I am starting to research plane tickets for November 2007 to Europe. We are going to Amsterdam and Rome but I usually fly into London or Frankfurt because its cheaper and then take a budget airline. Is is just me or are ticket prices really high this year? Has anyone found any good deals yet? If so what airline and which website did you book through?
Tickets prices to Europe are going to be higher these days because the $ is getting weaker and weaker against the £ and Euro. Since airlines which fly between the US & Europe must buy fuel & catering in Europe as well as pay airport taxes and security costs, they have to pass that cost off to their customers.
There are no easy tricks to find cheap prices. You just need to search the airline websites as well as sites like Orbitz, Expedia etc. to see if there are any deals or sales happening when you are flying.
London flights are probably going to cost a bit more these days because the airport taxes have been doubled. Also remember to check for hidden costs, particularly with low cost airlines because some have started to add charges for all sorts of things like checking any bags etc. And if the one carry-on bag rule does expand to all of the EU in Nov., you could find yourself spending as much in extra costs as you would save.
I like the 'websites that search the websites' because it sames time. Try kayay.com or mobissimo.com. I am going to Italy in a couple of weeks and my daughter is going this summer, and I haven't found any bargains. But, I think you will do better in November. Kayak has a nice graphing feature that shows you what the airfares for your trip have been over the last few months. Also, you can sign up to be e-mailed by them each day with the lowest fare for your trip. You can then watch for awhile and book when you feel it's a good deal. Good luck!
Consider flying into one city and out of another. I searched and searched and searched for my tickets and finally decided upon an Expedia ticket that would let me fly (nonstop!!) from LA to London and then from Rome to Boston (to visit with my parents on my way home). I ended up paying about 1060 plus fees. I thought it wasn't bad at all, considering the time I would be saving and that they are both nonstop flights on reputable airlines. Even if doing it that way costs a little bit more, it's worth it because you save SO much time. My opinion anyway, I'd rather spend an extra day in Amsterdam or Rome than flying in between cities. Kayak is definitely the best, at least what I found in my searches. But I ultimately ended up doing the best just going directly through expedia - and I was nervous b/c I had only ever purchased direct from airlines before. But I have my tickets for July and everything seems to be perfectly in order. Good luck!
One other option to consider is a nearby airport as your departure point. Orbitz, I believe, allows you to check other airports within an 80 mile radius, and will send you an e-mail alert if a price hits a level you set. You might also want to check Delta, which is coming out of bankruptcy protection next month, apparently with a couple of billion dollars in backing. I just booked them JFK-Madrid for $535 U-S, all in. I notice they have LAX-Frankfurt for about $750 (with a layover in either Atlanta or JFK) in November. You can also see if you can find a cheap connector to New York.
Try this website www.flycheapabroad.com I have used them in the past and found much cheaper airfare than other sites.
I bought a ticket from San Francisco to Zurich non-stop and then on the way back it stops in Las Vegas before continuing to SF (I guess lots of Swiss want to go to LV). It is with Belair, which is the only carrier that has non-stop flights from SF to Zurich. I paid $1,040, and consider this a good price. Originally, I wanted to fly back home from Paris, because I will be there for the last five days of my trip, but my agent researched and said it would be prohibitively expensive. Much more so than taking a train back to Zurich and spending the last night there. She said the airfare prices this year have just skyrocketed. Fuel surcharge and security costs pushed the prices up.
I am now researching a ticket from SFO to Stuttgart for my friend, and out of curiosity, I just took a look at www.kayak.com. I don't think their prices are all that great, to be honest. I think the best tactic is to use all the sources and compare - search websites such as kayak, expedia, or cheaptickets, but then also check the sites of some of the airlines that fly to your destination. Also, I would call the airlines directly, too, to see if maybe they would give you a better price. Have a travel agent check for you as well. It does take a long time, but it may be worth it in the end.
I have had real good luck with www.skyauction.com. I just checked and they have an auction ending on Sunday with a current bid of less than $500 for an SFO-Rome roundtrip.
Also, if it works to fly into Germany, there is a German travel agency that noone in Germany seems to know about; abctravel.de; they had September fares a month or so ago for $400 one way from SF(including taxes) to Frankfurt and sometimes if you are military, it's even cheaper; so I imagine November would be just as good, . .they aren't cheaper though to fly into other countries, just Germany. But that might not be close enough for some depending on destination, however our native German friends have told us to use Ryanair for inter-Europe flights; so something to look into for transferring between cities. Ryanair I guess tends to fly into smaller lessr known areas rather than big cities but not that hard to get there according to our friends.
Bay Point, CA
I just paid $1056 round trip from SFO, connecting in Chicago (where I am meeting a friend), then on to Paris. I'm returning from Rome -- to Chicago & SFO.
I think this is the best deal available right now.