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cheaper Air fare from Vienna to California.

Hi, My RS trip in Sept will end at Vienna and I will flight back to San Francisco, California on Sept 30. The air fare I searched on SkyScanner from Vienna to San Francisco is too expensive, around $1000 or more per person. Does any one has any tip on a cheaper way to get home. I'm thinking of taking a train from Vienna to a Frankfurt to fly home on the next day. But not sure if that would save me any. Will appreciate any tip or any suggestion from your experiences. Thanks.

Posted by
2353 posts

From this it appears that you are flying one way? I just found this one

10:30 AM
VIE14h 25m
1 stop DUS
3:55 PM
SFO
Details
16 deals from
$819 per person one way

and this

12:45 PM
FRA14h 10m
1 stop KEF
5:55 PM
SFO
Details
13 deals from
$460

WOW - crazy - the above is on 9/30

this is 10/1

12:25 PM
FRA17h 35m
1 stop SEA
9:00 PM
SFO
Partially operated by Alaska Airlines
Details
1 deal
$594

Pinning down airfare is like trying to catch a fairy. You have to keep checking and pounce when you find a rate you like.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks Christi for you quick reply. $460 from FRA to SFO is a good deal, but it departs at 12:45 pm on Sept 30. Do i have enough time to take the train early in the morning from Vienna to FRA to get to the airport on time for the flight? This is my first trip to Europe and have never taken the train there, so I'm not sure how long it'll take from Vienna to Frankfurt and how much the train ticket costs.

Posted by
2353 posts

Not unless you left the night before and took a night train.

The next alternative is the flight on 10/1 for $594. It is a 7 hr train ride to Frankfurt from Vienna. The afternoon trains are €59,00 for the savings fare - book in advance or €89,00 for a morning train

Check trains at the DB site

You have to just keep searching different days, departure cities and find the best option.

Posted by
4696 posts

How are you getting to Europe? Did you buy a one way ticket?

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Emily, my RS tour starts at Trier, Germany and ends at Vienna. I plan to buy one way ticket from San Francisco (SFO) to Frankfurt and another one way ticket from Vienna or Frankfurt to SFO whichever is cheaper (air fair + train ticket). We have a family of three, so any money-saving tips on transportation would greatly help. Any suggestion? Thanks.

Posted by
2353 posts

Why not just buy a round trip/open jaw SFO to FRA and VIE to SFO. I do not know your departure date but here is ROUND TRIP for 9/16 departure. When searching for flights pick the multi-destination or open-jaw option

$1,246.56
PER PERSON

Choose
Flight 1

Air France
Sep 16, 2016 9:00a SFO

Stops
1 Stop
DTW

Sep 17, 2016 9:45a FRA

2h 54m Layover in DTW
Flight 2467 operated by Delta Air Lines
Flight 3608 operated by Delta Air Lines
15h 45m

Flight 2

Air France
Sep 30, 2016 7:05a VIE

Stops
1 Stop
CDG
Sep 30, 2016 1:20p SFO

1h 40m Layover in CDG
Flight 5041 operated by Austrian Airlines
1

Posted by
21282 posts

Christi's right--you may waste a lot of money by buying two separate one-way tickets. It's easy enough to fly from CA into one city and back from another. Usually you need to check the "multi-city" box when checking schedules and prices online.

I don't know anything about trans-Atlantic service from California, but it wouldn't hurt to see whether Icelandair or Norwegian Air Shuttle flies a route that would be helpful to you. I don't think they show up on the typical schedule sites like kayak.com, and for the right origin and destination they might save several hundred dollars.

Posted by
16883 posts

Roundtrip or multi-city (open jaws) tickets are almost always cheaper for US-to-Europe flights than one-way tickets booked separately. They're just a different fare category.

Posted by
15035 posts

My only additional suggestions are:

Book as soon as you find the best price/route. Don't wait for a price drop.

Plan to leave SFO no later than the 16th (you'll want the extra day to adjust to the time change, etc). Check if leaving on the 15th (before the weekend) saves enough to offset the additional hotel night (and vacation day?). Also consider flying back on Oct 1 or 2, Sat/Sun which may be cheaper than a Friday flight. You can take the time before the tour to see a bit of Frankfurt (it's well worth a full day or even 2), then take the train to Trier the morning of the tour. And there's lots to enjoy in Vienna after the tour.

I just put in 9/16-9/30 on Expedia.com and the cheapest option is $1,065 outbound on American via Dallas (4 hour layover) and inbound on Air Berlin via Dusseldorf with a short connection (80 minutes) or leaving VIE in very early in the morning (getting to the airport middle of the night) and a long layover of 5 hours.

I would avoid any route that takes you through a US airport inbound because you'll have to go through immigration, claim your bags, go through customs, and recheck your bags for your flight to SFO - and you may have to change terminals from international to domestic. This is a pain and a potential for missing your connection.

Posted by
4696 posts

Leogon9 - looks like we just saved you a couple thousand bucks. You're welcome.

Posted by
4 posts

Yes, indeed you all have saved my family big amount of money with lots of good money-saving tips. I'm glad that i checked with you on this forum before buying the tickets. Thank you all so much.