Will be flying to Paris then train to Amsterdam then home. Live in Pittsburgh, PA but seems like better deals from Washington, DC. When I look at CheapOair they seem to have the best fares but only mention of baggage costs state the airline will determine. SO, how do I know how much checkin and carry on bags will be?
Proceed with caution. I think CheapoAir is one of the third-party websites that gets a lot of complaints. Have you looked at a mainstream information source like flights.google.com to see whether you can do about as well there? It's much safer to buy your tickets directly from the airline. If something goes wrong, it's easier to fix if there's not a third party involved.
On all flight websites you must be very careful about the luggage situation. Many airlines have now introduced Basic Economy tickets (or some similar name) for transatlantic flights. They do not include any checked-baggage allowance, and the additional fee to check a bag can be quite high. I believe there is usually an inability to select a seat prior to check-in, which many people object to. It is not always clear as you search for flights whether you are looking at Basic Economy or Regular Economy tickets. It's important to compare apples to apples.
Check out the individual airline web sites before booking. Using Skyscanner.com, I do see some quite attractive fares for a dummy booking in May. I'm not used to east coast prices, but as a west coaster, I'm envious to see $630 open jaws on nonstop services operated by Air France/KLM/Delta.
There is SUCH a huge difference in prices between Cheapoair and others like Justfly and the airlines. Don't get how they can even do that without a catch of some sort.
I don't know about Cheapoair, but maybe you want to share your travel dates. On my test dates, the Cheapo results are "only" about $100 less per person for the open-jaw route, but those are for connecting flights in each direction, not nonstops, such as Air Canada via Montreal. They do seem to be "light" or "basic" fares.
Like Laura said, compare any fare you see on any third-party site (Cheapo, Expedia, etc.) with the airline's own website for the same flight(s). Make sure you take account of things like baggage fees and seat class. Change fees or refundability might be relevant if your plans aren't in concrete. I have yet to find a significant savings from third party sites comparing apples to apples.
If in doubt what Cheapo and its counterparts are actually selling for those low fares, go ahead with the booking right up till they want your credit card number. Read the "fine print" about refundability, change fees, baggage, seat selection, etc., and compare that with what the airline says on its website. Another advantage of booking through the airline is better service from them in case of a cancellation or missed connection. You don't want to be trying to contact Cheapo for help from an airport with the clock ticking.
Convenience and comfort may be worth paying something for -- seat choice, nonstop vs. multiple stops, which airport, etc. For instance, I'm not surprised that there could be better fares to Europe from DC than from Pittsburgh, but getting to Dulles will cost you in time and convenience. Would you drive? Pay for airport parking?
You might be able to snag a good deal on British Airways' new service in and out of PIT via Heathrow
I booked once with this company and never again. Was a nightmare. First off, when you check out you’ll find the fare will change and fees show up. I went ahead anyway and soon got a call from American Express that my card had exceeded it’s limit. Well, I have a high limit. Cheapo charged me three times for three tickets! That led to days on the phone with a department they laughingly call customer service and weeks until I could get the erroneous charges reversed. Do yourself a favor, book through the airline.
Please, please be really cautious about CheapOAir. There are so many complaints about them on the Trip Advisor Air Travel forum. I think they don't have "live" prices so when you go to book, the price is different than shown.
Here is a link to a quick search I did on that Air Travel forum. Please dig around before you give them any money.
editing to add: I see Alan added personal experience - listen to him. I think his issues are 2 of the ones people complain about - not live prices and fraudulent charges to your CC.
Not knowing your actual dates, using a March 12 departure from PIT to CDG with 1 stop, and a March 26 departure from AMS to PIT with 1 stop, I'm seeing cheaper flights from the airlines than shown on Cheapo Air. That could change before I finish this response.
You need to do a multi-city search using Google Flights. Put in your real dates. Be sure to thoroughly read all the details about the flights because the major carriers are starting to play the same extra-charge games as their cheaper competitors.
If you're so inclined, try doing RT between PIT and CDG or AMS. If you have the time, that could be cheaper, even with 2 train trips and back-tracking. On an RT search you can click on Dates to see RT prices for different combinations.
The Thalys trains between Paris Nord and Amsterdam Centraal take about 3.5 hours each way with no train changes required. The cost is about $42 each way or $84 RT. I used March 19 Paris to Amsterdam and March 26 for the return date.
Please note that the prices will likely be different for both air and train tickets depending on your dates of travel.
We are planning on 2 June to Paris. Doing Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D day. Train to Brussels where we will rent a car and do the Normandy sites and Bastogne then return the car to the Amsterdam apt.
Driving to Wash DC is only less than 4 hrs and saves $500. Pittsburgh has outpaces themselves with overly high landing fees.
Looked at the fare on Icelandic and it is bout $2,000 for both of us, total, including insurance and check in bags. CheapOair wants $1,500 for on Icelandic but will not give a check in or any bag price. When I called both of them they would not give me a straight answer and kept trying to take my reservations.
"Doing Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D day. "
Normandy will be extremely crowded at that time. If you want a tour you better make the reservations now if there are any available still. Not a time I would choose to be there.
Your cheapest flights to Paris and home from Amsterdam are out of JFK on Norwegian Air Shuttle. Of course they have restrictions. where you'll have to pay for luggage and food.
We're flying to Boston on Delta and taking Norwegian Air Shuttle to Madrid and home from Paris May/June for $700. The legacy U.S. air carriers want $1700 for the same routes.
We know it will be crowded. Have a reservation in Saint Lo through AirB&B. And a car rental with Hertz. Our fathers were both paratroopers with the 101st and 82nd and we want to see the celebrations with the jumps.
matrix.itasoftware.com is also a Google company but includes more choice of routes than Google Flights. No ticket sales, though, just information. As long as you use the multi-destination search function you should find lots of options. Then go to the main airline to book. That airline's extra fees should be stated. It is likely that it will connect to other airlines for more complicated routes, on one ticket. However, you may have to go to the second airline to buy an advance seat selection (almost all now charge for this service.)
Will there be an extra car rental fee if you drop off the car in a different country?
PS: I have used Cheapoair with satisfactory results, but only on a multi-flight itinerary where the airlines didn't sell each other's tickets. I made the seat selections separately too, not through Cheapo.
If Alan's story doesn't convince you to avoid CheapOair, try some of the TripAdvisor discussions on the topic.
You don't have to read all 47 pages, but do pay attention to Post #4 by a reliable and knowledgeable traveler.
Or this, starting with the original,post, which is typical:
Of course there are some success stories as well. But personally I would not touch them. If you do succeed in getting the flight at the advertised cost, it will be at the cheapest fare, with everything like checked bags, seat selection, meals, etc. extra.
I’ve used cheapoair for 8 flights domestic and international without complaint. I’ve gotten very cheap flights. On one flight my departure time changed which created an issue. I called them and the issue was resolved no problems. This is my personal experience. We’re tentatively planning for France next September if the country doesn’t implode. I’d book with them again if price and flight worked. Few things to keep in mind. You get cheap fares because you don’t get frills. For instance you’ll be booked under basic economy. Airlines newest trick is to create multiple layers of seating to suck up more money. Basic economy versus main cabin for example. I like how the airlines boast “1 free checked bag” under the main cabin category but the price for that selection is roughly $100 dollars higher than basic economy. You are paying for your bag. Another change is you can’t pick your seat when booking your flight under basic economy. For me I had to pick my seat 24 hours before my flight. You might be separated if you’re a couple or pay for your choice. And with basic economy you are the bottom of the barrel boarding last so the overhead compartment above your seat may be filled so if your carry on is a wheely bag it might be many seats away from you. None of this changes whether you book with the airline or a third party company. Right now the best flight for us is the same price on cheapoair as it is with AA. Still more than I want to spend either way. I’m on the alert list for flight bargains. It’s a waiting game on price and if France fixes their political issues.
One more thing as to your original question my checked bag cost $100 each way. Still my flight with cheapoair was under $500 after taxes and fees. So with checked bag prices I still had a much better deal than if I had booked with the airline. If I had hindsight I would have done carry on only and saved the $200. I would plan on $100 for checked bag and add that to the cheapoair price. Then compare that price with the airlines most basic price. Good luck and have fun with your trip.
OP, buy from the airline website directly. NEVER a 3rd party website.
Yeah, I'm seeing that. CheapOair wants $1,500 for the entire trip with some cheap insurance but no bags. Icelandic wants $2,000 with refundable and bags. Seems like a safer and better deal! Found the best deal for a rental car with Hertz.