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amount of time needed for transfers at airports in europe

amount of time needed for transfers at airports in europe

Old Oct 10th, 2019, 07:03 AM
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amount of time needed for transfers at airports in europe

Thinking of doing a Rhine cruise next spring: some of the initial sites would involve a transfer within Europe. Of course, the possible Amsterdam piece from JFK would be nonstop. But if one of the potential destination cities such as Luxemburg or Basal would involve landing in Europe with a transfer. I would think landing in Munich would be less an issue for a transfer than Frankfort or CDC. The transfer times arriving from USA could be l hour 20 minutes or less. So would this cutting it too close? Of course upon returning transfer times may not be as a big a problem although I would feel better with a good buffer. So if I arrive in Europe, which airports should I try to avoid as transfer points and how much time is reasonable (maybe carryon luggage). Likewise, on the return how much time to give as a buffer.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 07:31 AM
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What are you asking?
It appears you have not chosen the cruise yet. In which case the number choices of starting and the ending ports are too numerous to enumerate pros and cons.
It appears that you are starting from JFK.
There is no one transfer time for ALL the combinations of airports, layover times, airline alliances, etc. Just too many to comment.
Also considerations are arrival time where there can be many many later flights to get you there depending on where you land and which airline alliance you use.
Are you thinking of doing this as a carry-on luggage only trip? All the river cruise passengers I have encountered in Europe were traveling with huge 26" or larger luggage plus a carry-on. It is possible to do it as carry-on only, but if the carry-on only is only a wishful thinking, validate your luggage option if the choice of transport to whatever cruise starting point hinges on the carry-on only assumption. I think most cruise sites recommend arriving a day ahead of the cruise start date in case of major flight foul ups.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 08:54 AM
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It depends really on where you are transferring through. Major hubs such as London Heathrow, Charles to Gaulle (Paris), Frankfurt require more time typically. I'd say at least 2.5 hours or more is needed for those. A smaller airport might only require less than an hour, depending on the airport.

Purchase your long haul from JFK and your connecting route on the same ticket (multi city) and you will have greater "protections." Airlines are typically responsible to ensure passenger has enough time to make their connection when purchased on the same ticket or has to put you on the next available flight if the connection is missed. However, check with said airline first before purchasing.

Once you have more information for us, please report back for details. Depending on where your cruise departs from, you may get lucky and find a nonstop to that destination from JFK. You have an advantage by flying out of JFK as so many flights have an option of direct. (Shoot! Even Air Serbia has a direct flight to JFK!).
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 08:56 AM
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I don't know what CDC is. But I transferred at Munich last summer and it was easy, I think that time would be fine there. I am guessing you are flying United from those choices, and you'd probably transfer to a LUF flight at MUC (if the first flight is UAL). that's what I did. I haven't been through FRA so can't say, but I've heard it is a much larger airport and I know MUC would work.

If CDC is CDG, I'd go with MUC. I have transferred there in that time frame, though, not sure what carrier you'd be transferring to there.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 10:12 AM
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I would figure out what airports work best for overall purposes (flight times, pricing, availability, etc.). Any major international airport 3 hours is considered a typical and adequate transfer time. Additional time needed wherever you are clearing immigrations and custom. Not a factor on your departure.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 10:31 AM
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Much depends on departure for your cruise. Using flights to connect makes sense sometimes, but not always. Example: cruise departing from Basel, If I could get a non-stop JFK to Frankfurt, I probably would not wait for a flight, would probably just grab the train to Basel right from the Frankfurt airport. I think that would be faster and easier than having a flight connection someplace. Pick your cruise, then get advice for best way to get there.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 12:50 PM
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If it is Basel you want to get to, from NYC, and airport connections are your concern:

fly out of Newark direct to Zurich, easy 1hr 10 or so minute train ride to Basel. Maybe $25 or 30 usd. We did this before out cruise a year back. The post trip extension to Brugge was included, so we spent extra time after that visiting WW1 war sites in Belgium, and direct flight Brussels to Newark.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 02:33 PM
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IMO if you were really smart about this you would do what a lot of people taking cruises do routinely: fly in one day ahead of the date the cruise is scheduled to leave and plan an overnight stay. It eliminates your concerns about making transfers but it is up to you what you want to worry about the most.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 03:27 PM
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Excellent advice about flight to Zurich and really goes without saying that flying to catch any cruise, one should always go to, or vary close to, the port city the day before. Too many things can go wrong. Cruises are expensive. It is good to be rested and ready to enjoy the experience, not rushed, stressed and tired..

Last edited by Sassafrass; Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:33 PM.
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Old Oct 10th, 2019, 04:05 PM
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Don't assume that Munich is a small airport and easier to transit. It is a major Lufthansa hub and you may have to walk long distances or be bused from your plane parked on the tarmac (especially true for smaller planes). I've made 1hr connections at both MUC and FRA, and missed 2hr connections at both. The biggest variable is whether your incoming flight is on time.

Ditto for the return. Don't assume that the outgoing connection is easier/faster than inbound ("of course"). On my most recent trip this past spring there was a very long line at both emigration and at the extra security you need to pass through to board a flight headed to the US. The total wait time was longer than just going through immigration coming into Europe. If you're flying into the hub on a smaller plane (which can include A319/320/B737 size, not just turbo props or regional jets) then the chances that you'll be parked at a remote spot on the tarmac is higher for both MUC and FRA. That can add many minutes to your time as the bus may wait for the entire plane to empty before driving back to the main terminal.

Personally, I'd be comfortable with 90min either direction through MUC or FRA, but a non-stop from EWR or JFK to Zurich then train is a much simpler routing.
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Old Oct 11th, 2019, 10:11 AM
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Amount of time needed for transfers

Helpful input. CDC was really CDG. If ones books air with the cruise ( if lost baggage, the cruise line can then bring it to the ‘next’ port if needed). I would come a day before. All these things extremely helpful. If initiation site is luxemburg, what gateway plus train would be a consideration. I think sometimes one would buy air and cruise at one shot so knowing possible options before hand would be helpful
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Old Oct 11th, 2019, 01:20 PM
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>>If ones books air with the cruise ( if lost baggage, the cruise line can then bring it to the ‘next’ port if needed)<<

Booking with the cruise line is fine if that is what you want to do. But just to clarify, any airline that delays your bags will get it to where you are - it does not just go to your arrival airport. They send it to your hotel or ship (as long as it is in a port). And if you have moved on before they get the bags to you, they will still deliver it to you.
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Old Oct 11th, 2019, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JackGlasser View Post
If initiation site is luxemburg, what gateway plus train would be a consideration.
In that case, I would fly into Luxembourg, which has an international airport.
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Old Oct 11th, 2019, 04:05 PM
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If you start from Luxembourg, you will be limiting your cruise options. I think AmaWaterways offers such itineraries. Do you want the airport to drive the cruise decision or the cruise to drive the airport decision?
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Old Oct 11th, 2019, 05:20 PM
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Knowing how some of the OP's threads 'evolve' maybe we should wait until they pick a cruise or two they are actually interested in taking and THEN we can help with airlines/airports/transfers/whatever. Right now it is sort of cart before the horse.
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Old Oct 12th, 2019, 07:18 AM
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Amount of time....

Yes. This gives me some ideas. Unsure of the cruise yet. Thanks to all
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Old Oct 12th, 2019, 08:00 AM
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Jack - i echo what Dukey said. Unless you book an all in package, give yourself some wriggle room and aim to arrive a day early.
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