invertalon
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PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:03 pm

Hello everyone!

While I have plenty of experience domestically within the US, I have never flown international. My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Germany next May/June for two weeks and it appears our best flight deal is driving the 2hrs to Pittsburgh (from the Cleveland area) and flying Air Canada via YUL in Montreal. Total flight cost is around $600-700 RT per person, vs. $1200+ from CLE.

A few questions for those far more experienced…

1.) Connection time in YUL is 2hrs… According to the airport website, 40min should be minimum. Also, it states only a passport check is done and no need to go through customs or anything when connecting. Will 2hrs be sufficient here?

2.) Flying back home, connection is 2hrs again in YUL. Now, how does customs work here when traveling back to the US? It is my understanding that Canada processes us back in, would 2hrs be enough coming back home for this as well so we don’t get stuck in Montreal?

Process wise, do we have to get bags, go through security again or? Again, this is all new to me!


3.) Travel Insurance… Flight will be the only thing prepaid… All hotels will be able to be cancelled up to 24hrs before arrival and charged once we actually arrive/stay. Should I insure just for the cost of our two tickets? Or is it good to throw on extra? All the other stuff we will be doing (amusement parks, breweries, sight seeing) – Will be paid on location. Not sure what the proper thing to do with this would be…. Never got it before.

4.) Is it worth booking this flight NOW, or wait? Only because months ago, I recall Delta being an option from Cleveland when scanning routes (not for the time we plan to go, though). Something like $650 RT which blew me away to Munich, through ATL. I didn’t know if schedules are open through next year on most airlines and it would benefit to wait a little, or should PIT be the go-to regardless?

5.) Any special considerations for driving around Germany? We also be driving into the Netherlands for a day and possibly Switzerland. I believe I will need to get the international permit through AAA, or am I OK without for the three countries? Anything else to note?

6.) Is it worth spending the extra $$ on Air Canada to pick seats ahead of time? Do enough people pay to pre-choose seats that pickings become slim 24hr before departure when its free?

I appreciate the help here… Just trying to get everything straight as we start locking in flights and other details.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:25 am

invertalon wrote:
1.) Connection time in YUL is 2hrs… According to the airport website, 40min should be minimum. Also, it states only a passport check is done and no need to go through customs or anything when connecting. Will 2hrs be sufficient here?

2.) Flying back home, connection is 2hrs again in YUL. would 2hrs be enough coming back home for this as well so we don’t get stuck in Montreal?


2 hours is should be plenty of time to get through security at Montreal
here is a link to the "Waiting time at security and customs" page for Montreal, which will give you a ballpark estimate if you check during peak hours. https://www.admtl.com/en/guide/estimated-wait-time



invertalon wrote:
Now, how does customs work here when traveling back to the US? It is my understanding that Canada processes us back in, would 2hrs be enough coming back home for this as well so we don’t get stuck in Montreal?
Process wise, do we have to get bags, go through security again or? Again, this is all new to me!


Here are the different steps you will need to go through when coming into the US
https://www.admtl.com/en/guide/customs- ... ion-canada

Not really an expert on the rest of your questions, but enjoy your trip!
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LH658
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:22 am

$600 dollars isn't bad though here in Texas we seen fares to AMS, MUC, FCO, BRU, GVA and etc for as low as $350.

2hrs is enough for YUL

I guess just keep track of the flight load factors, if you notice the flight filling up then go ahead, and pay for seats. If you guys wanna try to secure a aisle together than you guys can book 1 row together, put your GF at the Aisle, and you at the window.

Regarding traveling insurance, it only good for coverage, like if you have a illness etc, and can affect your travel plans. Though most credit cards like AMEX, Chase Freedom, Sapphire preferred, have travel insurance coverage if you book the ticket via that credit card. You might wanna check with your credit card. Though I never really book travel insurance.
 
LH658
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:26 am

You don't need to recheck bags in YUL on your way to Germany, and back to USA.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:16 pm

As for a good flight offer, have you considered Icelandair with a transfer in Keflavik? The bonus is that you fly from Cleveland and it saves you the drive to Pittsburgh. It's a very smooth connection and usually quite cheap. Checked luggage is automatically being forwarded, no need to recheck it.

Also check out which German destination is the cheapest for you, it varies quite often. Icelandair flies to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. However since you mentioned visiting the Netherlands (and probably Belgium) and Switzerland, you might check out their flights to Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich and Geneva.

When renting a car in Europe, keep in mind that manual transmission is the norm where you're going. Most Americans can't drive "with the stick", so make sure you ask for automatic transmission. They are available, although usually a bit more expensive. Automatic transmission is seen as a luxury accessory in Europe, so you'll likely end up with a luxury car.
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:12 pm

As for driving in Germany, if you rent from one of the major companies, a US license will suffice. As the other poster said, if you opt for an automatic, don't be surprised if you end up getting a BMW or Mercedes assigned to you. You should also read websites that show German road signs before you go. They do tend to be a bit different from those in the US. I drove there last summer, and it took me a couple days to figure everything out. I should have done my homework in advance. Also, the Autobahns tend to be really crowded with truck traffic. I'd suggest getting off them and onto the more "country" roads if possible. I found them almost as fast, more interesting, and less stressful.
As to the flight prices, that seems pretty good for shoulder season. After years of experience, I usually book something if I can live with the price, and I'm sure I am going. For Europe, the cheapest prices tend to be 4-5 months out.
 
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longhauler
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:17 pm

I echo the comments above. Two hours is more than enough. Also, take note of what is mentioned above, you don't have to deal with your bags in YUL neither eastbound nor westbound. Connections in YUL, YYZ and YVR offer an amazing transfer product that is quickly becoming the preferred connection point in North America. (Try a 40 minute international connection in JFK!)

I assume you made your reservation entirely with Air Canada. This is important that they know you are making the connection. They built and allowed the PNR, it is their responsibility and they accept it! You will be tracked by Customer Journey Management. If there are any "issues" then CJM steps in and makes plans for you.

For example, on your return, if your YUL-PIT flight is delayed or cancelled, on check-in at FRA you'd likely be already rebooked through YYZ. I get data-links all the time from CJM with re-connection information to passed on to the passenger.
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longhauler
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:27 pm

invertalon wrote:
2.) Flying back home, connection is 2hrs again in YUL. Now, how does customs work here when traveling back to the US? It is my understanding that Canada processes us back in, would 2hrs be enough coming back home for this as well so we don’t get stuck in Montreal?

This is interesting and unique to YUL, YYZ and YVR. You arrive internationally, but don't clear Canadian Customs. You go directly to US pre-clearance, via a bypass line, clear US Customs, then go right to the US gates. It is well marked and there are agents everywhere.

The only additional advice. On both flights inbound to Canada, you will be offered a (blue) Customs form. Fill it out even if you don't need it. If they are doing a random passport check, if you hand them that card, they will likely just wave you through. You are more likely to need it PIT-YUL-FRA than the reverse, but do it anyway, both ways.

During your 2 hours in YUL, go to the bakery and buy a few bagels ... Montreal bagels are the best on the earth!
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
ConnectAir
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:04 pm

5.) Any special considerations for driving around Germany? We also be driving into the Netherlands for a day and possibly Switzerland. I believe I will need to get the international permit through AAA, or am I OK without for the three countries? Anything else to note?


While it is not required to get an IDP when driving in Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland it is highly recommended to have one. Also, many countries in this area require toll stickers in order to use their highways, so make sure to inquire with the rental car company as to which countries that car has a toll sticker for. If you need to buy one, they can generally be picked up at gas stations near the border.
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DTWLAX
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:25 pm

invertalon wrote:
My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Germany next May/June for two weeks and it appears our best flight deal is driving the 2hrs to Pittsburgh (from the Cleveland area) and flying Air Canada via YUL in Montreal. Total flight cost is around $600-700 RT per person, vs. $1200+ from CLE.


How about driving to DTW and taking the nonstop to FRA on DL or LH? How much more expensive is that?
It also avoids all the connection concerns you have and may save you a couple of hours of travel time.
 
IPFreely
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:49 pm

invertalon wrote:
5.) Any special considerations for driving around Germany? We also be driving into the Netherlands for a day and possibly Switzerland. I believe I will need to get the international permit through AAA, or am I OK without for the three countries? Anything else to note?


Have rented cars in Germany many times. Definitely make sure your US driver's license is valid (i.e. not expired and won't expire during your trip). The AAA international permit is a waste of time and money, at least in Germany. Check if it's required in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Also check if you need a toll sticker on your car before you cross the border into these countries. Austria requires them; ones valid for a few days or a week are not that expensive and are available at about every gas station or convenience store near the border. Also don't drive under the influence. This goes without saying anywhere, but be aware the allowable limits in most of Europe are lower than the US and penalties are more severe.
 
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stl07
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:30 am

DTWLAX wrote:
invertalon wrote:
My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Germany next May/June for two weeks and it appears our best flight deal is driving the 2hrs to Pittsburgh (from the Cleveland area) and flying Air Canada via YUL in Montreal. Total flight cost is around $600-700 RT per person, vs. $1200+ from CLE.


How about driving to DTW and taking the nonstop to FRA on DL or LH? How much more expensive is that?
It also avoids all the connection concerns you have and may save you a couple of hours of travel time.

or condor from PIT
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:13 am

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
You should also read websites that show German road signs before you go. They do tend to be a bit different from those in the US.


Speaking of this, speed limits in Europe are in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour as in the USA. Distances are also measured in kilometers instead of miles. Don't worry, the speedometer in your car will also be in kilometers per hour. Only exception to this is the United Kingdom.

And this is probably irrelevant unless you're driving a big truck, but the height of overpasses and tunnels is always shown in meters. With a regular car you'll be fine, but keep this in mind in case you're driving something big.
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:31 pm

DTWLAX wrote:
How about driving to DTW and taking the nonstop to FRA on DL or LH? How much more expensive is that?
It also avoids all the connection concerns you have and may save you a couple of hours of travel time.


Flying out of DTW would be perfectly fine, but when I checked the non-stop options were significantly more expensive than the PIT connections through YUL. Checking right now via google flights, $1400 RT via direct Luftansa vs. $637 via Air Canada per person. I have also checked flying out of Columbus as well, but no luck there either. PIT appears at this time to be the best option.




Appreciate all the feedback everyone, it's very helpful.

Also, we don't really care where in Germany we fly into, as long as it's somewhat south in Bavaria (Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt). So I have been looking into all of those options.

stl07, thank you for the Condor suggestion! It did not pop up in google flights, price seems to be a little more than the AC option, but non-stop may be nice. I will admit, I would be more tempted to fly on the Dreamliners though vs. the 763. Also, while I know i'm screwed regardless, the 30 seat pitch of Condor worries me a little... Being 6'6", every inch might count even though I know the style of seats and other things factor in to the total legroom... Sucks how tight space has become... (We usually stick to SWA here domestically, which aside from some hard seats I have more legroom than anyone).

As far as rental cars go, I was prepared to learn manual, but via Hertz I can get an AT for two weeks for only $350... Not bad at all. Every option listed was actually AT, which surprised me.

As far as the international drivers license, it appears just a US license is required for the countries in which we plan to drive, at least from what I saw (Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany). I will check into the toll stickers, as well!

Again, thanks everyone!
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:26 pm

As an update... It looks like the flight of choice is now via Luftansa from PIT, connecting in YYZ... Then on board a 747-400 to Frankfurt. 2hr connection.

Coming back, it is United via 787-10 to ERW (3hr, 10min layover). I figure that would be enough time, hopefully.

Round trip for two is $1437. Best price so far once bags and everything included.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:46 pm

invertalon wrote:

... Also, we don't really care where in Germany we fly into, as long as it's somewhat south in Bavaria (Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt). So I have been looking into all of those options.



You may check a map before you fly...
 
Cubsrule
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:16 pm

longhauler wrote:
The only additional advice. On both flights inbound to Canada, you will be offered a (blue) Customs form. Fill it out even if you don't need it. If they are doing a random passport check, if you hand them that card, they will likely just wave you through. You are more likely to need it PIT-YUL-FRA than the reverse, but do it anyway, both ways.

During your 2 hours in YUL, go to the bakery and buy a few bagels ... Montreal bagels are the best on the earth!


I second the bagel advice, but I part company with longhauler on the Customs form advice. I would download the eDeclaration app and fill out a declaration on your phone. Flashing the QR code will be good enough during any spot check and it's a ton easier. (Unfortunately, YYZ Terminal 1 does not yet support eDeclaration, but virtually all the other big airports/terminals do.)
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invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:59 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
You may check a map before you fly...


Why is that?

We will have a car and plan to make a loop between the major cities, anyway... Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, Bamberg... We are making one large loop, so any of those airports would work for us.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:13 pm

invertalon wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
You may check a map before you fly...


Why is that?

We will have a car and plan to make a loop between the major cities, anyway... Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, Bamberg... We are making one large loop, so any of those airports would work for us.


I may have misunderstood you - in that case I apologize. But it sounded as though you thought that Cologne and Frankfurt would be located in the deep south.
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:51 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
I may have misunderstood you - in that case I apologize. But it sounded as though you thought that Cologne and Frankfurt would be located in the deep south.


Oh no, sorry, I worded it poorly is all!
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:25 pm

invertalon wrote:
It did not pop up in google flights


Somehow I got the feeling Google flights is not always complete, better compare it with SkyScanner. That mostly gives the best result. Make sure you check on different dates and use different airports, it can make a difference.
 
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stl07
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:46 pm

invertalon wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
I may have misunderstood you - in that case I apologize. But it sounded as though you thought that Cologne and Frankfurt would be located in the deep south.


Oh no, sorry, I worded it poorly is all!

Condor nonstop to FRA from PIT is cheap
 
smallmj
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:06 am

At 6'6", I would look at buying exit row seats, no matter what airline you fly. I'm 6'2" am very careful in choosing airlines and aircraft. An extra 4 inches (assume 2 inches in the leg) would make most economy seats pretty terrible. I know the most about Air Canada, and on that airline the aircraft of choice is the A330 (or Mainline 767, but they are almost all gone) for comfort in economy class. The newer planes have been 'densified.'
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:39 am

Booked the flights about an hour ago!

PIT to FRA via YYZ (Air Canada to Luftansa 747-400). I assume luggage wont be an issue via codeshare correct? The luggage will just transfer automatically in Canada?

Coming home via United through EWR, via 787-10. Layover is a little over 3hrs here.

I really am happy about the 747, always wanted to fly one especially since they are phasing out.
 
LH658
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:47 am

Yeah for 6 foot 6 inches, you need atleast 34 inch seat pitch, unless you have your own row then your okay. Though you might wanna pay extra for, emergency row seats as bulk head seats sometimes, suck as they the wall infront is to close you can't stretch your legs for being that tall. United has Economy plus, I think AC has extra leg room option, though Lufthansa I think all their seats are 31 pitch, no extra legroom seats like UA has, unless you have premium economy ticket.
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:12 am

Unfortunately, it would be around $400 each way to bump up to preferred, which to me, isn't worth it. I've flown on 4hr legs with 31" pitch and while it sucks, it can be done. One benefit is my girlfriend is 5'4" and has tiny legs... So I steal her room all the time by sitting sideways a bit.

For those who complain when their knees are a few inches from the tray table from a lack of legroom, you are a lucky bunch...!
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:03 pm

Just a tip, since you have a Lufthansa leg, about 24 hours in advance of the flight they sometimes will have special offers to upgrade to their premium economy. Those seats are pretty nice. I've seen it as low as $200 from IAH-FRA, which is a deal. Be sure to look for an offer upon check in.
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:04 pm

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
Just a tip, since you have a Lufthansa leg, about 24 hours in advance of the flight they sometimes will have special offers to upgrade to their premium economy. Those seats are pretty nice. I've seen it as low as $200 from IAH-FRA, which is a deal. Be sure to look for an offer upon check in.


Excellent, will definitely keep an eye out. Also, my girlfriend has a cousin that works for United... We may try to see if she can work some magic on that FRA-EWR leg... She has before on a domestic flight many years ago, so fingers crossed...!
 
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dik909
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:30 am

invertalon wrote:

5.) Any special considerations for driving around Germany? We also be driving into the Netherlands for a day and possibly Switzerland. I believe I will need to get the international permit through AAA, or am I OK without for the three countries? Anything else to note?



One important thing to remember is 'Rechts vor Links' (right before left). That is, when cars come to an intersection at the same time, the car farthest to the right always leads. This is followed very strictly, and if you ignore it and cause an accident you will be found at fault. To boot, many drivers, if they're on the right, will simply plow on through an intersection hoping that others follow the rules. Driving schools actually instruct drivers on this, because as long as you were on the right, you can do no wrong.
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:20 pm

dik909 wrote:
One important thing to remember is 'Rechts vor Links' (right before left). That is, when cars come to an intersection at the same time, the car farthest to the right always leads. This is followed very strictly, and if you ignore it and cause an accident you will be found at fault. To boot, many drivers, if they're on the right, will simply plow on through an intersection hoping that others follow the rules. Driving schools actually instruct drivers on this, because as long as you were on the right, you can do no wrong.


Oh interesting! I checked out some videos to help visualize what this was and that is great to know. Appreciate that tip!
 
Cush
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:53 pm

I don't understand why you would submit yourselves to the torture of connecting through Canada when you can connect through one of many airports here in the US? As someone who is from PIT, I have done FRA-YYZ-PIT and I vowed I would never ever do it again. The entire process the Canadians have setup is mind boggling and in my opinion stupid for travelers connecting to the US. Having to stand and stare at a stupid screen until your name/number shows up that your bag has cleared, etc, is just plain dumb. I just booked my wife's ticket to go overseas and paid a good amount extra for her to avoid any/all Canadian flights.

Spend the extra money now and you won't regret it later. Canada is a nice place to visit, but their mentality when it comes to connections and the US should be avoided, unless you can't afford to avoid it financially.

Also, don't spend the money for travel insurance. It's a scam. If you do need to cancel, just call the airline, send a doctors letter, and a majority of the time you will get a refund or some sort of credit without needing insurance.

Lastly, if you plan to sit together, pay for your seats now. Why are you being cheap?
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invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:15 pm

Cush wrote:
I don't understand why you would submit yourselves to the torture of connecting through Canada when you can connect through one of many airports here in the US? As someone who is from PIT, I have done FRA-YYZ-PIT and I vowed I would never ever do it again. The entire process the Canadians have setup is mind boggling and in my opinion stupid for travelers connecting to the US. Having to stand and stare at a stupid screen until your name/number shows up that your bag has cleared, etc, is just plain dumb. I just booked my wife's ticket to go overseas and paid a good amount extra for her to avoid any/all Canadian flights.

Spend the extra money now and you won't regret it later. Canada is a nice place to visit, but their mentality when it comes to connections and the US should be avoided, unless you can't afford to avoid it financially.

Also, don't spend the money for travel insurance. It's a scam. If you do need to cancel, just call the airline, send a doctors letter, and a majority of the time you will get a refund or some sort of credit without needing insurance.

Lastly, if you plan to sit together, pay for your seats now. Why are you being cheap?



Coming back home, we connect through EWR. We booked a different flight than the original post was discussing (see post #24). So that customs process will be in the US, not Canada. Only going out do we go via YYZ, which I heard is quite painless according to information above. Flash a passport possibly and that's it, if I understand correctly...

We booked via United, so we were able to select our seats already on the flight home (FRA-EWR-PIT), so that's done. I can easily select our seats going out via AC and Luftansa website for small fees, which we do plan to do ahead of time. It's cheap enough, not worried about it. Just waiting to hear if my girlfriends aunt (works at United) can work any magic on better seating or anything, which I doubt for the outbound legs due to the code share, but who knows. Not like the plane is filling up anytime soon though, all the seats are still available so we have time.
 
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longhauler
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:00 pm

Cush wrote:
I don't understand why you would submit yourselves to the torture of connecting through Canada when you can connect through one of many airports here in the US? As someone who is from PIT, I have done FRA-YYZ-PIT and I vowed I would never ever do it again. The entire process the Canadians have setup is mind boggling and in my opinion stupid for travelers connecting to the US. Having to stand and stare at a stupid screen until your name/number shows up that your bag has cleared, etc, is just plain dumb. I just booked my wife's ticket to go overseas and paid a good amount extra for her to avoid any/all Canadian flights.

That must have been quite along time ago and/or not on Air Canada.

Today, when connecting US-Canada-International, no Customs/Bags are considered, just a passport check then down to the International area. When flying International-Canada-US, there is one additional step. Now ... you stay in the secure area, take a bypass line right to US-preclearance where you are at the head of the line. The Customs officer there has your baggage info on his screen and again 99.9% of the time, baggage is not a consideration.

40 minutes is more than enough eastbound and an hour westbound. Try that through JFK, MIA or ORD! I had to laugh, on a recent YYZ-SFO flight I was working, over 150 of the passengers had conected from an International flight!

Note, I say Air Canada, as they have this set up and it is becoming a huge selling feature. If you change airlines or terminals at YYZ, then all bets are off.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:09 pm

Cush wrote:
Also, don't spend the money for travel insurance. It's a scam. If you do need to cancel, just call the airline, send a doctors letter, and a majority of the time you will get a refund or some sort of credit without needing insurance.


Clearly you don't know the difference between a travel insurance and a cancellation insurance, those are two entirely different things.

A cancellation insurance covers if you need to call off your trip before you leave. As you said, it's not much worth anyway because most things you can cancel for free or sometimes for a small fee.

A travel insurance covers anything that happens while you're on holiday. If your luggage gets stolen, your travel insurance covers it. If you need to abort your holiday, you need a flight home and you can't reschedule your originally booked flight, your travel insurance covers it. And depending on which travel insurance you got, if you get sick or in an accident and you need to go to the hospital while on holiday, your travel insurance covers it.

Therefor it's always advised to have a travel insurance. Also check your health insurance if they cover for foreign medical costs, most American health insurances only cover in the USA and some in Canada and Mexico, but mostly not in Europe. If this isn't covered by your health insurance, make sure you get a travel insurance that covers for it. Otherwise if you need medical help while on holiday you have to pay for it yourself which can be very expensive.
 
invertalon
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:34 pm

longhauler wrote:
Note, I say Air Canada, as they have this set up and it is becoming a huge selling feature. If you change airlines or terminals at YYZ, then all bets are off.


Question for you, since you obviously have experience with this...

Our flight PIT-YYZ-FRA is via Air Canada (Air Georgian) connecting to Luftansa... But according to what I see, it's the same terminal and is just a passport check as you had explained.

Think I will have any issue?

Again, coming home is now United the entire way via FRA-EWR-PIT.
Last edited by invertalon on Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
smallmj
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:48 pm

invertalon wrote:
longhauler wrote:
Note, I say Air Canada, as they have this set up and it is becoming a huge selling feature. If you change airlines or terminals at YYZ, then all bets are off.


Question for you, since you obviously have experience with this...

Our flight PIT-YYZ-FRA is via Air Canada (Air Georgian) connecting to Luftansa... But according to what I see, it's the same terminal and is just a passport check as you had explained.

Think I will have any issue?

Again, coming home is now United the entire way via FRA-EWR-PIT.


You'll be in Terminal 1 the whole time so there won't be a problem. You might have a bit of a walk if your incoming flight ends up at the far end of the Gate 193 extension (gates F84-F97). These are ground level gates used for many US flights that are small planes. Your LH flight will leave from the end of Pier F (labelled the E gates on the terminal maps).
 
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longhauler
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:11 am

invertalon wrote:
Our flight PIT-YYZ-FRA is via Air Canada (Air Georgian) connecting to Luftansa... But according to what I see, it's the same terminal and is just a passport check as you had explained.

Think I will have any issue?

You will be entirely in Terminal One. You arrive at the transborder commuter pier gates F84-99. You go up two levels then follow the "connection" signs to the E Gates. There is a small Canada Customs area there where your passport is checked.

Then along the top of T1 on the high speed moving sidewalk. (A cool contraption that expands as it speeds up then contracts as it slows!) Down an ecalator to the International departure area. You will be inside the secure area the whole time. There you will find about a hundred shops, restaurants, kiosks, snack bars, etc. Lots to do!

It will be such an easy transit, you'll wonder what the concern was about! There are lots of GTAA agents around to point you the right way.

Safe travels.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
RJNUT
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:35 am

Cush wrote:
I don't understand why you would submit yourselves to the torture of connecting through Canada when you can connect through one of many airports here in the US? As someone who is from PIT, I have done FRA-YYZ-PIT and I vowed I would never ever do it again. The entire process the Canadians have setup is mind boggling and in my opinion stupid for travelers connecting to the US. Having to stand and stare at a stupid screen until your name/number shows up that your bag has cleared, etc, is just plain dumb. I just booked my wife's ticket to go overseas and paid a good amount extra for her to avoid any/all Canadian flights.

Spend the extra money now and you won't regret it later. Canada is a nice place to visit, but their mentality when it comes to connections and the US should be avoided, unless you can't afford to avoid it financially.

Also, don't spend the money for travel insurance. It's a scam. If you do need to cancel, just call the airline, send a doctors letter, and a majority of the time you will get a refund or some sort of credit without needing insurance.

Lastly, if you plan to sit together, pay for your seats now. Why are you being cheap?


The problem with many US airports, particularly ORD and most East Coast airports is delays, cancels and ATC hang-ups, resulting in disrupted travel plans , sometimes extreme. I'd rather deal with any inconvenience in YYZ (which as I understand there is none) than misconnect at PHL, EWR ,JFK, etc.
 
aklrno
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:54 pm

Get the international driving permit from AAA. It costs very little and takes just a few minutes at the office. The rental car companies don't care, but that is not the issue. If you have an accident or other police interaction (like speeding) they have the right to ask for it. Try to explain to the police that a.net said you don't need it. Do you speak German, French, Italian, and Dutch? Even if you don't think you will be in Austria, you may find yourself in that country for a short bit, so it's not a bad idea to get the highway permit if you get near the border. I drove from Germany to Italy and spent just a few hours in Austria. I had the permit. Passing through a small town there was a checkpoint where they looked for the permit. As someone else said, the car rental agency can tell you what you will need for your trip. It's often the case in Europe that you take a bit of a side trip and find yourself crossing an international border. Just be aware what may be needed.
 
EChid
Posts: 323
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Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:24 am

Cush wrote:
I don't understand why you would submit yourselves to the torture of connecting through Canada when you can connect through one of many airports here in the US? As someone who is from PIT, I have done FRA-YYZ-PIT and I vowed I would never ever do it again. The entire process the Canadians have setup is mind boggling and in my opinion stupid for travelers connecting to the US. Having to stand and stare at a stupid screen until your name/number shows up that your bag has cleared, etc, is just plain dumb. I just booked my wife's ticket to go overseas and paid a good amount extra for her to avoid any/all Canadian flights.

Spend the extra money now and you won't regret it later. Canada is a nice place to visit, but their mentality when it comes to connections and the US should be avoided, unless you can't afford to avoid it financially.

Also, don't spend the money for travel insurance. It's a scam. If you do need to cancel, just call the airline, send a doctors letter, and a majority of the time you will get a refund or some sort of credit without needing insurance.

Lastly, if you plan to sit together, pay for your seats now. Why are you being cheap?

This experience is either unique or out-of-date. This has never been my experience, and in contrast, I would avoid a connection within the US whenever possible (aside from a few moderately well-functioning airports like DTW or MSP). AC specifically has worked hard on this.
2018: DRW-PER-HKG-ICN-MEL-AVV-BNE-OOL-SYD-YYZ-YYZ-YUL-YVR-PDX-SEA-SFO-PEK-KIX-CDG-IST-NRT-HND-BKK-FAT; AC J-TK J-OZ F-DL F-TG J/F-NH J/F-CX J-VA J
 
EChid
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:00 am

Re: PIT to FRA via Air Canada (Int'l Travel Advise needed)

Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:25 am

Also, to the OP: The bid to upgrade opportunity is offered on both AC and LH flights, however only if you've booked through the operating airline. Meaning, you will only be able to upgrade on LH if you've booked on LH. However, you can ask if they have upgrades at check-in or in the airport.
2018: DRW-PER-HKG-ICN-MEL-AVV-BNE-OOL-SYD-YYZ-YYZ-YUL-YVR-PDX-SEA-SFO-PEK-KIX-CDG-IST-NRT-HND-BKK-FAT; AC J-TK J-OZ F-DL F-TG J/F-NH J/F-CX J-VA J

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