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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!
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.
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.
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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.
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!
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....