On A Budget- Airline Questions??

Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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On A Budget- Airline Questions??

Previously I have posted that I will making a trip to Germany this coming summer. I will be there from June to July. For the past few months I have looked for airline deals and I have not seen much change in prices. When do you think is the best time to book a flight? I have never done this before, so I am wondering what you experienced Fodorites could tell me. I'm not really desperate, but I am disappointed to see prices ranging over $1200. I am hoping for cheaper prices because I am only a teenager on a strict budget. My parents are helping me out, and I will be going. I just don't want to break their pocket book too much. Thanks.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:14 PM
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Prices are highest during summer. You should be able to find a cheaper flight than 1200 though. I buy for summer by March, but I go through a consolidator travel agent. Travel Team is a consolidator that has a website and its a place to start, but any consolidator will have the lowest price. They buy tickets in bulk and then sell them at the lowest prices. There are many on the web and a search will help. I don't know where you live, but I live on the West coast and would be able to get to Frankfurt on an open jaw, (leaving from a different city), at around 1,000 with taxes. Round trip from the same airport should be less.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Hi there. Glad to see the trip is still on! Since you have some time why not learn to bid on Priceline? Go to www.biddingfortravel.com, which is a noncommercial tutorial for Priceline. Plan to spend some time learning how to bid successfully. Read and be sure you understand everything about the bidding process. The moderators there will help you construct your bid, but you have to do your homework first. Keep us posted on your trip plans and of course we'll look forward to a trip report when you return.

Seems like the Betsys are feeling helpful tonight!
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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You are looking a little early to book a flight. You should find better rates 2-3 months before your want to go, even during the peak travel season. If this year is anything like the last 4 have been, the end of March early April will give you the best rates for travel in June - July.

Good Luck!
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Also try a number of different search engines to see which one comes up cheaper.

I use a program called SideStep that searches a lot of the airfare sites and picked a couple of dates in june/july. As an example here, most of them came up around that $1200. But, in this case, Orbitz.com popped up with a $814 fare for the same dates by using American Airlines back and forth from Kansas City to Chicago and the German airline Lufthansa for the Chicago to Frankfurt part.

So it just pays to keep checking. Also that program I used is something you can download too, at www.sidestep.com

Good luck and hope you all have fun.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:51 PM
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Hello again. Thank you very much for the responses! Ironically I will be leaving from Kansas City! I will try these programs out. Maybe sometime I can talk to my parents about bidding. I have never traveled abroad and my dad hasn't left the country in a while, so he doesn't know too much about how the airline industry is working out and all that. I appreciate the comments though and I will be sure to give an extensive and detailed summary of my trip. I will be going to France, Austria and maybe Italy too. Yahoo! At the moment, my family and I are hosting an Austrian girl. She will probably teach me the basics of German before I leave.
If I see any good prices out, I will inform you all and ask of your opinion.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 12:19 AM
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Priceline usually is not a good deal this far in advance, at least from what I've read. Two other sites to look at are statravel.com and studentuniverse.com. I would also recommend visiting the Cheap Flights forum at http://www.eurotrip.com/forum and reading the posts there and then posting your inquiry. Another option is to go to London and then take a budget carrier to Germany.

I'm not about to go look on MapQuest, but how close are you to Chicago? If you have sufficient time and want to save money, you might do better getting cheap fares from Chicago. Take a long Greyhound ride there.

I think, as you are a student, you probably have more time than money, so you have the ability to be flexible, which will help you get a cheaper fare.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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Hi Lov,

Are you leaving from the Kansas City in Kansas or Missouri? Where are you going to in Germany?

http://airtravelcenter.com/onetrav.htm has KC, MO to Frankfurt for $866 and Munich for $792.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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It's way too early to get a sale price. What your seeing is the 'list price' for these flights.For the best price, try flights.com, which is a German consolidator with offices in the USA. They consistantly have the cheapset USA - Germany flights.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 05:36 AM
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While I'm not very familiar with prices/routes from Kansas City, I think Lufthansa has been running a sale. Also, have you considered flying into London & then using one of the cheap airlines like easyjet.com or ryanair.com to get to Germany or wherever you want? The websites applefares.com & skyscanner.com list most of the small inter-Europe airlines so you can see who flies between which cities & prices.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Not so ironic after all... I peeked at one of your other posts to see where you were flying from. Sounds like you're in for a good year.

ira, Kansas City (MO and KS) is really one metropolitan area, divided by State Line St. at the boundary so the fares you found would be valid either way. I thought that it must be strange to look across that street though and know that your neighbors are in another state, different taxes, different laws, different schools.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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Do a "search all dates for best fares" on Travelocity.com then narrow your search for June and July for ORD -AMS.
Kuwait Air flys that route and show fares with taxes and fees @$540r/t. They fly twice a week I believe (Mondays and Thursdays). Out of Amsterdam you could train or get a cheap flight to Deutschland (see www.ch-aviation.ch or www.whichbudget.com). Or, just hang on there will be fare sales coming up but you have to check daily.
Also in the past I have seen good fares listed at:
autoeurope.com
statravel.com
1800flyeurope.com
justfares.com
Bottom line from my experience you should pay less than $600r/t taxes and fees included.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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Thanx, Clifton
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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Hello everyone! Once again, I saw really good prices on a few of these sites. Many of these were cheaper than Travelocity and all these other travel sites I checked out before. Airtravelcenter. com provided the best airfare for me so far, and my parents seem to be interested in using them. www.justfares.com provdided excellent fare prices too. I will still keep all of you informed on prices I am seeing and ask your opinion on it. Thanks a bunch.
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