Airfares you don’t want to miss from North America
As a follow-up to our previous article ‘Deal or no Deal?’ and by popular demand we will be publishing information on trends regarding airfares to Budapest prior to each travel season.
As the fall season approaches many airlines offer travel promos for late summer and fall departures. On the US domestic travel front American and United offer discounted fares to cities like Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas and New York City with some starting as low as $ 98 round-trip. Several other US carriers will soon match these fares to be competitive and the fare wars begin, which is great for customers.
Meanwhile if you are heading to Central-Europe from North America it will likely be much harder to find great bargains. Due to recent capacity cuts, increasing fees and surcharges Europe remains a costly route to fly. Plus, there is little competition, as most airlines serving European destinations are part of one of the three mega-alliances, Skyteam, Oneworld or Star where the real competition is between the groups and not the individual airlines themselves. Once an airline joins an alliance many fares are set jointly and there isn’t much flexibility in pricing. The airfares however get somewhat better (approx. US $200 - $250 lower) for late summer and early fall departures. As you might expect, there are even better deals for departures after mid October.
Here is a sampling of the lowest fares currently available from New York and Toronto to Budapest:
New York - Budapest is served by several American and European airlines, most of them code-sharing the route. Presently, Delta is the only carrier, flying this route non-stop.
Late summer & early fall:
KLM - US $764* via Amsterdam, valid for departures Aug 30 - Oct 24
Malév - US $793* via Paris, valid for departures Sep 1 - May 31
(This is a code-share flight operated by American Airlines, as Malév Hungarian Airlines doesn’t have any long-haul flights to North America.)
Delta - US $825* via Paris, valid for departures Sep 1 - Oct 14
American Airlines - US $877* via Milan, valid for departures Sep 1 - Oct 28
Delta non-stop - US $946* valid for departures Sep 1 - Oct 14
Mid- late fall:
KLM - US $699* via Amsterdam, valid for departures Oct 25 - Dec 09
Swiss - US $707* via Geneva, no seasonal travel restrictions apply
Delta - US $708* via Prague, Rome or Amsterdam; valid for departures Oct 25 - Dec 09
American Airlines - US $736* via Milan, valid for departures Oct 29 - Dec 13
Toronto - Budapest is served by fewer airlines and airfares tend to be higher. There are no direct flights between Canada and Hungary. Due to its proximity to Hungary, many people opt to fly to Vienna and drive.
Late summer & early fall:
Air France - CA $855* via Paris, valid for departures Aug 30 - Oct 24
KLM - CA $944* via Amsterdam, valid for departures Sep 11 - Oct 15
Mid- late fall:
British Airways - CA $858* via London, no seasonal travel restrictions apply
Finnair - CA $926* changing planes twice, valid for departures Oct 01 - Apr 30
*Fares include taxes and fees. Arline sites and major OTAs were shopped for a one week stay. Rates are always changing, so be sure to check real-time availability and pricing.
The fares above are available on the airlines’ websites as well as on major online travel sites (OTA - i.e. Travelocity, Expedia, Vayama, Orbitz, etc.). For the most part you should expect to see similar fares and availability from both the airlines and third-party websites. Agreements usually prohibit airlines and OTAs from undercutting each other and the cheapest fares are generally available across all major OTAs. There might however be differences in booking fees and handling fees. So, it’s always good to shop around and compare fares for your specific itinerary. If you find a great deal, take it!
As a final note, if you are going on a vacation consider booking flight and hotel together, as both airlines and hotels offer discounted rates for packages. They can do so because the rates are opaque and this helps them move unsold inventory without diminishing their brand.
You may also be interested in our Budapest deals and promos page, where we list the latest hotel promos, flight deals, sweepstakes and other discounts for Budapest and Hungary. Please let us know if you find great deals, you can leave a comment or post them in our Travel Deals Forum.