When to buy summer Europe airfare??

Old Oct 4th, 2005, 03:22 AM
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When to buy summer Europe airfare??

Hi. Planning first trip to France for July and have been looking for airfares and they're super high..

Based on your experiences, is it best to buy in the fall, winter or spring for July Europe travel? I'm particularly looking at JFK-NCE flights..

Thanks
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 03:41 AM
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Just keep watching and checking - know the usual price then you will be able recognize a sale price when it appears. I think last year a good fare for what I wanted showed up in late January. Also realize if getting certain flights/good seats is important to you. I like to get direct flights so I don't want to wait too long for maybe a $100 cheaper flight with a long layover somewhere. I think now is a little early to buy for next summer but you never know when a bargain may appear.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 03:43 AM
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First, I'm not sure what you mean by super high. You are planning to travel in the highest average fare period of the year and it is not common to find great deals. Are you looking at fares of more than $1,000, for example? If I was guessing, I would guess that the best opportunity for the best fare would probably show up between March and late May -- but others here have probably purchased that fare in the past and might have better insight.

A lot can happen between now and next summer that could impact either positively or negatively on fares, too. In very general terms, what I have been seeing this year are higher average fares to Europe and many domestic destinations, with better deals to Asia more recently, in comparison to 2004.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 04:16 AM
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I agree, the fares to Europe are expensive in high season.

First, let me ask you how many seats are you looking to buy? If you have a large party (as we do), and you need specific days (as we do), your options are cut way down.

If you are a party of two people, and you are flexible with your dates and time, perhaps you can find a deal, if you are persistent.

However, I wanted to let you know that our flights(s) on 6/24/06 into Venice and 7/8/06 out of Rome are already booked 75% and 60% respectively.

It's people like me who are booking early, and paying the higher fare that you are up against. In my opinion, with many summer flights booking up early, I don't see any incentive for airlines to lower their prices: Supply and demand (and of course the cost of jet fuel).
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 04:19 AM
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Generally, sales show up 3 to 4 months before the flight date. But there are no guarantees.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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Hi melody,

www.mobissimo.com is showing $959 for nonstop in mid July. I expect it will drop about $100-150 in Jan or Feb.

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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 06:42 AM
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ira has it right.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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For that time of year (& w/prices going up anyway)I would hope for something around $700.
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Old Oct 4th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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I usually book my fares for July to Europe (usually France) around Jan-Feb. I am not so convinced of Ira's prediction, as that fare seems about what I would expect already (from where?), but if you wait too long after Jan-Feb, the fares start going up as the cheaper seats sell out. Of course you may get something cheaper if you are willing to have lots of stops, long layovers, fly on airlines with money-flow problems, etc.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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Christina,

Does $959 from JFK to Nice sound right for July?? I was really hoping for something around $700..

Thanks
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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In February I booked JFK to CDG (Paris) for $829 for early July travel. I countinued to look daily and never saw the rate go down.

In June I booked JFK to NCE for $660 and also only saw the rate go up.

FWIW, I've been looking for JFK-CDG/NCE-JFK for next June/July and am seeing similar rates to you. I plan to wait until Jan/Feb to book and will be happy if it goes down to $800.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Sorry, I should have said that the June NCE tix were for mid-September travel.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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I'm looking buy tickets for mid June to Greece. If I want a particular seat i.e. bulkhead should I book now? Do those seats sell out right away?
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:26 AM
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mvor's clearly the expert on that one (I thought the low price might be a different time), although I guess it was last year and fuel has gone up a lot--$830 is the comparison. I fly from Wash DC usually, and I just know that RT airfares to/from France in the last couple of years in July have been around $900 for me, and that is not including an add-on to Nice. Wash DC is not the best market to France, though, so prices are usually a little higher here than NYC.

I would not expect $700 for July on a major carrier for that route, but you never know. I would expect it to be around $900 myself.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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OK I read how people seemed to book almost 6 months in advance. I am thinking of a trip to France in mid April 2006..should I book now? I did recently check fares & they are about $700-$900.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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I agree w/Christina that $700 is unlikely for JFK to NCE in July. There are non-stop flights from JFK on Delta (that's who we flew in September and I just checked and the price was $610 not $660 as mentioned earlier).

$900 is probably a good benchmark, just watch prices daily to note increases/decreases and then get ready to book in Jan/February--hopefully you'll find something closer to $800-$850!

Our July flight to Paris was on Air France who bumped us on our return flight. We were rebooked on to a later flight on the same day and they gave us a 300E/$360 refund. We were psyched.

Again, good luck.

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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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One of the things I have noticed already is that the non-stop flights are more than the connecting flights. Example, it is cheaper to fly to Barcelona on Air France than flying to Paris. I would look for sales between now and March and buy the ticket before the end of March.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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Viamar- In answer to your bulkhead question, I can only relay our experience. Last year on our flight to Italy I had booked our ticket about 8 months in advance and asked if the bulkhead or emergency rows were available. They said they do not release those seats until 24 hours before the flight and you must be present at the ticket counter to get them.

On our way home our flight from Florence to Frankfurt was delayed so we missed our connection from Frankfurt to Portland and had to spent and extra night in Frankfurt. When getting reticketed I asked about the bulkhead/emergency door rows. We were at the ticket counter within the 24 hour period. Several were available. My husband and I got the two bulkhead seats that were also in the emergency door row, we had so much leg room we didn't know what to do with it. But my 6'1" husband couldn't have been more pleased. Our two kids were able to get the bulkhead row just 1/2 a row up from us right in front of the movie screen. We all agreed missing our flight was worth it!! This was on a United/Lufthansa flight.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Melody,

I've traveled to Europe five times in the last seven years and have never payed more than $500 for airfare -including taxes. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you should be able to get airfare for $700, especially out of JFK. You may have to get a little creative and get a cheap flight to Paris or Frankfurt and then use EasyJet to get you to Nice. I wouldn't start getting nervous until February. Good Luck...
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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I just priced a mid July fare JFK to Paris through Iceland air - $586 plus tax(total $787), and it's still early. If it were me flying out of JFK, and if I were really flexible, I would be shooting for about $500 - $600 all day long. I'm flying out of Boston this summer which is a little tougher than JFK, so I'm figuring about $600 max for myself...
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