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When To Buy Flights From US To Europe

Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:49 am

Hey guys,

For the past years, my family has been vacationing inside the US and usually we buy our tickets on January/December for our summer vacation since its usually the lowest rate as well our recent trips to Asia last summer. This summer, we're going to Europe, mainly Scandinavia (Sweden) since my mom's sis lives there. It would be our first time to Europe and we would want to visit France (Paris) and Italy (Rome,Pisa,Venice) Since its our first time, I don't really know when the prices are the lowest or relatively low, say like below $900 (JFK to ARN) I don't mind stops, in-fact, I like stopovers. So far, I've been searching fares using KAYAK, which is a good website. I found good prices with Air Berlin and Icelandair but Air Berlin has no PTVs (i like my PTVs) and Icelandair flies the 757 TATL and I like widebodies better. Personally, I would love to fly on a major European carrier such as AF, BA, LH or KL but their prices as for now are significantly high, is there any chance that they will go down? When will they go down? Plus any advice on a specific carrier, I know that all of the European airlines have a so and so reputation and all of them has similar kind of service. ANy suggestions or comments are appreciated   BTW I'm a star member, so it'll be a bonus if i get to fly with LH or LX.

As for going from ARN to CDG/ORY to FCO, VCE, we're planning to book on EasyJet or any other low-cost airline in Europe. Is EasyJet reliable? How about Ryanair? I know, I know, I've heard stories about Ryanair, I would love to try them and see how bad they are but Im afraid that they might ruin our entire vacation.

[Edited 2010-11-13 19:52:08]
It's a cultural thing.
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: When To Buy Flights From US To Europe

Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:32 pm

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
BTW I'm a star member, so it'll be a bonus if i get to fly with LH or LX.

Or SK, UA or CO...

i can't help you with the fares ex USA to ARN as I'm not familiar with that market. In general, the end of June thru the beginning of September is very busy and it's difficult to get good deals. Furthermore, if you want a cheap flight on easyJet or Ryanair, make sure you're fast as seats to/from Southern Europe sell very fast during these months. easyJet serves the main airports while Ryanair is located at secondary airports (especially in Paris). This means that transportation costs to/from airport may be higher (though Ryanair is usually cheaper than easyJet). Both have a list of fees. Vueling may be an option as they between Paris and Venice. If I'm not mistaken they offer connecting flights. However, they're probably not as cheap as Ryanair or easyJet. Norwegian Air Shuttle is an option between Stockholm and Rome, but the fare sale has already begun, thus the cheap fares may be gone.
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RE: When To Buy Flights From US To Europe

Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:40 am

The best time is in the off season. January-March. In March 2002, I bought a roundtrip on Travelocity for $240. BOS-DTW-AMS-Return. I could have gotten it for $200, but since I'm an airliner nerd, I wanted to get on the 747-400 out DTW vs. the DC-10 in BOS. For Scandinavia, In the summer I've spent as little as $650 RT to OSL out of BOS on Icelandair. And as much as $1200 RT to ARN with DL, plus an extra $150 to make an SAS connection to OSL from there.

Summer is going to be expensive because it's peak season. I've used Air Berlin (LTU) twice during recent summers to get to and from Berlin. Once, JFK-DUS-TXL and once TXL-DUS-RSW. Both times their one-way and round-trip fares were half the price all other majors were asking. JFK-TXL for $450 vs. $900 on other carriers) And I had no problems with them. You don't need a PTV. Read a book or magazine, listen to an I-POD, or look out the window. Most of the time there's nothing worth watching on them, anyway. If you want the moving map, Air Berlin has that on the movie screen. Besides, if your rents are buying the tickets for a whole family, half price (compared to competing airlines) x 3 or 4 or you saves a couple thousand dollars. I'm sure that's more important to the ones paying the way than having a PTV for six or seven hours. Plus, once you get there, Scandinavia is ridiculously expensive, money saved is money that can be spent on a nicer hotel, better meals, and more fun once you get there. For $1,500-2000 saved in airfare, that's a hell of a lot nicer hotel you could get! In Stockholm, during summer you'd be lucky to find a decent hotel for less than $200 per night, if not more? I've stayed in economy hotels there that top $150 per night!

Air Berlin starts JFK-TXL service this upcoming spring. You can get cheap tickets to ARN from there with Air Berlin, or other airlines matching their fares. However, flights to ARN might leave out of SXF instead of TXL? Not sure. Never flown there from Berlin.

You might look at using Norwegian Air Shuttle to get from Sweden to central Europe. They have a lot on non-stops out of Stockholm. I've used them to get from Germany to Norway, and it's a nice little airline, and cheap.

Oh, and unless things have changed, SK hasn't flown from JFK in at least twenty years. But there are flights from EWR to ARN, and CPH. OSL is being reintroduced next year.

[Edited 2010-11-15 01:47:10]
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RE: When To Buy Flights From US To Europe

Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:12 am

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 2):

thanks for that very detailed response! btw we wouldn't be needing any hotel in Sweden since my mom's sis has a house and we could just stay there   However, thanks for the wonderful and detailed response!  
It's a cultural thing.

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