Multi-City Flying - Save Money on the Way to Europe

Multi-City Flying: Save Money on the Way to Europe

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Multi-City Flying - Save Money on the Way to Europe

In Europe the holiday season begins in June and lasts until the first few days of September. The longest day in Europe is called the Solstice on 21st of June and some Nordic countries celebrate this moment with a car-free day. The peak holiday season is during July and August, so prices usually soar by 30%, while in some southern countries like Italy, August is the month when all major businesses are out and leisure time has priority. So, tourists who want to go for a journey across Europe can already observe promotional advertisements in the media. Many of us use advance web search portals to find the best price deals. However, those who want to find offers for themselves and don’t want to stay just in one place should look into the Multi City option offered by major airlines.

Multi City options are offered by all major airlines, sometimes under a slightly different name like Multi Destination or Multi Stop.

In order to optimize your flight experience, consider first to choose the European origin airlines with a hub in Europe. It is a safe bet as EU regulators enforce upon all airlines the strict rules that protect customers like in no other place in the world. Customers in Europe are protected regardless of the country of origin and in case of claim you will be treated with high attention, which is not always the case with other carriers, as basically they are out of practical options there.

More information on your consumer rights can be followed at the official site of European Consumers Centres Network by European Commission on:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecc/consumer_topics/air_travel_en.htm

Here you can find an AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS EU COMPLAINT FORM (just in case).

When a customer interacts with a flight search scanner it will quickly conclude that not only return tickets are cheaper than a one-way purchase, but they are on a promotion based on destination, so in reality they are discounted only one way! That leaves extra room for careful shoppers who wants to find a deal on promotions both ways. The Multi City option booking offers an opportunity to find out that, for example, you can fly into Europe by arriving at Frankfurt and leave out from Rome. Multi City is also a way to plan stopovers without paying extra to the airline. For example, you can plan to stay in Paris for three days and continue your journey to Munich in Germany later on with the same ticket printout by the same airline.

An alternative strategy to save money is a triangle route, especially when you consider that Europe is a small continent after all. For example, fly from Jakarta to Amsterdam, take a train to Berlin, and fly out from Berlin to Vienna, later leaving Europe from Vienna. For such connections, Multi City is an option. Some frequent business travellers might want to train their secretaries to optimize the price search or schedule around one favourite airline.

A trick of the airline hub location comes into the picture. Flights from or to a particular airline hub both ways is always cheaper. But then, you will discover that the triangle logic is a bit of contradiction to round-trip cheaper flying. And yes, you would be right unless you consider that your last flight is empty. In other words, passengers take flights out of a given hub and never take the return flight. For example, a one-way priced ticket from Frankfurt to Amsterdam is 500 EURO, but both ways is under 200 EURO. Will you fly back if you want to be in Italy at the same time?

  • KLM’s hub is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • AIR FRANCE’s hub is Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • LUFTHANSA has its hub in three cities: Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt

A trick to cheap ‘empty’ flights is to pick a rare or promotional destination at a distant date. For example, your last ‘empty’ flight segment is scheduled next year in February, so the airline-offered price now is quite low.

Some airlines impose limitations on Multi City bookings up to four segments and some others require you to have a subsequent time order. Nevertheless, a passenger can have two or even more tickets so the whole flying route can be split into two tickets but issued with the same airline, which in most cases guarantees further connection in case your previous flight was delayed by the same carrier.

Another advantage to fly with a regular airline instead of cheap airlines is that they offer discounted fares for teenagers – depending on conditions – from 75% to 90% of the regular price. Infants under two years of age mostly fly free of charge and kids’ trolleys are provided by airlines when requested.

In conclusion, the combination of the above advice shall bring results much better than any sophisticated fly scanner. I must admit that I have never run into a travel agent that cares enough to discuss such options. When travelling into Europe, you must remember that all travelling options depend on your Schengen zone visa limitations, as not all countries in Europe are in Schengen. Have a good journey!

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Robert Machnik is a traveller who grew up in Poland. He graduated from universities in North America. For the last two years he has worked and lived in Indonesia and is a father of a 7-year-old son.