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Flights to Prague - Part 2

Based on a previous rec I’m starting a new thread for this question.

I’m not limiting my question to direct flights because I know those are limited, Prague is just our final destination. Do any of you recommend alternative airlines to American, United, or Delta that you’ve had good experience with from the U.S. in terms of quality service, on-time reliability, etc.

Posted by
6788 posts

Respectfully, it's difficult to get useful, actionable information for such a broad question (for many reasons). For example, I think these days, most airlines are pretty much the same: large corporations that try (to some extent) to provide a decent if basic level of service to customers. But as in all giant corporations, most employees are constrained in how far they can go to help, you will catch some people who are having good days and bad days, and often the things that make the biggest difference are beyond anyone's control. This summer we heard about (and some of us experienced) awful melt-downs at crowded airports, etc. When stuff like that happens, it tests any company's customer service chops. Also, people tend to remember and report (online) only when things go badly, not when things went smoothly. So you need to take reports with a grain of salt.

All that said, the old saw that "you get what you pay for" often holds true. Flying on a discount "low cost carrier", then expect low cost customer service and no frills.

As for specific airlines, many people have had good and bad experiences, which may not be a good predictor of what your experience will be. For flights to Prague, your options will be determined (to a large degree) on where you are starting from -- very different advice if you fly out of New York versus, say, Reno.

In any case, I'd focus mostly/first on the long-haul trans-atlantic flight because that's the one where you'll be spending most of your time. The relatively short hop(s) at the beginning (domestic North American connection to get to the trans-atlantic flight, if needed) and/or the hop from the airport you land at in Europe onward to Prague, those short hops are, well, short, and as long as the get you there, they matter less.

Most people choose flights based on just one consideration: the lowest possible cost. Personally, my comfort and convenience matters. I don't want a tiny seat (especially on the long flight), I don't want multiple long layovers (I also don't want too-short a connection, because things can and do go sideways with connections). All of those things are easy for you to see on the internet (for me, I start with the routing, then look at the specific aircraft type on that flight on that day, to check seat dimensions).

On-time records are easily found while investigating flights (most major airlines will show you the flight's on-time stats when you look at a specific flight).

In terms of what service levels to expect, it's hard to predict, other than the cheaper the ticket, there's a greater chance of minimal service (but there are exceptions).

In my experience, of the major US airlines, United has generally been good. Delta has generally been good. American has been spotty. European airlines can be good or bad, just like US carriers. It's really hard to generaize.

It would help others give suggestions if you specify where you are coming from, and where you want to fly to (if you have a specific destination other than Prague).

Hope that helps.

Posted by
20 posts

My origin is not relevant since I’ll still be required to fly through a hub, so to answer your questions my flight across the Atlantic will either be from Dallas, Atlanta, or NY. Except for Midway, I’m done with Chicago so that’s not an option I’m interested in. I realize much of this “just depends” on particular situations and that all airlines experience varying degrees of problems, but sometimes with multiple opinions and experiences one can begin to pick up some common themes and narrow down the list of options. And although I didn’t specifically note this, my airline search goes beyond just U.S. based companies. Lufthansa? Qatar? Anyone have any consistently good or poor travel experiences with them?

Posted by
444 posts

For what it's worth, we just had bad experiences with Lufthansa where they just randomly cancelled my flights a few weeks before our trip, never emailed or acknowledged it (I found the large credit on my credit card statement), and that caused us to have to buy new tickets 2 weeks out - not the most economical turn of events. So, while I could fly direct from Charlotte to Munich and return Prague to Munich to Charlotte, which is super appealing, I will be wary of Lufthansa. And, I'm still waiting for them to refund the last $100 of seat reservations that they managed not to randomly refund with the tickets.

Our Delta replacement flights were perfect, if pricey, so you can balance that opinion against any you find on alternatives to the mainstream US carriers.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks Tigerfan, I forgot about Charlotte as an option. Sorry you had that bad experience with Lufthansa.

Posted by
18527 posts

Not sure what you are looking for here. You will be flying from an undisclosed location to Prague and want what?

Airline Rankings
https://skytraxratings.com/about-airline-rating
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexledsom/2022/07/20/the-worlds-best-airlines-for-2022/?sh=29cb8bed766d

EVERYTHING being equal I would fly Turkish Air out of DFW. Service has been excellent for me over the years (your experience might be bad, no guarantees) and I like the efficiency of Istanbul for changing planes and I am familiar enough with DFW to be comfortable with a shorter layover if need be..

Anything through London or Paris I avoid like the plague. Figure a minimum 3 hour lay over is needed to manage those airports (for me at least).

Not real fond of Amsterdam right now with all the issues they have been having, but did go through AMS twice in the last 60 days and had little problem

Posted by
20 posts

What I "want" Mister E is precisely what you provided, and what I previously referenced: your opinion on flight travel experiences to Europe and personal recommendations on airlines. And although I didn't specifically narrow it down to one departure location, I did provide several likely options, including NY, Atlanta, Dallas, then Charlotte in a reply to one of the comments. Nevertheless, I appreciate you sharing the information. Never considered Turkish, and I'm glad to learn about the through cities.

Posted by
18527 posts

But all of this goes out the window when Turkish Air is $1500 and KLM through AMS is $800. Any airline, any flight is serviceable if the layover is sufficient. "Preference" is worth about $50 to me.