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AMS-DEN In 2010 (hday In Grand Canyon)  
User currently offlineSchreiner From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 960 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4172 times:

Dear all,

My wife and I are planning to visit the grand canyon/brice/zion/yosemite etc etc in, lets say, september 2010. I know the ticket prices are rising again, after the crisis so I was wondering how to do this trip.

Ive seen that LH is going direct into DEN, but all other EUR airlines will stop somewhere down the line. Not that this is a problem offcourse, I am pretty tall so I probably need some nice legstretching somewhere on the east coast. At this moment UA is the cheapest, and after that KL is doing quite well. Price is not the biggest thing (allthough, I cannot afford business class) and love to have some extra legroom and personal entertainment on the way. Maybe CO is an option? I dont want to change planes more than 1 time.

Does anybody have an idea to do this the best way?

Thanks and enjoy your a.net stay!


Soaring the internet...
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4168 times:

Well Northwest offers several flights from AMS-DTW then 4 daily from DTW-DEN, Flights AMS-MSP and then NW has about 6-7 flights from MSP-DEN a day and even a couple flights through memphis with the 1x daily AMS-MEM. I recommend DTW or MSP as connecting airports.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineHywel From Uganda, joined Apr 2008, 802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4168 times:

If you want to visit the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Yosemite etc. then don't fly into Denver! Las Vegas is far more convenient and car rental from Vegas is pretty cheap at the moment as their tourism has slumped...

How about flying AMS-EWR-LAS with CO, or AMS-MSP-LAS with NW/DL?


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4141 times:



Quoting Schreiner (Thread starter):
Does anybody have an idea to do this the best way?

Even though you state, that you want to "stretch your legs somewhere on the east coast" please ask yourself: Do I really want to fly another 2/3-transcon (East Coast to DEN) after having crossed the Atlantic Ocean and having rushed through immigration ?

AMS-FRA-DEN on LH seems to be a natural choice.
However, as Hywel pointed out, flying into LAS puts you on the correct side of the Rockies. DE flies to LAS during summer (until mid/end of September) from FRA and they have their Premium Eco-class called Comfort Class, which usually is cheaper than a fully-flegged Business Class. VS to LAS could be another option.

More options:
Connecting at DTW / ORD / MSP (or even YYZ) reduce the detour associated with the transfer. Logon to Great Circle Mapper and let it calculate the flight paths and then see how big the detours will be.Then add up the hours associated with these detours.

More options giving fairly short legs (making Eco-class bearable) while putting you down at numerous airports in the U.S. to be followed by immigration and an onward flight (maybe booked separately, especially if WN flies the route).
FI via KEF, EI via DUB

So many options to choose from.
Take also a look on oneway-fees for rental cars. Dropping off the car in a different state usually drives costs up, but many agencies have no fee to rent between California and Nevada (for mainstream car sizes).
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3332 posts, RR: 45
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4135 times:



Quoting Hywel (Reply 2):

I agree with this, unless you are also going to Rocky Mountain National Park, as well.

Both BA and VS have nonstop flights from LHR to LAS, FWIW.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineSchreiner From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4113 times:

Thanks guys, for you input. The condor option is not that bad. Although its comfort class cost me 1377,- via FRA.

AMS-LAS via KL (Monkey class) ( 1 stop) will cost me 797,- euro. Quite a difference don't you agree?

AMS-LAS on UA (1 stop) will cost me 697,-

VS does not support AMS-LAS on their website, only LON-LAS, so this will be quite expensive I think.

Maybe Icelandair AMS-KEF-JFK-DEN, although this is maybe a little too much stops for me.

I think KL or Condor is the choice here. How is the pitch on Condor (M class) and at KL? Is there a big difference? Although I am a a Dutchman I must agree I don't like the service on KL a lot. Maybe UA is more likely a better option? Hows the pitch at UA?

Besides, I NEED personal entertainment, otherwise I will kill my wife of boredom I'm afraid. KL does not offer this on all her flights. UA does I think? Condor offers this only in the comfort-class (600EUR more expensive).

I know... I am spoiled a little-bit as I am used to SQ on my usual trips the other-way around the world....

What are you thoughts on this?

Cheers guys!

[Edited 2009-12-18 09:04:44]


Soaring the internet...
User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4104 times:

Your guaranteed if you fly NW out of AMS on the A330's to have IFE and a good system at that too.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 4099 times:



Quoting Schreiner (Reply 5):
AMS-LAS via KL

Into which transfer point are you looking into ? (and no, I will not comment on the "via KL" which would mean quite a detour to fly via K.L. = Kuala Lumpur ...).
From what I get shown on KL's website on random dates in September, only a connection via ATL is using KL-metal across the pond. All other longhaul flights are on DL/NW.

If a 1020h departure from AMS is okay with you, I would suggest to use KL 6259 to MSP (on a NW/DK A333, which according to Seatguru.com features IFE in Coach).
Transfer time at MSP is more than easy (2h15min) allowing you to get something to eat during the stop.
KL 4893 MSP to LAS is on a NW B757-300 with a flight time of 3h20min.
Timings look perfect to me, which is quite important for me.

Compare those 3h20min with 6 hours flight from JFK to LAS (scheduled timings, likely to be supplemented by even more departure delays at JFK, even though some time is already factored in in those 6 hours).

Return flights are shown only via JFK or ATL, but if searching hard, it should be possible to get a connection home via MSP or DTW on NW-metal (A332 / A333).
if unable to fly via MSP or DTW, a flight LAS to ATL takes 4 hours, whereas LAS - JFK takes 5 hours, but both transfer points would add considerable overall travel time.
Flights JFK to AMS are listed to be operated by B773 and B74M, while ATL shall be using a MD11 (are the latter reliable meanwhile ?).

Have you tried to look into an independent website (the usual likes of expedia, BCD Travel direct, etc.) which sometimes can make great offers mixing airlines (of a alliance) which not always are shown on an airlines' website.

I have no recent experience longhaul in Y in any of the carriers in concern here, so I cannot comment.
.

Quoting Schreiner (Reply 5):
How is the pitch on Condor (M class) and at KL?

For info about seat pitches and IFE goto www.seatguru.com.
Once the seatmap of an aircraft type of an airline is displayed, click on icon "Video" to get more info about IFE ...
31 inch seatpitch on KL longhaul.

Quoting Schreiner (Reply 5):
Condor

It just came to my mind, that Condor is using the international terminal at LAS (= not the main terminal) which, to the last info I heard, has not much to offer (to say the least).

Also:
If you have not finalized your intended surface trip, what about flying into LAS and returning from some other place ?
RNO comes to mind (after a day or two at Lake Tahoe) or the Bay Area with airports like SFO, OAK, SJC and even SMF to choose from.
(LAX likely is located too far away).
Like I said, most rental car agencies do not charge oneway rental fees between Nevada and California (and v/v).

You even could hop onto a WN flight at RNO and fly cheaply (no extra fee for checked baggage for now) to a suitable departure airport for your longhaul flight home (MSP, DTW), but check if then those flights home directly out of the hubs are not more expensive than when using a feeder flight on NW/DL into them.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2834 posts, RR: 45
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4095 times:



Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 6):
Your guaranteed if you fly NW out of AMS on the A330's to have IFE and a good system at that too.

It doesn't happen all that often, but I agree with Burnsie on this one.  Wink The NW (DL) A-330 is very comfortable and has very good IFE; the MSP connection is as convenient as it can get. Without question that would be my first choice for your itinerary. I have done the MSP-AMS leg many times on the A-330, and have never had a problem with it.


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1887 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4084 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

If you do decide to fly to DEN, then I could recommend flying NW via MSP or DTW. I did both (well after DTW I went to MEM and then DEN) but the MSP option is pretty convenient. The departure and arrival gates are close together. The only thing is that you have to clear immigrations and then recheck your luggage.

I found NW's 330s to be pretty good, the IFE system has loads of movies and legroom is alright. I found NW's domestic flights to be pretty good as well, MSP-DEN isn't too long so you should do fine without IFE for that part.



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4078 times:



Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 9):
The only thing is that you have to clear immigrations and then recheck your luggage.

But this applies to any transfer in the U.S. serving as your point of entry (unless flying via an european airport with pre-clearance)..
At least it simply means to drop your luggage onto a conveyor belt, but not having to queue for a completely new check in.
And the security check afterwards (= after having touched your previously checked luggage) is mandatory in any case. But whether you have a special line for this or you just have to joint the general queue depends on airport layout.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6073 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4050 times:

Aside from DEN and LAS, there's also SGU, CDC, GJT, MTJ, and DRO that you could fly into as well, if you want to be closer to the parks.


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4047 times:



Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 11):
there's also SGU, CDC, GJT, MTJ, and DRO that you could fly into as well, if you want to be closer to the parks.

Valid point, but these airports usually have higher fares (on a single ticket from Europe) than DEN and, especially, LAS with their higher competition.
Also, renting a car (likely oneway) might result in higher overall costs - if this is sufficiently counterbalanced by any savings in surface distance (incl. night's accomodation) has to be calculated carefully by the OP.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineSchreiner From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3847 times:

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your input. I am now looking for AMS-SFO on KL, with the brand new 773 with personal entertainment.

EURO: 785,- per person for a direct flight. Seems ok for now. Does anybody have tips/tricks to rent a RV in SFO and maybe a prefered route to see:

SFO
Yosemite
LAS and NELLIS AFB
Hoover dam
Grand canyon (with a nice helicopter ride)
Monument Valley
Arches
Brice
Zion

Anyone with some experience in this holiday experience?

Happy newyear!

Cheers,
Schreiner



Soaring the internet...
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3824 times:



Quoting Schreiner (Reply 13):
RV

Focus on the miles you buy with your rate !
Unlike normal cars, RV's (most?) often do not include unlimited free miles.
Your intended trip will include quite a number of miles, especially when driving all the way back to SFO.

Carefully select the RV-size most suitable for you.
Remember that you will live quite a time in this mobile home.
OTOH, the bigger the RV, the more expensive the rental rate, the packet of miles and also cost of fuel.

A word to the wise: To not consider to pick up the RV right after arrival at SFO. Stay at least one night in a hotel before picking up the RV, familiarize with the vehicle, go shopping for food etc. and start your drive.

Quoting Schreiner (Reply 13):
Yosemite

Watch for early snow (if you still aim to fly in September).
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1887 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3823 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

I did a similar trip years back, drove by car from LAX to LAS and back, and visited everything enroute. You'll have a great time. Maybe check out some airplane graveyards?


Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineSchreiner From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

HT/Crimson, thanks again.
This is the approx route I want to do. Any comments on it? I really don't know how long I need at the parks. I rec con that you see the park while driving along, although, I really want to hike (routes of about max 8 hours) into some nice narrow canyons.

01SEPT: AMS-SFO A13:20 San Francisco - Hotel
02SEPT: Hotel - Pick up RV
03SEPT: Yosemite
03SEPT: Yosemite
04SEPT: Yosemite - Vegas (9 hour drive)
05SEPT: Vegas
06SEPT: Vegas - Zion (4 hour drive)
07SEPT: Zion
08SEPT: Zion - Arches (7 hour drive)
09SEPT: Arches - Monument Valley (5 hour drive)
10SEPT: Monument Valley - Page (4 hour drive)
11SEPT: Page
12SEPT: Page - Grand Canyon
13SEPT: Grand Canyon
14SEPT: Grand Canyon - Las Vegas (via Hooverdam)
15SEPT: Las Vegas - Yosemite
16SEPT: Yosemite
17SEPT: Yosemite
18SEPT: Yosemite - SFO
19SEPT: Hotel
20SEPT: SFO- AMS
21SEPT: AMS


Really appreciate some input! Ive ordered some books already to get some more info, but all you know from experience I find it very reliable.

Schreiner



Soaring the internet...
User currently offlineAirtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1559 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3774 times:

Hi Schreiner !

If you don't mind a few comments on your routing...
- You didn't mention Death Valley between Yosemite and Las Vegas, maybe you should add a few hours to the driving time, it's really worth a stop.
- An alternative to the I-15 between Las Vegas and Zion is a detour via the Valley of Fire, much better than the interstate...
- From Zion to Arches, it would be sad to miss Bryce Canyon. Then you can drive along the Scenic Byway 12, again much much better than the interstate. But if you choose the interstate, don't forget to make a quick stop at Kolob Canyons, part of Zion NP along the I-15...
- Arches is great but plan to walk a lot.
- Once in Arches / Moab, don't forget Canyonlands ! You can easily add a day there, the park is huge and very impressive, I bet you won't regret it.
- (not applicable here but if you're finally not renting a RV, there are some great places to see between Moab and Monument Valley). With a RV you can make a stop at the Goosenecks SP for an impressive view over the San Juan River.
- I personally wouldn't spend so much time in Page, maybe you could skip one day there to add Canyonlands (just my two cents). Anyway, Antelope Canyons and Horseshoe Bend are worth a visit if you're around Page, otherwise it's quite a long detour on the way to the Grand Canyon.
- Last but not least, maybe it's a bit sad to go back to San Francisco with the same route. Unless you absolutely want to see Hoover Dam, maybe you can add the days at Yosemite and Las Vegas on the first leg of your tour and go back via the south and drive along the Pacific coast to San Francisco.

Hope this help, feel free to PM me if you want to talk more about this  Wink



Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3768 times:



Quoting Airtrainer (Reply 17):
You didn't mention Death Valley between Yosemite and Las Vegas, maybe you should add a few hours to the driving time, it's really worth a stop.

I second that.
With a RV at hand, there is a RV park at Furnace Creek, CA located below sea level.
However, seeing that you intend to go in September it might be too hot down there - and IIRC, the RV park actually closes in summer.

Be reminded: Even when driving through Death Valley NP, the entrance fee applies (good for 7 days).
.
.
And as you will visit a lot of NP's, go to http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm and check out the passes they offer. The one for $80 should be the one to look into.
Might save you a couple of USD and the hassle to buy new tickets at each park (just show your pass and you get your tickets).
The pass shall be possible to obtain at the first park you visit.
.
.
Re "driving between Yosemite and Las Vegas":
Several options:
1. US-395 south to Lone Pine, CA, then CA-136 & CA-190 through Death Valley.
Before descending down into Panamint Valley, 22.5 miles after CA-136 turned into CA-190 there is a rest area to the north of the road. This one is called Father Crawley point. If you follow that rough road to its end (about half a mile, but check if your RV is suitable) you get to a scenic overlook. From here you have a view of the Panamint Valley and at times will be able to watch fighter aircraft flying low level (= below your position) through the Panamint Valley (these a/c usually are from China Lake Naval Weapons Center) where there are several installations to follow performance of a/c.

As you will have to go to Furnace Creek anyhow (the visitor center is there; you get your window sticker there), there are two options (for those in a hurry) to continue to Las Vegas:
CA-190 to Death Valley Junction, then continue to Pahrump, NV and LV. Alternative from DV Junction is CA-127 north to Amargosa Valley, NV and US-95 south to LV. A few miles after the junction of US-95 with NV-160 there is a Historical Marker on the left (north) side of the road dedicated to nuclear testing in that area (this all is before the turnoff for "Mercury, NV").

2. US395 south to Big Pine, CA, then CA-168/NV-266 to Lida Junction, NV and US-95 south to Las Vegas. Not much to sse on CA-168/NV-266.

3. Even further north than option #2 is US-6 and US-95 via Tonopah, NV (not used yet).

Anything further south than option #1 will be a serious detour:
From Ridgecrest, CA your only option east will be through Panamit Valley and Death Valley, so it is a detour from option #1.
If you go further south on US-395 all the way to Kramer Junction, CA, then turn east on CA-58 towards Barstow, it will be a massive detour. It only could be an option to continue south on US395 to Adelanto, CA where there is VCV with lots of a/c parked. But such a detour would mandate 2 days for the drive from Yosemite to LV.

Might be worth to use different routes outbound than on the return ... ?

Quoting Schreiner (Reply 16):
Grand Canyon - Las Vegas (via Hooverdam)

Do not expect too much from Hooverdam. Views are limited, central parking is for $$$ only, tours are said to sellout quick.
Alternative to US-93 from Kingman via Hoover Dam to Las Vegas could be to use AZ-68 from Kingman via Laughlin, NV (with a short stop there ?) and then NV-163 to US-93.
(US-93 is a 4-lane Highway in this stretch while US-95 is a busy 2+1 lane road).

At Kingman it might be worth to check out Kingman Airport located northeast of the city on route AZ-66.
If you are tired of using Interstates, you might turn off from I-40 at Seligman, AZ and use AZ-66 (part of historic Route 66) all the way to Kingman. This route offers more scenery and is less traveled, but overall driving time is only marginally longer.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
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