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Preferred airline for flying from SFO to Italy

Preferred airline for flying from SFO to Italy

Aug 17th, 2007, 12:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 39
Preferred airline for flying from SFO to Italy

we are still trying to figure out our travels from San Francisco to Italy in October. We prefer to fly into Florence, but we can also fly into Milan or Rome. Since we will be traveling with a one year old, we would like to limit our # of stops to 1.

Originally, we were going to book on United or Luftnasa but have heard many negatives about United and arent able to get the fare/class on Lufthansa we orginally hoped for (biz).

Does anyone recommend a carrier/routing from SFO to Italy (both for coach and for biz if we are able to swing an upgrade)?

Many thanks!
cv2004 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 146
When flying to Spain from SFO I always go with British Airways to London then connect on. This flight takes off later in the day..there are two flights a day..usually 4:15 or 7:00p.m...with a baby the 7:15 may be a good time so he/she sleeps most of the way..I have always liked British Airways as the seats all have their own t.v sets in the headrests and the crew , in my experience, have always been very friendly.
angy400 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 198
I would advise against flying BA via London. I did this last year and it was a big mistake. Transferring flights at Heathrow was a joke (your will need to change terminal) and this airport, esp with BA, probably has one of the world's worst records in losing passengers' bags.

Perhaps you can try US Airways and transit at PHL (Philly), which is a lot smaller than Heathrow.
Barkinpark is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 09:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi cv, for years I have flown KLM from SFO to Amsterdam and than onto Italy. The Amsterdam airport is wonderful and personally I have always found the KLM FA's and other employees pleasant and efficent.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 430
Try AA via JFK. AA flies to non-stop JFK to Rome.

Avoid London, okay - not worth the hassle at all because you will still go thru Immigration and Customs in UK.

Also the return to SFO via JFK is easy too.
BlueSea is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,022
Lufthansa or Swiss Air. Avoid anything to do with United or London. Luf has a flight to JFK then on to Rome. You can also go to Shannon and then take Ryain Air from there. Delta has a flight with change at Atlanta. Skip 747's as coach is very tight space wise
JoanneH is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Delta has flights to Rome, Milan and Florence from Atlanta, JFK or both (I don't have the routings in front of me) and each of those would be a single connection flight. (They also go to Venice and Pisa.) Plus Delta's Business Elite is getting very high reviews these days.....
NoFlyZone is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 39
Thanks for all of the tips.

Joanne, have you had poor experiences with United? Have you ever flown on United via Frankfurt? Any further insight appreciated!
cv2004 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 146
I personally didnt find flying into Heathrow a nightmare at all..in fact both times was pretty smooth sailing..I didnt even need to change terminals..arrived and departed from terminal 1..coming back I believe arrived in terminal 2 and departed in terminal 1..and that too was no big deal..however the luggage problem there IS a huge problem..I am just planning on having good insurance and packing a few days worth of clothing in my carryon.
angy400 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 146
"Avoid London, okay - not worth the hassle at all because you will still go thru Immigration and Customs in UK."

when connecting through London you do not go through customs and immigration.
angy400 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,945
I have not had any problems flying United via Frankfurt. I do fly business class and can generally can get a few hours sleep on the way over. I would imagine that would be more difficult in flying economy. If you do have to fly economy and you use united, at least get premium economy for the extra leg room.

I also do not go through Heathrow unless I absolutely have to.
Jack is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
ALL BA flights from San Francisco TO London, and all BA flights FROM London to Italy use Heathrow Terminal 1.

If you use BA on a through ticket to Italy from San Francisco (or anywhere else in California) you go through neither customs nor immigration in Britain. You simply cross the terminal to the ongoing gate.

Barkinmad is simply talking through his or her rear end. So is Blue Sea.

Why they do so is a question only they can answer. But on the evidence of this post, Barkinmad really does have the world's worst record for spouting nonsense.

As for recommending using Philadelphia or Kennedy instead....
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 02:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,291
Just make sure you don't need to change airports in London or you will go through security and immigration.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,022
Yes I have. Service was poor, seating was so tight that I had to ask the person in front of me each time I wanted to get out of my asile seat because I had to lean on their headrest. They have crammed the seats in. They ran out of food, offered no real service, Bathrooms were bad and no TP, basically a trip to forget.Also moved my seat around 3 times prior to flight.
They land at one end of airport and ongoing flight is at other with 2 security checks, its a hike so allow connection time. On the other hand Lufthansa with whom I had booked in the first place and was then switched to United on the return was great. Seats bigger, much better service, clean restrooms, cheerful service. The draw back with Luf is that you can't get an online boarding pass in USA you have to appear to get it at least 2-3 hours prior to flight as the lines are very very very long.I last flew with UA in May this year to Frankfurt.
I fly again with UA to NM in next month hopefully trip will go well. I have had some great flights with them to
Oregon and Canada.
JoanneH is offline  

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