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Which connection would you choose?

I've been monitoring various flight options for our Turkey tour, and the prices fell today. There are two decent options for the journey to IST:

Transfer at CDG - 2h20. $700CAD pp.
Transfer at FRA - 2h50. $781 CAD pp.

Any thoughts? We normally avoid transferring at CDG, but even with today's price drop these tickets are higher than we've ever spent. Both options are on one ticket.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by
5566 posts

Both are airports I try to avoid because they are so large, crowded, and chaotic. But if you have to pick one...I'd rather have the extra 30 minutes, just as a buffer (2 hours is ordinarily fine and in my comfort zone, but for either of these airports, I'd rather have more buffer).

That's true in an "all other things being equal" scenario. Are they? Same airline? Same number of connections? Most important -- same aircraft type, cabin and specific seat? Those would be a primary differentiator to me...you're gonna be in those seats for a lot of hours.

Posted by
1348 posts

Thanks David,

The CDG option is Air Canada to CDG - Turkish Airlines to IST.

The FRA option is Air Canada to FRA - Lufthansa to IST.

Both Air Canada legs are listed as BOEING 777-300ER. That means nothing to me, but obviously you are knowledgeable on these things.

We generally pay for seat selection at the lowest price point at the closest to the front of the aircraft.

Posted by
5566 posts

Andrea, there's probably little difference in the seats in your case (both long flights are on the exact same aircraft: all Air Canada 777-300s are the same). There might be a tiny difference between the Lufthansa or Turkish short-haul flights to Istanbul (but probably not enough difference to notice -- those flights are just 2-3 hours so not much skin in the game there). You might find the service marginally better on Turkish Airlines (they do try hard) but again, on a short flight, in Economy, probably not enough of a difference to move the needle much.

Given all that, I'd probably opt for the slightly longer connection in FRA just for peace of mind (even though that's not a phrase I usually associate with transit through FRA).

Enjoy your trip -- Turkey is amazing!

Posted by
5617 posts

They wouldn’t sell you the ticket if they weren’t sure you could make the connection. If you somehow couldn’t make the second flight, they’d still get you to Istanbul. I’d save the extra money and go with CDG - just be prepared on focusing to get yourself to your next gate as soon as you land in France.

Posted by
5250 posts

$81 / 30 minutes = $2.70 per minute of extra time at FRA. Probably worth it. And those seem like good fares to me.

Posted by
3193 posts

I would choose the Frankfurt option. It is Lufthansa's biggest hub so to me it feels a bit safer, connecting between two different airlines at an airport that is neither's hub carries a bit more risk.

Posted by
1348 posts

Dick, that's only halfway. The whole fare is around $2650 for the two of us (can't remember exactly just now), but it was over $3300 yesterday.

Posted by
5250 posts

Yes, grab that fare! And Badger makes an excellent point too.

Posted by
2317 posts

I will never connect through CDG again, ever. Frankfurt has always been a pleasant experience for me.

Posted by
187 posts

The flight from FRA to IST (Istanbul) is about 3 hours. From CDG to IST it is about 3 and 1/2. I would certainly take the connection through Frankfurt. It’s a very large airport but not overwhelming. The extra 30 minute layover is a plus.

Posted by
28 posts

They will sell you a ticket with an unrealistic transfer time. I have seen 60 minute transfer windows. 2h20minutes is usually okay if you land on time. Before COVID, many of my international flights leaving from SEA were delayed by 30 to 90 minutes. We missed a transfer to Barcelona and had to wait four hours before we were "squeezed" on to a full flight from LHR to BCN. We had to run frantically through Schipoel to catch a transfer flight to Rome after a 30 minute delay. If you are flying economy on an international flight, and are seated midway to back of plane, it will take you a while to deplane. This will cut into your transfer time. We have learned to travel with carry-on luggage only. If you do miss your connection, be aware if the air-carrier is an EU carrier (we try to fly Air France, KLM, Luftansa....Not sure where British Air falls since Brexit) , there are very definite passenger protections and rights, including significant monetary compensation for delays over three hours. Under EU regulations, you may also be entitled to meal vouchers and other vouchers if you miss the connection due to delays with your originating flight. You really have to advocate with the agents at the airport if you have a delay or missed connection. They don't just provide the information on vouchers or compensations without a reminder.

Your plane is delayed if you reach your destination at least 3 hours later than the original scheduled time. You are entitled to compensation.

The compensation due in case of delay depends on the distance of the flight. It is:

250€ for flights up to 1500 kilometers,
400€ for flights between 1500 and 3500 km,
600€ beyond 3500 km, provided that you are at least 4 hours late (300 € for a delay between 3 and 4 hours).

Posted by
3193 posts

If you do miss your connection, be aware if the air-carrier is an EU
carrier (we try to fly Air France, KLM, Lufthansa....Not sure where
British Air falls since Brexit).

British Airways is not an EU airline anymore. Also, since the OP is looking at a flight from a non-EU country to another non-EU-country, the EU rules do not apply.

Posted by
1348 posts

Well hell's bells I was at the pub last night so I left it until this morning. I think you know the next sentence. The flights are up again. I shall continue monitoring and take all your advice regarding connections into consideration.

Posted by
1348 posts

I purchased. Hoorah! This morning it was still up, but then this afternoon it fell back to where it was the other day. I chose the following:

YYZ - FRA - IST
ADB - MUC - YYZ

Bought the cancellation/interruption insurance, and seat selection on three of the four legs. One leg is on "Sun Express", which slightly worries me, but I'll just put that worry aside for now and enjoy the dopamine hit of booking travel!

Thanks to all!

Posted by
43 posts

Smart to avoid CDG.We avoid it like the plague. I am convinced they enjoy making passengers miserable. Never had a problem at Frankfurt, but you never know.

Posted by
5115 posts

Badger, not sure if you are correct on the EU part. My understanding has been that a EU carrier would be covered on flights from the United States. Both Germany and France (the destination for the first flight) certainly are in the EU.

Hopefully, everyone's flights go as planned and we don't have to find out!!

Posted by
1348 posts

Well heck, I've had my first flight change and the 30 minutes extra connection time I paid more for has shrunk to 25 extra minutes. And of course the seats I paid for changed.

Oh well, at least it's all on one ticket!

Posted by
3193 posts

Badger, not sure if you are correct on the EU part. My understanding
has been that a EU carrier would be covered on flights from the United
States. Both Germany and France (the destination for the first flight)
certainly are in the EU.

I'm pretty sure I am correct. It's the final destination that counts, a stop in Germany or France does not change that. The regulation applies to passengers "travelling to an EU/EEA member state on an airline based in an EU/EEA member state".

Posted by
12879 posts

I like both airports but never had to connect after an eleven hour non-stop flight from SFO, they were always the final destination. If I had to connect, I would pick FRA.