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Your thoughts on which is best - have an 8 hr layover or 2 connections with short connecting times

Your thoughts on which is best - have an 8 hr layover or 2 connections with short connecting times

Old Oct 30th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Your thoughts on which is best - have an 8 hr layover or 2 connections with short connecting times

I'm trying to make a decision and would appreciate any input. I had booked a flight on US Airways that had great times. I had a 3 hr layover in Philadelphia and then on to Rome.

Now I am told the first leg is now canceled and I have 2 options: 1) direct flight to Philadelphia but an 8 hr layover til the Rome flight, or 2) flight to Cincinnati - 1 hr layover, then flight to Philadelphia with 1.5 hr layover.

I hate the thought of having to spend 8 hours waiting for my next flight. However, I'm thinking if I choose option 2 and either flight is delayed for some reason, I won't make my connections.

Any words of wisdom or advice?
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Id take the 8 hour layover, get a day pass at one of the lounges and
not have to worry about the hustle
and bustle of connecting or cancelled flights.
Sherri
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Sherri 1, Thanks for the reply.
I've been leaning to the 8 hour layover for the exact reasons you mentioned. How do I go about getting a day pass? And do I have to buy one for each of us?
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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Never mind the last questions - I just found the answer on the US Airways website.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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I would take the 8 hour layover - better safe than sorry.
Flights are never on time any more.
Any connection under 2 hours is risky - 3 hours is better.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 02:33 AM
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I'll pile on & agree with the 8 hour layover. The fewer the connections the less opportunity for screw-ups.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 02:37 AM
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I think that is enough time to go into Philadelphia, so why bore yourself at the airport?

(Certainly, with some good books, and maybe an Internet connection, there's no need for boredom even with 8 hours at the airport, but it might be nice to get out and about and enjoyt he city.)
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 03:09 AM
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I agree with the 8 hour layover. You have to deal with Mother Nature in two different cities so that's just one more chance for a weather delay.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 03:28 AM
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I'd cancel the tickets, get a refund, and find a better solution on a different airline. Travel is aggravating enough -- why make it even worse?
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 03:56 AM
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JJ - are you stuck with US? Have you looked at other options? As rizzuto said, if you can find a better route on another carrier, you could cancel and get a refund.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Thanks for all your replies.

This was non-transferable and non-refundable airfare and, I think, a $250 charge for any changes. However, I got a great price, so I can't complain (too much). I'm in agreement with everyone on the 8 hour layover.

One more question, I have frequent flyer membership with several airlines that I've used for my annual trips to Europe (including US Airways). However, I've never reached elite status and thus have never used their club lounges. Is it worth the $40 they charge for a day pass? Just exactly what amenities do you enjoy for that price? And do they have seating that will allow you to relax and take a nap?

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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 08:24 AM
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I would take the eight-hour layover and head into the city.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 08:44 AM
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Even with a non-refundable fare, you can get a full refund if there's a substantial schedule change. However, if there is a schedule change and you agree to an alternative schedule/routing, then your are no longer eligible to receive a full refund.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 08:57 AM
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I guess I will be the minority here and say that you should take the short hops, UNLESS, you do decide to make a day of it in Philadelphia. Great city. There is no way I would stay at the airport for more than 2-3 hours. NO WAY!
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Unless of course it's the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounges in Hong Kong...
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 09:23 AM
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The 8 hour layover - because, really - what are the chances your flight will be on time, so it'll be somewhat shorter. Also, Philadelphia is a decent airport to get stuck in, so I would definitely take a book, there are things to look at there, and check out the US lounge there with a day pass. With only 8 hours, and since you're going to Rome - I actually wouldn't go into Philadelphia because you'll have to worry about your carry on, and then dealing with a bunch of little issues - where I would be spending my time going through the guidebook for Rome in great detail - LOVE Rome...... I've been there a few times, and it is so interesting.... Great place for Christmas shopping...
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 09:42 AM
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JJ - Since I've never been in the USAIR lounge in Philadelphia I can't give you specifics but I can give you some generalities that might answer your questions regarding use of the lounges:

First, having "elite staus" doesn't give you access to the lounges. Access is normally limited to "paying members" (either an annual membership - around $400 PP or a daily membership - between $40 pp to $50 PP) as well as, in some instances, those passengers flying on "paid" First Class (and sometime Business Class) tickets.

Second - whether the daily fee (in your case $40) is "worth it" depends on what it is worth to YOU. The lounges usually give you a more comfortable seating area (as compared to the main terminal). The chairs will be "padded" arm chairs similar to what you might find in the reception area for a moderately nice corporate office. You should be able to nap in the chairs if you wish but you probably won't find sofa where you can lie down. You will get free snacks (perhaps pretzels or chips, maybe cookies), coffee, tea and soft drinks, a pay as you go bar for alcholic beverages and some lounges offer sandwiches, salads and other light fare foods for purchase. You'll usually have access to computers, printers and a fax machine as well as large screen TV's and magazines/newspapers for your light reading pleasure. Some lounges have shower facilities. And most have a Wi-Fi internet connection if you want to use your laptop.

Because I travel often I have a "lounge" membership with a different airline and I find the comforat, convenience and amenities well worth the annual fee. On the other hand, I think that if a person is not a member and has only a short layover time (say under 3 hours) having access to a lounge is NOT WORTH $40 or $50 as you can be just as comfortable in one of the terminal's restaurants or bars. If, however, you have a long layover (say more than 3 hours) getiing a day pass is something you migght want to consider.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 11:36 AM
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<i>First, having &quot;elite staus&quot; doesn't give you access to the lounges.</i>,

Sorry, and I don't know what airline you are referring to but in most cases, AFAIK, mid and top status will get you free entrance to any alliance member club during international travel. Top status will get you in to ANY first class lounge in the OneWorld Alliance (AA, BA, CX, QF, LA, JL, etc) and mid status will get you in for free to any business class lounge in the network.

I believe it's the same for the StarAlliance.
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Few examples:

<i>Enjoy special privileges when you travel on any participating Star Alliance airlines. Just present your Platinum Preferred membership card and same-day international ticket to gain access to more than 600 Star Alliance lounges (including the US Airways Club).

* Travel within North America and the Caribbean is excluded.</i>

http://www.usairways.com/awa/content.../platinum.aspx

<i>The oneworld&reg; alliance airlines provide more than 500 lounges across the globe. If you are an Emerald or Sapphire level top-tier member of one of our frequent flyer programmes, you will have access to any of these lounges before departure, no matter which oneworld airline you are flying. Lounge access is available if the departing flight from that airport is marketed and operated by a oneworld carrier.</i>

http://www.oneworld.com/ow/ffp/lounge-access
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Old Oct 31st, 2008, 12:18 PM
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We've done the long (6-7 hour) layover in Atlanta a few times when Delta changed their schedule--wasn't nearly as bad as we thought it would be. I would choose the wait over the risk of something going awry with the added connection. And just think, if your originating flight out is delayed your wait time in Philly will be reduced.
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