help... can't get our of Croatia

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Jul 13th, 2007, 07:52 AM
  #1
sha
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help... can't get our of Croatia

Hi All: My husband and I are planning our trip to Croatia for June. AA can get us into/out of DBV without a problem. Getting back home is difficult. It would involve 4 flights if we want to fly out of Pula which is where I want to finish up our trip. Also,4 flights if we go out of Zagreb which we don't even want to visit this trip. We would really like to fly into Pula or Rijeka, if necessary and out of DBV. From our home airport we can connect in New York or London. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Croatia Air from Zurich to Pula is expensive and very long.
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Jul 13th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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My suggestion would be to simply fly into Venice. That's about 3 or 4 hours from Pula, and it's a much busier airport. You could fly into or out of Trieste, which is closer to Pula than Venice, or even to Ljubljana. You can connect to any of these places from London, though perhaps not from LHR (GTW is a more likely connecting point). I think you'd be able to get a better connection from any of those airports. Pula is a very minor airport and has very few flights. By next year, AA will be flying a new route to Stansted, and there are some cheap flights from there to Venice or Trieste on Ryanair. (I think they even fly from Stansted to Pula .. and if you are willing to book and pay for that flight separately and do it far enough in advance, it won't be taht expensive).

The difficulty as I ready your post is resulting from the fact that you are trying to use frequent flier miles so are being routed through Zurich, which is causing your problems.

You could also be creative. Look at www.whichbudget.com to see which cheap intra-European airlines fly to and from Zurich and book your own cheap flight there, and then use your miles from that point on. This might mean an overnight there, but it's not the end of the world to see a bit of Zurich as well as Croatia.
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Jul 13th, 2007, 02:58 PM
  #3
sha
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Doug, thank you so much for the useful info. AA can get us into/out of either Dubrovnik, which is fine for 1 way or into/out of Zagreb. None of their partners have flights elsewhere into Slovenia or Croatia ( surprising ). We would like the closest connecting point to Pula and then pay on our own for tickets on another airline. I expect our trip to end in Rovinj.

Another thought, how difficult is it to get from Venice to Rovinj by ferry? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
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Jul 15th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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I think you can use your miles to fly TO Dubrovnik and then back from London. It will be much easier to find a cheap airline to get you from someplace (probably Pula) back to London if you pay yourself. But you might come out just as well if you use your miles from NYC to London-Stansted and then buy your own tickets to and from Croatia from there on Ryanair. Just figure in the cost of luggage, which if you are traveling heavy can be considerable.

I think you can get to Rovinj by ferry from Venice, but you might have to take a ferry to Trieste from Pula. The company is Venezia Lines, so check with them to find out schedules and costs.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 06:31 AM
  #5
sha
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Doug, again many thanks. I've been researching and getting some info. Ferries into Venice may be our best option.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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One possible alternative you might consider is to fly with budget airline EasyJet from Bristol to Rijeka (average cost around 50 GBP at the moment).

Continental fly Newark to Bristol.
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Jul 16th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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I may have a solution. I admit, I lost interest reading all the replies, so I'll tell you what we did 2 months ago. First, I don't think you want to use any regular airline AA or similar for a 1 way, too much $$$! Flying into London or any other European city and then catching a budget plane to Croatia sounds good in theory, but sucks in practice, because you have to usually travel to a new out of the way airport, and there luggage rules are STRICT. More money!
Now, what we did. We flew to LGA in NYC, my child lives there. Rented a car for the day on Priceline. Way cheaper then a taxi or limo service and easier then bus or train. Spent the day with her and drove back to JFK for our flight. There is a shuttle for about $12 or $15 between LGA and JFK, but the car was way more convenient and YES, ultimately, cheaper, cause we drove into the city and back. Our flight was on Aitalia to Trieste and from there we rented a car from Autoeurope and drove to Ljubljiana and then all over, Slovenia & Croatia. We later returned the car to Trieste in the city, (as opposed to picking it up at the airport) and went on to a cruise, but you could fly home from there with only 1 stop in Rome before landing in NYC. Hope this made sense. It was easy. Good luck.
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Jul 17th, 2007, 03:16 PM
  #8
sha
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Hi zwho: Thank you very much. We really appreciate your imput. Our goal is to open jaw, fly into DBV ( no problem) and fly out of a northern Croatian or Slovenian airport. I spoke to Autoeurope,from whom we usually rent cars in Europe. They indicated that we couldn't rent in Italy and drop off in an Eastern European country. We could drive into Croatia, etc. but couldn't drop off. International drop off charges would be around $640 if we picked up in SCroatia and dropped of in Slovenia!!! Hence the dilemma when accompanied by the restrictions on luggage with the cheap airlines. We're giving some thought to taking the 6:45AM ferry from Rovinj to Venice and then using AA frequent flyer miles for our return trip to Raleigh. Two problems: you have to be at the ferry station close to an hour prior to departure-very early and also it takes 3 and 3/4 hrs. to Venice.
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Jul 17th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Hi Sha, If I read this correctly you are flying into Dubrovnik and want to fly home from elsewhere without lots of stops or layovers. Right? First of all, if you fly into Trieste, I KNOW 100%, you can rent a car at the airport and take it into Slovenia & Croatia. It was Autoeurope and the rental co. was Avis. It only cost us $309.00 for 5 days. They need to know you're doing it and it may cost you a bit more to return it in Croatia, but I know you can. I would return it to the train station in Trieste, its right on the border with Slovenia and less then an hour from the Croatian border. Take the 2 hour train to Venice and fly home AA from there. I don't know how many stops AA has from Venice, but if you fly them, you have to go where they do!!! I also know it's cheaper to fly out of Italy instead of Croatia. Hope this helps you. let me know if I can help any more.
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Jul 17th, 2007, 06:28 PM
  #10
sha
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zwho: this is great! Many thanks and kudos. I will call AutoEurope again and maybe speak with a more informed agent. The fellow I spoke with seemed a little unsure of himself with the exception of the international drop off fee of $640 and then a 2 week rental fee of over $1000.

Did you enjoy Trieste enough to recommend this as a stop prior to taking the train?
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Jul 21st, 2007, 09:44 AM
  #11
 
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My husband and I flew from DBV to MUC on Hapag-Lloyd Express last August. New service then and was very inexpensive for 1 way ticket. From Munich you have the choice of train to FRA or going to Zurich. You can find train info on the debahn site.
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Jul 21st, 2007, 10:25 AM
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None of their partners have flights elsewhere into Slovenia or Croatia (surprising ).

Not true. AA partners Malev (Hungarian) and Finnair both serve Ljubljana, and Malev also serves Dubrovnik. Home-JFK-BUD-DBV//LJU-BUD-JFK-Home or LJU-HEL-JFK-Home is completely feasible, and both have the great advantage of avoiding any UK airports. I'd phone AA back.
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Aug 2nd, 2007, 01:24 PM
  #13
sha
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Gary: thank you sooooo much. I would love to avoid flying into/out of Heathrow. I've called AA a few times and wasn't offered either of these choices. We've arranged to fly from Raleigh to London and connect (change airports) to DBV. Coming home is the real problem. Thanks for the new info.
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