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Don
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This forum is not so much a magic genie bottle/cheap fare wishing well as much as it is for helping you figure out how to find best fares. Novice users will need to show some effort.

There are lots of good airfares, tips, and advice already posted on this forum. Scan a couple pages of recent posts for questions that are similar to yours. You might find what you need has been covered recently.

If you can’t find anything similar, then try some of the sources for tickets that get posted here often. These include Booking Buddy, ITA Software, and FareCompare. Booking Buddy searches some consolidators; additional consolidators include Flights, Economy Travel, Airdeals, 1800FlyEurope, and ATIflights

Click here to learn how to use ITA Software.

ITA and Farecompare are especially good for if your travel dates are flexible, or if you just want to see pricing trends. Farecompare will show you the cheapest fares for the upcoming 10 months; ITA can search one month at a time. Travelocity is also helpful if you use their flexible dates flight search; Orbitz is very good for checking up to 3 days before and after your desired travel dates to see if something cheaper is available.

If after you’ve tried all of those, and you want to post to see if someone has some tips or advice for finding something better, you’ll need to include the following:

– departure date
– departure airport (don’t worry if you don’t know the airport code, just the city name and state or country is enough)
– arrival airport(s)
– return date
– where you will return to (if different from departure airport)
– do you qualify for student or senior fares?
– how flexible you are with departure and return dates
– how flexible with departure and arrival airports?

I hope this helps you get a great start in finding the best airfares for your trip!

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Some general tips for finding cheapest airfares.

1. Be as flexible as possible—with travel season, travel days, and departure and arrival airports.

2. Try all of the airports that you could reasonably use (on both ends of travel). If you live in Southern California, for example, and could go from San Diego or LAX, or maybe even from Burbank, Long Beach, or Ontario airports, then try those too. Airlines sometimes offer competive fares connecting from smaller airports.

3. Same applies for arrival. If you’re planning to visit Ireland, try both Shannon and Dublin (and Belfast!). Northern Germany? Try not only Frankfurt, but Koln, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Berlin. If you’re only going for a short trip, then of course using alternate cities might not be worth it, but if you’re open with your travel and were going to visit another place, anyway, then check flight prices there too—you might be surprised.

Over a recent summer, for example, fares to London from New York were in the $600-$700 +tax range. Fares to Bristol from Newark were $288rt +tax on Continental. National Express bus from Bristol to central London was about £35 roundtrip (and Megabus was even cheaper).

4. Travel off-peak. Transatlantic airfares are most expensive in summer (Jun-Aug). If you are planning to travel late May/early June, or late Aug/early Sept., be aware that shifting departure date by just 1 day can sometimes save you hundreds.

5. Travel midweek. Most airlines charge more for departures Fri-Mon.

6. Look (or ask here) for little-known airlines. They often have specials, but usually don’t have large national advertising budgets—so not many people know about Air Berlin, XL Airways, Corsairfly, Condor, BMI, Kuwait Air, Iceland Express, or Icelandair, for example.

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For intra-Europe flight hops, try www.whichbudget.com
www.skyscanner.net
and www.momondo.com —————————————————————————-

If you are a student, recently graduated, or under 26, also try student ticket agencies such as www.statravel.com www.studentuniverse…. www.travelcuts.com and, within northern Europe, www.kilroytravels.co…
Lufthansa has their own program for students: GenerationFly
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The 2-Ticket Strategy: Sometimes it is much cheaper to take the cheapest roundtrip to the cheapest arrival point in Europe (this can vary), then use low-cost flight-hops to get to/from your actual destination(s).

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Starting and stopping at connecting cities:
Anytime you miss any portion of a ticketed flight itinerary, the airline automatically cancels the rest of your ticket.

—————————————————————————- Departing Europe: Bookingbuddy.co.UK is superb. 1 input of cities and dates, and you can check Kelkoo (superb in it’s own right), Kayak, Skyscanner, Expedia, Bravofly, Sprice, and airlines direct. In fact, there’s some overlap with the sources you can check from BookingbuddyUK — so checking just these 6 should cover all the rest for you. Kelkoo has country-specific travel price search/comparison sites. They often included holiday flights from the country you check: Kelkoo www.momondo.com is also very good.

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Multi-city, also known as “open-jaw,” can save you backtrack time and expense.
Cfares, Kayak, Fly, and Mobissimo have very good multi-city flight searches. Also, the consolidators mentioned above have multi-city options.

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Tutorial: how to use ITASoftware.com