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Best way to find a Cheap Flight to Anywhere In Europe

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  • Mar 30th, 2019 3:34 pm
[OP]
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Jul 30, 2008
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Best way to find a Cheap Flight to Anywhere In Europe

If I am pretty flexible in that I want to go somewhere in Europe from, say June 20 to August 15 for anywhere from 7 to 13 days, what's the best way to approach finding the cheapest ticket? The closest thing I see is Google Flights, but with that one, you have a 1 week or a 2 week option only (meaning if it's 10-11 days, I don't think it will find that), and you have to search the entire month (can't cut it off for half a month).

My application is that I have a bunch of vacation days, friends are all busy, so I just want to see what there is for dirt cheap to Europe in a certain period.

Thanks
9 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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If you're willing to put in a bit of research on how to use it, http://matrix.itasoftware.com can do it.

You can look for flights departing from X to a list, filter out airlines, set your trip length, etc.

Google Flights evolved from it, but ITA is still more powerful especially if you screw with the "advanced" options.
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Jan 9, 2002
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Jan 9, 2011
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You can definitely use google flights to find the best departure and return dates for a trip of fixed length, to find the best price. Select Price Graph, it’ll show you a bar graph of the best depart/return dates for a length of trip you pick.

That said, this won’t always give the best price. You still need to shop around. Sometimes flight hub and cheapo air have better prices. And some of the best prices can only be found through travel agents.
Newbie
Jun 6, 2017
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death_hawk wrote: If you're willing to put in a bit of research on how to use it, http://matrix.itasoftware.com can do it.

You can look for flights departing from X to a list, filter out airlines, set your trip length, etc.

Google Flights evolved from it, but ITA is still more powerful especially if you screw with the "advanced" options.
+1 in addition to the deal websites suggestions. You can also use https://bookwithmatrix.com/ to book the itinerary from ITA.

Sometimes the airlines' websites have cheaper rates. Always shop around and compare different sites.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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Waterloo, ON
elchavito wrote: You can also use https://bookwithmatrix.com/ to book the itinerary from ITA.
Caution: While this site may facilitate making bookings based on ITA Matrix results, "we are not affiliated with ITA Matrix or Google." Moreover the booking agencies it links to may be located outside Canada and thus aren't subject to our provincial regulations, e.g. TICO in Ontario. Google on the names of these agencies to find reviews, etc. before you purchase any tickets through them.
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Jr. Member
May 14, 2017
152 posts
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Calgary, Ab
tribe1689 wrote: If I am pretty flexible in that I want to go somewhere in Europe from, say June 20 to August 15 for anywhere from 7 to 13 days, what's the best way to approach finding the cheapest ticket? The closest thing I see is Google Flights, but with that one, you have a 1 week or a 2 week option only (meaning if it's 10-11 days, I don't think it will find that), and you have to search the entire month (can't cut it off for half a month).

My application is that I have a bunch of vacation days, friends are all busy, so I just want to see what there is for dirt cheap to Europe in a certain period.

Thanks
My personal experience, and I fly to Europe every year, is to try to google First a flight to your destination, and if Google give you a cheapest flight with a stopover, then try to book individually. Follow this example:
I was looking for a flight YYC - OPO and the cheapest option give me by google was flying with westjet from YYC - LGW and British airways LGW - OPO for a total of $1623 p/p round trip
I end up booking individually YYC - LGW with westjet for $908 p/p round trip plus LGW - OPO with British airways for $421 p/p round trip forma total of $1329 p/p round trip (saving almost $300 p/p - we’re 2 persons)

The only hassle is that we’ve to checkin 2 times ( way YYC and LGW and return OPO and LGW ) and recover the luggage in LGW on both flights.
The stopover in both times is 4hrs in LGW and that give us lots of time to pickup the luggage and check in again. Hey, but we saved almost $600 so...
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Jan 7, 2002
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Hernani81 wrote: My personal experience, and I fly to Europe every year
As one who flies to Europe at least two times a year ;) I have an even better suggestion: In addition to looking only at flights to OPO, look also at nearby airports like LIS. Then take a train from LIS to OPO. There's more competition to larger airports like LIS, so airfares tend to be lower. If you can find a direct flight to LIS then the 4 hour layover at LHR will be replaced with a shorter 2-3 hour train ride. What's more, the cost of the train ticket could be as little as $25 to $50. And there's a lot less hassle with customs, luggage, check-in, security, etc.

For example when my destination is the Tirol region in Austria I always look at YYZ to MUC, INN, SZG and ZRH. The route with the lowest airfares varies every year. Last year it was MUC. The year before it was ZRH. This year it's INN. And a few years ago an open jaw from YYZ to SZG then INN to YYZ turned out to be not only cheapest but also the most convenient for our planned itinerary on that trip.

Another option for the OP if they're truly flexible is to fly to the UK first, then spend a few days there before flying to the continent on a budget airline like U2 or FR. There's lots of competition from NA to LHR and LGW so fares tend to be lower. Then if you're already in the greater London area you can fly to the continent out of STN which is the budget airline's hub. Again look at open jaw opportunities, e.g. UK to EU country 1, returning from EU country 2, etc.

IOW think out of the box.
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Jr. Member
May 14, 2017
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bylo wrote: As one who flies to Europe at least two times a year ;) I have an even better suggestion: In addition to looking only at flights to OPO, look also at nearby airports like LIS. Then take a train from LIS to OPO. There's more competition to larger airports like LIS, so airfares tend to be lower. If you can find a direct flight to LIS then the 4 hour layover at LHR will be replaced with a shorter 2-3 hour train ride. What's more, the cost of the train ticket could be as little as $25 to $50. And there's a lot less hassle with customs, luggage, check-in, security, etc.

For example when my destination is the Tirol region in Austria I always look at YYZ to MUC, INN, SZG and ZRH. The route with the lowest airfares varies every year. Last year it was MUC. The year before it was ZRH. This year it's INN. And a few years ago an open jaw from YYZ to SZG then INN to YYZ turned out to be not only cheapest but also the most convenient for our planned itinerary on that trip.

Another option for the OP if they're truly flexible is to fly to the UK first, then spend a few days there before flying to the continent on a budget airline like U2 or FR. There's lots of competition from NA to LHR and LGW so fares tend to be lower. Then if you're already in the greater London area you can fly to the continent out of STN which is the budget airline's hub. Again look at open jaw opportunities, e.g. UK to EU country 1, returning from EU country 2, etc.

IOW think out of the box.
I’m portuguese and trust me, I’ve looked for flights to LIS as well. The Portuguese and European market aren’t a secret for me. I was giving a specific example...
Usually I look for flights from YYC to all Europe, and as you mention, once in Europe is pretty cheap to flight wherever and whenever you want! Not a surprise what you just mentioned. Btw, once in London, don’t forget as well Ryanair and Easyjet.

Edit: Just to mention, is actually cheaper to fly between Lisbon to Porto then use the train.
The train is 30€ each way plus taxi/Uber/ between airport and “Gare do Oriente” (train station) and hassle of carrying the bags and a trip of approximately 3hrs. With Ryanair we can book flights for 9.99€ plus luggage and the trip is 45 min. Or fly with TAP for 42€ with luggage included
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Jan 7, 2002
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Hernani81 wrote: Btw, once in London, don’t forget as well Ryanair and Easyjet.
Look up the airline codes for U2 and FR ;)

My reply was meant partly to be a general comment to the OP as well as others who may be following this thread. Of course there's no single best approach. Every market is different. And everyone's needs are different.

For instance here in the GTA it's sometimes cheaper to fly out of Hamilton, ON or even Buffalo, NY. Sometimes it's cheaper to do the layover in the US, e.g. fly from YYZ to an eastern US city then direct to an EU destination. As you point out, sometimes it's cheaper to use an EU budget airline rather than the train. Although now with budget bus lines sometimes it's even cheaper to go by bus. Emphasis on "sometimes."

It also depends on other factors like how much luggage one is carrying, whether one wants to end up in the downtown of a city, etc.
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