Flight help!

Old Apr 7th, 2007, 07:15 PM
  #1  
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Flight help!

My wife and I are travelling from Charlotte, NC to Venice, Italy and then back from Rome later. I have been checking flights on Kayak and have a few concerns.
First, many of the flights include and hour or so only layover in Paris, Lisbon, etc. on the way to Venice. I worry this may not be long enough as we will have a layover in the US as well. For example, if we fly from Charlotte to ATL or Newark, then layover, then fly to a European city and have a relatively short layover as well--should I try to plan a LONGER layover (say 3 hours) in the first European city to ensure we make our connection. In other words, is an hour or an hour and a half a long enough layover to reasonably ensure we will make the connection in Europe to Venice? Right now there are no reasonably priced flights direct to Venice from an American city, it seems.

And secondly, prices for these flights--there and back--seem to run around 850-1100 dollars for one I would consider. Is this reasonable? I noticed that a Delta flight that I looked at a couple months ago before I wanted to book was
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Whoops hit wrong button.
As for the second question--again

And secondly, prices for these flights--there and back--seem to run around 850-1100 dollars for one I would consider. Is this reasonable? I noticed that a Delta flight that I looked at a couple months ago before I wanted to book was $840 and had a flight direct from ATL to Venice. But now is over $1500. Can I expect it to come back down? How do these prices fluctuate? We ar not going till late Sept.

THANKS!!!
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Yes, unfortunately that's a reasonable price these days for the city combinations you're looking at.I paid a whopping $3,500 last summer for my daughter and me to fly direct Dulles to Rome. Ack! (worth it, though).

And unfortunately as well, the connection times are often horrible. If you can avoid a connection of only an hour or an hour and a half in Paris, by all means do so, as CDG is kind of a nightmare for that (though many have lived to tell the tale of unbelievably tight connections). Don't know about Lisbon, but someone here will!

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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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When booking connections, particularly when you put them together yourself, make sure that they meet the "minimum connecting time" guidelines. I'm not sure how it all works now (I used to be a travel agent) but airlines were bound to help you find alternative connections as long as these guidelines were met. That said, I'd leave plenty of time for a connection within Europe. That way, you won't be stressed out wondering if you'll make it.

As far as fare fluctuations, and when to buy, it's always hard to say what will happen. If you buy your ticket direct through an airline, and the fare goes down, you can usually get a refund for the difference. Even after ticketing, you might want to check it from time to time, and if your flights become available for a lower fare, call them and ask for a "rollover" as it's sometimes called. If you book through Kayak or Expedia or whatever, and the fare (for the exact same itinerary) seems to have gone down online, you can still sometimes get a refund, even after you've bought the tickets. This happened to me recently, and even though Expedia wouldn't do a refund, AA did! I had to pay a fee for re-ticketing through AA, but it was still worth doing. For lower fares, try www.autoeurope.com or similar consolidator.

Instead of flying into Venice, maybe you could get a lower fare into Milan and take a train. Also, in addition to checking the "thru fares" from Charlotte to Europe, check the round trip fare from Charlotte to New York (or Atlanta or some other major East Coast city) and then the "open jaw" round trip fare from that city to Venice (or Milan) and back from Rome. Put the two together and see if it's cheaper than the fare from Charlotte to Venice and back from Rome.

My friend is flying into Florence and back from Naples in June/July and paying at least $1200 rt. Fares to Italy seem to be pricy...If you can find a decent itinerary for $850 or so, that doesn't sound too bad. Keep checking, try different sites, and try direct online through USAirways, AA, DL, etc. Good luck! Hope this helps, and sorry it's so long...
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Jeff-I flew into Venice, via Paris in March for a grand total of 481.00US leaving from the East Coast. You could fly from Dulles, and get similar fares if you are going low season. I flew on Air France and could not have been happier with the flight.
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Jeff, I don't quite understand what sites you are using for fares. I just found a fare from CLT-VCE all taxes included on cheap tickets for 856.00 leaving from the middle of September.
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Yesterday, I bought 2 tickets, Jacksonville-Cincinnati-Rome / Venice-Atlanta-Jacksonville via Delta.com for $982 total each. Also bought 2 more for Orlando-Cincinnati-Rome / Venice-Atlanta-Orlando for $950 total each. All of these are for travel mid-Sept 2007.
Delta is one of very few US airlines to have direct flights to/from Venice, and you don't have to be at the V. airport for a 6am flight. (ours leaves at 1:40p)
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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ira
 
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Hi JR,

>many of the flights include and hour or so only layover

I'd look for 2-3 hr layover. If you miss your connection, which is quite likely, you'll be on that plane anyway.

I think that the offering for AF/Delta to CDG via ATL at 12:15 ($843) will fit your needs.

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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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OK, I went to Delta's site. Best deal with semidirect flight seems to be Charlotte to LaGuardia then 5 hours layover and out of JFK direct to Venice. No worries about missing connections there. And the shuttle to JFK should be no big deal. Then return from Italy to Charlotte via Cincinnati. $894 each.
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Here's what I found (but haven't done):

LGA-JFK:
http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTrave...ct.html#lgajfk

New York Airport Service Express Bus
(718) 875-8200
$13 Every 30 minutes
7:30 AM to 8:00 PM - takes 45 minutes

Taxi (Metered)
Go to Uniformed Taxi Dispatcher
$25-$29 On demand - takes 30 minutes

Private Limousine/Van Service
Go to Ground Transportation Information Counter in Airport Baggage Claim Area
Prices vary On demand - takes 30 minutes

Between LGA/JFK, on request -
http://www.etsairshuttle.com/connection.html
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Thanks!
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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When are you travelling to Italy? Ordinarily, the 5 hour layover requiring a connection between two airports would be enough time. But it might not be enough time if: a) you're travelling in winter (Nov-April) - due to the delays caused by freezing rain, snow, ice, etc at the airport and on the roads; or b) peak travel days at any time of year (if the rest of the world is flying, too, eg around Thanksgiving, during Spring Break, etc). In those circumstances, you might want to add another hour.

I fly a lot internationally (probably at least once a month, sometimes more often). I always budget for at least 2 hours (and often will choose the 2.5 hour or 3 hour connection for an outbound trip) at large, busy airports like Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Toronto - and practically anywhere in the US. I'd rather have to wait a little longer during the layover than worry about a missed connection. On flights home, I might choose the slightly shorter connection (e.g. 2 hours instead of 3 hours), because it's less important if I miss a connection (i.e. I won't miss my meeting or my holiday - I'll just miss the work that's piling up at my office when I get home).
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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I booked BA economy plus 7 months ago for my wife and I PHL-LHR, LHR-NCE, LHR-NCE. It was $2500 for both. Checked on price last night $7000! I was shocked, to say the least. I always plan my vacations early and buy my airfare first.
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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bookmarking
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Old Apr 8th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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Have you tried Flycheapabroad.com yet. Just saw clt-vce (sept.29) with return fco-clt (oct.12th)on Delta for $852 per/person.
Wife are leaving same dates but got out tickets Jan.25th for $710 each. Happy travels.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 06:21 PM
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USair has a direct flight from Phila to Venice, or Rome. I checked cost for Phila to Venice, and Rome to Phila non stop $800. including all taxes and fees, in October
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:03 PM
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Consider another city and try Easyjet or another inexpensive carrier(try www.whichbudget.com.) We just booked Detroit to Zurich for 4 people last week, for $2500/rt (including taxes).
2years ago we flew DTW-LHR and then flew Easyjet to Venice out of Gatwick. The Venice flight was only $369/rt for four.
I have also tried
www.airfarewatchdog.com and Shermans travel with good results.

Good luck.
Travelatte
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Travelatte is right on. Regardless of your final destination in Europe, if you are coming from the US, punch in a flight on Virgin from NYC or DC, to get to London, then figure $100 (with taxes etc)per flight on easyjet to just about anywhere in Europe. Even if you have to change airports in London, you almost always will save significantly.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 12:43 AM
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It's best to search for flights CLT-VCE and let your booking site work out the connections. If you miss the connection, the airline will put you on the next flight.

If you start to build home made connections, this is where difficulties can arise. If you miss the connection, you might be on the next available flight but at your own cost.

And then if you throw change of airport and lowcost carriers into the mix, the risk is higher. Some low cost airlines have small baggage allowances.
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