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Old 08-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
duckman17
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Flying to Europe for Med. Cruise

Couple friends and I are planning to go on the Med. cruise out of Europe and we've set up the cruise part just need to find the best way to get there as cheap as possible. Two questions:
When is the best time to book flights to Europe?

What airlines to avoid? I saw some cheap airlines like Air Berlin and Turkish Air that give great deals I just want to make sure we get there.

Thanks,
Cameron
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckman17 View Post
Couple friends and I are planning to go on the Med. cruise out of Europe and we've set up the cruise part just need to find the best way to get there as cheap as possible. Two questions:
When is the best time to book flights to Europe?

What airlines to avoid? I saw some cheap airlines like Air Berlin and Turkish Air that give great deals I just want to make sure we get there.

Thanks,
Cameron
We booked our air through DCL, didn't want any surprises if we didn't make it to the ship in time. It was on Delta. I hate Delta.

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Old 08-14-2012, 07:32 PM   #3
Itinkso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo

We booked our air through DCL, didn't want any surprises if we didn't make it to the ship in time. It was on Delta. I hate Delta.

Delta was horrible when we returned from France earlier this month. We flew Air France from LAX to Paris and it was wonderful; best airline we've ever flown. Then our return, which we were expecting Air France, was on Delta - avoid at all costs! Friends of ours always rave about Virgin Atlantic.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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. . . We flew Air France from LAX to Paris and it was wonderful; best airline we've ever flown.
We've flown Air France many times, and like them.

Woody
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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We flew Air Lingus home from Barcelona after the EBTA and really liked them....well except the turbulence
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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We're on Lufthansa...flying Wednesday to try to avoid any mishaps....
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Give yourself plenty of time to get there! If you are wanting to dedicate any time to Barcelona, I would consider doing it before the cruise. I would recommend the Disney transfers if you do not want to spend any extra time in Barcelona!

Last year, we were booked with American Airlines, and our flight sat on the tarmac for over an hour, we had to refuel at a different airport, and we ended up missing our connecting flight to Barcelona by seconds! It was supposed to land 10 AM the morning our ship left Barcelona, so there was no way we would make it in time.

American got us and another family on the next flight (on the next evening!) to Barcelona and then connecting flights on a regional airline to Nice. The Disney transfers were great because we let Disney know we would arrive in Nice, and they sent a car to take us all straight to the tender to the ship in Cannes, rather than us having to find and pay for taxis.

I am not 100% sure about Turkish Air, but I know many Middle Eastern airlines still allow smoking on the plane, so be sure to check!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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In 2010 we went on a Med. We were worried about being delayed because of the ash cloud, but the flight was canceled before the 2nd leg because of mechanical issues on US Air. We were stuck in Philadelphia. At the last moment, we were able to book a flight on Air Europa. They were helpful and it was a great flight. I would book them again before an American run airline to Europe again.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
tajz90
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Air France was super nice, but they lost all of our luggage.
Virgin Atlantic is nice too. Small seat, free bear, have to pay for peanuts or pretzels!

Go early. We are leaving on Wednesday
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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. . . Virgin Atlantic is nice too. Small seat, free bear, . . .
Grrrrr!

Woody
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Grrrrr!

Woody
Hahhaahaha! BEER . Sadly, I have a way of hitting enter before I read!
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tajz90 View Post
Hahhaahaha! BEER . Sadly, I have a way of hitting enter before I read!
Or maybe too much beer

To the OP, most European airlines are recommended. Avoid any american airlines at all costs!
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:23 PM   #13
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I think all the airlines have their own challenges on any particular day and over the years I have flown a lot of them! On our 1st Med andthe Baltic cruiseson Disney we flew Delta both times with no problems. We had several friends who have also had the same good experience. That being said others have not had a good experience. I have had good and bad on Delta, United, Southwest and USAir.
We booked our air on Saturday price was not great but better than the $2,000 per person we first found. Like others have said make sure you fly in at least one if not two days before the cruise.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL1957
I think all the airlines have their own challenges on any particular day and over the years I have flown a lot of them! On our 1st Med andthe Baltic cruiseson Disney we flew Delta both times with no problems. We had several friends who have also had the same good experience. That being said others have not had a good experience. I have had good and bad on Delta, United, Southwest and USAir.
We booked our air on Saturday price was not great but better than the $2,000 per person we first found. Like others have said make sure you fly in at least one if not two days before the cruise.
Even with Air France losing our luggage and doing nothing to find it, it still was the nicest airplane we have ever flown on. Would go again in a heart beat, but would wear all of our clothes
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #15
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Here are my 2 cents...

Virgin Atlantic:
Virgin Atlantic was just ok (nice stewardess, good entertainment system) but SUPER SUPER SMALL AND UNCOMFORTABLE SEATS.

I mean, tiny. I'm 5'1 and I was cramped. The seats are "trendy" and they curve up on the edges. Horrible design. Plus in economy it was that gross cloth seating so it was smelly. Ugh.

On the way home the Virgin Atlantic crew were very, uh, curt. The manners were curt and I fell like I was being reprimanded every time I asked for something. Our entertainment system frizzed out on the flight home so there was nothing to watch. The food made me nauseaus (no joke). We were served some kind of fish jelly (or maybe it was fake pate). Ughh.

British Airways:
I thought I'd hate BA, but I flew them last time and the service was good. The planes were bigger and it was kind of like a cattle call but the seats were comfortable. Service was friendly and generally acceptable. Bathrooms were kept clean the entire flight (which wasn't true for AA). Terminal 5 at LHR is amazing. If you connect out of there, you won't be bored.

Lufthansha:
By chance we got that famous $200 (incl tax) airfare to Rome in 2005 while KLM was going through bankruptcy reorganization. Lufthansa flights were comfortable, service adequate but the connection times were horrible and they hub out of Minneapolis and that is a sad airport. Our connection out of AMS was delayed by 5 hours so we sat in that airport for 11 hours. After that, I consider them unreliable.

Air France: Loved them! Good service, acceptable food. Our luggage took some time coming out but hey, it wasn't that bad.

For our Med cruise next year, we are flying BA going and UA coming back.

Air Berlin codeshares with AA, so make sure if you choose AA you're not actually buying an Air Berlin flight (if you don't choose them). They tend to have long layovers in MUC or BER.

HTH.
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