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My daughter and her friend want to fly from O'Hare in Chicago to Frankfurt Int'l in Germany on August 1st and return on August 21st. They're both 17 and have their passports. The prices seem to jump all over the place, and hidden fees and extras abound. I'm getting really frustrated and hope the Hive can get us on track asap. I'd like to order tonight, if anyone can offer some tips. Thank you!
 
Posts: 865 | Registered: November 07, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Check the website Cheapoair.com.


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Posts: 6420 | Registered: September 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Google flights is a good search engine. If you want to avoid extra fees then avoid the low cost carriers. Your point is well taken that you really have to look into the fees to calculate the total cost. Sometimes the low cost carriers can actually cost you just as much and give less.

And obligatory Taken mention.
 
Posts: 554 | Registered: January 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm literally laughing my ass off about your obligatory mention! My daughter has my sick sense of humor, and has been teasing my wife about watching that movie since January, when our oldest daughter went to Greece. Mom said "no way, I can't watch that until you're safely home from Germany!"
 
Posts: 865 | Registered: November 07, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Google Flights is your friend. Best thing is the buy link directly connects to the airline itself so, you're buying from the airline and not a third party operation. The other is you can see the price patterns for the dates you want and have updates sent to you when those prices change, you'll need a gmail account for this very handy feature.

Hidden costs are no such thing, it's just a matter of understanding how ticketing works. For starters, certain countries have higher taxes and surcharges at their airports; flying into the UK, is much more expensive than flying into Italy or, Ireland. Here in the US, Newark and Dulles are the fare crushers. Some cities have more than one airport, deGaulle is Paris' main airport, however it's much cheaper to fly into/out of Orly. Same with Heathrow vs Gatwick, Milan's Malpensia vs Linate or, SFO vs Oakland/San Jose...the catch is these airports are located in more remote areas but handle the overflow flights and the low-cost carriers that are trying to reduce said surcharges.

The other issue is utilizing low-cost carriers. Instead of mainline, multi-class carriers, these airlines provide a basic fare that strips away all the amenities and no class separation. If you're just looking to get from A-to-B at the minimum amount, these carriers work. Things to keep in-mind, carry-on luggage is usually restricted to specific weight (more restrictive than the big airlines allow), checked luggage is a charge, seat assignment is a charge, in-flight food is a charge, entertainment is a charge. If you pay up-front during booking, it's less costly than paying at the airport. Checked bag may run $25/bag at booking but, you skip-it instead and try to check at the airport, that charge changes to $100/bag. Norweigian Air I've heard nothing but good things, they fly brand new 787's which for a low-cost carrier I'm wondering how they make money. RyanAir, Allegiant, Vueling, Easy Jet..I've heard mixed stories, however, if the flight is less than 2-hours...I can put up with a lot.

Flying to Europe in August = hot and busy; cheap flights will be difficult at this point. Frankfurt is a Star Alliance airport meaning, it's a hub for those airlines that are apart of Star Alliance: United. O'Hare is a big United hub so, there's plenty of flights going back n'forth between the two airports. Basic fare rule for Europe I work with: $400 of less, excellent. $500 or less, great. $600 of less, not bad. Above $600 but less than $1k, depends. Over $1k, you're doing it all-wrong.
 
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Wow airlines



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Posts: 4394 | Location: Home | Registered: April 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Take with a grain of salt the baggage allowances if you're transiting a foreign country from a US carrier. United might say you can have two bags, but in the EU it might be one. It doesn't matter when you get there what the US carrier said...make sure you can take what the foreign carrier says you can take, if you have a connection on a foreign code sharing partner.

I've seen people throwing electronics away at Heathrow when they couldn't take everything from the arrival terminal to the connecting one, and the local security was entirely unsympathetic to those who believed the US carrier over a foreign one.
 
Posts: 2479 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just finished 21 day, 2 country (multi-city stops flight). I can tell you that Expedia and Travelocity are one and the same on-line booking company. Not sure if the BEST, but good to know they are the same company. I booked everything through Travelocity and didn’t have any problems. I was VERY careful each time I select an airline (reading baggage allowance, seat and meal reservation, etc.) We used Japan Air Line all the way to
And back from our destination. Always on time. Stewardess are friendly.

Someone already mentioned the “luggage allowance”. When we were shopping around, airlines that offers cheaper flights
Only allows 1 checked in luggage and one small back pack type for carry on. Now, the same airline also offers a higher ticket price, but allows 2 checked in luggage. Read the fine print before selecting the tickets.


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Posts: 1236 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:
Take with a grain of salt the baggage allowances if you're transiting a foreign country from a US carrier. United might say you can have two bags, but in the EU it might be one. It doesn't matter when you get there what the US carrier said...make sure you can take what the foreign carrier says you can take, if you have a connection on a foreign code sharing partner.

I've seen people throwing electronics away at Heathrow when they couldn't take everything from the arrival terminal to the connecting one, and the local security was entirely unsympathetic to those who believed the US carrier over a foreign one.


That's a good tip.


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Posts: 20274 | Location: Out of Jersey, Into Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Normally, prices are the cheapest if you book them from the end of March to mid April. As I have been told by people that work for the airlines.

I just booked a flight last week for this coming October. It was about 100 bucks cheaper than what I paid last year. For the same flight.
 
Posts: 495 | Registered: February 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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FWIW, I fly a lot and always book through the airline. When you buy your ticket through anyone else the airline will put you to the rear of the queue when the flight is delayed or cancelled. Saving money is great until you’re not saving money.
 
Posts: 5721 | Location: New England | Registered: January 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:
Take with a grain of salt the baggage allowances if you're transiting a foreign country from a US carrier. United might say you can have two bags, but in the EU it might be one. It doesn't matter when you get there what the US carrier said...make sure you can take what the foreign carrier says you can take, if you have a connection on a foreign code sharing partner.

Had that happen during my first Europe trip. Did a carry-on with a 22"roller on Delta 757, changed planes in Heathrow onto a BA A320. Flight attendant couldn't close the overhead hatch, your bag sir needs to get checked. I'll be damned, overhead's in Europe are slightly smaller than the same model planes in the US.
 
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I use www.kayak.com


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quote:
Originally posted by PD:
FWIW, I fly a lot and always book through the airline.


Same here.


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Posts: 20274 | Location: Out of Jersey, Into Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought the rule was 54 days out gets the cheapest fare. But then if you're constantly searching the same dates from the same computer, the booking platforms know you're going to buy and the price for those dates starts going up. There are really only one or two big booking sites and all the ones you've heard of subscribe to them and then repackage the user interface for their own websites.
 
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Posts: 9601 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PD:
FWIW, I fly a lot and always book through the airline. When you buy your ticket through anyone else the airline will put you to the rear of the queue when the flight is delayed or cancelled. Saving money is great until you’re not saving money.


Also a lot of times booking through the airline gets you at least 1 checked bag for free or something else that you'd have to pay extra on, on sites like Travelocity.

I use Travelocity or one of those sights to search which airlines fly from where I want to go and when, then I almost always book directly from the airline and it's usually a few bucks less and you get other perks.
 
Posts: 16167 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On a trip to Japan, I searched the online travel sites for several weeks for the best price possible. I ended up going with a travel agent that was recommended to me. They saved me over $1,000 better than the best online price and booked us on an airline for the international flight that had not even shown up on any of the online ticket websites (Singapore Airlines,outstanding airline!).
 
Posts: 505 | Location: E. Central Missouri | Registered: January 05, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PD:
FWIW, I fly a lot and always book through the airline. When you buy your ticket through anyone else the airline will put you to the rear of the queue when the flight is delayed or cancelled. Saving money is great until you’re not saving money.


^^^ I fly >100K miles a year, and ALWAYS book directly with the airlines for this reason.
 
Posts: 895 | Location: Lake County Montana - bear country | Registered: March 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Check prices on Google flights and itasoftware.com (the booking engine that Google uses). Then check other airlines, like Southwest, who do not enter prices into Google, so they do not show up there.

Get your flight numbers, and as mentioned above, use that info to BOOK DIRECTLY with the carrier.
 
Posts: 373 | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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