Best airline LAX to Italy for May 2011

Feb 1st, 2011, 07:49 AM
  #1  
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Best airline LAX to Italy for May 2011

This forum has helped me SO much to plan for our first trip to Europe, specifically Italy, this May. We've taken the Fodorites' invaluable advice and will do the trip on our own, no group tours. Now that we have a pretty solid itinerary for 2 weeks, I need your advice please on what is the best airline (in coach) to get to Venice and leave from Rome, from LAX. The kind folks on this forum made some good suggestions under my other topic but I thought it would be easier to start a new topic just for airlines.

We prefer non-stop or just one connection into Venice. I'm using Kayak to look for the best fare for mid-May. Thank you so much!
paigeTN is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 08:19 AM
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I'm also using www.onetravel.com which was recommended which has lower fares than Kayak.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 08:21 AM
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Use ITAsoftware.com for your search--select multi-city.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 08:33 AM
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Thank you bobthenavigator. Are there any airlines I should avoid, and airports for layovers? Is is better to fly American airlines or European airlines, outside of Italia?
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Feb 1st, 2011, 09:15 AM
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I purchased my tickets through http://airfare.com/. It was about $200 cheaper than what was listed in Kayak, but it is non-refundable with a steep fee if a schedule change is required.
Michael is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 09:25 AM
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Thank you Michael, I'll add that to my search.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 02:44 PM
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I don't think the airline really matters. I go by price and convenience. I'd go for a nonstop any time, if the price was right. The only time a cheap airfare came up and I chose the next most expensive was Air India. Other than that, which is just my perception and nothing more, I've flown many airlines and the differences between them are small, especially considering the amount of time it impacts you.

I know you've had some concerns about Alitalia, but we've flown them several times with no problem. People talk about strikes affecting them, and maybe they do, but we've had no problem. I kind of think the Italian flavor is charming, in comparison to maybe more-efficient seeming US airlines.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 03:21 PM
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When we flew from LAX to Sicily via Rome last June, the only non-stop to Rome was an Alitalia flight. Flight attendants were pleasant, meals weren't bad, and no lost luggage.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 04:34 PM
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I think I answered on your other thread. Anyway. We live in L.A., and my hands-down favorite way to get to Italy is on Swiss Air through Zurich. I like the evening departure from LAX and early afternoon return from Zurich, and I like flying one very long leg and a short leg rather than two medium-length flights (like you get if you connect on the U.S. east coast). Swiss offers many connecting flights to lots of destinations, and Zurich is a nice, medium-sized airport.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 04:34 PM
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Alitalia increases nonstop service between LAX and FCO from three flights per week in March/April/May to six weekly flights from June through September (daily except Tuesdays).

IF connecting at FCO to another Italian domestic city such as VCE, PMO or CTA, be sure to allow no less than a TWO HOUR connection at FCO. Don't accept a 60-minute connection when arriving from LAX. If you miss your domestic connection, Alitalia will rebook you on the next departing Alitalia domestic flight (not true if you book on Blu-Express or Windjet or Easyjet or Ryanair for the domestic leg).

Domestic connections to the transatlantic RETURN flight from FCO to LAX are usually the first flights of the morning.

The eastbound transatlantic flight typically takes about 11.5 hours; the westbound flight about 12.5 hours.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 03:05 PM
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I found a good fare ($1100) on www.onetravel.com for May 11-26 going out on Swiss, coming back on Lufthansa. I checked on the Lufthansa site and the same flight is there for $200 more. Should I book??
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 03:36 PM
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I searched for a Swiss Air flight since our last trip to Paris. Air France messed up our trip there and back so I will avoid them. Alitalia staff was half and half helpful. Two assisting us with missed connections and two could care less and suggested we come back the next day to catch the next flight back to the states. Our luggage arrived a few days later. We were glad to be home. I tried onetravel.com and the initial prices were good, but the taxes and fees were excessive.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 03:50 PM
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ChallengerGrey, I'm sorry to hear of your bad experience.

The $1100 fare I found included everything. I tried to find Lufthansa all the way but couldn't, not for a reasonable price.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 04:05 PM
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For the Venice leg, we'll arrive in VCE at 6:45 pm. I prefer an earlier time but just couldn't find any. I guess we'll take the water taxi to the hotel since it will be dark and late, eat dinner and go to bed.:]
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 05:42 PM
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We grabbed Alitalia's offer for flights direct, non-stop, LA to Rome in March for $799. We shouldn't be in danger of losing luggage!!
I am sure they would offer open jaw flights.
iluvitaly is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2011, 07:09 PM
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"For the Venice leg, we'll arrive in VCE at 6:45 pm. I prefer an earlier time but just couldn't find any. I guess we'll take the water taxi to the hotel since it will be dark and late, eat dinner and go to bed.:]"

6:45pm is not considered late. I don't recall--have you booked a Venice hotel yet? The land bus plus vaporetto or Alilaguna may be a better option--cheaper and almost as fast-- depending on your hotel's location.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 07:40 PM
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ellenem, we actually plan to stay at the same hotel as you, al ponte mocenigo! I'm happy to hear 6:45 pm is not late. I guess for Europeans, that's early since they eat dinner at 10? I've been communicating with them and I just need to book the fares so I can nail down the dates.

I'm very tempted to book Alitalia but even my aunt who used to be a travel agent says not to. My apologies to those who favor them.

I keep checking every day for the right price/time combo for Lufthansa but the Swiss/Lufthansa combo is the best I can find as of tonight.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 07:41 PM
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Oops, I don't know how a sad face turned out to be a bat.
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Feb 2nd, 2011, 08:16 PM
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If you want to stay at at Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo, then I recommend two things:

1-Reserve as soon as you have your flights. It has become very popular and has 14 rooms.

2-It is reachable by water taxi, but pretty easy to reach by public transport. On my visit in March we plan to take the land bus to Piazzale Roma and then the vaporetto 3 stops to San Stae, which is less than a minute (and no bridges--important with luggage) from the San Stae stop.

Once you confirm your reservations, Sandro and Walter will send you excellent directions for the options to reach the hotel, including the directive to encourage the water taxi driver that it is actually possible to reach the hotel water door. The one time we I took a water taxi, the driver did indeed complain of the narrow canal.

Actually in Venice people eat earlier than in other parts of Italy, but and opening time of about 7:00 to 7:30 would be the average. Some places open earlier because there are so many tourists. And of course wine bars are open early so you can stop by before dinner.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2011, 08:28 PM
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ellenem, I should have checked this before! Which airport code for Rome - LA? I want to book tonight.

Yes, Mocenigo is very popular. Sandro & Walter already told me that.
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