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b hietala
27-10-06, 01:59
Hi Folks,

I'm planning a trip to Finland next summer and was wondering if anyone might have tips on locating cheap airfare. We're travelling as a family group and, of course, want to find the best deals. Also, does anyone have any experience with renting vehicles in Finland? Kiitos

Bruce

Karen Norwillo
27-10-06, 17:20
I believe you'll find rates will be the cheapest before May and after September. I know when I went in 2004, car rentals were quite costly. Luckily, I had cousins to take me everywhere. I did take the train from below Jakobstad to Helsinki, which was great.
Hope you have a wonderful time. I checked out all the online sites, Travelocity etc, compared them all and booked online. No problems. Flew FinnAir as it was the only direct from JFK to Helsinki, no plane changes and worry about missed connections.

June Pelo
27-10-06, 18:53
I, too, have always flown via Finnair on my trips to Finland. I don't like to change planes if I can help it so I try to fly direct; and their planes seem to be cleaner.

I know someone who flew Icelandic Air because of the low rates and she said - never again. They didn't keep schedules and she almost missed her connections.

When I lived in D.C. I went to the Finnish Travel Bureau and they booked my trip and everything for me.

June

Hasse
27-10-06, 20:13
I have had good experience from flying KLM & Northwestern. The flights mostly go through Skiphol/Amsterdam but there has always been enough time to change.
The price has been much less than Finnair.
Some of our friends tend fly SAS to Stockholm and rent a car from there to get a better price.

If I'd be you I'd check these alternatives also.

Hasse

Kay Voth
28-10-06, 20:02
My advice: NEVER go thru Heathrow.That was the worse experience I've ever had, and of course, my first and probably only international flight. I too had cousins who took us everywhere. We drove to Helsinki from Kronoby which was a very pleasant drive. (Cousin drove, I should say)...This was in May of this year, and I constantly think of the land and the relatives I met..I miss both very much.

Nicholas
28-10-06, 20:46
Bruce,

As you are beginning your triip (I assume) in Montana, you will have to pick up your international flight at a hub.

I have flown to Finland from both the New York area (several times) and from the DC area (recently), and via several airlines and routes.

While you will certainly have more options --in the choice of airlines and hours to depart--from NY, if you pick up a flight from other than NY, you may find bettter offers from other points of departure. BWI (Balt-Wash) Airport has been a good place to leave from, and we have flown several different routes to Finland from there.

Finnair is usually quite good. Icelandic can also be good, but only (in our experience), when flying to Stockholm's Arlanda airport--which we do when we change planes and then fly direct to Vasa on a puddle-jumper.

As we have family in both Finland and Sweden, we can then return to Sweden after our Finland vist takees us to Helsinki, visit family there and then in Sweden a well, before picking up Icelandic for flying back to the States.

We have tried some of the American carriers, but have determined that this is a losing proposition. SAS usually wants to require a plane change in Copenhagen, from what we have seen.

We like Northwest, and their partner, KLM, and Schipol airtport is OK, but direct really is the best...especially in this era of rising occurrences of lost luggage.

My cousin, who lives outside of Denver, made the trip this summer, via Heathrow. He won't be doing that again. (Unless forced to do so, I will avoiding British Air whenver possible...to unreliable, ad poor customer service.)

Hope this helps...

Nicholas

b hietala
29-10-06, 15:24
Thanks everyone for your replies. There are certainly a lot of options here and I appreciate hearing your experiences. I am hoping to include Sweden in the trip as part of my family originated in the Tornedalen area around Korpilombolo. So, I would like to develop an intinerary that covers Helsinki, the Lake Country, Oulu, Southern Lapland, and then across the border... depart from Stockholm. Think this is too much for a 3 week trip?

Merja
30-10-06, 18:13
Hi,
your schedule certainly depends a lot on your planned way of travelling. Remember that driving time f.ex. from Helsinki to Oulu is 7.5 hours with no breaks and from Oulu to Kolari ( an example of a community in Southern Lapland, on the Swedish border ) 4 hours.
The traffic connections to Lapland are much better on the Finnish side of the border, f.ex. Swedish truckers drive from Lapland to Haparanda on the Finnish roads. In Finland you also have the option of railroads, in Sweden the railroad connections to Lapland are not that good. SAS, however, has pretty reasonable flight prices from Stockholm to Luleň but still a long way from Pajala. It is a long drive from Pajala to Stockholm... Unless you especially want to travel through Sweden or see Stockholm, I would consider that again.
The countryside in the Finnish Lapland is much livelier, with lots of tourists in winter. Finding a reasonably priced hotel is no problem in summer, there are also nice cottages for rent.
These are just opinions of a Finn who has driven around Scandinavia a lot. Someone else might think completely different.