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August 17, 2009 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Cheapest Airline Tickets: Los Angeles - Berlin RT. Options?

From - To: Los Angeles to Berlin, Germany. Round trip.

Two people (my wife and myself).

Time: Either Sept 9, return October 2 or Sept 16, return October 9.

Complication: I have to purchase the tickets, or know for 100% sure when I'm taking off at least one week before the date of flight (work notification issue).

I've tried: Kayak, and Faircast/Bing

I got about high 700's (~$790) per person. (I've seen as low as $605 on Kayak, but when I tried to book those flights, the tickets were not available anywhere - yet kept being displayed thru Kayak, which soured me on that site somewhat).

Can better be done?

I don't mind any particular airline, or hours of departure/arrival, don't mind stopping over at Newark or wherever, though I'd prefer not to have to change planes.

I read somewhere that it can make sense to use a travel agent - but it's hard for me to see how it'll be cheaper that way rather than DIY.

Should I book now, or wait until the last moment (in this case, last moment is 1 week before departure, for reasons I gave above)? Use an agent? Look at other places than Kayak and Bing search?
posted by VikingSword to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
I checked Skyscanner, which is great, and didn't find anything less than that. Here are all flights from Los Angeles to/from Berlin for all of September and October.

Air New Zealand often has cheaper deals to London on its website than show up on searches.

If you're on a super-tight budget...

1) Look into separately-booked tickets from LA to London, then London to Berlin. You will probably have to switch airports via the rather expensive British public transport system, which might not save you as much.

2) There is one daily cheapish, if you're early, daytime train from London to Berlin - details here.

3) Somehow get yourselves to New York, then fly over from there. Continental is showing $289 each way (including taxes/fees) per person, from Newark on the first set of dates. Not too bad, if you can get to Newark.
posted by mdonley at 2:13 PM on August 17, 2009

Cheapoair shows one for 619 (before taxes), on Air New Zealand/BMI.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:24 PM on August 17, 2009

Wow, tickets have actually become more expensive in September compared to August... pretty surprising, as I thought the travel season would be falling off in September.

I wasn't familiar with Skyscanner, thanks for that! I probably don't want to cobble together a bunch of flights with layovers, just to save $50... saving 100-200 is a maybe, but doesn't look realistic.

Hmm. I guess I should start booking soon, since prices just refuse to go down, season or no.
posted by VikingSword at 3:08 PM on August 17, 2009

Just as a matter of record, I went ahead and bid on Priceline, and came up with $610 per ticket after all the fees and taxes, which while not spectacular is a decent price, seems to me. Moral of the story: priceline is worth bidding on (at least, it worked for me, this time around). YMMV.
posted by VikingSword at 9:55 PM on August 19, 2009

Wow, cool, I haven't tried that before. Yay trip!
posted by mdonley at 11:02 AM on August 20, 2009

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