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Cheap Flights in Europe

Ryanair is one of many cheap flight options within Europe
Ryanair is one of many cheap flight options within Europe.

Airfares within Europe have plunged due to European Union reforms and deregulation. New no-frills airlines are taking off. And some well-established airlines offer discounts on flights within Europe to their transatlantic passengers. As a result, flying is now a realistic option for budget travelers.

Budget Flights

Budget airlines offer one-way fares within Europe. Bigger savings are possible if you fly round trip.

Brussels Airlines is a Belgian company with very low rates. In the British Isles, Brussels Airlines flies from Stansted and Gatwick in London to Shannon, Ireland and Brussels. From its hub in Brussels you can connect cheaply to Barcelona, Madrid, Nice, Copenhagen, Rome, or Milan. Book by phone with credit card and pick up the ticket at the airport an hour before your flight (one way is half the roundtrip).

Ryanair is a creative Irish airline with more complicated but potentially even cheaper fares. They fly mostly from London's Stansted airport to Dublin, Glasgow, Frankfurt, Lyon, Stockholm, Oslo, Venice, and Turin. They tend to sell out a couple weeks in advance.

European airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, Alitalia, SAS, KLM, and British Air also offer competitive fares. There's a catch: You must often buy your transatlantic flight from the airline in order to take advantage of intra-European budget fares. But the saving on flights within the continent can be worth an extra $100 for an overseas flight. In some cases, you purchase an "air pass"—a set of three or more flight coupons, each good for one nonstop flight. Be aware that with any air pass a flight will "cost" two coupons if you need two connecting flights to reach your destination (for instance, if you're flying on SAS from Paris to Rome, you'll transfer at SAS's hub, Copenhagen—adding up to two flights and costing two coupons). Check with your travel agent for details.

Cheap Air Fares in Europe

Aer Lingus: www.aerlingus.com

Air Berlin: www.airberlin.com

bmi: www.flybmi.com

Brussels Airlines: www.brusselsairlines.com

easyJet: www.easyjet.com

Europe by Air Pass: www.europebyair.com

Eurostar Chunnel Train: www.eurostar.com

Mobissimo Travel: www.mobissimo.com

Ryanair: www.ryanair.ie

Smartwings: www.smartwings.com

Spanair: www.spanair.com

Whichbudget: www.whichbudget.com

Wizzair: wizzair.com

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