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Best Airfare Deal You've Ever Found to Europe

Did you score an amazingly low priced flight to Europe and back? Share it!

Who, What, When, Where, & How?

Who did you fly with? What did you pay? When was your flight? Where did you fly in and out of? How did you find the great deal?

Posted by
4555 posts

Serendipity, actually.
I was searching in July of 2007 for an April/08 trip to Spain when up popped a $540 air fare from Syracuse via Detroit (I check several airports within a couple of hours driving distance of my home.) Just before I booked it, I wondered if I might use some FF miles to fly Ottawa-Detroit and get a better fare direct from Detroit. Lo and behold, the fare from Detroit-Madrid, on the same airplane at the same time, was $755!! Needless to say, I quickly went back and booked the Syracuse-Detroit-Madrid flight. Lesson learned....sometimes smaller airports have better fares.

Posted by
3112 posts

Paid only $262 round trip to fly non-stop Philadelphia to Paris over Thanksgiving weekend 2001. Then I found a $170 3-night hotel package in the Rue Cler area (breakfast included, which is uncommon for Paris). I was just checking the US Airways website one evening and stumbled across that great deal. Doubt I'll ever find prices that low again, but you can still find good deals from time to time by regularly checking airline websites. For Italy trips that include Rome, it's often less expensive to fly into Milan and out of Rome compared to round trip Rome.

Posted by
9363 posts

My best deal to Ireland was $99 each way one late February. I had been watching Aer Lingus for awhile for deals but wasn't really planning on a trip when it appeared and I grabbed it. That time I flew into and out of Dublin. A couple of years later I got one for $117 each way (same time period, again with Aer Lingus). That time I flew into and out of Shannon.

I got a good deal on my trip to Spain a couple of years ago, too, when Virgin Atlantic opened their Chicago-London route. It was nonstop for $177 each way. I then took Ryanair on to Spain and EasyJet back to London for an average of about $40 each.

Posted by
8409 posts

It's a bit pricier to fly from the West Coast, but we got round trip Sacramento - Dublin last spring for $427. I am a frequent flier with Continental and I received an email in March that fares to 5 European countries were being discounted 25% from California for the spring. I guess they know how broke we all are with our lousy economy! Our upcoming trip next fall is even better. Going Sacramento - Rome, Munich - Sacramento for $66. Using miles I only had to pay some taxes. My upcoming trip I used Continental miles, but my flights are actually on United and Air Canada.

Posted by
2703 posts

Hi all,

Our $462 RT non-stop NJ to Munich on Lufthansa this past September (2009) was a great deal IMO. Booked on the Lufthansa website. Best part (besides price) was the 3:20pm flight back home. No need to stay by the airport the night before. We were able to stay in Ramsau (by Berchtesgaden) for our last night in Germany!

Paul

Posted by
1525 posts

No doubt each of these deals is good, but just HOW good takes some care reading and/or more careful telling.

Using frequent flyer miles is great if you are a frequent flyer. What if the annual trip to Europe you take is the only time you ever fly? If you earn the miles some other way, it is in leu of some other reward that has value as well. So it's not really "free" in the broader sense.

I love those great deals "each way plus tax"! It doesn't take much to turn that $100 "steal" into a $800 ticket. What matters is the total paid out of pocket, RT. not any other way of expressing it.

And then there are the seasonal changes, of course. It's routine for winter fares to be less than half the cost of summer. And for spring and fall to sometimes be only a little more than winter, if you happen to be flying at just the right slow week for the airline.

My only GREAT DEAL story is looking in Jan. 2007 for flights to London from Minneapolis for July. I had pretty much established that a decent price at that time was $950 and was about to take the plunge when a United flight popped up for $565. I was so stunned, I checked every source online and then even called the airline to confirm it was real. For our family of 5, that amounted to a $2000 savings, enough so that our 2-week trip turned into a 3-week trip. To this day, I think the fare was a mistake by the airline, since it went away three days later and nothing remotely like it returned again.

Even better that Great deals, over the long run, are consistantly GOOD deals. We have purchased tickets to Europe in summer for our family three more times since then (including for 2010) and have paid an average of $880/person for all of those seats, while other comperable flights have been $1200 or more. That won't win us any awards for greatness. But to be consistantly GOOD, is something, too.

Posted by
8409 posts

You're right Randy. We shouldn't consider using FF miles a good deal since they have to be earned. Mine were all earned by flying. I know some people earn miles with purchases. I will still stand by my RT Sacramento - Dublin for $427 as being a good deal. That included all taxes and fees.

Anyone can sign up with airlines to get their emails. You never know when something good will pop up!

Posted by
1717 posts

Well, I paid a very low price for flying to Frankfurt in Germany from St. Louis in Missouri, U.S.A. (via Detroit) in March of 2001, for flights in May of that year. All of the tickets had actually been sold, earlier, at higher prices, but thousands of people cancelled their flight reservations for flying to Germany, because of a cattle disease epidemic. The airline's (Northwest) ticket inventory manager reacted to that by greatly lowering the price for tickets for flights to Germany. I don't think that will happen again. In the year 2009, prices for airline tickets for flights to Europe (Paris, Zurich, ...) were low, to lure people to fly to Europe during a time when Americans were experiencing economic difficulty and uncertainty. The airlines did not receive enough money that year, therefore this year, 2010, the prices for airline tickets are high. I need to go to England in April, but I did not purchase my airline tickets yet, because the price for airline tickets is too high for me. (I must fly with American Airlines, from Florida).

Posted by
4566 posts

The cheapest for me in the last 5 years was last April. I took a 10 day trip over Easter. I paid $500 for a flight on United IAD to BRU and then LHR to IAD. I bought the ticket less than a month before travelling from the United website.

I was considering flying into Brussels, London, or Amsterdam. It was a hastily planned trip and I was only going to go if I could get a decent airfare. Flying to Brussels was much cheaper than any of the other airports. I think I know why ... my flight was only half full. I had entire row to myself.

I usually use sidestep (or kayak) to search for flight options and fares.

Posted by
5085 posts

I've traveled all over the world, for decades, using frequent flyer miles. I've only paid for an international flight once, I believe, way back in the mid 1980s, on my first trip to Europe. That was on Icelandair, a cheap flight.

I don't see myself buying a ticket to Europe (or Asia, or anyplace overseas that I visit) in the foreseeable future (me and the wife are both sitting on enough miles for our next two trips to Europe and Asia).

Posted by
1369 posts

When BA introduced their direct LHR-DEN flights they offered an intro fare of $99 each way. UA matched so I bought the tickets on UA - came to around $270 including takes.

BA had another sale around 2000 or so where most of the tickets were again $99 each way. So I took the whole family to London for Valentine's day - that turned out to be our shortest European trip - 4 days.

One other great deal - got tickets on BMI from London to Paris for 5 pounds round trip - the taxes for each ticket came to around 8 pounds.

Posted by
357 posts

The best deal I've gotten was for travel in March of 2006 from SEA to LHR. I had signed up on BA's site for their email notifications hoping that a deal would pop up that way. As this was our first trip to Europe, we were a little nervous as it was around 3 months until we were going to travel. I was about to pull the trigger on $1200 worth of airfare for two when my 'junk' email box had something new from BA.
I opened it and saw they were having a "sale". So I mocked up a few itineraries from the link and got us $813 for two, total after all taxes and fees. Over half of that was just the tax and fees.

Posted by
1357 posts

Here's how to get a great deal on flights -- work for an airline (or do what I did and marry someone who does). Sure, you have to fly standby and the job security isn't that great, but whose job is secure these days?

Posted by
808 posts

I am a FF miles junky. Also, I only fly Continental (live outside Newark) - being loyal to one airline helps. My goal in 2010 is to earn at least one mile for every dollar I spend this year. My phones, my cable, my insurance, (and whatever other utilities I can) are all put on credit cards which earn 1 mile per dollar spent. I use AmEx for groceries and gas (double miles). I use the links on Continental.com for all purchases (here I earn up to 8 miles per dollar spent). I decide where we'll spend our vacation by where I can get FF tix to - off to Portugal in April! Last year I got RT for 50k miles to AMS - the Netherlands is a great place for along weekend!

I keep an eye on all deals too - in 2008 I got RT tix to Paris for $450.

Posted by
990 posts

Mine was many years ago, and was my first trip to Europe. I flew Pan Am from Boston to Amsterdam for 49 dollars out and 99 dollars back. It was some kind of deal where they were trying to keep an allocated route open pending an appeal over its loss, and they announced on the radio that you could buy tickets at the airport only, cash only. So, I stopped at my bank, withdrew the cash and stood in line at Logan Airport for about three hours to get my precious numbered voucher. Then everyday for about two weeks, I called into a special phone line where a recorded message would tell which numbers should report to the airport the next day.

When my magic number was called, we lucky travelers piled in to the Boeing 707 and it was a nonstop party to Schiphol. No food service--we were told to bring our own and everybody shared what they'd brought to eat and drink. And you should have heard the applause when we touched down!

I stayed in Europe for about six weeks, going from Holland through Belgium, France, and Italy and ending up in Greece before heading back to Schiphol. No question about it--a bargain!

Posted by
38 posts

Hi Ethan,

In 2005 My husband, son and myself bought return tickets from Toronto to Paris from Zoom airline for $2100.00. (that includes taxes)

I really miss Zoom. :-(

Paula

Posted by
9 posts

Wow... some great deals.

On my upcoming trip to FRA, Heidelberg, Colmar, Strasbourg and Mainz... got $465 RT from DFW to FRA on AA and was able to use my system-wide upgrades both ways. So, business class for $465 RT, I'd say it's a good deal and the main reason why we're doing this trip.

Posted by
1 posts

NEED HELP! I am a "newbee" at this and I am going to Paris at the end of April and best flight so far is $712. Is this good or bad? Not experienced on this and no "free miles" like some other lucky people. Any suggestions? Should I wait and miss this one?

Posted by
386 posts

$ 345.- rt
British Airways.
May 2001.

Boston - Munich - Boston.
What a great flight. Food was okay, even the coffee was fine. Hot towels before landing. Courtious and charming crew, clean plane.
Only draw-back:
HEATHROW AIRPORT . . .

those were the days ;-))

Posted by
59 posts

Mine was in 1992 from SFO to London. My travel agent friend had some upgrade coupons for Continental and she said they probably wouldn't work but I should still try. She said to dress nice and just say: How are my chances?, and not to be pushy.

I got bumped to first class both ways. I sat in the first row next to a huge Australian gentleman who had to put his tray on his chest just to eat.

I paid less than $400 and he said that was obscene compared to the fare he'd paid.

I also had a new flight attendant and asked her for a cognac after dinner and she filled a glass to the brim, not knowing a proper pour. Let's just say I got pretty toasty on the return trip home. I never got to fly first class again.

Posted by
75 posts

I just bought a trip via delta vacations to London in March; 5 nights; two people for a total of 1890; the hotel is a US chain in Kensington; I could not fund anything on any other site comparable to that; the cheapest was travelocity at 1700 total with the hotel out by Heathrow; the cheapest in the city was about 2300.

No other webiste apaprently has anything close....

Posted by
1784 posts

In May 2009 we flew American Airlines from Columbus, Ohio to Chicago and nonstop to London and back 2 weeks later for $450 apiece. It was a day flight too, which we really liked. I just stumbled across it one day on Expedia, as I recall.

Posted by
6 posts

Last Spring break we flew to London and out of Brussels for $499. I was able to take both my daughters. I just watch for cheap flights for weeks
on many web sites and jump when it shows up. I have booked flights RT to Frankfurt this spring break
for $599. I don't think that's too bad because I have seen them recently for $850. We are flying
from Florida to Atlanta usually.

Posted by
12400 posts

Vivian,

That price of $712 I would suggest not skipping, I just don't think it will get lower than that for Paris, especially it will be going into May. Take it and Happy Travels.