#1- Search 'til you're Blue!
If you want to
leave from the airport nearest you and fly directly to Athens
the best thing to do is search until you've exhausted all
possibilities and come up with a fare that you can live
with. If you live near a major US airport, you won't have
to search too hard as NY, Boston, Chicago, Los Angelos,
Miami and Washington usually have the lowest fares(and most
easily found). If you live near a smaller airport then you
will have to search harder as the low fares are more difficult
I know when I
was living in NY, it was so easy to find great fares, but
since moving to NC it has become much more difficult.
when I was trying to buy a ticket to Berlin three weeks
before I wanted to go(Dec 26- Christmas Season and last
minute is not a good combination). I searched all over the
internet, through newspapers(Sunday papers usually have
a great travel section) and used the yellow pages(increasingly
less effective for finding low fares). Every time I saw
the words "As low as $599"
it instilled a glimmer of hope that was quickly extinguiused
once I contacted the company. The rates invariably went
up to $1200 or more since "the lower fares have all
been sold out".(If you've been doing any searching
than I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!).
I don't know
if it's because I'm still living in the past, but I really
dislike paying over $1000 for any of my tickets(and maybe
it's an arbitrary number), but so far I can only think of
a couple of times that I have(but I'm sure that will change!).
I was at a crossroads
for my trip to Berlin. I would have to either pay the $1200+
or cancel the trip. I wasn't ready to give up yet on the
plan so I ran a few more searches. Much to my amazement
I found a company in Tennessee(I can't remember the name)
but they had tickets advertised for about $700. I called
them and sure enough they said they had them.
I reviewed the
flight itinerary(RDU-ATL-Brussels-Berlin and back the same
way) which was listed as Delta flights. It looked good to
me so I purchased them. The flight from Raleigh to Atlanta
was on Delta and then from Atlanta to Brussels was on Sabena(before
it's ill-fated demise) and the thrid airline was a small
regional German airline(can't remember the name) that took
me to Berlin.
The flights were
uneventful and I ended up having a great 2000 New Year's
If I hadn't continued
searching, I would have either paid more than I wanted to
or else cancelled the trip...
Start searching the ads on these pages(you
can refresh the browser and new ads will come up.) Make
sure to write down the fares and the web site address(you
don't want to find a great fare and then not remember where
it was!). Once you've exhausted the ads, try the search
engines. I also suggest that you use the Google search engine
that I've posted at the bottom of this page. This will give
you a pretty good idea of what's out there!
If you visit this page you can check rates on 7 different
sites very easily!