Help with Flight Option: CMN or RAK

Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 01:52 PM
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Help with Flight Option: CMN or RAK

Looking at two flight options, fly in/out of CMN or RAK. Since my interest is in Marrakesh and Fez, I thought flying to RAK and skipping CMN would give me more time. But it doesn't appear to be the case, since I have to take the 8 hrs train between Marrakesh and Fez twice.

Option 1 via CMN:
Day 1: Arrive CMN 8a, take train (4 hrs) to Fes
Day 2,3,4: Fez (day trip to Meknes/Volubilis)
Day 5: Fez to Marrakesh by train (8 hrs)
Day 6,7,8: Marrakesh (day trip to Essaouira)
Day 9: Marrakesh to Casablanca
Day 10: Flight from CMN back home

Option 2 via RAK:
Day 1: Arrive RAK 1p
Day 2: Marrakesh
Day 3: Marrakesh to Fez by train (8 hrs)
Day 4,5,6: Fez (day trip to Meknes/Volubilis)
Day 7: Fez to Marrakesh by train (8 hrs)
Day 8,9: Marrakesh (day trip to Essaouira)
Day 10: Flight from RAK back home

As you see, option 2 is quite chopped up. I seemed to have traded the last day in Casablanca, a city I can skip, to another 8 hrs train ride between Fez and Marrakesh. Doesn't seem like a good trade.

The other difference is CMN is with Royal Air Maroc and RAK is with Iberia. Reviews of Royal Air Maroc is quite dismal.

Is there anything I can do to option 2 so it's more smart and coherent? I think flying between Marrakesh and Fez won't help much. I'm willing to spend more money to buy time.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 02:06 PM
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First question has to be where are you coming from, to determine if there are any other options for flights. Both options you have above are pretty inefficient.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2016, 03:58 PM
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I posted this by mistake on your other thread on the subject. Here it is again:

Looking at your other threads it appears you're flying out of JFK and going only to Morocco. I asked because there are a number of airlines that fly in & out of both Fes & Marrakech so the only train journey you'd need would be one, between the 2 cities. Presumably you've looked at a map and know that Casablanca (CMN) is more or less midway between the 2 on the train.

You can fly into most European cities and change to various low fare airlines to & from Fes & Marrakech. The trouble with that is that it'll likely take as long as either of your current plans.

The other possibility is Air France, for instance, seems to fly to both cities and JFK, of course. Trying an itinerary from JFK into Fes then back from Marrakech I get a message to call their reservation number. You may want to do that and see what they have to offer.

The truth is flying into Casa (CMN) on Royal Air Maroc is probably the easiest of all. There's a train from the airport to the main station in Casa (Casa Voyageurs) and you can go either direction from there, to Marrakech or Fes. Then just back and on to the other. Then back to Casa to go home. While the RAM flights seem to always be the most expensive, they are direct which saves time and how bad can it be? There's a great deal to be said for convenience.

Otherwise, confining your 10 days to either just north from Casa (Fes, Rabat, Meknes, Chefchaouen), or south from Casa (Marrakech, Essaouira, Taroudant) would make a nice trip too.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 09:01 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. The more I look at it, Option 1 with RAM via CMN looks a lot more efficient.

And if I go with RAM, there are a couple connecting flights from RAK-CMN that will work on the morning that I fly home since my CMN-JFK leg is at 3p. This gives me an option to skip CMN all together but not sure if it's wise. I'll start another topic on how to best plan my last day in Morocco.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 09:47 PM
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What do you mean by "skip CMN all together"? You said that before and I was puzzled. If you fly into/from there or take the train from Marrakech to Fes, Casablanca (CMN) is where you'll pass through. Yes, do skip it if you mean spend time there but it's unavoidable for transport purposes, one way or another.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 10:02 PM
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One more thing, consider having your RAK-CMN flight on the same ticket as your onward flight to JFK. If it isn't and the flight is late for the connection it could be a problem. That's assuming it's a RAM flight from RAK.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 12:12 PM
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By "skip CMN" I mean not tour Casablanca, just use it as a hub.

And yes, if I go with RAM, I'll get a open-jaw round trip ticket that goes JFK-CMN and back with RAK-CMN-JFK. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 01:44 PM
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OK, good.

And very good.
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