Can you help my friends from Sweden come to visit me in California?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Jenny & Curt, Jan 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Hello,
    I am hoping the collective wisdom here will generate a few ideas. We have some friends in Sweden who have saved up money and parental leave to come to the American Southwest for a month. (roughly mid-April to mid-May.)They are husband, wife, young daughter and under-two-year-old lap child. They're pretty intrepid travelers, but not candidates for tricked fares or things like that which would leave them vulnerable.
    So, their preferred departure airport is Stockholm, for ease with the children, though they're willing to hop a LCC to get elsewhere in Europe to embark.
    They are Hungarian (living and working in Sweden), and the best TATL fare they've found is from BUD, but they'd really rather not begin and end a month-long trip with that hop. The fare for all 4 (3 tickets plus a nominal lap child fare) BUD-LAX, according to them, is ~$2200. I am not experienced booking or looking for fares ex-C2, so is there a rock I should be turning to help them? They have no airline allegiances -- is there any benefit or bonus to a certain carrier or alliance that would, at least, get them something in return, if not a cheaper fare?
    They would like to book within the week, so any ideas are welcome. LAX is not mandatory -- we're just as close to SFO. Most any California airport is OK, and open jaw or two one-ways would work, too.
    Thanks!
     
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  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    $2200 seems like a pretty good fare for three people (plus a lap infant) between Europe and LAX. I'm not sure how much better they would do. A search using ITA software may help!
     
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  3. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I don't think they will get anything better - it comes out to about $700 a ticket which is pretty good deal.
     
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  4. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    I assume the $2,200 is USD. If so, that is a good rate so I would not expect to do much, if any, better.
     
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  5. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    If you have miles or points you can redeem them for one or more of the tickets your friends need. I imagine having them pay you back for the tickets is not permitted by the rules of the airline program, but perhaps it's worth it to you to help your friends out. Or perhaps you can count on similar hospitality from them sometime in the future.

    If you have Chase Sapphire points (or can get some, quickly), I believe you could actually transfer those into a miles account owned by one of your friends and they could then get the ticket or tickets themselves, and that would (as far as I know) but completely aboveboard.
     
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  6. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    I agree. It's just that the logistics are: Train for 3 hours just to get from their village to Stockholm, then LCC (Wizzair, I think, is the one they know) to BUD, then begin a TATL with two small girls. (First world problems, we all realize, but I thought maybe someone might know a better way to get out of Sweden.)
    When I check ex-BUD, I get $603 -- Stockholm yields a fare of $1500+. Wow.
     
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  7. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I would advise them to build enough time at the connection point - with small children I would say at least leave a day earlier and get back a day later. Every slight delay will be detrimental and running around airports with children cannot be fun. As the tickets will not be on one PNR, the connecting airline has no responsibility to re-accommodate them if something will go wrong with the positioning flight.
     
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  8. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    The cheapest fares near Stockholm appear to be from Oslo, about 250 miles away. From about $737 p/p. However I can see prices of $783 from ARN-SFO so it wouldn't be worth it. BUD-LAX is $603 + about $150 to get there saving $30 per ticket but not being protected on the connections. Personally, I'd go direct.
     
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  9. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    I tend to agree -- the protection is a big factor. Which carrier are you seeing the best ARN-SFO fares on? I'm querying ITA just now and can't get it that low.
     
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  10. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    I did ARN to SFO,LAX 30 day calendar from 10 April, staying for 30 nights. I see $783/784 on Apr 23 or 24 on multiple airlines and $799 on various dates such as 11, 16, 17, 18, 22
     
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