Aug112016

LAX nested tickets $1,000 Thanksgiving + Christmas Munich/Salzburg

There is a low fare opportunity for Los Angeles to Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Germany or Salzburg and Vienna, Austria and some other cities for travel over Thanksgiving and Christmas at an average ticket price of around $500 to $600 per trip when booking nested tickets for two trips to Europe in 2016.

Finding a $500 round trip ticket to Europe is not too difficult these days with all the fare sales happening between the USA and Europe. What is still difficult is finding low fare deals to Europe in peak travel holiday periods, especially from California. I pick up great deals regularly by traveling on the dates when low fare deals are around. I have that flexibility as a self-employed person. Many, if not most, travelers have restricted windows of opportunity for travel. My wife is one of those types of travelers. She is a public school teacher and this is our 23rd year of planning European and other vacation weeks around school holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The primary purpose of this post is not to share a great deal for readers, unless you are someone with a desire to travel to Europe over Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. This post is meant more as an airline ticketing strategy tip to show how nested tickets can greatly reduce the price of travel during peak season prices. A couple months ago I tried to write this article while traveling around Louisiana when I found a similar nested ticket opportunity, but those fares were gone within hours of finding the deal. At the time I could not find other city pairs where this nested ticketing strategy worked to save a significant amount of money.

Today I came across another nested ticket, open-jaw low fare deal for two trips to Germany and Austria. This presents a good opportunity to share the nested ticketing strategy for two nested trips from Los Angeles to Europe at a savings around 30% to 40% of purchasing two LAX-Europe tickets for Thanksgiving and Christmas trips.

Airline Ticket Prices for Thanksgiving travel LAX to Munich

In my experience, after two decades of travel to Europe during Thanksgiving week most years, this is generally a low fare time for airline tickets to Europe; especially if you can wait to return to the USA on Monday after Thanksgiving. Since the holiday traffic for Thanksgiving is focused on US domestic travel, my preference is finding a flight directly to anywhere in Europe from California and avoid a USA connection where travel woes are much more likely to occur.

2016 has low fares to Europe over Thanksgiving holiday week:

Swiss Airlines Los Angeles LAX – Zurich, Switzerland ZRH – Munich, Germany MUC

$533.40 round trip Sat Nov 19 – Sun Nov 27

LAX-MUC $534 LX Nov19-27

I like this ticket since it connects in Zurich each way for a direct Swiss Airlines flight to LAX. At least if you experience a missed flight, you are spending the night in Munich or Zurich and not Chicago, Newark or Washington DC. Plus it provides a full 7 nights in Europe.

Airline Ticket Price for Christmas travel LAX to Munich

The much harder find is an airline ticket deal to Europe during Christmas/New Year’s holiday season travel. Airfare is generally around $1,000 round trip from California to anywhere in Europe. Perhaps $800 if there is a good fare sale happening.

2016 fares are high again this year. I have covered several airfare deals for Christmas holiday travel, but they are not too common. Tickets for travel the weekend of many school breaks Sat-Sun Dec 17-18 is about $1,100 on United or as low as $818 round trip on Aer Lingus.

Budapest or Dublin are in the low $700s with Aer Lingus.

LAX-MUC $1136 UA Dec18-30

Aer Lingus  Los Angeles LAX – Dublin DUB – Munich MUC – Dublin DUB – LAX

$817.73 round trip Priceline.com ticket price.

Mon Dec 19 departure itinerary is rough with an early afternoon arrival and a forced overnight in Dublin after long-haul flight.

Overnight in Dublin Tue Dec 20 for 17 hours from Tuesday 1:45pm to Wednesday Dec 22 at 6:50am to Munich.

LAX-MUC $818 FI Dec 19-28 

Double Down on Europe: Los Angeles to Munich and Salzburg at Thanksgiving and Christmas for $1,000

Buying a Thanksgiving ticket and a Christmas ticket to Munich will cost around $1,350 all-in for Swiss LAX to Munich on the first trip and Aer Lingus LAX to Munich for the second trip to Europe. This assumes you want to go to Munich two times. As a tourist I would prefer to go to two different cities for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A couple of nested ticket deals caught my eye this week when United posted low fares from Los Angeles to several cities in Germany and Vienna for $500 to $550 round trip. There are even lower fares from Vienna to Los Angeles with British Airways as low as $400 round trip. Nesting two round trip tickets with LAX-Germany round trip at $500 and Vienna or Salzburg-LAX round trip at $400, you can travel to Germany and/or Austria on two separate trips for under $1,000 all-in airline tickets for two trips to Europe.

There are very low fares from Europe to California far more frequently than California to Europe.

Munich, Germany is one of the cities on sale from Los Angeles with Star Alliance airlines. I showed above a Swiss Airlines ticket for only $534 for travel during Thanksgiving week Sat Nov 19 – Sun Nov 27.

Salzburg, Austria is a 2-hour train ride from Munich, Germany. Lufthansa has round trip ticket prices for Salzburg SZG to Los Angeles in the low $400s for travel in late November with a return to Austria in late December for Christmas.

The ticket below flies you to Munich, Germany at the beginning of Thanksgiving holiday week and back to Los Angeles at the end of December before New Year’s.

KLM Los Angeles LAX – Paris CDG – Munich MUC – Amsterdam AMS – Los Angeles LAX

$561.98 round trip  Sat Nov 19 – Thu Dec 29

LAX-MUC $562 KL Nov19-Dec29

Salzburg Nested Ticket

Lufthansa Airlines  (nest the dates so this ticket falls within the dates you want to return to the USA, then go back to Europe.

Salzburg, Austria SZG – Frankfurt, FRA – Los Angeles LAX – Frankfurt FRA – Vienna VIE – Salzburg SZG

$452.69 round trip  Sunday Nov 27 – Sunday Dec 18

SZG-LAX $463 LH Nov 27-Dec18

Two Nested Tickets for $1,015 provides two trips to Europe at Thanksgiving and Christmas at average $507.50 per round trip ticket.

$1,015 in airline tickets for two trips to Europe compared to $1,136 to fly United Airlines Los Angeles to Munich for Christmas alone or $1,350 to fly to Munich for Thanksgiving and Christmas when starting both airline tickets in LAX. You can also do this with Vienna, Hamburg, Berlin and some other cities. Munich ans Salzburg work well due to their locational proximity with easy transportation between two cities.

  • Sat Nov 19 Air France Los Angeles – Paris – Munich Ticket #1 $562
  • Sun Nov 27 Lufthansa Salzburg – Frankfurt – Los Angeles Ticket #2 $453
  • Sun Dec 19 Lufthansa Los Angeles – Frankfurt – Vienna – Salzburg Ticket #2
  • Thu Dec 29 KLM Salzburg – Amsterdam – Los Angeles Ticket #1

That is the nested ticket airline ticketing strategy. This works well to reduce the cost of travel at peak season times like Christmas, Easter and June-August summer travel.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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