Europe Travel Blog› entry 26 of 54 › view all entries
Flying to your European destination is the real expense and finding a reasonable fare takes the most effort. One good thing to come out of the bad economy, airfares to Europe are plummeting, especially to hub cities. I have seen many sales for London, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Dublin, and Rome. I just got a round-trip summer airfare (Venice-New York) on Lufthansa for $800. IcelandAir is worth checking out since Iceland's economy is in free-fall. (My sympathy to those who are suffering right now in Europe.) But airfares in general are the lowest in years. I find the best way to research airfares is to review fares through Travelocity, Travel Zoo, or Kayak.com. They're very easy to use and quick. When you see a fare in your price range, move quickly, they go fast. Oh, and it helps to have a friend in the airline industry!
As for what to fly. If possible always fly with a European carrier. They treat you as guests and not cattle. Lufthansa is a dream, Swiss is very nice, and Air France is nice, especially if you like complimentary wine on your flight. The food is good and the service is quite helpful. An exception is Al Italia. People are nice but the experience comes up short of other airlines. I love America but American carriers leave a lot to be desired when flying overseas. Flying is such a chore. Comfort is an afterthought and thay charge you for EVERYTHING. Try flying into a hub city and then find a discount regional carrier to go elsewhere in Europe. I recently flew Wizz Air, which travels throughout Central & Eastern Europe. In spite of the name and the pink & purple planes, they are a really nice company to fly with. Just be aware they fly to secondary cities and airports.
Of course Balloon Travel is an alternate option!