Least expensive airport in Europe to fly into?

Shopping around for a reasonable airfare to Florence Italy, I've noticed a lot of flights fly to other European cities before connecting on to Florence. Airfare seems reasonable traveling throughout Europe on European run airlines. Which European airport, as a rule of thumb, is one of the least expensive to fly into?

Posted by Norm
Ottawa, Canada
4555 posts

Depends where you're departing from, and which airlines service your city. I've heard tell that, from Seattle, Paris has been a cheap destination...but try plugging your departure point, and several different cities, into kayak.com to get a better idea. Use London, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, and Frankfurt to start with....but don't hesitate to plug in Rome, either....you may get a deal.

Posted by Jill
Kingwood, TX, USA
93 posts

In general, the cheapest cities to fly into are Amsterdam, London, Dublin, or Paris. You can usually buy a cheap ticket on one of the european budget airlines from wherever you land super cheap.
I recommend using kayak.com and try the different cities to see what you get. Good luck!

Posted by Anna
Seattle, WA, United States
684 posts

From everything I have heard and read, the cheapest cities to fly into are Amsterdam, London, and Madrid.

If Icelandair services your departure city (like they do Seattle), you can fly into most major European cities via Reykjavik, and it is usually much cheaper than major European airlines. I got RT tickets Seattle-Amsterdam for about $665, for October.

Posted by Evan
South Glens Falls, NY, USA
104 posts

Dublin, KEF, or LON depending on the time of the year.

Posted by Tracy
Macungie, PA, USA
422 posts

go to kayak, in the left hand list, click 'more'. select 'even more', and check out buzz. you can enter your departure city, your month of travel, and 'european cities', and it will give you all of the flights and flight prices booked in the last few days to all cities. decide from there. a friend of mine got a flight from philly to madrid last summer (yes, summer) for $219 (YES, $219--the taxes on my summer flight were more than that!)

Posted by Chris
Puyallup, WA, USA
881 posts

Hi, Cheri.

Having flown Seattle to Europe more times than I care to think, London has always been the cheapest. I can't remember a time when it wasn't.

PLUS, Heathrow/Gatwck/Stansted offer a huge array of discount (and regular) airlines to choose from. Quite a bit larger selection than Amsterdam, or Paris.

Plus - the London flights with good prices are usually non-stops, which is a very nice bonus. Hope that helps!

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2081 posts

For me from West Coast it has been Zurich, Geneva and Frankfurt using star alliance members.

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
948 posts

From Tampa, it seems that Zurich is the cheapest airport to fly into. I got quotes as low as $595 for a roundtrip ticket for a trip at the end of November.

Posted by Lauren
Seattle, WA
296 posts

From Seattle, I've found the cheapest are London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. Occasionally, I can find an open jaw return from Paris to Seattle, but flying to Paris from Seattle (which is what I usually want to do) is more expensive.

It makes a big difference what city you're flying out of due to the routes of airlines serving your city. When we lived in Phoenix a few years ago, it was quite different than here in Seattle. And with airline mergers, it could easily keep changing.

I usually use Kayak, enter my dates, then keep changing my destinations. Open jaws are a little more laborious to check, and they can fluctuate a lot depending on where the flights are full to.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

It's really a supply and demand question. The best deals are for the flights with the most seats available. One search might find a great deal on a flight to Munich. Two days later the same flight may have increased a lot and flying into Cologne is the better deal.

As a general rule, I see a lot of good deals into London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt but I wouldn't limit your search to those cities or you may miss better deals elsewhere.

I usually travel in the Spring or Fall and expect to find some really good deals. This year I'm going in Summer and ended up choosing the direct flight rather than waiting for a cheap deal (that never came).

Posted by Tyson
Pinole, CA, USA
316 posts

The Brits have raised the taxes so much that LHR is hardly the bargain it once was.

The taxes to land and connect through LHR is sometimes as much the fare itself.

Posted by Bea
OH, OH, USA
1157 posts

It depends when and where you fly.
From my past searches Amsterdam and Frankfurt are cheaper. Years ago Dublin was a cheap destination.
Lat year I found a round trip ticket at the begining of August from Cleveland to Madrid, coming back from Barcelona for $500.
Usually flying Tuesdays, Wed, Thursdays it's cheaper. Or leaving Saturday, but it's always the case.

Posted by Jim
Boca Raton, FL
1 posts

I registered just to say many thanks to Kelly for posting info about Tampa flights. I live on the FL east coast and grew extremely frustrated trying to find a deal here.

I'll drive to Tampa for a $658 Delta flight into Zurich and out of Paris for a cruise out of Barcelona!!

Oddly, Tampa Delta deals seemed connected with Switzerland and here it was wimpy AA via Germany "deals".

Jim

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4764 posts

There is one thing that no one has mentioned and it is something that affects airfare quite a bit. That is school vacactions. Prices do increase a lot if you are flying into or out of an airport where vacation is going on.

In countries like Germany, these dates are not the same across the board nor the same every year, and include not only summer vacation, but also fall, spring and winter dates. So if school is out in Stuttgart, flights will be more expensive than flights out of or into Frankfurt or maybe Berlin, if school is still in session in those cities. (all the States stagger these times so the whole country is not on school vacation at the same time. Keeps the autobahn from completely breaking down in a giant traffic jam)

I would imagine the same thing affects flight prices in other cities too. So check the school vacation schedule for the countries you are visiting, you may be able to get a much better deal by arriving or departing from a different city or even a different country.

Here is the link for Germany, other countries can be easily googled.

http://www.holidays-info.com/School-Holidays-Germany/2009/school-holidays_2009.html

Posted by Jill
Phoenix, AZ, United States
42 posts

Tyson is right. Flying into London can be more expensive because of the taxes. Try Aer Lingus, I found it to be the cheapest from JFK to Rome.

Posted by Mike
Clawson, MI, USA
190 posts

I've found the cheapest fares from Detroit are Frankfurt and Paris. You can always check fares from an east coast city to Europe and then search for the cheap fare from Portland? Check fares from some of the bigger hub airports here in the U.S. too like Chicago O'Hare or Atlanta.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

I fly from Seattle to Europe every summer. For the last few years I have found that flying Air France in May or late August to be the cheapest. I fly them into Paris and use them for my connecting flight to wherever I am going in Europe - this year it was Istanbul. By staying on the same airline to my destination, I feel that I will get better service if anything goes wrong with the connecting flight in Paris. One couple on our RS tour flew into a European city on one airline from the US and was to transfer to a European airline to complete their travel. Well, the plane from the US was late getting to Europe so they missed their connecting flight on another local airline. The local airline told them that it was not that airlines fault that they missed the connecting flight and they would have to purchase another ticket if they wanted to fly on a later flight. They did buy another ticket so as not to miss the start of the RS tour and have since turned their problem over to their travel agent to see if any refund can be obtained. In addition, if you check baggage from the US and your flight requires a change of planes or airlines in Europe, staying on the same airline enables you to check your baggage thru to your final destination. At least it did on Air France in May.