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Crystal Ball on air fares to Europe latter summer, fall and winter?

We have been checking different scenarios for travel to Europe from IAH to FRA, Paris, LHR, Nice, Dublin, just about anywhere for the above-mentioned times and the airfares are extremely high. We have found NO deals. While we know there is no crystal ball, what are your thoughts on finding "deals" as the EU gets back up and running. Do you think they will be higher to make up for lost revenues or possibly make some great deals to get flights booked? We are ready to travel again, just not at those rates.

Posted by
7634 posts

You would get cheaper airfare to Europe in the winter. Try booking through Aer Lingus; I have found that it the least expensive legacy carrier. You have to look every day and sign up for sales alerts email notifications from every carrier.

Posted by
3860 posts

We got a good fair, late August - mid September on SAS and booked a few weeks ago. We prefer a nonstop from the west coast but found a very inexpensive one stop flight, much less than half the price than most other carriers, when they ran their sale. TAP has also had low priced flights but SAS is an airline we’ve flown before and liked.

Posted by
1121 posts

Out of Houston, SAS nor Aer Lingus does not have gates. It would have to be BA or United, Lufthansa,Air Canada, Air France, Emirates, AA, KLM, etc. We aren't real savvy with the codeshare bookings and hoping to pick up tips here. We did sign up for Airfare Watchdog but have not seen emails from them in forever. Will look for other sites. We prefer to try and fly non-stop as well

Posted by
7634 posts

I would not use airfare watchdog, sounds gimmicky; sign up for alerts directly with the carrier. Aer Lingus has partner airlines that fly out of IAH so use their site for Ireland. Their fares are always cheaper than BA and Lufthansa which are among the most expensive legacy carriers. I recently transferred all of my Avios frequent flyer points from BA to Aer Lingus because BA's prices eat up more points.

Posted by
942 posts

I would keep checking each airline's website often. I noticed the prices have gone up lately from where they were. I purchased tickets from the midwest at $800 round trip from STL to LHR about a month ago. They are around $1,300 - $1,400 now. These prices are not terrible and not unlike other years. I also recommend going through the airline website to purchase tickets - easier to resolve any changes through the airlines.


Posted by
15102 posts

I am guessing that the airlines are anticipating lots of travel due to pent-up demand, and it would be quite rational to try to recapture some of their losses from last year by keeping prices high. But there may be sales if you are vigilant.

Posted by
9116 posts

What Lola said.

As demand picks up as European countries move towards allowing U.S. tourists in, I don't expect there to be any deals (but I don't have a crystal ball, fair warning).

Posted by
1137 posts

You can't get more anecdotal than this, but I purchased a ticket to Europe a couple of months ago for travel in October, and the price for the same itinerary has, except for some minor variations, stayed the same--until yesterday, when it jumped up over $200.

I'm sure the airlines are still retuning their revenue management algorithms post-Covid, but I agree with the others that prices will tend to increase from now through the end of the travel season.

Edit to add: Just checked another itinerary I booked for next February. It's up $178 from what I paid.

Posted by
759 posts

I do not see demand really being there. Sure, from RS types yes, but the average Ma and Pa Kettle plan a big trip to Europe in advance (the "I'm still working" set cannot just get out of the office at the last minute and with companies starting to come out of Pandemic operational mode, bringing some employees back into the office, many employees are simply not thinking "nice time to disappear for a 3 week vacation" - well they may be thinking it but aren't stupid enough to actually do it).

We are now upon the summer travel season (for most but not all Americans); Mid-May to Mid-September with June-August being the heaviest season. Western Europe is just now barely opening up (special Covid Flights to Italy); Germany, France, and England running behind. Hopefully things open up more over the summer but for the vast majority of "normal" (not really liking that word choice) summer vacation tourists it is simply too late to book their trip for 2021 (and often a tour).

I see Airlines opening up flights as demand dictates, and they are not going to do it to fly cheap. Of course an executive can miss call it...and you may find a sale or two but it will be hit and miss.

Posted by
427 posts

Airlines may struggle to offer reduced fares for the foreseeable future because of the loss of Business Class revenue, which is a significant source of their income per flight.

Posted by
5547 posts

Out of Houston, SAS nor Aer Lingus does not have gates. […] We aren't
real savvy with the codeshare bookings and hoping to pick up tips

Booking codeshare flights is easy. Visit SAS' or Aer Lingus' website, write "Houston" as the departure city, and "Paris" (or some other city) as arrival city, and you will get a number of suggested itinerarys.

Posted by
227 posts

Doing a quick google search, I saw some direct flights from IAH into London for $850 roundtrip. These were for dates at the end of September and most of October. I’m not sure what prices you were budgeting but this seems like a fairly reasonable price. I do think that once announcements become official about traveling opening up and especially once the US lifts the European travel ban, more routes will open up and we will see a dip in prices before demand pushes them back up again.

I’m constantly watching airfare prices because although there are plenty of cheap routes to choose from leaving from an airport an hour and a half north (EWK) I would much prefer to leave from my home airport 15 minutes away. But I know direct flights there won’t resume until the travel ban is lifted and it’s just a waiting game to see what effect that will have on prices. I think it also depends on how fast new routes start opening up once they are given the green light.

Posted by
6927 posts

Just based on my looking, leaving from a regional Midwest airport, simple round trip to Rome or Amsterdam, flying on cheapest days, it went from $600, to now well over $1200. I have tickets to Rome in September, and Amsterdam in November, both under $1000, do not expect prices will turn up less.

While it may be logical to think that people will be hesitant to travel, the current pent up demand, plus optimism over the fall season, likely means that demand will push, or even outstrip availability. If your theory is you will hold off and pick up bargain basement prices in a couple months...that is a longshot bet.

Posted by
6908 posts

It’s supply and demand, and until lower demand lessens prices (or airline plane availability and competition make many more flights available), deals could be few. Even crystal balls are more expensive now, so I can’t get one. If you see an acceptable ticket, buy it, be glad you got it before the flight sold out, and enjoy the trip. If the price of the ticket’s not tolerable, the airline will sell it to someone who’s willing to pay that price. Perhaps lodging prices will be lower, to make up a little for increased flight prices.

Posted by
492 posts

It’s kind of a crap shoot. I made our booking 2 months ago for September and we’re using miles so was fine for us, BUT I needed to actually speak to the BA agent (our deal was complex use of miles) and one thing he told me is that all these planes have been parked for awhile. It takes the airlines time to get them out of storage, serviced, up and running with a crew, slot in to airports, etc. The net result is that they will be adding flights (we want to change our return) slowly as things open up. It’s a complicated thing for them to do. So new flights will be added but in the meantime planes will start filling up and prices will likely rise until more flights are added. So sorry this was probably a long way of saying if it were me and I absolutely wanted to go this year I would book now. But by next year many more flights will be running.

Posted by
16557 posts

My flight in July is booked, round trip to Istanbul. Istanbul is one of the best connected airports in Europe and Turkish Air flies out of Houston non-stop.

Then, when we get closer to departure I will buy the connections to what ever is open.

If a PCR test is required they do it in the Istanbul airport in a few hours.

Worst case scenario is we end up with three weeks in the Balkans.

I love the Balkans so that isnt bad (open now and i doubt will close).

Posted by
122 posts

I bought my sister's ticket DTW-CDG in March for $1500ish. Now the same trip is going for almost $2100. This is for October travel. I was able to get mine for a nice discount since my hubby works for Delta. That price has stayed the same March vs now.

Posted by
2135 posts

I've been seeing steep fares for economy and total bargains for business and premium econ.

Posted by
22978 posts

There will be no deals till there is excess capacity across most of the airline and need to fill those seat is great. Right now airlines are running with reduced schedules and capacity. And all of the airline have need to recover lost revenue. Therefore I don't expect to see much price reduction (competition) till summer 22. In past years the airline have had problems with extra capacity. I am guessing they will be slow in returning to the schedules and capacity of 2018, 19. Expensive tickets, relatively speaking, are here to stay for a while. If you are not prepared to pay current rates, someone else will be -- at least in the short term - 12 months.

Posted by
25532 posts

I looked at regular coach-class frequent-flier tickets today to a bunch of northern European destinations around the end of July and from a bunch of central and southern European cities in early October. I was pleased to see United has a lot of options for no more than 33,000 miles each way. In many cases those trips require a connection (sometimes two connections); I haven't progressed to checking on whether there are non-stops to any of those places for which tickets are available for purchase but not for miles. In some cases (Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Palma) I'm certain there are no non-stops.

From American there are fewer attractive options available for miles--a lot of the eastbound flights involve LGA-to-JFK connections (no way), and some tickets have $250 in taxes and fees (hello, BA). I haven't looked for return tickets on American yet.

Whether the above says anything at all about costs of non-mileage tickets, I do not know, but I was expecting to encounter a lot of destinations costing much more than 33,000 miles each way.