Flying to Europe This Summer? Not with these Tickets Prices, Fees and Taxes

by Chris Christensen  Add comments
categories: editorial, europe travel


England is holding a party this year for the Queen’s Jubilee as well as the Olympics. They might want you to come but they are not being particularly inviting right now. If you go to book a ticket to London from New York City, for example, you might be surprised to find that your $291 airplane ticket will cost you $949 after you include the $658 in various fees and taxes. That’s right, the taxes are twice the cost of the actual ticket.

I asked my friends at TripAdvisor Flights for a list of the top travel destinations where people fly from New York City to see how fares, taxes and fees compare. Of the top 100 destinations that people fly to from New York City, 18 of these are European airports or city codes. I did a search on TripAdvisor’s Flights for the lowest fares from New York to each of these airports leaving on July 1st and returning on July 8th. TripAdvisor Flights is a meta search engine, which means that it searched various online travel agent sites and brought me back the total fare as well as how that breaks down between base price and taxes and fees. From that data I produced the following table:

Airport City Country Total Ticket Taxes
AMS Amsterdam Netherlands $1279 $1126 $153
ATH Athens Ireland $1354 $1194 $160
BCN Barcelona Spain $1095 $518 $577
BEG Belgrade Serbia $1328 $1212 $116
BER Berlin Germany $670 $147 $523
DUB Dublin Athens $882 $735 $147
FRA Frankfort Germany $1069 $550 $519
IST Istanbul Turkey $1199 $875 $324
KBP Kiev Ukraine $989 $889 $100
LON London UK $949 $291 $658
MAD Madrid Spain $1069 $517 $552
MOW Moscow Russia $933 $822 $111
MUC Munich Germany $1339 $1123 $216
PAR Paris France $1125 $978 $147
ROM Rome Italy $1260 $1127 $133
VCE Venice Italy $1385 $1250 $135
WAW Warsaw Poland $1235 $710 $525

The average total for taxes and fees was $300. The highest was London at $658. Berlin, Dublin and Moscow are a better deal than London even though taxes to Berlin were over $500.

High fuel prices and decreased competition were probably already going to make this year a tough year for travel. But Europe is not exactly putting out the welcome mat this year. We changed plans for our trip to Europe and are heading to Costa Rica instead. As for the Queen’s Jubilee, we will just send a card.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

+Chris Christensen | @chris2x | facebook