travel advice & savings
 
SAVE on RAIL PASSES LOWEST PRICES / FREE SHIPPING on orders over $449!
Now use the Trip Planner to:
  • Find and Buy Rail Passes
  • Find and Book Hostels
Already know which Rail Pass you need?
Click here and buy now!
Special Eurotrip Member Savings!
7 replies
Don, flying with a 3.5 year-old to Switzerland
outofAtlanta
outofAtlanta's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 66
Member: 719
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 6 days ago.

Don et al.

Good day! I need a little advice.

My wife and I are going to be flying with our 3-1/2 year-old to Switzerland in September. We will be flying out of either Birmingham, AL (BHM) or Atlanta, GA (ATL) and probably into Zurich (ZRH), Basel (BSL), or Geneva (GVA). I am open to other airports but I figure that these are my best options.

I need tickets to cover the period between leaving on 2013/08/28 (or 29 30 or 31) and returning on2013/09/14 (or 15). Some flexibility but not much.

I have looked around in the usual places. A month or so ago they were running $990-1100 but now they appear to be hovering around $1200.

Two questions: What price should I expect and can I get ANY kind of discount for my little one?

Thanks,

outofatlanta

I am leaving from ATL/BHM and traveling for 24 days
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 5 days ago.

Rail travel is expensive in Switzerland, so if you only need to be in one of those areas, then we need to consider the cost of getting to/from another airport in the total price.

What is your preferred destination in Switzerland? Or does it really not matter because you’ll be traveling around anyway? If so, then we should also look at open-jaw tickets, arriving to ZRH and return from GVA, for example.

Some airlines have decent child discounting up to 12 years old. I’ll check once you let me know about the destination(s).

outofAtlanta
outofAtlanta's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 66
Member: 719
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 6 days ago.

The destination is really not that important so any of those airports are OK.

For instance, I am assuming that flying into Zurich will be cheapest (it has been the last 5 times) so I am planning on huts south of there, like Kröntenhütte and Treschhütte. If Geneva (huts Trient and Orny), or somewhere else turns out to be significantly cheaper, then there are huts that I need to see in those areas too.

I am open to an open-jaw ticket but always seem to get charged a premium for dropping my car off at somewhere other than where I picked it up.

Usually what we do is fly in, rent a car, and drive to remote places, park the car, and head into the mountains and the SAC CAS hut system. Once we are done we drive back, drop off the car, and fly home.

I am leaving from ATL/BHM and traveling for 24 days
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 5 days ago.

Sounds like fun! In that case, definitely in/out of the same airport. Have you ever considered driving in from Germany instead? Car prices (and airfare?) might be better.

outofAtlanta
outofAtlanta's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 66
Member: 719
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 6 days ago.

Fun but tiring, and this is the first time with a little one. Oh boy! Smile

We have driven down from Dusseldorf before and I have looked at Stuttgart but the fares just haven’t made a difference yet. I ‘damaged’ the car (from Dusseldorf, a good story for offline) and they would not give me a replacement in Switzerland because there is apparently a business divide between the two car companies in different countries. Even so, I am open to coming down from Germany.

Stuttgart is also ‘near’ Baden-Baden, which is a fine way to end that sort of working trip…let me tell you.

Thank you for your help. I have looked in all of the standard (for the Eurotrip forum) places but hope that there is a stone that I have left unturned somewhere.

I am leaving from ATL/BHM and traveling for 24 days
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 5 days ago.

I think you’re a little early for late-Summer offers. Sometimes fares dip a bit in late August, but I haven’t seen any sales covering that fare ahead yet.

That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to sign up for alerts with Farecompare, Airfarewatchdog, etc. because a quick, unadvertised sale can pop up at anytime. If you can get it closer to $1000, rather than $1400+ which you’re probably seeing now for August, then you’ll be doing well.

Couldn’t resist taking a quick look at fares… I see Delta nonstop currently $1229 per ticket with Hotwire. ATL-ZRH

outofAtlanta
outofAtlanta's profile picture
Member
MemberMember
Eurotrip Points: 66
Member: 719
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 6 days ago.

The $1200 is about what I am seeing now for that period. I could slide one way or the other 3-4 days but I don’t think that it will help.

Do you think that it is worth the wait, and worry you know, to hold off until August to buy?

Right now I am thinking that a direct flight could be worth more than whatever price difference might appear.

Thanks for your help!

I am leaving from ATL/BHM and traveling for 24 days
Requesting help with Transport, Budget, Itinerary, Food, Sights
Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 5 days ago.

I see $1169 each when the child ticket price is averaged with the 2 adult tickets. I have not checked consolidators. Kayak, Mobissimo, and 1800FlyEurope.com will help you cover those bases.

Be sure to input 2 adult and 1 child when you start each search, and they should show you the average fare. If they connect you with another seller via click-through, then be sure the travel seller fulfilling the order has the correct ticket info (2 adult, 1 child). Sometimes this important detail doesn’t “stick” on click-throughs.