By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I've heard somewhere that it's cheaper to fly from London to other cities in Europe rather than book a trip on one airline here. What are your thoughts?

A: The high cost of flying with all the extra taxes and charges coupled with fewer discount carriers has certainly put a damper on finding cheap air tickets. A colleague of mine booked one of his family trips using Europe's largest low fares airline called and swears he saved money. According to, expect, "no frills on your flight - but we'll sell you food, drink and gifts. Punchy advertising that sometimes gets us in trouble. Plus they'll offer free seats when they're feeling generous."

When you consider that recently search engine Google has rated as the "most searched for travel web site" in the world, it's no wonder more people have been logging onto this site to make their travel arrangements. Mind you, you still have to get yourself to London but once there, it's just a matter of resuming your flight schedule at the same airport with another carrier or possibly changing airports in London to meet your connecting flight.

To assist in this response I conducted an informal survey. I chose Rome as my final destination. The airfare scenario using Air Canada for one return air ticket cost $1,090 with taxes from Toronto to Rome. However, since Air Canada is currently offering online seat sales to Europe departing every Tuesday, the price excluding taxes drops to $503.

At press time, Air Canada's Europe bound seat sale ends January 21. The result using from London via Stanstead airport to Rome was 19.99 pounds for a one-way ticket.

Another discount company is Billed as the "web's favourite airline," I recently saw a one-way ticket advertised from London's Gatwick airport to Rome as low as 21 pounds including all taxes. Cab fare from Heathrow to Gatwick will cost about 45 pounds while adult bus fare costs 12 pounds. Also when considering these alternative air travel routes, factor in the extra travel time since Gatwick airport is south of London while Heathrow airport is west of London and are spread apart approximately 45 miles not to mention the baggage reclaim time.

So give yourself extra padding for any possible delays. Also, fares may vary according to the departing airport and lastly, says that not all destinations are available from all departing airports. So, it saves to shop around.


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