Summer Airfare - Honest Opinions?


Feb 12th, 2006, 06:31 PM
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Summer Airfare - Honest Opinions?

Ok, I have been calling airlines and searching the internet since October looking for what I consider cheap airfare ($800 or less) from Dulles to Frankfurt. My ticket would be open jaw Dulles to Frankfurt and Paris to Dulles. My husband's ticket would be R/T from Dulles to Frankfurt. Travel time is end of July and returning in August.

Air Canada, British Airways, Iceland Air offer cheaper fare (cheaper being defined as around $1080) but the flight time is 14 hours and longer.

I"ve been asking the agents at the airlines whether or not they think the airfare will get any cheaper for summer and their answer: No. It will only increase.

I know some of you keep track of the trends from year to year ... so considering fuel and everything else ... does anyone think airfare will be any cheaper than it is now? Airfare on Continental, Delta, American, Air France, Lufthansa, United, and USAIR is around $1200 and higher.

I really hate the thought of spending around $2500 on two tickets to Europe ... but I also hate to wait any longer in case the flights go up instead of down. I'm thinking of waiting until March 1 and deciding then but thought I would check and see what you all had to say on here.

katzen is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 06:50 PM
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There was a posting for super cheap flights from NY to London for around 400.00. It was on Travelocity today. Go to the flexible dates. I tried to get a flight from SFO but they seemed to be selling out faster than I could type. Oh and it was with Virgin. Good Luck!
namaka is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Thanks Namaka. I also tried but our dates weren't available. For $413 I'd be willing to get a flight or drive to NY and get a flight to London and then hop another flight to Frankfurt ... which when you think about it .... is kind of crazy.
katzen is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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If you're willing to go as far as Philly, Delta has RT flights to Frankfurt at $764.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:30 PM
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I think this is the 3rd time sharing this story. I don't know how I managed to get such a cheap flight. But, I'm flying Continental direct to Amsterdam for a total of $430 with all fees. Netherlands is not that far from Germany, what about a connecting European flight doing something like this? Oh, I'm not flying summer though. I'm flying March 23 - April 5
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Feb 13th, 2006, 02:48 AM
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To answer your question directly: for your specific dates, No, i do not think the airfare will get any cheaper unless there is a sale...and, of course, there was one on Virgin and your dates didn't work.

Accept it: the fares are going to stay the same...don't waste toime and money traveling to direct from home.

It costs more to fly now than it used to.
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Feb 13th, 2006, 02:54 AM
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Airfares are generally cheaper in the Winter and more expensive in the Summer. I fly JFK to Europe and my ticket to Paris in March is $424 this year. In previous years I have paid as little as $300.

More people fly during the summer and the airlines take advantage of that fact.
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Feb 13th, 2006, 03:19 AM
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I actually don't think the fares are all that much higher. Not that I'm happy with them. But I've been flying to Paris or London (similiar fares) for several years now in March and while I only paid $340 last year, I paid $440 the year before and this year I'm paying $470 - so really not a huge difference. These are the same dates each year. For summer travel last year I paid $950 to Sicily/Switzerland, the year before I paid $908 to Milan, and this year I'm finding a price of about $950 to Lisbon/Copenhagen. These are in July, and out of Newark. So I don't think the change is all that dramatic.

I did check out the Virgin Air sale and I did find the $413 (including taxes) from JFK to Heathrow - in July. I almost jumped on it but then I started to do the math: would have to fly from Gatwick (no cheap flights from Heathrow) to Lisbon and then from Copenhagen to Gatwick for the return. Still fairly good deal as that would only add another $150. But then have to get from Heathrow to Gatwich (and back), would have to get from near Newark to JFK (and back). And the times mean I'd essentially loose two days of my trip. If I really wanted the same number of days on the ground in my destinations I'd have to add two more nights. Well, that pretty much eats up the difference. And there's the stress factor of knowing that your flights are not all through the same carrier so if one flight is late you might be screwed. Now if you really wanted to go to London, and if JFK were your airport, then it is a pretty good deal. You really have to look at all the aspects of it before you can decide if something is a good deal or not.
isabel is offline  
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Feb 13th, 2006, 04:39 AM
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The odds are that you will be able to do better than $800 sometime in the next 3 months for travel in July and August from Dulles to Frankfurt. It is very likely that various airlines will have sales on and off depending on a variety of factors. But you'd really need a crystal ball to be sure.

You might also throw BWI into the mix.

You do have to be persistent in frequently checking the various flight websites.

A few months ago, people were saying prices in March were $900-1000 to various destinations and wondering if they should wait. We've seen several short-term sales that have been well under those prices in the last couple of months.

Of course, no one can tell for sure what will happen with prices.

A lot depends on your particular situation-- Is there a special urgency for making this trip to Europe now? Are your dates very restricted so you must fly in a very narrow time window? Will you be a nervous wreck if you wait to see if prices drop? What will get you the most upset: 1) Buying now for $1100 and then seeing a sale at $700 or $800? or 2) Waiting and seeing prices go up to $1300 and not coming back down?
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Feb 13th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Thanks All. I've decided to hold off on purchasing our tickets and see if there is a sale. I will admit I am persistant in checking the airfares. I seem to be on every site imaginable. I actually knew about the Virgin Atlantic Sale on Saturday ... AirFareWatchDog sent an email out but it didn't make sense for us to purchase our tickets from NYC to London .. we would then have to worry about geting to NYC and then from London To Frankfurt .. and my ticket is open jaw returning from Paris.

I've decided to stick with the original plan and fly out of the Washington, DC area, make my life a little simpler and keep looking in my glass ball for a sale.

Please keep me posted if you hear or see anything!

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Feb 13th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Because prices are unlikely to go much higher than those you quoted, there is not a lot of risk in waiting a few months to see if they decrease.
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Feb 13th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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Have you checked with air wholesalers? Have you considered a fly/drive package? Have you considered a package with 1-2 hotel nights? Any of these might be an option for you to help find lower airfare.

Best Regards,
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