Flights to/from Europe (transatlantic)

I am planning a trip to Europe for this summer and I want to book the transatlantic flights as soon as possible. I haven't been to Europe in almost 10 years, so I don't know what constitutes a good price for flights these days. I am hoping the experts on here can give some advice. The cheapest I am finding right now is $1,500 round trip for our dates from June-July. Does that seem reasonable for this time of year? I've been watching the flights for a couple weeks and this week they just went up $20. Is it normal for them to go back down a bit or should I book now before they go up even more?

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1359 posts

Hello VP. In the year 2012, the prices for airline tickets for flights to Europe were higher than the prices in the year 2011. In the year 2010 the prices for airline tickets were 50 % higher than the prices in the year 2009. The prices for airline tickets are expected to be significantly higher in 2013 than in 2012. The prices for airline tickets for flights to Europe are much higher for travel in June or July or August, than for earlier in the year. Could you travel to Europe in the first half of May ? For flights to Italy, the prices are likely to be higher for travel after the month March.
There is an internet web site at which you can enter the names of the airports that you wish to fly from and to, and the departure date and return date, and the price that you wish to pay. They will inform you, via E-mail, when (and if) the price will be the price that you wish to pay. I search for airline flights information at the internet website Expedia, and if I see information of flights that have departure times and arrival times that are satisfactory for me, and it has the lowest price, I search for that information at the internet website of that airline. Their price could be lower. And, after searching on the internet, I talk with the airline's ticket sales agent via Telephone. That ticket agent might be able to find tickets that have a lower price. Or the airline's ticket agent will find flights that have departure times or arrival times that are more to my liking. Sometimes, an airline of an other country, such as Air France, has tickets for a much higher price for a flight from an airport in the U.S.A. to an airport in France, compared with airlines of the U.S.A., because of taxes imposed by the government of France. And the airport fees are different at different airports.

Posted by James
Frisco
1799 posts

I'm flying RT to Budapest in April for 1100. You didnt say where you were going. YOu might check RT Miami to London spend a day or two in London then take a discout airline someplace else returning to london for another day or two. I did this some years back (London Rome) and it worked out pretty economical. Open jaws with a discount airline connector also works sometimes and its what i am doing for my Budapest trip. You just have to go to one of the websites like Orbitz and keep trying the variations, then check what you come up with against what it cost to book direct with the airlines. Oh, and be careful of the "lowest fare". I have never found a "Lowest Fare" that had decent connection times. My "lowest fare" to Budapest was well under $1000. 40 minute connection in Frankfurt, 35 minute connection in JFK? Be real. Not going to happen and your trip starts off wrong.

Posted by diamond
United Kongdom
1 posts

Finding cheap airfare can be a challenging experience. So many different websites and airlines offer tickets, making it hard to know where to begin or when to go ahead with a purchase. It's not just important to look in the right places when searching for airfare deals. It's also helpful to look at the right time. Understanding the best times to book air travel can save you money, so plan your next trip accordingly. Prices for flights usually increase over interval periods of months and weeks leading up to a given departure. Independent Traveler suggests booking anywhere from three to six months beforehand. Reids Guides also mentions six to eight weeks as the minimum buffer for buying plane tickets before incremental price hikes commence. Big discounts can also be obtained by waiting until the last minute to book air travel, provided you have a little luck. However, this strategy is best reserved for pleasure travel and spur-of-the-moment vacations because you may not be able to find any bargains late in the game for your desired destination or time frame. Individual airlines and booking sites generally offer a constantly changing crop of last-minute deals for savvy travelers to take advantage of. Airlines tend to cut prices when they haven't sold all the seats for a flight, and other factors also cause fares to drop. Most ticket services have a weekly newsletter or web page featuring special deals on select flights. You may find a steal as little as 48 hours before the scheduled departure, so check listings frequently to see what budget itineraries are available. Check individual airlines' websites as well as booking agents like AirfastTickets, http://www.airfasttickets.co.uk for UK targeting located and http://www.airfasttickets.de for German targeting located

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Airlines are masters of controlling supply and demand, and thus the prices. If a flight's unprofitable, they'll discontinue it, cancel the city and even park their airplanes. The best savings on airfares on flights going out on Monday or Tuesday. The other trick is to figure out when flight prices go up, and this has varied for Spring/Summer travel. I've seen some prices go up on 3/20, 5/20 and some prices go up on 6/3. If you can go just a little earlier, you'll save a lot, there will be less crowds, and you'll be more comfortable temperature wise. You're lucky to be in a flight market where you can directly get to a number of European gateway cities. You have not said where you want to fly, but the airlines going to Europe direct from Miami are: Air Berlin, Air France, Avior, British Airways, Corsair International, Exec Air, Iberia, Lufthansa, Swiss International and Virgin Atlantic. You might can find a better deal if you look at their direct websites.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

$1500 seems like a lot. I've heard they are really high right now but I usually find something closer to half that (flying shoulder season). When searching for low fares, flexibility is key. The cheap tickets are on flights that can't sell all the expensive seats. Look at multiple travel days, as well as multiple departure and arrival airports to build your itinerary. I saved quite a bit flying March 31st, 2012 to Spain vs. flying April 1st, 2012 I normally start searching at Kayak, but don't buy until I've set up fare alerts on multiple sights. I watch for at least a few weeks to guage the going rate. When I find a good deal, I check around before jumping. The only time I jump quickly is when it's obviously a great deal - in that case you need to purchase before those tickets sell out. Middle Seat (WSJ) had a recent article on finding cheap flight options. In your case, it would involve catching a cheap flight from Miami to another hub with a cheap option to Europe (may be worth it if the savings is enough). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578259740155116054.html

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10883 posts

VP did say he/she was going in June-July which is peak travel season so citing bargain prices in April is of little value to the poster. Unfortunately I think $1500 could be reasonable if connections are good. The price might change a bit but significant changes may not occur. Personally I would not wait more than a month to six weeks. No one really knows.

Posted by Love to Travel
San Diego, CA
126 posts

Hi there I booked my flight to Dubrovnik from Seattle 3 years ago in January for a June departure. Granted it was a very specific flight path and one way, and Aer Lingus was having a sale, but I tracked that flight for the months up until I left and it never shifted other than like $20 or so. I did just read an article today I believe in USA Toda regarding the merger and they said they had tried raising rates $20 but then returned back. For finding flights it's best to search midweek. Everyone books their flights on the weekend so they are more expensive. Also consider flying to a major hub (London, Paris, Frankfurt, etc) and then try a budget airline or train. Could save you hundreds. I can't imagine a flight from Miami to London or Paris would be $1500!

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1590 posts

Can't imagine $1500 to fly from Miami to Paris in June/July? Flights are much more expensive this summer than they were three years ago. Even Condor, usually the cheapest,,wants $1455to fly from Ft. lauderdale ( their only Florida airport) to Paris CDG in June, returning in July. We are looking at $1700 to $1800 from Seattle to London for July I've never seen it so high. (but we aren't going this year so my interest is purely academic).

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

High flight prices to Europe are why I'm visiting Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritimes this year. While Canadian accommodations are relatively expensive, I'm saving enough (over flights to Europe) to take a second major North American vacation. If you're experiencing sticker shock from Miami on European airfares, why don't you check around to see who's bringing in all the English to the beaches of South Florida. You may could catch a deal through a charter carrier or consolidator going to England.
Another option would to take your trip before June or after September during mid week.

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

Hi VP, Check out ICELANDAIR. After seeing that a direct flight from Toronto to Amsterdam would be $1350 with KLM, I decided I didnt Have to go direct. I've booked with Icelandair return for $895. You do have to change planes in Iceland or you could do what I'm doing, which is a 3 day Stopover in Iceland with no additional airfare charges. Have a look and if you are flexible with dates, or perhaps willing to leave from another city, you might find a deal.

Posted by Susan and Monte
Granite Bay, CA
679 posts

I've been watching airfare from San Francisco and Sacramento into London for months now. Seems like they range from $1400 to $1700, so from Miami it seems to me that it would be too high. But, I have no idea what "normal" has been lately from Miami. All I know is it is way too much! I found non-stop from SFO to London for $1320 and I jumped on it. Glad I did!
Set up some alerts from web sites like Kayak and put in different dates, airports, etc. with whatever you may except and see how things change day to day. At least that way you will know when to jump if something comes up cheaper. I have found that they do go up and down by $20 regularly, but also it seems like they have been creeping up higher and higher. I've been looking at specific dates because we are going on a cruise and we leave June 28 and return July 14, so those are high season. Good luck!

Posted by Frank
Oxford, MS, United States
26 posts

I managed to book $750 NYC to DUS tickets on United. I'm going to have to make my way to New York, but I have a companion ticket so my daughter joins me on that flight for free. So our round trip is going to cost us about $900 to $950. It really depends on where you want to go. Right now there are cheap roundtrips from STL to New York. You can then fly to DUS for around $750 or to Copenhagen or Warsaw for around $950. At least that was the situation a few days ago. You just need to get on Kayak and start plugging in cities. You can make your trip around a cheap airfare, or you can travel by train pretty cheaply by advance purchase tickets to where you want to go. Good luck!

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Ran up on Condor Airlines, a Frankfort based budget airline that's owned by Thomas Cook Travel. They fly in and out of Ft. Lauderdale if your dates are flexible. They are online @ Condor.com. The website is a little cumbersome, but you can figure out how to use it.

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1590 posts

I checked Condor, see my post above. We don't know where they are going so I just put in Paris. It came up $1455 from Ft. Lauderdale in June-July. Not so great. But VP hasn't been back to give feedback and we are all havin gto guess at where they want to go. It's hard to help in that situation.

Posted by John
Blue Bell, PA, USA
30 posts

I would assume you are using Kayak - if not register there and it will watch prices and send you alerts if prices drop, etc.. $1500 seems like an 'ouch' - I paid $1100 round trip Philly to Amsterdam in Sept and thought that was high.

Posted by Mona
Santa Barbara
231 posts

I just did a search on itasoftware.com (month long search to spot the lowest dates in June/July) and came up with fares of $1100 on AirBerlin with very long connection times and fares of $1200 with very good connection times on 2 other airlines. I choose 3 different airports in Florida and the cheapest fares were out of Miami. After scoping this out on ITA, I'd go directly to the airline I liked best and book at the airline's own site. We are flying from LAX to DUS this summer with tickets we purchased in August 2012 for $750 each. We start looking 330 days out and buy when we see a good price being VERY flexible about airports and airlines.

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
562 posts

Augh, the airline ticket prices are pretty outrageous. I just purchased a flight for the same trip I took in 2009 at a 100% increase. The price you quoted seems reasonable to me, and most likely will not go down. With that said, this is only my opinion, so please don't get terribly upset if I am wrong (and I have no idea where you are going).
It also depends if you are willing to give up certain things. I detest connections in Europe to my final destination, so am willing to pay a bit more for direct flights from the US. I could have gotten a ticket for maybe $250 cheaper this way, but that was not worth it to me. Some of the price games also depends on what you are willing to give up. Also, if your dates are not flexible, you are at the mercy of what prices come up (and in the months you noted, prices will be high).