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Old 12-18-2019, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I posted this in the Travel group, but know we have some pilots and frequent international travelers here as well that may be better suited to RDU specific recommendations.

*****

We will be heading to Sweden in May to see a new granddaughter, then follow it up with a river cruise before heading back to North Carolina. The river cruise line can provide airfare with all transfers, but since we are going to Sweden first, we will be on our own to book airfare. I would appreciate any suggestions on best way to book this. I will need to book several one-way tickets.

1) RDU -> ARN (Stockholm). RDU does have a non-stop to London and Paris, but I think that is it. Is it easier to get from Paris to Stockholm vs leaving from a US hub like New York, etc. ?

2) ARN -> AMS. The boat leaves from Amsterdam, so we need to figure out how to get there from Stockholm. I know there are a lot of regional carriers in Europe, but don’t know which ones are good/bad to get from Stockholm to Amsterdam

3) LUX or CDG -> RDU. The boat lands in Luxembourg. I don’t think we will be able to get back to Paris in time for the non-stop back to RDU, so we need to look at the best option for returning home.

Thanks for any input. I have been Europe once, but that was 10+ years ago.
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:35 PM
 
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If you fly American to London Heathrow, British Airways can easily take you from there to Stockholm. If you fly Delta to Paris, Air France can easily take you from there to Stockholm. Personally I'd rather do either of those than take a nonstop from New York or some other airport in the U.S. to Stockholm, but I've done that too.

Stockholm-Amsterdam nonstop is flown by SAS and KLM. If you take Delta to Paris, you might get a better deal on the ARN-AMS segment because KLM is part of the Delta-Air France alliance.

You don't say what time the boat lands in Luxembourg. British Airways flies nonstop LUX-Heathrow; they have an early morning flight that does connect to the American nonstop Heathrow-RDU. Luxair flies to Paris CDG but I don't have any experience on them. The alternative is to take a train from Luxembourg to Paris (a little over two hours on a TGV) and then fly out the next morning on the Delta nonstop.
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:11 PM
 
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Keep in mind the AA direct flight from RDU to Lhr is a very expensive flight. Don’t know if that matters.
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Old 12-19-2019, 05:49 AM
 
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Recommend you check out Vayama, a site for discount international flights. We recently flew round trip to London from RDU for 1/2 the regular price. Booked with Vayama, flew American Airlines direct BUT it was booked as Finnair.

https://www.vayama.com/
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelkitten View Post
Keep in mind the AA direct flight from RDU to Lhr is a very expensive flight. Don’t know if that matters.
If London is your destination, then, yeah, they charge a lot. But if you are continuing on with AA or codeshare, then it generally is priced competitively as other multi-leg options.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard-xyzzy View Post
If you fly American to London Heathrow, British Airways can easily take you from there to Stockholm. If you fly Delta to Paris, Air France can easily take you from there to Stockholm. Personally I'd rather do either of those than take a nonstop from New York or some other airport in the U.S. to Stockholm, but I've done that too.
There’s pros and cons to each. Those transatlantic flights out of RDU are nice, but I often find it tough to get into London after a long flight and have to turn around and catch another flight when I’m so exhausted.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:08 AM
 
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Making the connection at Heathrow is not bad if you have access to the BA lounge there... forego the breakfast on the inbound flight, sleep until wheels down, go to the lounge, shower and eat there while you wait for the connecting flight. Civilized. Also, if you connect in Europe, then you arrive at your final destination in early-mid afternoon instead of early-mid morning. There's a greater chance of checking into your hotel, rather than dropping off you bags and then returning.

AA does set relatively higher business class fares for the RDU-LHR nonstop... it's supply and demand, they usually fill the front cabin regardless. But usually their prices in economy are competitive outside of summer and holidays.

Flights across the pond are sometimes cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Or, even if the fares aren't different, more seats are available in the lowest fare bucket.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:12 AM
 
645 posts, read 722,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don6170 View Post
I posted this in the Travel group, but know we have some pilots and frequent international travelers here as well that may be better suited to RDU specific recommendations.

*****

We will be heading to Sweden in May to see a new granddaughter, then follow it up with a river cruise before heading back to North Carolina. The river cruise line can provide airfare with all transfers, but since we are going to Sweden first, we will be on our own to book airfare. I would appreciate any suggestions on best way to book this. I will need to book several one-way tickets.

1) RDU -> ARN (Stockholm). RDU does have a non-stop to London and Paris, but I think that is it. Is it easier to get from Paris to Stockholm vs leaving from a US hub like New York, etc. ?

2) ARN -> AMS. The boat leaves from Amsterdam, so we need to figure out how to get there from Stockholm. I know there are a lot of regional carriers in Europe, but don’t know which ones are good/bad to get from Stockholm to Amsterdam

3) LUX or CDG -> RDU. The boat lands in Luxembourg. I don’t think we will be able to get back to Paris in time for the non-stop back to RDU, so we need to look at the best option for returning home.

Thanks for any input. I have been Europe once, but that was 10+ years ago.
Few things:
1. RDU has two flights to Europe, BA to London and Delta to Paris. Neither are budget airlines and flight prices are normally quite high since not enough supply.
2. In the last 10 years, there has been an abundance of budget international airlines. If you are willing to stomach getting your own meals, etc. I'd consider flying Norwegian out of Boston which flies into ARN and other airports. Flying to Boston can be done quite easily on Delta or Jet Blue for round trip less than $200. They have several flights a day so I'd be less concerned about missing my international flight from Boston
3. The budget airlines usually get terrible ratings but take them with a pinch of salt. My round trip from RDU to LHR and from LHR to Boston for work on Delta will cost $2500 on economy. I could have done the same for $700 on Norwegian.
4. EU/EEA laws require Europe based airlines to provide compensation for delays. These are written into law.
5. Stockholm to Amsterdam - several flights including Norwegian, SAS (Sweden based) and KLM (Dutch). One way trips less than $100 are quite normal.
6. European airlines don't joke around with luggage. They will make sure your luggage is to their policy. Follow policy and you will be okay. Norwegian and SAS have policies that are more lax.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiho View Post
1. RDU has two flights to Europe, BA to London and Delta to Paris.
No, it's American to London. BA codeshares the flight, so it also shows up in the BA reservations system under a BA flight number. But it's American metal flown by an American crew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiho View Post
2. ... Norwegian out of Boston which flies into ARN
For clarity, the Norwegian flight between Boston and Arlanda has a stop at Heathrow. Don't know whether they make you get off the aircraft or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiho View Post
3. The budget airlines usually get terrible ratings but take them with a pinch of salt.
The budget airlines are ok as long as you know what you're in for and as long as everything goes right. If, for example, their flight into Boston is canceled because of a mechanical failure, you'll probably spend 24 hours in Boston awaiting their next flight... assuming it's not sold out, in which case you could wait 48 hours. The big airlines are more likely to be able to re-route you. And on any budget airline you may have to pay for things like advance seat selection (if it's even offered), checked bags, in some cases carry-on bags (although i don't think Norwegian is one of those), etc. That said, if it's $1000 difference between a budget airline and a big airline, it's a personal choice as to whether the extra money is worth it.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:09 PM
 
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Few things:

1) SAS airlines is great....and I generally hate airlines. I'd be perfectly happy flying them from Stockholm to Amsterdam. I think Euro airlines are run better than US airlines.

2) I find it much better to fly to New York/Newark and then goto Sweden from there. Then you are only dealing with 2 countries and not throwing a 3rd one into the mix. (Like England or France.) Even when you travel through those countries on a layover sometimes there are security checks, too, and the lines can be really long. Last summer we went Raleigh-->London-->Zurich and had a 3 hour layover in London and it took about 90 minutes from the time our plane landed in London to the time we made it to our gate. It was brutal.

3) Heathrow and CDG Paris are HUGE. If you go through those airports you better plan on extra time to make it from one terminal to another. (Plus security checks.) I swear it was a 15 minute bus ride from one terminal to the other last time I went through London.
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