Hello, I've been actively scouting flights for a Euro trip flying into Prague at the end of September. The best offer I've seen so far is on Air Canada. I'd be flying from Los Angeles and would have a layover in Toronto and then Munich. The layover in Toronto is an hour and a half (as opposed to the two and a half hours in Munich, which I know is plenty of time). Question is, will that 1.5 hour layover in Toronto be enough to make the next flight? All flights will be with Air Canada up until I get to Munich, then I change to Lufthansa). Thanks.
You would think 1.5 hours would be enough. I would do it .............. except its Air Canada. I have flown them twice and the only thing worse than the first trip was the second. I may have just been unfortunate but never again. The Toronto airport is pretty much okay. If you are coming back through Toronto know that US immigration and customs is actually in the Toronto airport so plan that layover accordingly.
So, you're saying the short layover will be ok? I'm assuming I would be leaving from the same terminal. Coming back I would fly direct from Lufthansa. I would prefer to fly Lufthansa both ways, but Air Canada is the only airline that arrives in Prague in the morning (all others arrive after 5 pm). I'm curious to know about your experience on AC.
A question that you need answered is the ontime and delay record of the airline and flight in question. While I don't know LAX or YYZ, it seems reasonable that LAX would not have weather issues (snow, afternoon thunderstorms, fog etc) in September. However it helps to know where the equipment comes from.
On arrival from Prague on Czech Airlines there had been some weather in Toronto. Flights had backed up and we ended up parked on the runway for over two hours. The Czech Airlines staff on the plane said they take care of gates for Canadian airlines before they let the foreign carriers get to a gate. Watching planes land and go to gates i sort of think that might be true, but don't know for sure. Our connecting flight on Air Canada was hours and hours and hours delayed, then canceled and we were all told that we would be put on a flight the next morning. When we arrived at the airport the next morning 2 hours before flight time they had one clerk and a line 200 feel long that we sat in for hours and hours. Fortunately this flight was also delayed so we did get on it. On the 4 hours of sleep I had it was one of the most miserable couple of days of my life. No one was kind, no one was helpful, no one seemed to care. Rudest bunch of folks I ever did meet. Once on the Air Canada flight they started selling sandwiches for the 3.5 hour flight. Yes, nothing was complementary on this flight. Nothing. All I had in my wallet was 4 $100 bills (before they took credit cards on flights). I was starved, I hadn't eaten in about 16 hours. I pulled out the hundred and asked for two sandwiches at $5 each (highway robbery back then). Of course she said exact payment only. So I asked if she would come back when she had sold some and had some cash, NOPE, exact payment only. Okay, I want 20 sandwiches!!!!!!!! She got pissed. I demanded the 20 sandwiches. I said pass them out to the first 20 passengers that want a sandwiches......................nope. Finally a passenger gave me a $10 bill for two sandwiches. Nope, not flying Air Canada again. Are they better now? Probalby. Could it have been just one crazy flight attendant? probably. Am I over reacting by not flying them again? Yup. Will I change? Nope. Want to hear why I wont fly into Chucky D. in Paris?
Thank you all for your feedback. Given that it will be September I doubt there will be any weather events, but then again I don't know what the weather is like that time of year in Toronto. Hopefully, some other type of connection in another city (with a longer layover) will open up. It's too bad the Lufthansa flights all arrive fairly late in Prague. If this wasn't an issue, I'd just fly on Lufthansa.
Flying Economy I will never say I love any airline, but Lufthansa has been one of the better for me. United sort of hasn't been great but the rates on their upgraded Economy Plus are worth every penny and you can book the plus by the leg. We generally just do the transatlantic haul. On the downside United has a miserable on time record on the connecting flights. Lufthansa now has the same sort of economy plus and we are trying it at the end of May. Air Canada if my memory serves me correctly was a Skytrax 3 star when we had our true to life experience, but I do note that among other things that their Internet Experience has put them into the Skytrax 4 star category along with Virgin America and Lufthansa and British Air and Air France. Well done Air Canada! ....still not flying them unless I have to. What I want to fly if I ever get the opportunity is one of the half dozen or so Five Star rated airlines. Oddly enough one of my favorite airlines of all times was Czech and Malev (no defunct) they rated miserably some years back but the miserable rating was the result of the intangibles not the face to face service. These folks were beautiful with their passengers. And, with about 30 transatlantic flights I have only had the one significant problem.
Having said all of this, bottom line (excluding Air Canada) I look for the best connections first, then the best departure and arrival time second. I don't like stress so I plan on at least 1:15 on a local connection and 2:00 on the connections in Europe or when entering the US. If I didn't have Global Entry I would make the connection when entering the US at least 2:30. I have also done a 50 minute change in Frankfurt, but not if there is an option.
Edger, I looked at your link. Its pretty amazing and shows how messed up the whole thing is. The Top three airlines are also the bottom three airlines .............. depending on the flight. Pretty revealing, but if I started researching all that before I make a reservation I would never make up my mind. I spend hours choosing as it is.