Cheap Flights to Nice (from the U.S.):
Sign up for Airfare Watchdog or FareCompare‘s Fare Alerts to be notified when prices drop to Nice. Not sure when to book? Plug your itinerary into Bing’s Price Predictor or Yapta to see whether you should buy now or wait until prices drop. Yapta will even continue to track your flight after you book, alerting you if the price drops: some airlines will give vouchers for the difference if it’s over $250. TravelZoo‘s Find Deals feature is also worth checking.
Air France has fares as low as $500 rt in the off-season, and although the cheapest flights change in Paris, for a little more you can book the direct daily flight to Nice from JFK. British Airways is also worth a check as they can have similar deals, but the rub is that you have to deal with a long layover at the massive Terminal 5 at London Heathrow.
- Trap to Avoid: Sometimes the great deals are to Paris, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt but not to Nice, and it can be tempting to take the great fare and then book a low-cost airline for the last hop to Nice. Just know that your bags will not be checked through so you will need at least a 3-hour layover to be sure to claim your bags, leave security, wait in line to recheck-in, and pass back through security. And, your bags must be really small and light to match the low-cost policy or you will pay a hefty fee for the overage. Check out The Lowdown on using Low-Cost Airlines before you book.
Cheap flights to Nice from within Europe:
Nice has the largest number of low-cost flights in France, but big travel search engines like Expedia and Opedo do not include them! The best search engine dedicated to low-cost flights is WhichBudget which lists all low-cost routes available from Nice.
To fight back against all these budget upstarts, Air France has just made Nice a hub, which means many more flights and destinations, and at much lower prices, including new routes from Venice, Athens, and Naples, with seats as low as 50€ each way.
Not to be outdone, low-cost leader EasyJet is also making Nice a hub and has 23 destinations from Nice and counting. They offer the same flights for an astounding 34€ each way (although with EasyJet they add extra fees for everything, so in the end you’ll be at almost 50€ anyway). In each case you need to book well in advance, and since EasyJet’s low-cost comes with low-service, book Air France if the fares are even close. See related page on The Lowdown on Low Cost Airlines.
The great news is that the fare wars will only continue as EasyJet and Air France battle it out adding new destinations a new low fares. The Nice Airport is even building a Terminal 3 to deal with all the low-cost traffic! Click here to see an up-to-date list of the lowest fares from Nice.
Where to Sit:
Plug your flight number into SeatGuru and you’ll see the seats color-coded from best to worst. You’ll never be stuck in a non-reclining seat next to the bathroom again!
Best European cities to change planes in:
Munich wins hands down… it’s easy to get around, comfortable, has good restaurants, and doesn’t subject you to annoying passport/security checks. Amsterdam is also good if you have along layover, in that it has comfy lounge chairs, a massage bar, and even a mini Van Gogh museum.
Best flight to Nice from the US:
Delta/Air France runs direct flights to Nice from JFK in New York, and sometimes from Atlanta, and Washington DC, getting you here in just 6 hours with no plane change and no hassle. The Nice-JFK flight is daily.
Best Frequent Flyer Program:
Air France Flying Blue because they allow you to use your miles for a one-way ticket at half the cost of a round-trip… this is very useful if you are not sure when you want to return or just want to book one leg of a multi-city trip.
And finally, some light reading for your flight:
Photo credits: Nice Travel Poster available from LA Artworks
Related blog posts:
- Sites for great last-minute travel deals
- AirWars: EasyJet and Air France Battle it out over Nice
- Trip Prep
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