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CO cancels Dec return flight from ATH; working on options

CO cancels Dec return flight from ATH; working on options

Jul 10th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
CO cancels Dec return flight from ATH; working on options

Situation: Daughter (college jr) spending fall semester in Athens. RT tix IAH-EWR-ATH bought in May for 9/6 outbound; return on 12/19. In the fall schedule shakeup, CO canceled return flight on 12/19 ATH-EWR-IAH. (ATH now seasonal).

I know we can probably cancel and start over, but here's the rub. Daughter meeting 3 classmates in EWR to travel together to ATH. Daughter is only one to have 1)traveled overseas often, and 2)traveled overseas by herself. SO at least one of the others is being allowed to go in large part because daughter is a "veteran" at this (no lectures/comments please on this point; it ain't us!). Thus, we're not inclined to change outbound unless absolutely necessary.

CO rep (very pleasant and helpful) says BA picking up flights from ATH, but gets in too late for any of the 3 CO nonstops from LGW/LHR - IAH. And BA won't fly them from LHR - IAH (seems strange they'd only take them to LHR, but since CO and BA don't code share, I figure BA's role is limited).

Was given option of Olympic to AMS, CDG, or LHR. Only AMS option (OA 151) arrives in time to connect with CO 47 to IAH. CDG or LHR connections on OA require (according to CO rep) overnight stay and that won't work.

AF has an option (AF 2333/36) through CDG but with only a 45 min connection. Think chances of making that are slim to none.

DL also has flights DL133/6165 through JFK with 2'10" connect time - may be possible, but...
Seats seems to be available, but so far CO hasn't offered this option (but haven't asked yet either).

We've never flown OA, but reviews on airlinequality and flyertalk aren't encouraging (even when taken with a grain of salt). There's only one OA flight that can make connection in AMS, so if it's late, daughter has problem (looking at a another overnight scenario).

At the moment, think we're down to best options of the 1) ATH-AMS (OA) and AMS-IAH (CO) or 2) DL through JFK.

Any thoughts? Anything we're overlooking?

dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2008, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,995
A couple of other possibilities:

- KLM flight from ATH to AMS leaves *really* early (5.15am) and connects to the CO flight that leaves at 9.30am and gets in at 1.35pm

- Air France flight from ATH to CDG that leaves at 7.05, then has a very comfortable 3-hour connection to the CO CDG-IAH flight that leaves at 12.40pm

DonTopaz is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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rizzuto - thanks
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
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FYI - according to CO, only BA, OA and Agean are picking up CO tix out of ATH. AF/KL, DL are NOT even though they're partners. ARRRGH!!!!
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
See if you can book via Orbitz or other venues for the CO flights outbound and whatever best flight inbound. If the price is reasonable, then do that and refund the original.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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Thanks rkkwan.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 447
kayak.com often has really good
international fare search capability.
pilgrim is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Thanks everyone.

The problem wasn't finding potentially suitable flights. We did (and yes, we often use kayak.com so it was one of the first sources we used). The problem was what CO was offering. The ONLY airlines which would "pick up" the tickets (term used by 4 different CO agents) was BA, OA and Aegean - so no flights on partners AF, KL, or DL.

In order to try and get her back the same day on the decent option (BA), it was ATH-LHR-EWR (all on BA)then CO to IAH, with only one hour layover in EWR to catch the last flight to IAH. The chances of this working were slim to none IMO.

So we canceled, got refund and booked IAH-LHR-ATH, same return, all on BA. Reasonable (and realistic) layovers, and arrives at IAH at 4pm instead of midnight. And the best news: price was over $700 LESS than original ticket.

3 classmates also canceled and booked new flights on other airlines.

We were just very frustrated with the options CO gave us and didn't think it was handled well. But worked out fine in the end.

dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 447
That's good news, plus $700 more
for spending money. Let's see
with the current exchange rate--
300 euros! (just kidding)
pilgrim is offline  

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