Please sign in to post.

Newark to Paris air fare question

Apologies for such a banal question but I need some help with deciding whether the United $937 RT tickets from Newark to Paris for May31st - June 15th that I purchased online today is a decent fare. In the past, I've always used our Chase United air miles to get us to Europe for our last five trips but this year I've come up short and must buy seats. I'm at a loss about whether I've paid too much and whether I should wait another month or so for a better deal. If the more experienced travelers could advise, I'd appreciate it very much. If the difference in fare cost would run less than $100 per ticket if I wait, I'd be totally fine with purchasing my tickets now. I have until 12 noon California time January 2nd to cancel my purchase with United. Many thanks in advance.

Posted by
4954 posts

That doesn't sound like an amazing fare to me, though I rarely travel to Europe after the end of May. May not be a bad fare either, though. Who knows if you could do better? Always a guessing game.

Posted by
5746 posts

There's no way to know. Prices go up and they go down, there is no human-understandable logic behind them.

FWIW the price you paid ($937 per person, round trip) for a nonstop flight around Memorial Day US holiday and early June (D-Day commemorations) does not sound way out of line to me. If I said it was an AWESOME KILLER PRICE would that make you feel better? :) OK, its an AWESOME KILLER PRICE!!!

My advice is, you've found a price that you can live with, move on. Life is short, you get to go to France so count your blessings, and worry about other things. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
6950 posts

You might want to go to ITA Matrix and check on the other area airports--JFK, Newark and Stewart International (1 hr. north of NYC.)
On your dates, Norwegian Air Shuttle has base prices of $500 out of JFK round trip. You have to read the terms online.
I understand that Norwegian is having cash flow problems, but they claim that they have sufficient cash after selling some airplanes in December. It's a chance they may merge with another European airline.

We have tickets on them BOS-MAD and CDG-BOS May/June for about $500. We're saving $1000 a person vs. legacy airlines total. If there is a problem with Norwegian, I have scoped out a Plan B out of Boston.

Posted by
1075 posts

Flights from JFK will be cheaper due to the fact that Norwegian and XL fly from there to Paris.

Posted by
2923 posts

I don't think you paid too much but you did not get some kind of low-priced deal. You are getting a non-stop flight and you are traveling during a peak season and you are flying on United. I am a United Premier 1K member and in all my years of flying United, I have only ever once seen a United flight that cost less closer to the date of travel and that was a flight from SFO to Cabo San Lucas. I have flown from Newark to Paris in mid-May (the day after Mothers Day) for a week for each of the past three years. Economy tickets cost between $600 and $700 for each of the first two years on United. Last year, I flew on La Compagnie so I do not have the United prices for 2018 but United is in my experience more expensive than many other carriers. So, for a flight on a legacy carrier during a peak time, the price is okay. You could get discount flights for probably around $600 in the NY area on Level Air or Norwegian or another low-cost airline but you would probably have to fly from JFK. I do not think the United price will drop significantly between now and May.

Posted by
234 posts

Thanks to every one of you for taking the time to share your advice. I learned something different about the airlines from each post. I happened to be checking my emails this evening when one of those pop-up ads appeared from Air France advertising low-cost air fares to Paris from NYC. After punching in the dates and airports, I got a price of $630 RT, which seemed very promising until I remembered how difficult it was for my son last summer when Air France was randomly cancelling flights to and from Paris. It made for an unnecessarily stressful family vacation. I don't think a $300x2 tickets savings will be enough for me to take any chances with our summer vacation so all things considered based on what everyone posted today, I think I'll go ahead with our United flights. I prefer flying out of Newark anyway (much easier to get to via the buses run by the Port Authority) and I haven't had any real problems flying on United all these years so I'll move forward and start searching for those more manageable hotel deals. : ) Thanks again.

Posted by
2054 posts

It's not really clear what is going to happen with AF this coming year. They have a new president and maybe things will settle down.

However, Norwegian and United are vastly different companies making comparisons on price alone almost pointless. As rumors about Norwegian´s continued viability circulate, I wouldn't feel bad at all about $937 RT for peak season travel.

Posted by
8995 posts

Flights from JFK will be cheaper due to the fact that Norwegian and XL
fly from there to Paris.

I've never found transatlantic fares out of JFK to be cheaper than Newark. For millions of people living in the region both airports are equidistant, so the airports are essentially competing with one another.

From someone who has flown 100+ transatlantic flights out of Newark, the $937 fare is a bit high; I think you can do better. It should drop to around $750 at some point. Once it does that buy the ticket ASAP. Use the Google flight tracker to get email updates on fare drops.

Posted by
384 posts

There are only 3 certainties about airfares:
1: prices are always changing

2: everyone on the plane will have paid a different price,

3: you will never have the cheapest ticket on any flight

Posted by
2490 posts

This is too high. Google Flights shows EWR-CDG via Swiss with a change in Zurich and non-stop back via United to Newark for $646, book through United. And a few other options. The site Fareboom.com, which seems to have the ability to consolidate codeshares in the One World network that can't be done on their individual sites (they have great reviews, I have used them twice now with no issues and absolute confidence) shows several interesting possibilities, though they do invole JFK at elast once.

Posted by
2054 posts

Any flight that is not a non-stop EWR to CDG is an apples to oranges comparison. You can always shave dollars adding route segments but doing so no longer makes the comparison meaningful.

Non stop flights always cost more.

Posted by
234 posts

Thanks again everyone. I have come to value this RS forum very much over the years. Thank you for your expertise and your willingness to share your travel experiences. I've found that once I've secured our flights, the real fun part of trip planning kicks in. Whew. I'll be heading to Paris for a week then another week in the Greek islands and will probably be returning to this forum again for additional advice. Happy travels everyone, wherever that may be.

Posted by
7692 posts

I think you did just fine. Yes you can find cheaper flights, but they all involve concessions including sketchy airlines or way longer travel than you need (going to Switzerland to get to Paris, no thanks). You've paid a little extra to fly direct and fly from your preferred airport, so I think you did just fine.

As for Air France, when I went home to the States in November, I specifically took American rather than “more convenient “ (for about the same price) Air France flights exactly in order not to have to worry about the state of Air France labor relations, in the end, the pilots' union came to an agreement that seems to have satisfied them for now, and there wasn't anybstrike action in November, but it was worth something to my peace of mind not to have to think about any of that in the intervening time from when I bought my ticket to when I flew. Of course everyone has different things that matter to them! But just to say I definitely understand your concern on that front, even if in the end I could have flown without problem on those Air France flights. They've pretty much made it too risky for me to consider them.

Posted by
234 posts

Thanks, Kim. Well said. We all know how travel can be stressful sometimes so it's often worth the peace of mind to make choices to insure that things go without a hitch, especially when it involves transportation and even more so in countries like France and Italy where there are strikes. We plan to take the train from Paris to Pau to visit our next door neighbors who retired and moved to France last year. Our window of time in Paris is pretty tight so I hope that the trains will be running smoothly on our travel date in June as renting a car and driving to Pau is not an option. Thanks again.

Posted by
8995 posts

Yes you can find cheaper flights, but they all involve concessions
including sketchy airlines or way longer travel than you need (going
to Switzerland to get to Paris, no thanks).

The cheaper fare I proposed ($750) would have been non-stop via United. I haven't paid over thsy amount for crossing the pond in over five years via EWR.

Posted by
3332 posts

Thanks to every one of you for taking the time to share your advice. I
learned something different about the airlines from each post. I
happened to be checking my emails this evening when one of those
pop-up ads appeared from Air France advertising low-cost air fares to
Paris from NYC. After punching in the dates and airports, I got a
price of $630 RT, which seemed very promising until I remembered how
difficult it was for my son last summer when Air France was randomly
cancelling flights to and from Paris. It made for an unnecessarily
stressful family vacation. I don't think a $300x2 tickets savings will
be enough for me to take any chances with our summer vacation

I won't fly Air France for that very reason. Did you look at Delta between JFK and CDG? Their prices are often aligned with Air France as they are part of the same alliance. it's a day later so things can change.

Posted by
234 posts

Boy, a $750 fare would have been sweet. As it is, tho', I'm a teacher and will be returning to school when winter break ends on Monday. I'm also taking a Saturday morning Italian class with additional French lessons twice a week, both of which involve a fair amount of reading and homework so I'm relieved to have my flight to Paris all squared away so I can focus on teaching and learning until I make it to that glorious homestretch called summer. My grown kids have yet to purchase their air fares so I'll be passing on the info about Delta, skyscanner, and possible flights out of JFK that everyone have suggested here on this forum. Thanks again.

Posted by
12970 posts

Hi,

For a trip from 31 May to 15 June flying out of SFO on United in basic Economy, I would pay the $937 r/t SFO to Paris.

I have paid less for a summer departure but that was going to London and have paid more, say up to a bit over $1600. I would take that $937 price, non-stop and r/t. It's a decent price.

Do I check back after having booked the price to see if it went up or down from what I've paid? Sometimes.

Posted by
234 posts

Fred, the $937 fare is actually from Newark to Paris, thus my dilemma. But I just managed to use my United air miles to book the SF to EWR round trip portion for 25,000 miles each ticket so I'm happy with everything overall. I did learn that while United may not budge on their ticket prices to Europe, they do shift around with how many air miles are required for their domestic flights. About two weeks ago, they wanted 75,000 miles for two tickets from SFO to EWR which was ridiculous because ordinarily, if you search early enough, a flight to Europe is 60,000 air miles. I still have flights between Paris to Athens to Santorini then Athens back to Paris to figure out/purchase and I'll be glad when it's all done. I'm beginning to think that buying airfare/transportation is the most stressful part of any trip. Luckily it's all taken care of at the very beginning of trip planning and we can forget all about it before the trip begins!

Posted by
12970 posts

@ Adrienne...My "general rule" is that anything direct, non-stop, and under one thousand is a decent price, be it to Paris, Frankfurt or London, LHR or Gatwick as it pertains to Summer prices. Of course, the lower, ie, under $1,000, the better if these are by chance available.

Good that it all worked out to your satisfaction!

Posted by
335 posts

We are flying from Sfo to Barcelona on June 15 on american changing planes in Chicago for only 510pp. I decided it was cheaper to get to Barcelona and take a train to Nîmes and explore Provence. We were not planning to return to Europe, we gone the last two years. Our next return is on BA via London. We booked our accommodations in with airfare in the train travel we are paying less than 2500 for the both of us. Spending nine nights in Provence in three nights in Barcelona. It was too good of a deal to pass up. I’ve just learned to get to the cheapest place in Europe and then go from there. And see what we can see.

Posted by
234 posts

It's crossed my mind to do something like fly into London then take the Eurostar to Paris with a stay in London as a bonus so I'm glad to hear that it's worked out for you. But how do you fly out with one airline and return on another? I always thought that it was much more economical to do a round trip flight with the same airline. Thanks again everyone.

Posted by
11292 posts

" But how do you fly out with one airline and return on another? I always thought that it was much more economical to do a round trip flight with the same airline. "

If the airlines are in the same alliance, or if the airlines are offering one-way pricing, it need not be any more expensive than flying with one airline all the way.

From Newark, United has lots of nonstop destinations (so, all on one airline), and they partner with Lufthansa, SAS, and others to expand your options further. These airlines part of the Star Alliance. The other two alliances are OneWorld (American, British Airways, Iberia, etc) and SkyTeam (Delta, KLM, Air France, and others).

Icelandair, WOW Airlines, and Norwegian Air, among others, price flights one-way, so there is no financial "penalty" for not booking a round trip flight.

If you want to, for instance, fly into London and out of Paris, use the "multi city" or "multiple destinations" option when searching, rather than looking for two one-ways. The other term for multi city flights is "open jaw." Sometimes an open jaw itinerary is much more expensive, but often it's not.

Posted by
3332 posts

If you want to, for instance, fly into London and out of Paris, use
the "multi city" or "multiple destinations" option when searching,
rather than looking for two one-ways. The other term for multi city
flights is "open jaw." Sometimes an open jaw itinerary is much more
expensive, but often it's not.

This from Harold. I flew open jaw 2 months ago (JFK --> CDG, AMS --> JFK) that was much cheaper than roundtrip Paris or roundtrip Amsterdam. FYI -- two one ways are the most expensive way to fly.

Posted by
3332 posts

If you want to, for instance, fly into London and out of Paris, use
the "multi city" or "multiple destinations" option when searching,
rather than looking for two one-ways. The other term for multi city
flights is "open jaw." Sometimes an open jaw itinerary is much more
expensive, but often it's not.

This from Harold.

I flew open jaw 2 months ago (JFK --> CDG, AMS --> JFK) that was much cheaper than roundtrip Paris or roundtrip Amsterdam. FYI -- two one ways are the most expensive way to fly.

Posted by
234 posts

That's pretty impressive! The airlines must have changed their open jaw policies at some point because before I began accruing United/Chase air miles to bankroll our travels some 10 years or so ago, I remember that it was almost a given that open jaw flights were going to be more expensive but that the convenience was worth the extra expense. Glad to hear that us travelers get some price breaks now and then.

Posted by
21292 posts

Well, it varies. I'm not clear on why, but sometimes the open jaw is a lot more expensive than the round-trip tickets. I wonder whether it's a matter of trying to combine airports primarily served by two different airline alliances, or something like that. When I'm looking for an open-jaw/multi-city itinerary (which I nearly always am), I start by pricing out the round-trips, looking at cheapest travel days, best connections (if non-stops don't exist), and so on. Only then do I start down the open-jaw road, armed with some useful information about what might work best to keep the cost reasonable.

I have scored under-$600 open-jaw tickets for Nice/Paris and for Madrid/London, but I have seen some very unattractive results when trying to help folks who posted on this forum. It may come down to my living in a city that is a reasonably competitive airfare market--though nothing like NYC.

On my two attempts to use United frequent-flyer miles to get to and from Europe, I had no problem at all acquiring just the outbound ticket initially (for 30,000 miles), then getting the return ticket several months later (again for 30,000 miles). I don't know whether that was just a matter of luck or fortuitous timing. I was flying to Europe in May and returning in late August or early September. Being a solo traveler whose only time-constraint was the Schengen limit made that strategy fairly low-risk.

Posted by
3332 posts

That's pretty impressive! The airlines must have changed their open
jaw policies at some point because before I began accruing
United/Chase air miles to bankroll our travels some 10 years or so
ago, I remember that it was almost a given that open jaw flights were
going to be more expensive but that the convenience was worth the
extra expense. Glad to hear that us travelers get some price breaks
now and then.

Airfares are constantly dynamic. Nothing is ever static. I was surprised by the open-jaw price savings over flying roundtrip especially as it worked out perfectly with our itinerary. We actually didn't want to return to Paris; it was out of our way! Often especially in the Rick Steves Tours forum, people talk about how open-jaw fares have been cheaper than returning to their original airport of arrival into Europe. So you never know! I'm glad you've got ff miles to use!!

Posted by
234 posts

I sure miss the air miles this time around, tho'. It's been quite an eye-opener searching then finally purchasing flights to and within Europe. Paris to Greece has been particularly vexing and expensive with much fewer flights available. With the United air miles, I did find that a late May departure and a late June or fall return offered more flights to the major cities like London, Rome, Paris and Amsterdam. I'm beginning to think that in the end, it all evens out. Folks on this forum are pretty diligent about traveling smart with their planning. You're going to find a real deal some years and with others, maybe not so much. But like someone mentioned early on, we get to go to Paris so enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Thanks all!