Which itinerary for NYC-VIE

Sep 2nd, 2009, 08:07 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652
Which itinerary for NYC-VIE

Hi, I haven't posted in the Airlines forum before (usually on the Europe forum), but I need some help selecting an itinerary because I haven't had much experience with connecting flights.

In January, I will have to leave after work on a Friday night from NYC and be at an event in Vienna Saturday night at 8pm (one that would take a while to get dressed for). I will probably need to check luggage, though I can try to pull off a packing miracle if necessary. Which of these itineraries would be less risky?

1) AF with 1hr 35mn layover at CDG, arriving VIE 2:35pm (if I miss this connection, a later flight gets into VIE at 6:35pm).
2) KLM with 1h 50mn layover at AMS, arriving VIE 3:05pm (looks like if I miss that connection, I'd be stuck).

Other possibilities (but no Skymiles):

3) British Airway with 2hr 5mn layover at LHR arriving VIE 2:10 pm (with a later flight getting into VIE at 5:55pm)
4) Lufthansa with 40mn layover in Munich arriving VIE 12:05pm (with a later flight getting into Vie at 4:25pm)
5) Swiss Air with 1h 55min layover in Zurich, arriving VIE 2:10pm (a later connection gets into VIE at 6:35pm)


I cannot take an extra day off work, though if all of the above are too risky for January, I may just have to leave work a couple hours early to take
6) AF from EWR with 2hrs layover at CDG, arriving VIE 12:35pm (so if I miss that, the next flight would still get me to Vienna by 2:35pm, allowing time for a nap. Does this last choice sound like a better plan?
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 09:54 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
1:50 at AMS is fine.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 02:01 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,124
If you want the SkyMiles, I think both connections should be fine. From a connection standpoint, I prefer AMS over pretty much any airport in Europe (or the US, for that matter). And 1:50 will give you more than enough time and you will almost certainly have a chance to grab a bite and check out the shops.

That being said, I can't really recommend KLM for long-haul. The 747s, in particular are really pretty dire. AF is better. The connection at CDG is tight, but I think it is still do-able. So, it comes down to whether you are more concerned with the flight experience or having a leisurely connection. If the former, go AF, if the latter, go KLM.

Also, if you want Skymiles be VERY careful about the fare codes. The lowest fares on AF and KLM do not earn anything in Skymiles. However, Delta code-shares on the AF flights and Northwest code-shares on the KLM flights. If you book the same flights with either a Delta or Northwest flight number, then you will received full credit in Skymiles.
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 07:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
KLM's schedule show 777 for both JFK-AMS flights. Not sure if they're using the -200ER or -300ER. Their 777-300ER has 10-abreast in coach, compared with 9-abreast on the -200ER (and most other airlines).
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 04:31 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652
Thank you both. AMS sounds like a more pleasant airport to connect through. My main worry is that this will be in winter, and if the flight leaving New York gets delayed by bad weather, the next KLM flight won't get into VIE until late night, which would make me miss the evening's event completely. Although the AF connection is tighter, the next flight would still get me there in time (though I'd have to rush straight from airport to hotel to the ball without stopping to rest or shower). The type of aircraft isn't a big issue because I'm very low-maintenance comfort-wise.

Thanks also for the reminder that some code-share flights aren't eligible for miles-- I almost forgot to check on that. I think the AF itinerary costs $40 or $50 more through Delta.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 12:37 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,124
I think the AF itinerary costs $40 or $50 more through Delta.

That is roughly half a penny per mile. I would book the flight through Delta to get the miles at that rate.
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 4th, 2009, 02:57 AM
  #7  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,865
There are a lot of other options, including non-stop JFK to VIE on Austrian, and connecting through Zurich on Swiss (or maybe also AA JFK to ZRH), and LH through Duesseldorf, and CO/LH through Berlin.

I'd go for the non-stop myself.
J62 is online now  
Sep 4th, 2009, 05:23 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 610
I apologize for hijacking this thread with a separate question, but I'm puzzled by the codeshare/earning miles issue.

Let's say I'm a member of the Delta Skymiles program. I book a ticket from ATL to Amsterdam through Delta.com, but the flight is operated by KLM. Would I not earn miles for that flight? If I booked the same flight through KLM's website, though, I would earn miles?

Sorry to be so dense....
pavot is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 06:34 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,124
Let's say I'm a member of the Delta Skymiles program. I book a ticket from ATL to Amsterdam through Delta.com, but the flight is operated by KLM. Would I not earn miles for that flight? If I booked the same flight through KLM's website, though, I would earn miles?

You have it backwards, at least for Delta. In the Delta program, you basically earn miles based upon the marketing carrier. In other words, if your flight number says DLxxxx, then you will earn as if it is a Delta flight, even if it is an Air France plane. If the flight is an Air France flight number, then you may not earn miles, depending upon the fare code - a couple of the lower fare classes don't earn miles (L & N, I think)

As a general rule, if you can book a flight with a Delta or Northwest flight number, then you should do so, to ensure full mileage credit.

Now, things get very complicated when you try to apply this to other carriers. All Star Alliance carriers (at least I think it is all) give credit based upon the operating carrier. This is the exact opposite principle that governs the earnings with Delta. In other words, if you book a flight on an SAS plane with a United flight number, you will earn based upon the rates for the underlying SAS fare class. Unfortunately, you cannot tell the underlying SAS fare class when booking, so you are flying a bit blind.

It is frustrating and difficult to keep track of. Your best bet is to really study the websites of the airlines to get as much information as possible. But take heart! It will change (for the worse) tomorrow!
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 4th, 2009, 07:23 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 610
Thank you very much for your thoughful reply, travelgourmet.

You've been a great help.
pavot is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 03:37 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652
J62,
I wish I could take the nonstop Austrian Air flight, but it's too early in the afternoon, and I can't leave until after work.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:54 AM.