Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > May/shoulder season airfare to Europe from midwest US--what are you paying?
Notices

May/shoulder season airfare to Europe from midwest US--what are you paying?

Reply

Mar 31st, 2013, 03:09 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
May/shoulder season airfare to Europe from midwest US--what are you paying?

We haven't traveled to Europe in about 3 years because we've been visiting other parts of the world recently, but we used to be quite frequent European travelers prior to these past couple years. I'm just starting to look for tickets (very flexible as to airport in Europe and with fairly flexible dates) for mid-May. Sticker shock! I've always been the queen of finding good airfares, but none of my normal tricks are working. Everything is a lot more than I have ever, ever paid in the past to Europe. I'm finding ticket prices to Europe are nearly the same price as I paid to India a year ago, and India is twice as far.

I'm just curious as to what is considered a good fare this year in shoulder season. We're flying from MSP which is always a rip-off because it is a Delta hub with no real competition. But, I am curious as to what fares really are like this year US to Europe and what I should consider a reasonable price. Thanks.
julies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 03:24 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,463
Good luck and buy it yesterday. Why would fares go down? Planes are fuller than ever and people are traveling.

All prices go up, unfortunately.
Dukey1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 03:37 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Okay, I just want to get a handle on what is considered reasonable these days. I seem to be seeing a lot in the $1200 range.

To put it in perspective why I am having sticker shock, let me say that until about three years ago, we typically took one or two trips a year to various parts of Europe--western, eastern, central, Greece/Turkey (everything but Scandinavia). We've been to Europe in every month but November, but most of our travel more recently has been in May. That said, the most I had ever paid for a ticket in the past was $650. But, as I said, the last time we visited Europe was three years ago. And, I am one who always buys European tickets three to six week out rather than planning months and months in advance. In the past our ability to be flexible helped me find better airfares. This year I am not finding that to be much help.
julies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 04:29 PM
  #4
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 73,265
Hi J,

> I seem to be seeing a lot in the $1200 range.<

Since you are only 6 weeks away, that's pretty good for 1-stop each way.

Prices have been at least 10% higher this year than last.

ira is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 04:36 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,447
I paid $1270 a non-stop Seattle to Frankfurt for May 15. It would have been a couple hundred more on May 16.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 04:36 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,629
$1200 for only 6 weeks away is normal, shoulder season or not. And depending on when it May, it may not be shoulder season, which is mainly early May, not sure when fares usually change. $1200 would be about what I see now for summer, but fares go up closer to departure which is why I think since yours is only 6 weeks off, that's probably normal.
Christina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 05:22 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,003
We paid $1220 pp for round trip economy flights way back in July for a May departure to Prague. I've been checking fares about every month since then and they never went down. In fact, they are now $300 pp higher.

I would be happy with $1200. Prices are way higher than they were a couple of years ago. We use to pay between $650 to $850 for flights to Frankfurt. I doubt we'll see those fares again.
bettyk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 06:02 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7
I was shocked myself, but it was my first time- it was $1026 to Copenhagen-purchased last month for travel next month.
kkatiejo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 08:18 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,820
I bought open jaws tickets few months ago for a trip in September landing in Paris and departing from Amsterdam for $1220 taxes included.

I was quite pleased about the price considering that I live in Texas.
kismetchimera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 08:28 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Okay. Thanks all. I guess I just had not realized that fares to Europe had gone up that much in the past couple years. Now I know what the going rate is, and I'll temper my expectations based on this info.
julies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 31st, 2013, 10:03 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Try searching for air fares on a Wednesday. You will find a $100-200 difference than booking during other days of the week. I went back and forth between Orbitz (my site of choice for foreign travel) and the airline website. Because I live in Kansas travelling in the spring, weather was a concern, so I could not just pick the cheapest available. I had to choose a ticket that left early enough to connect to Chicago that gave me enough time for my connection (4-5 hours) should there be a delay. American Airlines had the right schedule that Orbitz didn't have. I paid $1027 for an open jaw ticket for a May departure, returning in July.
cmscillia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2013, 07:13 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,296
I used to pay about $500-550 to Europe. This year i paid $1129 to Nice and $1193 to Rome. I really miss those cheap airfares!!!!
Vicky is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2013, 07:35 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 112
I paid just over $800 from Montreal to Zurich then home from Paris to Montreal. Last summer I paid about $950 from Boston-Barcelona.
gardengrl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2013, 07:36 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 112
Ooops, sorry the Montreal/Zurich Paris/Montreal is for April and the Spain trip was in early June, so just on either side of when you are looking.
gardengrl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2013, 07:51 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,960
My May 2013 roundtrip flights:

Albany to Newark to Rome/Rome to Newark to Albany: $1,232. It was slightly cheaper the week before I nailed this down in mid-February. Gas prices kept going up, so I didn't want to wait until the fare hit $1,300.

Last May, I did Albany to Philadelphia to Amsterdam/Paris to Charlotte to Albany for $866.
wanderful is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2013, 08:12 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,777
late May, 1500 to Naples from east coast, but with only one change with a short layover and perfect times. Started looking in winter.
There are still deals out there, but it depends on where you want to go. I was mightily tempted by some fares to Turkey.
yorkshire is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 1st, 2013, 11:19 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Yorkshire--I too have seen the more reasonable fates to Turkey and have contemplated that because we have had lots of marvelous trips where we chose our destination based on where we could get the best air fare. If one does not absolutely have to go one place, it is a marvelous way to save money and to explore many different countries. We loved Turkey and would love to return.

What is quite interesting to me in this entire fare search is that I am finding that often western Europe, and the places more typically on people's itineraries, is now more expensive than the more "exotic" places further east like Turkey, and Lithuania and Latvia in the former USSR. It used to be the reverse situation.

I am going to give the Wednesday idea a shot. Nothing to lose. I've read that Mondays are not good days, and frequently weekends aren't either because more people have the time available to look for leisure fates.

Boy, am I missing those cheaper fares I was always able to find!
julies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2013, 10:20 AM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Update: I just bought tickets for $900 roundtrip into Milan from MSP for a mid May departure--2 stops each way, but at this price I wasn't going to quibble about a couple more hours that a one stop. We were quite flexible about dates, so I used a Kayak alert. I also found that the only way I could get this fare was to go through the Kayak alert link. If I tried to find the same fare on the Delta website, it consistently came up $170 more per person.
julies is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2013, 11:22 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
julies, I can imagine how much of a shock it was to see what the going rate is for shoulder season air travel to Europe from the US. I've watched the May and September fares climb higher every year, long gone are the $500 to $600 per ticket that we got so excited about a few years ago; just as $900 will probably look darn good to you next year!! Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:56 PM.