Flying to Europe for Med. Cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by duckman17, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. duckman17

    duckman17 Earning My Ears

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    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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  3. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

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    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.

    :cutie:
     
  4. Itinkso

    Itinkso Faith.Trust.Pixie Dust

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    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.
     
  5. blearbear4

    blearbear4 Choose Wisely

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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! :furious: 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!
     
  6. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    We've flown Air France many times, and like them.

    Woody
     
  7. llkoolj40

    llkoolj40 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  8. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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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 ;)
     
  9. braysmommy

    braysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We flew Air Lingus home from Barcelona after the EBTA and really liked them....well except the turbulence:eek:
     
  10. Tired mom of 3 boys

    Tired mom of 3 boys Earning My Ears

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    We're on Lufthansa...flying Wednesday to try to avoid any mishaps....
     
  11. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    Grrrrr!

    Woody
     
  12. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    Hahhaahaha! BEER ;). Sadly, I have a way of hitting enter before I read!
     
  13. Epcotopia

    Epcotopia Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet

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    Or maybe too much beer :rotfl:

    To the OP, most European airlines are recommended. Avoid any american airlines at all costs!
     
  14. DL1957

    DL1957 DIS Veteran

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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! :eek: 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.
     
  15. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    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 ;)
     
  16. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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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. :mad: 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.
     
  17. Valencia Joe

    Valencia Joe Mouseketeer

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    The mistake we made in 2007 was not checking the weight limit on luggage. We stopped in Paris a few days before the cruise and found a really cheap flight from Paris to Barcelona. When we got to the airport and was checking in, we found out that there were different weight limits for inter-European flights and was confronting a $500 baggage fee (there were four of us). The clerk was really nice and waived the fees because we were traveling with children (then 7 & 3).
     
  18. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    I use American Airlines miles for my flights to/from Europe, and I prefer to fly American non-stop as far as it will take me. (In May, it was non-stop Chicago to Rome.) My least favorite are connections at London Heathrow. If you use AA miles for your flights, and it involves British Airways through London - BA will charge about $200 pp more (each way) in international taxes than if you are on an American Airlines flight to or from London.

    "Missing the boat" is the main reason I would never arrive in Europe the same day my ship sails. Another reason not to do so is jet lag.
     
  19. kaseyC

    kaseyC Mom to 3 lovely Princesses

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    We usually use United miles on Star Aliance carriers. Our past two years most of our flights have been on Lufthansa. We've always have been fortunate to get great connections usually through Frankfurt or Munich. For next summer we are flying a mix of United and SAS for DH and DD 16 to Copenhagen Me and my youngest two DDs are sailing the Magic to Europe and flying SAS from Barcelona to Copenhagen. All 5 of us will fly home from Copenhagen to Chicago on Lufthansa unless I get lucky and they open up award tickets for the non stop SAS/United code share to Chicago.
     
  20. tufbuf

    tufbuf Disney Addict!

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    For those who had layovers in Paris, how often do you lose/miss your luggage?
     
  21. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    When I did the Med in 2010, I flew Iberia airlines (Spanish airline). I really liked them a lot, and the plane & seats were pretty comfortable. Only problem was the entertainment was all in Spanish with subtitles! I highly recommend them! They had the best prices for the itinerary I wanted, too.

    Sayhello
     

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