General Question

Bun's avatar

Most affordable way to fly from the US to Germany?

Asked by Bun (160 points ) March 11th, 2011

I have never traveled internationally before and have no idea where to start. The prices that come up on flight search sites like Expedia and Kayak seem astronomical. Any helpful tips, i.e. airline/site suggestions and how far ahead to book for the best deals?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Consider paying a travel agent. They have a lot of expertise.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Jump an AMC flight if you are in the military. But they are space available and rank decides who gets bumped.

Judi's avatar

I’ve found that I just have to watch all the sites like a hawk, and when the rare bargain shows up, be prepared to snatch it.

YARNLADY's avatar

We found a good fare to Europe ($1,000 round trip) by using our membership in AAA. Beware that they are just a customer for a third party provider, such as Expedia. You are not really working with AAA.

The fares vary depending on when you travel. Usually you will get the best fares by going direct to the airline. We discovered if you book your connecting flights yourself, you can usually save money, but it is very confusing and time consuming.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Sites like FareCompare.com allow you to compare several sites at once, which is handy. I also sign up for airfare alerts for local airports; sometimes there are super good deals.

Additionally, it’s best to book midweek, like Tues-Thur, as fares tend to be cheaper those days. It helps to also pay attention to the time of year. Right now should be a good time, as should Sept. or Oct., basically the times when less people are traveling (higher fares during holidays and summer).

I’ve flown to Italy roundtrip for as little as $450, and as much as $1300. Fares vary a lot depending on many, many factors. You just have to be patient and vigilant and you should be able to find something more affordable. In my experience, the sooner you book the trip prior to your desire departure date, the better. The fares tend to go up on a daily basis as they approach your departure date.

As a final resort, if fares just seem expensive no matter what, check out flying into X airport and then taking a budget flight via RyanAir or EasyJet to your final destination. Like, perhaps you might find a great deal for flying into London. You could take a cheapo flight from London to Germany via one of those two budget airlines (usually cheaper than taking the train in Europe).

sarahjane90's avatar

I got a great fare from Cardiff > Atlanta for 475£ just a few days ago, leaving at the end of this month. Right now should be a great time to book. I also got it on Expedia. Try booking from Tues-Thurs, as said above. I’ve noticed fares can be up to 200–300£ more expensive on other days closer to and on the weekend! Ouch!

downtide's avatar

try Aer Lingus. You’ll probably have to change flights in Dublin but Aer Lingus is one of the most affordable airlines in Europe. And there are plenty worse airports to waste an hour or two than Dublin.

bolwerk's avatar

Follow Lufthansa USA on Twitter. Sometimes they give you great deals. http://twitter.com/#!/Lufthansa_USA

Maybe if you don’t find the city you want, you can find a deal on a city close enough that it’s an easy train trip.

asmonet's avatar

You may also want to consider that different airports have different fees that change ticket prices. For example, it’s always $300 more for me to get from Virginia to Seattle than for me to get from Virginia to LA. See if there are any airports near the one you first looked at that may have cheaper flights.

Also, if possible you should consider changing your date of travel to a month, week, day that’s ‘off-season’ for that country or locale. The prices are generally drastically different depending on when you book, how far out you book, and where you’re flying to and from.

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