Airfare to Zurich

Swiss-bound planes

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Below are my top 10 ways to get cheap airfare to Zurich. In summary,  the biggest way to save on your flight to Zurich, is to plan ahead, stay flexible and shop around. There is only one main airport in Zurich, with the airport code ZRH.

Here the the top 10 ways to get cheap airfare to Zurich.

1. Fly from somewhere nearby.

Next time you are in western Europe, consider a flight to Zurich. From London, a round-trip flight can be less than $100 USD versus about $1000 USD from a small airport in the USA. Reducing your cost to get to Zurich, leaves you more money to spend while you are there. For multi-destination trips, try our Round The World options.

If Zurich is your final destination and you’re coming from outside of Europe, consider booking a multi-leg flight. Book from your home country to the cheapest European gateway you can find, and then book a separate low-cost flight from there to Zurich.

2. Use a low-cost carrier.

Consider a low-cost carrier that flies to Zurich from other nearby cities. While you sacrifice some comforts and need to watch out for extra charges (for things like priority seating and checked baggage), the savings might be worth any discomfort. The airport publishes a complete list of airlines that fly into Zurich.




3. Fly open-jaw.

If you plan on traveling around Switzerland, you may be better off flying into Zurich one-way and then continuing your travel to a less-expensive city via train or bus, rather than circling back around to depart from Zurich at the end of your trip.

4. Fly when others are not: time of day, time of week, or season.

Prices on airfare to Zurich change considerably with the season. If you can go during the “between time,” or shoulder season,  you might find the lowest fares.

  • Ski Season: DEC – MAR
  • Tourist Season: MAY – SEP
  • Between Time “Zwischenzeit”: APR, early MAY, late OCT, NOV

5. Compare prices on mutiple travel sites before deciding.

Use the BootsnAll widget above to automatically bring up all the travel sites pertinent for your trip. This way you can compare the costs from a multitude of sites and airlines in one click.

6. Fly from a larger airport.

The cost of a flight from a larger airport will be lower than that departing from a smaller one (and require less connections). Also, the east cost of the USA has lower prices than the west coast.

Low cost cities to fly to Zurich (from the US and Canada):

  • Miami, Boston, Newark, Montreal
  • Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles
  • Big airports: Denver,  Houston, Dallas, Memphis,  Minneapolis, Chicago

6. Use Frequent Flyer Miles

I save my frequent flier miles for when I fly to Switzerland because it’s the most expensive place I like to visit. It’s not just the flight that is expensive, but the cost of food and lodging is high as well. If you like to save your miles for more expensive trips, this is the time to use them.

7. Look for flights with connections.

Don’t assume that direct flights are the cheapest. In fact, generally the opposite is true and a direct flight will cost more than one with a connection. If you do book a flight with a connection, just be sure to allow enough time to change flights, and possibly go through immigration and customs depending on where your connection takes place.

8. Shop different times of the week.

The old trick of shopping on Tuesday to save money might not help you on international flights, but might help you if you have a domestic leg to your flight. Search multiple times throughout the week to see if the price fluctuates, but don’t hesitate too long – once you see a price you can afford, book it.

9. Plan ahead 14 days is good, 21 days is better.

Especially if you are using frequent flier miles. Book as many months in advance as you can for the best selection. Don’t assume the tickets will go on sale later. It’s better to book when you can afford it and find the fare later went down, than to hold out and find the fare has risen to a level you can no longer afford.

10. Be flexible.

Your ability to fly different days of the week or month could produce savings, so experiment with your flight schedule to see how it affects the price. Taking less desirable flights, like red-eye flights, could also save you some.

Photo by Caribb

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