Yesterday we had the great pleasure of having lunch with a good buddy from college and his wife (he was in my wedding and I was in his) who are joining us on our Tuscan Adventure next year August 18-28, 2019. We had a wonderful time catching up but our conversation eventually turned to the trip. One of the questions was how far in advance to purchase airfare? Those of you who will be joining us in Venice for our Venezia - La Serenissima tour in June (sold out) or our Tuscan Adventure (3 couples spots left) you will be receiving many emails with all kinds of great travel tips and what to consider when traveling. You can also read our blogs and FAQ's here on our website that will give you a ton of information. And, if you still have questions you can always email us and we'll get back to you with answers to your questions, and probably answers to questions you haven't thought of yet!?
The question of how far in advance to purchase your airfare . . . we usually recommend the best time to purchase airfare to Europe is 3-5 months out from your trip. If you purchase farther out than 5 months out you could be paying too much, and if you wait to purchase closer than 3 months to your trip you'll likely pay more as well.
We always recommend using fare trackers to watch for preferential pricing like Kayak, airfarewatchdog, skyscanner, tripsavvy, orbitz, etc. that will alert you when the fares drop or into the pricing range you've set.
This coming year however we are suggesting waiting closer to the 3 month mark as 2019 is the year airfares may drop for a few of reasons. With the US economy growing stronger and showing signs of not slowing down anytime soon, the currency exchange rate is moving into more favorable territory for the dollar which will increase your buying power, and there are BIG changes coming in the airline industry which may generate fare wars.
For the last many, many years us Americans rarely flew on an unfamiliar air carrier; it’s been decades since U.S. travelers saw a new airline emerge. The Big Three (American, Delta, and United) have had little competition since Southwest and JetBlue came onto the scene in the 60s and 90s, respectively. But that may finally change. With a new low-cost American carrier taking off and European start-up airlines expanding to the States, so many more cheap flights across the globe could be on the horizon. Here are the new airlines to keep tabs on.
Faithful JetBlue flyers will be happy to know that the buzz about a new airline by the low-cost carrier’s founder, David Neeleman, looks to be coming to fruition. Neeleman recently annouced the tentative purchase of 60 Airbus A220-300 jets for the venture, which he’s referred to as “Moxy.” The new airline’s name is likely to change, but what’s clear is that Neeleman wants to stay true to JetBlue’s low-cost, high-comfort ethos, this time for secondary airports located outside of urban air hubs. “The A220 will enable us to serve thinner routes in comfort without compromising cost, especially on longer-range missions,” Neeleman told investors. But not so fast: Moxy isn’t likely to fly until 2021.
Backed by Qatar Airways and born of a small Italian carrier formerly called Meridiana, Air Italy is looking to capitalize on the shortcomings of financially troubled Alitalia, Italy’s national carrier. Air Italy’s flights to Italy and beyond (including Brazil, Spain, and Israel) began from New York’s JFK airport, Miami, and the airline’s Milan hub in early 2018. Those routes seem to be just the beginning: The new airline is expected to more than double its fleet by 2022.
A new airline concept out of France, French bee is billing itself as the first low-cost, long-haul-only airline. The focus is connecting France to far-off cities like San Francisco, which is the only American route for now. You'll start seeing French bee’s blue planes at more airports, and you should check out some low-cost long-haul options that’ll take you further for less.
Owned by IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus) and based in Barcelona, budget carrier LEVEL began operations in 2017. It’s so far succeeding with its routes to Martinique, Punta Cana, Buenos Aires, Montreal, and Paris through Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Oakland. However, its recent airport meltdown, which stranded travelers in Montreal, indicates that management still needs to work out some details. LEVEL’s newest mission is to expand offerings from its Vienna hub, beginning with short-haul European flights that could eventually extend to the States.
Yet another new airline that’s low-cost and based in Europe, Primera Air began its transatlantic routes to the U.S. in 2017. Patterned on Norwegian Air (our latest personal favorite nonstop Oakland-Rome), Primera’s U.S. options include flights from New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. to London and Paris.
A rare U.S. startup aiming to launch a big new airline, a tentative venture called World Airways resurfaced in 2017 when new investors bought out the “intellectual property” of a small carrier of the same name that went under in 2014. World Airways has been somewhat vague about its plans. Some statements seem to indicate a focus on long-haul routes with 787s, while others seem to say the line will copy Norwegian with transatlantic flights from New York’s Stewart International Airport.
So, a lot of reasons to watch and wait to purchase your airfare to Europe for 2019 but resist the temptation to wait to see if airfares will continue to drop within the 3 month window prior to the trip.
If you see a great price I would recommend buying it.
In a coming blog we'll give you more tips on 'how' to look for airfare - what to consider - perhaps not just flying from Point A to Point B, i.e., not just searching for airfare and typing in San Francisco to Florence, or Oakland to Venice.
And, if you are considering joining us for our next Tuscan Adventure, August 18-28, 2019, we have 3 couples spots left and we're still giving 'early booking' discounts off our listed tour price as an incentive to book now. Email us for details and our Tuscan Adventure daily itinerary.
Ciao . . . a presto!
Villas of Italy specializes in all-inclusive superior villa vacations. We've designed our adventures so Italy can be experienced in intimate tour groups, Tourneo Custom air-conditioned vans, and one-of-a-kind Villa estates. Immerse yourself in Italy's picturesque towns and villages while enjoying exquisite cuisine, vibrant culture, and the spirit of Italy.
Explore our vacation options! HERE.
Tony Moglia's grandparents immigrated from Italy in the early 1900's. He's a dual citizen who has traveled extensively throughout Italy for 40 years. He's happily married to a vibrant dancer who together have two children and three grandchildren. Tony has dreamed of Villas of Italy since his first trip to Italy, and now he shares his dream with you.