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GAS Tour- What airline should I use?

This will be my first RS tour. I have been to Europe once before and flew to/from Barcelona. The flight, which was on American, was a total nightmare. However, I have just returned from Mexico, also via American Airlines, and it was the nicest plane I have ever flown on (premium economy). I am not a frequent flier, so have no brand loyalty. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best airline to fly from the US to Frankfurt?. I am from the South, so don't have all of the options that say, NY and west coasters do. Thanks!

Posted by
1917 posts

I fly out of Greenville-Spartanburg, SC. I'm a big Delta fan and usually fly through Atlanta, which has a direct flight to Frankfurt. They treat me well and generally run on time. If you are patient, you can often find a reasonably-priced flight. For example, I purchased a GSP to Berlin for May 2019 last year for $675 round trip. I purchased a GSP to Munich itinerary for May 2020 for $610 round trip a month or two ago.

Others will probably report other preferences. Good luck!

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for the quick reply! I'm in Arkansas, so I can fly through Atlanta, Dallas, or Chicago. My choice for an airport is XNA (Fayetteville), but I can also use TUL, LIT, FSM, or OKC. I haven't found anything less than $1200, but will keep watching. My tour is in August. I will fly economy, but certainly want the ability to pick my seats. United seems to be the lowest price. Maybe I should be looking at a particular type of plane, rather than the airline?

Posted by
4947 posts

briternik, I dont think the airline makes as much difference as picking the most convenient schedule, especially if you're having to connect here in the US first. The planes are not that much different.

Are you looking at a multi-city (aka open jaw) itinerary? US>Frankfurt: Vienna>US, would avoid wasting time getting back to Frankfurt. at a fare close to a roundtrip. I ask because some people don't know this is an option.

Posted by
5 posts

Also going on GAS tour in August been looking at different configurations of Airlines for most diffract flights with up graded seats. Going to be pricey. United looking best to me flying out of NY. I don’t like up grading seats on 3 hour or less flight, airlines getting tricky on there pricing.

Posted by
9 posts

Stan, yes, I am looking at the multi-city routes. I just don't want to be stuck on some horrible airplane like my Barcelona trip (which was AA). I have done a bit of research and I read that Air France and British Airlines are the best for travel to Europe. I can't get an Air France from here, but can get BA. But never having flown BA, is it any different than AA or Delta?

Posted by
1917 posts

What did you not like about the AA plane? Old? Broken? Small? Bad flight attendants?

Posted by
2409 posts

I always fly BA out of Boston. I think it is one of the best airlines, just make sure your flight isn't on American...it will say before you order the tickets. They partner with them. I only pick the BA flights. This being said, BA changes flights at Heathrow and if you have to fly from your home base to a larger airport then I'd look at other airlines, Delta being one of them. One flight transfer is my limit, but then I have the luxury of flying from Boston. I agree AA is not a comfortable international flight, nor Iceland Air. Which ever airline you decide on, sign up for their frequent flyer 'club' before you buy the tickets.

Posted by
9 posts

What I didn't like about the AA plane I flew was that is was old, didn't have seat back entertainment, and the seats were cloth and uncomfortable. However, the one I flew last weekend was wonderful with leather seats, seat back entertainment, and footrests. I also don't know if I want to fly on the 737 Max, which I know AA will have in the air by then??

I am planning on booking my flight, then applying for the credit card for whichever airline I choose, in order to get some benefits and possible upgrades. I have already joined the clubs for all of the major US airlines. Thanks for all of the replies!

Posted by
1092 posts

To Frankfurt I'd say the obvious answer is Lufthansa, they have daily direct flights from Dallas to Frankfurt.

In general, European airlines seem to offer better service than US airlines. British Airways is probably my least favourite European flag carrier though, on intra-European flights they probably among the worst flag carriers. And, changing in Heathrow is something I try to avoid as you almost always have to through security, unlike airports in other parts of Europe.

Posted by
7633 posts

Even though this is your first RS tour, I'd also encourage you also to consider flying into a different airport if you can make the connections work better. When I did GAS I flew in to Paris, stayed there for a week, then took an easy train to Trier. IF you have extra time, this might be fun for you. If you are still working or otherwise restricted on time, flying in to Frankfurt might be your best option.

DO plan to arrive in Trier the day before the tour starts. There are almost always people who miss the activities the first night because they have had some kind of travel delay.

Posted by
2941 posts

I’ve flown your three choices, Delta, British Airways, and Air France on trans Atlantic flights.

Air France is my least favorite. I was literally in pain after flying on their aircraft.
British Airways always flies 747 on my route, so if you don’t like older planes, find what they fly on your route. I enjoy BA.
Delta I was in extra legroom seats so it may not be a fair comparison. It was fine.

Posted by
954 posts

I second what Pam said about flying in to Paris because I followed her suggestion myself. We flew into Paris and spent 2 nights there before taking the train to Trier. We had to change trains but it was easy peasy. We arrived in Trier a day before the tour started and just used the time to rest and recover from the two jam packed days we spent in Paris. Here’s the kicker- I ran into Pam herself at St Chappelle! We had become Facebook friends so we recognized each other.

The GAS tour was simply amazing. Try to spend at least an extra night or two in Vienna at the end of the tour since there is so much to see there.

Posted by
2360 posts

Be warned that airlines sometimes change planes after you've booked. Also, if you fly a European carrier other than BA, their size and weight restrictions for carryons are smaller than on American legacy carriers, and they enforce these more strictly than do the American legacy carriers.

Wray, I'm envious of your one-transfer rule(I usually have 2 or 3 because of my husband's insistence on flying out of NY because Business class is much cheaper from NY than from ATL and his insistence on using free tickets on BA to get to other destinations in Europe). However, I won't be envious of your weather in Jan and Feb! The beautiful leaves are still on the trees here and I'm already ready for spring!

Posted by
244 posts

I have noticed a similar trend with American Airlines - wonderful planes and flights to Latin America, noticeably out-of-date ones to Europe. I avoid AA when going to Europe. After that, I don't have a strong preference, but usually seem to end up on Delta, Air France, or British Airways.

Posted by
7633 posts

Haha, Claudette! I was actually following in the footsteps of Tamara and her husband who started their GAS trip that way as well! It WAS fun to run in to you. Who'd have thought you'd come across another forum member in an unplanned meeting? So funny!