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Preferred flight route from U.S.A. to Budapest

Hi,
Just put down a deposit for a 2015 RiverCruise departing from Budapest.
Wanted to get a idea of what flights currently are available from the U.S. (east coast departure) to Budapest. Given airline routes, dates etc are not yet available for 2015, I wanted to get a idea on what might be the best route to take mainly trying to determine which European airports would be best for connection flights.

If you have flown into Budapest from the U.S., which connection(s) did you use and your opinion as ease to make connections, layover times, effeciency etc.

Posted by
10681 posts

I used to go Delta / Air France from Atlanta to Amsterdam to Budapest a lot. I like both airports just fine. I live in Texas and United/Lufthansa now has good flights out of Houston and through Frankfurt so its been a few years since I have gone through Atlanta (I go to Budapest several times a year).

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Better to tell you the airports I will not go through: JFK, Laguardia, Chucky D. (charles de gaulle).

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You will notice that the Viking Cruise commercials feature views of Budapest much, much more than any other stop they make. That is a hint to spend at least 3 days there before you depart on the boat.

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Here is a good view of Budapest. The title of the advertisement is "see things differently" and I think the purpose was to promote the Viking in general as the voice over never mentions destinations; but the scenes except for the small river fortress are all shot in Budapest. http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7wvw/viking-river-cruises-see-things-differently-
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Have a blast

Posted by
6536 posts

There are no non-stop flights into Budapest from the U.S. You'll have to fly from Atlanta to Frankfurt, Paris, Vienna or other larger European gateway airports to get to Budapest. Any of those airports would be fine. You just don't want too short of a layover in case something happens.

We're flying from ATL to Frankfurt to Budapest in March.

Posted by
2081 posts

I'm flying to Vienna and returning from Budapest in August on United/Lufthansa, connecting in Frankfurt. I had a good experience connecting in Frankfurt last year on my trip to Estonia, seems to be an efficient, well-run airport and I like to allow 1 1/2 to 2 hours layover just in case. Whatever you do, don't try to connect at Charles de Gaulle, that way lies madness!

Echoing another commenter, I'm spending 3 1/2 days in Budapest, sounds like that's the minimum in order to see the highlights and maybe do an outside-Budapest day trip.

Posted by
10681 posts

3.5 days is a good visit if you if instead of a day trip you do a half day trip (at the most). Any of you need help planning your stay in Budapest let me know. Glad to help..

Posted by
1420 posts

I agree with James' assessment of which airports not to connect in and would add EWR to his list.

Amsterdam, Munich and Zurich are the 3 hub airports that I like the best in Europe.

Frankfurt is OK, but connection times can't be tight - there can be long line-ups for immigration/customs for morning flights arriving from North America... more than once I've had nerve-wracking near missed connections there. However, Lufthansa through Frankfurt seems to have the better flight times for Budapest. For KLM through Amsterdam for Budapest, you currently have a long lay-over.

Look for your flights 10 months out from your trip, then you'll have a better idea for the flights you need..

Posted by
10681 posts

Diane, you are correct. We have actually made a couple of 1 hour connections in Frankfurt but it was nerve racking and generally stupid. My goal is nothing less than 1:45 on the way there. I might go a little tighter on the way back if for no other reason I get another day of vacation if we get stranded. :-)

I liked Amsterdam because there was a private club with showers. We could clean up, change and arrive in Budapest fresh and ready to play. We travel a lot so we have Priority Pass to get us into some of the clubs.

Posted by
12084 posts

Hi,

I myself have not done this route but a good friend of mine has. It pertains to flying from Calif. to Budapest. True, there is no direct flight but aside from cities listed above, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, etc. you can fly to Munich, then MUC to Budapest. From here it's SFO-MUC with Lufthansa, then with Lufthansa MUC-Budapest. If you get an eastcoast departure to MUC, you'll connect to Budapest.

Depending on your time constraint, you could just the RJ train from Munich Hbf to Budapest. That was its purpose to connect these two cities aside from Vienna by fast rail.

Posted by
12084 posts

Good to know about doing this flight from Paris. I had only considered flying to Frankfurt from SFO or Munich then connecting to Budapest; Paris offers another choice...all for future trips..