I have flown between Germany and the U.S. a total of 4 times in the past 4 years. With my upcoming trip to the U.S. in September, this number will soon be 5.









Every time I have made this transatlantic flight, I have done it with a different airline and had a connection through a different airport. And since the German boyfriend and I were able to snag such a great deal for our upcoming trip (with yet another airline), it got me thinking about what I have paid to fly between the U.S. and Germany in the past. So, here is an overview of each of my transatlantic flights, including how much I paid for my tickets.

SWISS

This was my very first time leaving the U.S. It was also my first time searching online for airline tickets. So, I basically just typed “Chicago to Hamburg” in Google, clicked on the first search result, and begged my parents to pay for it. Looking back, I can see that the tickets were a little bit expensive, and I probably could have found something cheaper, but you live and you learn. I am also happy that I got the experience of flying with SWISS (because it’s pretty nice).

USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH)
31 August 2011 from 19:55 to 10:55

Zurich (ZRH) to Hamburg (HAM)
01 September 2011 from 14:55 to 16:20

Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Zurich (ZRH)
Zurich (ZRH) to Chicago (ORD)
— This is on my receipt, but I didn’t actually end up taking this plane due to technical problems. Instead, I was put on a Lufthansa plane through Munich.

TOTAL: 1,039.01 USD / 741.07 EUR

US Airways

This was hands down my worst experience flying between the U.S. and Germany. The flight was unbearably long, the planes were old, and I had two stops on the way back to the U.S. It is important to note, however, that this was the most quickly-planned trip as well. My departure was in September, and I bought the tickets at the end of July. For the best deals, you need to book about 4-5 months in advance.

USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
11 September 2012 from 16:00 to 10:20
Frankfurt (FRA) to Hamburg (HAM)
12 September 2012 from 12:05 to 13:10
Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Frankfurt (FRA)
11 November 2012 from 08:25 to 09:45
Frankfurt (FRA) to Charlotte (CLT)
11 November 2012 from 11:05 to 15:00
Charlotte (CLT) to Chicago (ORD)
11 November 2012 from 18:05 to 19:14
TOTAL: 813.00 USD / 661.50 EUR

LOT Polish Airlines

This is the first/only time I have ever bought a one-way ticket. Unfortunately, one-way tickets do not cost half of a round-trip, but I got an okay deal on this one when you consider that I was flying in July – one of the most expensive months to fly. 
I was very happy with LOT Polish Airlines since I got to fly on their brand-new Dreamliner 787. I also had a whole row of 3 seats to myself, which probably made this my most comfortable flying experience as well. However, having to go through Warsaw Airport was the absolute worst. So, the SWISS flight still remains at the top.
USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Warsaw (WAW)
24 July 2013 from 21:50 to 14:05
Warsaw (WAW) to Hamburg (HAM)
25 July 2013 from 17:25 to 19:00
TOTAL: 506.39 USD / 388.77 EUR

Lufthansa

This was my last flight to the U.S. over Christmas. Lufthansa is a solid airline, and our experience was with them was great. I also really like the Munich airport, so having to sit around there for a few hours between flights isn’t too bad. The only bad thing I can say is that Lufthansa does now charge for seat reservations, so Marco and I each paid 50 EUR each to reserve seats for each of the transatlantic flights. We didn’t reserve spots for the shorter flights, and we did have to sit on opposite ends of the plane for one of the trips.

Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Munich (MUC)
20 December 2014 from 13:00 to 14:20

Munich (MUC) to Chicago (ORD)
20 December 2014 from 15:40 to 18:55

USA to Germany
Chicago (HAM) to Munich (MUC)
3 January 2015 from 21:30 to 13:20

Munich (MUC) to Hamburg (HAM)
4 January 2015 from 15:00 to 16:15

TOTAL: 828 USD / 622.19 EUR

Finnair

This is the itinerary for our upcoming flight in September. This was by far the best deal either of us have ever gotten on an airline ticket between Hamburg and Chicago, and I am not really sure it would be possible to find something cheaper. Also, in typical Courtney-fashion, we have chosen to fly with yet another new airline.
Germany to USA
Hamburg (HAM) to Helsinki (HEL)
13:00 to 15:50
Helsinki (HEL) to Chicago (ORD)
17:25 to 18:40
USA to Germany
Chicago (ORD) to Helsinki (HEL)
22:00 to 14:50
Helsinki (HEL) to Hamburg (HAM)
17:30 to 18:30
TOTAL: 418.03 USD / 385.12 EUR


What was the best deal you ever got on plane tickets?