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questions about flights to Italy

In your opinion,how much extra is it worth for Delta comfort plus? I'm seeing more expensive flights where it's about $100 more, but less expensive flights where it's close to $500 more round trip.

Is $550-$600 r/t a good price? I'm looking ahead to September, and wouldn't normally book this early, but the price seems pretty good. The outbound flights are either non-stop or stop in Amsterdam. The returns are non-stop or stop in Amsterdam or Atlanta.

I'm happy to pay more for n/s....especially on the outbound flight.

Is 1:35 - to 2:00 enough time to change planes in Amsterdam? the shorter connection would be on the return flight, so there wouldn't be any emigration to go through.

Thanks for any input!

Posted by
3144 posts

If you can get Delta Comfort for $550-600 between Atlanta & your specific Italian city (Milan, Rome), that is great. Do it. What you're getting is about 3" more pitch, earlier boarding, the overhead cabin above your seat, and be among the first off in economy at arrival.

The TV itself and the seat are the same as in economy. For $100 more, you have to determine what those 3" mean to you. If you're a tall lady, those 3" could make the difference between a painful flight and a comfortable one. As for $500 more? I wouldn't pay it.

To give yourself less stress, fly nonstop. if you can't and have to change flights in Amsterdam, allow at 2 1/2 hours because your inbound flight into AMS could be late and even though you're on one ticket, if you miss your connection, you would have to wait for the next flight with AVAILABLE SEATS. There is no guarantee that such a flight would be the same day given how often seats are oversold. So keep that in mind.

Posted by
4695 posts

MY opinion is that "Economy Comfort" isn't worth paying much for. I paid for it once (I'm tall) and the few extra inches of leg room were barely noticeable. I more appreciate having an empty seat next to me than more leg room, personally, and sometimes I've been lucky enough (traveling solo) to get an empty seat or even a whole empty row on one of these international flights. Heaven!

Given the alternatives, I'd choose Delta over say AA for an international flight, all else being equal.

And I would be more worried about getting a direct flight than about "Economy Comfort." I'd rather connect in Amsterdam, personally, vs. Atlanta if I have to connect somewhere. Amsterdam's Schiphol airport is huge but very efficient - I like connecting there. You do have to go through passport control in Amsterdam upon leaving the EU plus perhaps an extra security screening for flying to the US (I haven't flown through Schiphol in a few years now, not sure if things have changed recently). So it's not necessarily much faster than immigration if flying in to Schiphol from the US.

2:00 would feel like plenty of time to connect in Amsterdam - 1:35 may be enough too. Presumably you can get a later flight home from Amsterdam (even if not direct) if you happen to miss your connection, too. You can check the schedule to see what later flights would leave Amsterdam and when they would get you in, assuming you would get on one of those flights. I always check these kinds of things when making connections.

Posted by
460 posts

To clarify, the flights I saw earlier today in the $500-600 range were not comfort plus.Comfort plus was running about $1100.

However, I'm now not seeing the original flights....I'm seeing flights with one stop each way at about $550. I'd like to find a nonstop flight outbound....don't care as much about the return. But now I'm seeing prices in the $700 range for n/s there and 1 stop on the return.

Two hours in Atlanta enough time do you think? (I'd also prefer to change in Amsterdam, but 95 minutes worries me a bit...)

Posted by
4695 posts

Ruth, as I said, I look at the later flights after the connecting flight I'm trying to make and see what my options are if I miss the connection - same for flying through Amsterdam or Atlanta. Assuming I get put on the next flight home after the one I miss, how much later is that one, and what time am I likely to get home? If missing my connection in Amsterdam means a later flight with a lot of connections instead of the direct flight (from Amsterdam), but the later flight in Atlanta would be direct and get me home not much later, then maybe I'd opt for Atlanta, all else being equal.

Posted by
5166 posts

Ruth, have you been watching the fare for awhile so you know if the $500-600 fare is about where its been, or is it a sudden drop? I ask because I'm seeing special fares this week on Delta from the midwest. Based on the last few years, I think the sale will end in a few days. But from non-gateway cities in the midwest, $500-600 would be fantastic. Normally, its around $1100-1400 for main cabin economy.

We did comfort plus once. We booked during a sale period when the comfort plus sale fare (this time last year) was suddenly less than the normal main cabin fare. It might make more of a difference iff you are tall people and need more space. We got it because we wanted the priority boarding, and dedicated bin space. Short answer is for $100-200 more, its worth it. More than that, not unless you find regular economy tortuous.

Posted by
2041 posts

Hi, Ruth. I'm a frequent Delta passenger who generally flies from my local airport (GSP = Greenville/Spartanburg, SC) to Atlanta to get to Europe. Here are my strategies:

Going to Europe through Atlanta: I usually like to make sure there is at least one departure from my local airport AFTER my scheduled departure time that will still get me into Atlanta in time to make the connection. With 8-9 flights to Atlanta per day from my airport, that's easy for me to do. I've been delayed at my local airport for mechanical reasons, a general aviation aircraft having its landing gear collapse on the runway when landing, weather, incoming plane with deceased soldier on it who was offloaded before passengers exited the jet. I've even picked up $600 vouchers for volunteering to be bumped.

Returning from Europe through Atlanta: 2 hours is plenty of time if you have only a carry on. If I'm checking a bag, I usually give myself 3 hours. I've waited at baggage claim for an hour for my bag to arrive twice at ATL.

Transfers through AMS: I'm pretty comfortable with a 90-minute transfer time at AMS. The airport has become much more efficient over the last few years. I've passed through AMS on returning to the US 3 times since May (most recently last month). On the return trip, one does have to go through passport control, but the airport utilizes facial recognition to automate the process for EU, US, and some other countries' citizens. Immediately after exiting passport control, passengers are funneled to a single exit where two airport employees randomly (?) select people to go to the right for a security screen, while most go straight ahead without going through security and head on to their connections. For those who remember the old D1/E1 Delta Inquisition gates/areas, these are gone, as are the at-the-gate security scanners (which the D1/E1 Inquisition areas replaced).

Posted by
160 posts

For me premium economy or as Delta calls them comfort class are well worth the money even on a domestic flight.
I no longer fly Delta but usually American airlines or United. I've been looking at a non stop flight from JFK to Milan round trip for around 1100.I usually use frequent flyer miles for a business class but but I'm considering booking this for my second trip to Italy in 2020. Non stop is very appealing. Another strategy I have been using (already booked for next trip in May) is TAP, Portugal airlines.
Flying out of Boston on TAP and return on America Airlines business class using miles. If you don't already have the AA Aviator Barclays card, the current bonus of 60,000 miles is enough for one way business class or a round trip premium economy
TAP has several advantages over an US based airline. 1. You can buy a one way ticket that is half a round trip ticket unlike US based airlines which charge astronomical prices for international one way. 2. TAP will refund a ticket at no cost for a business class ticket and refund for economy extra seats at a small cost. .

Posted by
460 posts

What's the best and what's the typical price you'd pay for an economy ticket to Rome in the early fall? I'm seeing $819 round trip on nonstop flights on United. Good? Or wait for something better? I have plenty of time...

Posted by
992 posts

I’m just throwing things out here. You can take the train out of Utica to the Newark airport. It’s a long ride at just under 8 hours.

I’m from your area so when I fly in from LAX I can never fly into the same airport due to flight times air fares. My family lives just outside of Binghamton so I try and fly into Link. That is usually not what happens. I end up flying in and out of Scranton or Syracuse. Try an airfare check out of Binghamton or Scranton. Or even Elmira. You never know. It is truly frustrating and fares can be off putting for sure.