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Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Get the gently caress out...and hopefully not pay a lot for it. Welcome to the Finding Cheap Airfare thread wherein myself and others knowledgeable on the topic will help you find decent airfare prices, or at least explain why none exist. It's based on and continues discussion started in this thread. There's a bunch of crap below relating to how and why fares price the way they do, but if you're interested in some help finding out if a lower fare is available for your trip, here are the minimum details that are required to answer your post:
  • Origin (airport you're starting from)
  • Destination (airport you're going to)
  • Duration of trip with dates (Saying you want to be gone for three weeks isn't helpful. When are you leaving? Approximations are fine)
  • Flexibility (able to leave early or late, different days, or do you have a hard date when you must start and/or end?)
With those few items of detail, a search can be executed to see what might be available for your trip. It is important to note that there are sometimes no cheap fares in a given market. This is covered in greater detail below, but it is a simple reality: poo poo's expensive sometimes. As such, there is no promise of finding something that may not exist. Moreover, the guidelines and ideas that apply to the domestic US market do not always apply to international flights, especially those that don't originate in the US. Australia to Japan, for example, has a completely different market architecture than the US to Japan does. There is no hard and fast rule for any market, so don't be surprised to find wide variances at any given time (this is covered in more detail below).

Next up: tools of the trade. There are tons of places to search for airfare on the Internet, but this is what works for me:
  • Matrix Search: http://matrix.itasoftware.com
    ITA's Matrix Search is one of the better and more powerful fare search engines out there. ITA is now owned by Google and is some of the technology powering Google Flights. It has an advanced syntax where you can build very specific itineraries that utilize certain segments or carriers, but it works great for basic searches too. You cannot book flights here, but can take the information and go book directly with the airline.
  • Hipmunk: http://www.hipmunk.com
    Hipmunk uses the same data as ITA, but actually offers direct booking links once you search. It doesn't support all of the Matrix functionality, but it works great for regular itineraries.
  • Kayak: http://www.kayak.com
    Kayak is fairly well known and works pretty well.
Being flexible is often key to securing lower fares; here's a list of ideas that may help you find a lower fare:
  • Can you fly a day or two before or after your preferred travel date?
  • Can you use alternate or nearby airports? (cost/benefit analysis required)
  • Do you have a specific airline preference? Are you willing to abandon it?
  • Will you take a stop or two versus a non-stop flight to reduce cost?
  • Know what airlines serve a market. Route maps are your friend.
To that end, here's some basic information about the way airline prices tend to work:

For starters, it's helpful to understand the difference between marketing and reality. There are a lot of sites out there that talk about the best travel deal or last minute discounts or other things that sound awesome. This is marketing, and a lot of it is bullshit. While there are occasions to acquire cheap hotel rooms on a last minute basis, this is quite often a myth for airfare. Reality is that there are fare rules, routing rules, inventory management, and pricing structures in place which are based on highly sophisticated data models built by teams of evil druids that comprise the Revenue Management department of an airline. No mere mortal understands the dark arts of Revenue Management.

Additionally, the price of a particular flight depends on a great number of factors, including but not limited to:
  • Origin (where you're starting from)
  • Destination (where you're going to)
  • Duration of trip
  • Day of the week you leave
  • Time of day you leave
  • Seasonal/Peak travel timing (winter is more expensive in Colorado, summer is more expensive in Europe, etc)
  • Special events (SxSW in Austin, X Games in LA, Olympics, World Cup, Super Bowl, etc)
As mentioned above, pricing is not origin or destination specific: it is market specific. Each market has specific pricing models built on competitive data from other airlines that serve the market. For example, Chicago to Miami is served by the four major legacy carriers, United, American, Delta, and US Airways. There's also service from Southwest and a bunch of other smaller carriers, including JetBlue. United has a non-stop as Chicago is a hub, American has a non-stop as both Chicago and Miami are hubs, Delta will require a plane change in New York or Atlanta, and US Airways will require a plane change in Philadelphia or Charlotte. Fares at each airline are priced on a market basis, meaning that the fare on Delta or US Airways may not cost more than the non-stop options just because they are longer flights due to the stops and likely plane changes. The fare is not priced with the plane change: it's priced as Chicago to Miami, and with direct respect and impact to the fares of competing carriers that may offer non-stop flights.

To further illustrate the point, if you take the Chicago to Miami example and make it Nashville to Miami, you'll find a completely different pricing structure because it's a completely different market. It is entirely possible that Nashville to Miami is quite a bit more expensive than Chicago to Miami even though starting in Nashville is a much shorter flight than starting in Chicago. Supply and demand economics come into play, where Chicago is a much larger market than Nashville, and it has a ton more, "lift" (number of seats available in a given market on a given day) than Nashville does. As a public service announcement, don't go to Miami. It is a lovely place.

Building upon those topics, we find the crux of the issue: airlines are constantly reviewing and adjusting prices to maximize revenue. Fares update, on average, four times per day. The markets that change vary widely and, without access to the internal data the airlines have, it is nigh on impossible to predict what's going to happen. Historical trends are not a safe indicator of future performance.

There's a whole lot more to it than this, but this is a good place to start. There are tons more topics concerning airfare than just pricing: best aircraft, in flight entertainment, food, seats, loyalty programs, award/mileage redemption, etc. All of those are open for discussion as well. If you're interested in more of the gory details, feel free to ask and I'll go into it further (insofar as I actually know what's happening).

I suppose a disclaimer is warranted here: I am not a travel oracle. I am not an expert and have no formal training; I like to travel and am not independently wealthy, so I made it my business to learn how airlines work in order to find low fares whenever possible. I'm happy to share where I can, and we can discuss, "travel hacking" as well, though some stuff I won't post publicly, and most of that is exceedingly difficult unless you're doing some crazy stuff these days. I'll likely update this post as time goes on when I remember important things that I've forgotten.

Ready...go.

Mackieman fucked around with this message at Jul 17, 2013 around 20:42

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Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Original Thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3391967

FAQ:
  1. EWR, IAH, ORD...WTF?
    These three letter codes are set by the IATA and are a shorthand representation of an airport. Many of them are obvious (LAX is Los Angeles, SFO is San Francisco) and others are not (GIG is Rio de Janeiro, ARN is Stockholm). Here's a handy key where you can lookup a code you don't recognize.
  2. Holy mother of piss, my one-way international ticket costs thousands of dollars when the round trip is way cheaper. What gives?
    This is a tactic regularly employed by airlines where, essentially, they're cashing in on last minute business travelers by offering only the most expensive fare (full Y, unrestricted, refundable) for international one-way tickets. In many cases, unless you're a citizen or have a visa for the country you're going to, they won't let you in on a one-way ticket without showing a method of egress, so be forewarned.
  3. How early should I buy airfare?
    The simple answer is: when it reaches a price you're willing to pay. Fares change, often wildly, all the time. There is no real way to predict it nor to maximize your chances of savings. Being flexible, choosing seasons well (peak travel season, like summer in Europe, is always going to be more expensive than the middle of winter), and having a solid plan about where and when you want to go will aid you in finding the best fare, because you can watch it over time and then jump on it when it reaches a price point you're comfortable with.
  4. Should I look at nearby airports when searching for fares?
    In a word, ABSOLUTELY. Very often, when there are multiple airports in the same city (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., etc) you can find significant savings using an alternate that is nearby. When you locate savings, you then have to make a value judgement for yourself on whether or not it's worth whatever extra effort you might have to expend to get to the alternate airport versus using your primary airport. When searching, instead of using a single airport like JFK, use NYC instead. This will search JFK, LGA, EWR, and HPN. Same for WAS searching IAD, DCA, and BWI. Other search engines will have checkboxes for including nearby airports in the search.

Mackieman fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2013 around 16:22

McPhock
Dec 25, 2004
hat-wearing champion of rhode island

Hi! I'm looking forward to understanding more about this concept of 'cheap airfare'. Not only is it practical, but it's interesting as hell.

I've booked a trip to Vegas for my wife's 30th birthday. Trip dates are now set in stone unfortunately, but it would be interesting to see if I could have done better than $424/person. (Full disclose... fares were in the $360s about 45-60 days ago. I should of booked then...)

•Origin: ATL

•Destination: LAS

•Duration of trip with dates: Aug 11 - 15th, 2013. 5 days, 4 nights.

•Flexibility: None now, but hypothesize on +/- 1 day.

I'd be open to one stop, but it depends on the lay over time and cost savings. (Cost/benefit), as you said. As a general rule, I'm sensitive to take off times. I don't want to leave ATL at 9pm and burn a day of vacation time by getting to vegas at 10pm. Same on the return. I don't want to leave Vegas at 6am.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


McPhock posted:

Hi! I'm looking forward to understanding more about this concept of 'cheap airfare'. Not only is it practical, but it's interesting as hell.

I've booked a trip to Vegas for my wife's 30th birthday. Trip dates are now set in stone unfortunately, but it would be interesting to see if I could have done better than $424/person. (Full disclose... fares were in the $360s about 45-60 days ago. I should of booked then...)

•Origin: ATL

•Destination: LAS

•Duration of trip with dates: Aug 11 - 15th, 2013. 5 days, 4 nights.

•Flexibility: None now, but hypothesize on +/- 1 day.

I'd be open to one stop, but it depends on the lay over time and cost savings. (Cost/benefit), as you said. As a general rule, I'm sensitive to take off times. I don't want to leave ATL at 9pm and burn a day of vacation time by getting to vegas at 10pm. Same on the return. I don't want to leave Vegas at 6am.

$291 on US, 8/12-15. Times are decent, layover in CLT both ways. $130 per person may or may not be worth a day less in Vegas, though I'm the wrong person to make that value judgement as I don't particularly care for Vegas, heh.

WaryWarren
Apr 30, 2013


I'm looking to purchase a seat on a one-way flight into Italy, with the origin being Chicago and the desired destination either being Milan or Roma. I need to enter the EU in Italy, as I will have an Italian National visa as opposed to a Schengen one. I have a $1500 credit from AA that I would like to use since it expires in January. I have checked AA.com, Hipmunk and the ITA Matrix sites. When I enter my requirements below, I get a ridiculously high fare from all three sites. Flying AA from ORD to JFK and then on to MXP is ~$2500, while ORD to FCO direct is also ~$2500. I realize that it is now only 5 weeks away from my ideal departure date and I may have to pay a fortune.

My question: Will these fares go down considerably in the near future? Or should I bite the bullet and pay an additional $1000 for either flight?

•Origin: ORD

•Destination: MXP or FCO

•Duration of trip with dates: August 20th.

•Flexibility: +/- 3 days. No connections within the EU, UK, Ireland, etc.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


WaryWarren posted:

I'm looking to purchase a seat on a one-way flight into Italy, with the origin being Chicago and the desired destination either being Milan or Roma. I need to enter the EU in Italy, as I will have an Italian National visa as opposed to a Schengen one. I have a $1500 credit from AA that I would like to use since it expires in January. I have checked AA.com, Hipmunk and the ITA Matrix sites. When I enter my requirements below, I get a ridiculously high fare from all three sites. Flying AA from ORD to JFK and then on to MXP is ~$2500, while ORD to FCO direct is also ~$2500. I realize that it is now only 5 weeks away from my ideal departure date and I may have to pay a fortune.

My question: Will these fares go down considerably in the near future? Or should I bite the bullet and pay an additional $1000 for either flight?

•Origin: ORD

•Destination: MXP or FCO

•Duration of trip with dates: August 20th.

•Flexibility: +/- 3 days. No connections within the EU, UK, Ireland, etc.

I'm headed out the door so I'll provide more detail later but essentially it's the one-way international flight that is killing you. One-way international tickets often price out at the full Y (most expensive, least restrictive, fully refundable) fare class, hence the price you're seeing. Moreover, you may have issues with them letting you in the country if you don't show a method of egress from the EU.

More to come later tonight or tomorrow.

Blut
Sep 11, 2009


WaryWarren posted:

I'm looking to purchase a seat on a one-way flight into Italy, with the origin being Chicago and the desired destination either being Milan or Roma. I need to enter the EU in Italy, as I will have an Italian National visa as opposed to a Schengen one. I have a $1500 credit from AA that I would like to use since it expires in January. I have checked AA.com, Hipmunk and the ITA Matrix sites. When I enter my requirements below, I get a ridiculously high fare from all three sites. Flying AA from ORD to JFK and then on to MXP is ~$2500, while ORD to FCO direct is also ~$2500. I realize that it is now only 5 weeks away from my ideal departure date and I may have to pay a fortune.

My question: Will these fares go down considerably in the near future? Or should I bite the bullet and pay an additional $1000 for either flight?

•Origin: ORD

•Destination: MXP or FCO

•Duration of trip with dates: August 20th.

•Flexibility: +/- 3 days. No connections within the EU, UK, Ireland, etc.

Why not purchase a return trip and just not use the second leg of the trip? I'm seeing a price of $1496 for the below on ITA:

Chicago (ORD) to Rome (FCO) - Sun, Aug 18
American American 110 Dep: 5:05PM Arr: 9:25AM 9h 20m Boeing 767 Economy (O)
Mon, Aug 19

Rome (FCO) to Chicago (ORD) - Mon, Aug 26
American American 111 Dep: 11:15AM Arr: 3:00PM 10h 45m Boeing 767 Economy (Q)

Or, as an alternative, you could get a one way flight ORD->FCO around August 20th for $507 with Turkish Airlines either. So if you could find some other trip to use your AA credit on that might be a better use of it.

DontAskKant
Aug 13, 2011

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THINKING ABOUT THIS POST)


Ok, SE Asia is too expensive for the days that I want. So, I starting looking elsewhere. Mongolia is always around $700 so I might as well go now when the other options are out of the range of what I want to pay.

I'm finding about $700 for Aug. 10 to 18 with Asiana and Mongolian Air for Seoul to Ulaanbaatar. Does anyone know of a cheaper maybe not direct way? I wouldn't mind one of the day or half day layovers in a Tier 1 Chinese city, it's nice to get out and see some things and get dinner.

Slightly related, does anyone know of a thread that talks about traveling in Mongolia? I didn't even see any postings in the search function.

Uziel
Jun 28, 2004

Ask me about losing 200lbs, and becoming the Viking God of W&W.

We are looking at NYC for our 10th anniversary.

•Origin: PIT
•Destination: LGA or JFK
•Duration of trip with dates: Oct 11 - 15th, 2013. 5 days, 4 nights.
•Flexibility: None

I can't leave very early on the 11th as I can leave work until 11am at the earliest and its a 30 min drive to the airport.

I'd need to be home dinner time on the 15th.

Looking at hipmunk puts me at $235/person round trip.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


DontAskKant posted:

Ok, SE Asia is too expensive for the days that I want. So, I starting looking elsewhere. Mongolia is always around $700 so I might as well go now when the other options are out of the range of what I want to pay.

I'm finding about $700 for Aug. 10 to 18 with Asiana and Mongolian Air for Seoul to Ulaanbaatar. Does anyone know of a cheaper maybe not direct way? I wouldn't mind one of the day or half day layovers in a Tier 1 Chinese city, it's nice to get out and see some things and get dinner.

Slightly related, does anyone know of a thread that talks about traveling in Mongolia? I didn't even see any postings in the search function.

Yeah, I see $640USD on KE for ICN-ULN. Stops are more expensive. Alternatively, SkyScanner has fares into Vietnam for $773, so not that much more.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Uziel posted:

We are looking at NYC for our 10th anniversary.

•Origin: PIT
•Destination: LGA or JFK
•Duration of trip with dates: Oct 11 - 15th, 2013. 5 days, 4 nights.
•Flexibility: None

I can't leave very early on the 11th as I can leave work until 11am at the earliest and its a 30 min drive to the airport.

I'd need to be home dinner time on the 15th.

Looking at hipmunk puts me at $235/person round trip.

Yep, $235 on Delta, unlikely to get much cheaper than that.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Mackieman posted:

More to come later tonight or tomorrow.

I added this info to FAQ #2 in the second post.

bam thwok
Sep 20, 2005
I sure hope I don't get banned

I need help to not make the vacation my friend and I are planning manically expensive before we even set foot at our destinations.

•Origin: WAS (DCA, IAD, or BWI)
•Destination1: REK (Reykjavik)
•Destination2: Lisbon (LIS)

•Duration of trip with dates: Aug 23 - Sep 1

•Flexibility: +1 on departure to Iceland, -1 on return from LIS

Friend and I are planning on 5 days 4 nights in Iceland for the first leg of our trip, with the remaining time somewhere like Portugal (not yet necessarily the definitive second destination). Fares to Reykjavik look reasonable at about $435/$500 one way. But as soon as I add additional stops, the price balloons up to the $3000+ range.

Any help would be awesome.

Edit: for additional info, willing to fly coach at just about any hour. And while non-stop is preferred, I'd be fine with connections of no more than 1 per leg, and layovers less than a couple of hours (3-4 max before I'll feel an acute need to kill myself)

bam thwok fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2013 around 19:27

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007



Is there a search engine that will let me search for flights that return before a specific time? To be specific, I'm looking at a round trip between BWI and MSP leaving the 23rd of August and returning on the 27th. The flight needs to land in BWI before 9 AM, otherwise the departure will need to be on the 26th. But I can't find a way to put that criteria in on any search engines. I can generally say "I want to depart after this time" but not "I want to depart before this time."

bam thwok
Sep 20, 2005
I sure hope I don't get banned

FISHMANPET posted:

Is there a search engine that will let me search for flights that return before a specific time? To be specific, I'm looking at a round trip between BWI and MSP leaving the 23rd of August and returning on the 27th. The flight needs to land in BWI before 9 AM, otherwise the departure will need to be on the 26th. But I can't find a way to put that criteria in on any search engines. I can generally say "I want to depart after this time" but not "I want to depart before this time."

Kayak does that. It has a slider that let's you specify a range of departure times.

WaryWarren
Apr 30, 2013


Belated thanks to Blut and Mackieman. I ended up booking a round trip flight with the intention of not boarding the return flight. I also do not need to prove egress from the Schengen area with my Italian National Visa (you are allowed up to 90 days of travel within the Schengen area which I plan to use when I leave Italy).

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


bam thwok posted:

I need help to not make the vacation my friend and I are planning manically expensive before we even set foot at our destinations.

•Origin: WAS (DCA, IAD, or BWI)
•Destination1: REK (Reykjavik)
•Destination2: Lisbon (LIS)

•Duration of trip with dates: Aug 23 - Sep 1

•Flexibility: +1 on departure to Iceland, -1 on return from LIS

Friend and I are planning on 5 days 4 nights in Iceland for the first leg of our trip, with the remaining time somewhere like Portugal (not yet necessarily the definitive second destination). Fares to Reykjavik look reasonable at about $435/$500 one way. But as soon as I add additional stops, the price balloons up to the $3000+ range.

Any help would be awesome.

Edit: for additional info, willing to fly coach at just about any hour. And while non-stop is preferred, I'd be fine with connections of no more than 1 per leg, and layovers less than a couple of hours (3-4 max before I'll feel an acute need to kill myself)

KEF is often difficult to do openjaw flights on because IcelandAir doesn't codeshare with many airlines. So what you're seeing is the price of a ticket from IAD to KEF, then a one-way from KEF-LIS, and another one-way from LIS-IAD which is often in full Y, thus the insane price (see FAQ#2 above). In fact, the cheapest fares I'm seeing are actually in business class (Z fare) since Z is cheaper than full Y in this particular case.

Since you're not loyal to a particular airline, IcelandAir offers stopover trips that will work well for what you're looking at. You can fly IAD-KEF//KEF-AMS, and then AMS-KEF-IAD on 8/24-9/1 for $1580 per person. They don't fly to LIS so that's not really an option. Besides, AMS is fun for a couple of enterprising dudes to shuffle around Europe for a couple days. $1580 isn't cheap, but it's not $2800 per person, either. IcelandAir isn't terribly comfortable in coach and there are extra fees for some stuff, but it shouldn't be a big deal.

Mackieman fucked around with this message at Jul 23, 2013 around 02:04

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


FISHMANPET posted:

Is there a search engine that will let me search for flights that return before a specific time? To be specific, I'm looking at a round trip between BWI and MSP leaving the 23rd of August and returning on the 27th. The flight needs to land in BWI before 9 AM, otherwise the departure will need to be on the 26th. But I can't find a way to put that criteria in on any search engines. I can generally say "I want to depart after this time" but not "I want to depart before this time."

Kayak, Hipmunk, and ITA all let you sort by departure time. The key is to remember to do it after the search results return instead of trying to do it before the search occurs. This is helpful in the case where you may have some level of flexibility and a flight at a different but close to your original time is significantly cheaper. If you exclude those results from the search, you'd never know about it.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


WaryWarren posted:

Belated thanks to Blut and Mackieman. I ended up booking a round trip flight with the intention of not boarding the return flight. I also do not need to prove egress from the Schengen area with my Italian National Visa (you are allowed up to 90 days of travel within the Schengen area which I plan to use when I leave Italy).

Glad you got something that works for you.

reflex
Aug 9, 2009

I'd rather laugh with the mudders than cry with the saints. The mudders are much more fun. Hoorah.


I have a general airfare question: is it generally cheaper to book far in advance (6 months+) or wait, wait, wait and hope to snag some kind of seat sale? I've only started travelling this summer and am starting to look to 2014. Flying out of YEG to international destinations. It's a pretty safe assumption to say I'd be going anywhere for a major festival/tourist season (Ireland for St. Paddy's Day, Spain for The Running of the Bulls, etc.).

I was thinking of prepping a couple week-long vacations (what I want to see in x, where to stay, etc.) and then if I find a crazy flight deal, pull the trigger and go. If it doesn't work out at the time, it doesn't work.

Would you have any advice for someone whose only obstacle is getting the vacation time approved at work (otherwise no legitimate life obligations)?

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


reflex posted:

I have a general airfare question: is it generally cheaper to book far in advance (6 months+) or wait, wait, wait and hope to snag some kind of seat sale? I've only started travelling this summer and am starting to look to 2014. Flying out of YEG to international destinations. It's a pretty safe assumption to say I'd be going anywhere for a major festival/tourist season (Ireland for St. Paddy's Day, Spain for The Running of the Bulls, etc.).

I was thinking of prepping a couple week-long vacations (what I want to see in x, where to stay, etc.) and then if I find a crazy flight deal, pull the trigger and go. If it doesn't work out at the time, it doesn't work.

Would you have any advice for someone whose only obstacle is getting the vacation time approved at work (otherwise no legitimate life obligations)?

The answer to your question is: yes.

When you've got a trip scoped out, start watching fares. There are several tools online that will alert you based on inventory, and you can view prices after that. It's much easier to search this way than, "I want a cheap ticket anywhere." Know what you want to do and start looking. International flights, traditionally, get cheaper after Labor Day in the US, but it might work a little different for you folks in the Northern Cyborg Republic. I've booked stuff six and nine months in advance, and I've booked stuff a month out. It depends on you: if you find a fare you're willing to pay for a trip, jump on it. It may go down, but it might just as easily go up. No mere mortal knows the ways of the dark art of revenue management.

Super Delegate
Jan 19, 2005

ƃɐlɟ ǝɥʇ

I'm trying to book a Eurotrip.

My current plan is

FROM JFK (New York) to PRG (Prague) on 8/28/2013
*Traveling with a tour group*
FROM BUD (Budapest) to FCO (Rome) on 9/5/2013
FROM FCO (Rome) to JFK (New York) on or after 9/8/2013

This comes out to around $1,300 when I price it on several websites. I'm closer to PHL than JFK, but the PHL flights are more expensive.

Ideal Trip

FROM JFK (New York) to KEF/REK (Keflavík) on 8/21/2013
FROM KEF/REK (Keflavík) to PRG (Prague) on 8/28/2013
FROM BUD (Budapest) to FCO (Rome) on 9/5/2013
FROM FCO (Rome) to JFK (New York) on or after 9/8/2013

I'm having the same problem as bam thwok. The prices I get for this trip are from $3000 to $6000+ on Kayak as soon as I include iceland. It is cheaper when I book JFK to Iceland on Iceland air, but then I'm stuck paying for a 1 way flight from Italy back to JFK.

HookShot
Dec 26, 2005

"You dont mess with the matters of the wombat the end of the day it is still murder."


Super Delegate posted:

I'm trying to book a Eurotrip.

My current plan is

FROM JFK (New York) to PRG (Prague) on 8/28/2013
*Traveling with a tour group*
FROM BUD (Budapest) to FCO (Rome) on 9/5/2013
FROM FCO (Rome) to JFK (New York) on or after 9/8/2013

This comes out to around $1,300 when I price it on several websites. I'm closer to PHL than JFK, but the PHL flights are more expensive.

Ideal Trip

FROM JFK (New York) to KEF/REK (Keflavík) on 8/21/2013
FROM KEF/REK (Keflavík) to PRG (Prague) on 8/28/2013
FROM BUD (Budapest) to FCO (Rome) on 9/5/2013
FROM FCO (Rome) to JFK (New York) on or after 9/8/2013

I'm having the same problem as bam thwok. The prices I get for this trip are from $3000 to $6000+ on Kayak as soon as I include iceland. It is cheaper when I book JFK to Iceland on Iceland air, but then I'm stuck paying for a 1 way flight from Italy back to JFK.

On ITA Matrix, you can go JFK-KEF, then KEF to PRG, then FCO to KEF and finally KEF to JFK for just over $2000 (there's a couple stopovers in Copenhagen). You would have to buy your BUD to FCO ticket separately, but it's not a bad price if you don't mind doing the one extra leg in Iceland and having basically an extra day there.

Vernacular
Nov 29, 2004



Planning a trip from Seoul to Taipei with 1 friend (doesn't matter which airports). We'd like to leave on Wednesday, September 18th and return on Sunday, September 22nd. We're willing to leave a day later or return a day earlier, but not both (a 3 night trip is ideal). Thanks!

Vernacular fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2013 around 09:27

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Super Delegate posted:

I'm trying to book a Eurotrip.

My current plan is

FROM JFK (New York) to PRG (Prague) on 8/28/2013
*Traveling with a tour group*
FROM BUD (Budapest) to FCO (Rome) on 9/5/2013
FROM FCO (Rome) to JFK (New York) on or after 9/8/2013

This comes out to around $1,300 when I price it on several websites. I'm closer to PHL than JFK, but the PHL flights are more expensive.

Ideal Trip

FROM JFK (New York) to KEF/REK (Keflavík) on 8/21/2013
FROM KEF/REK (Keflavík) to PRG (Prague) on 8/28/2013
FROM BUD (Budapest) to FCO (Rome) on 9/5/2013
FROM FCO (Rome) to JFK (New York) on or after 9/8/2013

I'm having the same problem as bam thwok. The prices I get for this trip are from $3000 to $6000+ on Kayak as soon as I include iceland. It is cheaper when I book JFK to Iceland on Iceland air, but then I'm stuck paying for a 1 way flight from Italy back to JFK.

If you're willing to head out to EWR (which is not difficult via Penn Station to get to unless you actually live near JFK), you can do EWR-ZRH-PRG//PRG-DUS-FCO//FCO-EWR for $1391.30. First segment is on Swiss, middle is on Lufthansa, and the last one is on United. United should be able to sell that to you, though it may require multi-segment pricing. If United shits out on the itinerary, hipmunk will put it together and you could try booking from there.

HookShot posted:

On ITA Matrix, you can go JFK-KEF, then KEF to PRG, then FCO to KEF and finally KEF to JFK for just over $2000 (there's a couple stopovers in Copenhagen). You would have to buy your BUD to FCO ticket separately, but it's not a bad price if you don't mind doing the one extra leg in Iceland and having basically an extra day there.

Not having to stop in KEF or CPH (holy rear end that place is expensive) for less seems better to me. Always remember to check nearby airports (like EWR and JFK for New York) as it often leads to lower fares.

Mackieman fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2013 around 13:28

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Vernacular posted:

Planning a trip from Seoul to Taipei with 1 friend (doesn't matter which airports). We'd like to leave on Wednesday, September 18th and return on Sunday, September 22nd. We're willing to leave a day later or return a day earlier, but not both (a 3 night trip is ideal). Thanks!

Well, the cheapest option is likely not the most ideal in this case. $366USD for GMP-TPE (or TSA), but both require a 13+ hour overnight layover in SHA; I believe there are visa implications there and I don't know that an overnight in Shanghai is your idea of a good time. Given that, the next best option is $398USD leaving on 8/19 and returning 9/22. All on China Eastern, ICN-PVG-TPE//TSA-SHA-GMP.

Vernacular
Nov 29, 2004



Mackieman posted:

Well, the cheapest option is likely not the most ideal in this case. $366USD for GMP-TPE (or TSA), but both require a 13+ hour overnight layover in SHA; I believe there are visa implications there and I don't know that an overnight in Shanghai is your idea of a good time. Given that, the next best option is $398USD leaving on 8/19 and returning 9/22. All on China Eastern, ICN-PVG-TPE//TSA-SHA-GMP.

Thanks for the help!

Grouco
Jan 13, 2005
I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

I'm looking for a one-way flight from Glasgow (GLA) to Calgary (YYC) on September 4th. So far I've only come across Air Transat as the cheapest. Any suggestions?

Edit: Could also be flexible for a few days after the 4th, am willing to fly with stops in between, and could also fly from a nearby airport if it's cheaper.

Grouco fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2013 around 13:00

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Grouco posted:

I'm looking for a one-way flight from Glasgow (GLA) to Calgary (YYC) on September 4th. So far I've only come across Air Transat as the cheapest. Any suggestions?

Edit: Could also be flexible for a few days after the 4th, am willing to fly with stops in between, and could also fly from a nearby airport if it's cheaper.

Do you have any flexibility? On September 5 I see AirTransat at $1075USD, but you can do IcelandAir for $842USD (two stops, KEF and YHZ, transfering to WestJet). If you must travel on the 4th, then yeah, not a ton of options as they're only offering full Y or B (one fare class down from Y) for the TATL (trans-atlantic) leg. See FAQ #2 for more on that.

Grouco
Jan 13, 2005
I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

Mackieman posted:

Do you have any flexibility? On September 5 I see AirTransat at $1075USD, but you can do IcelandAir for $842USD (two stops, KEF and YHZ, transfering to WestJet). If you must travel on the 4th, then yeah, not a ton of options as they're only offering full Y or B (one fare class down from Y) for the TATL (trans-atlantic) leg. See FAQ #2 for more on that.

Yea, I see that on the 5th. I've never had to book through a travel agent before, do I just take them the fare construction info?

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Grouco posted:

Yea, I see that on the 5th. I've never had to book through a travel agent before, do I just take them the fare construction info?

You can, but Orbitz is pricing it out as well. No reason not to book there. I'm surprised Hipmunk didn't see it, but such is life.

Edit: Oh poo poo, I just noticed that the plane change in Halifax is actually an overnight. If that doesn't work for you, $905 for an Aer Lingus flight that connects in DUB and ORD, over to United for the run up to YYC, $905. Hipmunk can book that one. If you do that, immigration is not so bad because you clear customs and immigration in Dublin on the way out, so the flight arrives at ORD as a domestic flight. Much easier to connect.

Mackieman fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2013 around 14:59

Grouco
Jan 13, 2005
I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

Mackieman posted:

You can, but Orbitz is pricing it out as well. No reason not to book there. I'm surprised Hipmunk didn't see it, but such is life.

Edit: Oh poo poo, I just noticed that the plane change in Halifax is actually an overnight. If that doesn't work for you, $905 for an Aer Lingus flight that connects in DUB and ORD, over to United for the run up to YYC, $905. Hipmunk can book that one. If you do that, immigration is not so bad because you clear customs and immigration in Dublin on the way out, so the flight arrives at ORD as a domestic flight. Much easier to connect.

Cheers. Overnight is no problem, but I'll think about it some more. Might just take the Aer Lingus on the 4th and save myself some hassle.

Blut
Sep 11, 2009


Grouco posted:

Cheers. Overnight is no problem, but I'll think about it some more. Might just take the Aer Lingus on the 4th and save myself some hassle.

The Dublin U.S. customs service is fantastic - I'd always advise everyone its worth paying $20-50 to clear it there as opposed to ORD or JFK or anywhere else actually in the U.S. You'll be far less tired queuing before your transatlantic flight rather than after, plus the que will be a lot smaller than at a major U.S. airport, plus it will move a lot faster because nearly everyone there will be an E.U. citizen (ie less likely to illegally stay in the U.S.) so subject to less intensive questioning.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Blut posted:

The Dublin U.S. customs service is fantastic - I'd always advise everyone its worth paying $20-50 to clear it there as opposed to ORD or JFK or anywhere else actually in the U.S. You'll be far less tired queuing before your transatlantic flight rather than after, plus the que will be a lot smaller than at a major U.S. airport, plus it will move a lot faster because nearly everyone there will be an E.U. citizen (ie less likely to illegally stay in the U.S.) so subject to less intensive questioning.

Aye, I've done it in Shannon and it was great, though the extra security screening where we had to take off our shoes was . I had Global Entry but one kiosk was down so it actually took longer for my wife and I to use Global Entry than it did for two of our friends to go through the regular immigration process. Still, such a breeze, I wish more places in Europe did it.

Coonskin_Cap
Dec 6, 2012


I'm currently going through booking my first flight and I'm looking to do it on the cheap.

Origin - London (Gatwick (LGW) Preferred)

Destination - Vancouver, Canada (YVR, YYZ) (Any airport)

Duration - One way, preferably before 30th august

Flexiblity - Whenever date, just before 30th august is fine, as I have to be at a university to accept a welcome package and id card. Also, they are the key to securing funding for my stay there, hence why before 30th aug is the sticker here.

Looking at some sources, Air transat is offering a good deal for the 29th august, about Ł490~, travel-up gives me that price but has a horrible reputation online. I've heard better things about Expedia, (Ł505) but am unsure if it's actually as good as it seems.

Thanks in advance

Edit: Forgot codes!

Coonskin_Cap fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2013 around 20:54

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


Coonskin_Cap posted:

I'm currently going through booking my first flight and I'm looking to do it on the cheap.

Origin - London (Gatwick (LGW) Preferred)

Destination - Vancouver, Canada (YVR, YYZ) (Any airport)

Duration - One way, preferably before 30th august

Flexiblity - Whenever date, just before 30th august is fine, as I have to be at a university to accept a welcome package and id card. Also, they are the key to securing funding for my stay there, hence why before 30th aug is the sticker here.

Looking at some sources, Air transat is offering a good deal for the 29th august, about Ł490~, travel-up gives me that price but has a horrible reputation online. I've heard better things about Expedia, (Ł505) but am unsure if it's actually as good as it seems.

Thanks in advance

Edit: Forgot codes!

Using the IATA codes isn't required; it's just something I do often without thinking so I wanted everyone to know what they were.

AirTransat does appear to be cheapest on 8/24 at 501GBP/$769USD. It's a crappy coach experience but there's a reason they're the cheapest. YVR is the only airport in Vancouver; YYZ is in Toronto which is the other side of Canada. The next cheapest option involves Heathrow, a plane change in Frankfurt and Seattle, and a bunch more time. It really depends on what is most important to you, time or cost. There are busses that go between LHR and LGW so you don't have to do the London shuffle (Gatwick Express to Victoria Station, Tube to Paddington, and then Tube or Heathrow Connect/Express to Heathrow).

As far as booking is concerned, any of the above are going to work ok. You don't really have a booking choice if you choose one of the itineraries that has multiple carriers that don't interline on it.

Coonskin_Cap
Dec 6, 2012


Okay thanks for your answer, was just making sure there wasn't some trick to it that I was missing. Thanks for your help!

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009



Thanks thread. The OP helped me find a roundtrip from SLC to NYC for only 336$ in early november. When I looked earlier with Shatner Search, I was quoted 400$ for just a one way.

Mackieman
Jan 11, 2003

I'M MARION
COTESWORTH-HAYE


KirbyKhan posted:

Thanks thread. The OP helped me find a roundtrip from SLC to NYC for only 336$ in early november. When I looked earlier with Shatner Search, I was quoted 400$ for just a one way.



If you want to post more specific dates and durations, I'll see if I can't better that fare, though it seems like the going rate for an almost transcon like that.

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Mister Adequate
Oct 29, 2011

thingken of fast

Mackieman posted:

Aye, I've done it in Shannon and it was great, though the extra security screening where we had to take off our shoes was . I had Global Entry but one kiosk was down so it actually took longer for my wife and I to use Global Entry than it did for two of our friends to go through the regular immigration process. Still, such a breeze, I wish more places in Europe did it.

Hang on, so if you're flying out of Dublin or Shannon to the US, you can go through US immigration before even taking off? That seems immensely more sensible than the usual system for any number of reasons. Do you know if any airports on Great Britain do that? I'm looking to fly out to Bozeman in a couple of months and between my regular anxiety issues and the added massive stress of a day-long intercontinental coach travel (when you're over 6 feet tall no less) I tend to get worked up going through immigration, which has led to a couple of highly unenjoyable extra scrutiny episodes.

Current plan is flying from Birmingham as it's closest to me and no more expensive than the London airports but I'm fairly flexible and for a less stressful customs and immigration experience I'd go to bloody Kirkwall.

e; On further inspection it doesn't seem other airports near me do that, but this page explicitly says you can fly from Brum to Dublin and then avail yourself of US Preclearance. Now I just have to see if I can connect through Dublin with a price comparable to the ones through Amsterdam or Paris.

Mister Adequate fucked around with this message at Jul 29, 2013 around 04:16

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