Cheap Flights in Europe
May 29, 2005 1:05 PM   Subscribe

I usually find great prices for flights. But I'm coming up empty on this route: Amsterdam to Zurich.

I've checked a few of the usual suspects (RyanAir, EasyJet, Expedia, BMI Baby, Fly Globespan, CheapFlights, Swiss Air, KLM, Travel Jungle, Travel Cuts, Student Universe, STA Travel, probably a few more) and the route either isn't offered, or it's at least $200 US. I need the flight on July 15th, and $200 US seems extraordinarily high for such a short flight.

Any ideas? I can't do train/overland or an auction site, as I have something in Amsterdam the day before and a dinner in Zurich on the evening of the 15th, so I need to arrive earlier in the day. What are other no-frills airlines that might fly that route that I haven't yet found? Is it just because the Euro is strong? I only need one way, but it seems that the return fares are actually much cheaper. Other factors: I'm a full-time student, if that will help, but I'm 26 so many of the European 'youth' fares that end at 25 won't work.

I'm guessing that I'll have to suck it up, but it just seems odd that it would cost that much, when I've taken so many European flights for ridiculously cheap fares. Perhaps I'm paying my dues now, and subsidizing my previous deals. What are your secrets for cheaper European airlines or European student travel deals?
posted by fionab to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know about the factors for this particular flight, but European tickets this summer are just exorbitant all over. I am paying much much much more for mine (between the US and Germany and between Germany and Italy) this year than I have every seen before, and everyone else I know who's doing European travel this summer has been appalled by prices too.
posted by redfoxtail at 1:12 PM on May 29, 2005

I seem to remember hearing good things about SkyEurope. You'd have to connect via Bratislava. But Amsterdam-Bratislava and Bratislava-Zurich are 10 euros each. Good luck!
posted by Turtle at 1:52 PM on May 29, 2005

can you buy the cheaper roundtrip and then just not use the return portion? (people do that here all the time in the US.)
posted by amberglow at 3:11 PM on May 29, 2005

I'd second amberglow as long as you use the first portion - if you miss the outward leg the airline may cancel the return leg automatically. I do this to Germany - sometimes it's actually cheaper to get two returns that both include a Saturday than it is to buy a midweek return.
posted by blag at 5:45 PM on May 29, 2005

amberglow/blag: Sorry to butt in, but I'm curious what you two mean. Are you saying an Amsterdam-->Zurich-->Amsterdam roundtrip might be cheaper than an Amsterdam-->Zurich one-way?
posted by sdis at 8:50 PM on May 29, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, the $200 minimum tickets that I've been able to find reflect the for return fares. sdis: the return tickets for my route are about $200 US while the one-way tickets are running about $500 right now (!). The SkyEurope deal is much more in line with what I've been used to in the past, and I might go for that option. Thanks, all.
posted by fionab at 11:16 PM on May 29, 2005

Air Berlin might help you, although from what I see they fly Amsterdam-Zürich but not Zürich-Amsterdam (?). I may be wrong, you could investigate further.
posted by Skyanth at 12:26 AM on May 30, 2005

Only Swiss and KLM offer direct flights between Amsterdam and Zürich. This is the main reason they are so expensive, there is no competition on this route. If they don't have anything cheap you have to fly via another city.

Another option is to fly from Münster or Brussels, or you can fly to Geneva or Basel and take a train from there to Zürich.
Also all flights will be filled up, you are flying on a Friday so the flight will only get more expensive. Even the air berlin flight Skyanth links to (which is not a direct flight) has already less than 8 free seats available.
posted by sebas at 2:46 AM on May 30, 2005

sdis: in this case, fionab has answered your question; the return ticket is cheaper than the single. In my case, I was referring to the fact that two returns that both include a Saturday are often cheaper than one midweek return. I just throw away the two unused tickets.

Seems crazy, but I guess it's because midweek returns tend to be used by business travellers whilst weekend returns are mainly used by tourists.
posted by blag at 6:31 AM on May 30, 2005

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