We will be on the eastern Europe tour in June...trying to book air travel home to the east coast ...can someone tell me how they have done it? Every multi-city option gives me an overnight stay in Europe...anyone know the best options? Thanks!
You could fly Easyjet into London Gatwick, switch airlines and fly home. Norwegian Air Shuttle might fly cheap where you want to go from Gatwick. Unfortunately you didn't say what city you need to fly into.
You might could also fly Lufthansa into Paris CDG or Munich and connect on the same ticket home.
Ljubljana is a pretty small airport.
we fly home to Norfolk, va
Flying home from Venice is probably the most practical. Venice Marco Polo airport is about a three hour shuttle ride from Ljubljana. (There are some direct buses now right to the airport, but many also use Go Opti.) If you are lucky, you might snag an afternoon flight home from Venice. Last year I flew back to the US from Venice after 2PM and got home the same day, and I was flying to the west coast. No idea what your options would be back to Norfolk, but it's worth checking into. If I were flying home from Ljubljana, I'd be comfortable.
You can also consider what was mentioned above - make your own connection on two separate tickets. Of course there's a risk involved. (Some travel insurance might cover an accidental delay if you get stuck.) Unfortunately, Adria airlines (the old Slovenian airline that had connections to many European cities) is now out of business, so you will have fewer options for that.
Here’s a thought. It depends on if you have the time to add on a few extra nights to your trip. Will you be visiting Zagreb on your tour? If not, perhaps you could take the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb, spend 2 nights in Zagreb (a very interesting city), and then fly home from Zagreb, if there are more flight choices available.
Last September we flew home to Boston from Ljubljana on Adria Airlines, with a long layover in Zurich. I heard about a week later that they had ceased operations. It didn’t surprise me because our original early afternoon flight was canceled and they put us on a very early morning flight to Zurich, with a stopover in Munich. Then an 8-hour layover in Zurich! The adventures of traveling!
Last October we flew from Ljubljana, around 9 a.m., to Amsterdam and then home to Minneapolis. We had at least 3 hours between flights. Easy trip.
You should be able to find some same-day options, but they may not be cheap.
Transavia, a European low-cost carrier owned by KLM has a circa 9:00 am departure from LJU to Amsterdam on 3-4 mornings per week. Like Ellen, I took this flight in the fall, but my layover was only 2 hours. I bought a single Delta ticket that included the Transavia flight. The airlines are not true "partners" but do some codesharing and have an interline agreement that allows luggage to be checked all the way through to the final destination (with the standard passenger pick-up/drop-off at your gateway US airport).
For gamblers, substantial savings can be achieved by buying a separate Transavia and KLM/Delta ticket, but then checked bags would likely need to be picked up in Amsterdam at baggage claim and rechecked at the KLM/Delta ticket counter. I'm not that big of a gambler.
Air France's regional airline Hop! has a circa 12:00 pm flight to Paris that with tight 90-minute transfers at Paris and Atlanta can get you back to Norfolk before midnight. I would not attempt a 90-minute transfer in Paris unless flying business class or otherwise having Sky Priority Access to speed your way through immigration and security.
Lufthansa has a circa 7:00 am flight to Frankfurt that would allow connections to the US on Lufthansa/United.