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In the middle of August, I want to fly from Zurich to Vancouver. Therefore I used various flight search engines to see what flights are available. I couldn't find a direct flight that is cheaper than approximately 5300 US dollars. Is this really true? I can't really believe that.

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Well you're unlikely to get a direct flight. And the Olympics will be affecting some costs. What dates, I'll have a look. –  Mark Mayo Jun 10 '12 at 18:04
    
i see. around 10 or 11 –  RoflcoptrException Jun 10 '12 at 18:07
    
It's one way! ;) –  RoflcoptrException Jun 10 '12 at 19:10
    
Right, well my answer will still apply. Definitely can get cheaper flights than that direct, and cheaper still if you're prepared to stop briefly in London. –  Mark Mayo Jun 10 '12 at 19:12
    
Thanks, it turned out that I was looking for one-way flights that are way more expensive than return tickets. –  RoflcoptrException Jun 11 '12 at 12:55
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Long story short, yes, you can get cheaper. The price is compounded by several issues:

  • you're booking with not that much notice, in summer (peak season)
  • you're booking close to the Olympics, where 500,000 people are suddenly arriving and departing London, many of whom will also travel around Europe or North America afterwards, depending on where they're from.
  • You're specifying direct. Very few airlines have direct flights from Zurich to Vancouver.

However, for example with this search on Kayak you can certainly get less than that - a direct flight return for around USD$1600 with Swiss. Change that to one or two stop and you can knock 25% off that price, if you're prepared for a couple of airport switches - eg with British Airways you'll get there with just one stop in London.

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