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Tips for US to St Jean Pied de Port Travel (Cheap Airfares)

JJinWI

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June (2018) Camino Frances
Firstly, I'm a long time lurker... first-time poster (so be easy on me :) )

So, I just booked my flights from Chicago to Biarritz for my first Camino (Starting ~May 22)... so I guess I'm really going to do this :cool:.

I started my search for flights at the normal sites (Travelocity, Orbitz...) and started to freak out seeing 1-way airfares for $1,200-$3,550!!!! So after several nights of research, I got my 1-way ticket Chicago to Biarritz for $308!!!!

I thought I would share a few tips I learned that might help save you some money.

Here is what I learned/did:
  • First, go to these websites to check prices. Many of the "normal" flight sites don't include the discount airlines (think WOW, Norweign Air, Ryan Air...) The sites below DO include the discount airlines, so you will usually find much better prices:
  • Once you have found a suitable flight, write down the flight info and then go directly to the airline site to buy the tickets for the following reasons:
    • The prices you see are usually the base prices and don't include a checked piece of luggage. If you buy the base tickets, they will charge a lot for your checked piece at the airport. If you purchase the checked luggage option when buying the tickets on their site, you can save money. (In my case, WOW charged me $59 for my checked piece when I bought my ticket... at the airport it would have cost $99!)
    • Sometimes you can save money by booking directly with the airlines. In my case, I saved $55 from what I was being quoted on the above websites.
  • In my case, I had to buy tickets at WOW and then at Ryan Air. Yes, it was a little more work, but I saved some money.
  • FYI... I'm flying on WOW from Chicago to London (Stansted) via Reykjavik and then on RyanAir from London to Biarritz. Total time is 15hr 25m (the shortest flight I found was 12h 50m, but it cost $3,550!)
Hope this helps other pilgrims!

Cheers,

-jj
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Good information. Another advantage to booking directly through the airline is choosing your seat immediately and ability to make changes or cancellations.
 

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