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Summer Fares to Europe Are Way, Way Up

Anyone looking to make a jaunt to Europe this summer either has been or quickly will be extremely unpleasantly surprised by the fares they’re seeing.  Summer round trips from the east coast are in the $1400 range (give or take) for flights to Paris, Rome and London.  I’ve been watching these fares for years, and we’re up 40-50% from historical levels. Even last year, when we saw fares consistently over $1100, seems like a bargain compared to what we’re seeing now.

This isn’t to say that as we get closer fares won’t come down.  They might.  But they are sky-high right now.  (Before you start complaining about the airlines, they’re charging this amount because they can).  If you’re interested in saving a few dollars, Icelandair and Iceland Express are both offering fares about $300-400 less than their nonstop competitors.

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  1. Yeah, even last year, it seemed obvious that the airlines didn’t need any truly discretionary travellers to fill up summer transatlantic flights. Americans don’t really travel much, but there seem to be enough “once in a lifetime” summer travellers to fill the available seats. Add this to the people who HAVE to travel in summer across the Pond, and you get to $1400. Meanwhile, the flyertalk crowd waits until an airline screws up (usually by forgetting to add a fuel surcharge) and flies for $200 off-season.

  2. I don´t get Airlines, they complaint they don´t have any business that´s why the raise prices and add hidden (and not so hidden fees) and then they cry when their flights leave empty!

    Europe is great during the summer, but if don´t have the time to come at a low season, then it´s best if you save some money by renting an apartment – instead of staying at an expensive hotel. Also instead of renting cars or paying for cabs it´s better if you walk or take public transportation. Remember the best way to experience any city is to walk around it.

    When it comes to food – plan ahead – a lot of restaurants offer discounts if you book your reservation online. Plus, browse the web to find special coupons or offers to museums and other landmarks of interest. If you have students travelling with you, or you are a student yourself, remember to always bring your Student ID, you can get discounts at theaters, restaurants and even clothing stores.

    Last, but not least, if you do rent an apartment enjoy the kitchen amenities. Make your own breakfast and buy some bread, local cheese and meat cuts and make yourself a nice sandwich that you can snack on when hungry. This will avoid you buying an over-prized snack.

    Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy your European vacation and make up for those airline tickets and fees.

  3. I was just going to reply “icelandair” but you mentioned it. Yeah, and consider a free stopover in Iceland for a couple of days. Seriously worth it, it’s like you’re on another planet; Gulfoss, black sand beaches, volcanic flows, blue lagoon, geysir (can’t remember the name), Reykjavic, glaciers. Just wow.
    No I’m not from iceland nor do I work for their tourist office. But when you can include 3 days in Iceland as part of another trip, it just adds so much to the trip. Plus, it makes it so that you have very short flights (4 hours then spend 3 days then another 3 hours and you’re in Europe). Just wow, I love iceland. Maybe I should move there, eheheh.

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