Paris remains one of the most popular destinations and finding the best airfares is a science and an art. It requires looking at combination of both price and comfort to find the best value. I’ve often found in looking at the cheapest airfares, there are often sacrifices on comfort with long layovers or multiple stops. Here are my recommendations to find the best airfare to Paris is in this method of finding the lowest price for the flight there AND the most comfortable flight.
Travel Off Season
From North America, fares typically range from $500 to 1800 for economy class depending on the season and departure city. Summer is “high” season for travel to Paris and Europe as is spring break and holiday break as winter travel becomes more popular. To save money overall, travel to Paris in the “shoulder” months like May and October. Personally, I’ve visited Paris in summer and fall and both experiences were lovely. In the fall, the tourist crowds are present, but much less and the weather is temperate. In the spring and winter, the weather is a factor, but airfares are much more affordable at that time.
Search a Consolidator First with Specific Filters
I am picky about my consolidator sites having been burned with customer service requests in the past. However, there are a few that do a very good job of allowing me to “filter” my search on factors that result in the best price and trip.
- Number of stops: I always look for direct or maximum 1 stop. In my experience more than one stop means exhaustion and stress. Direct is ideal, but often more expensive.
- Time of trip: I usually rule out any trips that are more than 18 hours to Paris from North America. Anything more translates to too much trip time dedicated to airports instead of Paris.
- Arrival time: Some sites allow arrival time filtering, but if not it is worth looking at fares for the best one.
Consider Booking with the Airline
Airline sites have come a long way in their user experience and I find that they are now just as easy to search and find the best airfare as the consolidator sites allow. Plus, if you are a member of a loyalty program, you can see different ticket options that work with the airlines frequent flier choices and information. I have found that when things go wrong and you’re stuck at an airport, the people you want to speak with are the people at the airline.