Air itinerary help from Patty please

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Nov 9th, 2005, 05:41 AM
  #1
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Air itinerary help from Patty please

I know you are the air expert, so thought I should check with you before purchasing our tickets to Zambia. I am concerned about the short connection times on the return trip.
I think the price is good....at least the best I have found. Total of 3387.12 for 2 PIA-LUN Leaving May 16 and returning June 3.
I will just list the return portion to see what you think of the connection times.
June 3
South African Airways 67
LV LUN 5pm
AR JNB 7:05pm
1 hr. 10 min connection time-change to British Airways 56
LV JNB 8:15pm
AR LHR 6:20am
1 hr 35 min connection time-change to American Airlines 99
LV LHR 7:55
AR ORD 10:15 am
1 hr. 34 min connection time to AA 4068
LV 11:49
AR PIA 12:35pm
Please tell me what you think of this. I don't want to wait too long to purchase the tickets if you think we can make the connections. This is on Orbitz.
I really appreciate any advise you or anyone else might have.
Thanks so much
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Nov 9th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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I'm not really familiar with JNB airport but I'll try to help. Hopefully someone who has done an intl to intl transfer at JNB recently can better advise.

I will also go on the assumption that these flights are all booked on one itinerary. If not, and you're actually looking at separate tickets, then I wouldn't risk it as neither carrier would be responsible for your missed connection and you'd basically be at the mercy of the airline's goodwill (or possibly lack thereof) in case you misconnect.

Taking a look at the connections -

JNB - I believe intl flights depart/arrive at the same terminal and you can stay airside for your transfer. I also believe that SAA and BA have an interline luggage agreement that would allow you to through check your bags from LUN. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on either. In that case assuming your LUN-JNB flight arrives on time, you should make your BA connection. There's also a later JNB-LHR flight BA54 at 9:25pm that they may be able to reaccomodate you on in case of a delay with your inbound flight.

LHR - BA flights from JNB are currently scheduled to arrive at T1 and AA flights to ORD depart from T3. 1 hour 35 min is tight but doable if your inbound flight arrives on schedule. Here, you can also stay airside for your transfer. Follow the signs for Flight Connections and you'll take a shuttle bus to T3. At T3 there will be a security check when entering the terminal. In case you don't make your connection, there are 4 additional flights from LHR-ORD on AA that day.

ORD - You'll go through immigration and customs at ORD. I don't know how long the process usually takes as I've never entered the US through ORD, but there are 3 additional flights to PIA that day, so I think you're OK.

Personally I'd take this itinerary. I think you have a very good chance of making all of your flight connections provided that your flights operate on schedule. Pay attention to the signage when transferring and don't waste any time. Assuming you have the same connections from PIA to LUN, you'll have an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the airports on your outbound. I'd also prepare yourself for the possibility that you may need to be reaccomodated on later flights in case of delays.

Hope this helps and perhaps others can comment.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 11:34 AM
  #3
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Patty,
Thank you so much for all the time you put into checking this for me.
I feel much better about it since reading your information. We have never been to LHR, JNB, or LUN, so am glad for your descriptions of the terminals.
The PIA-LUN connections are--- PIA,ORD,LHR,LUN. We don't go through JNB.
Now as far as seat requesting...Unfortunately we will be in economy on all flights....do you have any suggestions? Guess I will request exit rows as the seating diagrams appear to allow that. Looks as though the bulkhead seats are blocked.
Do you feel this is a good price? I know I could take a chance and wait until later hoping for a better fare, but our safari dates are set now with Barry at Luangwa River Lodge, so will feel better getting this off my mind.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 12:06 PM
  #4
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Patty,
Forgot to respond about all the flights being booked on one itinerary.....they would all be booked on Orbitz and paid for with one charge, so I assume that even though the trip involves 3 different airlines that it would be termed as one itinerary. Does that sound right to you?
Thanks once again for your help.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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That seems like a good price to LUN to me. I'm afraid I'm not much help when it comes to what the best seats are on AA or BA or their seat assignment policies. Try looking on www.seatguru.com or www.seatexpert.com - you may have to go to the latter for BA's 767.

Are you flying into LUN from somewhere else on June 3 and need an afternoon departure?
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Nov 9th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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Yes, if you can book this on Orbitz as a single itinerary, then you're OK. One thing I forgot to mention earlier to keep in mind is that the airline's ultimate responsibility is to get you to your final destination on the next available flight which could mean a flight the following day (if for example, you've missed all of the evening departure options from JNB on June 3) but they may or may not pay for your overnight accomodations. That would depend on the reason(s) for your flight delay and missed connection. Generally airlines will pay for overnight accomodations if the misconnect was a result of something within their control (i.e. mechanical delay) but not for causes outside of their control (i.e. weather) but may choose to do so anyway in the latter instance as a goodwill gesture.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Tigerpaw - hope you don't mind me jumping in here - but Patty: This is probably a no-brainer, but what if Tigerpaw missed the flight - then she forfeits a night at her camp. Is this where trip insurance comes in or is the airline even remotely accountable for something like this? Just curious.
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Nov 9th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Sharon,
There may be some compensation from the airline depending on the length of the delay but it won't be based on the actual cost of the forfeited portion of your vacation nor the extra costs associated with rescheduling parts of your vacation, if necessary. I believe this is where travel insurance comes in.

There are some air passenger rights outlined here involving flights departing from an EU airport operated by any carrier or flights to an EU airport if operated by an EU based carrier, so you can see what you're entitled to if your flight falls into one of these categories -
http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/...s/index_en.htm
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Nov 9th, 2005, 07:10 PM
  #9
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Patty,
Yes we will be flying from Jeki in Lower Zambezi on the flight arriving in LUN at 1:55pm. We chose to leave later in the day so that we could have a more leisurely last morning at Old Mondoro.
Thanks for the seating links. I have looked at them and think I will also call American and British Air. Will try to get as close as we can to the exits on the return flights since the connection times are close.

Cooncat,
Glad to have you jump in! You bring up a good point. I'm not so concerned about the flights going as I am the returning flight connection times. However, it isn't as critical to make the connections on the way home as it is on the way going. If we are delayed coming home, it won't make that much difference. But if there is a delay getting there and we would miss our first safari day, then that would be a bad thing! You just never know about the airlines. We did purchase the insurance offered through Orbitz. We purchased it mainly for the cancellation and interruption features, but will look it over to see if it would cover any missed safari days. We have 10 days to look it over and cancel if we want to. We will also take out insurance to cover the safari portion. I really don't want to spend the $$ for the insurance, but the trip is so expensive that I would worry about having to cancel for any health issues for the 2 of us and it also covers having to cancel for family illness.

Thanks to both of you.
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