Best airline and most economical airport from USA to Rome?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by g00fy!, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. g00fy!

    g00fy! Earning My Ears

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    Asking here because I know Disney has spoiled everyone with good service and quality, so hopefully those expectations carry over to other travel.

    We will be doing a Med cruise next summer and starting to research the best airline for the money to get us to Rome. We can leave anywhere from the US since I have enough points on SWA to get us to any departure airport.

    Is a US carrier or a European carrier better? Definitely need at least economy + with 3 males between 6'2 and 6'4. Fare price is also a factor since we are not rich :)

    What is the most economical airport to fly out of? I can't do dummy bookings yet as the flights are not on sale. But I want to do my research so I can jump on any good flights as soon as they are released. I just need to know which airport to be watching and which airlines I should be watching?
     
  2. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    I think this is WAY too general a question. If this was me, I'd be looking for airlines that fly out of my "nearby" airports (about 1 1/2 hour radius). I wouldn't want to fly on one airline, have to collect bags, go to the next airline, and back through security (unless I was adding days on and sightseeing).

    I just looked at Rome's airport, and it looks like American, United, and Delta all serve it. Those three also have "code shares" with European airlines, so even if you book on Delta, you might end up on an Air France flight (for example).

    Even if the flights aren't on sale yet, you can still look at prices. Pick some random times in May (but not around Memorial day) and check for the given days (so if you'll do Friday - Friday for your trip, check the same). That will give you a general idea. Look at prices of flights that have just been released (331 days out) as well as some that have been out two week and four weeks.

    I'm also going to suggest that at least for whatever flight is going over the Atlantic, upgrade to the "Extra Comfort"/"Comfort +" seats for everyone.

    Once your flights are released, start stalking prices. Set up alerts with google flights, airfarewatchdog, skyscanner, etc. But I wouldn't rely on just those. I'd also check 2-3 times a week on my own, different days, different times.
     
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  4. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    Best by what standards? Price, seat size, free meals/drinks? sam_gordon has the best suggestions. The only suggestion I would make is to book directly with the airline and not through an online travel agent. If something goes wrong you are in for a real hassle.
     
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  5. mousefan73

    mousefan73 DIS Veteran

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    European premium airlines are imo better than any US. Alcohol still free! Service better and cleaner. If you fly using SW miles tonget to a hub plan in extra time orna day to ensure you and your bags get there on time for your connection. Since your tickets are separate younare on your own if you or your bags misconnect.
     
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  6. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    It doesn't directly answer your question, but--don't assume that it would be cheaper to fly out of a major hub. We recently flew to Heathrow. We live 3 hours from Charlotte, a major hub, so I asked my TA to price flights direct, Charlotte-Heathrow, in addition to flying out of our small, local airport. It was actually cheaper to fly out locally and transfer. Why? I have no clue, it didn't make any sense to me. But she showed me the figures, and I was convinced. Added bonus that we got to check our bags and go through security, which combined took a total of 10 minutes, because our local airport is small.

    We also sprung for the upgraded Economy seats. My only objection to them was that, because we had the extra leg room, people kept cutting through our row like it was an aisle. There was an aisle, literally 5 feet in front of us, but people kept using our row. Very annoying.
     
  7. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Norwegian Air Shuttle. The fly to Rome out of LAX and EWR (Newark). They have seasonal flights to Rome from Oakland and will start from Fort Lauderdale later this year.

    They're bare bones though, although they use really modern equipment. Daily flights are out of LAX and EWR. Oakland is only twice a week, so that could get tricky if a flight is cancelled. I'm seeing Fort Lauderdale will be 5 times a week.

    It's kind of weird since they're showing availability until June 2019, but for EWR it's only up to March. Here's an example. You can play around with the airports and dates. The only flights to Rome are from Oakland, Los Angeles, Newark, and Fort Lauderdale.

    https://www.norwegian.com/us/bookin...th=201906&AgreementCodeFK=-1&CurrencyCode=USD
     
  8. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    The main reason to book only with one airline. Otherwise you may want fly in the day before the international flight.
     
  9. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Some people book through online travel agents in order to get "interline" agreements where connections are "guaranteed". It's not really guaranteed, but where they'll find a way to get the passenger to the destination. However, for a cruise that might be tricky.

    Still - some people have booked that way and found that their connections weren't guaranteed.
     
  10. g00fy!

    g00fy! Earning My Ears

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    Sorry for not being clear. I should have known better to post something this vague on the DIS, have been here since 1999, took a long break and hence forgot the old account info. And the old email is long gone, so set up a new account with almost the same name.

    I am just trying to get a general idea of people's favorite transatlantic airlines and if you have any good or bad on any of them. Do you have a fondness for Lufthansa, KLM, Icelandic Air, etc? Or do you prefer flying to Europe on one of the domestic airlines like United, Delta, or American?

    What is your favorite/easiest/least expensive hub to fly out of in the US. I understand that we will need to get our luggage. From the mock bookings I have done, it seems getting to Chicago or NY significantly lowers the price of the flight. We live in a city with a large international airport, but flights from there to Europe are almost 2.5 times the price of flying out of Kennedy/Newark/Ohare. For instance, from our town is $1,800 each way during some of the months I checked while the same flight, but getting on in NYC was less than $1,000 each way. For $800 x 6 people, we could stay in a 5* hotel for a night (which we plan to do) and still save significant money.

    Sorry again for the lack of info. We still have a LONG way to go for research, so not that important, but wanted to pick brains if anyone had any "JUST DON'T FLY LUFTHANSA" or "Don't fly out of Atlanta, they are always late" or similar advice to take into consideration.. Thanks to all that answered.
     
  11. design_mom

    design_mom probably more like my dad than I care to admit

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    I am not a world-traveler by any means, and I've never flown into Rome. But we've flown transatlantically a few times -- Lufthansa, Air France, and Delta. Delta and Air France were fine, but I felt like Lufthansa was a cut above. I loved Lufthansa and would definitely jump at the chance to fly with them again.

    We changed planes in Chicago, JFK and Atlanta... and I felt like all of them were OK. (Our gates were very close to each other at O'Hare so it'd probably be my choice, but there's no telling how they'd be next time... and really, they were all OK.) Internationally, we had to change planes in Frankfurt (Lufthansa) or in Paris (Air France) to get to our final destination. IMHO the Paris airport was kind of a pain. We ended up going up/down a lot of stairs with our carry-on luggage. If there were elevators/escalators, I did not see them. (And there was a tour group of senior citizens there too. I can't tell you how many roll-aboards that DH and I carried up/down stairs for people who couldn't do it themselves.) I would fly through Paris again if that was the best route for me, but I'd definitely make sure I could carry (not just wheel) my carry-on luggage. Frankfurt was a lot easier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  12. scoutie

    scoutie DIS Veteran

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    We flew Venice to Chicago on American, and I was very impressed by the legroom (my husband is 6’5), and service, meals and drinks were great. They have direct flights to Rome from many airports. On the way to Europe, we flew Aerlingus and were not impressed. We’ve had good luck with KLM and Lufthansa as well.
     
  13. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Does it need to be a large airport or a large airline? You mentioned that price was an issue, which is why I mentioned Norwegian Air Shuttle. I only know of it because there's been local publicity about them flying out of Oakland. However, they are a low-cost airline, so there would be certain things you would need to pay for. They would have meals though.

    I know it might be going backwards (you didn't specify your home airport) but Norwegian out of Oakland has some of the best fares to Rome. But there's that risk with only two flights per week. It's also a small airport, if that means anything. Just two terminals - Southwest at Terminal 2 and all other airlines at Terminal 1. Norwegian also has a charge for checked baggage - apparently $45 for one or $70 for two. But fares range around $245 to $340 one-way most the summer.
     
  14. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    Not sure where you live, but Toronto has nonstop flights to Rome. The international flights out of Toronto have mostly been comfortable, but they are the big Canadian carriers. We live in Buffalo, so driving distance of Toronto, which makes it worthwhile for us. I agree with PP that I wouldn't want to fly to just get to a departure airport.
     
  15. mousefan73

    mousefan73 DIS Veteran

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    Well I work for a major european airline ( hint I highly disagree with your quote above) and have flown many others. your prices are odd though. Are are you checking premium economy prices? if your economy fare you are pricing is almost 3000 then you are looking at full fare economy which no one should book. what is your hub?
     
  16. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    We flew Delta to Barcelona last year. I was surprised our connecting airport was Detroit (to Paris). Another thing to think about is whether non-stop is important to you. If you're willing to make a couple hops, that could change your cost (ie: your home airport to Detroit, Detroit to Paris, Paris to Rome). That's just an example though.
     
  17. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    Keep in mind you'll
    1) Probably need two hotel rooms
    2) Need a day on the return also to make sure your bags get through everything.
     
  18. g00fy!

    g00fy! Earning My Ears

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    Lufthansa :) and KLM are our 2 top right now. KLM because we have relatives in the Netherlands, so a stopover there would be an opportunity to connect.

    I was pricing out Premium Economy, basic +. I know that the prices will come down as we get closer due to sales, but the delta between flying out of our hub or from the coast, even in today's prices, is enough to put up 6 people in a hotel in 2 rooms, both ways, and still save a chunk of money. (And yes, I realize we need 2 hotel rooms. We have several cabins on the ship. There is no way I am cramming my adult children, fiance, and ourselves in one room. This is vacation after all.:crazy:) Price matters, but only to the extent that I meant we were not rich enough for booking first class on Arab Emirates :). Actually, I want a modicum of comfort for a semi long haul flight, so we will probably be looking mostly at premium economy. Definitely no bare bones airlines, something in between enclosed suites and having to have your knees pulled up to your chin.

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions :flower1:
     
  19. NHdisneylover

    NHdisneylover DIS Veteran

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    I prefer Lufthansa (not booked through them but operated by United, actually operated by Lufthansa) but I live near Frankfurt so they work well for me from a connection standpoint.

    Second choice for me us Air Canada (though you'd have to have a connection in Canada) or Delta if booked in Delta one.
    DH is 6'5" and those are his preferences as well.Swiss Air would be next on my list.

    Iceland Air is good for cheap rates (Boston or Miami usually seem to be the best rates) pay attention to what you get and add up what extras (like good) will cost but it CAN be great pricing structure times. They're first class is more like economy plus than what other airlines have even for business.

    After mutiplmubad ecperiences I will NOT fly through CDG (Paris). I'll pay more and take an extra connection if needed to avoid.

    Personally, I avoid United and Air France.
     
  20. mnrose

    mnrose Queen of all she surveys

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    Best airline is very subjective. I did a very quick Google flight search and discovered something very interesting. Direct flights (non stop) to Rome are pretty expensive. For example, Detroit to Rome or Atlanta to Rome. However, if you fly from another hub to that city (on that same airline), the price drops a LOT. For example, Charlotte to Rome (on Delta) was less than $2500 premium economy. The flight requires a plane change in Atlanta. However, if you price it FROM Atlanta to Rome (same exact flight you end up on if you fly out of Charlotte), it's $3500. Same everything. So, don't confine yourself to looking at gateway cities with non-stop flights. Look at originating an hour or so out (flying time) from that gateway.
     
  21. jliehr

    jliehr Mouseketeer

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    I recommend following a few airfare Twitter accounts, The Flight Deal, Airfare Watchdog are two I use, they helped me get to Rome this Spring for $500 per person from a regional airport. Summer airfare to Europe can be very high, but when these deals hit book fast because they can disappear quickly.
     

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