Cheaper Flying to Europe Alternative

One of the cheaper alternatives for flying to Europe from southeast Michigan, northern Ohio, and upstate New York is to fly from Pearson International Airport (Toronto International Airport) in Mississauga, Ontario.

For a while, I’ve heard from other people, that flying from Toronto is a lot cheaper and many people choose that route. Recently, I had a chance to experience it myself. In September, we flew from Pearson airport to Geneva, Switzerland. At the time of booking, the difference in price per person was over US $500.00.

The airfare from Detroit (DTW) were somewhere in the range from US $1,600 – 1,700. What I paid for the ticket to fly from Pearson (YYZ) was US $1,200.

If you are flying with at least one companion and share the cost of driving, the decision to fly from Toronto airport is “no brainer”. The savings are worth the extra travel by car to the airport.

Air Canada airplane
Toronto International Airport is a big Air Canada hub. Photo credit:

From Detroit area it is only about 230 miles; about 3 and 1/2 hours of driving. Less than 200 miles from Erie, PA, and only little over 3 hours of driving. Just 100 miles from Buffalo, NY, and only 1 and 1/2 hour of driving. So, not that long, considering that it will probably take you at least an hour to drive to your local international airport.

Yes, you will have to pay for gas to get there and back, and for the parking while you’re away.

However, these costs are not that big, especially, if you share the drive with others.

We parked for two weeks at the first airport parking available of the 401 – Park’N Fly – Toronto Airport Parking and paid with some discount only about US $120. If we were flying from Detroit, we would have to pay the same, so this is a wash.

Yes, coming back, we were tired, and didn’t get home till midnight. So, driving at night, after a long flight from Europe was a little uncomfortable. On the positive side, since it was late, there was no heavy traffic on the road, and none at the border crossing. So, considering that we just saved US $500 per person, it was worth it.

As I mentioned before, I know many other people, going this way to Europe, especially, during the busy times, when the airfare is the highest.

The Pearson Airport is conveniently located close to the 401 freeway, allowing for quick and easy access.

The airport is located close to 401. Image credit: Google Maps.

So, while not the most convenient way to travel to Europe or further, if you are on the budget, cheaper flying from Toronto might be worth considering.

cheaper flying

If you are interested in other flying options around Great Lakes, you might want to read my post about: Direct Flights to Northern Michigan.

Rich S.
Rich S.
Rich S. is a lifetime photographer and traveler based in Metro Detroit area. He has been traveling the Great Lakes area for over 30 years. Follow his blog about his trips, interesting activities and destinations in the Great Lakes region.

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