Going to Ukraine in February, Kiev will be my base city. What website have you used to book travel to different cities? I found one, ukrainefare.com, not sure how legit, prices are far below prices on aerosvit.
Also to travel to small cities( no airport).... rail or taxi? Which is safer?
I have been using ukrainefare.com for years, Aerosvit internet prices are high because Aerosvit are scamming the foreigners, ukrainefare.com are trustworthy although they can sometimes be a bit slow to answer emails.
The courier is always there to meet me at Borispol airport with my tickets but if you are staying in Kiev you may find prices cheaper at a local travel agent or indeed the flights could become more expensive or full.
ukrainefare.com are 'semi' USA based.
I used ukraineairfare just a few weeks ago. NEVER AGAIN....... What a scam and a rip-off. One problem after another. Pre paid tickets from kiew to Mariupol were not available due to an airline mistake. Bull!!! My lady called the airline and there was space available. The driver and travel agent lied. Even more problems with return trip, and I found out the tickets cost more than double what others paid. Not just ripping off foreigners, because the person I sat next to was from Denmark. He paid less than half and I saw his ticket to prove it. You have been warned and if you use them do so at your own risk. I will take a train from now on when I land in Kiev.
If you book by ukrainefare.com you cannot check-in with the airline as ukrainefare need to issue you with the ticket, not the airline.
How did you select for the ticket delivery option, deliver tickets to you home address or a courier to meet you at the airport? You haven't made this clear in your post.
Sure, I for one am aware that tickets are available at a Ukraine travel agents but when one is on a transit stop at Borispol airport there, for me, isn't the time to go into Kiev to take the chance that a ticket may even be available never mind at a cheaper price.
I have used ukrainefare approximately 8 times, for 16 flights, and the only problem thst I can report is one occasion when the courier met me to inform me that my tickets would not be arriving for approximately 30 minutes. I told him that I was going for a beer in the cafe at the bottom of the ramp to the domestic terminal and he was welcome to join me, do you know that in the heat of the summer he was too courteous to join me and stood outside as if he were my bodyguard, eventually I felt so sorry for him I took him a bottle of water, you should have seen the smile on his face :)
I have used Ukrainefare.com. I think they are honest, but their markup is quite high, at times 100%; and occasionally they make mistakes with the reservations. You must check that the flights they booked are exactly the ones you requested. You can easily book the flights yourself at the airport in Kiev, but Martin is correct in that you risk missing out on a full flight. Peak travel seasons and morning flights are a caution for this.
on Ukrainefare.com, the price of a return flight Kiev-Mariupol-Kiev is $85 + $85 = $170. I asked the girl I am planning to meet in Mariupol, and she said "I think the prices you have mentioned in your letter are ok. You will hardly find anything cheaper." I realize this is just "hearsay", but is from a person who lives in Mariupol, and is contradiction whith your statement about high markup, up to 100%. Where is your statement based on? Do you know FOR SURE what you have written? What should one do to avoid such a crazy markup, if it is really so? Buy the ticket at the airport, I guess, with all the risks already mentioned?
thanks for you info, I feel much better. Do you arrange on the website where at the airport you pick up tickets?
Or is there a designated spot. It costs $45 for them to send the tickets to me and only $15 to pick up at airport.
I have several hours wait at the airport if I choose to fly out that day. Does the courier meet at A or B?
Thanks for chimming in. Your 100% markup, what are you comparing it to? Of all the different sites I checked
out, they were one of best prices. Will remember to check to make sure booked flights are correct.
Buying locally in Kiev some 2 years ago I paid circa USD60 for Kiev to Dnepropetrovsk and USD30 for Zaporozhye to Kiev (but this flight was at 0700 on the 2nd January and the flight was practically empty).
So if, 2 years ago, USD60 being a reasonable fare and you take into consideration that fuel prices has risen significantly since then circa USD80-90, to me, sounds a resonable price to pay.
However, guys, my real concern is not about how to save a few $. My trouble now is the following. I am corresponding with several girls in Ukraine. At the very least, there are 6 of them whom I am very interested in, and who seem to be eager to meet me. They are from different cities: Kiev, Mariupol, Sumy, Nikolaev, Donetsk... It's not realistic for me to think of meeting all of them in one trip. It's going to be hard to decide whow to meet on first trip. The question is: did anyone of you deal with some self-organized tour in Ukraine, including, say, two or three cities? Any suggestion about logistic issues?
I don't recall the exact prices, but I have flown between Kiev and Kharkov several times. The internet fares are about 60-75 USD one way, while the airline at the airports charge about $40. The local travel agent at the main square in Kharkov was similarly cheaper. It's not a huge amount of money, but if you make lots of trips, it adds up. In general, everything in Ukraine is marked up for a western tourist. It's the same mentality in New York City or Venice or any tourist destination. Expect people to try to make a nice profit off you. :) For the same reason, it helps to know the going rate for taxi fare from the airports to the city hotels, because the cab drivers at the airports will ALWAYS charge you double. They will also accept the going rate if you hold firm. The hotel can tell you the going rate, and you can use this on your return trip...
Regarding the air fares, go ahead and check the prices when you get to the airports in Ukraine, and you'll see it's true about the markup.
On the internet, even Aerosvit marks up their prices for the airfares, at least for the English speaking website.
are you not - by any chance - making some confusion? Are you not neglecting the mailing cost when you compare prices at the airport, and prices through the Internet?
Have you ever been to Venice? Do you REALLY know what you are talking about? I am Italian, live in Italy, have been to Venice several times. As far as I know, there is no markup whatsoever for foreigners. I believe it's not even legal in Italy. On the contrary, foreigners in Russia pay much more than Russians in museums, for instance. I know this for sure, I was In St. Petersburg a few weeks ago.
I had a courier meet me at the airport. He was 1.5 hrs late. My lady said he called her and explained that the airline had made a mistake and there were no seats available on the flight to Mariupol. When I heard this I had her call the airline and there were seats available. Our schedule called for us to leave from another airport as Ukrainefare told me at the last minute that Aerosvit (spelling?) had cancelled all flights from Kiev to Mariupol. The two tickets cost just over $330. The driver finally showed up and ukrainefare called me and offered to have him drive us to Mariupol for the same price as the airlines or we could stay in Kiev for 2 days until we could fly. I opted for the automobile ride, before I saw the vehicle (BIG MISTAKE)anyway, We finally got there at 2am. I am glad they offer you a good service. I will not be using them again. I have since discovered the train is much more economical and offers you the opportunity to have more room and privacy to get better acquainted. Plus the trains are reasonably on time and they do not have communication problems that some would call lies.
No they dont. It costs £250 return from Birmingham to Kiev. This is much cheaper than Lufthansa, who are a comfortable but expensive airline and Birmingham airport is expensive to travel from. So I dont know what you are talking about. and people who prebook tickets are mental. You can buy VERY CHEAP train tickets in the Ukraine at the train station yourself. One site on here was asking like $1000 to go from moscow to vladivostok return. But in reality it is about $500 return in person. Buy your own tickets you lazy buggers.
Look....people in russia and FSU do not earn a lot. In Latvia, the average monthly salary is about £200 in riga and less in the provinces. SO, they are bound to pay less to go into musems and tourist attractions than a lucky forigner on $4000 a month doing some crappy job.
Please note that the title of this thread is 'internal travel in Ukraine', since when has Birmingham been in Ukraine? We're discussing how to travel internally in Ukraine, the cheapest option of booking tickets, and not how to get to Ukraine!
When I book air tickets I want confirmed travel to my destination and not to risk being stranded part of the way though my travel in Kiev, anyone that only confirms their travel for part of their route, to risk being stranded to perhaps save a few dollars, in my opinion, may be considered a suitable patient for LadyJane :)
And for my next trip to Ukraine, on KLM, I have paid GBP128.00 + taxes, a total fare of GBP218.70. KLM have 21 services a week from Birmingham, via Amsterdam, to Kiev thus I am able to travel at what time and on what day I want.
Aerosvit have 2 flights a week on crappy days and at crappy times bearing in mind that I have connecting flights to take once I'm in Ukraine.
On the same dates that I am travelling Lufthansa's fare, including taxes, is GBP253.70. Yes I can see that Lufthansa are too expensive for you BF, Aerosvit are so much cheaper at GBP250.00!