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April 3, 2009 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Most economical way to get from USA (Chicago) to Europe (specifically Venice) in the summer. Willing to fly to an undesirable city and take a train. please share experiences
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It may be cheaper to find the cheapest flight that you can from Chicago to anywhere in Europe, then fly on to Venice on a discount airline. There are lots of cheap flights on discount airlines to Venice from all over Europe (many of which actually go to Treviso airport, but it's not far from Venice). These can easily be found on Skyscanner, which searches most of the major scheduled and discount airlines. (You can also search there for the transatlantic part, but I find that the results are not always as good as the intra-Europe searches).
posted by Jakey at 5:43 AM on April 3, 2009

I'm looking at overseas flights right now, actually, and have found Chicago prices to be quite competitive (at least Chicago to London, which is where we're going). I've heard that flying into Canada and then flying overseas can save you a bit. I think I was told Montreal.
posted by cooker girl at 6:38 AM on April 3, 2009

Historically Montreal to Paris has usually been the cheapest way I would see to cross the Atlantic, but I haven't looked lately. For what it's worth, though, Air Canada has good prices to Europe at the moment.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:02 AM on April 3, 2009

Seconding Jakey.

Use Kayak Buzz to find the cheapest across-the-pond fair, then use WhichBudget to find out which European budget airline flies from the city you landed in to Venice (or other city closer with a better train connection).

My guess is you'll find the cheapest fairs to Dublin ($433 r/t as of this writing), Frankfurt ($533 r/t) and Barcelona (~$650 r/t). These are absolutely blow-out prices, and at least $300-400 cheaper than they usually are in the height of the tourist season. Book them soon.
posted by nitsuj at 7:09 AM on April 3, 2009

I just priced out the Chicag-Dublin, and you can do it for just over $500 USD. Ryan flies directly from Dublin to Venice for EUR50. I priced for June, but July seems to be equally as cheap.

If you fly directly (as in, book tickets all the way through the same carrier) it's double the price. Even flying to Milan instead is just over $700.
posted by nitsuj at 7:20 AM on April 3, 2009

Last time I was looking at something like this, Aer Lingus seemed like the best deal for random US city - random European city.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 7:40 AM on April 3, 2009

Airone was another airline that offered lots of cheap flights into Italy from around Europe, but it appears they have been purchased by Alitalia. Be sure to check Alitalia's European fares.
posted by soelo at 11:57 AM on April 3, 2009

I live in Poland but am from California, and I just came in to say what everyone else does. Skyscanner is amazing. One note: be aware that flying inside Europe you don't get the same luggage allowances that you do if you're flying from the States.
posted by mdonley at 3:48 PM on April 3, 2009

Venice is very easy to get to by train from Milan, if that makes any difference.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 7:51 PM on April 3, 2009

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