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Airline suggestions from Amsterdam to JFK or EWR

Trying to figure out a decent lower cost airlines to use coming home from Amsterdam to either JFK or Newark in December, every review I read no matter the airlines reads like a horror novel, any ideas/suggestions for the lesser of the evils?
Thanks in advance,

Posted by
317 posts

I flew Aer Lingus on my Amsterdam and Dublin trip. It was fine. Please bear in mind, nobody writes an online review when they're happy. I've used Air France, Virgin, airberlin, SAS, Aer Lingus, and Austrian for my trips and never had any problems of any kind, and have had numerous pleasant surprises: food better than expected, great coffee onboard, comfier seats than I'd expected, etc.

I always seem to find the best rates on the airline of country to which I'm flying. I suspect the governments may slightly subsidize flights to their own capitals? I always match airline nationality to destination (partly because then it's like I'm "there" faster) and always get direct JFK flights, roundtrip, for about $800-$1000. (EWR is a last resort because I live in Queens and it's expensive murder to get to NJ).

Posted by
2526 posts

"Please bear in mind, nobody writes an online review when they're happy." That's not my experience reading many online reviews, nor for myself, as I post reviews trying to give a balanced perspective to help others.

Posted by
16941 posts

Of course, Netherland's "national" airline is KLM and they are in bed with Delta, and Delta often calls the shots when it comes to pricing. Aer Lingus is pretty good and have never had cause to complain.

How are you getting to Europe in the first place? Repositioning cruise? Otherwise, you should make a round trip or open jaw flight from NYC.

Other airlines will do one-way for reasonable prices, Icelandair, Norwegian, WOW. Aer Lingus does as well, but KLM has "Legacy Carrier" written all over it. Expect the lowest price to be a round trip where you toss the return ticket.

Posted by
11292 posts

While people certainly write positive online reviews of restaurants, hotels, museums, etc., I agree that they are much less likely to take time to write about an unremarkable flight. I know I don't. So online reviews of flights definitely skew negative - for all airlines. Assuming you're flying coach, I don't think there's a great deal of difference these days. I find the non-US carriers slightly better, but not enough to make me choose them if there's much of a price difference. I've read that that the business and first class products can be quite different; I have no experience with these. However, even if you're not going in these higher classes, some carriers offer Economy Plus or Premium Economy (two different things), which can be about $75 to $300 more each way, and thus can be an affordable upgrade. If you are interested in this, then which carrier you choose definitely makes a difference.

One major difference between carriers is what's included in the base fare. Legacy carriers like United or KLM will include one free checked bag, a meal, and (usually but not always these days) seat selection. A budget carrier like WOW or Norwegian will charge extra for all of these. So, do be sure you're comparing apples to apples when looking at prices.

I agree that before you even look, we need to know why you are looking at a one-way flight. If it's because you're starting somewhere besides Amsterdam, definitely book this all on one ticket as "multi-city," rather than "one-way" or "round trip." The budget carriers don't charge extra for one ways, but the legacy carriers sure do.

Aer Lingus often has low prices from New York. I flew them last year to Glasgow and Liverpool, and they were fine. Coming back on them, you go through US immigration and customs in Dublin; this takes some time, but then your arrival in the US is like a domestic arrival, so you save time at that end. Turkish Air also often has low prices; they were wonderful to Istanbul, but going via Istanbul to Amsterdam would take a LOT longer. And Aeroflot often has low prices. I've been on their JFK to Moscow flight and (contrary to lots of old stories), it was fine, and at least as good as a US airline. However, I've never changed planes at Sheremetyevo (doesn't look like fun) and I've never flown them on any other route (I assume since they compete directly with Delta on this route, they use better planes, flight attendants, etc).

Posted by
7268 posts

Don't read reviews. What are you going to do when you can not afford to take a private jet? And even those get bad reviews.
The bottom line is how comfortable you feel spending your money and finding flights with minimum connections to where you want to go. I recommend searching googleflights and then booking direct with the airline. Expedia is ok too.

Posted by
47 posts

I prefer the early morning United flight at 9:15am to Newark. My reasons are not so much for the in-flight service but more for the ease of getting through the airports. At 7:00am there is no line at the ticket counter when checking in and no line at security or exit immigration. When we get to Newark around 11am, I always notice that the customs hall has hardly anyone in line either so the processing takes mimimal time.

The actual flight is never comfortable in economy class but at least one can get through departure and arrival airports very quickly. During our most recent trip we upgraded to business using miles so it was a lot nicer during the flight.

So if you are willing to wake up really early, try United.

Posted by
3352 posts

Go to skyscanner and plug in the dates you want to travel. A major airline might be cheaper than a discount one. You can also set up an alarm when fares fall.

Also, are JFK and EWR really equal to you? If you're on Long Island, Queens or Brooklyn, EWR is a headache. Likewise, if you're in NJ, JFK is a royal pain as you'll be forced to go through the traffic of Staten Island, the Verrazano, and then the Belt Parkway.

Posted by
1014 posts

I flew back on BA this summer and was pleasantly surprised that they still have free booze for travelers in the cattle car. Nice surprise.