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Need A Cheap Trans-Atlantic Fight, Try France's XL Airways

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Mar 09, 2013 10:28 AM EST

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XL Airways
An XL Airways aircraft is seen on the tarmac of Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade.(Photo : Reuters)

Seeking extra-large saving for your next trans-Atlantic flight, try XL Airways.

Reviews of the airline, staff, and service are mixed, but the one thing that all critics can agree on is the savings.

On a booked trip from Miami to Paris, during the month of July, CheapoAir.com reported a total charge of $664 per person. That is $200-$500 cheaper than the competition.

For the same itinerary, other "mainstream" airlines, like Delta, US Airways and Continental charge $800 on the low end and up to $1300 on the high end.

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However, there is a major downside to this airline--it is very difficult for Americans to book it.

The reason is simple, the French-owned airline believe they can fill its flights solely with residents of France. In the European travel media, XL Airways is frequently featured. And in the few years that XL has been flying the Atlantic, Parisians have filled almost of all of its seats.

Even with this major obstacle Frommers.com preaches persistence:

Find a travel agent who knows the phone number of XL, and you'll enjoy big savings--a discount that can add up to big bucks for, say, a family or group of four. 

Search travel sites like Momondo.com or the aforementioned CheapOAir.com, and you'll frequently snare a seat on an airline whose services, according to Frommers.com, are just as good as any other trans-Atlantic carrier but at a sharp discount in price. The powers that be at XL Airways just don't think it's necessary to expend much effort in attracting U.S. business.

One review of the airline, from a yelp.com user, states "I saved about $650 on 2 tickets compare to other flights with one stop over at the peak of the summer.

I arrived in a way better shape and more relaxed than stop over flights I took for similar trips."

The user also advises to check your bags before arriving at the airport to save time and hassle.

"ECONOMY class:

one suitcase per person 20kg for suitcase,  or 44 pounds

one carry on /per person 5 kg  or 11pounds. 

After that I think it is 14 dollars per extra kg until 32kg max! If you have a second suitcase in economy you will pay $140 for 20kg. Adding, "If you buy GALAXY class tickets you have the right to have two suitcases, 20kg each and one carry on of 10 kg (22pounds)."

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