very comfortable, service great, and on time. Remember that you can have two bags of 44 lbs. but you can't take one bag of 65 lbs. without paying an additional weight sur-charge. All airlines do this.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 11/13/2006
Charles de Gaulle/Air France
Just returned from a fabulous week in Florence. We flew Air France from Boston through CDG to the Florence airport, and back. CDG never again! Going over, the signage between terminals was not great, the connection time was insufficient, there was no help from Air France, and at one point while we were trying to sprint between terminals, we found ourselves in a sea of at least 150 people all trying to push luggage carts out the same door we were trying to dash through. We were very lucky to make our connection. On the return, Air France was better organized and helpful getting us all across the airport to the gate for Boston, but the security guard spent so much time examining my plastic baggie of makeup and prescription eyedrops that, again, we had to sprint for the plane. FYI, I use a lot of lip balm, so had three tubes in my baggie. She confiscated two of the three, as well as a glue stick that I like to use for journaling. Oh well ... Next time we'll know better. Loved Peretola, the little (one terminal) airport outside Florence -- much more convenient than flying in to Pisa.
Boston, USA Mon 11/13/2006
TAP PORTUGAL from the west coast
I live in S.Francisco CA and I also fly regularly to Lisbon and to Rome and since last year I fly with TAP via Newark connecting with Continental and United. Their service and food are very good. I buy tickets through a local travel agency though last time I bought with them directly (the only problem is that their reservations open 9am to 6pm EST which means 6am to 3pm for us). Lisbon-Rome-Lisbon is also very good value for money with TAP.
S. Francisco, CA USA Sun 11/12/2006
TAP very good
Yes I also recommend TAP. I fly frequently to Lisbon and to Africa through Lisbon using TAP and they are very good. I live in Chicago and still cannot book Chicago-Lisbon through their website but I call their toll-free number 1-800 221 7370 and they do electronic tickets all the way from Chicago to Lisbon (United to Newark) and I love to fly with them
Chicago, IL USA Sat 11/11/2006
TAP excelent service
I've flown TAP Portugal's A340's, A330's and A310's from Newark to Lisbon several times and I must say their service and level of comfort is very good (except in coach on A310's but I believe they will be replaced by A330's soon). I always buy tickets directly with them through their reservations 1-800 221 7370 and lately througt their website www.flytap.com . Excelent airline to Europe and within Europe.
New York, NY USA Sat 11/11/2006
I dislike Delta to Europe because of their old old planes. They do not have the seatback entertainment units like the AirBus planes that we've flown on with Air France and Northwest.
Unfortunately I'm heading back to Munich in March 2007 on Delta.
USA Mon 11/06/2006
Airlines and Security checks.
Two complaints about airlines ? OK if the airline is late or their web site is poor that is a justifyable complaint. It is not justifyable to complain about an airline because of long security queues and custom checks at airports. Airlines have no control over them, they are nothing to do with either BA or Delta. That is an airport issue. It's like blaming General Motors because the freeway is crowded.
Nottingham, UK Thu 11/02/2006
Do Not use Delta! 7 flights, every one was late departing, nothing like consistency! Also, avoid New York! You will take 3 hours getting back in through customs, and like lots of people miss your connecting flight, I just made mine!
duh, Fl USA Thu 11/02/2006
I have flown many different airlines to Europe and within Europe--I would consider myself a seasoned air traveler. I have really never had a complaint, all were professional and did the job for me. This September/October I was really looking forward to my Seattle-London-Amsterdam rountrip on British Air, I had never flown them--but wanted to. As soon as I paid the ticket and moved to pick out my seats on the website, I was not allowed to do so. I had to wait until 24 hours before the flight-a month away. Even at that point it was a big hassle and I had to go through customer service on the phone over the course of a few hours to get leftover seats that I was not happy with. The BA website is nowhere near the quality of other airlines--Northwest and Alaska are great! The security at Heathrow was unnecessarily long and laborious, even when I returned in October we had to wait in long lines to get down to only 2 xray machines. I thought after all that time Heathrow would have smoothed things out, but no. This was after just going through Amsterdam Schipol security and getting off the plane to do it again, through the mess at Heathrow. The flight itself was ok. One of the reasons I booked British Air was to get the frequent flier miles in my partner airline account. I paid $1250 world traveler ticket and yet was only given credit for 25% of miles flown on my return flight! That was the final blow. Never again will I fly BA...
Sedro Woolley, WA USA Wed 11/01/2006
TAP Portugal Airline
It is too bad the gentleman had a problem with TAP and their luggage. I have flown TAP several times, and I recommend them highly. Better than any American airline of late..
USA Tue 10/31/2006
Flying to Europe
I really enjoyed our American Airlines flight to Paris this past September. Compared to last year flying Air France, the blankets and pillows were much more substantial compared to Air France's paper thin blankets. And I also booked 2 row seats on the side for my friend and I. It contributed less to the caustrophobic tight spaced feeling I normally get. Also it was easier to get in and out of the rows. I search websites constantly (kayak, mobisimo, yahoo) and then check the airline's websites as well. I booked directly on American and I think it was cheaper. Also I suddenly became ill and needed to change our flights and American's policy was to waive my change fees, saving me $200. Also I got a credit voucher for the difference since fall is cheaper than summer to fly. Lufthansa does not honor changes, even with a doctor's letter. Good to know in the future.
USA Tue 10/24/2006
TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP
Everyone varies with sleep requirements and international flight tolerance.
One thing you must do is to walk often while flying to prevent blood clotting.
I believe in experimenting until you find the best method. There are many suggestions on the web if you search for "combating jet lag" or "long distant flying health needs." Or some variation.
USA Mon 10/16/2006
WELLIES...TICKETS AND RENTALS
Just get on the web and search the airlines for fares. Once I find a good fare I call toll free and talk with an agent.
Fares vary from day to day. After 21 years of travel I can tell you there is no best place for tickets.
As for renting a weekly apartment, do a google search for "apartments + your destination town name." Such as "apartments Rome."
And always look at the apartment before you agree to rent it. The owners don't mind.
USA Mon 10/16/2006
Returning thru Chicago
Departed Dublin at 9:30 Am for Heathrow. Changed from Aer Lingus to American Airlines. 3 hours was enough time for that. However, the 1 1/2 hour layover in Chicago was not enough, as we almost got stranded in Chicago for the night. The AA attendant informed us Chicago is the busiest airport in the world. High winds caused delays that day, and it appeared that a couple thousand people were all trying to get thru immigration and customs at the same time. AA was able to get us on a 1 hour later flight with United, a partner airline, or we would not have gotten back to Portland OR that night. We will try to avoid Chicago in the future. Of course 1 less plane change would have helped, but had free tickets thru Visa rewards program, and had to fly thru London to get to Ireland.
WA USA Fri 10/13/2006
Flying into Frankfurt
Flying into Frankfurt: Beware! I booked a flight from Dublin to "Frankfurt" on Ryanair. The price was great, but Caveat Emptor! The "Frankfurt" that Ryanair flies into is NOT Frankfurt's Flughafen, the busiest airport in Europe. Ryanair flies into Frankfurt-Hanh, which is about 100 km west, and not near any major cities. I was in the process of booking a B&B in Frankfurt when I found out the airport was more than 60 miles from my arrival location. Maybe everyone on the continent knows that "Frankfurt-Hanh is not near Frankfurt, but I am a first time Europe traveler, and I had no clue. I wish Rick would point this out in his Germany guide. This is one Back Door that may slam travelers in the backside!
Cedarpines Park, CA USA Thu 10/05/2006
Student Universe travel site
Someone mentioned www.studentuniverse.com as good prices for student travel. I've priced them and its about the same price as some other leading travel sites.
Rochester, Ny USA Tue 09/19/2006
TAP lost my daughter's luggage--apparently for good. It has been over 30 days. Their customer service has been mostly non-existent or rude.
New York, USA Mon 09/18/2006
Tickets and rentals
Where's the best place to get tickets? We're a family of five (kids are 12 and older) and are considering going to either the UK or Italy. Any nice but inexpensive ideas on renting a weekly/bi-weekly place in either destination would also be appreciated.
USA Sun 09/17/2006
ORLANDO TO EUROPE
To FRANKFURT - non-stop at www.condor.com - excellent prices even with extra taxes.
To AMSTERDAM - non-stop flights on Martin Air www.martinairusa.com, but call 800 number for reservations. Prices will save you at least $50-100 off NW and with no stops. For only a little more they will connects you to other European cities through KLM.
Orlando, USA Sat 09/16/2006
Don't use Best Discount Network
Don't even think about booking through Best Discount Network (also known as ITS Inc) or the gateway ETN.nl that tolerates their fraudulent activities.
I paid them over $1,000 for a trip to Europe, but they never issued a valid ticket. I was forced to repurchase at the airport when the fraud was discovered. Now they no longer respond to my inquiries. They have used the exact same scheme many times before:
I reported them to the Better Business Bureau, others sued - to no avail.
Oakland, CA USA Fri 09/15/2006
To sleep or not to sleep!
I try to sleep when flying overnight to Europe. Last time, I took Tylenol PM just after dinner was served (~7pm) and slept fairly well until we landed in London. We went sightseeing all day, were asleep by 9pm and up at 4am to catch a flight to Rome. I took the tylenol pm again the first night in Rome and was fine the rest of the trip.
Baltimore, MD USA Tue 09/12/2006
Yeah, don't drink beer or wine days before you go to Europe on those long plane rides.
LIke Hank said, drink loads of H20!
USA Thu 09/07/2006
KIRK.......To sleep, or not to sleep...
Everyone's physical system is different. What works for me may not work for you.
You will find hundreds of letters on this page telling you how to avoid jetlag.
Most agree that you not sleep on the plane. That you walk as often and as long as you choose to keep you blood flowing.
They advise drinking lots of water and nothing else.
Otherwise do what makes you feel good. When you land do not go to bed.
Walk around and see the town first. Go to bed when everyone else does that first day.
In my 20 trips overseas going both directions, that's what I do.
DALLAS, TX USA Wed 09/06/2006
To sleep, or not to sleep...
Next week I will be making my maiden voyage to Europe. My flight leaves mid-afternoon from the West Coast and arrives in Amsterdam early afternoon the next day. Knowing nothing about a flight of this length, should I sleep on the plane, or stay awake and tough it out until sleepy-time in Amsterdam the next night? How can I minimize jet-lag with these travel times?
CA USA Wed 09/06/2006
MICHELLE...... Going Transatlantic via Boat
I have traveled across the Atlantic many times by boat.
I can assure it is BORING.
Do you want to spend a week or 10 days watching the water go by.
If there is a casino on board and you like to gamble, take the boat.
Otherwise take some good books because you will looking for something to help you kill the days.
I also suggest you check the cost and compare with your boring air flights.
USA Sun 09/03/2006
Has Anyone Ever Gone Transatlantic via Boat?
Just wondering if anyone has gone across the Atlantic via boat, rather than plane and what their experiences were. Seriously considering to go by boat next time. Airplane travel just ain't fun anymore - what with diminishing food service, diminishing allowable carry-ons, diminishing baggage weight allowances, zero customer service in tiny cramped spaces, etc. etc. etc. A boat is sounding like it might be more fun, maybe less "jet lag?"
Milwaukee, WI USA Sun 09/03/2006
KATHY....CHEAPEST CITY TO FLY TO
Over the years, the destination most often listed by experienced travelers is Frankfurt.
That may have changed recently, but I haven't heard it yet. If I were to go today, I would check fares to Frankfurt first.
USA Wed 08/30/2006
London (Gatwick) airport to the city
Go to the train Station at Gatwick and ask for a ticket for the Gatwick to London Express. It costs GBP12.00, takes about half an hour and they leave about every ten minutes. There are no stops along the way and there is plenty of room for luggage. Your arrival station in London is Victoria. Depending on where your hotel is you can walk, take the tube, catch a bus or enjoy a black cab.
Nottingham, UK Wed 08/30/2006
London (Gatwick) airport to the city
I'm confused about the best way to get from Gatwick to London. I've done Heathrow several times - the train works great, and is one the metro line. But I'm taking Continental, which lands at Gatwick. I found a train last time, but it was some commuter nightmare, with no place to put a suitcase, and then still had to take a cab to the hotel. How the heck do you get from Gatwick to London?
Paramus, NJ USA Tue 08/29/2006
Cheapest European City
USA Tue 08/29/2006
Cheapest City to Fly TO
I realize that NY/NJ, Philly, Atlanta and even Miami are the cheapest East Coast airports to fly out of..but where is the cheapeast European city to fly TO from one of those East Coast cities? I'd like to find the cheapest international route first, then plan my trip via trains around that price. Any help you can give with what cities would be great!
VA USA Tue 08/29/2006
As a college student, have you checked www.studentuniverse.com for fares? My daughter has always found great fares on their site.
Williamsburg, Va USA Tue 08/29/2006
GRAY......WHEN TO BUY FOR WINTER
Be sure to read the letters in this column referring to Ryan Air. And then read those letters in the Flying within Europe section.
There are lots of comments on Ryan. Airports they use are quite a distance from the towns they list as departure cities, requiring more travel time and sometimes more cost.
If you compare cost you may find it cheaper to fly into Frankfurt or another city farther East.
I have always compared fares and flown into Frankfurt seven times because fares were less.
As for waiting---—most travelers say it's a matter of luck finding the lowest fares.
Airlines usually count empty seats at midnight on Wednesdays for each flight to determine how to reduce fares. Midweek fares are always less than other days.
USA Mon 08/28/2006
When to Buy for Winter?
As a poor college student, I thinking of heading to Eastern Europe this winter with some friends. I was planning on flying from San Francisco to London, then braving the transfer and taking Ryanair to Bratislava. Searching now in anticipation of leaving December 29th, I've found 560 r/t to London. Should I buy now? My gut says to wait, but I'd love to hear thoughts and advice. Thanks!
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 08/28/2006
The three trips I made to Europe: London, Munich, and Rome were arranged by Gotoday.com. excellent price for RT.
NJ USA Sun 08/27/2006
shuttle between London airports?
Heathrow to Stanstead is quite easy. You can take a National Express coach from the bus station at Heathrow. The journey time is usually about one and a half hours to two hours and they depart once an hour. They are not always the most comfortable way to travel but it's only two hours and they get you from one place to another. A one way trip is about USD30.00 per person. Book your seats well in advance.
Taking a taxi will be very expensive. A train will take longer, cost a little more but it is usually more comfortable. Allow plenty of time for transfers between airports, there can be delays at both airports and on the roads.
Nottingham, UK Thu 08/24/2006
Shuttle between London Aiports
I have taken the shuttle from London Heathrow to Gatwick a couple of times. The last time I did it, I flew into LHR on Alitalia and then flew back to the USA via LGW in the same day. Just make sure you have at least 5-6 hours between your arrival and departure times.
Saratoga, NY USA Fri 08/18/2006
shuttle between London airports?
I'm considering flying into Heathrow and out of Stansted to get a lower fare to Italy this fall. Is this a ridiculous idea? Are there shuttles between the airports? How long could I expect such a trip to take? Would it be better to take the Express trains in and then out of the city center, or hire a cab? Any information would be greatly appreciated!
Boston, MA USA Fri 08/18/2006
Things are a little * fluid * at Heathrow and the other London airports today. It looks like the restrictions on hand luggage may be reduced a little, but not much, to allow you to take on a small piece of hand luggage.
You will find that the shops at Heathrow will now sell you books and journals and you are being allowed to take those on board.
As regards the offloading of luggage this mainly applies to the short-haul low cost airlines and not the full service transatlantic routes. But as a point of information the bag tag with the bar code on it does contain the details of what type of seat you are in, it's right next to your name and flight details on the tag.
Nottingham, UK Mon 08/14/2006
Surviving the book and iPod Ban
Thanks to Rob for providing some insight into a very long trip from Heathrow to the US with no reading materials or iPods. I'm looking at a similar trip and am wondering if there any other tales of survival without books from recent travelers who are willing to share. I feel the need for some mental preparation.
Madison, WI USA Sun 08/13/2006
Travel out of Heathrow Friday Aug 11th
My family and I returned home from our trip in the UK on Friday Aug 11th through Heathrow. It is an experience we will never forget. The Heathrow security personnel and British Airways personnel did a superb job of processing all of us passengers. Our flight to San Francisco was the first British Airways transatlantic flight for the day. One thing people will want to know is: your plane may leave the terminal gate, but it may not take off until US customs processes passenger information and clears the flight for entry into the US. Expect to sit somewhere on the tarmac for a while (3.5 hours in our case). One thing that left an impression on us: because no one had lap tops, iPods, books, it was left to us to get acquainted with one or more of our fellow passengers. We all had stories to tell about our experience at Heathrow, and other things. All of us Americans on our flight agreed, our British hosts were great role models (and hosts) on how to "keep a stiff upper lip". There's more to tell, but suffice it to say travel to from UK will not be the same for a long time. That said, it will NOT change my family's plans to visit again... ...soon.
Rohnert Park, CA USA Sun 08/13/2006
ALL THOSE QUESTIONS ABOUT LUGGAGE
HEY travelers, we are in a temporary transition period now.
Luggage restrictions can change daily for the next few weeks.
Wait and see what they are when you are preparing to leave.
You may find that your concerns are unnecessary.
All the experts say this is a short lived limit on carryons.
Save your questions until the week you are scheduled to fly and then call your airline and ask what the restrictions are.
USA Fri 08/11/2006
SS>>>>>>New restrictions on Luggage
Once your luggage is checked there is no way for baggage handlers to know what class you are flying in so they cant give your luggage special handling.
I understand that they pull the luggage that is easiest to reach without regard to size or weight.
USA Fri 08/11/2006
New restrictions on luggage on flights
I had read somewhere before that if the airplane has too much checked luggage or the total weight of the checked luggage is too much, that they will take off the heaviest pieces and send them on a different flight.
Now that we have to check all of our luggage (I fly next week... 8/18), I am worried about my luggage. Does anyone know if the airlines give better treatment to the luggage of those people who are flying first or economy (business) class that they do for the rest of us? Would they pull non-first/economy class luggage off first?
Scottsdale, AZ USA Fri 08/11/2006
These are the easiest tickets in the world to purchase, they also are the most expensive. Any scheduled airline will sell you one of these, they are usually fully changeable and fully refundable either in part or total ( minus a small admin fee ).
For travellers on a more limited budget you can purchase a ticket that has a one year validity where you can make one change either for free or for a change fee. The downside of this is that you have less flexibility and the booking classes are more restricted. These tickets can often be upgraded by paying the upgrade fee.
Both of these types of tickets can usually be endorsed by the issuing airline for use by another carrier flying the same route. If you need to keep the cost even lower ( and neither of these types of ticket are inexpensive ) your best bet is to look for a travel agency selling consolidator fares which have a one year life span and allow you to make one change. Terms and conditions on consolidator tickets can vary from very good to very bad so you need to be absolutely sure about what you are buying.
It is often worthwhile phoning an airline's reservations department and asking to be put through to their *Fares and PTA* department ( PTA stands for Pre-paid Ticket Advice ) and discussing your individual needs. My experience is that airline PTA staff are some of the most helpful people around.
Nottingham, UK Mon 08/07/2006
SARAH.....OPEN ENDED RETURN
Only your airline or travel agent can answer your question. After you talk with them you may want to consider buying one way fares.
USA Sun 08/06/2006
Does anyone have any tips on how to book an open-ended flight (unsure of return date), or one the has a one-year later return date?
san francisco, ca USA Sun 08/06/2006
Travelocity explanation from DOT
After emailing DOT with my complaints I received the following explanation from their "Senior Attorney".
--------------------------------------- From: Date: 2006/08/03 Thu PM 01:31:22 EDT To: xxxxxxx Subject: Travelocity's Flexible Fare Finder
In response to your recent comment on the shutdown of the Travelocity Flexible Fare Finder (FFF), we would point out the following:
(1) The Department of Transportation's Aviation Enforcement Office, after an extended investigation, found that the FFF listed fares that in some cases excluded carrier-imposed surcharges, amounting in international markets to more than $100, and in other cases did not; the resulting displays made what were in fact higher-priced carriers appear to be cheaper than lower-priced ones, thereby creating the likelihood of deceiving consumers into purchasing higher-priced tickets or traveling on less convenient itineraries. It is important to note that consumers were not likely to know they were being deceived or to have a simple mechanism to ascertain the deception.
(2) The Department's full-fare advertising rule (14 CFR 399.84) requires that all carrier-imposed surcharges be included in the initial fare displayed in an internet advertisement so that consumers have a consistent benchmark against which to make fare comparisons.
(3) The Aviation Enforcement Office also believed that the FFF listed fares that were no longer available, a fact a consumer could discover only after pursuing a tedious process of selecting alternate departure and return dates.
(4) When the Aviation Enforcement Office brought the full-fare advertising issue to the attention of Travelocity, the company was given several months in which to correct its display.
(5) Travelocity was given the option to list in the FFF only carriers whose fares included carrier-imposed surcharges or to modify the FFF to add in carrier-imposed surcharges into displayed fares where necessary. The Department did not force the vendor to remove the feature. Travelocity did so as a business decision.
Nicholas Lowry Senior Attorney Office of Aviation Enforcement & Proceedings Office of the General Counsel U.S. Dept. of Transportation
USA Thu 08/03/2006
Travelocity explanation link
Travelocity shut down its flexible date search option for international flights. The explanation is here. Yes, it really was the DOT. http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/today-in-travel/travelocity-disables-flexible-search-option-for-international-flights.html?id=1288554&source=dealalert&value=2006-08-03&u=371F2D8DD1 The link looks too long to be reliable. If so, work your way from smartertravel.com to blogs, etc.
IA USA Thu 08/03/2006
I found great prices on faremax - is that site safe?
SARATOGA SPRINGS, ny USA Thu 08/03/2006
There are 2 different websites: cheapair.com and cheapoair.com; note the "o" in the 2nd. I have booked RT air from OKC to ROME in March, 07 for $615 per person on American Airlines going through cheapair.com (yes this includes all fees and taxes). The same trip at the AA.com site shows a fare of $950+ per person. My reservations are listed on the AA.com site complete with my FF#'s, I have been able to choose/change my seats, and I have discussed my reservations with American Air on the phone. I would say you can purchase from cheapair.com with confidence. They are a ticket consolidator, so they may not have great prices for all flights. Good Luck.
OK USA Wed 08/02/2006
My daughter will be studying in Turkey rhis fall. I have found a couple of "student travel" bookings for airfare. Any ideas? We know the dates if travr, but may need to change the return date.
USA Wed 08/02/2006
I have the same curiousity about Cheapoair and am wondering whether to use it.
Ohio USA Tue 08/01/2006
Tried Cheapair.com after seeing previous post...saved $300 on airfare to Rome!!!
OK USA Sat 07/29/2006
Has anyone ever used CheapAir.com? They have a price for a flight that is amazing and I can't find it anywhere else so I'm wondering if they are legit. Thanks.
NY, NY USA Wed 07/26/2006
If it truly is the fault of the DOT that Travelocity had to shut down its Flexible International Destination search then - what a BONEHEAD of a decision by DOT! Doesn't the DOT have more important things to do like fight terrorism or make sure runways are long enough or something?
I never thought Travelocity was misleading. When the prices were displayed there was a very clear disclaimer saying that taxes and other such things were not included. But after you selected specific flights you COULD see the total price. What's so misleading about that? If some users were not smart enough to figure that out then they have NO business traveling internationally anyway...just my thoughts.
If you want to email DOT and complain about this stupid decision (like I did) then you can send them an email at email@example.com and tell them your displeasure with this decision.
I feel like they've succesfully cut off international travel for Middle Class America.
USA Tue 07/25/2006
Frankfurt Connection Times
To Melissa: Frakfurt is the busiest hub in Germany and 2 hours minimum should be allowed for any connecting flight.
USA Mon 07/24/2006
I agree that Heathrow airport is a nightmare to go through. It's such a hassle to go from one terminal to another requiring one to stand in line for a bus that they never quite have enough of. To get from where the bus drops you off to your gate can be a very long walk or run if you are going to miss your flight. To me its a poorly run system that needs to be fixed, but I dont see that happening any time soon. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time between flights, at least 2 hours or more and that should make your transition more pleasant. Good luck!
Los Angeles, CA USA Sun 07/23/2006
Dream Maps no more, also
Yahoo's Dream Maps no longer work, either. You can still get a map of low fares, but can no longer click on a low fare to check availability. I assume it is the DOT regulations about fuel surcharges, as below.
IA USA Sun 07/23/2006
Travelocity flexible search is no more.
Travelocity had the only flexible date search capability for transatlantic flights. It was dandy, but is no more. I have heard that the DOT was displeased that Travelocity did not include foreign airlines' fuel surcharges and therefore gave misleading results. As if the whole air pricing business isn't misleading! (Prices listed are one way, must buy round trip, etc.) The flexible date search option was still a great tool. The website still acts like it works, but it gives a error message that there are no flights.
IA USA Sun 07/23/2006
Orbitz is Good
I didn't think Orbitz would be any good but they can be.
USA Sat 07/22/2006
I agree with Al, here. My wife and I went through Heathrow this past April. Time consuming? Yes! Necessary? YES!! Tolerable? Yes, again, considering that the purpose is to keep us safe.
People need to stop belly aching and accept the situation. As far as BA announcing gates close to departure time - could it be that the reason they do that is to give potential terrorists insufficient lead time to carry out their plans? Could be....who knows.
Richmond, VA USA Wed 07/19/2006
I'm sorry that anyone is inconvenienced by long security procedures at Heathrow but you have to ask yourself who is really to blame. In a post 9/11 world security is a vital part of travelling and the inconvenience of security queues is small beer when you consider the alternative. The queues are slow mostly because of inconsiderate passengers. Every passenger can play their part in speeding up this very necessary process. Firstly you are going to pass through sensitive metal detectors, so remove all your metal objects and put them in one place, like a jacket or a bag, then send the jacket or bag through the x-ray machine while you walk through the metal detector unhindered. The major reason that queues slow up is the amount of people who walk through and trigger the detection. Next please restrict your hand luggage to the official size limits, the bigger the hand luggage the longer it takes to check - and every piece of luggage is scanned very thoroughly. Also please do not carry items that are prohibited, these include small pocket knives and scissors, they will be taken from you, you will not get them back, complaining about this just delays the queues and gets you absolutely nowhere. You will pass through more than one security check, they are there for your safety and to deter international terrorism. Please remember that Heathrow is one of the three busiest airports in the world, it is busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all the measures taken are because we put the highest priority on your safety and personal security. Allow plenty of time to pass through Heathrow, it is a huge place, almost a city in itself. If your flight into Heathrow is delayed and you have an onward connection that is an issue for the airline you are travelling with and you should inform the cabin crew before you get off the flight, insist that they take appropriate action to assist you get to your next flight – by law they are obliged to do this.
Nottingham, UK Mon 07/17/2006
Making connections in London on British Airways was not a pleasant experience. After you deplaned you needed to go through security again which involved long lines. Then the busses between terminals were very slow and again long lines were waiting. Gates were not announced until shortly before boarding so you needed to stand around in front of a flight display screen waiting for a gate assignment. The boarding area was small and most passengers waiting for a 747 had to stand or set on the floor. Next time I'll make connection in the U.S. and try to take a non-stop from there directly to my destination. I know it's not perfect but it may better my chances.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 07/15/2006
Rude, slow Heathrow people
Heathrow airport----RUDE PEOPLE!!! In a recent trip to Portugal, our connection in Heathrow turned out to be a nightmare!! Our incoming plane was late, but we were herded along into lines and buses with everyone else, forced to wait through security, and when we finally got to the counter to check in, AN EXTREMELY RUDE AND SNOTTY boy (less than 20 years old) told us the counter was CLOSED and if I wanted to try to make the flight I'd have to run to the departure gate. NO OFFER of assistance, phone call, nothing!! We did run, like wild people, all the way to the gate (seemed like a half mile), so the security desk there could ALSO be RUDE AND SNOTTY even though we told them our connection was late.
Sacramento, CA USA Sat 07/15/2006
LOST LUGGAGE--TAP AIR---AVOID!! We recently went to Portugal, and two bags were left in Heathrow due to a close connection. TAP Airlines got one of the bags to us in Madeira the next day, but I had to go the airport to get it because they couldn't name a time of delivery to the hotel (the World Cup games were on TV; get the idea??). The second bag they LOST, and couldn't tell me where it was for four days!!! Turns out it was sitting in Lisbon, until I came to Lisbon, and then they sent it to Madeira, despite repeated emails (unanswered by Lisbon) from Madeira telling them to HOLD the bag. When it was finally located in Lisbon, it took the airline TWO days to deliver it to my hotel, and they just dumped it off in the lobby; no certification that I received it. Furthermore, I have been home over a week, and keep getting run around from person to person at TAP to get reimbursed for items I had to buy while my bag was LOST!!! Don't use TAP air and check bags with them!!
Wilton, CA USA Sat 07/15/2006
Problems (scams?) involving NWA/CDG and AirFrance at CDG
My boyfriend and I are flying on NWA/KLM to France this September. Knowing this, my travel agent sister just called to strongly suggest that we pay for paper tickets instead of just using e-tickets. She said that several clients of her travel agency, when flying out of CDG, have been forced to pay $3,000 each for a flight out of Paris because the airline there did not honor the e-ticket. She said this is happening on both NWA/KLM and AirFrance flights. The airlines honor paper tickets because they are proof that the passenger has paid for the flight. They say the e-tickets are nothing more than a boarding pass, with no proof of purchase. This problem has become common enough for my sister's travel agency that they are considering requiring clients flying out of CDG to purchase paper tickets. (I also posted this and asked for first-hand accounts of this on the Traveler's Helpline.)
Rochester, NY USA Thu 07/06/2006
Easy Jet is nice but Terravisions not
Our family of five used Easy Jet several times while on our month long vacation through europe and had no problems with the airline itself in any way. We took very early flights each time since I had read that Easy Jet falls behind as the day progresses. And as a result we never had any delays whatsoever.
My only complaint would be that I do not like there transfer service Terravision. The people who run this service are really really rude!! From the guy in London who wouldn't open the door to let customers in because we were as well as 5 or 6 other people early to the guy in Rome who barked out orders of when we could get on the bus or not. They just are really unpleasant people.
Unfortunately if you use Easy Jet you kind of are stuck using this service since it is the cheapest and there arn't too many other choices.
The airports Easy Jet uses are so far away too that a taxi is definately out of the question! They basically got you so they don't need to be nice guys. For this reason and this one only I will think twice before I use Easy Jet again.
In the future I think I will just use the train because when you include the price of the plane with the transfer cost it is about the same and the train for the most part was very nice.
Hudson, Il. USA Tue 07/04/2006
No room on the plane
On May 29th our family of five took off for London for a month long vacation throughout europe. Unfortunately I chose American Airlines for our flight. I did do my research though - I thought. I chose a new plane what I thought was a good airline and the best price for us. The problems occured when we were delayed for three hours because of thunderstorms in Chicago that day. That was not American Airlines fault and I do not obviously hold that against them. My problems with AA are that you are so squashed in the plane if you fly tourist which we did.
Our 9 pm flight finally took off about midnight and we were all beat just wanting to sleep but you can't because you are so squished up against the seat in front and the seats around that it's impossible. I tried to watch the movie instead but the sound on the miserable headphones they give you completely ruin this as well. Finally the food was pretty mushy and on the way back one of the stewardesses was pretty cranky and kept banging her cart into everyone it seemed. In the future I won't use Sardine lines Aka American airlines.
Hudson, Il USA Tue 07/04/2006
Terminal 2E - Charles DeGaulle Airport
Boarding a recent Air France-Delta CDG to Boston flight took over two hours despite short lines. The departure was from one of the 80-series gates which requires a 17 to 25 minute bus ride from the main terminal. After 20 minutes we arrived at a spartan building with a single eatery and minimal duty free shopping. At gate 87 we found we had to board ANOTHER bus to reach the plane on the tarmac. Our plane left one and half hours after scheduled departure to accommodate late arriving passengers. Anyone leaving from the Terminal 2E 80-series gates would be well advised to consider arriving three hours prior to boarding to allow for bus loadings, transits, unloadings, and over a dozen passport and boarding pass checks.
Norwich, CT USA Sun 07/02/2006
NWA to London
While boarding our flight at the beginning of our recent trip to London we discovered two "high school/college" age kids in our seats. Looking around the plane it was easy to see that this was a fieldtrip of kids. They were in our seats and wouldn't get up. There reasoning was that somebody was in their seats.
Luckily we motioned for the flight attendant who made them move...turns out Joey was in Martha's seat because Martha didn't want to sit beside of Kevin who didn't want to sit beside of so-and-so...blah blah blah.
It would be nice if chaperones would actually DO their JOB during incidents like this. But luckily the NWA attendant was able to pry their whiney little butts out of our seats and make them all move.
Also it's worth mentioning that the food from Atlanta to London was rather gross. However, the food from London back to Atlanta was much nicer. I guess Europeans must have a higher standard of acceptable airline food.
USA Mon 06/26/2006
My husband and I flew Air Canada from Seattle to Toronto to London and back last summer. All four flights were on time, the staff was friendly and helpful, they fed us more than we wanted and played a tolerable selection of movies. I had only two complaints, on our return flights, they played Mr. and Mrs. Smith on both flights (ugh, I did not like that movie the first time and even less the second time). Our only other complaint is that the Toronto airport is building a new terminal and to get to our connecting flight we had to ride a tram and walk down the world's longest corridor. However, there were ample trams available and it felt rather nice to have a long walk after a long flight. Nor, is it Air Canada's fault that Toronto is building a new terminal. I would recommend Air Canada but my first BA flight is in December, so I can't compare yet.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 06/26/2006
Katie - Air Canada
Katie - good luck with Air Canada. My USAir flight to Boston was delayed last year, so I couldn't make the connecting BA flight to London. We were re-routed through Toronto and Air Canada. The flight was delayed 3 hours, then we boarded the plane only to be told of mechanical problems. Eventually we left Toronto at 2:30 a.m.. Service was okay but the whole experience was disheartening. The return flight on BA was much better and despite delays and even being stuck overnight in Newark, information was much more forthcoming.
Rochester, NY USA Wed 06/21/2006
How is Air Canada?
Hello there..I found a pretty good fare to London on Cheapoair.com...however it is from Air Canada...Has anyone flown them before? How are they? I must admit I am a bit spoiled with British Airways service.
Denver, Co USA Fri 06/16/2006
Luggage in Venice
I always take a rolling suitcase when I go to Venice. There usually aren't that many bridges although they are a problem. Not as bad as carrying your bag the whole way! Take wheels!!
USA Tue 06/06/2006
Luggage to Hotel in Venice
Yes, Joyce, for our kind of travel you carry your bags yourself....and there are many bridges if you're a "couple of blocks in"! (That's why I love my RS Convertible backpack, it makes travel SO much easier!) Last June a travel partner had a rolling bag--which was best for her--but a bit of a challenge going over all the bridges especially in the heat!
Lewiston, ID USA Tue 06/06/2006
Luggage to Hotel in Venice from airport.
I will flying into Venice from NYC and staying in a hotel in the Old Town Venice. I know we take a boat to Venice from the airport and I probably can get my luggage by myself that far. But, how do you get your luggage from the boat to your hotel if your hotel is several blocks away? Do I have to carry it? I can, I just want to be prepared so I don't pack too much.
Pocatello, ID USA Mon 06/05/2006
My family's experience flying on American Airlines through Miami and JFK was horrible. The terminal at Miami is being renovated and passengers are left to find there way through a labyrinth of poor marked hallways. When our return flight was delayed at JFK the flight attendents allowed people to de-plane without telling them to stay close to the gate. So, when the flight was ready to go, we were delay even further waiting for people to get back to the plane. We therefore missed our connection in Miami and our 18 hour trip home was transformed into a 24 hour nightmare. We did not receive any apology or sympathy from the sharped tounged gate agents in Miami. They just told us to have a seat in the lounge, which due to construction was packed and sweltering due to lack of A/C. Follow Rick's advice and don't automatically chose the cheapest fare! Of my 5 trips to Europe my best experiences have been on Delta. Even US Airways though Philadelphia was better than American through Miami. As far as equipment is concerned try to go with the spaceous Boeing 777.
Clearwater , FL USA Sun 06/04/2006
FLIGHTS TO ISTANBUL
From all I have read on this page and elsewhere, flying to London and then booking another flight to IST is cheaper because many airlines discount London flights regularly.
Do a search of discount flights from Chicago to London. Then do the same for the second leg.
USA Sat 06/03/2006
Joan, Because of the high airfares from SFO to Istanbul, I purchased 2 RT tickets. SFO-London, London-IST which were less expensive by $300. In addition, now I have a free stopover in London
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 06/03/2006
flights to Istanbul
We're on a ETBD tour of Turkey in October. All airfares I'm finding to Istanbul from Chicago are around 900 (this includes tax and fees). Would anyone have an idea on a more reasonable rate? How about flying to London, then picking up a second flight to Istanbul? Any ideas are so appreciated.
USA Fri 06/02/2006
In trying to find flights to the South of Spain we could find nothing out of any of the NYC airports for less than the $790's, however for a 2 hour drive to Philadelphia we were able to get a flight into Malaga for $680's including fees and taxes. NYC is a great jumping off place for Europe, but even there we found cheaper flights elsewhere.
Brooklyn, NY USA Thu 06/01/2006
I recommend that you avoid making flight connections through Paris/CDG if you possibly can - the place is a mess. two weeks ago we stood on a bus for 45 minutes after disembarking from our AF flight from Atlanta, and missed our connection to Geneva. If you have to connect there, you need to allow a minimum of 2 hours between flights - more if possible. When you miss a flight you have to stand in line while one harassed AF agent tries to rebook everyone - it took us another hour. The direction signs between terminals were confusing or non-existent, and the terminal we ended up in, on a sunny day, was stiflingly hot - if there was A/C it didn't seem to be working. Avoid!!
Richard G. Low
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 05/30/2006
Cheap Ticket find
Found the cheapest tickets to London on "cheapoair.com" I am going in Sept and found them for $689 and that includes the tax and fees. I will be flying on Air Canada: PHX to Toronto and then to London. Check it out, might be able to find a good deal....
Mesa, AZ USA Sat 05/27/2006
My opinion but I view air travel as a flying bus. I flew in the 50's when it was a treat and a priviledge. Howver it is just a means to get from A to B now. It is a pity but reality. I have flown economy and business in varoius airlines and it really is a shame. So much advertising etc. but in the end the difference between them is a few more inches of space and a happier crew.
Ca USA Wed 05/24/2006
Flights to Paris; avoid Delta/Air France to CDG
We flew Delta / Air France to Paris in October 2005 and in May 2006. Both trips required using CDG Terminal 2E. The experience was close to inhumane. Passengers flying on the May 20 Delta 51 from Paris were herded onto a bus like standing cattle. Then the bus pulls away from the "salon" and sits--this time for 40 minutes with the ventilation system turned off--while other buses are loaded. We had several elderly people nearly faint and the crowd started begging for air and to be set free. The driver is separated from the crowd by a glass window and does his best to ignore the passengers. The Delta flight crew did its best to calm the enraged crowd--they've grown accustomed to furious passengers boarding after the mistreatment on the ground at CDG. American Airlines uses CDG Terminal 2A. United uses Terminal 1. If you are traveling with elderly people or others who cannot easily climb many stairs or stand in a crowded bus for about an hour--or who simply prefer to breathe, we would recommend using those airlines and to avoid Delta and Air France for trips to Paris. At least unitl terminal 2E is fixed (which could be a year or so).
Portland, Oregon USA Sun 05/21/2006
Allison- fly to Spain
Check Air France as they are running specials if ppurchased by May 22. Philadelphia-Barcelona Rges $450-600 one way.I do not know skyauction
CA USA Sat 05/20/2006
I was wondering if anyone has ever used skyauction.com for airfare to Europe. I am trying to find cheap tickets to Spain for late July, early August. I usually only fly to Europe in shoulder or off-peak season but we're traveling with friends and one of them is a teacher so summer vacation is our only option. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Philadelphia, PA USA Sat 05/20/2006
I flew BMI last year from IAD to Scotland via Manchester. I was equal or better than BA (which I like). Unfortunately, BMI does not fly out of Dulles anymore. Either is vastly better than Continental to the UK; avoid them if you can.
USA Fri 05/19/2006
bmi seating chart
You are in the middle section on the last row of an airbus 330. There are 4 seats in the center section of this type of plane (D E F & G)until you get to the back rows. And then there are only three seat in the row. (D, E & G) So you are sitting together as there is no seat F. Visit www.seatguru.com for all of the other details.
USA Thu 05/18/2006
Boo to BMI!
We were treated very rudely at BMI at Heathrow, after we were given incorrect information at the time of booking. We were also told by a friend (a very respectable physician) that he had security called on him at Heathrow after he complained to a BMI agent about getting wrong information at booking, which messed up his connections. He was nearly arrested. We will never fly BMI again.
Portland , OR USA Wed 05/17/2006
bmi fly from two US airports (LAS and ORD ) to Manchester in the UK. They have three classes of travel: Economy, Premium economy and Business.
Economy gets you free food and drink and in-flight movies. The space in Economy is neither better or worse than BA.
Premium Economy gets you a wide choice of food, drinks, movies and a lot of space to stretch out in.
Business gets you an in-flight chef and an a la carte menu, a wide range of drinks including champagne and enough room for this six foot two inch slightly overweight boy to really relax in style while watching in-flight movies.
Nottingham, UK Mon 05/15/2006
I have flown to England twice using BA; this time I saved $600 and booked with BMI. However, I'm wondering how good those savings were; I am a budget traveler, but I've read that the service on BMI is quite poor. Has anyone flown these two lines and if so, can you provided a summary/comparison?
TX USA Sat 05/13/2006
Virgin and USAirway
It's always difficult for me to predict which airlines offer the best value for you money, so this is a welcome forum!
I highly recommend Virgin Atlantic (I've flown it between Washington DC and London Heathrow) if you have some extra money to spare ;) Nothing beats top-notch flight attendants, massages (which you must pay for), and excellent in-seat entertainment!
For my latest trip to Europe, we flew USAirways from Philly to Rome and I was pleased with the trans-atlantic flight. The in-seat entertainment was great, the fares were unbeatable.
Bonnie Boglioli Randall
Seattle, USA Fri 05/12/2006
British Airways' 13 lb limit
When you put your hold luggage on the first section of the conveyor, at check-in, it registers the weight. Now BA are going to be asking passengers to put their hand luggage on so that the weight can be checked - it is then handed back if it meets their weight policy. They are getting very strict about this. They have just cut a lot of prices and see excess baggage charges as a legitimate means of recovering revenue.
USA Fri 05/12/2006
summer 2006 in Europe
Check Delta airlines for great fares to Europe espec from East coast. I compared w/ other major airlines from West coast and found fares to be about 20% less.
Ca USA Thu 05/04/2006
KLM!!! I've flown to Europe many times and flying KLM and Air France were the two most memorable flights. On KLM the flight attendents were very attentive bringing the drink cart around every hour for the entire flight to Amsterdam and on Air France they had a little bar by the galley where they had packets of instant coffee, hot chocolate, and Danish rolls. When I go to Europe again this summer, I will be flying KLM again because of their great service.
East Bay, CA USA Wed 04/26/2006
There is a place on the official Air France website that gives exact dimensions and weight restrictions for luggage. My husband and I returned recently from Paris and we flew Air France. We loved them. Don't Worry!!!!
Groves, Tx USA Mon 04/24/2006
OPEN JAW TRAVEL
If you read this column down to the last post you will find lots of comments on open jaw.
read the section on "Travelers Helpline" and archives in both sections."
Briefly it is flying into one city and returning from another.
If you draw the flight legs on a map it will resemble the open jaw of a person or an animal.
Always talk with your air line agent about it to be sure you understand and that you obtain an accurate fare.
TULSA, OK USA Fri 04/21/2006
CDG Terminal 1 renovation
I have read elsewhere that Terminal 1 at CDG is being renovated. We will be arriving there on a United Flight next week and any comments from recent travelers through this terminal and difficulties they encountered would be appreciated.
Placerville, ca USA Thu 04/20/2006
Check out seatguru.com for seating charts of most common airlines before you reserve your seat. Great site.
IA USA Thu 04/20/2006
John & Rhana: We took that trip last year. We flew from Newark to Florence with a connection in Rome and it was well worth it to us. I believe we were in Florence by 11:30 am, just enough time left in the day to relax from the flight, check in, have a nice dinner and get ready for the rest of the trip. :-) I would do it again. - Cathy
Jackson, NJ USA Mon 04/17/2006
Air france info needed...
Hi! I'm having a very hard time getting information on Air France luggage restrictions. I know that they are less but can't find out how much. I'm trying to help 30 students going to Europe on Air France and the tour company (the school pays for it, so not much choice in anything) isn't being helpful! Any Air France experiences will be greatly appreciated!
Painesville, OH USA Sun 04/16/2006
My husband and I are traveling from Houston to Milan for 17 days in August. We are flying with AirFrance. Can anyone offer advice or comments about this airline?
Houston, Tx USA Sat 04/15/2006
We are traveling to Florence this fall and are looking for travel tips. We are considering flying in to Rome then taking the train to Florence. Has anyone made this journey?
John & Rhana
Duvall, WA USA Sat 04/15/2006
Research your transfer
Sue, Make sure you check which airport you are flying out of or into. I know that to connect from Heathrow to Stansted was a major pain. Sometimes those cheap European carriers fly out of smaller airports that don't make it worth the time or trouble to transfer. Just a word of caution to everyone out there!
Chicago, IL USA Fri 04/14/2006
Forli Airport to Bologna Italy
Has anyone flown into Forli Airport (Bologna,Italy) on Ryanair? I was wondering if I should take the more expensive shuttle bus to Bologna ($12) or take the local bus to Forli city and then catch the train into Bologna ($4.50)? Both about the same travel time. Thanks!
PS. cheap flights w/in Europe can be found at www.ryanair.com or www.easyjet.com
San Diego, CA USA Wed 04/12/2006
Flight to Europe this summer
I am trying to go frin Seattle to Athens around the 25th of July (high season) and return from Nice france the middle of September. These dates are somewhat flexible but I am having trouble finding anything lower than 1,200 which is the best I can find. That is way above my budget... I have tried so many websites. I was wondering if anybody had any ideas of what to do to get a more reasonable fare. Where I fly out of in the South of France is extremely flexible where ever is cheaper. Thanks
Olympia, WA USA Wed 04/12/2006
US Airways fares
US Airways is offering a special fare to Libson and Stockholm for a limited time. Check them out.
USA Tue 04/11/2006
European time changes
Travellers should be aware that Europe has a time change in March and again in late Fall, just like the US. Find out when this is or you can miss your flights and connections within Europe--train, plane, anything! Guide books DO NOT stress this.
Media, PA USA Tue 04/11/2006
We flew Scandinavian Airlines (http://www.scandinavian.net) in February of 2003 for $249 RT each. Every year they have a Christmas special. You need to go onto their sight and get on their mailing list. Around the first of December they will send you an email link. You have to travel between Jan - Mar. This last December some of the tickets were up to $349. But hey…how can you beat that?
Spokane, WA USA Mon 04/10/2006
Air France tip
For the first time I flew Air France to Europe and encountered problems with three of the four flights. Normally delays don't bother me, but the airline left so little time to make connections, we missed one flight and had it not been for the heroics of three Air France employees at CDG-Roissy, we would have missed another one. If you fly Air France and have a connecting flight through CDG - insist on at least a 2 hour time between flights.
Annapolis, MD USA Thu 03/30/2006
Yesterday I bought a ticket to Paris from DFW in August for $888 including taxes. I had to buy a specific flight and airline due to travelling with a child. I used airfare.com, and I am happy to report that they are a reputable company and have good customer service. I was really hesitant at first since all other sites were like $300 higher, and searched extensively to find out if they are legit. The record appeared immeadiately after the call when I logged in to AA. The only difference was the same flight was $1135 + tax on AA.COM and paid like 778 + tax. The price might get lower as time gets closer but it probably won't beat it by much. It is nice to not have to be checking constantly. The CSR said that airfare.com is not a consolidator, but that they get special discounts on certain flights direct from the airlines if they sell over a certain amount of sales for that airline. I found them through bookingbuddy.com and kayak.com.
Flower Mound, TX USA Wed 03/29/2006
TORONTO & HALIFAX DEPARTURES
I'm currently planning to go to Germany later this Spring. I've found some seemingly amazing deals from www.travelcuts.ca They have some very cheap flights to the U.K., France, Germany, Amsterdam... with NO COST OPEN JAW! their website http://www.travelcuts.ca/en/Europe%202006.asp has many links to follow ("Europe Summer Air Sale" link has schedule of departures and returns). I've only ever purchased a railpass through Travel Cuts, never booked flights with them yet (and never flown with Air Transat) but I think I'll try it this time because it's so flexible and the price is so cheap.
Hamilton, ON CANADA Sun 03/26/2006
London fares drop
Finally after many months some downward movement on fares to LON. High season fares from EWR (August) were at $830 since October. Just got tickets for $527 on orbitz (British Airways).
Lock Haven, PA USA Fri 03/24/2006
Connection time in Shannon
Sheila, carry on your bags and you'll save even more time.
USA Fri 03/24/2006
DISCOUNT AIR FARES TO FRANKFURT
I checked for discount airfares today and found on farefox.com these fares from Dallas to Frankfurt round trip $408 on Air Canada. $439 on Delta and $447 on U.S. Airways. Depart 12 April and return on 19 April. Those sound pretty low to me.
DALLAS, TX USA Fri 03/24/2006
TIME FOR CUSTOMS CONNECTION AT SHANNON
Sheila: The unknown about your flight is whether it will arrive on time from the U.S.
Most flights to the East do arrive on time unless there is bad weather, causing the pilot to divert from his flight plan.
Three hours is plenty of time under normal conditions.
If your plane is on time you will find Shannon easy to negotiate. It is the smallest airport in the civilized world with the fewest gates and airlines.
It is easy to move from gate to gate quickly. I would not be concerned.
CHICAGO, USA Fri 03/24/2006
Summer Sale to Europe
I'm flying to Europe in July (high price season)! I used some tips, below, & from friends & really lucked out. I live near Baltimore & want to be in So. Spain between 7/15 - 22. I'm flexible w/where & when I fly to as long as I am in Spain on those dates. On SideStep.com, I saw that least expensive flights connected from BWI to JFK to DUB or LHR using Aer Lingus, before getting to Spain. I went to Aer Lingus.com and see they are having a Summer Sale for $254 ea way JFK to DUB. Then I went to Ryanair & see I can fly for less than $10 to London-STN and from there to So. Spain for about $40!! I decided that due to the incredibly inexpensive airfare, I can spend a few days in London, also (using Hilton Honor points for hotel). We have 2 adults and one child...for US to Europe we are paying $567 RT (incl tax) ea adult and $520 (incl tax) for the child.
Abingdon, MD USA Fri 03/17/2006
Look for new routes for Frequent Flyer tickets
If you have frequent flyer miles, keep an eye out for new non-stop routes offered by your carrier(s). You may find better award ticket availability on a new and relatively undiscovered route.
USAirways is beginning non-stop service between Philadelphia and Milan on May 31, 2006. This past week I was able to find coach class frequent flyer tickets to Milan for the first half of June. Every other continental European city I tried to book is already sold out of frequent flyer "saver" (standard level) tickets from mid-May through the summer.
Review your monthly statements and with some flexibility you might be able to fly to Europe for hundreds less.
PA USA Sat 03/11/2006
WHEN TO GO FOR LESS
Summer months are most costly. Winter months are lowest fares and Spring and Fall offer medium cost fares.
Do a search on your favorite airline for a few dates over several months to see how fares vary.
Or search orbitz.com, travelocity.com or expedia.com for a sample of fares. It takes some time, but that is the only way you will learn about fare variations.
Or read "Flying to Europe" section of this page. And read the archive section also.
M. P. P.
QUINCY, USA Fri 03/10/2006
Check out ryanair.com. They run specials all the time, but sometimes the airports are not major ones. Example: Fly from Frankfurt-Hahn, which is about 1 1/2 hours from Frankfurt. If you are driving, it is do-able. No frills, like Southwest, but a good deal all around!!
PA USA Fri 03/03/2006
Flying to Dubrovnik, Croatia
Anybody have any tips on finding a good flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia? I'm only finding flights with 3 stops and it is taking forever to get there? Also they are really expensive. Thanks
Portsmouth, NH USA Mon 02/27/2006
Thanks for the tip!
Pat B., thanks for the info. I found cheaper fares on bookingbuddy.com . I saved about $320 on my fares.
DB, CA USA Sat 02/25/2006
Airfare to London, and other tips
I recently purchased tickets on Continental.com for RT airfare from Tulsa to London (Gatwick Airport). Including taxes, I paid $665.00. Again, this is RT. Within one week of my purchase, the fare was $765.00.
Airline prices change very quickly, and sometimes even more than once within a day depending on how the booking is going for the flights. The travel agency I work at has a very good system. First, they'll look in Amadeus, which is a travel-professional-only network. Sometimes the fares are cheaper, sometimes they're not. Next, they'll look on a travel website like expedia.com, which helps to locate different variations of flights and different airlines. That's what I did for my London fare. Found it on Expedia.com, then went to Continental.com, and they offered the fare at a lower price. I booked it through Continental.com due to that.
Be wary of using Expedia.com to book flights. If something needs changed, it takes an Act of God to get it done via their customer service department. I've found that Travelocity.com and Orbitz.com tend to be higher priced in airfare (though more reasonable for hotels and car rentals) and don't offer as many selections as Expedia.com. If you can, always try to book it via the actual airline itself, especially if it's a lower fare.
One last bit of advice. I found a travel deal on Expedia.com for RT airfare from Newark to London on Continental/Virgin Atlantic, for $539.00. I ended up turning it down in favor of the higher priced airfare from Continental. Why? I live in the Midwest US. I would have had to find a flight that would get me to Newark in time to catch that other flight, and then find a flight back to my home from Newark when I returned from London. Airlines work smoother with regards to flight delays and missing flights and whatnot if you book the 'entire package' rather than separate legs. This is especially true if you book an air travel 'package' (like offered on Expedial.com) where you fly there on one airline, and return on a different one. If'n you have any questions, feel free to email me. :) I'm always willing to assist.
Springfield, MO USA Sat 02/25/2006
Some great websites
New York USA Wed 02/22/2006
Airfare to Prague for July
We're planning on taking the Prague tour this July. Currently prices for airfare to Prague from the midwest are hovering around $1350 per person. Should we hold out or buy now?
Ankeny, IA USA Wed 02/22/2006
Virgin airline through Travelocity.com has $400 airfares to London- get it now! Even with our tickets to JFK from Chicago we are saving $1000 total off our airfare! This is valid for our trip June 13- June 29th!
Chicago, IL USA Sun 02/12/2006
faremax.com is also a good site to use. Often when I click on the Orbitz "select" button it will say it is sold out. That's false advertising if you ask me! Travelzoo.com is another good site that lists lots of last minute deals from all over the internet.
chicago, IL USA Sat 02/11/2006
Continental Airlines - Newark to Rome in May
Just saw Continental Air RT non-stop out of Newark on May 12 return May 20th is now $690.
I've seen Continental prices change twice today, I even called them and they were kind enough to change my, already paid for, return flight from Rome to a later flight without the $200 charge per ticket.
Jackson, NJ USA Sat 02/11/2006
Try this spelling.
USA Sat 02/11/2006
I've used these guys twice - open jaw to Paris and Budapest and also a Scandinavia trip. The lady I talked to was really helpful when I had some baggage questions. I asked her how they got such deals to Europe and she said they are a consolidator for overseas flights from the USA. Also, for "published fares," they use "Amadeus," which is the best probe for finding cheap connections for Europe travel. This is why most European travel agencies use that probe instead of the other "probes." She said Travelocity and Expedia and Orbitz use other systems better suited for domestic travel. Anyone else use them?
Orlando, FL USA Thu 02/09/2006
RE: Buying airfare through consolidators
I believe a consolidator is a company that purchases blocks of flight tickets and sells them for a discounted price.
I used one 10 years ago when I went to France, but haven't used one lately so I don't know if they have changed for the good or bad over time. One thing I do remember from that purchase is they wouldn't take a credit card, it had to be a check. That concerned me but all turned out well.
Jackson, NJ USA Wed 02/08/2006
Buying airfare through consolidators
Will you save enough money for it to be worth not dealing with the airline directly ? Nobody can tell you until you make the call to the airline but statistically the answer should be 'Yes'.
Is it reliable ? Again statistically the answer is 'Yes'
Are there certain rules or provisions with a consolidator that I don't have with the airline, etc? You may have difficulty trying to make any changes to your ticket once it has been purchased.
Consolidators are tickets that are given to travel agents at a very low cost ( or sometimes even free ) as a reward for high sales performance. They can offer them for sale to the public at whatever price they wish.
Nottingham, UK Wed 02/08/2006
Travelling to Versaille w/Carte Orange
Has anyone boughten the Carte Orange in Paris and used it to get to Versaille?
FL USA Mon 02/06/2006
Tickets from Newark to Rome
Just got 2 RT tickets to Rome from Newark Liberty for May 9-20th from Continental Airlines for $750+68fees = $818 each.
For us this is perfect as we needed to leave on a late night flight as my husband wanted to work the day of the 9th. When you are being so specific about your departure it's hard to pay less than $750.
Really glad this part is over with so I can stop watching and checking. :-)
Jackson, NJ USA Sat 02/04/2006
Also regarding different airlines. Most of the lowfare airlines fly out of smaller airports that are usually AT LEAST an hour outside the city (Luton, for example, outside of London)
TX USA Thu 02/02/2006
A note of caution.
There are some very obvious dangers to flying with different airlines if one or more of those airlines is a no-frills. low cost, European airline.
If you are flying into Europe and intend to fly onwards within Europe on a no-frills airline like EasyJet it is vital that you leave yourselves a very large transfer time at the airports. If for any reason you are delayed and you miss your no-frills airline connection ( aircraft technical difficulties, delays in passing through security, bad weather etc. ) a no-frills airline will not transfer your ticket onto a later flight. You will be stuck with the option of buying new tickets at the highest price or not flying onwards at all. In the case of missing a no-frills flight the airline you flew into Europe on has no legal obligation to reimburse you for any expenses incurred to a no-frills airline. The airport you fly into for a particular city may not be the airport that the no-frills airline uses. If this is not the case transfers between airports can cause delay ( and of course transfer costs ). Do the research and read all the small print and you'll be OK. If you're going to be creative then you must check everything twice and then check again.
Nottingham, UK Thu 02/02/2006
I stand corrected, sort of
You have a point - to a point. If you wanted to fly this summer from Portland to Paris, for instance, you could pay $1100-$1200 to fly direct, or get creative and save some bucks. I just checked Eastjet's site, and Edinburgh to Paris, is $215, roundtrip, flying through London. Add my fare of $721 from PDX to EDI for a total of $936. The lowest direct fare from PDX to PAR from Kayak.com is $1161. That's $225 more per person or an even $900 for a family of 4. Yes, it's a bit of a hassle to set up, and pull off, and maybe it's not worth it to you, but I'd rather have the money to spend on my vacation, not my transportation.
Beaverton, OR USA Wed 02/01/2006
Easyjet - works for me
Four adults on Easyjet, Edinburgh to Amsterdam, Paris to London, London to Edinburgh: 283 pounds sterlng, or $502 for 12 flights or $41.83 per flight. Cheaper and faster than the train, and much cheaper than direct flights to London or Amsterdam. 1200 bucks is 1200 bucks. Works for me.
Beaverton, OR USA Wed 02/01/2006
"I ... can fly almost anywhere in Europe on Easyjet". Yeah, as long as all you want to fly to is Amsterdam and Geneva. And then you will be hard pressed to get the airfare for £40, not $40.
USA Wed 02/01/2006
Delta to Edinburgh
I'm taking my family of four to Europe from Portland this June/July and have been searching for decent airfare for months. I've scoured the web everyday and the best I could find was about $1100 to London. Finally, however, I got lucky. I found that Delta has cheaper flights from the west coast to Edinburgh, Scotland. I paid only $721, and can fly almost anywhere in Europe on Easyjet for about $40. I saw similar fares from San Francisco. Overall, I saved over $1200 for the four of us, and now we get another great city to explore!
Beaverton, OR USA Wed 02/01/2006
RE: train from Munich airport
Unlike some countries, mainline German trains have conductors who cancel tickets. There is no need or provision for cancelling them yourself.
However, within the transit districts (Verkehrverbünden) there are no conductors (just police). You must cancel your ticket before or when boarding. S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations have machines where you enter the boarding area. Trams have the machines on board. On buses, the driver probably handles that function.
Note that many stations are shared by both DB and the local VV, and you will find ticket machines for both. The VV machine will sell only tickets for travel within the VV, but the DB machine will sell almost everything. I have bought streetcar tickets in the Karlsruhe Hbf for the same KVV station from both types of machine. The DB tickets are already date stamped by the ticket machine and won't even fit into the cancellers. The VV tickets must be cancelled.
If you have any question about whether the ticket must be cancelled, look for the words "Hier entwerten" with an arrow or triangle pointing to where the ticket is inserted.
It is important to note that the VV tickets are not valid until stamped and can therefore be purchased days in advance, but the BD tickets are stamped by the machine with the time purchased and must be used that day.
USA Tue 01/31/2006
Fares to London from EWR or JFK
I have been monitoring August flights from Newark to London. As elsewhere reported, international flights are up and likely to stay there. As recently as August 2004, I flew on BA from Newark to London for $309 rt! Didn't know the good ole' days were that recent.
Anyway, it does seem that in the last week or two, a softening of fares...such as $744 ON Aer Lingus from JFK to Heathrow. Also, AA was down to $806 from Newark (MUCH preferred to JFK for me since I live in PA). What do you experts think? Will high-season flights to LON drop much in the next month or two?
Lock Haven, Pa USA Tue 01/31/2006
Train from Munich Airport
Using my best German, I purchased a ticket for my wife and I (all day)for 18 euros. To my surprise on the train I got a another ticker because I was not told that I had to validate the ticket before getting on the train using the "blue box". I was able to talk my fine down to 15 euros a piece. A lesson learned, we were conscious of this in Hungary, Italy, and Switzerland. Always validate your tickets before getting on the train!!
Harmony, PA USA Tue 01/31/2006
RE: World Cup 06
first, the Benelux pass is not valid in Gemany. You must mean the Germany-Benelux (BeneGerm) pass.
Are you going to spend time in the low countries before going to on to Gelsenkirchen? If you are going straight from Amsterdam to Germany, Rick advises that it is less expensive to buy the German Rail pass and a point to point ticket to the border vs. a BeneGerm pass. But then if you are coming back to Amsterdam, the BG pass might pay off.
Before you purchase a rail pass, take a long look at your travel and figure out if point-point tickets, particularly considering all the specials for German Rail, will be less. On short travel days, all four of you can travel all day on regional trains with a Schönes Wochenende ticket or a Land ticket for no more than €30 total (€7,50 each).
Depending on how long you will be traveling in Germany, you might also want to look at the Weltmeister Pass, a special just for the World Cup. It is good every day on all trains from June 7 to July 11 for €349 (about $420).
USA Mon 01/30/2006
Try kayac.com for cheap consolidated fares from many sources. They give the information then you order thru the co. offering the flight. It's a new site in last 4 months or so. I got this information from a helpful travel agent.
San Antonio, TX USA Mon 01/30/2006
Looking for best price to Italy...
Been searching around for some time looking for the best price. The best price so far is $870. That's from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice then back from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale. That's on US. Airways. Still have to find a travel agent locally to see what they can find but what do you guys think? Is this reasonable? Does anyone know of an agent in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale? The travel dates are Sept. 14 thru 23 2006.
Miami, FL USA Sat 01/28/2006
United vs Lufthansa
I fly accross the Atlantic very frequent and I have found several notable differences between United and Lufthansa. I have found the service to be better on Lufthansa. I like flying United because of the Boeing 777. It is a great plane. Tv on every seat. It is true now United does charge $5 for beer or wine (this started about a year ago). The headsets are still free unlike US Airways they charge $5. I have found United to be better about leaving and arriving on time. It seems we always get a late start with Lufthansa. Be sure to join a frequent flyer programs.
Tampa, Florida USA Fri 01/27/2006
I'M SO CONFUSED
Stephanie : Read the SAS price from Seattle to Paris report below. Then check with SAS if you haven't already.
Do it by phone and talk with an agent. I believe SAS flies out of Dallas.
DALLAS, TX USA Thu 01/26/2006
You may want to check other departing locations close to Philly like Newark, or Washington. You can take a bus for a couple of hours but save hundreds of dollars. I have done this many times.
Should you wait to buy a ticket now? I say YES. The tickets are way overpriced. They can not go up much higher. Don't worry the seats will not run out, even if you waited two weeks prior to departure. What you should do is check every day but don't book until about 30 days before you go. There's a lot to factor in here and I don't know your situation but I have always gotten a very low ticket price for summer travel within 30-60 days of departure. Check seat availablity online if you can. Things can change real quick so check back often.
Buffalo, NY USA Tue 01/24/2006
I'm so confused
I'm planning a trip to London, Spain, and Rome for the last 2 weeks of May. I'm a new traveler and have been searching like crazy to get the best deal. What is everyone's opinion of Round-trip to/from London vs Open Jaw into London and out of Rome? Also, I'm really finding the best prices at Priceline and would like to name my own fair but I can't do that with Open Jaw flights. Help??!! Too much to consider. Thanks.
Tyler, TX USA Tue 01/24/2006
Different airlines to ponder
Try the other airlines that you think might not even fly to Europe. Air New Zeland begins in New Zeland via LA and then lands at London. Iceland Air from San Francisco-Rejckavic(sp)-London Paris and other European destinations. How about an Air India flight on it's way to India? You can save on these type of carriers. Or go for Consolidator/charter flights.
Saratoga, CA USA Mon 01/23/2006
We all have to be constranted to the horable food of the airlines. Know there is an alternative www.skymeals.com. They have resturant quality meals while in the air. Feel first class when in economy class.
Columbus, OH USA Sun 01/22/2006
Fare Question from Ron
Ron, Philly to France (Paris, I presume) should be a little less expensive than that.
However, with all the airlines raising their prices overall this year and lower seat availability, personally, I'd either book now (for peace of mind) or wait no later than February.
And $500-$700 ... I *really* think will be hard-- if not impossible-- tp get this year from Philly, unless you stumble upon a great sale!
Remember, too, you can sometimes look at the seat availability online BEFORE you buy; this is a great indicator of how quickly seats are getting sold.
Most analysts-- if you ask them-- will tell you to buy NOW no matter what, because they don't see any end to the trend of prices staying so high. But you could probably wait just a little while. I doubt the fare would go up much more than where it is now... at least not anytime soon.
But... especially since you're going in the summer, you'll be lucky to find a fare that's much lower. And honestly, when you think about it, even that fare you found isn't *horrible*-- it could be worse!
Those are just my two cents. Good luck!
Albuquerque, NM USA Sat 01/21/2006
Will Summer AirFares Drop??
I've been studying airfares from Philly to France and Germany and assmed the high prices $1100+ would eventually drop. They havn't yet- Should I buy now? Is this an unusually expensive year? I was expecting to pay $500-700 RT.
Collegeville, PA USA Sat 01/21/2006
CHEAP FARES ON AER LINGUS
Dave; if you don't know about it, check this webpage for discount airfares from Shannon and Dublin to the continent: ryanair.com.
EL PASO, USA Fri 01/20/2006
http://www.bookingbuddy.com/ allows you search multiple sites quickly. After entering your airports and dates, click on the sites you want to search, including Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia and search engines Kayak and Mobissimo. Each site opens in a new window. Very quick and easy.
IA USA Thu 01/19/2006
Yahoo Dream Maps let you find low cost arrival airports in Europe. http://edit.travel.yahoo.com/config/ytravel_dreammap You might find that Manchester is cheaper than London, Shannon is cheaper than Dublin, or Brussels is cheaper than Amsterdam, and that one suits your purposes as well as the other.
IA USA Thu 01/19/2006
Flexible Date Searches
Travelocity.com still seems to be the only site that allows flexible date searches of fares to Europe on different airlines.
IA USA Thu 01/19/2006
Open Jaw Search
Kayak.com now offers multi-city (open jaw) searches of multiple web sites.
IA USA Thu 01/19/2006
I looked at the site and you need to register to get in their front door and just to register they are asking for you passport and credit card info. There is way to much info on their website (trying to look professional - while looking unprofessional at the same time) and not enough real meat or proof then can come through.
I don't feel comfortable with them and wouldn't use them, but that's just me and my humble opinion. Hope this helped :-) Cathy
Jackson, NJ USA Thu 01/19/2006
Has anyone used AirHitch.com? I found a link to it on the site here, but I'd like to hear about any first-hand experiences. Mainly, I'm wonder if getting on a flight using them is a possibility in Jun-Aug, and how realistic is it to expect that I can fly in/out Boston. Where I'm land in Europe isn't an issue, but I definitely need to know that I could fly out of and back to Boston. Thanks!
Boulder, CO USA Wed 01/18/2006
Hey, Silas, it very well could have been a codeshare flight with USAirways... especially since they're merging right now. I assume it was a USAirways flight still labeled as America West.
That's a great fare, too! I'd still keep your eyes peeled on America West's site.
Albuquerque, NM USA Mon 01/16/2006
Go with the Airline Websites
I work for an airline that has routes that include USA to Britain, perhaps I can clear things up. In general what Tony Reed says is true. There are, however, exceptions. Sometimes an airline may offer a block of seats at a very reduced rate to an exceptionally good third party as a reward for high sales performance ( these are often refered to as consolidators ). Therefore some third parties are able to offer fares that nobody can get by direct booking. Secondly if you call an airline direct and get a fare and then find out a lower fare was available things can go one of two ways: if the misquote was a genuine mistake and you were elligible for a lower fare most airlines will adjust in your favour, on the other hand, if the lower fare was part of a seasonal sale ( like the January sales many European airlines are offering right now ) or had special conditions ( such as inclusive hotel or car rental in the booking ) then the airline is unlikely to make any adjustments to the ticket you purchased.
Nottingham, UK Thu 01/05/2006
The only reason I use those "other" travel websites like Travelocity is to FIND the cheapest flight. I then go directly to the airline's website and book it if possible. Only once was I not able to do it. I found cheap fare on Travelocity from Atlanta to Paris flying on AirFrance. I went to the AirFrance website as well as called them directly but was not able to come up with the low fare on Travelocity.
Also sites such as www.sidestep.com can find you good rates that you sometimes can't. I've often found that sidestep combines flights from various airlines (partners) that I can't seem to be able to find. I found a fare on sidestep once that allowed me to travel from Knoxville, TN to Zurich in June for $350. Yes, I traveled about 4 legs to get there, but so what. I wound up where I wanted to go at a very acceptable time, and I got a bargain.
Knoxville, TN USA Wed 01/04/2006
Go with the Airline Websites
I prefer to go with the airlines directly. I've yet to find a better fare on Orbitz, Hotwire, etc., than I have on the airline websites. And I have more peace of mind knowing I'm dealing with the airlines directly.
I always ask when I see those Travelocity guarantee commercials, why do I want to risk that a third party is going to mess up my reservation?
On a final note, I've heard that if you find a lower airfare after you've made your reservation on the airline websites, they will actually refund you the difference if you later find a lower price IF you call and ask. I'm not sure it's true-- anyone test this out? :)
Albuquerque, NM USA Tue 01/03/2006
Join the Club!
My wife and I decided that we would take our first European trip to London during the Spring of 2006. So I started watching airfares from Seattle to London from the late Summer of 2005. The fare was pretty constant at over $1400 USD total for the two of us. We preferred taking British Airways as they fly direct from SEA to LHR. I decided to join BA's online club to see if they would have some better deals to members only. Boy am I pleased that I did! A couple of months later, when we were considering pulling the trigger on the $1400 fare, I get an email regarding "members only" prices to London. I followed the links, signed in, and mocked up some different itineraries. We ended up booking our flight for $813 USD Total, a savings of $600 compared to the standard fare! The restrictions do not allow us to make any changes to our ticket though. We'll be flying in mid-March which will work great for us. Another convenience of BA is that you can go +/- up to 14 days when checking prices. Another tip is during the month of December, SAS has their "Advent Calender" sale. Every day a new location on sale. There are only a few cities in the US that can take advantage of these fares, fortunately Seattle is one of them. If you're looking for a trip to places like Amsterdam, Riga, Copenhagen, or Stockholm, this may be the way to go. The restrictions are that travel must be completed by March 31. An example fare would be Sea to Stockholm for $895 for two, during the mid-March timeframe that we'll be taking our London trip.
Bellevue, WA USA Mon 01/02/2006
California to Rome
Camille--possibly depending on what city in CA you are leaving out of $1,000 is good for that time of year. Travel on Monday through Thursday is usually less expensive, although not always worth the difference. If you are only taking carry-on baggage, you might consider checking the airline's limits before you purchase. Have a great time!
Lewiston, ID USA Mon 01/02/2006
re: Flying home from Italy
I have flown into and out of Venice's airport and have had no problems. It is relatively small and new, and user friendly. Only caveat is that when flying out of Venice, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, as the waterbus to/from the airport takes a while. Water taxi is fairly quick but very expensive, around 100 euros, if memory serves.
Nashville, USA Sun 01/01/2006