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This year will represent good opportunities for those travellers prepared to buy where the price is right.
For decades currency wheezes here in Europe have been used by savvy travellers as a means of obtaining discounted ticket with almost all airlines.
With the Euro expected to fluctuate in value this year and with the Swiss Franc at an all-time high, savvy travellers will find they can buy tickets much more cheaply in one country than in another.
Of course, you must use your air ticket correctly so currency ticketing will not suit every traveller. But for those of you who can be flexible there will be (and are already) plenty of savings to be obtained.
Foreign airlines operating out of Switzerland face a particular problem. Yes, the strong currency means they can earn a lot of money but on the other hand can they attract Swiss-based passengers given the savings than can be achieved by using an airport in a neighbouring country ?
It’s understood that even Zurich-based travellers are prepared to take the transalpine train to Milan (a journey of several hours) and fly out of Malpensa because the savings are so great.
Apparantly if you are a business class passenger, one Gulf carrier will lay on a chauffeur-driven transfer between Milan Central (the terminus where the Zurich train arrives) and Malpensa (the city’s long-haul airport).
A rough check of transatlantic fares between Milan and New York (using airline websites and opodo.co.uk) revealed savings of 50 per cent and more for non-stop flights during the working week (with no Saturday night stay required).
Travel out: Sunday February 01, return February Friday February 06.
Examples of return fares from Zurich:
Business class £5,518 Swiss, £3,115 Delta
Economy Class £830 Delta, £1,199 Swiss (higher than normal fare owing to Friday return date)
Examples from Milan Malpensa
Business class £1,693 Emirates, £1,706 Alitalia/Delta
Economy class £466 Emirates, £442 Alitalia/Delta
I rest my case.