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I can't find my way to Switzerland - please help

I can't find my way to Switzerland - please help

Oct 25th, 2007, 11:38 AM
  #1  
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I can't find my way to Switzerland - please help

Piecing together a week-long vacation to Switzerland and have run into a transportation quandry. Here are the scenarios I'm working on:

1.depart Friday (end of May) using frequent flyer miles on American - DFW to LGW. 2 hour layover. Purchase a one way ticket on easyjet to Geneva.

return following Saturday (6 full days in Switzerland) on British Air frequent flyer ticket from Zurich to LGW, connecting with American for return to DFW

2. depart on Friday (end of May) using frequent flyer miles on American to LGW, coach transfer to Heathrow, frequent flyer miles on British Air to Zurich, same return (ZRH - LGW - DFW)

The problem necessitating the "how to" is that there aren't ff seats available into LHR, and there aren't good connection options LGW - ZRH or GVA. Thoughts? Ideas? Would either of these options seem doable or relaxing?
dorkforcemom is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 01:27 PM
  #2  
 
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>The problem necessitating the "how to" is that there aren't ff seats available into LHR, and there aren't good connection options LGW - ZRH or GVA. Thoughts? Ideas?

Flying into an airport ouside of Switzerland and making you way in by train would work too.
There should be cheaper flights to Frankfurt, Munich or Milan. Actually Frankfurt would be the most convenient as it is the biggest airport of the continental Europe and you have ICE train connections every hour from the airport station to Basel.
altamiro is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Did you look into flying in/out JFK on the non-stop to Zurich?
smarty is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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I won't recommend one - but just to let you kinow I'd never book any easyJet flight just 2 hours after any transatlantic arrival.

They have very strict advance check in requirements - have your boarding pass in hand before the cut off or you will not get on the plane. And then your ticket is worthless and you'd have to pay the full walk-up fare. And they do no interline luggage so you can't check your bags straight through to Switzerland.
janisj is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 03:55 PM
  #5  
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I agree with janis, the easyjet idea isn't going to fly. (pun intended) Too risky with just 2 hours inbetween flights.

I don't understand why you need to connect through London when AA goes to Zurich. I suggest you call AA to ask how they can get you to Switzerland. The reason I suggest calling is because when you look at award tix on their web page, it does not include partner info. You have to actually pick up the phone if you want to book an award using a partner airline, and I bet they can get you to either Geneva or Zurich somehow.
P_M is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 05:52 PM
  #6  
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OK - it sounds like I need to let go of the easyjet idea. Many thanks for redirecting me.

Unfortunately, even with phone conversations, there are no DFW-JFK-ZRH award seats available (I failed to mention that we're trying for business or first class), nor any DFW-JFK-MXP, nor any DFW-FRA. The only seats for the days we are able to fly is DFW-LGW...that's why I was trying to come up with a way to work ourselves to Zurich.

It sounds as though I need to return to the drawing board...planning continues.
dorkforcemom is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Did you check for DFW-JFK-Brussels? I've had exceptionally good luck with Biz class awards into there from JFK, for what it's worth!
smarty is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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They have very strict advance check in requirements - have your boarding pass in hand before the cut off or you will not get on the plane.

I can attest to that. It happened to me.

We got to Orly in plenty of time for our EasyJet flight to Barcelona (or so I thought) but stood in the wrong line for some time (purchase rather than check-in, iirc). When we were finally directed to the correct line, EasyJet said "five minutes too late, sorry." We protested loudly ("but we've been standing in line for 20 minutes!") but they wouldn't budge. We had to rebook our tickets for the next day, and it was a very unpleasant way to start a trip.
cheryllj is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Are you looking at a day flight to LGW that gets in late? There seems to be lots of flights per day on EJ to Geneva and a couple on BA to Zurich. Note that EJ has just bought some of BA's flights from LGW effective maybe March. Don't know if flights to Switzerland will be affected.
where2 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 04:36 PM
  #10  
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If flying into Brussels is an option, you could also try DFW/ORD/BRU, then fly Brussels Airlines (an AA partner) to Switzerland, all using FF points.
P_M is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 07:48 PM
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Is the direct flight from DFW to Zurich several times a week no longer available??
JaneB is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 07:55 PM
  #12  
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I heard they were discontinuing that non-stop flight from DFW/ZRH, but I don't know when that was effective.
P_M is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 01:56 AM
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Hi Dorkforcemom,

First of all, EasyJet is only selling LGW-GVA flights through March 29, 2008 as of today and hasn't published their summer 2008 schedule yet, so there is no way of knowing what flight times Easyjet is even planning for the timeframe in which you wish to travel.

Second, do I understand correctly that you have been able to secure all legs but LGW-GVA on the frequent flyer ticket you're getting from AA?

If so, would advise you to simply book the award tickets, then keep trying to get the final leg on BA. It looks like the LGW-GVA flights on BA are quite inconveniently scheduled with regards to a connection with the DFW-LGW flight though (5 hour layover).

If you haven't been able to secure the final leg on BA by the time the EasyJet flights go on sale, then I would book that. Last summer, they had 4 daily flights between the 2 cities, so just choose one with a long layover (at least 4 hours).

Final question: have you checked the more "exotic" oneworld options, namely Iberia, Finnair and Malev for your eastbound journey? They would all involve 2 connections, but if something happens (schedule change, missed connection etc.) you're flying on a single ticket so the airline must get you to your final destination.

Hope this helps,
Andre

P.S. AA's last nonstop flight from ZRH to DFW took off today
Andre is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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I will miss the direct DFW-ZRH flight. I traveled that route many times.
scatcat is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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This has been extremely helpful - now I'm throwing one more option out there for critiquing:

ff first class seats DFW-LGW on American connecting with BA to Pisa, Italy

rent car - explore lakes region (possibly Bellagio?) - a new destination for us

drive to Tirano (or thereabouts) - return rental car - Bernina Express (or regular train service?) enjoying the visual paradise of Switzerland

end up in Zurich for ff first class BA connecting with American in LGW - DFW

Is this a doable itinerary for one week? Departure on a Friday evening with a return of following Saturday?

Throw your thoughts my way...
dorkforcemom is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 05:06 AM
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Hi Dorkforcemom,

Pisa airport is in Tuscany, near Florence and about a 4 hour drive from Bellagio... doesn't make sense for such a short journey IMO.

That said, the end of May is an ideal time of year to be in Tuscany, so perhaps you want to rethink your trip and stay in that area.

Otherwise, I would stick to your original plan - if I understood it correctly. You will certainly be able to find your way from London to Geneva, you just need to prepare for a long layover and/or a flight on EasyJet.

Hope this helps,
Andre
Andre is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 05:13 AM
  #17  
 
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P.S. AA has announced that it will switch one if its 2 DFW-LGW flights to LHR from March 29th onwards:

http://www.aa.com/content/amrcorp/pr...ondonsvc.jhtml

Taking the LHR flight would significantly increase your options for onward connections.

Hope this helps,
Andre
Andre is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Can you go DFW to Paris and then take the TGV to Geneva? It's quite a nice relaxing ride of just under 4 hours.
beaupeep is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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DFW-CDG connecting to the TGV train to Geneva is also an option, but I would prefer a 4-5 hour layover at LGW.

In Paris, you would still need to take the Air France bus or a cab from CDG to Gare de Lyon, figure about an hour door to door, can be significantly more if there is a traffic jam or you just miss a bus.

I still think dorkforcemom's original post had the best routing. It's disappointing however that AA doesn't offer an arrivals lounge for its premium class passengers at LGW, unlike at LHR. Most other airlines with longhhaul flights at LGW do offer an arrivals lounge.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Oct 28th, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #20  
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Thanks - I need to let go of the "Pisa to Bellagio/Switzerland" idea...I need to bury it and move back to other options. I'll explore those you've kindly thrown my way and will report back.
dorkforcemom is offline  

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