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Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

Washington, D.C.
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Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

We are hoping to fly nonstop next summer from Wash. DC to London (6/22) and then home from Paris (7/7). Based on historic prices, I had anticipated paying about $1,000 r/t per traveler. My multi-city flight search via Orbitz and Expedia, however, have turned up fares of $1,500 each. (From what I can tell, Continental/United are the only airlines that fly both of those routes nonstop. I am using "WAS," "LON," and "PAR" airport codes to maximize my options.) It's not an Olympics issue, because r/t fares just to Paris are even higher, $1,700 r/t. And it doesn't seem to be a USD valuation issue, because the same WAS-LON-PAR-WAS flight next month is less than $1,000 each.

It's been nearly 20 years since I booked flights to Europe, so I might be unfamiliar with how best to do this. Do such fares typically start high and then come down in price? If so, when do you expect is the best time to get lower fares? For domestic flights, I typically get the best prices by booking as soon as flights become available -- does it work differently with flights to Europe? Many thanks!

Barbados
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1. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

In general, travelling to Europe between June 15th and September 15 is an expensive venture. I would check again in November to see if the fares have been adjusted downwards.

USA
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2. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

I think you are a little early. Follow prices for next few months and if you see a dip, take the plunge when you are comfortable.

San Diego
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3. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

I think the answer is "It's been 20 years since I booked flights to Europe"!!

Flights THIS summer have been VERY expensive!!

I wouldn't search through Expedia because they only show the seats they are able to sell.

I would use a flight search engine like:

www.kayak.com which shows airlines sites + 3rd party sites like Expedia , all in one spot. IF the prices are similar I'd buy from the airline directly.

You can see your type of flight by clicking on "multi city" and then putting in your dates. You can also see them that way on specific airline sites.

I often get best prices 3-5months out after the airlines begin to see how the seats are selling and then decide to offer "sales".

THIS year "sale" prices were quite high!! Who knows what they'll be like for next summer??

North Carolina
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4. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

I don't believe that even the most experienced travelers know when to bookl a flight to Europe.

I do agree with the previous poster--check again in November---they may have been adjusted.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

It's much too early to book for next summer. Fares may drop a bit for peak season travel but - given the parameters in place now - they're not likely to rise substantially between now and, say, February or March 2012.

Revenue management boffin along with the software and programs will take data from this year and consider loads and yields before settting fares for next summer, so hang on for a few months.

Glasgow, United...
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6. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

We're also finding transatlantic fares expensive for next summer. Your dates are a little early to be affected, but the Olympics are being held in London next summer, and I think we're seeing the impact of increased demand for that too.

Do try British Airways - they have a sale on right now.

Barbados
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7. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

I agree, BA at the moment would be your best choice.

Liverpool, UK
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8. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

In recent years many airlines have cut back on capacity reducing supply which drives up prices and you have also had fuel increases resulting in higher fuel surcharges.

June/July are peak months for travellers from UK/France to visit USA which also keeps prices high.

I did a search on Kayak and got nothing less than $1500 even for indirect flights which I thought were on the high side but there is no guarantee they will reduce in coming months.

You normally get some sales early in the year but there is no guarantee these would cover your dates or route - I would suggest monitor on a regular basid (daily if possible) and buy as soon as you see a fare that you are happy with as the lower fares tend to go quickly.

TomC

South West England
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9. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

Are you including a Saturday in your travel plans? I've booked flights to New York from LHR next year and one of the bits of advice I read is that if you do not include a Saturday, you are considered a business traveller, so get stung for it.

Another piece of advice I have read is that the week between Christmas and New Year is when airlines tend to have sales and that might be a good time to look for cheaper flights.

Summer of course is peak season for tourism in Europe at that time. Have you considered coming at a slightly different time?

Edited: 28 August 2011, 23:10
South West England
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10. Re: Any idea why fares to Europe are so high for next summer?

Sorry, forgot to say, it doesn't always follow for Transatlantic flights that the earlier the book, the cheaper you will get the flights. As well as around Christmas times, I have also read that prices may drop a little about three months before the planned travel date.