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airfare sticker shock

First time international traveler seeks someone who can provide a reality check on these airfares. I am travelling from midwest, usa to Rome and then from Florence to midwest. I expected to pay more for a multi-city tic, but I am seeing even higher prices for a round trip in/out of Rome only! Am I crazy or is $1600.00, normal for air fare? Ticket is over 60 days out too.

Posted by
922 posts

Two months out if trying to book for the height of the peak season is not much advance. $1600 to Rome does not shock me. Try querying SkyScanner.com. Also, you didn't mention your outbound airport, but if it's a smaller 'regional' airport, fares will be higher. If possible, try a more major airport like Chicago or Detroit.

Posted by
12 posts

I am flexible between Detroit, Indianapolis and Columbus. Rather gnaw off my own arm, than fly through Chicago (sorry Chi town natives). Cheapest so far has been out of Indy. I am pretty savvy at getting a deal on domestic flights. Just wanted to know if that fare price was normal. Thanks!

Posted by
10340 posts

If you were willing to deal with Chicago, you could get some lower priced carriers such as Aer Lingus, berlin Air, Turkish Airlines, icelandic.

Posted by
16862 posts

The $400 savings was from looking at later dates ( Aug. 28 to Sept. 12, to be specific), not all from Pisa. But the Pisa airport seems to have better service and more airline choices. All I know is that when my son spent a year in Florence as a student, he did all his air travel in and out of Pisa.

Posted by
16862 posts

When exactly are you going? Looking at Columbus to Rome, Pisa back to Columbus ( Pisa has more flights and generally better prices than Florence) I $400 difference between travel in August and travel with a late August departure and mid-September return. Kayak is showing $1525 for the August trip ( on Delta) and $1127for a late August departure and mid-September return ( on British).

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks Lola! Pisa, huh? I am going to wait until Tuesday (my lucky day to book tickets)and run the routes using Pisa. It appears that there is either a train or a bus that goes from Florence to Pisa airport, no connections. I could handle that for a $400 savings!

Posted by
180 posts

I go back to the west coast from London 3x per year. I have been doing this for several years and I have to say my airfare in July is the highest I have ever spent.

Posted by
7050 posts

My advice is to be as flexible as possible, including considering your trip for off-peak times (not in the summer) or flying out of airports that aren't as convenient to you. Time to get super creative...using every tool you have at your disposal (credit card miles included, if that's an option, although for summer time travel, I doubt they'll really help). Use www.itasoftware.com and do not put in exact dates...use it to track fares a month out and see what tradeoffs you can make.

Posted by
331 posts

Check out Icelandair. The flight wont be direct, but I booked via Icelandair and am going for the optional stopover and my return airfare to Amsterdam via Icelandair is about $860 vs KLM Direct at $1340.

Posted by
30 posts

I, too, have been shocked at prices. I just bought tickets almost 90 days out for the start of the trip but had to pay $400 more than the prices I found back in March! But with that said, here are some suggestions to try: * Do check out Iceland air (that is what I ended up booking although flights are filling up fast; I couldn't find seats together for our family on our outbound flight in later August).
* Try student travel websites. I really like www.statravel.com If you click on "flexible dates", roundtrip flights to/from the same airport, appear in a very cool grid where you can see at a glance which combination of dates gives you the best ticket price.

Posted by
15474 posts

try kayak.com, multi-city option if you want to return from Florence. Pisa has more flights than Florence, but it's mostly intraeurope Low cost airlines (it's a RyanAir major hub), therefore you won't necessarily find a better option than Florence. Actually the airports in the area with most major airline flights are Bologna and Florence. However if saving money is important to you, it is likely that returning to Rome to catch your flight might be cheaper. Rome is a major hub, Florence (or Pisa or Bologna) is not. When you use Kayak.com enter up to 3 airport codes in the from box or to box. For example you could enter: FROM: ORD, IND, DTW TO: FCO, FLR, BLQ (or PSA). Then next segment for return could be: FROM: FLR, BLQ, FCO
TO: ORD, IND, DTW. Pisa has a 4 time a week flight from JFK with Delta. That might be an option too. 60 days out is the first half of August, by far the busiest vacation period for Europeans. $1600 is not unusual for summer. I'm paying $1750 from SFO to FLR and back this coming July and I purchased at least 3 months in advance.