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Old 12-28-2008, 11:27 AM   #1
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Hey guys, I was wondering when the best month would be to book flights to Europe (i hear London is the cheapest..) Tickets just went up $200 in the past 2 weeks from $800 to $1000! should i book now or wait it out until they go down again? we plan to leave may 6th and come back June 8th.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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I would wait till late Feb.... Where are you flying out of? London isn't always the cheapest to fly to.....
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by re3ce12 View Post
Hey guys, I was wondering when the best month would be to book flights to Europe (i hear London is the cheapest..) Tickets just went up $200 in the past 2 weeks from $800 to $1000! should i book now or wait it out until they go down again? we plan to leave may 6th and come back June 8th.

yea pretty much in the same hole also. From what i've been seeing, Amsterdam seems to be the cheapest to fly to from new york. but im leaving during the PEAK PEAK time of june 20 , prob come home around early august or late july.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:38 PM   #4
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I booked in December when I flew to Frankfurt last June but that was only because it was some crazy deal on the ticket. Just keep watching prices. And each time you search, make sure you clear the cookies in your history because it jacks up the price each time you look at the same flight if you don't!!!
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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Clearing cookies!!!! Thats some great advice I learned a while back too!
Theres no ONE cheap place to fly into, it all comes down to where you are flying out of, if its a hub for an airline that has EU flights, etc....
Your best bet is to watch weekly for a few months, and jump on it when you see it.
It may sound crazy, but I chose to take 4 flights just to get to EU on the last trip - Charlotte to Atlanta to Baltimore to Reykjavik, to Amsterdam.
Took forever, but had one hell of a price break
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:24 PM   #6
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Good tip with the clearing cookies, I had no idea!
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:02 AM   #7
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try aer lingus into dublin

they've saved my ass time and time again with their low fares, most recently right now as i lay on the floor in terminal 4 in jfk waiting for my flight after delta failed me miserably
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:15 AM   #8
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Also a tip to help tweak your prices quite a bit is to only leave and return on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. You just have to be diligent on watching for a certain price.

Where exactly is your destination?
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:11 AM   #9
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^ Monday's a good day to LEAVE on as well...
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:53 AM   #10
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I think I booked in March for an early June trip. You can register on some sites for deal reminders for a certain route. I did that on orbitz, and they e-mailed me when my flight to Barcelona dropped from $1300 all the way to $800. I'd say keep looking because you can definitely do cheaper than $1000.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:03 PM   #11
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I always try to book as soon as possible, you usually get a good deal and it gets the cost of the airfare out of the way so I can concentrate on saving for spending money!
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:55 PM   #12
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i always wait till the last minute. maybe try talking to a travel agent as they would know if the fares are going to go up or not.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:37 PM   #13
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^^^ I have to disagree on both... Buying last minute pretty much guarantees you a higher fair... And if you are willing to do the work, you will find a better rate online than with a Travel Agent.... They have to get paid somehow, and its gonna come out of your ticket costs..... There are websites aplenty that you can find amazing rates on. You just have to be a bit dilligent and determined
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:36 PM   #14
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Last minute is just about always the way to go, at least for me. Gone back and forth 6 times, only once paid more than $250 each way, only once more than 10 days in advance. The one time I did it was from western North America instead of eastern, and had to travel on a specific day to a specific city. Watch all the airlines on a bunch of key days from a bunch of cities and you just get a 'feel' for what prices 'should' be. Then it becomes a game. You know certain cities are cheaper, (Newark, Toronto etc) so can you get yourself there cheaper than the airlines can on connecting flights.

The best way to do it is pick a 2 weeks or so period, and think of a few key cities you'd consider flying into and conveinient cities to fly from. Maximize your options to minimize your price. Search it all. Expeida and the like are handy tools, but make sure you search the individual airport websites too. The best deal you'll probably ever see transatlantic now is 200ish eastbound, 350ish west (esp since taxes keep going up) so Id just wait till I see something in that vicinity and jump on it. My record was 374 return, tax in to Glasgow from Toronto in Summer 05.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:08 AM   #15
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My experience has been that May flights tend to be a little cheaper than later in the summer so that bodes well.

I have had Marc's experience with last minute booking but that doesn't mean it is ideal to book months in advance either. About 2-3 weeks seems to get me the best deals. Search multiple sites over multiple departure/arrival dates

We have all said this before but it bears repeating: the flight cost is not usually the most expensive portion of your trip. If in order to save 100 bucks you need to stay an extra day or two, or relocate to a city you weren't planning on departing from (eg you want to depart from Amsterdam but it was cheaper to depart from Paris, the cost of getting to and staying in Paris may outweigh the benefit) you'll likely find more cost effective (and time effective) to sacrifice a getting the cheapest possible fare.

Edit: I have found Dublin, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Munich, Brussels and Amsterdam to be cheaper to fly into fwiw.

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Old 01-11-2009, 02:05 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by re3ce12 View Post
Hey guys, I was wondering when the best month would be to book flights to Europe (i hear London is the cheapest..) Tickets just went up $200 in the past 2 weeks from $800 to $1000! should i book now or wait it out until they go down again? we plan to leave may 6th and come back June 8th.
There is no "set" time, day, or month for booking airfares. Generally, if you're booking more than 3 months from departure, the fares that are going to be loaded in the airlines computers are their general fares and not the "deal" or "sale" fares. Within 3 months of departure is often the time to book, but generally more than 14-21 days out. When you get within the 21-day window, it could go either way. The lower fare buckets could be sold out and you'll end up with a much more expensive flight, or you could snag a very good fare that the airline loads to fill seats because otherwise, the flight wouldn't turn a profit. I've had it both ways (at least for domestic travel) where I've paid rock-bottom prices for next day travel...but other times where I've paid through the nose because I had to get somewhere.

London is rarely the cheapest because of HEAVY taxes. From the east coast, Dublin and Shannon are usually the most affordable if there are no other sales going on, as it is the shortest distance to fly and has lower taxes than UK airports. Also, Dublin is especially convenient because you can then take a cheap Ryanair flight almost anywhere in Europe if you book during one of their sales (but be aware of ALL the rules and ALL the fees you could end up paying with Ryanair). I'm only paying $280 roundtrip to fly to Dublin in a few weeks. Granted, it was a good fare that I jumped on while it lasted (it's no longer available) and also, it's winter so it is low season compared with summer...but deals are available!

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Originally Posted by marc873 View Post
And if you are willing to do the work, you will find a better rate online than with a Travel Agent.... They have to get paid somehow, and its gonna come out of your ticket costs
Typically, the industry practice now is for most travel agents to charge a ticketing fee of $20 or more to book your flights. Travel agents are a dying occupation because it is very easy now to find & book your own flights online. Marc is correct in saying that if you work the travel sites, you're going to probably find a better deal than any travel agent can get you.

If you can tell us the airport you're leaving from, we (or at least I) can help you find the best deal on flights since you've already given us your dates of travel. Also, your preference on places in Europe you want to go TO will help. I'd be happy to help you find a deal on a flight.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:12 AM   #17
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I am planning on flying into Shannon, or Dublin for the week of February 15th in 2010..... any ideas on when i should book?
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:42 AM   #18
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I've found that often times flights into Shannon are cheaper than Dublin, so always try both.

I'd start checking prices at the end of this summer. I always use Kayak for airfare searches. Just keep your eye on the prices. Be sure to clear your cookies/cache before searching the same dates/same place again cos airfare sites jack up the prices that way.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #19
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book aer lingus for sure

the only reason to fly into shannon is if you wanna check out the west coast of ireland...or use shannon airport's free wifi

while ryanair does fly out of shannon, their main hub is dublin, so if you're catching a flight out of dublin to the continent best just to pay the extra or $20 whatever amt and fly into dublin

aer lingus round trip in low season prob wont put u back more than $500 RT...their prices are pretty stable so you don't need to hurry and book until they run their sale covering feb 15th 2010...even if by some chance you miss the sale you won't be paying too much

for example, I was able to buy a ticket for the day before the flight for $350 (during a holiday period, NYE)...so not bad
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:17 PM   #20
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thanks so much, you two are the best! and this sites creator may be a god/super human. haha
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