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Airfare from West Coast

I'm watching airfares on Kayak. They list a good fare
out of SFO on British Airways to Italy in May. When I choose BA to book the flight I receive a message that states BA is no longer offering that fare and route. However if I choose the CheapTickets option it will allow me to book the original route and price with BA.
My question is, why can I book through CheapTickets and
not BA? Is CheapTickets safe?

Posted by
2193 posts

Not sure, but you could just navigate to BA’s website directly from your browser and not from kayak and see if it allows you to book there. I was checking fares earlier today, and they were the same on both sites.

Posted by
5252 posts

Best I can find in May to Rome or Milan from SFO on BA is $1009 all in. That's not so great a fare. I'd wait. Or grab one of those $674 fares on Aer Lingus SFO to Dublin and fly Ryanair to Italy for next to nothing.

Posted by
446 posts

$1000 isn't really a bad price for a May departure.

From my perspective at least, taking the Air Lingus + Ryan Air flights just to save about $300 isn't worth it. Air Lingus does not fly to SFO, so you have to take United to Boston or New York and change planes there. Then, you will have to change again to Ryan Air in Dublin.

Posted by
5252 posts

"$1000 isn't really a bad price for a May departure."

It is if good sales pop up in the next few months, which they usually do.

This past June I flew SFO-DUB for $390 rt all in when that fare appeared in the first week of March. The year before, I flew in the last week in May SF0-ZRH for $550, a price that appeared in the first week in April.

Of my last 10 flights from SFO to Europe, none has cost more than $600, including flights in July. After February, airlines have to start filling seats they should have already sold and those who hold out and stay vigilant are rewarded.

For some, saving $300 or $500 per person on a flight isn't important. On my travel budget, it definitely is.

Posted by
3551 posts

I purchased a cheapticket fare to Europe in 2008. I had to call them to purchase as I wished to use 2 separate cc for 2 persons traveling together. the agents seemed to be located in India. The reservation took an hour to complete but it turned out fine.

Posted by
1556 posts

Definitely check the airline site regardless - I booked with Delta for a Spain flight and the current price that appears on Kayak is $300 more than the flight on Delta (even though it says it's Delta's price!). I got the same error message you did, but once I entered the dates on the Delta site, I got the cheaper price and the flights I wanted. I'm sure Steve or some of the other travel professionals have some insight on why this happens.

BTW, $1000 to Italy in May is what I have paid in the past for that time period to both Italy, Ireland, and London. Others are correct that sale fares will appear, but you run the risk of not catching the deal and being forced to pay more last minute. If you have flexibility in dates to travel then you may want to take the risk. I don't this year so I bought my flights. Good luck!

Posted by
34 posts

When I used to live in Seattle we would always fly to NY and visit my parents for a couple of days on either end of our European travels. It really helped with the jetlag. But I also was able to get better fares out of NYC than Seattle...so I think it's worth thinking of flying to NY and then flying to Europe. When we went to Italy we were able to save about $200 per person during July. It can get convoluted, but I am really penny pinching when it comes to airfare.

Posted by
4555 posts

Unfortunately, the link recently posted about the SAS fare "sale" isn't really a sale. With additional fees, the tickets actually run a shade under $700 for Newark-Copenhagen and about $950 from SFO....about $25 cheaper than you could have found a month or 2 ago...and more expensive than, say, similar fares offered thru BA. The SAS sale is good for travel only until May 15th, a Sunday, which should mark the last day before prices rise for peak season travel.
Basing your ticket purchase this year based on previous years' experience...even last year's....could box you in. Airlines have cut back severely on their seating capacity since last summer, and continue to do so. That'll mean far fewer empty seats closer to flight time.

Posted by
448 posts

Suzy - I've noticed that the prices out of SFO seem to be consistently running $100-200 more than last year. The current fares to London seem to be in the $855 range, that would make your connecting flights to and from Italy a total of $154. That's not a bad price.

It's really personal preference - if your dates are flexible, you could wait until much closer to your travel dates to see if the fares drop. There always seem to be last minute specials but only on certain days. If not, you might want to book sooner - 3 months in advance is when I have seen both the best sales and prices go up. It's just what you are most comfortable with - both in locking in your flights when you find a price you feel is reasonable.

As others have suggested, check the British Airways site directly - not just through Kayak.

Also, Aer Lingus does not fly directly out of SFO to Dublin anymore. It seems they were offering steals last year to save the route and it didn't work.

As for your last question, you aren't guaranteed booking through Cheap Tickets, it's just whats coming up on the website. If the price truely has changed, then they might not let you finish the purchase. Have had that happen before with Travelocity... That took hours to sort through - I would rather pay a little more through the airline to save any potential hassle.

Posted by
842 posts

I am going to have to agree with Russ. Same thing with us; Portland Or; PDX (or SEA) to EU in May, with a return in June has never set us back more tha a total of $600/PP. We usually find them less than 3 months before our flights. The secret: set up a few auto notices, and jump directly to an airline site when a notice shows up.......cause they don't last!

Posted by
1035 posts

"Same thing with us; Portland Or; PDX (or SEA) to EU in May, with a return in June has never set us back more tha a total of $600/PP."

I don't think you will find that this year. In fact I seriously doubt you could find that fare for winter/early spring travel this year, forget about May/June.

I hate to rain on the parade and would love to be proven wrong.

Posted by
3551 posts

If the fare is too high you could try Aer Lingus which is having sales to Dublin then take low cost Ryan airlines to Italy.
otherwise plan on close to $1000 tot incl taxes and the dreaded fuel surcharge.

Posted by
842 posts

Michael, I'll bet we won't have to pay over $650 to get over the pond. I have already got some notices for trips like that this spring, but not for the time frame that I am looking for(end of May- 1st of June.)

Again,the secret is to be flexible about dates, and to set up an auto notice on some of the travel web sites.

Posted by
842 posts

Michael, just got an auto notice from Kayak: SEAttle to LONdon, $614 R/T May 9-16 Icelandic Air, one stop. This is with taxes and fees (but not luggage charges.)

Posted by
5252 posts

That $614 to London is accurate. If you leave on May 1 or May 4 for a week, the fare is only $584.

Posted by
5252 posts

Virgin is showing fares of $825 SFO to London for NON STOP M-W departures in May.

US Air shows fares of $764 all in SFO to Zurich departing Sundays in May for two one or two week stays, other options might work too, fares at $784 for Saturday departures.

Posted by
842 posts

...and the Icelandic Express just popped up with a SEAatle to LONdon May 1-14th for $584.20; with all fees (other than luggage).

Great flight and great prices but I can't miss my Nephew's wedding. Common guys, I want a May 18 to June 6, or something like that.........

Posted by
842 posts

Todd, are your dates cast in stone? This can be a big problem. Are you looking at dates before and after to see if there are some good prices that you should not miss? Many times the dates you first pick have the least amount of options. That is why I always do some quick checks using Orbitz, and have it look at X amount of days at anytime over a 30 day window.

Do you live in PDX but MUST fly out of Philly?

Or do you enjoy using Philly as your last N American stop before you fly over the pond?

Do you know there are direct flights over the pond from PDX (Delta) to Amsterdam, with some great transfer opportunities. And there are other flights flying out of SEAttle.

I personally think it is too early to find deals for that time frame. I would not expect to find anything until two to three months prior to your dates.

I would just sit back and wait for notices to come in, after you had signed up on some of the sites that do this.(Kayak, Orbitz, etc) That is what we do, and it has never failed us since we have been doing yearly trips to the EU (2002).

But we always keep our dates as loose as possible, which allows us to find the best price and flights. If those are your absolute dates, then so be it. Just watch the notices. Many times a few seats will show up, and they will be priced way below market, enabling the airline to fill the plane.

Another thing that has worked for us when we can't get the price we want is to fly "Open Jaw". I am more than amazed at the deals that can be found by flying into one city and then out of another. We have actually found many Open Jaw flights that were cheaper than R/Trip flights.

Posted by
1 posts

I've been reading the threads and have a similar(yet slightly different issue ).

I'm a pdx'er ( have been for 8 years) and usually we bite the bullet and pay over $1000 to fly to europe..

This year, we have the opportunity to actually go on a couple only trip and leave our daughter with my wife's family in PA.

I've been searching for cheap tickets to just about anywhere in europe and the cheapest tix I'm finding are over $1100 per person.

We're looking to fly out of philly ( or harrisburg) July 2nd and return July 11th. Our preference is to fly into/out of barcelona, amsterdam, paris, rome, or frankfurt.. Like I said, we're alone for the first time in 4 years and we don't care where we go :)

Can anyone offer any advice? I've seem to have lost my skills at finding cheap air from the east coast.

( when i lived in philly.. I was king of cheap air.. best deal ever was $186 from philly to athens... )

Thank you very much ( if you're interested in helping.. if not, please don't flame me )

Todd

Posted by
75 posts

Steve- please remember that many people do not have flexibility in their dates. My partner has only two weeks off in the summer, and we have to fly on one particular date and return on a particular date in order to have as many days in Europe as possible. Also, it is difficult to make hotel accommodations and transportation plans if you wait until two months before to finalize your flights, especially if you are traveling in high season.

I have also read that flights to Europe are fewer, and therefore, more expensive, this year. Fewer flights=fewer seats=higher fares.

Posted by
19 posts

I'd like to thank all of you for your input. We fall into the category of set dates as we are meeting family etc. I should have pointed that out
in the beginning because many of you have replied with
advice mentioning flexibility, etc. I am still holding off purchasing our tickets, although I do see fares have increased once again....for the two of us
we don't mind spending extra on a more direct route...
So I'll keep checking and let you all know what we pay when I finally pull the trigger and purchase our tickets.

Posted by
19 posts

Very happy to report we purchased tickets last night
open jaw from SFO for May travel, $962 rt. It
was worth the wait, on UA with fee/taxes came to
$1048 each. Thanks for all of your advice and help.