rafabullara
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Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:28 pm

I'm taking flighs from Brazil to BUD and then i will come back form BER.

Anyone would help where is the best airport to connect? AMS, LHR, FRA, MUC, CDG, ZRH

Backup information:

I'm flying J class
Fares and schedules are pretty much the same.
 
dc9northwest
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:40 pm

Good:

AMS, MUC, ZRH


Bad:

LHR, FRA, CDG

That's the consensus around here mostly, I think...
 
jwhite9185
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:48 pm

I've connected at FRA and didn't find it any problem, although i must admit I've not connected anywhere else in Europe. I'd imagine LHR would be a bit of a pain if your not departing from the same terminal though.
@mytripreport
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:59 pm

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 2):
I'd imagine LHR would be a bit of a pain if your not departing from the same terminal though.

I forgot to mention that's LHR T5

Thanks for valuable information
 
LOWS
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:59 pm

You could do worse than FRA. MUC and ZRH are excellent choices, though.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Quoting rafabullara (Thread starter):
Anyone would help where is the best airport to connect? AMS, LHR, FRA, MUC, CDG, ZRH

AMS

Avoid CDG at all cost.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 5):
Quoting rafabullara (Thread starter):
Anyone would help where is the best airport to connect? AMS, LHR, FRA, MUC, CDG, ZRH

AMS

Avoid CDG at all cost.

Agree, nothing matches AMS for convenience. Very clear signage and impossible to get lost. MUC and ZRH be a tie for #2 on my list, both very good.

I avoid LHR, CDG and FRA. FRA, while better than LHR and CDG, has always seemed confusing and is usually in the midst of some major construction project.
 
WROORD
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:44 am

If you're flying from Brazil wouldn't LIS make the most sense TAP flies to both BUD and TXL.
 
DocGATTACA
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:49 am

If at all possible I like to go through MUC. Failing that, ZRH then FRA.
 
HT
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:48 am

Each of the hubs listed so far will do the job, albeit transfers at some may be more convenient than at others.
Rather than looking into a specific hub only I would have a look onto connection times. 90 minuts should to the job at each hub, less may mean "rushing" (excluding CDG where 120 min would be much safer).

Also departure and arrival times should be considered as they not only determine how convenient a trip is (i.e. getting up resp. to bed, eraly / late), but also some airports tend to be much more busy at certain times.
For example, MUC T2 at times is unable to handle all inbound widebodies at contact gates, meaning bus transfers and subsequent security check when arriving from a non-Schengen origin. This security check area on ground level often is overwhelmed with travellers.
Similarly, lines at security check at AMS for crossing from non-Schengen hall to Schengen hall can be long.
No priority is given here (MUC and AMS) to Business Class pax.

As it can be assumed that you will stay with one alliance for your outbound and return legs, it basically gives you the following options:

Star Alliance: LIS, ZRH, MUC, FRA
SkyTeam: CDG (T2-complex), AMS
Oneworld: LHR (T5)

The further north (compared to BUD) the hub you choose is, the longer your detour will be, if this matters.

Naturally there will be no consent for a single hub to be recommended among the replies.
As I said, each of the hubs will do its job. Many are well signposted, some may be lacking - but still millions of (inexperienced) connecting travellers find their way through each of the hubs each year, so it can't be that bad signposted. Familiarizing with a hub's layout before departing for it usually helps, espcially if inbound flights run late reducing connection times.
(Actually I found my way around without problems any of the hubs I listed, except LHR T5 which I have not used yet).
-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 !
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting WROORD (Reply 7):
If you're flying from Brazil wouldn't LIS make the most sense TAP flies to both BUD and TXL



Tap was never an option because the connecting time is LIS is too long.

I'd like to thank all of you guys for your answers. All of them are pretty important to me to take the final decision, since it's my first time in Europe and i want it to be perfect.
I was searching on the Internet, and read a lot of TR this last couple days to know more about each airline service on J and for me it looked that BA and LX have the best service in Brazil-Europe market. I have tried BA Club World last year from GRU to EZE and back, so i know the seat and part of the service.

Quoting HT (Reply 9):
The further north (compared to BUD) the hub you choose is, the longer your detour will be, if this matters.




I was checking schedules of BA and LX and there's not much difference between these two. So i'm pretty much in doubt about LHR T5 and ZRH, if anyone would put some more opinion I'll appreciate.

Thanks
 
BA677
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:14 pm

I believe the BA BUD Flight departs from T3, so you will have to change terminals at LHR.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:05 pm

What about Istanbul Ataturk?? I found it a very easy airport to use. TK fly everywhere in Europe..
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
LOWS
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 12):
What about Istanbul Ataturk?? I found it a very easy airport to use. TK fly everywhere in Europe..

Too much backtracking...
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:20 pm

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 12):
What about Istanbul Ataturk?? I found it a very easy airport to use. TK fly everywhere in Europe

It´s the same problem that flying BCN with SQ schedules are not good for connecting to Europe with TK and prices are almost like EK or QR.

Quoting BA677 (Reply 11):
I believe the BA BUD Flight departs from T3, so you will have to change terminals at LHR.

I just checked this out and you are right about T3. Is it easy to change terminals at LHR or i will be wasting time and patience?

[Edited 2012-06-07 12:25:04]
 
BA677
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:34 pm

Quoting rafabullara (Reply 14):
Are you sure about that? B/C if this is thrue my only option would be LX via ZRH

Yes, but you get an airside transfer on a bus, so think of it as a mini free tour of Heathrow. If you connect else ware you would be sitting in a Termanel someware just waiting, so I dont think its that bad.
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting BA677 (Reply 15):
Yes, but you get an airside transfer on a bus, so think of it as a mini free tour of Heathrow. If you connect else ware you would be sitting in a Termanel someware just waiting, so I dont think its that bad.

You are right, and nothing could be more fun than a free tour to the "World's Hub".
 
dc9northwest
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:58 pm

Quoting rafabullara (Reply 10):
I was checking schedules of BA and LX and there's not much difference between these two. So i'm pretty much in doubt about LHR T5 and ZRH, if anyone would put some more opinion I'll appreciate.

ZRH is as far as I know less prone to delays and considered a better airport by most. Not many silly holding patterns either.

Quoting BA677 (Reply 15):
Yes, but you get an airside transfer on a bus, so think of it as a mini free tour of Heathrow. If you connect else ware you would be sitting in a Termanel someware just waiting, so I dont think its that bad.

If you have a short connection, it's bad. It's much better to just sit in a terminal somewhere.

Quoting rafabullara (Reply 14):
I just checked this out and you are right about T3. Is it easy to change terminals at LHR or i will be wasting time and patience?

Haven't been in LHR since 2000, but if it's anything, anything, like the bus transfers in CDG, avoid it. It's probably better than CDG, but still, I'd recommend against it.
 
BA677
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:16 pm

A minimum of a two hour connection time at LHR should be fine.
 
B777LRF
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:40 pm

While it doesn't quite guarantee your baggage will miss connection

Quoting BA677 (Reply 18):
A minimum of a two hour connection time at LHR should be fine.

any transfer in LHR comes with a high risk of just that happening. Avoid LHR like the plague, even more so if it involves a change of terminal.

Several posters suggested AMS, MUC and ZRH, nobody suggested LHR. You're telling us you have the option of BA or LX. Well, LX has a very fine J product indeed, in fact their new one is miles better than BA, and you get to transfer in ZRH instead of the cesspool that's LHR. Think we have the definition of a no-brainer here.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
BA677
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:11 pm

A slight risk of missing a connection yes, Just like anywhere else, but not a high risk. Thousands of people transfer successfully though LHR every day. And you get a interesting air side transfer for BUD. Definitely not a no-brainer here.
 
something
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:31 pm

Oi Rafael,

I appreciate you doing your due-dilligences, but always remember that experience-based recommendations are about as subjective as it can be. Everybody seems to hate LHR, and I happen to like it quite a bit. People describe AMS as pleasant, whereas I would never fly through that joint again. CDG is often described as terrible, but I still think it's charming. Frankfurt is considered an eternal construction site, but I haven't seen much of these alleged issues. MUC and ZRH are both considered a breeze to pass through, but they have their issues too.

In the end, it all really depends on who you are and how lucky you get. AMS is crowded with ridiculously ugly people, the architecture matches that impression, all terminals are heated to a cozy 35°C or so it feels, you have to run a marathon from one gate to the other, and it gives you a very 'yucky' feeling. Heathrow on the other hand is sleek, modern, elegant. Lots of well dressed travellers, a lot of hot chicks too. Frankfurt is hit and miss, it all depends on what stand your aircraft is parked on. But I would not want to fly J on LH or JJ. MUC has no personality. It's easy to navigate through, it's a well thought through concept but it's not an airport you will remember. CDG has a special place in my heart. Lots of attractive people, amazing architecture, everything is really stylish and pleasing to the eye that I am more than willing to forgive it its shortcomings. ZRH is small and has a somewhat cozy feeling to me. Swissair is also an excellent choice to fly, though I can only speak from economy class experience.

With all of the above being said. 100 people will agree with me, just as many will disagree with me. If I were you, I'd probably fly Swiss. Their product is very consistent, they appear to have nice lounges and you save yourself the hassles that LHR can mean (delayed arrivals, terminal changes, long lines at security and immigration etc.). But then again, maybe that is exactly what you're looking for?
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:55 pm

Quoting something (Reply 21):
AMS is crowded with ridiculously ugly people, the architecture matches that impression, all terminals are heated to a cozy 35°C or so it feels, you have to run a marathon from one gate to the other, and it gives you a very 'yucky' feeling.

Amazing how different people have such widely varying views. In my experience after probably a few hundred connections at AMS over the past 40 years, AMS is only matched as a convenient connecting hub in Europe by MUC and ZRH, but AMS is more conveniently located geographically to avoid backtracking in my case. I've made dozens of connections in less than 30 minutes at AMS (sometimes 15 minutes) that would never have been possible anywhere else, and certainly not at LHR. They also have one of the most advanced baggage handling systems in the world.

Quoting something (Reply 21):
Swissair is also an excellent choice to fly, though I can only speak from economy class experience.

Swissair was an excellent choice, except they went bust and shut down more than 10 years ago.
 
B777LRF
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:40 am

Quoting BA677 (Reply 20):
And you get a interesting air side transfer for BUD.

You mean 20 minutes bouncing about in a rattly old bus, sometimes underground or in places with view of nothing but old buildings, packed in with 50 other tired travelers and the possibility of not being able to see much in the first place? Not what I would call an attraction, but each to their own. And just for good measure, BA (like most places in Europe) does not operate separate coaches for J pax. Or even F pax in the case of LHR.

Quoting something (Reply 21):
you save yourself the hassles that LHR can mean (delayed arrivals, terminal changes, long lines at security and immigration etc.).

Ah, yes, the security at LHR. Almost forgot that. Probably only 10.000 times worse than ZRH or AMS but, hey, you get to ride a bus!
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:57 am

Quoting something (Reply 21):
With all of the above being said. 100 people will agree with me, just as many will disagree with me



Hi something

Thanks for your opinion about all those airports, and i have the same opinion as you that this topic it's really subjective as it can be.

Quoting something (Reply 21):
But I would not want to fly J
on LH or JJ



Don't worry, i won't! You know, I travelled BA for the last 10 years almost monthly, and i always loved their flights. I used to fly the old GRU-EZE-GRU route that no longer operates.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 22):
Amazing how different people have such widely varying views



LOL yes! And I feel some passion at some answers too! And I only asked for the airport, and never the airline, but once you choose the airport I guess that the airline is included in the package, if you know what I mean.

Thanks a lot all of you guys to your time, patience and answers i hope to write a TR as a pay back!
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:54 am

Quoting rafabullara (Reply 10):
I was checking schedules of BA and LX and there's not much difference between these two. So i'm pretty much in doubt about LHR T5 and ZRH, if anyone would put some more opinion I'll appreciate.
ZRH would be my choice as it is quite convenient airport to connect and you will not have to endure the endless lines at immigration, which LHR is so infamous for.

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 12):
TK fly everywhere in Europe..

As does LH/LX, KL/AF or BA and without the need to backtrack accross the entire Europe

Quoting something (Reply 21):
AMS is crowded with ridiculously ugly people
Quoting something (Reply 21):
Heathrow on the other hand is sleek, modern, elegant. Lots of well dressed travellers, a lot of hot chicks too.
Quoting something (Reply 21):
CDG has a special place in my heart. Lots of attractive people

Even if was true it certainly is one of the most "important" factors to consider when choosing an airport for a smooth transfer.  
It's no good to be surrounded by supermodels and metrosexuals if you are dead tired after TATL flight yet can't transfer airside and have to deal with arrogant security.

Quoting something (Reply 21):
amazing architecture, everything is really stylish and pleasing to the eye

I suppose you have never been to the dump of T1 and T3? When I am at the airport I am there to fly, not to marvel at architecture. Therefore I prefer efficient, utilitarian airport over architectural masterpiece which is useless when everything shuts down at 22:00 hours and everyone goes on strike twice a month.

[Edited 2012-06-08 00:08:12]
 
planejamie
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:45 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Haven't been in LHR since 2000, but if it's anything, anything, like the bus transfers in CDG, avoid it. It's probably better than CDG, but still, I'd recommend against it.
Quoting B777LRF (Reply 19):
any transfer in LHR comes with a high risk of just that happening. Avoid LHR like the plague, even more so if it involves a change of terminal.

I don't get why people are shooting down LHR when they haven't been through it in years! Terminal 5 - Terminal 3 is no problem, there's regular airside buses and not too much of a problem. If you're transferring on BA to another BA flight on a short connection a member of staff appears at the gate of your arriving flight and whisks you through the whole process. I managed to go from an international flight to a domestic flight through Terminal 5 in 10 minutes (that includes border control) when I had a tight connection - and I wasn't the last one on board!

CDG I don't know much about bus transfers but from what it seems it is a bit messy.

As for people raving about ZRH, well that is where I'd say "never again" - I was flying Business on LX RUH-ZRH-MAN a couple of years ago (they've since stopped the RUH-ZRH route) and as we arrived late, I had about 20 minutes to connect. Did a member of staff show up? - No, did a member of staff show up on BA when I was on the lowest price Economy ticket? - Yes (and I have no OneWorld/Exec Club status by the way). Needless to say it took me 20 minutes to connect through ZRH and I was damn lucky there were several others on the RUH flight that they held the MAN flight.

I haven't been through AMS but that seems decent enough judging from trip reports, like SIN the security check is done at the gate. KL seems like a decent carrier

CDG, with AF they are working on improving it, but I'm just not a fan of AF anymore. I've connected 2F - 2F before and 2E - 2E but never inter-terminal.

FRA, I felt it was a bit "blah" and sterile but it's reasonably efficient and other than it sometimes being a bit of a trek to transfer depending on where you arrive and where you're spat out (sometimes landside). But I didn't have any problems with connecting there, the problem I did have was LH losing my baggage despite having 2 hours to connect and doing a full check-in (not online or anything, at the counter) in RUH. My next LH experience was being kicked off in J at RUH because they had overbooked and the seats they had overbooked were sold about 5 minutes before check-in and they had all checked in. Not even a downgrade, just a "we'll rebook you somewhere". Ended up being Gulf Air via BAH when BA to LHR then MAN in Economy (as LX was also full at the time). So since I've vowed never to fly LH the "efficient" airline again.
 
HT
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:14 am

Quoting planejamie (Reply 26):
I haven't been through AMS but that seems decent enough judging from trip reports, like SIN the security check is done at the gate.

"Security check" at the gate only applies to departures from the non-Schengen hall at AMS.
For departures to destinations within Schengen zone a central security check is carried out when entering the hall (either from landside or from non-Schengen hall; it is the latter security check that often is pretty busy and thus can play havoc to short connections, espscially as it often is followed by a longer footmarch to your gate only to be followed by a bus transfer to some remote stand).
-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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MillwallSean
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:23 am

Quoting rafabullara (Thread starter):
I'm taking flighs from Brazil to BUD and then i will come back form BER.

Anyone would help where is the best airport to connect? AMS, LHR, FRA, MUC, CDG, ZRH

ZRH is the best for me. No contest.
I do those Non Schengen to Schengend estination flights way to often and what matters is smooth security, not to much walking and interesting/good terminals.
If in higher classes id also add lounges. ZRH lounges are nice. Very nice and even though LHR, CDG has some good lounges as well I somehow prefer the ZRH experience.

MUC as an aiport is very smooth too.
The rest might be ok but is more hassle.

I have never understood the lovefest about AMS. The bars close at 19.30 in some parts. Getting from the European pier to the international means a long, long walk.I love the city of Amsterdam but I dont see anything special at all about AMS as an airport.
And if you take one of the evening flights the Non Schengen terminal is dead and offers only a few places for meals etc. the casino/pubs close at 7pm or 7.30...
Great when the typical KL flight departs at 9 pm not...
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
 
lax888
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:49 pm

I would also choose BA or LX as both airports are easy to transit through and both airlines offer a good product. If the prices are the same and the times are ok for you I would go with the frequent flyer program that suits you best.

I personally am not a fan of AMS as you have to walk a lot and FRA is similar. Also the two airlines serving those hubs do not have a competitive business class product. MUC is easy but again the airline serving MUC is not my first choice and I would say is rather bad value for money.

Let us know what you choose  
 
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eurowings
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting something (Reply 21):
Heathrow on the other hand is sleek, modern, elegant.

I laughed at that so much - which parts have you used besides T5? The architecture of T1-T4 is much less appealing than AMS.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 26):
Terminal 5 - Terminal 3 is no problem, there's regular airside buses and not too much of a problem.

No problem, but it doesn't beat an easy connection at AMS for me!

I strongly suspect some posters on here are promoting hubs just because they like the airline that uses them, or low priority reasons like "attractive people". Regarding LHR, transfers within T5 are fine, but intra-terminal transfers are time consuming (compulsory if you fly to certain destinations with BA or OW partners) and you don't see all that much. It's about 12 minutes at least on the T3 - T5 bus, which is the most common journey for BA/OW connections. There's no priority for those in the premium classes.

[Edited 2012-06-08 09:22:53]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
mcg
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:18 pm

ZRH and LX, are the best, no question. ZRH is fantastically easy and efficient, and you can stop at Sprungli and get some chocolate!
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:22 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 25):
As does LH/LX, KL/AF or BA and without the need to backtrack accross the entire Europe

IST-BUD is 650miles, hardly much of a backtrack. Even TXL-IST is only a 1000 mile flight... I really don't see the big deal. I have flown much bigger backtracks than that before.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:32 pm

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 32):
IST-BUD is 650miles, hardly much of a backtrack. Even TXL-IST is only a 1000 mile flight... I really don't see the big deal. I have flown much bigger backtracks than that before.



As I said before IST is not an option because of the schedules and price.

Quoting mcg (Reply 31):
ZRH and LX, are the best, no question. ZRH is fantastically easy and efficient, and you can stop at Sprungli and get some chocolate!




One day I'm pretty sure that i'll fly LX, on the day I'm sure to fly with BA. So I'm still in a big doubt about it!
 
jumpjets
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:47 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 25):
and you will not have to endure the endless lines at immigration, which LHR is so infamous for.

As an international transfer passenger at LHR I doubt you will be subjected to our infmaously friendly border control agency staff and queues - security checks yes, but not immigration.

If you use LHR pray to be dleayed and stay put in T5 and enjoy the benefis of the excellent BA T5 lounge until you have to go to T3.  
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:11 pm

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 32):
IST-BUD is 650miles, hardly much of a backtrack. Even TXL-IST is only a 1000 mile flight... I really don't see the big deal.

650 miles is roughly 2 hours flight. Why bother dragging yourself all the way to IST when there are more straight forward routings with better carriers available?
 
jlarsson
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 19):
any transfer in LHR comes with a high risk of just that happening. Avoid LHR like the plague, even more so if it involves a change of terminal.



Add CDG to that list. The 2 biggest disgraces that calls themselves airports to be found.
Next trip; ARN-FRA-YYC-YVR-SEA-ORD-BOS-MUC-GOT.
 
rafabullara
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RE: Where To Connect In Europe?

Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:13 pm

Well thanks you all for your advices! I really appreciated it!

We decided to connect via ZRH and fly LX, b/c schedules are a bit better.

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