International travel... changing planes

Apr 5th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #1  
carolyn
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International travel... changing planes

Here's a "I'm thinking too much" question.

On an international flight from the U.S., would you rather change planes in this country, or change in Europe? Is there really any difference?

If price is equal, does it come down to picking the airline based on service?
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 06:53 AM
  #2  
Mel
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The fact that the change is in the US or international has never made a difference to me. What does sometimes matter is if I have a short connect time and I'm not familiar with the airport I'm connecting from. Then I do a little homework on the Web to find the layout of the airport and prepare to move fast once I arrive.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 06:54 AM
  #3  
sandy
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I would rather change in Europe, and here's why: If you fly into a hub such as Frankfurt or Paris, you have many more choices on how to arrive at your destination; whereas, if you change in the U.S., there is usually only one flight a day. Miss that connection and you are stuck. Plus, I'd rather just get on the plane and do the long haul at the beginning and get it over with.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 06:55 AM
  #4  
Mel
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Forgot to address your last question: If price is equal (or close), it comes down to picking airlines that honor my FF miles. My experience has been that, at least internationally, there isn't much difference in service--sometimes you get good crews, clean planes, great weather to fly and sometimes you don't.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #5  
Tony Hughes
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Carolyn, I've had the same though in reverse as it were. I've done both a number of times and there isn't a lot I it. I'd rather have a 7 hour flight across the atlantic and then a 2 hour connection than an 8 and 1. If I can connect In the UK (which usually means London) I'll do that if the prices are the same.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #6  
Andre
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Agree with Mel on the flight from the US to Europe, also for another reason: eastbound transatlantic flights tend to arrive in the early morning - this means that if you've already at your final destination it is too early to check in to your hotel. Also, you have to force yourself to stay awake longer on that painful first day in Europe.

On the way back it's a toss up:
- If you change in Europe you have the same problem as Mel described should you miss your connection.
- If you change in the US you have to pick up your bags twice, once at your point of entry into the US and obviously at your final destination.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:07 AM
  #7  
Bob Brown
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Coming home, I had rather do the plane change battle in the USA. If your schedule home calls for a change at one of the major airports in Europe, do all that you can to allow plenty of connect time, particularly for afternoon flights. I have found that flight delays in Europe are common in the afternoon.
CDG is a very difficult airport in which to connect, even if you know the layout. The worst scenario is that you have to connect from T1 to T2.
Even T2B to T2F or T2C is no picnic if you are running short of time. I recall vividly a made scramble from T2B to T2C. Had it not been for the fact that our flight home was late, we would have spent the night in Paris.
Our original flight was from Zürich and on paper we had 90 minutes connect time. By the time we arrived, we had 25 minutes. No one helped us, except to send us down to that meandering shuttle bus. Had I known then what I know now about CDG I could have walked from T2B over to T2C in less than half the time.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #8  
carolyn
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That's a great point Sandy, I hadn't thought about the availablity of additional flights.

And, where I am, most flights change in NY, so the first leg of the flight would only be about 45 minutes for me.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #9  
Andre
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Oops I meant I agree with SANDY, not Mel!

Sorry for the confusion
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #10  
Joanne
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I think it depends on where you originate from. We fly out of SFO and would much prefer to fly to London, for example, and then change planes to our final destination. Usually a night flight so we eat, watch movies for a while and then try to sleep as long as possible.

We feel it is much more difficult to fly cross country to JFK, for example, and then over to Europe. The most difficult trip we have ever taken was to JFK, terminal change and then on to Athens. Of course, we flew Olympic Airlines which certainly didn't enhance the experience.

In any case, that's our preference. Having done both, this works best for us.

j
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 08:15 AM
  #11  
Rex
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Whether it's returning home from the west coast on a red-eye, or traveling overnight trans-atlantic, I prefer NOT to change planes at what feels like the middle of the night ("body time").

I favor putting that long sleep-depriving segment as the final segment - - though a train ride afterwards can be a chance to catch up on the sleep missed.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 12:16 PM
  #12  
up
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time to get up
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 01:26 PM
  #13  
Shanna
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Carolyn, I'd rather change early in a trip when I'm not too aggravated or tired. Making the crossing and then connecting just sucks all the steam right out of me. The cost difference would have to be subtantial - several hundred dollars - to make a difference.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 07:44 PM
  #14  
bettyk
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I agree with Sandy that it is better to change planes in Europe because you are likely to have more options out of London, Amsterdam, etc., if you miss a connecting flight. If you miss your connecting flight in Atlanta or Dallas, etc., then you may be stuck until the next day. This is not always the case, but I think your chances are better in one of the larger European cities.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 08:23 PM
  #15  
richardab
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I like to change planes in Europe. Since I usually travel from LA this gives me a longer period of uninturrupted sleep (12 hr flights). Also.... If I am gonna miss a connection I'd rather be stuck in Frankfurt than Newark!
 

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