Airfare advice (sorry, but I need help!)

Jan 5th, 2006, 03:01 PM
  #1  
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Airfare advice (sorry, but I need help!)

I know this question has been asked a thousand times, but I really need your advice.

I have found what I consider a great price ($740) on an open jaw ticket(IAH-BCN, then FCO-IAH). This is the cheapest I've found in 1 month. So I was going to book, but realized that on the way back home I would have to change airports- LHR to LGW- in 3 1/2 hours.

So adding the national express fare to this airfare increases to ($770). So I guess my questions are:
1. Is switching airports worth the low fare?
2. Is there a possibility fare may drop to maybe $775 (it was in late october), and I should then just wait for that fare? Is there a possibility it may drop in feb? we want to go late May and don't want to risk it either.

Thanks iin advance for all your help!
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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I would not switch airports in London, to me it would not be worth the savings.
suze is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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Thanks Suze! That's what I keep thinking, but the BA agent reassures me that I can make the connection and if BA is delayed they will place me on the next flight. I just feel like I may find a similar air fare without having to go through all that trouble.
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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For me would depend on the saving and how tired I would be. I'd also take into account the fact that lay-overs/airport changes seem fine on paper until I actually have to do them. If I was travelling with partner I'd be more likely to go for it - double the saving and someone to moan with/share carry on etc - but if on my own I'd probably just pay a ittle more. Would also consider which T from Heathrow I would be flying and whether bus drops at that T or at the central bus station, how much luggage etc
wombat7 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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To me it's not even so much about whether you can or can't *make* the flight, but why would you want to go thru the extra hassle?

I fly British Air but always hold out for a Heathrow/Heathrow connection.
suze is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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BA is fond of claiming that the M25 switcheroo is easily accomplished, and most of the time it's okay. But it's never easy and it costs money, and I just wouldn't recommend it.

Your time and aggravation are worth something. Make it easy on yourself.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Another question, I found a similar airfare ($765) with Airfrance, on Itasoftware, but when I call Airfrance they claim that fare doesn't exist. Any advice?
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Get the fare code (letters/number gibberish) off the ITA screen ("fare details") and read it to the AF rep over the phone.

Let me also recommend looking at a round trip to Gatwick (AA from DFW for instance) then easyJet to BCN and back from CIA (Ciampino airport in Rome.) After the past couple of weeks especially I would do most anything to avoid Heathrow, and IMO CDG is also worth avoiding. (Did 6 landings/takeoffs at LHR in 8 days. Ugh.)
Gardyloo is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Gardyloo- thanks for the idea. I'm also weary of Airfrance because of reports and comments I've read on here. I'll look into using easy jet.
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Can't answer the Air France question but another vote for "no" on the LHR to LGW switch in 3.5 hrs. Don't know what the price difference is for not having to do that, but you should also know you will have to pay for the transfer b/w airports yourself (bus or taxi or car service) AND you will probably have to collect luggage and "schlepp" it with you (or have it lost) and pass through security again.

mclaurie is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Based on historical experience, rates will probably drop sometime between now and March. But the open jaw does complicate the picture--sometimes open jaw doesn't cost more than a regular round trip; other times it does.

But there's no guarantee that some airline might not need a cash infusion and have a sale at any time. There's also no guarantee that there won't be some big oil crisis that will send fares upward.

From D.C., I would wait (we live in Maryland and often fly out of DC), but we've never minded canceling trips involving flying if we found the prices too high. We just do something else interesting. While you might be locked into taking your trip this year.

Hmmm, so I've said prices might go up, or down--or not. True, but not terribly illuminating, is it? Must be that extra glass of wine I consumed.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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Thanks everyone for the fast replies! I contacted AF and gave them the itenerary given on the ITA software, they gave me a different rate and said the rate I was quoting them was not theirs! Argh!

So I guess I keep playing the waiting game...but not for long. I wish there was a simple answer! =)
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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BELLE0516, sometimes you can find those ITA itineraries if you use those parameters on CheapTickets or Orbitz, both of which use ITA software in the background.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Given the airport switch occurs on the return, I'd be tempted to do it, but 3.5 hours sounds optimistic, given my history of London airport delays. The airline is supposed to put you on the next available flight if you miss it, though. When is that flight, and do you have anything important to do the day following your return?
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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I've done the Heathrow/Gatwick transfer a couple of times, and never found it to be problematic. I have a vague recollection that the bus is free if you are on BA, and I definitely recall that the bus was very comfortable. If it were my choice, I'd take BA over AF, despite the transfer.
ladylawyer42 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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The free bus connection is no longer. You have to pay, you have to transfer your own bags AND you often have to wait for the next bus and might have to spring for a taxi if the wait is too long.
mclaurie is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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willtravel- the flight is at 10am-no longer rush hour?- on a wednesday(late may). I also don't have anything to do the next day. So that's another pro for the LHR flight. I'm also checking out orbitz.

ladylawyer- We would have to pay for the shuttle, BA dosnt cover the fare.
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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willtravel- Thanks for the orbitz recommendation. I found a cheaper flight. Flying out with UA. IAH to Frankfurt, then switching to Lufthansa to Barcelona. On the way back home it would be with lufthansa only. I have flown with Lufthansa and had no problems. The staff was wonderful and we didn't have problems getting our way around the airport.

I've never flown with UA though. Do they ever have delays? Or anything I should be concerned with?
BELLE0516 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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My limited experience with United is that they are fine. Delays happen on all airlines, but United and Lufthansa are both Star Alliance partners, so I'd be much less concerned than with two unrelated airlines.
WillTravel is offline  

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