dartland
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 am

Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:25 am

I need advice from European aviation experts--

I'm leading a group of 15-18 college students on a trip from the US to Europe. We will be flying from NYC (JFK or EWR) to Krakow or Warsaw, Poland (preferably KRK) and then the return trip from Kaunas or Vilnius, Lithuania back to NYC. The trip is scheduled for mid-June.

Of course the fares are quite high since it's summer travel from the US to Europe -- one thought is to fly transatlantic to a European hub on a major airline and then switch to a European LCC for the intra-Europe flight.

For example: AA or EI JFK-DUB, and then DUB-KRK on SkyEurope. For the way home, we can fly KUN-DUB on FR and then DUB-JFK on AA or EI.

Questions:
1) How much of a fare difference do you think would justify such a set-up?
2) How reliable are NE, FR, and any other European LCC that we could consider?
3) How much of a hassle is it to make an inter-airline transfer at a hub like DUB and how long of a layover would you leave? Remember we have a group of 15-18 people.
4) Would you consider it? We have a very tight itinerary and so the "cost" of an air travel screw-up is quite high (if not catastrophic).

Thanks!
 
jcavinato
Posts: 392
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:14 am

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:49 am

I've taken my college class of students on tours of European companies. I'd advise to take trans-Atlantic flights as far as you can. I would not stop short in order to grab an LLC for the rest of the way. That is inviting one more potential day of travel (or a cut into your plans), if there was a delay. Too, keeping them together and watching them is a stressful job whereby you won't see much of the entire trip except when you're all on a bus. Second advice: simplify the travel as much as possible.
 
Someone83
Posts: 2901
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:47 pm

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:38 am

The easiest is probably to take either SAS or Continental to Copenhagen and continue from their as it has good connections to most places around the Baltic Sea.

But also fly to Frankfurt (LH) or Stockholm (SK/CO) could be an idea and even try to CO to Oslo as all these airports should have connections with LCC both to Krakow and Vilnius
 
haggis79
Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:05 pm

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:40 am

keep in mind that we have totally different baggage allowance in Europe compared to the US... you're fine with the piece concept as long as you're travelling on an intinerary which contains at least one segment to which the piece concept applies... if you change itin's, you are stuck to a 20kg limit per person when flying a European legacy and even less when on some LCCs.... (FR does not have any free luggage anymore, I believe...)
300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
 
UpperDeck79
Posts: 1062
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:14 pm

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:59 am

Quoting Someone83 (Reply 2):
But also fly to Frankfurt (LH) or Stockholm (SK/CO) could be an idea and even try to CO to Oslo as all these airports should have connections with LCC both to Krakow and Vilnius

AY also works, since JFK-HEL-KRK and VNO-HEL-JFK both work. The pricing might not, though, when the return is not from the same country. A travel agent might solve that, though.

In my opinion it would be quite risky to have the connecting flight on LCCs, but then again if you are willing to spend the whole/half day at DUB then why not.
AY and ANA rock!
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2160
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:27 am

It seems best to try and call LOT's group department and see what they can offer you. They fly JFK-KRK nonstop and VNO-WAW-JFK w/ a two hour connection. 1 212 789 0970.
 
dartland
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 am

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:49 am

Thanks for the advice everyone --- LOT and SAS I agree are great options, but extremely pricey. I'll see what they can do for group rates, though.

Anyone have any ideas about IE? They are now flying to KRK and VNO. I can't seem to book to those cities straight from JFK, but I know they fly there. I'll give them a call.
 
andaman
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:29 am

RE: Advice About Europe Travel W/ A Group

Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:55 pm

I have been dealing with similar trips from US to the Baltic Europe, and usually LOT and Finnair have offered the best deals. AY is a good deal if you need OW miles, and HEL offers really smooth transit.
Chinese cookie in SFO: "You're doomed to a life of forever travelling abroad and to be able to afford it!"

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