Cost of Airtravel (to USA and Europe)Back to Forum
Anonymous22 Apr 2011
I wonder whether anyone can explain the intricacies of pricing air travel or whether it really is a case of a free market – airlines pick and choose their prices;
Example 1 – next week I need to make a trip to Dusseldorf. If the price is cheaper to go overnight its not a problem. I accept its Easter week, but I also understand that Dusseldorf is not exactly a major business centre. So looking on BA.com for myself and a colleague we are looking at around £600 return, in economy. A day trip is similar. From this I read that there are limited seats so it’s pointless to look at airmiles – er no………9000 airmiles + €75 each. Airmiles have been used.
Example 2 – trying to get the family to the east coast of the States, Orlando in the summer. For economy we are looking on close to £1000 pp with either Virgin or BA. With airmiles there is still an add on for taxes surcharges etc of around £250 pp, but seats are difficult to find. What I find astonishing is that people are paying £1000 a seat to go to Orlando. I would be happy to use any gateway in the states and jump on a bus for a 2 hour flight down to Orlando, but the prices this year just seem to have increased out of all proportion.
I may be a millionaire in airmiles but I am finding the cost of air travel, both for business and pleasure to have increased significantly to make me ask the question, is an Atlantic tunnel feasible??
Going East bound to Asia, I do not notice the price increases.
I can’t use charter flights for Orlando as I am going for 7 weeks. We don’t need accommodation but do need 7 weeks car hire which is also an expense that has increased significantly over the past year or so. I am happy to pay for car hire, but had not intended to pay the cost of the car with my rental payment!!
Any assistane would be appreciated.22 Apr 2011
Don’t know if this is an option but I live in Orlando and just got my 21 year old son flights on Delta for the dollar equivalent of pounds (680 quid on delta.com, $680 via their reservations line in the US). In thru AMS and BOS, back thru ATL and AMS. Saved me about a third.22 Apr 2011
Charles, the key with Europe is to stay a Saturday night, or if you travel often/regularly to a destination say out this week and again next, book a ticket LON – DUS this week with the return next week. Then book DUS – LON for your return this week and outward next week.
Orlando is tourist any time of the year so market forces. Could try from AMS or BRU which might reduce the cost. You might be able to get a charter for that duration and it would be worth talking to a travel agent who might be able to do something with a car.
Hope that helps22 Apr 2011
Charles, Checkout Tampa as an alternative to Orlando – return prices from around £450 in economy.
Best comparative site is
On the car front, many years ago we spent 8 weeks touring the US, we purchased a good second hand car, ran up over 10k miles then sold it back at the end of the long break. Insurance wasn’t a problem as long as you have a reference address. Saved us a fortune though the increased risk is more easily accepted in ones youth.
Happy Easter22 Apr 2011
I cannot really comment on the fares, though if DUS is £600, then £1,000 all the way to Orlando does not seem excessive.
I also checked Swiss, and they are £950 return. I assume you are going during the school summer holidays, which is most likely peak period so the airlines are going to bump the price up.
Where I can perhaps be more helpful is with car hire, and suggest the following:
Go to the local website and you will receive better rates than through the major companies international sites. Also, pick up and return downtown rather than at the airport which can often involve paying extra fees.
It can often be better to call rather than use the internet, as you can then haggle.
Look for local car rental companies rather than the majors, and do try RentaWreck. They use second hand cars (and they are not at all wrecks but usually about 18 months old) with some very good deals especially for longer term rentals.
Finally, get a credit card that has CDW insurance cover and windscreen cover included. This can save you big bucks.22 Apr 2011
Fares ex the UK have soared in the last 18 months. I was able to take family to Syd in First with a stop in SIN for £11000 in August 2009. That would now be closer to £24,000. Have just returned from USA (PHX) having used miles, ( flights were very good with new product on the return leg and great crew both ways) the price of £33,456 being demanded by BA is simply ludicrous however and in no way represents value for money on any level.
The gulf between F and J fares across the Atlantic is now almost double if you depart from the UK and even greater if you use a european departure point and pay for club.
Like other I cannot understand why anyone would pay £1000 to travel in WT or equivalent across the Atlantic. There are too many other options and charter operators. Add to that job insecurity and I have to wonder where BA and others think the traffic will be coming from. My days of paid F are over and club is now only from Eurrope departure points. I will not pay the sort of fares BA wants from the UK and saved over 60% on flights in club this summer by begining in Europe despite the pretty awful value of the ppund to the Euro.
In short I feel there will either be a huge correction later in the year as carriers try to make up for lost ground or I will be flying less generally and not at all on BA, other than burning miles.25 Apr 2011