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Looking for low fare - SFO-Prague; Budapest-SFO, Aug. 25-Sept. 4

Looking for low fare - SFO-Prague; Budapest-SFO, Aug. 25-Sept. 4

Jul 28th, 2006, 03:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 80
Looking for low fare - SFO-Prague; Budapest-SFO, Aug. 25-Sept. 4

Our son, based in San Francisco, will be joining us in Prague, and will be returning from Budapest. While our (i.e., wife and I) flights are booked, we are having problems finding an affordable fare for our son. The lowest we have found is close to $1,500. I know delaying our trip by a week would allow us to get a much lower fare, but his job gives him no flexibility. Any suggestions? We would leap at a fare in the vicinity of $1,250 or so. I hope some of the readers are travel agents!
Apologies in advance if such postings are verboten on this site.

huntley is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
I researched this a few months ago so I can tell you what to look for. These suggestions might save you some money but possibly with more hassle for travel and some risk of missing flights with delays. Only you can decide if saving the money is worth these risks and hassles.
You need first to find the least expensive ways to get to/from SFO to Europe. Destinations to check include London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Vienna and Paris. There are direct flights from SFO to LHR, FRA, MUC and CDG. You than need to find out if there are any inexpensive, convenient flights that fit your international flight schedules from these cities to Prague and Budapest. Beware that some low cost airlines do not fly out of the major airports but use minor small airports which would require local transportation for transfer. If you can fly in/out of Vienna you can train reasonably to both Budapest and Prague. The best easy other possibility I can suggest is to check flights to London. B.A. has 2 or 3 flights to/from Prague and Budapest each day from LHR with a cost of around $125 each way so if you can find flights to London for about $1000 or less it might be worth it. I suspect however that the cost savings and extra time and risks of saving a few hundred dollars on travel might not be worth it for you.
mjs is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 119
I just ran your dates with SFO-PRA; BUD-SFO on rockbottomfares.com and found available seats for $894 plus tax. Outbound and return are both by way of Chicago on (if I'm reading schedule correctly) United/Lufthansa. Good Luck!
greytop13 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
Here's the homework for your son to do:

At www.skyscanner.net, let him input Hungary as the departure country, leaving the departure city and arrival countries and cities at "Any", selecting the date of 9/3 and de-selecting the Return field.

This will tell him what airlines fly to what European destinations on the cheap. Like 36.68 dollars to Milan-Bergamo in the evening, with enough time to get to Milan that night, stay near the Malpensa airport and fly out to SFO the next day.

Do the same thing with Prague, except in reverse - input Prague as the destination airport and leave deparrture airports at "Any".

Now go to Kayak.com and use the multi-city feature to figure out an open-jaw ticket from SFO to an airport where one of the budget airlines connects him to Prague, and a flight home from one of the airports connected with Budapest, like Milan for example.

If he keeps juggling those options with this method, he may save hundreds of dollars for an hour's homework.

If nothing really killer comes up, the next step would be to look for such budget connections into nearby airports, like Bratislava or Stuggart or Vienna for Prague - if it saves him hundreds, a few bucks for the train ride won't hurt.

With Budapest that's not so easy - really only Bratislava or Vienna, but still - worth a shot.

Allow for ground transportation to and from outlying secondary airports (that's partly how these budget airlines stay "budget"), don't cut it finely time-wise, and read the fine print about luggage rules. But for such a short trip these luggage rules should be plenty generous even if they're a bit more restrictive than the transatlantic ones.

I know, it sounds like a fussy job, and it is, but the hourly rate of pay ain't bad...

WallyKringen is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 38
I'm from SF too, and have been researching flights for what seems like forever. Try expedia or kayak for fares from SFO-LHR. They should be in the high $800s. Then try to fly from one of the london airports to Hungary. Wizzair.com is great for that, since it's based in eastern Europe. They don't fly out of LHR, though, so a transfer between airports will cost you at least an additional $25. Hope this helps.
cali123 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,474
Try using Paris as a hub. SkyEurope flies to Prague and from Budapest. I am sure about the latter since I used them on a round-trip from Paris to Buadpest. You might find a cheaper fare to Paris and then a low fare connection to Prague. Here a site that might help you:

Michael is online now  
Jul 29th, 2006, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
I don't know if it'll be cheaper than the other suggestions given but Lufthansa has a slightly lower airfare program called We Fly Home. Hungary and the Czech Republic are two countries offered.

francophile03 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
Air France has just announced Late Summer Specials from JFK to CDG, there's your chance. You need to book by Aug. 6 and complete the trip by Sep. 10. It's 225 each way plus taxes, comes to mid-fivehundreds.

Fly JetBlue from Oakland to JFK for under 400 all up, and use the budget airlines mentioned above in Europe.

WallyKringen is offline  

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