I am planning a cruise out of Rome on June 20, 2008. Wow i am looking at air fare now and it costs more than the cruise. When should I start looking for airfare? When are the sales typically? We live in Virginia so I always look at Ric, IAD, PHL, JFK. I can get to those airports. US air use to have a good fare nonstop PHL to FCO. BUT OMG what has happened now? Will I be able to find a good fare?
Try flying into London, spending the night, and then taking a budget airline like easyJet or Ryan Air to Rome the following day.
Ah great idea but what about luggage limits on the cheap airlines. Wouldn't we pay a fortune ?
When was the last time you flew to Europe? It is not cheap. Costs are very seasonal and you are going at peak time. I do not worry about cost as much as directness of flight, moderate wait times at layovers, minimize layovers, etc. Don't try to do too much in one day. Arriving in rome in morning and getting on cruise ship that same day may be too much.
Actually it was last year, that I had tickets to go.
I would never fly in the same day as cruise. With the airlines in the shape they are today anything can happen.
Sign up with www.smartertravel.com and they will keep you posted on airfare deals. You are smart to start planning your trip now, but it is probably too early to buy plane tickets. My advice would be to fly to Rome at least two days ahead of your cruise departure date to allow for snags and jetlag. One or two days in Rome could make your trip more interesting and less hectic.
Use the "one month" search window in Orbitz. (Go to the "flexible dates" then "flexible stays" section) Use ALL of the thirty days that they allow you to search, even though you may want a certain day. And then plug in a good price (that you would want to pay), and wait for their auto-notice funtion it to let you know when they find something. Do this with Travelocity and Expedia, also, and talk to a good travel agent. We got our trip this June for $480 R/T P/P with taxes, into and out of Frankfurt. (PDX to FRA) Then we took a cheap airline to Rome (Air One). We could not find any good deals to Rome, but found lots of cheap flights to Frankfurt and Munich. Both places have cheap inter-Euro airlines.
We have used this method over the last 6 years, and always end up with tickets under $500 in Spring or Fall. We search sevel major routes, and have also found good prices into and out of London. Many times the good prices do not show up until around 60 days before the flight.
I booked my trip to Rome back in March for this September. I live in the DC area, and I am flying from BWI to Newark to Rome on Continental. This was one of the cheapest flights I found, and it was still over $1000 a person. You could also try flying out of Dulles, but it's a pain for me to get there so I paid a little extra to fly out of BWI.
I also did the flight from PHL to FCO for dirt cheap a few summers ago.
Thank you, this is excatly the information that I am looking for now. PDX? is that POrtland and you received a fare of What!!!??? My eyes must be failing me. Actually all kidding aside I saw a fare for April 2008 iad to fco for 495.00 It gone now. What airline did you fly Germany to FCo?
Thanks all I greatly appreciate. Keep the tips coming!!
Price is always relative. We booked US Air from Philadelphia to FCO for $520.00 RT, wrapped around Thanksgiving. Summer prices are easily twice that price.
Thomas, yes, PDX is Portland Oregon. Lufthanza flies direct from PDX to Frankfurt, and they, and their partners (Star Alliance) always throw in some cheap fares every once in a while. Sometines, once you get to FRA, they offer additional cheap flights to other areas. When we activated the Orbitz auto notice function, we noticed that the cheap fares would pop up on a Sat morning, and then be gone the following Mon. I also found out that the auto notice function did not list all of the flights available, or all of the airlines that had that rate. Once you see a cheap flight it is always best to go direct to the airlines web site to see the "real price", and to book your flight. I also found that Orbitz only lets you search three destinations at as time, when you activate their auto notice function. Make sure that you input a realistic number, when you tell them what you want to pay. If your price it too low, you will never receive a notice about a price that is really in your "ballpark".
I utilize two methods to find the "best price" Kayak.com and gotoday.com
I worked in the travel industry for years and my best advice to you would be to find a good travel agent and use them! Many consolidator work only with Travel Agents and provide discounted airfare. It is a little early to plan for June (I would look in Sept/Oct) and they should have negotiated contract fares in by that time. Many companies will discount your airfare when you book it in conjunction with your hotel, since you'll be coming in early anyway.
My other suggestion would be to try smaller airlines such as EuroFly (non stop JFK-Rome) ....
Have you ever flown into Zurich? They seem to have low fares now I wonder if any specials will coma along.
Jeff I use to live in Franklin Lakes, I know I can't believe I am saying this but.... " what a small world" and getting smaller.
I got tickets in April for my trip to Italy in Sept this year. Got them really cheap at $1080 (but thats also flying into FCO and out of athens)when prices were low. I use www.kayak.com and keep watching the price. Now they are about $300+ more than before. This is from Phoenix so should be cheaper for you.
We are AAA members, and we have found that the airfares we get from their travel agents are just the same as the fares on the budget websites. We booked our flights in May for our trip this October. Direct from EWR to FCO then VCE to MXP to EWR, for $875. They even called later and arranged our seat assignments for us because we had booked so far out.
Anne and Melissa bring up a good point. You always want to enlist the help of a good travel agent. You can do your own searching too, but the more inputs you have, the better.
I have never flown in or out of Zurich, but a German friend who came here yearly, said he found his best prices flying into and out of Zurich.