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Old 01-25-2010, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
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We will be going in late August and I suddenly realize cheap flights are a thing of the past, largely due to all kinds of taxes and fees that are attached to the base price.
Will there be any ticket specials in February or should I just bite the bullet?
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
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Default Ryanair

Have you tried Ryanair? They said (if it was last year or the year before) that they are going to start flying between Stockholm, London, Dublin, and "Germany and Italy" and New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and "Florida".

Ryanair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Can't help out much with links. My Internet connection knows I'm in Sweden and only gives me Swedish links. DM me if you're interested in them!
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
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Default Tack, men Ryanair flyger ej från USA

Unfortunately, neither Ryanair nor other cut-rate internationals fly from the U.S. It seems there is all kinds of interesting price dealing out of NYC by various Middle Eastern and Asian carriers, but I haven't quite figured out how that works yet. (Anyone know how to access their cut-rate prices which may or may not be reflected on the major travel sites?)
It may be that the easiest way is just to take BA from BWI to LHR and back, but there used to be sales in February, if memory serves.
Interestingly, the European flight situation is much improved, thanks to Ryanair's leadership. After 12 days in Britain, we'll continue to Helsinki and those prices are surprisingly affordable. But then, intra-European flights in the past used to equal to highway robbery.

Last edited by barante; 01-25-2010 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barante View Post
We will be going in late August and I suddenly realize cheap flights are a thing of the past, largely due to all kinds of taxes and fees that are attached to the base price.
Will there be any ticket specials in February or should I just bite the bullet?
Summer is peak travel season to Europe, and August is perhaps the busiest month of all. Because you're going during high season, you'll pay the price (your memory of cheap fares may not be unfounded...fares are almost double in the summer as what they are in the winter. You can still get some pretty good deals if you cross the pond in the off season)

Keep an eye out for deals by following fares at kayak.com and setting up a faretracker at travelocity.com. My guess is that you'll be spending anywhere from $700 to $1000. roundtrip. I would wait until the spring to buy -- transatlantic deals tend to pop up then.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
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Professorsenator: In all honesty, the trans-Atlantic fares are probably not shockingly bad, if we take inflation into consideration. (The base prices are still reasonable, it's all the fees, taxes and other add-ons that kill us). Anyway, the seemingly high prices only underscore what a bargain we got, when we booked at 12-day Princess cruise for about $1,300 pp., including transfers and insurance.
I've now spent two days trying to understand the ins and outs of trans-Atlantic flying. I just say that the big travel sites are less than helpful. We will be flying from Baltimore to London, and all they recommend are first flying to Detroit -- Detroit!! -- or Chicago, or Minneapolis. Clearly they are in cahoots with big airlines which have seats to fill. Icelandair is out because they no longer fly to Baltimore and I don't want to go via Boston since Baltimore has a direct BA flight to London. In any event, while I have flown Icelandair in the past several times, that country's financial difficulties are now so serious I don't want to tempt my fate.
Our plan is to stay on post-cruise and make a nostalgic trip to Finland, where I was born and still have siblings. I have found an excellent BA deal that covers BWI-LHR-HEL-LHR-BWI for a total of $2,776 for the two of us. I will book it once I know whether I can expand my cruise insurance to cover those flights as well.
Thank goodness I am no stranger to travel planning because even today it, and various fare structures, are most confusing. All I can say is it pays to do it on your own.

Last edited by barante; 01-25-2010 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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Don't touch Ryanair. Terrible airline. Shop around online for deals as lots of airlines go to the UK. Best times for cheap flights are February and October/November. Cheapest flights are usually out of a big hub like Newark/JFK. It is sometimes cheaper to buy the transatlantic flights from there and a separate US flight to get to the hub. Also, see if it is cheaper to go to Birmingham/Manchester/Stansted/etc. and get the train down to London.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Cheswolde
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Default In memory of Freddy Laker

The only time I took a cut-rate flight across the pond was with Freddy Laker, who ran a marvelous airline.
Since we are of mature vintage and flying to arrive in the morning of the departure, we are going nonstop. And we want to return to Baltimore and not change planes and wait when we are tired. I am one of the original Cheap Charlies but I do draw the line somewhere.

Last edited by barante; 01-25-2010 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:07 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,947,587 times
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Agree about February sales.
Last year, when planning a trip to France, we did find a better deal in February and changed our ticket (fortunately, our first ticket was refundable!)
Barante, for what it's worth, my kid once flew Air India out of JFK (on Sept 11) to London and everything was fine.

It's beneficial to use search engines and get email notifications, but the recent good airfare (nonstop flight, Paris to Denver) I found for my kid was just from checking with British Airways.
British Airways has been good for us over the years. I agree that it's nice to be halfway comfortable and not change planes over and over again.

One thing I always do is haunt ITA regularly. Their month-long August search feature found $897 BWI>LHR with one stop on Continental and United, and two stops for $893 on Finnair.

Virgin Atlantic often has some good deals, too, I have been keeping an eye on them as well. I've heard good things about them.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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I'm just flying British Airways. They are not the cheapest but it's a direct flight, you land at their fabulous new terminal in Heathrow and if anything goes wrong with the ticket or schedule at least I won't be fighting with some bucket online shop in the US that can't/won't help me.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 6,472,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barante View Post
Professorsenator: In all honesty, the trans-Atlantic fares are probably not shockingly bad, if we take inflation into consideration. (The base prices are still reasonable, it's all the fees, taxes and other add-ons that kill us).
Oh, I agree: TATL fares are quite reasonable in the grand scheme of things.

I remember my first trip to europe in the 1970's. I think my rountrip coach class ticket at the time cost just under $2000....in 1970's dollars! That was a month's salary for a very comfortably middle class family at that time. By the early 90's I was crossing the pond to places like London and Paris for around $350!

Flying was, in many ways, a lot easier and more luxurious the in old days (i.e. before deregulation in 1978), but it was a heckuva lot more expensive, though the taxes were negligible. Now, almost $200. of the $600. for a cheap TATL ticket is taxes/fees/surcharges. But, darn, it's still cheap to fly now!
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