Air Canada or United/Lufthansa?

Apr 15th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Air Canada or United/Lufthansa?

Getting ready to purchase tickets this week for our trip to Central Europe. From our city in Ohio, it will be a 2 stop going and coming, most likely in Chicago or Toronto and in Frankfurt or somewhere else in Germany going to Budapest and pretty much the reverse going home from Prague. Which would you choose? We are women of average height, but comfortable seats on an 18 hour journey are important. Will we have problems with 90 minute connections coming home from Chicago on United Express? Will we have to switch from international to domestic terminals? Please advise, thanks!
LBloom is offline  
Apr 15th, 2012, 01:25 PM
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I would worry about that short connection in Chicago. You will, indeed, have to come into terminal 5 (international terminal), clear immigration, collect your bags, go through customs, and then re-check bags and then hop on the train to terminal 1 or 2, where you must go through security to enter. A little bit risky IMO.

I personally have a 2-hour window when I return from Asia in a few weeks, and I'm hoping that will be sufficient. The passport lines can be slow.... It depends on what time if day you are coming in. I know that my Asia flight comes in about the same time as 2-3 other international flights (big planes) and that can mean long lines. That would be around 2:30-3:30 in the afternoon.

Customs is usually just a matter of handing the agent your form and then being waved on. Not usually time consuming... unless they want to search the bags.

Then you bags go onto the conveyor belt, to be delivered to your United Express flight (probably in terminal 2, which is where most of the regional commuters arrive/depart. Trains run quite frequently, and it is a quick ride from terminal 5 to either terminal 1 or 2.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 04:44 AM
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Take a look at "connection in YYZ into the US" post on this thread for useful information on coming back through Toronto. Not sure if it would apply in your situation , but going though US customs and border control in Canada would reduce the time needed for your connection to wherever it is you are headed next.

What airlines are you considering? I'm not a huge fan of Air Canada but they do have excellent seat back entertainment and are comfortable enough. I'm booking a trip to central Europe also this week but am opting for British Airways as they are about $500 cheaper than Air Canada for early September.
eliztravels is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Ooops, just realized, you have already mentioned the airlines, Air Canada or United.
eliztravels is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 05:29 AM
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I am leaning toward Air Canada and would like to book the ticket directly through them, in case there are any issues. I found the airfare on KAYAK and when it directs me to Air Canada, it forces me to search my parameters again and then the price is much higher. Would you be comfortable buying this ticket on Orbitz or CheapTickets? The difference is about $150/ticket or $300 for 2 tickets, a signficiant amount.
LBloom is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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Keep in mind that AC is having financial and labor issues. Pilots just held a wildcat strike last Friday. No idea how bad this may develop into.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 06:48 PM
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We had the same issue with kayak pricing for air Canada. Calling air Canada produced even higher prices. We booked our February ticket on orbitz and paid the lower fare. We were very pleased with our flights. Chicago to Montreal, then to Paris. We are again flying air Canada in June to krakow through Frankfurt. Hope all goes well again. My advice is to take the lower price with orbitz. We've never had a problem with them.
Images2 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2012, 12:14 AM
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I usually book through Expedia and haven't found lower prices elsewhere. I'm not too concerned about the labour/financial issues at AC. Parliament has been very quick to act in the recent past (too quick IMHO) to pass legislation to prevent labour disruption, and would intervene mighty quickly if bankruptcy loomed, I'm sure. What are the chances of a disruption on the very day you fly? Probably about the same as a volcano, blizzard, or tornado in other parts of the world. If you get stranded at Pearson let me know, and I'll come a pick you up and bring to my place for dinner!
eliztravels is offline  

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