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Old 01-18-2013, 05:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Airfare to Europe - Help!

I am hoping to take my daughter to Switzerland to visit friends in March. We will fly from Newark or JFK to Basel or Zurich. Newark to Basel would be the most convenient.

I am looking for any advice on how to get a decent airfare. Also, if anyone knows what a good airfare is, please let me know! All I know is that it is looking like almost $1200 each round trip, and that's a bit hard to swallow! But if that's the best it gets, then so be it!

Thanks so much for any help!

Debbie G
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is it worth looking at flying into somewhere else, like Heathrow in London or Charles de Gaulle in Paris or Amsterdam's Schipol? With those, I would expect a lot more competition in fares, so they should be cheaper, then you can see if it's cheaper to do that and pick up a flight into Basel or Zurich.

By the way, we're planning on going back to Switzerland in early September and have Basel on the list, as we never made it there last time.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For transatlantic flights, I usually check a website like Expedia regularly. Once I know which airline I want, I eventually book our flights through their website as that allows me to pick our seats right away.

I've found that I get the best prices about 6 to 8 months in advance. Flights have gotten quite expensive in recent years, though. For our flights from Germany to Orlando in May we're paying about €900 (roughly $1,200) roundtrip per person, plus another few hundred euros for economy plus. We have one layover (in the U.S.) each way. I could have saved about $200 per person if we'd been willing to have another layover in Europe.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input. I looked at prices in the fall for March and they were not much different than they are now. We were not able to commit to the trip at that point, and hoped that our friends would be staying in Basel for another year. But, they will be returning to the US this summer, so I really want to visit! We will be joining their family as they travel for their spring break, most likely visiting Munich and Austria. Anywhere they go will be amazing, I am sure. My DD12 has never been to Europe, and it's been many years since my DH and I spent a few weeks driving in Germany, topped by a few days in Paris.

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh wow, it sounds like you're in for a wonderful trip. Munich is still on my list of places to go and we've only made it as far as Vienna in Austria, but that was beautiful.
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Ready for breakfast in Lumiere's on our magical Mediterranean vacation. A trip report for my day out at Leeds Castle is now underway.

I'm Cheryl and I'm the author of PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers and the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide I'm also one of the PassPorter guides for the Disney Vacation Club, Eateries, Globetrotting, Globetrotting Trip Reports, Disneyland Resort Paris and Disneyland Trip Reports forums.

My Countdown Counting down to: A day out at Hatfield House
3 days, 13 hours, 36 minutes
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My Previous TripsDisney: 17 trips to WDW, 5 to Disneyland in California, 7 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 6 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy to the Caribbean (three times), Alaska (once) and the Mediterranean (twice). Non-Disney (because otherwise I can't keep track...): American cities (Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC), American National Parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Death Valley, Everglades, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Virgin Islands, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion), Hawaii (Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Big Island) and Europe (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Spain (including Tenerife, Lanzarote and Mallorca), Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Monaco, Finland, Norway and Sweden)
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Any suggestions for airlines to avoid or to consider? One flight I saw was Turkish Air! Don't think I would chose that one, but not based on any actual knowledge!

As you can tell, we don't fly much, and haven't been overseas in years. It's only a single trip, but I would like it to be as smooth as possible. It will be way out of my DD's comfort zone. She will be very excited, of course, but it will be exhausting, and she is so not a trooper!

Thanks again!

Debbie
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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British Airways are still very good and, for flights around Europe, we use Easyjet a lot. Apart from that (and Virgin Atlantic of course to get to the US ) we haven't really flown with anyone else. I'm sure Sabine will have knowledge of some other European airlines....
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Ready for breakfast in Lumiere's on our magical Mediterranean vacation. A trip report for my day out at Leeds Castle is now underway.

I'm Cheryl and I'm the author of PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers and the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide I'm also one of the PassPorter guides for the Disney Vacation Club, Eateries, Globetrotting, Globetrotting Trip Reports, Disneyland Resort Paris and Disneyland Trip Reports forums.

My Countdown Counting down to: A day out at Hatfield House
3 days, 13 hours, 36 minutes
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsDisney: 17 trips to WDW, 5 to Disneyland in California, 7 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 6 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy to the Caribbean (three times), Alaska (once) and the Mediterranean (twice). Non-Disney (because otherwise I can't keep track...): American cities (Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC), American National Parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Death Valley, Everglades, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Virgin Islands, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion), Hawaii (Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Big Island) and Europe (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Spain (including Tenerife, Lanzarote and Mallorca), Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Monaco, Finland, Norway and Sweden)
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually, Turkish Airlines is pretty good! I can recommend Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, United, and KLM.
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My Countdown Counting down to: 7-night Med cruise on the Disney Magic!!!
339 days, 16 hours, 36 minutes
My Previous TripsWDW: 04/2007 (ASMo), 04/2008 (AS, POR, WL), 05/2009 (BCV, AKV - Opening Day!!!, SSR), 03/2010 (BWV, GF Concierge!!!, BLT), 05/2013 (POFQ, POP); DCL: 04/2008 (Wonder, Bahamas), 04/2009 (Magic, Western Caribbean), 08/2010 (Magic in Europe!), 05/2013 (Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean); DVC Vero Beach: 04/2008, 04/2009; DVC Hilton Head Island: 05/2013; DL California: 09/2005; DLP: 03/1996 (Sequoia Lodge), 09/1996, 03/1997, 06/2002 (Hotel Santa Fe), 09/2007 (Hotel Santa Fe), 12/2008 (Sequoia Lodge), 03/2013 (Hotel New York); Tokyo DL: 04/1998 /// Non-Disney trips: Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Denmark (Copenhagen), Finland (Helsinki), France (Paris, Côte d'Azur), Germany (Berlin, Munich), Grand Cayman, Great Britain (London, Gibraltar), Italy (Venice, Florence, Pisa), Japan (Tokyo), Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Mexico, Monaco (Monte Carlo), Morocco (Marrakesh), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Norway (Oslo, Bergen, North Cape), Portugal (Lisbon), Spain (Barcelona, Mallorca), Sweden (Stockholm), Switzerland (CERN, Zurich), Tunisia, Turkey, USA
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting, Sabine, that you like turkish Air!

Thanks to you both, Cheryl and Sabine. You have been very helpful.

Debbie
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