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SRS Jan 4th, 2006 02:57 PM

Flight Options - Not Sure Which To Pick
I am planning a trip to Italy. I have called and gotten seats using miles through Continental and United. For both it's on partner airlines.

Choice A:

Outbound - JFK to Milan connecting through Frankfurt on Lufthansa.

Inbound - Naples to JFK connecting through Munich on Lufthansa.

Choice B:
Outbound - JFK-Milan connecting through London Heathrow. The overseas portion would be on Virgin Atlantic. The European flight would be on Alitalia.

Inbound - Naples to Newark connecting twice once through Milan and once through London. The overseas portion would be on Virgin Atlantic. The European flights would be on Alitalia.

I'm trying to decide which one I should book.

I "think" the Virgin Atlantic planes have individual tv screens which would be great despite the a 6:50 a.m. return time and an extra connection.

But the Lufthansa flights would only have me connect once and the return flight out of Naples is at a nicer hour of noon.

Any thoughts - I'm torn. Does Lufthansa have individual tv screens?

Thanks a lot!

HowardR Jan 4th, 2006 03:00 PM

I'd sacrifice an individual screen not to have to change planes twice!

lawchick Jan 4th, 2006 03:11 PM

True about hating to change planes - but Virgin Atlntic was the most uncomfortable flight I've ever had!

From that point of view - I'd go Lufthansa

aggiemom Jan 4th, 2006 03:18 PM

I go with Choice A. Fewer connections, better times. Munich seemed like an easy place to fly in/out, though I've only been once.

As far as individual TV screens - they're fun, but after several hours even that gets boring. I've flown both with and without them.

To me, a later flight with fewer connections would win.

But, that being said, I've never flown Virgin Atlantic so I don't know how comfortable they really are.

ms_go Jan 4th, 2006 03:30 PM

Lufthansa doesn't have personal screens. But Munich is a good airport for connections. I'd pick that over LHR any day.

FainaAgain Jan 4th, 2006 03:39 PM

Plan A for 2 reasons:
1. the same airline
2. Frankfurt airport over London

mini-reason: plan A has less connections

and instead of a TV bring a book about travel!

mulifat Jan 4th, 2006 03:50 PM

Do not suggest Virgin Atlantic in coach

SalB Jan 4th, 2006 03:50 PM

We both strongly feel that Lufthansa is much more comfortable and friendly than Virgin Atlantic.

Good luck.

suze Jan 4th, 2006 04:22 PM

I would go with:

1) least connections
2) reasonable time for connections
3) most comfortable airline
4) all legs on the same airline
5) easiest airports
6) best time for flights

In-flight entertainment is way low on my list of consideration (granted those little TV screens are fun).

BTilke Jan 4th, 2006 04:51 PM

Is there any chance you could make the Virgin legs in Premium Economy? If so, then that sounds ok.
If your only option is going back of the plane (regular economy), then go with Choice A.

tuscanlifeedit Jan 4th, 2006 04:52 PM

I am a great fan of little screens, but for all the reasons listed by others, I would pick option A.

I hate changing airlines; it can lead to more hassles than it is worth. Also, LHR is a rotten place to connect through. I've connected through Frankfurt and thought it was just fine. Haven't been through Munich.

I recently saw a guy on a plane with a little DVD player. My husband thought it was goofy, but I thought it seemed like fun and that it would help pass the hours.

I sleep on the way over, but I like to watch movies on the way back.

One more thought: if you book for the screens, you could still not have them. Last year, on USAirways, we had a weather delay, and our flight from Philidelphia to Rome with little screens, ended up being a flight from Philadelphia to Amsterdam with another into Italy, and the trans Atlantic portion was late at night, on a crappy old plane with a fed up and cranky attendant.

SRS Jan 4th, 2006 05:54 PM

Wow! I didn't expect everyone to be in such agreement. I guess Choice A wins hands down.

Yes - it would be standard basic coach all the way on either.

Thank you all so much. I will discuss with my husband but it really sounds like Lufthansa is the way to go. (But for the tv screens that would have been my initial gut feeling and you guys brought me back to earth).


Ninja Jan 5th, 2006 04:12 PM

Just booked my tickets! Can't believe I finally took the plunge. Traveling to FCO via ATL with 1hr55 min connection on 3/8. That feels safe.

On 3/22, returning, I depart Naples at 11:25am via Rome (1hr.30 min connection) to JFK with 3hr.45 min connection from JFK to RDU.

My dilemma was the limited number of options coming out of Naples (unavoidable since that's where my tour will end) and trying to make sure I have enough connection time. Other option was via Air France, but this board scared me away from CDG with just 1 hr. connection.

Now I'm just hoping for decent early/mid March weather in JFK and Italy - let the warmspell begin!

RufusTFirefly Jan 5th, 2006 04:15 PM

I always go for the shortest overall travel times, as long as the connection times seem sufficient.

All airlines in cattle car class are unpleasant--some are a just little less unpleasant than others.

SRS Jan 6th, 2006 09:10 AM

Again - thank you all so much. I went ahead and booked our flights on Lufthansa. I can't wait for summer to arrive!!!

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