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Which flight would you choose?

Hi,
I have started pricing airfare for my husband and myself for our trip in Sept. 2010. I am hoping that you all will give me your opinions on the airlines and the connecting cities. We plan on flying open jaw we will start out of MKE. Here is what we have found so far.

United MKE to FRA with a connection in ORD/ return MUC with a connection in ORD

Us Air MKE to FRA with a connection in CLT/ return MUC connection in PHL

Air Canada MKE to FRA with a connection in YYZ(Toronto)/return MUC connection in YYZ (Toronto)

Delta MKE to FRA connection in Atlanta/return MUC connetion in Atlanta

Continental MKE to TXL (only flight I liked to Berlin) connection in Newark NJ/ return MUC connection Newark NJ

Any other airlines you would suggest? Thanks for you opinions.
Wendy

Posted by
9110 posts

Above tables appear to be a bit misleading (except for the * way the heck at the bottom). Taxes, fees, and stuff from NYC to MOW are what? Maybe two hundred bucks?

Posted by
2193 posts

I don’t know…I think they’re close to being about right. I checked the advertised fare of $550 RT w/o taxes and fees from ORD to Lisbon. Adhering to all of Lufthansa’s restrictions and applying the $100 credit, the actual total fare in March was $588 (not $550 but close).

Posted by
11238 posts

I'm not going to say which one is best because everyone has their own opinion.

A few things to look at:

What is the connection time between flights? Too short? Too long? Total travel time including layovers?

Who is actually operating the flight? With codeshares, some of these flights might actually be on a foreign carrier like Lufthansa.

What's the price?

Are you trying to accumulate airline mileage for future trips or do you already have miles on a particular airline that these flights could add to?

Of the carriers you mention, there isn't much difference. They all fly basically the same aircraft and give the same quality of service.

Posted by
190 posts

Hi Frank,
I guess I am more intrested in the connecting cities. Does one experiance more delays than another?

As far as layovers they pretty much are 1-3 hours except the one connecting in Toronto that is 5 hours. The only flight leaving on Air Canada from MKE is around 9:30am.

The United flight connecting in ORD leaves around 3:00pm I believe. That would get us to FRA early around 5:45. Which is not a problem to us. (I think this might be the one we end up choosing)

Don't know to much about code shares. But would love to know.

Posted by
2779 posts

Personally I not only look at the airline but also at the aircraft type as I will be sitting inside for quite a couple of hours. As much as I like CO spending 8 hours or so in a 757 on an EWR to TXL flight doesn't sound too appealing to me.When flying ORD to FRA find out whether your flight is operated by UA or LH. LH only have inseat video in a few brand-new aircraft. On the ORD leg they usually use B747-400s (I like that aircraft but...) where in coach you have to watch one pre-selected movie on old-fashioned screens hanging from the ceiling every 10 rows or so... If ORD to FRA is operated by UA and it's the 777 I'd go for that!

Posted by
18301 posts

If I were doing that, I would change in O'Hare. It's a big airport, but things seem to flow well.

I would avoid the US Air connection. I flew that route (MUC to PHL) two years ago. In flight service was the worst I have ever experienced on any airline. Philly is a very sprawling airport with no shuttle between terminals - a lot of walking. The TSA there is "passenger hostile"; it seems that most of the workers had no other task than to yell at passengers.

I similarly disliked EWR. TSA was just as rude. Maybe it's just a mid-Atlantic coast thing. The walk from the gate to immigration seemed like forever.

I've flown through Atlanta and it was more friendly, but you'll spend and hour longer getting that far south and then another hour getting up to where the other airports are.

Not counting DEN to Frankfurt non-stop, the route I have liked the most was via Detroit.

Try to get a connection that has Lufthansa for the trans-Atlantic legs. Their service is light-years better than any US flag line.

Posted by
190 posts

Hi

Thanks for the replies. I guess right now price doesn't worry me. We aren't going until Sept. 2010. I want to watch the flights and times that I like and when the price is right I'll grab it.

The United flight is a United flight not Luftansa. But there is one that leaves a little later getting into FRA at 7:00am that is operated by Luftansa I'll watch that as well. The price for that flight is more that the earlier one.

Posted by
1357 posts

Since you're in Milwaukee, is there some sort of shuttlebus service to ORD? That may be easier than making a connection in Chicago, you don't have to worry about delays and such, and you may have more options. You may want to compare fares when your flight dates get a little closer. Sometimes it's easier to fly direct, sometimes it's actually cheaper to add a leg to your flight.

Posted by
18301 posts

About the time I saw Steve's posting about Lufthansa's new, "low" fares, I got a fare alert about it from Travelocity. The lowest fare I could find on Lufthansa from DEN to FRA was $695. This is for Jan-March, normally a low fare period. Last August I booked DEN-MUC for $530. I guess the "fare vacation" is over.

Posted by
190 posts

I did look into the airport shuttle connection service from MKE to ORD, but the price is 300.00 for my husband and I round trip. I think I would rather fly to ORD.

Posted by
2193 posts

You could rent a cheap car in Milwaukee and turn it in at ORD if the fare difference makes it worthwhile…same thing for the return trip. Another option is to just drive your own car and park in long-term parking lot F at $9 per day. It’s a couple of minutes by airport bus from there to lot E. Then, the first stop of the ATS train is Terminal 5 – the international terminal. What's the one-way drive time...1 hr 45 minutes?

Posted by
1449 posts

Wendy, my preference if I can't get a direct flight is to make sure the connection is in Europe. Flights across the Atlantic are less frequent than flights within Europe. So if my 1st flight is delayed for any reason and I miss the connection there will be another flight without too much delay; and if worst comes to worst, there is always the train system. If you're still in North America waiting for a flight to Europe it can literally be a day or two before the next opening since planes fly so full these days and can't quickly accomodate a slew of passengers that missed a flight.

And while many delays are small, it isn't the type of distribution where larger delays become much rarer. 2 and 3 hour delays happen all too often. See, for example, the page at http://www.pgrs.net/2007/7/29/flight-delay-information-for-united-flights which also has a link to a program where you can see delays for a flight of your choosing.

Posted by
190 posts

WOW you guys are great. Thank you so much for the advice.

Michael,
My husband wants nothing to do with driving to Chicago. I also checked prices for around the time we want to go and (for now) it's cheaper to fly out of MKE and connect in ORD.

Wendy

Posted by
425 posts

The one thing I considered when I was looking at flights in and out of Germany. I would rather have a layover on the other side of the pond than here. If I'm going to miss a flight, I would rather be in Germany than South Carolina!

Posted by
75 posts

Wendy, as another user, Andreas asked, do you know about the equipment being used, and seats available. For me, that is the second most important thing in choosing a flight beyond price. Are they 767-400er, 400 or 300er or 300; 747-400, airbus’, 777-200 or 300 or 300er; or even 757. Also, I like flying on planes where it is two seats by the windows; 767 and a330-a340. I personally feel you have more room; plus different airlines have different entertainment to it. Delta 767-300er has audio entertainment in the arrests but the video entertainment is still ceiling style [though they have claimed it is flat screen]; a very good site is http://www.seatguru.com. If you ask me what my preference is, is if Delta has 767-400 [do that], and if the airlines use a330 and a340’s. We are flying to Paris in 2010, using AIR France A380 from JFK to CDG and A340 to DTW. As far connections, I actually like EWR [remember you probably will not leave the airport so you do not need to worry about TSA], I also like ATL, and ORD. I have never been to YYZ but I have heard bad stories about AC, And in my personal opinion, I hate US AIR [do not send me hate mail for that cause I just do not care ?], always have and always will. I hope this helps too.

Posted by
5849 posts

Just some odd notes:

I tend to consider length of layovers and arrival time first, assuming cost is equal. I would rather arrive in a city morning or just after noon, late day arrivals do not work for me.

I do consider the airplane type, I do prefer as well a seating arrangement with only two seats by the window, my wife and I then have our own row.

In regards to in-flight entertainment, do not assume that all is equal in an equipment type. Seat back units are essentially an option for airlines, some opt for them, some don't. Even the same type of aircraft, for the same airline, may have some with, some without, depending on purchase year and whether they originally intended that plane for domestic or international use.

Posted by
4686 posts

Wendy, I'd probably take the flight that connects in Chicago ... mainly because it is such a short flight between MKE and ORD and there are a lot of flights each day between mke and ord. I normally suggest transferring in Europe, but I don't think that there are any trans-atlantic flights out of MKE.

I almost always fly United or one of the Star alliance partners to Europe ... mainly because they have a hub in DC. I don't think any of the airlines are that great any more (even Midwest has gone downhill since they got bought ... i fly them frequently to mke). I have not had any problems with United to Europe in the last 5 years or so.

Posted by
190 posts

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for your help. I think I am going to watch the United flight connecting in ORD. The flight times are what I am looking for and depending on which flight I choose to take out of MKE the layover time is 3 hours at the most.

Thanks again,
Wendy

Posted by
194 posts

Hi Wendy,

As a fellow Milwaukeean, I have flown out of both MKE and ORD, including to Europe, many times. I have never, however, flown from MKE to ORD because, honestly, it sounds like a pain to wait at MKE, fly 90 miles, wait for a layover, and fly from there. I'm all about direct flights whenever possible.

I agree that driving to Chicago is a pain, so I highly recommend taking the CoachUSA bus (http://www.coachusa.com/). I'm not sure what the $300 shuttle service is you're talking about, but this one is much more reasonable and you don't have to worry about driving yourselves. Buses leave every hour or so and get you there in about two hours. It looks like it's $47 per person roundtrip. Not sure how that compares to the flights you've seen, but it seems resonable to me and takes less time. There are numerous locations in Milwaukee from which the bus leaves.

Message me if you'd like more information--I, as well as other family members, have used this service many times.

Posted by
14898 posts

I flew in and out of ORD int'l in Oct/Nov and found it to be really efficient. I landed at noon on a Sunday and was out of the terminal (debarking, passport, luggage, customs, pit stop and cold drink) in 45 minutes and then had to wait 15 minutes for my pick-up (we never thought it would go that fast). Departure was even easier - my flight was at about 5.30 pm on a Tuesday, and there was NO ONE in line ahead of me through security. My domestic flights were via MDW (over an hour to get thru security on Friday 1 pm). You will have to collect your luggage at ORD, then re-check it and go thru security again at ORD domestic for your flight to MKE - make sure you have enough time . . . unless you opt for ground transport home.

Posted by
5669 posts

Wendy, I fly out of Madison through O'Hare to Europe all the time. One time, I had my parents drive me into O'Hare from Rockford, but I've never done it again. It just is better to not have to drive a long way after a long airplane trip. I've primarily flown American Airlines, but I would look at United or any of the European airlines if I didn't have the potential for upgrades with American. ; ) Pam