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Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

Hoquiam
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Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

My husband and I are finally at a point in our lives where we can do some travelling to Europe. We can easily fly out of two international airports (Seattle and Portland). Oh, Vancouver BC, too, if the price is good enough for the extra drive to that airport. So make that three.

My question: Is there somewhere to find out what airlines fly to Europe from those various airports and what hubs those airlines use that will, in general, be their cheapest option?

I'm asking because let's say, for example, that flights into Amsterdam and Frankfurt are always cheapest from all the carriers flying from these three airports. Then it would make sense to me to usually just plan on flying into them and then transferring to a European low-cost carrier or taking the train to our final destination unless, of course, some kind of special fare popped up negating this plan.

Does this make sense? If it does, how would I find out that information?

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1. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

You do realise Europe is thousands of miles across? And you can't just catch the train. Keflavik is a long way from Istanbul......

LCCs tend not to use hubs, so a long haul hub and spoke approach you suggest won't neccarsarily be cheap. There is no "lazy" way, why do think companies make millions doing the job of finding cheaper fares?

You're best bet is to look at the major routes, with competition and work from there, and do some trials, sites like Skyscanner or Kayak can help, though you may find flying closer is more expensive for the flight but cheaper in total. It would help to know your destination, as "Europe" is as vague as "North America"

Sydney/Melbourne
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2. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

The lazy way is to find an outstanding Travel Agent.

But that could be more time consuming than doing the research yourself.

Ask around among your friends, relatives, business associates etc. maybe someone knows of a great TA in your area.

I do agree that the routes with the greatest competition will rob ably yield the best prices so start with London, Paris, Rome ... The big and popular cities with lots of airlines using them.

Edited: 2:44 am, August 05, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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3. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

YVR, SEA and PDX all have Arrivals and Departures pages. Go to those pages and look at some of the destinations and airlines to discover who flies where. Some may be seasonal, some may offer year round service.

Low cost carriers may have low base fares, but make a dummy booking with one to discover the full cost of a journey before booking automatically with the airline. Factor in, as mentioned above, the potential cost of travelling to or from an airport at a distance from your destination city.

When you book rail tickets, don't use a third party agent like RailEurope or thetrainline.com, but book directly with the train operating company. Third party websites may not have all fares loaded and will almost certainly charge booking fees. Rail tickets go on sale from about 12 weeks to 120 days in advance of travel dates; some fares are best booked well in advance, some are the same price for walkup tickets on the day.

UK
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4. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

Does this make sense

----------

No.

:-)

You've completely underestimated the size of Europe which means you've omitted the extra cost of hotels, train and plane fares to the intended end destination, the potential additional luggage costs for flying so called low cost carriers, the lost time to cater for delays due to DIY connections, and the lost time travelling from somewhere you didn't wish to be in the first place.

You've also omitted the fact that routes which involve connections from an airline may be cheaper than a direct route, for example, it might be cheaper to fly Seattle-London-Paris with BA as one purchase than Seattle-Paris with Air France, because the inconvenience of the connection with B means they offer lower fares.

Add onto this seasonal variations and sales.

So, as someone else posted, no, its massively complex, this is why companies spend millions to determine what prices are for diferent routes. If it was as easy as you'd hoped there wouldn't be any need for price comparison websites.

australia
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5. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

I use this site which tells me what airlines fly in and out of particular airports and is also good for excluding certain airports when searching if you do not want to go through them

www.wego.com

I then go to the airline site and book if the price is right

australia
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6. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

it brings up LCC's as well

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
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7. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

< because the inconvenience of the connection with B means they offer lower fares. >

If they didn't offer a lower fare than AF then no-one would book it unless they hated AF. On non-direct routes airlines not only compete with the airlines flying direct but also the ones offering other non-direct routes to the same place - so you'll probably find KLM, Lufthansa, AA, United and all the other airlines that have Trans-Atlantic routes offering flights.

Nashville, TN
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8. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

Yeah, go on Trip Advisor and ask others to do the research for you.

Hong Kong, China
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9. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

Use a fare search engine like

skyscanner.net

You can also google airport webpages to find out which airlines fly there

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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10. Re: Is there a "lazy" way to find cheapest flights to Europe?

Once you have figured out which airlines fly the routes you are interested in, sign up on their websites for their email newsletters to be notified of seat sale fares. Or, if you are a facebook user, "like" their page. Last year, we took a six-week holiday in Europe that started with a very cheap fare with KLM to Amsterdam ($300 cheaper, each, compared to the same flights two years earlier), and then we added on trains, buses, rental cars, and flights to get around between our various destinations within Europe. (We visited Amsterdam, Belgium, Portugal and Spain on that trip.) KLM recently did a similar promotion again on their Canadian facebook page, where they asked people to vote on a destination from among about six choices, and then they offered it on sale very inexpensively. (Lisbon was the winner.)