My husband and I will need to fly next June 2 from Seattle to Venice. I am asking for suggestions for which European airport to first fly to and then from there take a flight to Venice. Frankfurt might be a good choice. Suggestions please? Thank you.
Do you need to be there on June 2? Then remember you would have to depart Seattle on June1. Looking at options with one stop in Europe, you can fly Delta through either Amsterdammor Paris, Lufthansa through Frankfurt, or British through London. Don't do British to London as they make you change airports to get to Venice. Lufthansa has the best flight times, arriving Venice at 5:30 pm. That would be my choice.
Vicki, Lufthansa does have a great flight into Venice and Florence from Frankfurt. We've done both. Very easy to navigate from the International terminal to the domestic terminal at Frankfurt. Lufthansa is a United and Air Canada Star Alliance partner. We usually book through United on our Mileage Plus points and ask for the Lufthansa connections.
3 good choices from SEA-TAC, all with one stop-over only: Delta/Air France via Paris: SEA > CDG > VCE Delta/KLM via Amsterdam: SEA > AMS > VCE
Lufthansa via Frankfurt: SEA > FRA > VCE Look up prices and convenience of times on Kayak.com (or other website) and take your pick. I generally opt for Lufthansa since I have most miles with their Star Alliance partner United. But if you are a Sky Team aficionado, of which Delta and AirFrance-KLM are members, then you might prefer that choice. British Airways via London Heathrow will likely require an airport change in London since only one flight daily goes from LHR to VCE. An alternative would be to fly to Bologna BLQ, which has 3 daily pairs to LHR with BA. However that will require a train ride from/to Bologna, about 90 min once you get to the station from the airport .
We really enjoy the Delta flight thru Amsterdam, since we can pay a few $$$ extra and get the "Economy Comfort" seats, with up to 4" of extra legroom, priority boarding, etc.
Vicki, be sure to follow Roberto's advice, and look on Kayak for flights to Seattle to Venice. This will show you different route options and fares. Do NOT try to book flights from Seattle to, say, Frankfurt, then separate flights from Frankfurt to Venice. You may or may not save any money, but you will definitely have much more hassle and risk. If you book the flights all on one ticket and miss the connection because your flight from Seattle is late, the airline is responsible for getting you to Venice at no extra charge (they usually put you on the next flight). But if you are booked on separate tickets and miss the connection, for any reason, YOU are responsible, both logistically and financially. This is even more important for the return flight, since a last minute ticket from Europe to Seattle could cost thousands of dollars. If you are traveling through Italy, be sure to book "open jaw" flights - for instance, from Seattle to Venice, and from Rome back to Seattle. Again, this is not necessarily more expensive than a standard round trip, and you save a lot of time and money not backtracking. To find these flights, use the "multi city" option on Kayak. Don't book two one-way flights, since that's usually much more expensive.
Thanks to all of you who replied with such thoughtful advice. How soon should I book airfare for a trip in June 2014? Is now (August 2013) too early?
It's too early to book, but it's not too early to look. What you will be seeing now are the highest fares, since the only people who book this far ahead are those who have to be there - conventions, weddings, etc. But, no one knows if the fares will stay the same, go down a little, or go down substantially. Ignore anyone who says there is a "formula," like "book 8 weeks before travel for best fares"; we've seen several stories on this Helpline about people who lost out on good fares with such dubious advice. For decades, the airlines have used sophisticated software to set prices, and a fare can be gone in an hour. By looking now, you'll know the routes and baseline prices. Next, sign up for fare alerts from Kayak and from any airlines you might be taking. (For Kayak, I think you have to choose a round trip fare to get an alert). Discuss the various options with your travel partners (e.g., which airlines and layovers they will and won't accept, and how much they can pay), so you don't have to waste time doing this later. Have your credit card and passport information handy, so you aren't delayed in booking. Again, people have posted on the Helpline that failure to be prepared in one or more of these ways led to delay that cost them their desired fare. Then, just keep looking, at both Kayak and the airline sites. Having done all this homework, you will be able to recognize a good deal, and when you see it - POUNCE. Finally, fares are now substantially higher than they were just 1-2 years ago. So, don't be swayed by what someone paid at that time; their fare is probably not attainable now.
I think Delta (to CDG or Amsterdam) has the best price for Economy Comfort. Right now it is only about $80 more than Econ. My boss did this two weeks ago and said it was well worth it. Prices for next June are running around $1800 right now, which seems high even considering that it is high season. This year it was $1400 to $1600 for flights from Seattle with one stop in Europe. I would not expect to find a price lower than that in 2014, but I would monitor as Harold suggests and watch for something in that range.