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Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

Alabama
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Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

Experienced travelers please help! I am beginning to look for seven tickets from Atlanta to Rome and back from Venice to Atlanta for the end of September/ beginning of October. However, I'm finding long layovers sometimes 30 hours in other US airports being required to get a reasonable price. Is there some magic or problem with flying from Atlanta to Italy? Or perhaps it is too soon? Advice?

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

Use e.g. http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ to find prices, but book direct with the airline. Use 'multi-city' option.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

Also, don't try to book seven tickets at one time. Fares are priced in different "fare buckets". If you search for seven, and there are only four tickets available in the lowest fare bucket, all seven will price out in the first fare bucket that has seven available tickets, which may be higher.

Does that make sense? Start searching for two at a time and keep adding to see if you can keep the price the same.

It's not too soon, IMO. Sometimes, the least expensive flights have the most undesirable connections.

Edited: 26 April 2013, 05:35
Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

>> Is there some magic or problem with flying from Atlanta to Italy? <<

Actually yes quite possibly, in respect of flying from Atlanta.

ATL is a major job airport with lots of non-stop flights to Europe. And as these non-stops are the most convenient flights, they're often priced much higher than indirect options connecting in the US. You'll probably (make that will) find a similar problem when you originate (especially international) journeys in other major hub cities such as Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

So, the cheaper options are invariably less convenient and have a domestic feeder to another US airport before the international leg. And of course the cheapest options are the least convenient, sometimes involving overnights at the intermediate airport.

Hans' advice is good (use that Matrix site). But you may still have to wade through lots of inconvenient options until you find a good option. The problem could be compounded by the same actual flight options being duplicated by code shares.

You may also find it easier (though longer) to go to each airline's website and search that way, or on Matrix look at the fares for airlines individually (select by airline at the top of the search results).

I'm glad I don't live in a major gateway city. :-)

Edited: 26 April 2013, 05:42
Madrid
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4. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

I agree with USBT.In addition,flying VCE-ATL may prove expensive.Use Matrix to look at open jaw tickets ATL-FCO/MXP-ATL,and take the train between VCE-MXP.The new high speed train line between VCE-MXP is now open and is fast and inexpensive.

Alabama
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5. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

All...thanks for the helpful information. I definitely will book two or three at the time and try the MXP-ATL instead of VCE-ATL. Plus the I'll try out the Matrix software...I didn't realize it would do multi-city trips.

A couple of other questions....

USBT...I don't exactly understand this "The problem could be compounded by the same actual flight options being duplicated by code shares." Does this mean that several airlines are sharing the same flights? And you could actually book on Alitalia but travel on a Delta flight? Then am I better off to try to figure this out and book half the tickets on Delta and half on Alitalia? (Just using these carriers as examples of course.) Also, I am actually in Montgomery AL and we typically just drive to Atlanta (2 hours) but should I be looking to leave from MGM? Also, we have connection to Charlotte and Dallas (I think) from here as well.

I've flown to Europe from Atlanta in the past but have never had the problems I am having getting to Italy...I always thought it was better flying from a major hub! Flight stuff just doesn't make sense to me!

I'm looking at $1400+ to get something that is reasonably convenient. Is this as good as it gets?

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

"Then am I better off to try to figure this out and book half the tickets on Delta and half on Alitalia?"

I would not do this. If any problems arose, you would not want half of your group to have to deal with Alitalia customer service, while the other half deals with Delta. If I were organizing this, I'd use the matrix software listed above to identify the flights, and then call the airline to make the booking.

It never hurts to check alternative airports, because some airlines discount departures to encourage travel from smaller airports. But, take into consideration that you would want a sizeable layover in Atlanta, and could probably just drive in that amount of time.

Pricing is anyone's guess, but I think that's about in the ballpark of what most people are getting for Europe.

Alabama
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7. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

That makes sense not to deal with two airlines...no problem if everything goes smoothly but a real tangle if you have a problem! You also said to call the airline to book...is this better than trying to do the website? Isn't there an extra charge to talking to a real person? But maybe worth it to get the flights that I want!

Okay, (thanks to the Matrix site) I have found a flight for $1200 from Montgomery-Charlotte-Rome and back from Venice-Phillie-Charlotte-MGM...Not great coming back but manageable because the layovers are of reasonable length. Who would recommend that I go ahead and book this versus waiting to closer to the date? This seems like a pretty good cost to me...

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

You might just ask the airline if there's a fee to book by phone. With the number of travelers you have and the complicated itinerary, I'd probably prefer to have a representative walk through it and tell me about any opportunities to save money or alternative routes. Other than that, I can't see a reason not to book online.

San Diego
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9. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

$1200 is reasonable these days.

I am also expecting to fly to Europe in September. I am going at the end of the month and plan to watch fares until the end of May or the beginning of June before I buy.

My reasoning is that airlines now are beginning to offer their "sale" fares(still high) for summer and late spring travel so I'd expect if they will lower prices for fall it won't be until these sales are over.

I haven't seen prices go up and down much more than about $100 or so in the last few months so I don't think waiting will hurt me and who knows it may help a bit??? No way to really tell!

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Atlanta-Rome-Venice-Atlanta airline tips

I wouldn't go through all that just to save $200. OTOH it isn't my $200.

What I would do is figure what direct flights even exist. I would guess there are only 1 or 2 airlines going once a day each. I'll take a look when I can get on a full sized computer. Ill go to the Atlanta airport site which is helpfully called Atlanta-airport.com and work with their list of airlines flying out of ATL.

I'd research the simpler Atlanta to Rome flight and then look at options from Venice including the train option as suggested above