Best way to Avignon from U.S.

Old Feb 10th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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Best way to Avignon from U.S.

We are joining an excursion through France and Italy which starts in Avignon. What is the best way to get to Avignon from the U.S. (Las Vegas)? We have FF points on both Delta and American and I can transfer Marriott points over also. Less transfers/change planes is preferred. We won't need a car.
It's been fun reading different threads on here, which have been very helpful, but I couldn't find one that addressed this itinerary specifically. (Feel free to point me to another thread if there is one that answers this question.)
Thanks!
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Fly to Paris CDG, take the train from the airport.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Fly to Paris and take the TGV straight to Avignon from the airport. It takes about 3 hours, but give yourselves 3-hour window from the time you land before boarding the train.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Ditto Mimar & St Cirq.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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Lyon Satolas Airport is a short drive away if you are renting a car - if not do the train route from CDG but note that there are significant gaps in service right from CDG I believe so see what jives with your flight time.

If you can change planes and fly to Lyon all the better - train fare may well be cheaper and somewhat faster. Lyon's airport is a major international airport but Delta or American may not offer add-on tickets to it.
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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PalenQ.

The OP has to get to Avignon by train - no car involved. I don't think adding an additional flight leg (the OP already has 2 flight legs), plus taking a taxi to the Lyon TGV Pt Dieu station, then a TGV to Avignon - would be worth it. Plus the cost would probably be hundreds of dollars more per person. Same for flying to Marseille.

There are 2-3 TGVs to Avignon that would work fine for AA or Delta arrivals at CDG.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 10th, 2013, 06:58 PM
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Ditto Stu Dudley. Palenq's suggestion makes little/no sense. Just get on the train and go.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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plus taking a taxi to the Lyon TGV Pt Dieu station, then a TGV to Avignon - would be worth>

well you would not go to the Avignon TGV station but to Avignon-Ville station - the old station in the heart of town and vis regional trains with a low flat fare so it would not cost hundreds of dollars more if they could get a low add-on fare - the TGV from the airport could cost a lot more than the add-on fare to Lyon I think.

I was just presenting as a viable option if they could fly to Lyon cheaply and in some weird cases actually flying to another city thru Paris can be cheaper than fares to Paris as a recent poster said.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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there are direct train from Lyon St Exupery Airport to Avignon-Centre station (I said Avignon-Ville above) that take 1.5 hours - direct trains - well if flying to Lyon and then taking a direct 1.5 hours train ride to the centre of Avignon is not a viable plan.... again there are gaps in trains from CDG to Avignon - you could be waiting at CDG for a few hours...
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 08:49 AM
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Fly British Air from LAS to MRS, via LHR and then take the train from Marseille to Avignon. There is a flight that is non stop from LAS to LHR and then the second flight to MRS.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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huh, well, I have a lot of FF points on Delta, also, and it doesn't do much good. They have really changed their program in the past year so what flights you can book with them (even 6-9 months in advance) are extremely limited now. Less than a year ago, I could book a RT nonstop flight IAD-CDG with my Delta points in business class, no less, for about 100K miles. Today, I cannot even book a nonstop flight to Paris with my Delta miles at any date within the 9 months that I checked, and even the coach flights with changes required 95K miles. So I wouldn't presume you can use your points to get much of anywhere but maybe Paris in France and it is likely you will need at least 2 transfers just to get there from LAS (I bet you won't get a nonstop from some US city).

I"d also go with the consense, fly into CDG, TGV to Avignon.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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From CDG to Avignon Centre station takes 3.5 hours on the relatively few trains that serve Avignon-TGV station directly from CDG airport.

For example between 11:45 and 5pm all such train links take between 4.75 hours and 6 hours.

St Cirq says flying to Lyon is nonsense but it seems that it may well not be. Anyway do your own research on both routes.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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The OP is flying Frequent Flyer to Europe. Neither Delta nor AA have Delta or AA flights to Lyon. Their "partners" do however. AA would go through LHR - which I try to avoid at all costs. Delta would go through CDG which is slightly better. Both would involve 3 legs - which I "ruled out" about 15 years ago for our travels. I don't know if a FF ticket can be booked with just the difference between a Las Vegas to CDG vs Las Vegas to CDG to Lyon additional cost. I assume the OP will have to get his FF ticket and then purchase a separate one-way ticket to Lyon at full fare or some "negotiated" (I doubt it) fare. That's why I said it would "probably" cost hundreds more.

The TGVs from CDG to Avignon run about every two hours. The trip takes 3 hours. So worst case, you would have 2 added hours of waiting + a 3 1/4 hr trip - 5 1/4 hrs.

There is only 1 train that has zero train changes from the Lyon airport to Avignon. There are 3 with 1 train change. From CDG there are 6 trains with 0 or 1 train changes (4 with 0) that don't involve a station change in Paris. The trains with 1 train change from Lyon take about 1 hr less travel time as trains with 0 changes from CDG. The "wait" time for a train from Lyon would be about the same - if not longer - than the wait time at CDG.

I can't see how any scenario that includes an additional flight to Lyon, plus a train with a likely train change, plus possibly an additional handling of bags at the LHR or CDG connection, could be any better than a 3 1/4 to 5 1/4 hr train (including wait time) from CDG.

Is there something I'm not understanding correctly ????

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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I am not sure why you all discount flying LAS to LHR and then onto MRS? Non stop to London and then a non stop to Marseille. Maybe even with AA points. We did this trip last month, leaving from PHX (instead of LAS) and it was really easy. Perhaps all you seasoned travelers know something I am missing.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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And the train from Marseille to Avignon is only 35 minutes.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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I can't see how any scenario that includes an additional flight to Lyon, plus a train with a likely train change, plus possibly an additional handling of bags at the LHR or CDG>

there are direct trains from Lyon Airport to Avignon-Centre that take 1.5 hrs and in France you check your bags all the way thru to Lyon airport - no dealing with them in Paris as several recent posts have said (much to my surprise).

Stu - Trains do not run every two hours from CDG to Avignon TGV according to www.bahn.de - the first three links in the morning do but between noon and 5pm there are no direct trains but trains that take about 5 hours all told from CDG to Avignon-TGV, involving changes of train so to say it is 3.5 hours from CDG to Avignon TGV has to be qualified - at some times of day so it depends on when the plane lands. From Lyon airport it is 1.5 hours by TGV to Avignon-Centre - but again you'd have to check schedules as there are gaps in that service as well.

Anyway the whole thing is predicated on whether OP can fly nearly as cheap to Lyon as CDG - then it would save a lot of money over paying for the CDG TGV to Avignon train which could cost $100 or so.

I am not saying that flying to Lyon is the best way - it depends on how much the add-on fare is and whether there are trains at the time you need to take them from Lyon Airport to Avignon.

It may well often to be best to take a TGV from CDG to Avignon-TGV but at other times it may be quicker via flying to Lyon. To say that is 'nonsens' to me is just not correct.

In some scenarios it would be best to go via flying to Lyon - depending on factors I say above - at other times, perhaps most times better to train right from CDG.

But to say it is nonsense not to check out the Lyon route to me is just nonsense.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Deb - you said it was all BA flights. Can you book an AA "partner" flight on AA FF tickets??? If so - that might indeed be the best itinerary. However, the Aiz en Provence TGV station is closer to the Avignon airport than the Marseille St Charles station - so taking a taxi to the Aix station would work out better.

I bet if the OP takes a 2 flight-leg trip to either MRS or CDG and then takes the TGV from either MRS (plus taxi) or CDG - its only a difference of 1-3 hrs.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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I am not an expert, but it is worth it for the OP to check into using AA points for partner flight on BA.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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>

Not so - maybe 30-35 euros with a PREM fare - even less.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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There seems to be a code share for those BA flights on AA with AA flight numbers.
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