For the first time ever, it won't just be my husband and myself traveling - our 2 granddaughters will go with us next June. We plan to leave the end of June, spend a few days in London and then fly onto Copenhagen - there will be a family reunion in Sweden we're going to. I called United today and the first agent I talked to said the price for 4 tickets would be $30,000 (no way I believe that! This is coach) The second two told me it would be about $2300 per ticket. This is open jaws into Heathrow, out of Copenhagen, and we will take a comuter flight from Heathrow to Copenhagen. The agent told me all the cheaper priced tickets on the return flight (7/13) were already sold. I've never been in this position before. Do you have any advice? Thanks!
To be really helpful, some date ranges would help. I'm going to assume that you are departing from SFO and looking at a departure mid-June with a return mid-July. When you call a single company, you get the prices that they are willing to sell you that ticket for and they look within their own airline partners. There are other options out there. They are also probably trying to construct the fare as a multi-city or stop over, which can be more expensive. Just looking around, I'm seeing plenty of fares in the $1400 range, and if you can push it up into June I can get that down to $1003 (6/12 to 6/27). Add $40 to $80 for an extra couple of days, with either an earlier or later departure. Can you give us some dates? Or message me for details.
They all lie. A cursory seach on kayak says SFO -> LHR then COP -> SFO two weeks apart early July next shows numerous carriers in the $1300 range. Get away from the 4th and you'd probably save a couple hundred each.
What Ed said. Look at kayak. The $2300 price is for a NON-stop flight in each direction, using Lufthansa to LHR and returning from CPH to SFO on SAS. If you will accept one stop on the return, the price drops to $1300. Or, if you want the non-stop flight, you can go on SAS into and out of Copenhagen (skipping London) for $1311. I used various dates in late June for the outbound (June 24 through 27) and July 13 for the return. That SAS plane is not full.
Also, since you are 11 months out, you might want to set up an alert on kayak and watch the fares for a while. You can set an alert so that you get a daily email showing the price of a particular route for your dates. Kayak won't let you set an alert for an open jaws ticket, but what I would do is set up one alert for a R/T SFO to LHR and a second alert for a R/T SFO to CPH. If either price drops, go back and check your open jaws.
Yeah right. $30,000, can I sell that agent a bridge in Brooklyn? For that money, I will row you across the Atlantic. And all the cheap flights are already sold, eleven months away, yeah right again. Now seriously, did you look into flying out of San Jose as well as San Francisco? Also, did you consider just flying into Copenhagen a few days before reunion and then a cheap fight from there to London and then back to Copenhagen and flying home from Copenhagen? Good luck.
Good advice and good questions. I was looking to depart SFO on June 29 - 4 night in London; depart July 4 for Copenhagen. Fly home on July 13. The family reunion in Sweden is on July 6. I have not looked into flying out of San Jose - could do that. I am considering investigating the cheap flight option from Copenhagen to Heathrow. My granddaughters have never been to Europe and really want to see London, but we need to be at the family reunion on July 6. I guess I do have some flexibility other than being there on July 6 - just haven't been able to get my mind around it yet.
Hey, I thought you were going to book your own tickets...;-) Perhaps the first agent thought you meant June 2012; time travel IS more expensive. (who here wouldn't pay $30,000 to time travel?!? Maybe fix 'that mistake'...?) FWIW, I've always found better, and more, flights than any airline agent ever could. I call them only when necessary (rebooking a cancelled flight's complicated itinerary that used frequent flier miles, for instance). I would get on some airline email lists, as already suggested. While June is very popular and expensive, this may be a little early to book. $30,000?!? Did you get that person's name? I'd love to give 'em a call...;-D
Eileen, I am planning to book my own tickets - at least I call it that when I'm calling an airline directly - I was not going to do it on the internet (I'm a chicken) - I called United because that's where we have miles and was going to book it with them. But, not now. I think you're right - I am doing this a bit early, and I do want to check out some of the other suggestions people have made. I just get anxious.
Sharon, I wouldn't disregard United just because of this. You do want to build up your miles, right? Have you looked at their website? You can see what flights they have. Even if you call the airline for your booking you would already have the info about what flights you want. Also, consider flying out of Sacramento. You can't fly nonstop, but the prices are very competitive with SFO, and often less. I don't mind changing planes. It gives me the chance to walk around and use a real bathroom. Comparing airlines on Kayak is good, but I only book directly from the airlines own website. If something happens you just deal directly with them instead of involving middlemen. If you do this, triple check all the information you put in there so you know everything is right before you finalize anything. What a nice trip for you and the grandkids!
For those dates in particular, you can buy 4 tickets on Kayak right now for $1449 per person. That would be SFO-YYZ-LHR/LHR-CPH/CPH-YYZ-SFO on Air Canada and SAS. Right now, for those dates, that's as cheap as it gets. You might want to wait a bit for some sales to happen, but summer travel to Scandinavia is the high season..
Interestingly, the United website only accepts dates through July 12, 2013 for flight searches today, so maybe that is why the agent was quoting such a ridiculous price. It sounds like you did not get good agents. I checked prices on united.com with the return flight on July 12th (since I can't yet check the 13th). For example, they show $1410 (non-stop SFO to LHR and one-stop CPH -ZRH - SFO). I usually use kayak to search for flights but generally book directly through the airline website.
Thanks, Nicholas, for the information. I did notice, Laura, that the United website only went through July 12, but when I called them they were booking me through July 13.
No problem. Also, as a note, remember that just because you have your mileage account with United doesn't mean that you have to fly with them. You can earn miles on their partner airlines as well (for example, Air Canada and SAS).