Least expensive air travel from Omaha to four continents - Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.
This is somewhat of a competition. I give extra points for the person with the least total airfare to all of these continents. All airfares must be roundtrip from Omaha, and must fore be a three-week period from now until Sept. 1. It can be two different airlines, in which case you would present two different graphic files. The timing must be such that you can make the connection. Provide at least 3 hours. If the connection has you spending the night at the airport, you must include the cost of a hotel.
Generally, the least expensive fares to these destinations are from coastal cities in the US, like LA and New York. In order to get the lowest fare, you need to find the least expensive coastal city and the least expensive flight from Omaha to that city. Sites like Kayak and Expedia won't do this automatically. There may be some ground transportation involved in transfering to a nearby airport. Include the ground transportation cost and associated graphics. Bigger cities have multiple airports so don't get confused. New York, for example, has five airports: JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, White Plains, and Newburgh. Only three offer international flights. The cheapest flights are often from the smaller airports that charge a lesser fee for landing.
You don't need to check luggage but you do need to include a carry-on bag.
Prices vary widely during this period. They also vary by day of the week. You must present screenshots of the airfare with sufficient detail to verify the dates, connections, and price - including taxes. Use only commercial airlines - you can't use military aircraft or family connections with commercial companies. You're flight leaves from Omaha – you can't drive to another city.
First, I began by researching international airports on each continent. The following site, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_international_airports_by_country, list international airports by region on each continent. After that I used Kayak.com to find flights that met the requirements listed in the ground rules, only one stop with a minimum 3-hour layover. I approached this task by finding flights to international airports that have direct flights from a major international airport in the United States. I looked up using Google “Cheapest airports to fly into [Enter Continent],” and compared to it to the list of international airports. After finding the cheapest flight I could on Kayak, I used the compare sites feature on Kayak to look at tickets on the same dates available through all the other major travel sites. To compare the prices I found on Kayak, I also used Google Flights, which has a price calendar and verifies that there is also a return flight from my destination 21 days later. Using this website I was able to alter the dates and airports while making sure the flights were priced right for me. I also used Wikipedia to find lists of International airports in each country.
The main site I used to research flights was kayak.com, but I also used Google Flights to compare as well. It’s advertised that it compares prices against all the other flight booking sites. When selecting a city, I used the price graph search function to find the cheapest times to fly between now and Sept. 1st, 2019.
I first began with finding a flight to Europe. I looked up, “cheapest international airports to fly into Europe,” and got the following list: Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden, Keflavik International Airport, Iceland, Milan Malpensa Airport, Italy, Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport in Madrid, Spain, Copenhagen Airport, Denmark, Dublin Airport, Ireland, Milano Linate Airport, Italy, Warsaw Chopin Airport, Poland, Berlin Tegel Airport, Germany. I began by searching flights to each of these airports from Omaha on Kayak. The cheapest flight I could find within the parameters was to Madrid, Spain. I used Kayak’s compare sites feature and Kayak was cheaper by $150+. The cost round trip ended up being $469.53. To compare the prices I used Google Flights, which also searches airline websites for prices.
The next continent I looked for flights to was Asia. I followed the same process of looking up international airports in Asia and which were the cheapest to fly into from the United States. I took me a couple of cities to find a flight that met the parameters and using the price graph on Kayak. I looked at Seoul, South Korea, Mumbai, India, Taipei, Taiwan, and then Hong Kong, Hong Kong. I found a flight for a little over a $1000 on Kayak. I used the compare feature and ended up finding a cheaper flight on cheapoair.com. I adjusted the date a couple days and able to find an even cheaper flight with connections a little longer than three hours. To compare prices, I again used the Google Flights website. The cheapest round-trip flight I found was to Hong Kong, coming in at $757.53 total.
The next continent I searched for flights for was South America. While I found quite a few that met the 3-week time frame, it was a challenge to find a flight that had a 3+ hour layover and/or that only had one stop. I ended up finding that Cali, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Aruba Island off the coast of Venezuela were the most accessible and met the criteria needed. From there I price checked using Kayak.com and Google Flights, finding that a round-trip flight from Omaha to Medellin, Colombia (with stops in Denver and Fort Lauderdale) was the cheapest at $613.84 total. For the return flight I would need to stay overnight in Fort Lauderdale one night, and found the Days Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel with a free airport shuttle had a room available for $51.
The last continent I searched for flights to was Africa. This search posed the biggest challenge to me when searching for flights with only 1 stopover and that had connections from Omaha to an International airport to Africa and back. Kayak.com offered very little help in this endeavor, so I mainly used Google Flights and Wikipedia for this search. Wikipedia provided the list of International airports all over Africa, while Google Flights was helpful because it showed the prices of flights daily using a monthly format (the prices typically changed daily so this was useful information), let me set the restrictions to have only 1 layover, and made sure the 21 day trip had a flight back to Omaha at the same time. As I said above, it was difficult finding flights that matched all the criteria, but having the list of International airports right next to my Google Flights search made it quicker and easy. I needed to be creative about this flight, as I wasn’t finding much that matched my search criteria, so I began looking for a way to get to Europe from Omaha, then from the European stop-over to my African destination. This worked out wonderfully, as I found a round-trip flight from Omaha to Madrid for $469.53, then another round-trip flight from Madrid to Rabat, Morocco for only $127. I would only need to stay the night in Madrid one night on my return flight home, and found the Residencia Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros had a room for only $34, and is located within walking distance of the Madrid Airport.
South America: $613.84 + $51
Africa: $469.53 + $127 + $34
Total price: $2522.43
Submitted by Samuel Dameron on 2/14/19.