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  #21  
Old 09.06.2012, 17:38
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

Better prepare for the next obvious question : "How do I find lodgings in Lausanne" if the OP can't even work out how to travel to here .
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  #22  
Old 09.06.2012, 17:48
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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Intercontinental flights are statistically much less likely to be delayed, as the pilot has the capacity to make up a part of the delay on the long haul flight.
Data, please.

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Nobody forces the OP to plan a tight connection schedule. One should always account for sufficient time to pass immigration, collect bagage and check in for your next flight and a bit of margin on top of that. This margin could as well be 2.5 hours, so as long as it takes to get from Basel to Lausanne by train.
Always? I thought people who travel often do it the normal way whereby both you and your baggage are checked in to your final destination... (NB passing US immigration for connecting flights is NOT the normal thing).
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  #23  
Old 09.06.2012, 18:38
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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Data, please.
I have no links to a compiled set of data, however you can check the average delays per airline and per airport on Flightstats:
http://www.flightstats.com
You can also check average and maximum delays to plan any margins accordingly.

It is a fact, that long haul flights have a better chance to recover delays enroute, whereas short hauls don't.

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Always? I thought people who travel often do it the normal way whereby both you and your baggage are checked in to your final destination... (NB passing US immigration for connecting flights is NOT the normal thing).
Always when flying on multiple tickets. Not all connection can be booked on a single ticket. Also, there is no "normal" when it comes to cheap travelling. Some are happy to pay 200% more for a direct flight, others will choose an alternative routing. You don't have to book with Easyjet or other lowcosts. Regular airlines have better customer support. And then of course there's travel insurance which usually covers flight delays.
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  #24  
Old 09.06.2012, 18:45
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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Always when flying on multiple tickets.
Problem with multiple tickets if you are booking the cheapest deals: if you miss your connection your onward ticket is worth about as much as a sheet of toilet paper.... With a single ticket the carriers have an obligation to help you, with multiple tickets they don't. So the cheapest deal can potentially end up costing you considerably more.
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Old 09.06.2012, 19:36
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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Problem with multiple tickets if you are booking the cheapest deals: if you miss your connection your onward ticket is worth about as much as a sheet of toilet paper.... With a single ticket the carriers have an obligation to help you, with multiple tickets they don't. So the cheapest deal can potentially end up costing you considerably more.
Not exactly true. Even if you miss your flight you are eligible to a return of taxes, but not the airfare.
Otherwise what you're saying is true but I personally find it's usually worth the risk. That being said, I would not risk missing the main, long haul part of the trip. Only the final connecting part.
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  #26  
Old 09.06.2012, 20:39
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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One way is always over-priced. Book a return ticket as far ahead as you can, with an option of changing the date, or throw away the return part. [...] Try a student travel company in your home country. eg. http://www.statravel.com/ - they should have an office in canada.
If everyone is done debating about which combination of busses/trains/planes to take, Swisspea has offered some very sound advice. If you're a student, the first thing to do is get yourself an ISIC card, which entitles you to discounted travel.

Often these tickets aren't that much cheaper than the cheapest available tickets on sale to the general public, but they tend to have much more flexible rules. You can buy reasonably-priced one-way tickets, or you can buy return tickets that allow you to change the return date without an additional payment, or you can include free stop-overs in both directions.

Before you book too much of your travel, you should also investigate fares starting from Switzerland with a student travel specialist -- when I studied in the UK, it was much cheaper to buy a ticket originating in the UK than in the US.

STA were the big market leaders in the UK and US. They have a phone number listed for Canadian travel, but their website seems to insist you start your journey from the US: http://branches.statravelgroup.com/f...=9&search1.y=7

TravelCUTS claim to be the Canadian specialist: http://www.travelcuts.com/?langtype=1033

And just to add my two cents to the ongoing debate about which airport to fly into -- my first choice would be Geneva, but Zurich would be an okay alternative if the flights were a lot cheaper. Both have rail stations inside the airport, making the connection reasonably hassle-free. While you could fly into Basel, it's on the other side of the country and you need to take a bus to the airport. It won't kill you, but it's a hassle, especially when you're jetlagged and don't know your way around.
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  #27  
Old 09.06.2012, 22:44
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

TIP: It might be worth it to note that the travel websites do keep tabs on when and how often you visit their sites with cookies and what not... This may be why you were unable to find anything cheaper than $3000... so make sure you clear your browser history, cache, cookies, etc. before using travel sites to make sure you will get the best price possible
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  #28  
Old 09.06.2012, 23:10
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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TIP: It might be worth it to note that the travel websites do keep tabs on when and how often you visit their sites with cookies and what not... This may be why you were unable to find anything cheaper than $3000... so make sure you clear your browser history, cache, cookies, etc. before using travel sites to make sure you will get the best price possible
This is very good advice - The same thing happened to me looking for car rentals, I only had to refresh the page and the price went up by about 50% each time!
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  #29  
Old 10.06.2012, 01:27
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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The lowest one-way fare from Toronto to Zurich in July (25th) is currently with Air Berlin (www.airberlin.com) and is approx $900 CAD.
I think this is the best you can get for summertime on a single ticket.

Most airlines discourage buying one way tickets, so try to plan in advance and get a return leg as well (perhaps for Christmas?). You'll save money this way.
This was very helpful. Thank you!
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  #30  
Old 10.06.2012, 01:28
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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ok sometimes they don't have the best service but they have the best price for short flight....personnaly 3years ago, i did geneva-paris with easyjet and paris-miami with AmericainAirlines i paid 570.- for go and 620.- for the return, it was long but i have no regrets
So you paid 1210 for what other people pay 800ish with a normal connected ticket. Other genius advice for "cheap" travel?
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  #31  
Old 10.06.2012, 01:32
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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The cheapest I found (with seats still available) is CAD 855 from Vancouver to Geneva via Frankfurt with the German airline Condor.

It looks like a fair deal to me and would avoid changing airports, taking long bus rides and who knows what else.

Details attached to the post.
This website is fantastic! I'll actually be flying over from Toronto since I'll be going back to Ottawa at the end of this month.

I did a search and it found me a flight for $700 one way! Amazing. Thank you very much guys.
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Old 10.06.2012, 01:40
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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I have no links to a compiled set of data, however you can check the average delays per airline and per airport on Flightstats:
http://www.flightstats.com
You can also check average and maximum delays to plan any margins accordingly.

It is a fact, that long haul flights have a better chance to recover delays enroute, whereas short hauls don't.
Flightstats! Thanks. I worked ten years in flight dispatch, so for a moment there I was worried that you had actual data the aviation world at large miraculously managed to ignore.

Average and maximum delays! Awesome! Can you assess the predictive power of the average and maximum values for one specific flight?

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Not exactly true. Even if you miss your flight you are eligible to a return of taxes, but not the airfare..
Oh yay. I can get 40 CHF worth of taxes back which i'll have to pay again unless i decide to stop half-ways on my trip (and take the bus from Madrid to Geneva). Of course on top of actually not getting the taxes back, i'll have to pay full whack for a last minute easyJet (or whichever other carrier happens to have free seats) ticket too.

Do you guys have other brilliant cheap travel tips like that one?
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  #33  
Old 10.06.2012, 01:47
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

guys, I appreciate all the feedback you've given me. But let's try to keep it friendly. I think everyone here has very valuable insight to give, and I'm just thankful for that. Hopefully I can return the favour for other inexperienced newbies like me.

On that note - how early would you advise that I book a flight? I see some flights that are ~$700 for one way, but I'm not sure if that's the date I would want to be arriving in. I fear that as each day gets closer, the ticket price will skyrocket (which I'm sure it will closer to the departure date... but hopefully not THAT close).

Thank you again!
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  #34  
Old 10.06.2012, 01:57
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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Don't use ebookers.ch as they tend to post flights, which are unavailable and jiff you off with taxes.
Don't use Swiss as they are overpriced.
Amazing the extremes that someone's prejudice can take him. OP - the reality is sometimes Swiss are cheaper, others they are not. Check all your options, including Swiss.
I can only assume the .ch address with ebookers causes the same issue as I have never had a problem with them.

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Oh yay. I can get 40 CHF worth of taxes back which i'll have to pay again unless i decide to stop half-ways on my trip (and take the bus from Madrid to Geneva). Of course on top of actually not getting the taxes back, i'll have to pay full whack for a last minute easyJet (or whichever other carrier happens to have free seats) ticket too.

Do you guys have other brilliant cheap travel tips like that one?
The real fun part is that from sleezy and the Irish cowboys you won't even get that as they will happily charge an admin fee that cunningly absorbs pretty well all the tax refund
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  #35  
Old 10.06.2012, 02:01
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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guys, I appreciate all the feedback you've given me. But let's try to keep it friendly. I think everyone here has very valuable insight to give, and I'm just thankful for that. Hopefully I can return the favour for other inexperienced newbies like me.

On that note - how early would you advise that I book a flight? I see some flights that are ~$700 for one way, but I'm not sure if that's the date I would want to be arriving in. I fear that as each day gets closer, the ticket price will skyrocket (which I'm sure it will closer to the departure date... but hopefully not THAT close).

Thank you again!
Tonino, the earlier you book generally the better the deals, particularly in July. You are probably lucky to get deals as good as the ones we found. Don't wait too long....
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  #36  
Old 10.06.2012, 02:01
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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guys, I appreciate all the feedback you've given me.
On that note - how early would you advise that I book a flight? I see some flights that are ~$700 for one way, but I'm not sure if that's the date I would want to be arriving in. I fear that as each day gets closer, the ticket price will skyrocket (which I'm sure it will closer to the departure date... but hopefully not THAT close).

Thank you again!
How early? As early as the price gets near your max. budget.

What is the ACTUAL question?
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  #37  
Old 10.06.2012, 02:01
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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This website is fantastic! I'll actually be flying over from Toronto since I'll be going back to Ottawa at the end of this month.

I did a search and it found me a flight for $700 one way! Amazing. Thank you very much guys.
You're welcome. It is pretty cool isn't it?
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  #38  
Old 10.06.2012, 02:03
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

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Not exactly true. Even if you miss your flight you are eligible to a return of taxes, but not the airfare.
And getting an airline to refund the taxes is akin to having a tooth pulled at the dentist.
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Old 10.06.2012, 10:17
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

Give kayak.com a try. Under search criteria, you can select Geneva as it's the closest, as well as other airports. It also allows you to select a couple of days before and after your preferred date to see how the fares vary by those dates. They are a search engine for travel, but you book directly with the airline/company offering the fares.
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  #40  
Old 10.06.2012, 10:34
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Re: How to Fly to Switzerland???

You can also check Edelweiss Air - I think they have a direct flight between Vancouver and Zurich (yay no US customs) and then you can take the train.

http://www.edelweissair.ch/en/

I would also encourage you to get a two-way trip with a flexible date on the return. Even if you pay a couple hundred to change it later, it will save you money because it is almost the same for one way as for two (I learned this the hard way!)
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