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Affordable flights from Wash D.C to Venice

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Please point us in the right direction for finding reasonably priced International flight bookings. Looking at doing Greek Islands on MSC Musica in June 2020. Researching flights and options now that we have found the best Itinerary for our Family.  Please share Airfare tips and links for booking flights from US to Venice. We live under four hours from D.C.

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1) What are the fares you are seeing now?

2) What do you consider reasonable?

3) Have you checked all routing possibilities?

4) Do you understand that travel in June in any year is almost always considered 'high season'?

5) Have you checked with MSC, if they offer air options?

6) While risky, have you checked into consolidators and the like?

7) Have you considered other regional international airports?

 

It is a bit early to be trying to book or even getting airfares for June 2020, if any are released at this point and not sure how much research you can be doing, other than 'historical' fares for the month of June.

 

bon voyage

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What do you consider "reasonable?"

What are you exact travel dates and is there any leeway?

Where do you live?  "Under 4 hours from DC" doesn't tell us much.  Are you north of DC, meaning JFK and BOS are possible airports?  South of DC, meaning Richmond or Raleigh are possible airports?  West of DC, where maybe Pittsburgh is an option?

Do you have any other parameters that are deal breakers?  I only ask, because folks frequently say hey I need help finding flights.  And then in response to lots of good suggestions, they start coming up with other parameters like nonstop only, a certain airline alliance only, specific flight times or arrival times etc.  The more open you are, the more options you'll have.

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Such an open ended question

I guess if you're retired military, Stand-by on a military C130 out of Andrews might be an option.

That's "reasonably" priced.

 

Sailing June 2020.

Airlines don't open their schedule until ~330 before scheduled flight.

You can start tracking just to get ideas.

Most cruise lines sell air, however, those are usually consolidator type tickets.

Edited by klfrodo

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9 hours ago, gatlinburg said:

Please point us in the right direction for finding reasonably priced International flight bookings. Looking at doing Greek Islands on MSC Musica in June 2020. Researching flights and options now that we have found the best Itinerary for our Family.  Please share Airfare tips and links for booking flights from US to Venice. We live under four hours from D.C.

Airfares for most mainline carriers are not posted until approx 330 days before your travel dates.  So you are six months or more too early for serious answers.  Exploring fares now will return fares that are often exceptionally high.  

It may be that using the cruise line airfare feature will help, but I don't know if MSC offers this.

Of course, even when you are looking within the 330 day window, airfares can vary wildly from day to day...totally at the whim of airline booking engines.

Edited by thinfool

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Where to search for (but not book) flights: https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

 

Click on the "Help" tab to learn how to effectively use all the features and filters of the site.

 

Where to book flights: personally I always use the airline website. That way I know exactly the terms and conditions of the ticket, and the middleman is eliminated.  Using a middleman can be either completely without issue or be an unmitigated disaster. I don't like taking the chance.                  

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10 hours ago, thinfool said:

 airfares can vary wildly from day to day...totally at the whim of airline booking engines.

 

That sort of implies that fare changes are completely random, which is not the case.  Airlines use complicated algorithms to determine if and when to change the availability of various fare buckets.   Much of it takes into account changes in supply and demand that you, the consumer, are largely unaware of.  If an airline suddenly make a much lower fare available, or the lowest fare available is suddenly pricier, you can bet there is very calculated reason why, you just won't be privy to it.

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1 hour ago, waterbug123 said:

 

That sort of implies that fare changes are completely random, which is not the case.  Airlines use complicated algorithms to determine if and when to change the availability of various fare buckets.   Much of it takes into account changes in supply and demand that you, the consumer, are largely unaware of.  If an airline suddenly make a much lower fare available, or the lowest fare available is suddenly pricier, you can bet there is very calculated reason why, you just won't be privy to it.

 

Absolutely.  The average man on the street thinks that airlines set pricing via a combination of a dart board crossed with a Ouija board.  On the contrary, airline seats are probably the most scientifically priced items in the world.

 

If curious, just start reading articles on "yield management" or "revenue management".  After a few, if your eyes aren't glazed over, you will understand that a) there is rhyme and reason behind airline pricing, and b) there is no simple, easy way to just pop onto a website and use your "tricks" to get the lowest price.

 

My own additional contribution -- take all the MSM articles on "how to get the best price" and take them with a HUGE dose of salt.  Especially beware of any "advice" that's based on industry wide averages, since those have minimal to no relation to your actual flight cities, dates and times.

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On 2/2/2019 at 8:08 AM, waterbug123 said:

What do you consider "reasonable?"

What are you exact travel dates and is there any leeway?

Where do you live?  "Under 4 hours from DC" doesn't tell us much.  Are you north of DC, meaning JFK and BOS are possible airports?  South of DC, meaning Richmond or Raleigh are possible airports?  West of DC, where maybe Pittsburgh is an option?

Do you have any other parameters that are deal breakers?  I only ask, because folks frequently say hey I need help finding flights.  And then in response to lots of good suggestions, they start coming up with other parameters like nonstop only, a certain airline alliance only, specific flight times or arrival times etc.  The more open you are, the more options you'll have.

Thanks Waterbug.  We live in Roanoke, VA.   (reasonable is possibly under $1200 roundtrip for adult, $800-$1,000 for children tickets?  Having to fly into Venice, or nearby so we could take railway into Port area.

Edited by gatlinburg

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2 hours ago, gatlinburg said:

Thanks Waterbug.  We live in Roanoke, VA.   (reasonable is possibly under $1200 roundtrip for adult, $800-$1,000 for children tickets?  Having to fly into Venice, or nearby so we could take railway into Port area.

You likely know that Charlotte, NC is a major hub for AA.  Checking fares from there may be fruitful.

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1 hour ago, thinfool said:

You likely know that Charlotte, NC is a major hub for AA.  Checking fares from there may be fruitful.

 

Also, Raleigh has a couple of flights to Europe (AA to LHR, and Delta to CDG) that I have seen some decent deals on over the years. Both connect to Venice flights, though CDG will likely present better connection times based on the schedules I am seeing.

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4 hours ago, gatlinburg said:

Thanks Waterbug.  We live in Roanoke, VA.   (reasonable is possibly under $1200 roundtrip for adult, $800-$1,000 for children tickets?  Having to fly into Venice, or nearby so we could take railway into Port area.

 

3 minutes ago, Zach1213 said:

 

Also, Raleigh has a couple of flights to Europe (AA to LHR, and Delta to CDG) that I have seen some decent deals on over the years. Both connect to Venice flights, though CDG will likely present better connection times based on the schedules I am seeing.

Zach, thanks so much.   Also, we're looking into flying into Zurich, or somewhere within a train ride to Venice for sightseeing.  Flights from D.C. to Zurich are crazy affordable.  Hmmmmm....

 

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27 minutes ago, gatlinburg said:

 Flights from D.C. to Zurich are crazy affordable.  Hmmmmm....

 

OTOH, Zurich itself isn't.

 

Unless you're a banker on a business trip.

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5 hours ago, gatlinburg said:

Thanks Waterbug.  We live in Roanoke, VA.   (reasonable is possibly under $1200 roundtrip for adult, $800-$1,000 for children tickets?  Having to fly into Venice, or nearby so we could take railway into Port area.

I have purchased many tickets, US-Europe for my children when they were minors and have never found child pricing; always the same price as adults.  Have also found flights to VCE to be more expensive than other destinations.  Look at MIL; sometimes very good fares.

However, as stated, you won't be able to look for pricing until about 330 days in advance, as the schedules aren't out yet.  Whatever price you are seeing now may have absolutely no relevance to the flights you need.   Use the matrix webpage you've been given, it's a great tool to research flights.

Edited by 6rugrats

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36 minutes ago, gatlinburg said:

 

Zach, thanks so much.   Also, we're looking into flying into Zurich, or somewhere within a train ride to Venice for sightseeing.  Flights from D.C. to Zurich are crazy affordable.  Hmmmmm....

 

 

I am sure that train ride is crazy beautiful, but it's not short. Make sure to factor in price AND time. A quick search shows an easy 6-7 hour train ride with multiple changes...and you will have luggage too, I assume.

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24 minutes ago, gatlinburg said:

 

Zach, thanks so much.   Also, we're looking into flying into Zurich, or somewhere within a train ride to Venice for sightseeing.  Flights from D.C. to Zurich are crazy affordable.  Hmmmmm....

 

 

I've done Zurich-Milan-Venice by train (although not in one go), and it's quite a pleasant journey. Indeed, train travel in the area is easy enough that I would be looking at airfare anywhere within a reasonable train ride - Milan, Zurich, even Munich and, at a push, Paris could be put on that list.

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6 minutes ago, Zach1213 said:

 

I am sure that train ride is crazy beautiful, but it's not short. Make sure to factor in price AND time. A quick search shows an easy 6-7 hour train ride with multiple changes...and you will have luggage too, I assume.

 

I actually found a direct Zurich-Venice train searching on Bahn.com (the German train site, but excellent for checking itineraries across Europe). Also, I think there's supposed to be a high-speed train put on the Zurich-Milan run next year, through the new Gotthard tunnel.

Edited by Twickenham

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2 minutes ago, Twickenham said:

 

I actually found a direct Zurich-Venice train searching on Bahn.com (the German train site, but excellent for checking itineraries across Europe). Also, I think there's supposed to be a high-speed train put on the Zurich-Milan run next year, through the new Gotthard tunnel.

 

I was on bahn.de too, but missed that one. I see it now (still requires a change to get from ZRH Airport to Venice...with that change being Zurich Hbf), but would likely require a night in Zurich as it leaves before OP would likely be able to clear immigration/customs at the airport.

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On 2/1/2019 at 10:47 PM, gatlinburg said:

Please point us in the right direction for finding reasonably priced International flight bookings. Looking at doing Greek Islands on MSC Musica in June 2020. Researching flights and options now that we have found the best Itinerary for our Family.  Please share Airfare tips and links for booking flights from US to Venice. We live under four hours from D.C.

Hi! We've chatted on MSC forum recently. I'm in the same boat having to wait till July to book or even see the actual flights. We are flying to Genoa this May 2019 and had to do the same waiting game last summer. We are going to be flying from Atlanta to Venice May 2020. Since cost is quite pricey to fly and we have the same budget concerns we use credit card points/miles. It's not to late to start now. If you don't use any card to accrue points try to apply for a good card like capital one venture or chase sapphire. There's sign up bonus points to get you started then pay for everything you do with that card. Do make sure you pay it off each month. You can at least cover 1, 2 or all your flights with your points. Even one ticket would help. We do it all year round and for our trip coming up this May our airline tickets to Genoa were covered and using a different point card our hotels for 2 nights is also covered. All we had to pay out of pocket for those two things were the taxes on the flights. Unfortunately we are flying coach with one stop in Rome but we've got tickets!

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21 minutes ago, cparker01 said:

You can at least cover 1, 2 or all your flights with your points. Even one ticket would help.

 

Of course, there is no guarantee that there will be any space at all for award flights, so relying on being able to do this involves a gamble.

 

In addition, there can be real disadvantages to flying on separate bookings, so watch out for those as well.

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Very true! We are sky miles/American Express and to this point have always been able to book a sky mile seat. I'm sure other airlines have even fewer or maybe none at all. We have been using the capital one venture and capital one sparks card to earn points and the beauty of that is you charge your tickets on any airline you want (regular seats not rewards) and when the credit card statement comes in you just erase that purchase with your points. So it works on any travel purchases. And there's always the cash back option. So many card companies offering great sign up bonuses. Just an another option than trying to come up with the cash for pricey tickets.

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10 hours ago, cparker01 said:

... the beauty of that is you charge your tickets on any airline you want (regular seats not rewards) and when the credit card statement comes in you just erase that purchase with your points. So it works on any travel purchases.

 

So this is using credit card points that are basically just a form of cashback? As always with such schemes, it's worth looking at the conversion ratio to assess whether they're actually good value, including the value of any sign-up bonus.

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22 hours ago, gatlinburg said:

Thanks Waterbug.  We live in Roanoke, VA.   (reasonable is possibly under $1200 roundtrip for adult, $800-$1,000 for children tickets?  Having to fly into Venice, or nearby so we could take railway into Port area.

 

I'd definitely be looking at both DC and Charlotte, as both are major airline hubs.   Also try Raleigh; while not a hub, they are a "focus city" and I think there are some flights to Europe from there.  Of course, check your hometown Roanoke airport too; flights are not always cheaper from a hub.   And I don't think you will find different prices for children's tickets.  Airlines simply don't price tickets that way.  The only difference is if one of the kids is under two and travels as an infant in arms, meaning they don't have their own seat. 

Check flights to Rome and Milan, as well as those to Venice.  All three will have nonstop flights from the US, and both Rome and Milan are an easy train ride to Venice, though the ride from Rome will be longer.  Tickets into Rome are sometimes cheaper though so explore all options.  June is peak season for travel to Europe so keep a constant eye on prices, and be ready to pull the trigger the instant you see a price you like. 

One note about purchasing tickets in general:  You mention children so I'm taking a guess that maybe you are booking 4 tickets?  Airlines may release very limited quantities of their cheapest tickets at a time.  If there are only 3 or fewer available tickets in the lowest fare bucket, the price you get if you say you need 4 tickets will not be for those 3 (or fewer) plus 1 ticket at a higher price.  The quote you get will be for all 4 tickets in the next highest fare bucket that has 4 tickets available.  So you might try searching for tickets 2 at a time.  If the price for 2 is significantly cheaper, you can book an adult and a child and then go back to book the other two; no guarantees, but once you buy those first couple of cheap tickets, the airline will often immediately release more tickets in that fare bucket so you can possibly get all 4 at that lower price, you just have to do it in two reservations.  If it doesn't work out that way, and you can NOT get the next 2 at a comparable price, you can immediately cancel the first two (you have 24 hours to do so, penalty free)

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On 2/2/2019 at 8:53 PM, FlyerTalker said:

The average man on the street thinks that airlines set pricing via a combination of a dart board crossed with a Ouija board.

 

Made me laugh!  Years ago, “my” USAir City ticket office lady (I told you it was years ago) used to say she thought the airlines would save money by doing away with the whole yield management department and just install a wheel of fortune at each counter! LOL.   Little did Jane know that rather than a wheel, they developed an algorithm. 

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46 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

 

Made me laugh!  Years ago, “my” USAir City ticket office lady (I told you it was years ago) used to say she thought the airlines would save money by doing away with the whole yield management department and just install a wheel of fortune at each counter! LOL.   Little did Jane know that rather than a wheel, they developed an algorithm. 

 

One of my favourite spoof websites was one for Sky High Airlines ("We've Got Our Heads In the Clouds"). When you would price up an itinerary it would cut to an animation of chicken feed being thrown into a calculator and the chicken's "pecks" dictating the fare, which would be completely and utterly random.

 

It was one of many hilarious tidbits of "airline" humour on that website. Sadly it was taken down a few years back...

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