Europe by Air

Oct 24th, 2006, 04:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Europe by Air

My husband and I plan to travel to Germany in June 2007. We are considering a hub-spoke air arrangement. Has anyone ever used an air pass from http://www.europebyair.com ? If so, how was your experience? Do tell.
schmobird is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 04:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Yes, we used it to fly from Rome to Athens...We got the passes, then scheduled our flights. When we got to the Rome airport, they tacked on about $20 more in taxes and fees, but we got on the plane we wanted to be on and arrived safely.

I'd use them again.

Jules
jules4je7 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 07:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 223
Here is my experience from 3/2005 with Europe by Air...

Europe By Air (http://europebyair.com/eba/English_us/default.jsp). We were really, really, disappointed with them. The way they work is that you pay $99
+ airport taxes for point-to-point tickets from/to various cities in Europe. You fly on the local carriers. For example, when we flew CDG->ZAG, we paid
Europe By Air $99 and flew on Croatia Airlines. What they actually give you is a voucher that you must redeem for a ticket and pay the airport taxes at
whatever airport you are departing from. In concept it is good, and the vouchers can actually be used for any date within a 6mo period, not just the date
you have the reservations for, so if you need to be flexible, this is great. However, in reality it is a little difficult. To start with, we called them
four times and got four different answers on actually how to use the tickets. Some agents even told us they were real tickets and could just get on the
planes with them (once we got boarding passes). This is totally incorrect and you'll waste a lot of time standing in the wrong line if you attempt this.
Then there are the airport taxes. Of course Europe By Air won't tell you what they are, but they indicate they are between $10 and $30...ours were $55
(CDG->ZAG) and $40 (ZAG-CDG). I guess a few years ago when the dollar was stronger, this was true, but today it no longer is. This turned a $198 RT CDG->
ZAG ticket into $293. For that cost we could have skipped Europe By Air and booked with Croatia Airlines directly and skipped all of the Europe By Air
hassles (although there would have been some others...). Also, even the people at the airport don't seem to know what the taxes are. At CDG the guy we paid
was sitting in a small office about the size of a closet and had to call around to find out what the taxes were. In ZAG, the lady is writing numbers down
on a piece of paper and adding them by hand. I guess there might be something I'm missing, but I don't understand why someone just can't look something up
in a computer and get a price. Finally, finding the place to redeem the vouchers into tickets is a journey unto itself. You need to go to the local
carrier's office and, at least, in CDG, it is about as far away from everything as it can be (and no one seemed to know exactly where it was). It was truly
like they tried to hide it. All of this means that if you are tight on time when connecting, this is not a good option for you. Anyway, YMMV.
alyssamma is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 07:18 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
check out www.whichbudget.com and all local carriers for competetive rates.

you might be able to do better
lincasanova is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 03:02 AM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi S,

Ditto lin

ira is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 05:25 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I don't think you'll save money, and you may actually pay significantly less than if you book your plane tickets yourself, especially if you are just traveling within Germany. I think you'll do better if you use a combination of European budget airlines and train travel (look into German rail passes). There are several budget airlines that serve Germany well (look at www.whichbudget.com) to see where the flights are, then the web site of the actual airlines to confirm. If you can't find a cheap flight to Germany from the US, then look at changing to a cheap airline in London. Europe By Air is usually a better deal if you are going to a place that isn't served by direct air service from the US (Croatia or Slovenia or Bulgaria, for example). But anyone can book Aegean Air from Rome to Athens on Aegean Airlines, for example, and often do it cheaper than $99 each way if you book far in advance.
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 05:26 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Sorry, I mis-typed. I meant to write "you can pay significantly more than if you book your plane tickets yourself."
doug_stallings is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 10:43 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for all the advice. We're still looking for our best option. All suggestions will be investigated thoroughly.
schmobird is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 05:35 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I agree with lin, ira and doug. You'd probably be better off using the budget airlines or rail. Plus you wouldn't have to go thru extra steps at the airport (which sound like they could be time consuming). I've flown several budget airlines on many trips to Europe and the largest problem I had was occassional delay (which is not uncommon with any airline) and having to pay extra because I didn't pay attention to baggage weight allowances.
capkirk1 is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 06:10 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 121
Last month I used them them from Split Croatia to London. Since this involved a change in Zagreb I had to use 2 of the $99 vouchers. Before I left the US I contacted Croatia Airlines (their carrier for these flights) to find out what the taxes and fees would be. When I got to the airport in Split I went to the CA customer service desk to pay the fee and get a receipt and then went to the check in counter for my boarding passes. The whole thing went very smoothly and the total was about $250. I may have been able to get a lower fare by going direct to the airline but I would have given up the flexibility so I was very satisfied.
jeff001 is offline  
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