Airline travel for the holidays is a difficult task these days.

Airline Travel

Airline travel used to be easier. Let’s just face the facts. It has been almost three years since we celebrated Thanksgiving or Christmas with our family in America, so we decided to spend forty-five days spanning the holidays with our family.

This post contains affiliate links that help keep this website running. By purchasing through our links, we make a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!

It used to be more convenient as all our family once lived in Phoenix, Arizona… but now they are spread out between Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona. With this in mind, I started our travel search to find the best deals available.

Airline Pricing – Airline Travel

If you’ve looked at air prices lately you probably got a severe case of sticker shock. Airline prices have gone through the roof and it seems that the airlines charge for everything – things that used to be included in the airfare price not so long ago are now extra. Items such as baggage, food, and seating. I guess the golden age of air travel is over. As I said in the beginning, airline travel isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Our Search and Results

My airfare search became a daily event and after months of Internet surfing, I was able to secure two round-trip tickets to Phoenix, Arizona for under eight hundred dollars each. Normally we would fly American Airlines but flying with them meant a nineteen-hour layover in London which we did not want to do.

Most flights had long layovers no matter which airline I looked at. I used the typical search engines, but they all were offering the same deals, so I decided to go directly to the carrier sites.

I finally pulled up the Delta site and to my astonishment found our deal.  For our European flights, we would be flying Air France and the American flights would be handled through Delta.  We had never flown either airline before and didn’t know what to expect but the price was right so we booked and hoped for the best.

Airline Travel With Air France

Our first leg of the journey was from Florence to Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport. Normally flights out of Florence start very early in the morning (6-6:30 AM) but this flight was at 9:55 AM which meant we didn’t have to stay overnight near the airport – a big plus. The second leg of our trip was from Paris to New York’s JFK, with only a 1.5-hour layover in Paris. Our next leg was JFK to Phoenix with only a 2.5-hour layover at JFK.

The two flights on Air France turned out to be wonderful. The cabins were more spacious than we expected, and the flight attendants were very professional and courteous. Entering and exiting the craft was a breeze and even the food was better than we’ve had before. All in all, I’d have to give Air France an A+ rating.

The Delta flight to Phoenix was another wonderful experience. Again, the cabin seemed larger, and the seats were very comfortable. The food service was as good as it was on Air France as was the entire experience.

Travel insurance at great rates for individuals and groups.

New Airline and Experience

I never thought I would fly any airline but American Airlines but after our flights to Phoenix this trip, I can honestly say I’d fly both Air France and Delta again. I believe Ilene would say the same. Of course, getting a good deal cost-wise doesn’t hurt.

Have you had any new airline travel experiences you’d want to share? Please comment below. We’d love to hear about it, and so would our readers.


  1. From the title I thought this was going to be a nightmare trip, air travel wise but it sounds like you did look out pretty well yes sticker shock is definitely here to stay I believe as airline prices have skyrocketed. Glad you were able to see your family in the States ! Loved the post, and Congrats in your newest book and audiobook!

    1. Ciao Margie – well, it was a nightmare finding a flight we could afford but at a cost of three planes. Will be returning to Lucca later this week and I’m not looking forward to changing plans 3x again. It was brutal for sure. Thank you for your continued support of our journey!

  2. Hey guys- Happy Holidays to you!
    Totally agree- both Air France & Delta are premium experiences vs most others
    It’s a different environment now since pre pandemic so you have to do serious research
    We usually travel between US & Europe 4-5 times per year, we live in Florida, jump up to JFK and do Airfrance to Paris or Delta to Milan
    If you book premium economy & get to the check in a little early, you can usually upgrade to business class right there for as little as $500 each – a great value and amazing experience
    Salute. Jeff

  3. We’ve been traveling to Europe from Miami. We discovered it easy to take the local train directly to the airport from our home, rather than drive and pay for long term parking.

    We made a conscious decision to find direct flights and avoid layovers. A little more costly, bit still irritating to have pay for checked luggage and insulting to have to pay for economy seats.

    Our last trip to Italy we flew ITA. It was on time, so that’s a
    plus. Don’t ask me about the food though.

    Last summer I used TAP to fly to Potugal direct. By the time I paid for seats and perhaps a carryon too plus the seat it was almost $1800 for one person! And TAP really does look at size and weight of carryon. The airport in Lisbon is a hot mess.

    We are flying back from London in March on BA. One way was about $1200 for 2. Again paid for 1 carry on and seats.

    All that, and I am saying we are lucky we can travel.

  4. We have been doing the Delta/AirFrance thing JFK to CDG out of CVG several years now. Our dissatisfaction is not the airline activities it falls with the airports. JFK renovation will take years and CDG always seems so overwhelmed. Airflight is definitely not what it used to be although the fares continue to escalate.

  5. Gary and Ilene,
    As you know, we travel ‘often’ to Italy landing in Rome from ATL so I am definitely married to Delta (ATL is hometown to Delta) because I can get direct flights to/from Italy, and then easy/quick train ride to Firenze. Delta does like to get a few more dollars for direct. So glad Air France and Delta was good to you.

    As you discovered if you don’t see the price you want, check the same airlines & flights daily over at least a month as the price can change. We were able to save I think $2500 (for two tickets upcoming) recently by watching and waiting. Another observation on our flights, all seats are filled, every class, and on some there are 4 classes on many Delta overseas flights, Delta One (former 1st class), Premium Select, Comfort+, and Coach…….that is a lot of filled seats.

    Sounds like y’all did great in the plane ticket roulette. Safe travels on your return flights,

    1. Great information Frank. It’s such a process these days. In 2012 we got an awesome “secret deal” for $500 rt from Phoenix to Rome. Will never see that again in our lifetime!

    1. Ciao Mary – thta might be a great idea in May (that’s what I assume you mean) but flying into Canada in the winter is like flying into Chicago. Not our preference but definitely will consider and others should too other times of the year! Thanks for sharing!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also enjoy: