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Europe to Canada flights routed through US?

New York City, New...
posts: 4
reviews: 23
Europe to Canada flights routed through US?

Did a search to fly open jag from Geneva to Montreal and then New York back to Geneva on a variety of websites: Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Cheapoair, etc. All of the great prices had layovers in the US and anything direct to Canada from Europe was incredibly expensive. Any ideas why?

4 replies to this topic
Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 25,040
1. Re: Europe to Canada flights routed through US?

1) Indirect flights tend to be cheaper than direct flights EVERYWHERE as airline A wants you to fly with them via hub AA instead of airline B via BB

2) Little competition on direct routes

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 14,032
reviews: 5
2. Re: Europe to Canada flights routed through US?

What Alan says, plus the added feature that flights to Canada via the US are extra inconvenient, as you have to clear US immigration and customs en route. So those routes have to be priced cheaper.

If you do choose a route via the US, allow at least 3 hours transit time in order to clear US formalities and security. And, though it's okay to search for options on the likes of Kayak, book your flights directly with the airline. Best after sales service as you cut out the third party middleman which with online bookers can be horrendous.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 7,900
reviews: 13
3. Re: Europe to Canada flights routed through US?

Just to add if you are not a US citizen then you will need an ESTA or visa (subject to your nationality) to enter the US even if only in transit.

And stay away from Cheapoair unless you want a lot of hassle.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 4,153
reviews: 75
4. Re: Europe to Canada flights routed through US?

There's very little competition on flights from Canada to Europe. The US has four major international airlines, United, American, Delta, and USAir, at least until the American/USAir merger. From a US city to any major European destination, you can usually choose from at least a couple of these, plus one or more European airlines. In Canda, the only non-European option is Air Canda. With fewer airlines flying, there's less competition on direct routes to Canada than on direct routes to the US.

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