would anyone change their minds if the question was changed to include a decent flying experience? i am looking to fly as cheaply as i can but i still want to get there in one piece, and not hate every second i spend on the plane.
I agree, sometimes an extra $50 or $100 and a better experience can be worth it...
To the best of my knowledge, it is cheaper to fly to Eastern Europe.
For example, arbitrarily selecting a ROUND TRIP of about 2 weeks duration in May 2013 from Las Vegas to Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine and back on on http://www.asaptickets.com gives us the round trip price of less than $650 one way
An fiend of mine flew from Texas to Ukraine and back to Texas for $980 in May 2012.. You can fly to Turkey, Greece, Check Republic, Poland, etc from Ukraine.
I always regret flying into London for pleasure due to the outrageous fuel charges from the US as well as the highest landing fees in Europe! These alone add $500+ to the price of any fare from the US.
I looked around at dozens of cities to try and fly into Europe and EurRail it to Rome but much of the surrounding countries (except for the IST deal) were still unbelievably high. I decided to not fly to Rome this year as I refuse to pay these exorbitant fees.
Using British Airways milage it was going to cost me 600 dollars ON TOP of the 60K miles to get to Europe. The 600 bucks were the fuel surcharges and landing fees into LHR then to FCO. So much for a "free" ticket.
BA is notoriously awful for transcon fuel surcharges on FF redemptions and best reserved for short haul flights, where you can find some bargains. I've also heard that it's possible in theory to go through oneworld and redeem BA miles on airberlin in order to prevent the fuel surcharges.
I've seen pretty cheap winter flights into Dublin in recent weeks.
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