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Old 03-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
poohmomof5
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Flights to Europe, summer 2013

I am driving myself crazy! How come I can fly from O'Hare to Munich for $1100 but to go to Barcelona, it is $1400? When booking 7 flights, that $300 difference is a lot to stomach.

We are the adventurous type, so I am willing to fly to Munich and take a train, I love those types of adventures actually. But with the extra days and the cost of the train etc, I think it will add up to just about the same price...but with much more fun...and I suppose, more chances for something to go wrong. What to do?

Any flight booking ideas for us to help us save some money?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
MikeAndNick
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You might check some of the other European countries also. I have found some cheep flights into London (O'Hare to London $800). Then you can get a local flight from London to Barcelona ($150) and save money. You also get the choice to visit London. I want to do the trans-Atlantic cruise again but from California they want $2000 for the flight.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #3
ldo
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We rely on FF tickets and often have to fly into/out of a different city to get the FF seats, but we also view it as a way to get the most out of our European trips--ex., this summer we are flying EasyJet from Rome to Paris ($80pp) after a cruise. I am pretty sure Easyjet has nonstops from Munich to BCN. Personally, I would fly to Munich (or London, as PP suggested), spend a few days, then fly to BCN, even if it costs a bit more--so worth it. You can look on viator.com to find interesting things to do in Munich (or London). Viator.com is just a central booking place--not the tour operator, but I always start there to find our what there is to do. I have also used them all over Europe to book tours (including Fat Tire bike tour in BCN--highly recommend). Good luck.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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It's all maddening. We are flying into Munich then going to Paris and taking the night train to either Venice or Barcelona (a few key things have to happen before we make a final decision). In the end it probably won't end up saving you much honestly but if you'd like a few extra days and the extra adventure then go for it! I can't imagine it costing you more.

Also, shop for flights Tuesday night, try to fly there and back on a tuesday, wednesday or thursday if possible. Also remember that if you do use another airline in Europe you can end up paying a ton for all your luggage, so check that before you decide to fly instead of the train.

I literally check daily for flights and the best fares I have found are into Dublin for what that's worth! But also flying into Munich and out of BCN has been the same price, so that helps, too.

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
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It's all maddening. We are flying into Munich then going to Paris and taking the night train to either Venice or Barcelona (a few key things have to happen before we make a final decision). In the end it probably won't end up saving you much honestly but if you'd like a few extra days and the extra adventure then go for it! I can't imagine it costing you more.

Also, shop for flights Tuesday night, try to fly there and back on a tuesday, wednesday or thursday if possible. Also remember that if you do use another airline in Europe you can end up paying a ton for all your luggage, so check that before you decide to fly instead of the train.

I literally check daily for flights and the best fares I have found are into Dublin for what that's worth! But also flying into Munich and out of BCN has been the same price, so that helps, too.

Good luck!
Boy, if we could fly into Munich and out of BCN, that would be ideal. I have found at the beginning of our trips, we are way more adventurous...lol!

By the time we go all over Europe, all we want to do is sit by a pool. (That is what we did on our last night in Barcelona after our B2B Baltic/Dover/BCN cruise. We didn't see ANYTHING in Barcelona except the hotel rooftop pool and our room.

My boys both spent summers in Germany as did I, so we have a fondness for that country. However, my DD15 is in LOVE with One Direction, so she would love to go to London, but alas, they are touring here in the US this summer...
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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Oh, and one more thing...wouldn't you think that flying out of O'Hare we would be able to find some nonstop flights? I don't want to take 3 different flights to get there!!! UGH!
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
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So, when is your cruise? The dates may make a difference as to the options.

Barcelona has less competition then other cities... less competition means higher prices.

Now if you do the "fly to London" and take the EasyJet/Ryan Air etc....connection to Spain give yourself LOTS of time (I say a day )

Another option is Madrid. They have a high speed train to Barcelona and in the past I have seen some good sale prices into Madrid.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:11 PM   #8
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I second the idea to fly to London. Especially from O'Hare, it's nonstop and cheaper.

That way, you get your "stops" in Europe, and you can see other places if you have the time.

We're flying into London and flying back from Paris. Our inter-Europe flights were $80/pp and $90/pp with luggage fees.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post
So, when is your cruise? The dates may make a difference as to the options.

Barcelona has less competition then other cities... less competition means higher prices.

Now if you do the "fly to London" and take the EasyJet/Ryan Air etc....connection to Spain give yourself LOTS of time (I say a day )

Another option is Madrid. They have a high speed train to Barcelona and in the past I have seen some good sale prices into Madrid.
We are on the June 27th Med. I just found $1050 flights from Ohare to Zurich...Switzerland is my MOST FAVORITE place on earth...so I am looking at the night train to Barcelona. But that is $192 per person...
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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Easyjet has direct flights from Geneva to Barcelona for 32 euros plus baggage fees. Lots of trains between Zurich and Geneva.


Easyjet is fine, just make sure to understand the luggage limits they are followed to the T.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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Easyjet has direct flights from Geneva to Barcelona for 32 euros plus baggage fees. Lots of trains between Zurich and Geneva.


Easyjet is fine, just make sure to understand the luggage limits they are followed to the T.
That sounds pretty doable!

Why on earth does every well priced flight have to do through Dublin? I have always wanted t go to Ireland, but not as a quick stopover on my way to Spain, lol!

The strange thing is that our flights are fairly flexible. I don't really care when we leave, we just want to be in Barcelona by 6/25. Being that we would have to leave on a Monday to do that, I figure we may as well be flexible as it won't really cost any extra time off if we leave on Friday, Sat, Sun or Monday...becuase I wouldn't got to work anyway on that Monday...
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #12
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Airline deregulation

Airline deregulation that occured in the U.S. in the '70 was not embaced by Europe. Most European airlines still have some form of state ownership/control.

The one exception is Great Britian which did go through with U.S.-like airline deregulation. That why you can sometimes get deals to Europe via a stop-over in London.


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Old 03-05-2013, 01:07 PM   #13
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I'm on the July 13th Med and I'm flying direct from O'Hare to Paris to spend 5 days there prior to the cruise. On our way home, we are flying from Barcolona to Chicago via Miami. I have never found direct flights between Chicago and Barcelona. When we did the transatlantic back in 2010 we had to fly from Chicago to JFK to Barcelona.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:41 PM   #14
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If you are considering flying on a "budget" airline within Europe to save money (ie, cheaper to fly from US to London, and take a budget airline, like Ryan Air, from London to Barcelona, because that "looks" cheaper) make sure you read up on all the extra fees you have to pay or penalties they make you pay for not following their instructions/requirements perfectly.

A Ryan Air ticket initially looks very cheap (maybe $70 usd), but it could potentially end up being well over $300 usd. They charge per checked bag, and if the bag is over 15 kilograms (approx 33 lbs) or 20 kilograms (approx 40 lbs) you have to pay 20 euros (approx $30-$35) for every kilo over the 15 or 20 kilos. Since most airlines allow 50 lbs, you are paying a lot for your luggage if you check a 50 lb suitcase w/ some of these budget airlines.

There are so many other things, too... Like Ryan Air charges you something like 50 euros if you do not check into your flight early, and wait to check in at the airport. They charge like 20 euros if you want to reserve a seat, so if you are traveling with children anf for sure want to sit together, you have to pay.

There is much more. Vueling air is the same... Basically, watch out for the European "budget" airlines. They may not be as "budget friendly" as you think. Might be worth it to just pay extra to fly from US to Barcelona.

if you can use airline miles to get to Europe, that is the best way! That is how we are going in July for our Med cruise.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #15
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I am flying Vueling after my DCL back to CDG. And LovesToRun is right, you have to watch the fees. For me it was cheaper to buy the "higher" fare which came with 50 lbs of luggage (hopefully I won't be NEAR that LOL!) and an assigned seat.

To the OP. You are starting to get into a really risky time IMHO. IT's highly likely that over the next month fares may start to climb not "decrease" Your trip is prime season so....Now I may be wrong but I would not wait more then 8 weeks out to buy.

Airlines have dramatically cut the number of seats going to Europe which has allowed them to raise the prices. I noticed on the June 8 meet thread several posters had dropped out due to the airfare issue.
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