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Old Mar 15th 2004, 6:56 pm   #1
Steve_DM
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Default Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.

What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
OUCH!!!

Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

Thank you!
 
Old Mar 15th 2004, 7:20 pm   #2
Not the Karl Orff
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

In article <[email protected] >,
[email protected] (Steve_DM) wrote:

    > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.

for good?

    > What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    > etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    > OUCH!!!
    >
    > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

try a round trip fare (cheapest) then discard the return portion, if
that works out cheaper.

Might also try going to MUC and taking a train from there.
 
Old Mar 15th 2004, 7:55 pm   #3
S?nke Tesch
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

Steve_DM wrote:
    : My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    : Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    :
    : What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    : etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!

Least expensive return ticket Los Angeles -> Innsbruck I found is about
1500€, so you're probably right with US$ 2000 (else I'd suggested to
look for return tickets, as one-way is usually for millionaires only).

However, here's a nice deal: A train ticket Frankfurt/Main in Germany
to Innsbruck central station for _all of you_ costs 130€, a return
ticket Los Angeles (LAX) - Frankfurt/Main (FRA) is about 1000€/person.
That'll be a total amount of 4*500€-130€ = 1870€ you may save. Looking
at that, I'd even invest an extra 70€ and get a first class train ticket
for 200€.
Germany's comfortable and nice trains need between 5:30 hours and 6:30
hours depending on the route. You'll see a bit of the landscape (well,
as much as you can see at up to 280 km/h , have plenty of space for
your legs and may walk around a bit without hitting twenty people's
heads with your elbows or having to return after 10 meters.

Munich (MUC) is the second largest destination in Germany for US flights
and closer to Innsbruck, so try that one, too. You might of course check
flights to Vienna or the like, too.
Should be noted though that in Frankfurt, the train stops directly at
the airport, while in Munich (and possibly other cities, too), you'll
have to take the subway between the airport and the central station,
which might obviously not be the best idea after a 12 hour flight with
small kids.

German/European timetables are available at
http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en (English, shows prices).
Austrian railway's timetable is available at
http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/oebb.w02/query.exe/en .

Regards,
soenk.e

--
Germany sucks.
 
Old Mar 15th 2004, 8:14 pm   #4
Hatunen
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

On 15 Mar 2004 11:56:35 -0800, [email protected] (Steve_DM)
wrote:

    >My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    >Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    >What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    >etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    >OUCH!!!
    >Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    >airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    >Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    >reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

Wounds like one-way fares. Get return fares and toss the second
half.


************* DAVE HATUNEN ([email protected]) *************
* Tucson Arizona, out where the cacti grow *
* My typos & mispellings are intentional copyright traps *
 
Old Mar 15th 2004, 11:52 pm   #5
Not the Karl Orff
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

In article <[email protected]>, "Eryk" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Steve_DM
    >
    > > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...
    >
    > In July...
    >
    > LAX-LON: GBP 459.40 ($828) with Northwest ....Then RyanAir from Standstead
    > to Salzburg or Linz for about GBP 35 ($63).
    >
    > ....total $891 per person .....plus whatever the train fare is within
    > Austria.

Note that RyanAir only allows 15 kg of free baggage. Could be expensive
if they bought a lot with them (up to 140 lbs/64 kg each transAtlantic)
 
Old Mar 15th 2004, 11:59 pm   #6
Eryk
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

Steve_DM

    > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

In July...

LAX-LON: GBP 459.40 ($828) with Northwest ....Then RyanAir from Standstead
to Salzburg or Linz for about GBP 35 ($63).

....total $891 per person .....plus whatever the train fare is within
Austria.

Eryk




---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.593 / Virus Database: 376 - Release Date: 21/02/2004
 
Old Mar 16th 2004, 2:46 pm   #7
Iceman
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

[email protected] (Steve_DM) wrote in message news:<[email protected] com>...
    > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    >
    > What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    > etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    > OUCH!!!
    >
    > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

1. DONT USE TRAVELOCITY, EXPEDIA, PRICELINE... FOR FARES TO EUROPE.
They usually give much worse deals than you could get from offline
discount travel agents.

2. Check out the Los Angeles Times or San Francisco Chronicle sunday
travel section. In those sections, there should be small box ads
listing a lot of cities and prices. Those are discount travel agents
called "consolidators", many of whose only business is selling the
cheapest possible airfares, and airlines use them to dump unsold seats
cheaply without destroying their market (because most people don't
know about them and use more expensive alternatives). Those should
give you the best price.

3. You might also check if any websites of specific airlines are
having sale fares to Austria. As a last resort, you might be able to
pick up a cheap ticket to Munich or Milan and then get a train to
Innsbruck. If they're not having a sale, airline websites usually
give horrible prices. In summer you're not likely to find many
bargains, and you should expect the flight to be somewhat more
expensive than usual.
 
Old Mar 16th 2004, 2:47 pm   #8
Tim Challenger
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

On 15 Mar 2004 11:56:35 -0800, Steve_DM wrote:

    > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    >
    > What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    > etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    > OUCH!!!
    >
    > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

Once you have to get on a train, it doesn't really make much difference if
you're on it for 1 hour or 4 hours. So airports further away become
options.
Consider flying to Munich, Salzburg or Vienna as well. Even Zürich if you
can get a good deal.
Alternatively a transatlantic to Frankfurt/Main could be an option as
someone else mentioned, or fly to the UK (often good value) and fly on from
London.



--
Tim.

If the human brain were simple enough that we could understand it, we would
be so simple that we couldn't.
 
Old Mar 16th 2004, 4:11 pm   #9
Steve_DM
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

Thanks for the great suggestions!

I wonder, too, if it makes a difference when we book our flights for
our summer departure. In other words, do prices typically increase or
decrease on Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. as one approaches a desired
departure date?

Also, my understanding is that most round-trip fares require a return
within 1 year--so we'll plan on staying 364 days (or perhaps a bit
less).

Thanks again for your insights!
 
Old Mar 16th 2004, 4:41 pm   #10
Erilar
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

In article <[email protected] m>, Tim
Challenger <"timothy(dot)challenger(at)apk(dot)at"> wrote:

    > On 15 Mar 2004 11:56:35 -0800, Steve_DM wrote:
    >
    > > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    > >
    > > What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    > > etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    > > OUCH!!!
    > >
    > > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...
    >
    > Once you have to get on a train, it doesn't really make much difference
    > if
    > you're on it for 1 hour or 4 hours. So airports further away become
    > options.
    > Consider flying to Munich, Salzburg or Vienna as well. Even Zürich if
    > you
    > can get a good deal.
    > Alternatively a transatlantic to Frankfurt/Main could be an option as
    > someone else mentioned, or fly to the UK (often good value) and fly on
    > from
    > London.


To get from some parts of Austria to Innsbruck, you change planes in
Munich anyway, I discovered last year when I was thinking of adding it
to my Austrian trip. But when I play around with airfares, the cheapest
ones end up being to Frankfurt.

--
Mary Loomer Oliver(aka erilar)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
There is no such thing as too many books. Bookshelves, on the other hand . . .
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Erilar's Cave Annex:
http://www.airstreamcomm.net/~erilarlo
 
Old Mar 16th 2004, 6:05 pm   #11
Brian Wasson
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

I believe several airlines fly over-the-pole routes to Germany in the
summer, including Condor (http://www1.thomascook.de/tc/flugsuche.jsp)
and Lufthansa. You may want to contact a travel agency in Germany or
Austria and inquire about charters or smaller airlines that service
the US West Coast in the busy summer season (I assume your wife, at
least, speakes German and could make these arrangements). I doubt
Condor would show up in the major travel search sites (but I could be
wrong).

There are several van transit services that transfer from MUC to
Innsbruck. I've used TirolConnect twice, and have had good
experiences.

Tim Challenger <"timothy(dot)challenger(at)apk(dot)at"> wrote in message news:<[email protected] ws.com>...
    > On 15 Mar 2004 11:56:35 -0800, Steve_DM wrote:
    >
    > > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    > >
    > > What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    > > etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    > > OUCH!!!
    > >
    > > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...
    >
    > Once you have to get on a train, it doesn't really make much difference if
    > you're on it for 1 hour or 4 hours. So airports further away become
    > options.
    > Consider flying to Munich, Salzburg or Vienna as well. Even Zürich if you
    > can get a good deal.
    > Alternatively a transatlantic to Frankfurt/Main could be an option as
    > someone else mentioned, or fly to the UK (often good value) and fly on from
    > London.
 
Old Mar 16th 2004, 8:43 pm   #12
Gernot Egger
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

Brian Wasson wrote:
    > I believe several airlines fly over-the-pole routes to Germany in the
    > summer, including Condor (http://www1.thomascook.de/tc/flugsuche.jsp)
    > and Lufthansa. You may want to contact a travel agency in Germany or
    > Austria and inquire about charters or smaller airlines that service
    > the US West Coast in the busy summer season (I assume your wife, at
    > least, speakes German and could make these arrangements). I doubt
    > Condor would show up in the major travel search sites (but I could be
    > wrong).

You won't find charter flight between the US and Austria!
The only US-Austria flights are Austrian from Vienna to New York and
Washington.

But try a normal travel agency. They might find better offers than the
internet-services.

lg Gernot
 
Old Mar 17th 2004, 1:39 am   #13
Randee
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

Actually we've always found that air fares are cheapest from our local
US airport when we fly either to or from (or both) to MUC. Almost
always a better price than using FRA. Delta and United fly direct to
MUC, American routes you at FL0 between FRA and MUC............
--
wf.

erilar wrote:

    > > Once you have to get on a train, it doesn't really make much difference
    > > if
    > > you're on it for 1 hour or 4 hours. So airports further away become
    > > options.
    > > Consider flying to Munich, Salzburg or Vienna as well. Even Zürich if
    > > you
    > > can get a good deal.
    > > Alternatively a transatlantic to Frankfurt/Main could be an option as
    > > someone else mentioned, or fly to the UK (often good value) and fly on
    > > from
    > > London.
    >
    > To get from some parts of Austria to Innsbruck, you change planes in
    > Munich anyway, I discovered last year when I was thinking of adding it
    > to my Austrian trip. But when I play around with airfares, the cheapest
    > ones end up being to Frankfurt.
    >
 
Old Mar 17th 2004, 6:19 am   #14
Walter
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

    > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.

Your kids will have a funny german dialect after a year in Tirol :-)


    > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...

Try Munich as destnation. No direct flight US - Innbruck anyway.
There are many busus between Austria and Munich airport every day
during summer season. Package trip prices are lower in Germany than in
Austria, so they book their holiday trips here. Comfortable buses with
lot of space for luggage.
Google "bustransfer innsbruck München" shows a lot.
The train connection is also good, but it's a 45 minutes suburb train
ride to the main station.


Walter
 
Old Mar 17th 2004, 12:48 pm   #15
Ulf Kutzner
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Default Re: Help! (Newbie) Flying Family to Austria in Summer w/o Going Broke?

erilar schrieb:

    > > > My wife and I are moving from California to her hometown near
    > > > Innsbruck, Austria, for a year with our kids, ages 4 & 6.
    > > >
    > > > What concerns me is the summer-rate airfares! Google, Travelocity,
    > > > etc. are showing July and August 2004 departures at $2,000+/person!
    > > > OUCH!!!
    > > >
    > > > Does anyone have any strategies or recommendations for snagging lower
    > > > airfares from CA to Europe in Summer? Our ultimate destination is
    > > > Innsbruck, but I don't especially care how we get there (within
    > > > reason)-- as long as it doesn't cost us $8k-$10k...
    > >
    > > Once you have to get on a train, it doesn't really make much difference
    > > if
    > > you're on it for 1 hour or 4 hours. So airports further away become
    > > options.
    > > Consider flying to Munich, Salzburg or Vienna as well. Even Zürich if
    > > you
    > > can get a good deal.
    > > Alternatively a transatlantic to Frankfurt/Main could be an option as
    > > someone else mentioned, or fly to the UK (often good value) and fly on
    > > from
    > > London.
    >
    > To get from some parts of Austria to Innsbruck, you change planes in
    > Munich anyway, I discovered last year when I was thinking of adding it
    > to my Austrian trip.

I guess these "planes" are buses.

Munich - Innsbruck is a scenic train trip via Kufstein or Mittenwald.
Flying into MUC might be an option.

Regards & X-post, ULF
 
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