I'll be departing from the Budapest airport at 6 am on a Sunday, thinking to arrive at 4--is that enough time? I'm coming in on the train so won't know how long to allow for travel time. Am I better off having the front desk call a cab or would a shared shuttle service be a good option?
Our landlord is arranging a taxi for us at 3:30 am for a 6 am flight. I told her we were only flying to Frankfurt and then US, but she said it didn't make any difference. We arrived at Schiphol at 5:15 by train last year, and we just barely made our flight. We had taken the first available train from Amsterdam, but they are very clever at not letting you see the long lines once you check your luggage.
Just did an early flight from Budapest to Frankfurt two weeks ago. Actually done it a number of times; hate that flight but the next one generally leaves us barely an hour to make the change in Frankfurt and I don't enjoy the running and the mental anguish. Actually on the last trip I set the alarm incorrectly and was awaken by City Taxi calling to tell me the cab was waiting for me in front of my apartment. We got dressed and packed in under 20 minutes. Great cab company. The driver made up some of the lost time for us and it all worked out okay.
We are the sort that don't do well in massive crushing lines so we try to arrive early enough to be at the front. But, even if you are last in line you will still get on the plane. We leave central Budapest by taxi between 3:30 and 4:00 am (closer to 3:30) and make out just fine. 4am plus 30 drive time and a little for the taxi being late gets you at the recommended 90 minutes early; along with all the other passengers. If the taxi doesn't show and you have to make a second call, then you are running.
If you call a taxi central Budapest to the airport is something less than ft7,000 which is something less than USD35. If you have the hotel call the taxi it might cost you $40. Either way worth the money.
If you do the shared shuttle service I would go for 3 to 3:30am pickup and even then you might not get there as early as the taxi.
Thanks, James, I knew you'd have the answer! Shuttle buses make me nervous, timing is too vague for that hour of the morning so a taxi it is.
A friend just emailed me this. He said he got it from one of his employees. Loads slow but pretty nice:
How lucky of me to see this! I just booked a 6:15 flight from BUD to Brussels, and was unsure when to grab a cab. I'll aim to leave our hotel at 3:30, and arrive by 4. Maybe i'll see you there. ;)
I've got to where I just refuse to take a departing flight before 8:00 a.m. in Europe.
It's bad enough not to get enough sleep since you'll be getting up @ 4:00 A.M. to make your flight.
Then, you'll spend the rest of the morning sitting in some airport waiting room until catching a noon flight.
The flight home will take 1 1/2 hrs. longer (than coming) due to headwinds--8 to 10 hours to a gateway U.S. airport.
And then most people will have to catch another flight to their home airport before they drive to their home city.
It just makes for too long a day after getting up so early.
I would tell you to have the biggest taxi service in town have a car pick you up @ 4:00 a.m. to go to the airport. It's maybe a 20 minute ride that time of morning.
For some reason I always end up on a ridiculous morning flight out of Budapest every time. Did it in March and have another in June.
David, for me to get home there generally are not any better flights. I would have to spend a night some place or pay a lot more money. Otherwise I would agree with you. As miserable as it is the flight home is always better on my system than the flight over; and I always go to work the next morning.
I do agree about calling a good taxi service. Fotaxi owns the Airport to City contract, but there is no advantage to using them from the City to the Airport. For that I always call City Taxi because I trust them a little more. In more than a dozen calls they have always been prompt. They have my cell phone programmed into their computer so they answer the phone Hello Mr. XXXX, pick you up at XXXXXXX? Good guys. Their phone number is +36 1 211 1111
I'm not a morning person at all, but when it comes time to go home I'm usually ready and don't mind getting up in the middle of the night to make a 6 am flight; that's the best option for me and gets me to San Francisco in mid-afternoon with no jet lag. I've got the City Taxi number programmed into my phone already!