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Pat_in_Mich Aug 23rd, 2010 04:22 AM

What did you pay for airfare to Europe this summer?
We considered going to Europe this summer but we were unable to find an airfare we could live with so we gave up and vacationed in the United States instead. But I can't help but wonder if I missed a good airfare because I started looking too late or gave up too soon.

So, can you share what US city you flew from, what European city you flew to, when you bought your tickets, and how you found your fare? Maybe the information will be helpful to those who want to travel to Europe next summer.

ira Aug 23rd, 2010 04:35 AM

Hi Pat,

I bought my October tickets in January.

qwovadis Aug 23rd, 2010 04:53 AM


NYC LON or AMS booked in WINTER on a TUESDAY

for cheapest fares.

I went this year on got 50000 FF miles bonus

right away on their FF Chase Credit card booked FREE

with that paid tax CC deal I have ever seen

though I think they have scaled it back some of late..

But my wife and I got 200,000 on those BA cards

and have 4 free round trips just have to pay tax only.

Happy Hunting.

Gary_Mc Aug 23rd, 2010 04:54 AM

We start looking up to 6 months early and just follow airline prices on Orbitz or Kayak. Sales happen but they are less likely to be real bargains flying from an airport like Salt Lake City International on a fixed schedule. My wife's work schedule is not flexible enough to drop everything and just go, which also impedes chasing bargains.

When we do find a savings, the savings are usually less than 15% of our total trip cost. For us, the difference between a low fare and a high one does not warrant agonizing about. So, we normally buy 3 to 4 months out.

Our quest for a decent fare mostly comes down to flying in the off-season, which we like better anyway. This Nov/Dec we are flying out of SLC, through Detroit to meet-up and fly with my brother & his wife to Frankfurt for Christmas Markets. My brothers direct flight fare is better than our connecting flight.

Regards, Gary

qwovadis Aug 23rd, 2010 04:59 AM

colduphere Aug 23rd, 2010 05:06 AM

Does Canada count? $1300 (US) from Ottawa to Athens, return from Barcelona to Ottawa. Bought in April for late July. Looked on five sights a day for six months before buying the tickets.

Pat_in_Mich Aug 23rd, 2010 05:32 AM

I was looking for early August but couldn't commit to my dates until March because my daughter wasn't sure if she could get the vacation time. Maybe if I'd been able to buy earlier I might have been able to get a price I could live with. As it was, I never saw fares much below $1600 and since I needed 4 tickets that was more than I was willing to spend. Flying in the off-season wasn't an option for this trip since my son is still in school.

hetismij Aug 23rd, 2010 05:41 AM

Interesting that only one person has actually answered the question. Maybe even when it comes to airfares people are too sensitive about $$$ to post the details?

I must admit that when we decide to fly the other way we start looking only a short time before we planning on going and try to find a direct flight from Europe to our destination rather than going for the best price, which almost inevitably involves transfers in the US. But there are only two of us so it doesn't matter quite so much.

I hope you had a good "staycation" Pat, and got to explore a beautiful part of the US.

joannyc Aug 23rd, 2010 05:51 AM

$636 non-stop RT JFK-BRU-JFK on Delta. Depart 9/23, Return 10/10. Purchased 7/17.

Midnightsun Aug 23rd, 2010 06:00 AM

We flew Newark to Stockholm for about $860 at the start of July on SAS. They had a two week sale on summer fares in the first two weeks of March. We had to buy our own tickets to Newark to take advantage of this deal, so we wound up spending another $160 on Continental to get from Greensboro to Newark. Since Continental and SAS are both in Star Alliance, we were able to check our bags through even though we had two separate tickets. Total airfare was therefore $1020, which was the best deal we saw when we were planning our trip. We had some frequent flier miles on SAS, and we used those to travel to France for part of our vacation.
I have signed up to get e-mail offers from a few airlines, and I look for summer sales, usually in February and March. It seemed there were fewer this year, but SAS did come through.

BKP Aug 23rd, 2010 06:08 AM

We flew the other direction, LHR to SEA. We bought our tickets in April and flew in July. $1000 a ticket. It was brutal. We've paid less than half that flying in the off season, but we had family obligations.

usernameistaken Aug 23rd, 2010 06:52 AM

Have posted this elsewhere, but in early July we bought two roundtrip tickets from Boston to Barcelona for about $1040 on expedia per person for AirFrance (codeshare Delta)- this includes a four night stay in the Gran Torre Catalunya hotel. Cheaper flights with less advantageous departure times and no hotel averaged around $800 US. Interestingly, the exact flight we wanted WITHOUT hotel cost $1010, so, for $30 extra pp, we got a hotel.

Another interesting note: we originally booked the trip for Labor Day weekend and bought "trip cancellation" insurance through expedia for about $69 per person - we ended up changing the trip to the next weekend, got a better, fare, and ended up forfeiting only the $140 travel insurance fee (no airline change fees!), got a cheaper pacakge, and ended up saving about $50 pp. A pleasant surprise.

yk Aug 23rd, 2010 09:19 AM

Here are 67 responses to my thread asking about European airfares for Sept 2010:

DH & I also gave up the idea of our annual fall trip to Europe this year. We wanted to go to Amsterdam but I started looking for tickets too late in the game. The only ones I could find were >$1000 pp from Boston.

OTOH, last week I just purchased a plane ticket from Boston to Switzerland (arr Geneva, dep Zurich) on American for next month, Sept. I was surprised to find a ticket at $750 all-in.

norrisken Aug 23rd, 2010 09:24 AM

Used USAirways FF miles and booked 2 non stops, Dulles-Munich with Lufthansa. Only had to pay taxes and a fee. $206 total.

travelgirl2 Aug 23rd, 2010 10:07 AM

Prices were over $1000 (approaching $1200 I think) so we used Continental frequent flyer miles for 4 tickets. Unfortunately, we could not get directly to Spain, so we: 1) flew Newark to Lisbon 2) took train and bus to Seville 3) drove around southern Spain 4) flew EasyJet Malaga to Geneva 5) flew Geneva to Newark.

It was a lot of hopping around, but I'm glad we got to spend a few days in Lisbon and our night in Geneva was unexpectedly really nice. Couldn't really call it a relaxing pace, though we had 18 days.

catherinehaas Aug 23rd, 2010 10:32 AM

The best deal that I could find for JAX to CDG with a return from PRG was $1200. More than I was willing to part with so I used 30,000 miles on AA and got a one way to Paris. From there I bought a ticket on AirBerlin for $35 to Vienna. Taking the train to Prague for $40. The trip home from Prague was only $700 on US Air. I got all the travel (RT airfare, European airfare, and train ticket) for less than $800. I thought that was pretty good! Without the miles, I was not going to Europe this year...

TravelingMan61 Aug 23rd, 2010 10:43 AM

Ord to Fra Sept 9 Berlin to Ord Sept 26 1895.00 for Wife and I. Bought them Apr 5.

Reese22 Aug 23rd, 2010 11:48 AM

We just bought CVG to LHR (change in DTW) with a return CDG to CVG (direct flight) for $938.
We leave 10/1!

tom18 Aug 23rd, 2010 12:03 PM

YK - If you are a United FF member, you can get a RT flight from BOS-AMS in October for 25,000 miles and $315. Also available from other cities and for other destinations.

blej Aug 23rd, 2010 12:51 PM

We bought basically last minute round-trip tickets two weeks ago - JFK to Prague leaving August 30. The cost was $812 each. AMEX points is paying for most of it. We did better buying the tickets separately and negotiating with the hotel for a good price than we would have if we combined flight and hotel. However, we were flexible on dates. Moving the date of our departure or our arrival one or two days would have added $200 to over $400 per ticket.

I find that the best way is to check on Kayak, look at the grid that shows the least expensive flight days for your departure and arrival cities. Then enter those days on Kayak and see what flights and prices show up. After that check the airline websites and compare. Sometimes they're less.
Depending on the country you fly into and/or have a stop-over in the taxes and fees could easily be more than the flight. So do check different country airlines.

If you have a stop-over read the duration carefully. Some air
lines list the duration of each leg separately and list them as non-stop. If you're not careful you might think you're buying a quick non-stop ticket when you're actually buying a long 1 or 2 stop ticket.

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