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Are some airports cheaper than others?

I am in the preliminary planning stage for a June or September trip to Germany. Would it be the same price to fly in/out or Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg? Would one airport be cheaper by virtue of volume, subsidy, tourist load?

I assume any big airport should be the same as any other. True or false?

I would fly out of a Washington, DC airport.


Posted by
8687 posts


Different airports have different fees for one thing. For example - the taxes and fees to fly into Heathrow in London is a few dollars.. To fly out of Heathrow it's a couple of hundred dollars. Sometimes larger airports are more economical and sometimes smaller airports are. You just have to try every option and see what works the best for you.

Posted by
12040 posts

Keep something else in mind. Say, for example, you wanted to focus your trip on southern Germany. Saving a few hundred dollars on a flight into Berlin or Hamburg probably might not be worth the money because you would still need to shell out a considerable amount of money (and valuable vacation time) to transit to your preferred destinations.

Of the airports you mentioned, Frankfurt is by far the busiest. But I haven't noticed any consistent or noticable cost difference.

Several posters reported saving quite a bit of money by flying into Düsseldorf on one specific airline, but I forget which one.

Posted by
6854 posts

Some airports are cheaper than others to fly into/out of.
Why don't you sign into and checkout European flight fares non-stop out of Dulles Airport to:
Flights to any other German cities will go through another European gateway cities first.

Posted by
2691 posts

I haven't flown DC-Germany, but in general certain airports are cheaper than others. It can depend on the airline, the time of year, the specific route, fees, etc. If price is a major concern, I'd try all sorts of of combos of DC (Dulles, Reagan, and BWI if it's feasible) to any German city on your itinerary. Also, I bet September is cheaper than June.

I like for this, but I'm sure there are other sites.

Not Germany related, but a few weird flight pricing anecdotes:

-I'm going to Spain in late March. Flying on March 27 (Thursday) was several hundred dollars cheaper than flying on April 3 (also a Thursday). Apparently, the seasonal pricing changes hit April 1, and by leaving a week earlier I save a ton.

-I used to live in Buffalo. Flying Buffalo to London was always $300 more than Toronto (2 hours away). This one makes some sense (big airport vs smaller), but Toronto seems to be cheaper than other big airports to London.


Posted by
9110 posts

There are so many elements that go into the price of a ticket (carrier, taxes, future fuel cost, fees, load guess (pax and cargo), weather guess, etc) that you can't possibly anticipate which one will have the best price of a given set of dates. It's all computer-driven, there's not a little man in a broom closet that sets prices. All you can do is keep checking. Beware of the faux economy of flying into an inconvenient spot because of a lower price when you have to spend time and money to get to your ultimate destination/area.

Posted by
4649 posts

It is not the airport so much as the competition that is flying there.

Flying out of IAD, there are non-stop flights to both Munich and Frankfurt on Lufthansa and United. There are no non-stop flights to Berlin or Hamburg. I generally choose a non-stop flight whenever possible.

Usually the cheapest transatlantic flights out of IAD are on Icelandair and I've also seen a lot of cheap flights on Turkish (with terribly long layovers in Istanbul).

Posted by
11798 posts

Like Ed says, I try every option, create an email alert for all of them, watch them for at least a few weeks, then buy my ticket either when a great deal comes up or when I've seen enough to know a decent deal and book that.

I try to book direct flights before they sell out because the added convenience of no connection stops is a big plus for me - worth at least a few extra dollars.