Someone had asked this question but the topic had closed so here is my preference. I always fly from Boston via Lufthansa non stop to Munich, and from there Lufthansa non stop to Budapest. Munich requires only 35 minutes to change planes, and the Lufthansa terminal there has free coffee (the gourmet machines have 20 different kinds, plus teas) and they also have free international newspapers all over the terminal. I also like to know that my plane has been serviced with German precision and care.
I've always been fond of Frankfurt, but these comments about Munich will make me re-consider the next time I book a flight. I, too, appreciate German precision and care.
From Calif the most direct is SFO to Frankfurt, then connect to Budapest, all on Lufthansa. True about Munich , a very nice airport. If the price were the same between Munich and FRA from SFO, then I would definitely pick MUC over FRA
My order of preference in selecting flights:
1. Airline: First filter to exclude Aeroflot and most of the European discount airlines (Wizz, Ryan, etc)
2. Connection lay over time: Minimum of 1.5 hours in the US outbound, 2 hours in the US when entering the US and 1.75 hours for overseas connections. Maximum connection time anywhere is 3.5 hours.
3. Cost vs Airline: To consider avoiding AA and BA and UA if cost is within about 5% and everything else is about the same
4. Connection Airports
I end up going Lufthansa through Frankfurt 70% of the time. Return is always miserably early.
I just cant find a decent flight out of Budapest. Its the only downside to the whole trip.