Flights - would this be crazy?

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Oct 6th, 2005, 06:29 AM
  #41
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It looks like I can get a LNK to London flight that would mesh perfectly with this one for $871! Should I pull the trigger and do it!!!???? THanks ROcco! (I am REALLY getting sick of saying that....) ;-)
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Oct 6th, 2005, 06:31 AM
  #42
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But again....how would the luggage thing work here???
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Oct 6th, 2005, 06:35 AM
  #43
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Julian -

Of course if you were flying London-SFO with a stop in NY, that is your first point of entry - therefore you did your immigration/customs here and have to collect baggage and recheck (though not a security check) - just off the carousel and bring to a baggage check area a few feet away. Always @ the first point of entry arriving in the States.

If you were flying from the States to some town (other than a gateway) - i.e, JFK-LHR-Teeside (don't remember the code, sorry) - you'd do the immigration/customs thing in LHR, probably have to collect your bag and recheck them.

cooncat (sharon) -

If you decide on an over-night in AMS - a great city, check with KLM for "packages" they have including transfers to/from airport (if needed for downtown hotel) and hotels in various price categories.

AMS is a great city, lots of fun. But compare KLMs hotel prices with those on one of the travel sites where you may get a better deal, but then for transfers you can consider the bus or the train.

Schiphol in my estimation is probably the most civilized airport. Easy to get around, lots of moving sidewalks (how the US forgot these in Dallas [excuse me but the trams are at so far a distance from some gates... you can almost walk to Fort Worth];and forgotten at Denver Int'l) Back to the subject.

Now you have more decisions to make. Sorry!
 
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Oct 6th, 2005, 06:37 AM
  #44
 
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Sharon,

Give Premier Tours an opportunity before you do anything. Chances are that once you have them on the phone, they will be able to offer you an immediate quotation. If you find that you do not like the routing (or pricing) they come up with, then, BY ALL MEANS, go ahead and pull the trigger!
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Oct 6th, 2005, 06:39 AM
  #45
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But Sandi - Wouldn't it be so much easier for me to fly Lincoln-Chicago-London-Lusaka? I think it sounds like a great plan - and it's about $400 less than the others! Would rechecking luggage or getting to and from terminals be an issue? Anyone familiar with getting from United to Kenya Air at London HEathrow? Thanks sooo much!
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Oct 6th, 2005, 07:00 AM
  #46
 
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When I originally tried to price the LHR-NBO-LUN legs on Travelocity last night the site was down for maintenance, so I had to go with ITA. But Roccco's is the same itinerary I saw on ITA, and the same price.

Re the bags. Since the best connection at London still involves a +/- 7 hour layover (around noon to 7 pm) I'd use that time to go through bag claim and re-check them with Kenya Airways. It's a trifle time-consuming but IMO worth it to be sure you know they're in KQ's possession and not sitting in some cart down in the bowels of Heathrow.

Unfortunately, I misspoke earlier. United uses Terminal 3 at Heathrow, Kenya uses Terminal 4. Thus if you want to fetch your bags in London and re-check them, you'd probably need to go through passport control and bag claim, make the transfer from T3 to T4 (involves a short train ride) then re-check them with KQ. Since outbound you'd have 7 hrs at LHR, that's what I'd do, just to be sure. On the way back, I'd have the bags tagged at LUN all the way to Chicago, where you'd have to go through US customs anyway, then you can re-check them right in the customs area for the LNK hop. You'd need to show your LHR-ORD-LNK ticket to them at the counter to be sure they got the connections onto the bag tag, otherwise you might need to repeat the same process at LHR, which isn't the end of the world.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 07:51 AM
  #47
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Rocco - They only use the S. African Airways non-stop to JoBurg. So...I'd overnight in either Atlanta or Washington DC, then non-stop to Joburg, then onto Lusaka. I think I like the London option better and it's still $200 less than Premier Tours. Any other comments on all of this wold be appreciated! Thanks!
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Oct 6th, 2005, 07:59 AM
  #48
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cooncat -

I was only mentioning the AMS info if this would be the routing you selected. But if you choose flying via LHR, or ATL/JNB - go with the one with the best schedule, price and assurance of luggage transfers.

Thankfully, for us our luggage has always arrived TO our destinations; on the FROM portions, there have been a few times when they don't meet up with us when we arrive in NY... but get delivered the next day.

Like gameviewing and weather, I guess luggage is no guarantee, either. We can only hope we've planned accordingly.
 
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Oct 6th, 2005, 08:08 AM
  #49
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Rocco - I wasn't able to find your flight on TRavelocity. You're off by one day - I need to leave LNK on May 25, so I'd need the flight on May 26. THe only Lusaka option I'm seeing on return leaves at 10:50 a.m. Cost is $1009. I'm getting really confused. Again.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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expedia: LNK to LHR-$841. 5/25 arrive 10:00 am travelocity: LHR to LUN $912 leave 7:00 p.m. arrive 11:55 am 5/26 9 hours in london!
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Oct 6th, 2005, 09:08 AM
  #51
 
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Sharon,
What day do you actually need to return?

Here's what I see on Travelocity -

May 26 KQ105 LHR-NBO 7:00pm-6:35am+1
May 27 KQ428 NBO-LUN 10:15am-11:55am

Jun 12 KQ422 LUN-NBO 12:50pm-4:30pm
Jun 12 KQ102 NBO-LHR 11:50pm-5:45am+1

Price is $982.40 including the $5 Travelocity fee.

Would the 12:50pm departure on Jun 12 allow you enough time to fly back from your camp that morning or would you have to overnight in LUN?

As for your luggage, can't you fit everything you need for 2.5 weeks in a carry on?
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Oct 6th, 2005, 09:19 AM
  #52
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Patty - Looks like an overnight in Lusaka: 12th June MFU - LUN dep 1120 arr 1230 or dep 1610 arr 1720.

Carry on? Actually I was thinking of just that! Anyone else done it? I did it for a 3-week France trip but I think carry-on bags were bigger back in '98! I may check into it!
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Oct 6th, 2005, 09:27 AM
  #53
 
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Don't forget you lose a day transatlantic - leave Nebraska on the 25th, arrive London on the 26th (except see below.) So the fastest route to Lusaka is an arrival on the 27th. Best I can see for the itinerary is around $1800 all in, via London and Nairobi. Note Kenya Air doesn't have a nonstop NBO-LUN flight on Mondays, it stops in Harare en route (no big deal although it seems to add $100 or so to the price.)

If it were me (and then I'll shut up) here's what I'd do.

Background - I hate the jetlag that comes from eastbound overnighters. From LNK to LHR/Zambia it's a 6 or 7 hour time change, which in my case takes a week to recover from. If I have to overnight somewhere en route, I prefer doing so in a bed as often as possible. By going LNK-ORD-LHR-NBO-LUN all in one go involves two consecutive nights sitting in an airline seat, punctuated with several hours in Heathrow trying to keep your eyeballs from rolling up in your head.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like an all-daytime itinerary between Europe and Lusaka is possible, so one night in steerage is in the cards, both ways.

So here's the proposal. Take a real early flight from LNK to ORD (United at 6 am, yuck or if you can manage, on AA from OMA to ORD, 7 am.) Then ride the AA morning flight to London - leaves 9:15 am, arrives around 10pm (but only 4 pm to you.) Spend the night in a hotel near Heathrow (many available cheaply on Priceline). Spend the next morning/day sleeping in, or ride the tube into central London, before reporting for duty at Kenya Air in time for the 7pm flight. That way, you can have a day of fresh air, get some exercise, so that you'll be more likely to sleep on the flight to Kenya.

The price will be the same for both portions of the trip, and although you'll have spent a few more hours away from home on the 25th, you'll most likely be able to be functional in Africa for a longer period of time than you would getting over the exhaustion of 40 hours or so of straight airport/airplane time.

I have always found that when connecting through LHR an overnight near the airport is incredibly worth the money and hassle.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #54
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Gardyloo - will you just book the damn thing for me so I can be done with it!? ;-)
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Oct 6th, 2005, 10:05 AM
  #55
 
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Going back to Rocco's idea of taking the BA LHR-LUN nonstop, I priced the following on ba.com -

May 25 BA294 ORD-LHR 9:20pm-11:00am+1
May 26 BA255 LHR-LUN 7:15pm-6:15am+1

Jun 13 BA254 LUN-LHR 8:45am-6:00pm
Jun 14 BA295 LHR-ORD 9:15am-11:55am

Total price $1917.98 plus whatever the cost of getting from LNK to ORD. I just picked ORD because I didn't know what the closest BA gateway to LNK was, perhaps there's a more convenient gateway you can use??? I can point to Guinea-Bissau on a map but had to look up where Nebraska was

The total cost may be a little higher and this option does require you to overnight in both Lusaka and London on the return but it may be worth it for the nonstop flight and eliminating yet another airport layover.

LHR-LUN operates 3x weekly on Mo/We/Fr and return on Tu/Th/Sa. And if you'd like more time in London, there are other flights times available between ORD and LHR on both the outbound and return.

Does this just confuse things further?
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Oct 6th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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Hello,

Gardyloo has a good point if you're one of those people who can't sleep on planes. I sleep well and easily on planes, but sitting there for long stretches at a time drives me nuts, so I prefer night flights. You probably know what works for you.

Sandi, I do the US-UK commute several times a year, so I know the drill The problem with that London-SFO flight wasn't the re-checking per se -- the problem was that AA wouldn't let me re-check after clearing immigration because it would be more than eight hours before my next flight. This was NOT what I was told when I made the reservation, or needless to say I would not have booked a flight with a 10-hour layover in New York. So if you have a long layover, it's worthwhile to check how early your airline will allow you to check your luggage in for the second leg.

Yes, Sharon, carry-ons have shrunk considerably since 1998. Airlines have become much more restrictive over the past few years about how much you can carry on, so unless you can fit everything you need into a carry-on size bag which weighs less than 6 (12-14 lb) you will need to check your luggage -- note that 'carry-on size' is different in Europe than it is in the US, so this may be a factor if you change planes in a European city. The size and weight varies a bit from airline to airline, but it's getting almost impossible to be a carry-on traveller unless you fly business class.

It looks like you will be stuck with an overnight in Lusaka unless you can get a flight which leaves Lusaka later in the day. The only option which avoids this is the one which routes through Joburg -- all of the others leave too early for you to make the connection. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- it will give you a chance to see a bit of urban Africa.

The option with a long layover in London and a connection in Nairobi seems to be the best money/time compromise IF you can sleep on planes.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 6th, 2005, 10:22 AM
  #57
 
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Interesting...it really pays to be an American if you're flying BA. It costs more to fly from London to Lusaka than it does to fly from Chicago to Lusaka via London -- if you price the LHR-LUN leg out of London, it still comes to £1450 (about $2600) versus the Chicago-London-Lusaka at about $1900.

Cheers,
Julian
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Oct 6th, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #58
 
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Julian,
It's also cheaper for us to upgrade to WT+ on transatlantic routes ex-US than it is on the same routes ex-UK.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 10:38 AM
  #59
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Someone - Please let me know when you've got my flights arranged for me. Thanks!




Oh, OK... ;-)
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Oct 6th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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BA carry a lot of premium traffic between LHR and the likes of LUN, NBO, HRE and other African destinations. For example, for the next week or so, most LUN flights are completely sold out in business class, but relatively wide open in coach. Thus those that can't afford so sit up front (i.e., non-government or business types that can shell out £3000 or so for the trip) have to compete in the back. Price elasticity of demand and all that.
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