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Ticketing strategy: long layovers on intra-Europe one-way tickets

Norwegian Airlines has me hooked on low fares between Stockholm, Sweden and Oakland, California. I have flown this route several times over the past year, paying an average airfare around $150 one way. And now Norwegian flies Oakland to London Gatwick. There are $160 one way tickets OAK-LGW in September and October 2017.

There are many places around Europe I either have not ever visited or visited 10, 20 or even more than 40 years ago. Even with six trips to Europe per year the past few years, I am only slowly expanding my exposure to unfamiliar places by one or two cities on most trips.

Long layovers on cheap intra-Europe airline tickets

Some people like to ride the train around Europe. I find trains a waste of time for time-constrained trips to Europe, unless there is exceptional scenery like the Bergen-Oslo train across the Hardangervidda glacial plateau of Norway.

Bergen Line to Oslo, 500 km by train (and bus)

Bergen Line to Oslo 500 km by train part two

A plane flight can shuttle you across Europe in four to six hours from one hotel in one city in one country to another hotel in a different city and different country with a different currency and different culture.

My travel planning thoughts for a trip to Europe in September and October is looking at maximizing cheap one way flights between airports in different countries to find tickets with long layover times, near 24 hours, at an intermediate airport.

Which brings me back to Stockholm and Norwegian Airlines and opportunities I see for one way tickets from Stockholm to another European country with a long near-24 hour layover in a city along the way.

Stockholm to Nice, France

One of my travel destinations I am planning for October is a trip to Monaco to redeem a couple free nights I have at the Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco

ARN-NCE $65 AF Oct6

The cheapest ticket for Friday October 6 is Air France $65. There is an overnight layover of 9hr 10min from 10:05pm Friday night arrival at Paris CDG to 7:15am departure from Paris ORY. That kind of itinerary offers no sightseeing time, except from a bus window in the dark.

Filtering search results by Quickest Time, then looking for the longest time flights, is a way to find long layover city options on other cheap fare tickets.

Efficient flight itineraries with nonstop or short layover one stop flight segments are priced from $114 to $140 one way with Norwegian and SAS, Air France and Brussels Airlines.

I am not seeking cheap efficient flight schedules. I want overnight layovers along the way, but a better itinerary than a $65 Air France ticket with a late night arrival in Paris CDG and early morning departure from Paris Orly airport on the opposite side of the city. The hotel expense for a quick overnight in Paris wastes any airfare bargain savings.

Here are other ticket options for Friday October 6 Stockholm to Nice, France.

KLM Amsterdam layover 22hr 40m from 3:40pm-2:20pm

KLM Stockholm ARN – Amsterdam AMS – Nice, France

$148 Friday Oct 6

ARN-NCE xAMS $148 Oct 6

$83 more at $148 one way to fly KLM compared to $65 Air France Stockholm to Nice, France, but a full day in Amsterdam.

Club Carlson free Friday Night every two stays or 10K points July 1–Sep 30

Club Carlson Free Friday at Art’otel Amsterdam is a $374 room night.

 Club Carlson Amsterdam

Air Baltic Stockholm to Nice via Riga 21hr 45 m layover from 5:45pm to 3:30pm.

$82 one way, Friday October 6

ARN-NCE $82 xRIX Air Baltic Oct6

Riga, Latvia is not a particularly high-priced city to redeem a Club Carlson Free Friday, but there are several Club Carlson hotels in town in centrally located places. Airport transportation is easy and Old Town Riga is beautiful and a fun pub crawl city.

Riga city view

Air France Stockholm ARN – Paris CDG – Nice, France NCE

$90 one way, Friday October 6

22hr 25m layover in Paris from 8:50am Friday to 7:15am Saturday and no airport change from Paris CDG.

ARN-NCE $90 xCDG Oct6

Radisson Blu Paris Champs Elysees is a $306 Free Friday value.

Club Carlson Paris Free Friday

LOT Polish (operated by Regional Jet)

Stockholm ARN – Tallinn, Estonia TLL (20h 30m layover 8:35pm – 5:05pm) – Nice, France NCE

$116 one way Friday, Oct 6

ARN-NCE $116 xTLL LOT Oct6

Tallinn has $150 room rates for its two Radisson Blu hotels on Friday October 6.

Club Carlson Tallinn

In April 2017 I traveled through Lithuania and Latvia. I heard travelers mention Tallinn is the most beautiful of the Baltic country cities. Looks like a great opportunity to experience Tallinn on an overnight layover for little additional cost to fly Stockholm to Nice.

Air France Stockholm ARN – Paris CDG (21hr 5m layover) – Nice NCE

$87 one way, Friday October 6

21hr 5m layover 3:40pm to 12:45pm.

ARN-NCE $87 AF xCDG Oct 6

Another Air France option with layover hours that maximize the hotel and sightseeing daylight time in Paris with afternoon arrival and afternoon departure. Rush hour from CDG into the city is a pain. Hotel will be ready by arrival and no early morning rush out of the hotel necessary.

Additional cities in Europe at little additional cost

Amsterdam, Paris, Riga or Tallinn on long overnight transit layovers are all options for a Stockholm to Nice, France one-way ticket on Friday, October 6. Other dates open up the potential for other layover cities at low ticket prices.

Some trips I have limited time and other trips, like the trip I am planning for October, allow for spending additional days getting from one place to another in my travels.

Stockholm to Nice can place me in Tallinn for a day, a city I have not yet seen or another day in Paris, a city with a lifetime of sights to see.

These opportunities for quick city stops between flight origin and destination on cheap one way tickets around Europe is a ticketing strategy I want to utilize more in 2017-18 travel.


  • bluecat July 5, 2017

    Is your travel really “time-constrained”? I’m in awe of the very many trips you take and I never have the sense that you need to rush back home. That brings up a question that I’ve been wondering about: why do you take so many trips rather than combine them? At my age, I’m starting to find the plane part of it to be wearing me down and would try to minimize that.

    I like your idea of using short, cheap plane flights to see places I wouldn’t otherwise. Not sure about why you feel like the <24 hour stopover is such a good idea though. I find that many of the cheap flights use airports that are far from the city centers and, besides, I'm not keen to rush around sights in a place just to save the cost of another flight.

    BTW, I'm not trying to harass you in your way of travel…I'm just questioning in an attempt to understand your underlying travel goals and philosophies…(sometimes it seem like you prioritize getting a good deal over any sort of deep desire to visit a place because you are truly interested in the sights/people/history)

    Also, no need to worry about traffic out of CDG…take the RER train.

  • Ric Garrido July 5, 2017

    Staying away too long from home without my wife is my time-constraint. She does not like me being away from home for more than two weeks at a time.

    Ideally, I would love to go for three weeks at a time.

    Aside from summer, we can’t stay more than 6-12 days traveling together any other time of year. School teachers get a lot of time off, but it is double workload if you take off any school days during school year.

    As far as desire to go places, I enjoy loads of places. I realized 15 years ago, when I was sitting on 5 million or so frequent flyer miles, that I really have very few places I am compelled to see and few places I have no desire to see.

    For me, I jump on the deals opportunities that fit my interests at the time. I have one primary goal – traveling as much as I can. Spending less wherever I can save on each trip allows me to budget more days traveling throughout the year.

    I go where I go and I see what I see there.

    I am not bothered by the places I will never see. My trips are good as they are and this traveler is satisfied with the experience nearly all the time.

  • Levy Flight July 5, 2017

    Enjoy your blog. Have you thought about moving to Europe for a stint. Teaching sounds like a transferable skill. (Brit living in California – short stay become a long term love affair.)

  • Ric Garrido July 6, 2017

    @Levy – Wife is five years from retirement.

    This blog may become Loyalty Traveler ‘Europe’ in a few years.

  • bluecat July 6, 2017

    Thanks for the reply. Seems you are very easy going about where you like to visit.

    Any particular reason you don’t travel to Asia? It’s just as close to the West Coast as Eastern Europe, and the fares are in the mid 400s (to China,at least). And if spending your points is important to you, there are great points values out there for both hotels and flights.

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