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How do you buy your Intra-Europe Plane Tickets ?

Posting this question super early as it's not till 2022, but still curious.

We will be flying from NC to Nuremberg Dec 2022 to see the Xmas Markets with some friends who have never been to Europe.
We then need to get to Amsterdam for a River Cruise.
Seems the train is 7+ hours, so flying may be our best bet.
We will be flying back home from Brussels Belgium at the end of the River Cruise.
We usually book Multi-City when going to Europe = I did a MultICity search
NC to Nuremberg on Dec 15
Nuremberg to Amsterdam on Dec 19
Brussels to NC on Dec 28
The price was $2400.
It's much cheaper to just book NC to Nuremberg and Brussels to NC = $1028
So, for Intra Europe flights, Nuremberg to Amsterdam, do you just book directly and separate with KML?? That seems to be $250
Just curious how you all do this? I always thought MultCity was the way to go.
(Yes, these are prices for this year as we obviously can't see 2022 yet)

Posted by
1909 posts

Multi-city works best when it’s not a straightforward round trip, i.e. NC > Nuremberg; Brussels > NC.

Once you add extra segments it can result in uneconomic results.

Simply book Nuremberg > AMS separately with KLM.

I still wouldn’t rule out the train. It is likely cheaper and less stressful as it’s city centre to city centre, without the palaver of airport security.

Posted by
2011 posts

The train might be your better option in this case. Going from city center to city center is much more convenient than flying and is probably a lot cheaper as well, and once you factor in the time required getting to and from outlying airports the duration of the journey will probably be similar - even for non-stop flights.

Posted by
5193 posts

There are so any ”cheap” airlines for flying within Europe (Vueling, RyanAir, easyJet, etc.), that we’ve usually booked to/from Europe (usually on British Airways in our case) and separately, with whatever airline gives the best price and flight times for intra-Europe.

Posted by
26361 posts

planning ahead using DB saver or supersaver prices you can do the train trip for only €37.90 or €59.90 from Nuremberg to Amsterdam Centraal. That may help swallow as little as 6.5 hour train trip, and its interesting scenery.

The plane of course will be including the trip to the airport (north of town), the advanced arrival for checkin, and the always fun security checks, any luggage issues, the flight time, luggage retrieval, and the (admittedly frequent and quick) train from Schiphol into Amsterdam.

How much actual time will the flight save? And could you actually do much with a couple of hours?

And then the carbon footprint of the train is dramatically smaller. The Netherlands runs their trains, even the high speed ones, on virtually 100 percent wind power. Germany is very energy conscious with theirs.

So not only do you get much more comfortable travel, a delightful picnic on board if you stock up, including with your own wine or beer, and scenery, you are good to the planet and do your bit for the battle against climate change.

Posted by
1354 posts

KLM has a flight for $176 from Nuremburg to Amsterdam that would be best bought as a separate ticket. It sounds like you need to purchase three separate tickets for this trip. It’s good that you checked the entire journey as a multi-city just to see what it cost; you never know where the deals can be found.
It’s possible you’ll be able to take a direct (no change required) overnight train from Nürnberg Hbf to Amsterdam Centraal stations. It’s too soon to see the Dec 18 evening train schedule, but I see one departing at 1:41am arriving at 10:14am tomorrow. If there is an overnight train, you can sleep in a couchette or a private sleeper.

Posted by
545 posts

OK -- we are happy to do the train as so many recommend - my concern is that there is less than 15 min to change trains and that time frame makes me nervous - do you think we can make that connection? These massive train stations make me nervous that we won't find the next terminal/platform in time??

Posted by
6885 posts

How do I buy my intra-Europe plane tickets? I check EasyJet and SkyScanner to see what is available, then buy directly from the airline.

You don't have to purchase them “within” your big trans-Atlantic flight. As you're seeing, that is way more expensive.

Be sure to check whether the airport that your European airline is flying into/out of is near the city, especially if flying RyanAir (I avoid RyanAir).

I am going to Norway next week - I am flying there on an Air France flight and flying back (from a different city) on an SAS flight. The times and prices worked out better for me that way.

Posted by
2011 posts

15 minutes is usually plenty of time to connect with your ongoing train, even at the largest stations like Frankfurt. It'll obviously be easier if you're not horsing around a large suitcase but it can still be done without too much drama.
There are station maps available online to help you get your bearings before arrival, and if you're still concerned about it you could investigate catching a later train and thus give yourselves a couple of hours to grab lunch if you so desire.

Posted by
2408 posts

OK -- we are happy to do the train as so many recommend - my concern
is that there is less than 15 min to change trains and that time frame
makes me nervous - do you think we can make that connection? These
massive train stations make me nervous that we won't find the next
terminal/platform in time??

I did a dummy booking, and DB suggests that you change at Frankfurt airport (Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof). That is hardly a massive station. It will probably just be a walk across the platform. Worst case scenario: You go up the escalator, walk 10-15 metres and down another escalator. See what the station looks like here: https://www.bahnhof.de/resource/blob/1038862/aab455ca2045985d190c5040567c728c/Frankfurt-am-Main-Flughafen-Fernbahnhof_locationPdf-data.pdf

Posted by
2799 posts

What train site are you using?

Looking at this on Deutschbahn, I see the only train route with 1 change makes that change at Frankfurt Airport station. It says track 7 for both arrival and departure—and you have 21-22 minutes to make the connection.

Posted by
545 posts

Thank you all so much. We will plan on the train. My husband and I will be going with a dear friend of ours whose husband died unexpectedly and she wants to take her college aged kids on a trip over Christmas - they will love the idea of a train.

I did see that it changed in Frankfurt, but didn't realize it would be the Frankfurt airport train station and manageable.

Posted by
21326 posts

I think train is a good idea. The other issue is the potential for weather. Both trips for us at that time of year encountered snowy days that can cause more problems for airlines than trains.

Posted by
2135 posts

We have many friends and family visiting from the US, and we help them purchase open-jaw international tickets. Because we have flown on many of the perhaps lesser-known airlines - Pegasus, Wizzair, Eurowings, Transavia, Condor, air baltic, Helvetic, Blue Panorama, Air Dolomiti, Air Malta, and so on - we'd also help them book one-way flights on one of these smaller companies, or on more common low-cost airlines like Easyjet, Vueling, Ryanair, or Norwegian. (Surprisingly, AMS is considered a hub for EasyJet and Transavia).

So like Kim suggests, book your flights to and from the USA separate from your intra-Europe, site-to-site flights. Usually, this is far less expensive.

That said, I'd agree with Nigel, Frank, and others and encourage you to get on the train. Airline schedules change lately about as often as the COVID restrictions. I've had flights this month canceled by Vueling, Easyjet, and Transavia. Coupled with the weather challenges Frank speaks to, I'd say take the slow, steady, and SAFER option and ride the train!

Posted by
2145 posts

We've booked in Europe. Stupidly, we booked thru Cheaptickets. Which were not Cheap Tickets. The carrier was Ryan Air from Mid-england to Dinand, Fr. The ticket surcharge was $30. So, get the flight from CheapTickets, but ALWAYS check with the direct website for the carrier.

Posted by
3565 posts

Buy budget airline tickets from the airline directly. Some "budget" operations are offshoots of the traditional carriers (ex, Transavia=Air France.) But for Ryanair, easyJet, etc., each flight is a separate ticket without connections. These sometimes come up on a search as a through itinerary but the passenger has to make the connection including retrieving and then checking luggage back in.

So yes, multi-destination searches are the way to go if you want protected services as well as reasonable pricing. You're on your own for short hops on budget carriers. I admit others may find contradictions to my advice. European travel is complicated.

My rule of thumb is that any trip lasting less than five hours will be more enjoyable by train.

Posted by
10240 posts

Here's how I buy all my airline tickets:

1) I go to Google Flights. This will tell me which airlines fly the routes I wish to purchase and the approximate price for particular flights on that day.

2) I go directly to the airline's website--all have English versions--and I buy the tickets. I prefer buying directly from the airline.

Posted by
52 posts

Don't overlook making your way to Munich. MUC has lots of nonstop flight options on KLM and Lufthansa.

I always look for flight options on https://matrix.itasoftware.com/ and then book direct with airline.

Posted by
4400 posts

I use Kayak and Google flights for my travel within Europe.