Comparison of London-Rome/Venice Valentine’s Day fares for ‘last minute’ romantics; what’s the cheapest option?

Image: for lovers

Because she’s worth it? (About $2,000 last minute)

With Valentine’s Day (14th February) this year falling next Sunday, there is an opportunity for lovers of all things romantic to book a ‘surprise’ trip for their loved ones without having to worry about taking (much) time off work. For true romantics the only destinations to consider are in Italy with Rome and Venice undoubtedly the two most popular getaways.

This week, anna.aero conducted a fare analysis on behalf of people with access to London’s airports who want to fly out ideally on Friday evening (12th February), returning as late as possible on Sunday evening (Valentine’s day itself).

Ryanair cheapest, but still charging over £350/$500 return

With London, Rome and Venice all served by more than one airport there are several different ways of getting from London to the Italian cities. British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair all serve both city-pairs while Alitalia serves the London-Rome market.


Source: Alitalia.com, ba.com, easyJet.com, Ryanair.com Data collected on Tuesday 2 February 2010* Exact travel days and times summarised in table below

As a result of leaving it rather late to book these flights, on some of the services the outbound flights either had to take place on Friday morning (requiring time off work) or early on Saturday morning. The table below clarifies which flights were used to come up with the fares illustrated.

Routing From To Weekly
frequency
Depart
London
Return
London
Fare
Ryanair STN CIA 21 Sat 06:10 Sun 23:45 £369.99
easyJet LGW FCO 19 Fri 16:50 Sun 22:30 £430.73
British Airways LGW FCO 7 Sat 14:05 Sun 19:55 £498.60
Alitalia LHR FCO 32 Fri 20:00 Sun 19:10 £522.60
British Airways LHR FCO 35 Fri 07:30 Sun 22:15 £678.60
Source: airline websites

On the BA Gatwick – Rome service the return journey is in Club Europe as Euro Traveller had apparently sold out. Similarly on the BA Heathrow-Rome service the outbound journey is in Club Europe (and was apparently the last seat left).

Ryanair has four departures from Stansted on Friday 12th but all four depart the airport before 13:00 requiring passengers to take a day off work. As a result the early morning Saturday flight was used in our analysis instead.

To get sensible fare data from Alitalia took a while, as initially the website kept offering flights via Milan (even though there are five daily non-stop flights). Eventually, the “advanced search” option was required to specify the preferred flight times and a preference for “Nonstop flights only”.

Routing From To Weekly
frequency
Depart
London
Return
London
Fare
Ryanair STN TSF 12 Fri 19:05 Sun 16:05 £379.93
British Airways LHR VCE 7 Fri 08:45 Sun 13:55 £428.70
easyJet LGW VCE 14 Sat 09:00 Sun 18:05 £445.73
British Airways LGW VCE 18 Fri 07:45 Sun 20:45 £503.70
Source: airline websites

With fewer daily flights to Venice, the only airline still selling seats for Friday evening flights was Ryanair. BA’s single daily Heathrow – Venice flight operates in the morning, while their Friday afternoon and evening Venice flights from Gatwick were sold out, as were all Saturday flights.


Comments

Comments are closed