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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Much Does it Cost to Fly between the USA and Germany?

I have flown between Germany and the U.S. a total of 4 times in the past 4 years. With my upcoming trip to the U.S. in September, this number will soon be 5.











Every time I have made this transatlantic flight, I have done it with a different airline and had a connection through a different airport. And since the German boyfriend and I were able to snag such a great deal for our upcoming trip (with yet another airline), it got me thinking about what I have paid to fly between the U.S. and Germany in the past. So, here is an overview of each of my transatlantic flights, including how much I paid for my tickets.

SWISS

This was my very first time leaving the U.S. It was also my first time searching online for airline tickets. So, I basically just typed "Chicago to Hamburg" in Google, clicked on the first search result, and begged my parents to pay for it. Looking back, I can see that the tickets were a little bit expensive, and I probably could have found something cheaper, but you live and you learn. I am also happy that I got the experience of flying with SWISS (because it's pretty nice).

USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH)
31 August 2011 from 19:55 to 10:55

Zurich (ZRH) to Hamburg (HAM)
01 September 2011 from 14:55 to 16:20

Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Zurich (ZRH)
Zurich (ZRH) to Chicago (ORD)
-- This is on my receipt, but I didn't actually end up taking this plane due to technical problems. Instead, I was put on a Lufthansa plane through Munich.

TOTAL: 1,039.01 USD / 741.07 EUR


US Airways

This was hands down my worst experience flying between the U.S. and Germany. The flight was unbearably long, the planes were old, and I had two stops on the way back to the U.S. It is important to note, however, that this was the most quickly-planned trip as well. My departure was in September, and I bought the tickets at the end of July. For the best deals, you need to book about 4-5 months in advance.

USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
11 September 2012 from 16:00 to 10:20

Frankfurt (FRA) to Hamburg (HAM)
12 September 2012 from 12:05 to 13:10

Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Frankfurt (FRA)
11 November 2012 from 08:25 to 09:45

Frankfurt (FRA) to Charlotte (CLT)
11 November 2012 from 11:05 to 15:00

Charlotte (CLT) to Chicago (ORD)
11 November 2012 from 18:05 to 19:14

TOTAL: 813.00 USD / 661.50 EUR

LOT Polish Airlines

This is the first/only time I have ever bought a one-way ticket. Unfortunately, one-way tickets do not cost half of a round-trip, but I got an okay deal on this one when you consider that I was flying in July - one of the most expensive months to fly. 

I was very happy with LOT Polish Airlines since I got to fly on their brand-new Dreamliner 787. I also had a whole row of 3 seats to myself, which probably made this my most comfortable flying experience as well. However, having to go through Warsaw Airport was the absolute worst. So, the SWISS flight still remains at the top.

USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Warsaw (WAW)
24 July 2013 from 21:50 to 14:05

Warsaw (WAW) to Hamburg (HAM)
25 July 2013 from 17:25 to 19:00

TOTAL: 506.39 USD / 388.77 EUR

Lufthansa

This was my last flight to the U.S. over Christmas. Lufthansa is a solid airline, and our experience was with them was great. I also really like the Munich airport, so having to sit around there for a few hours between flights isn't too bad. The only bad thing I can say is that Lufthansa does now charge for seat reservations, so Marco and I each paid 50 EUR each to reserve seats for each of the transatlantic flights. We didn't reserve spots for the shorter flights, and we did have to sit on opposite ends of the plane for one of the trips.

Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Munich (MUC)
20 December 2014 from 13:00 to 14:20

Munich (MUC) to Chicago (ORD)
20 December 2014 from 15:40 to 18:55

USA to Germany
Chicago (HAM) to Munich (MUC)
3 January 2015 from 21:30 to 13:20

Munich (MUC) to Hamburg (HAM)
4 January 2015 from 15:00 to 16:15

TOTAL: 828 USD / 622.19 EUR

Finnair

This is the itinerary for our upcoming flight in September. This was by far the best deal either of us have ever gotten on an airline ticket between Hamburg and Chicago, and I am not really sure it would be possible to find something cheaper. Also, in typical Courtney-fashion, we have chosen to fly with yet another new airline.

Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Helsinki (HEL)
13:00 to 15:50

Helsinki (HEL) to Chicago (ORD)
17:25 to 18:40

USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Helsinki (HEL)
22:00 to 14:50

Helsinki (HEL) to Hamburg (HAM)
17:30 to 18:30

TOTAL: 418.03 USD / 385.12 EUR


What was the best deal you ever got on plane tickets?

15 comments:

  1. What a great deal you guys got on your flight this time!

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  2. I know! How much do flights cost between Iceland and the US?

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  3. Mandi | No Apathy AllowedApril 29, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    From 2006-2008 I must have flown between NYC and Hamburg a half a dozen times during a long-distance relationship. I always flew with Emirates because they had a direct route, offered awesome service, and it was usually very reasonably prices (about $600 or so round trip). Although I don't know if the route exists anymore, it was just about as easy as trans-Atlantic travel can get! I lived about half an hour from JFK airport, spent about 8 hours sleeping on the plane, and then woke up in Hamburg and was only a 10-minute cab ride away from my destination! These days, when I'm going to visit my family I usually fly Lufthansa (Bremen-Frankfurt-Seattle) or KLM (Bremen-Amsterdam-Seattle) -- there are deals under $800 to be had, but the timing has to be just right. Around $900 or more is pretty typical.

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  4. Mandi | No Apathy AllowedApril 29, 2015 at 4:53 AM

    My only secret is having to take Dramamine against motion sickness, which always make me super sleepy. :)

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  5. Hahaha, that's one way, I suppose :) I've thought about buying some Melatonin or something, but I have never taken sleeping supplements before and don't know if I really want to start. Instead, I usually marathon movies the whole time, which isn't so bad.

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  6. It varies but now with the Icelandair becoming a popular way to get into Europe it is rising the prices quickly! But the average is usually around 750-900 USD round trip. The nice thing is now I have a direct flight from Iceland to Portland so that is awesome.

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  7. 385 for round trip, makes me want to go with you, but sadly I don't have family in Chicago to stay with! :/ lucky you only have one layover, since we go to a smaller city we always have two!

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  8. Having 2 really sucks. I am especially jealous of the people that can get direct flights (if I only I lived in Munich or Düsseldorf!).

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  9. Courtney, looks like you got a great deal and you can say you've traveled to Helsinki afterwards.

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  10. Can I ask which search engines you use? I have never been able to find such a cheap flight! I have flown USA-Germany and vice versa several times and I think the cheapest I ever got was $800-1000.

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  11. I usually use the Google Flights search engine to find flights, and then book the tickets directly on the airline's website.

    https://www.google.com/flights/

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  12. My last roundtrip was roughly 1000USD for NUE-SEA, even with 2 layovers on the way back. Since the bf and I are both over 6ft, we usually fly Delta Comfort, you really do appreciate those 4 extra inches :D

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  13. 2 layovers sucks, but it's probably not so easy (or cheap) to find trips with only 1 stop between Seattle and Europe. Marco and I actually did splurge an extra 50 EUR for "economy plus" seat reservations on the way back, which I guess is a similar thing to Delta Comfort. We will see how it is!

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    ReplyDelete

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