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  #21  
Old 23.06.2011, 19:42
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

i prefer swiss airline. Took Continental several times and experience was very bad.
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  #22  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:00
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

Aer Lingus via Dublin. Food is not really any better or worse than your average US carrier (is it just me or are they all about the same?), in-seat entertainment system one of the better ones I've seen (fair bit of music as well as movies, you can stop/start any of it at will), prices are usually competitive, but the real draw as far as I'm concerned is that you go through US customs and immigration in Dublin airport, and on arrival you're treated as a domestic flight. None of this pick up your bags, recheck your bags, wait in line for half an hour nonsense.

Top marks for service on the US side as well. I flew Dublin-O'Hare with them a couple years ago, landed in the middle of a colossal icestorm, took three hours to get our baggage unloaded because all the ground equipment was frozen up. I didn't think I'd get any compensation because (A) it was the weather, (B) I didn't actually have an onward booking (was headed the rest of the way by bus)... but nope, they stood me a hotel and a meal, no questions asked.
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  #23  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:00
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Re: Advises about flights to US

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go with American Airlines. They are generally on time, have direct flights into JFK and Boston, and in general, are the best customer service airline. The food is relatively good, and the in-service entertainment is normal.
The entertainment consisted of an overhead monitor showing some saccharin sweet schmaltz to 30 other passengers The cabin crew were surly, the seats threadbare, the beige plastics grimy and the food pretty awful.. chicken in congealed gravy with a rubbery block of polenta and then some super longlife, plastic enrobed pastry for desert. Clearly this food had been loaded onto the plane in the US > 12 hours earlier.

Oh well, at least I got to go to NYC for CHF 500
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  #24  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:08
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

Go with European carriers not american (United, American etc). If you are flying from Europe to US when flying on american airlines you will have to deal with extra security and longer checkin. I also agree with previous reponses, the service is best on european airlines.

Also read the fine print when booking, they might still put you on an american carrier even thou your are booking with the european.

Avoid connections thru Frankfurt, London, Chicago. Best cities to connect is Munich.

I could write a book about this, especially when traveling with kids.
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  #25  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:37
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

I flew from Kloten to Newark with Continental and although their food and in-flight entertainment was poor I enjoyed the fact that it was a direct flight with no layovers. The only trouble you might have is getting from Newark to NYC. You could possibly take the Amtrack to get there. Assuming NYC is your final destination.
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  #26  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:37
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

This is what happened when my mother didn't listen to me and thought she'd save a few bucks by flying American. She gets on the plane at JFK. Just before take off the crew announces that they are having minor technical problems. Three hours or more later, after they have kept everyone on the ground and on the plane, they say hurrah, we're ready for take off.

Then what. Well, those minor technical problems weren't so technical. They land in Newfoundland. Stuck in Newfoundland, promising everyone they would get on another plane and fly to Zurich.

Five hours later, nope. They put them on a plane and fly them BACK to NYC. Now they are starting all over again. No apologies, no refunds, nada. So they put them on another plane and they arrive, no problems this time but it was like taking two transatlantic flights in a row, to Zurich.

My mother, a nice Dutch woman even though she's lived in New York since '63, kept waiting for a pushy New Yorker to give those people a peace of their mind. But it turns out everyone was Swiss. No one complained. It totally freaked her out!

Needless to say, she's flying Swiss these days.

P.S. Gulp. I am using up my AA miles and getting on an American Airlines flight in a few weeks with my children. Oy vey.
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  #27  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:47
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

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Go with European carriers not american (United, American etc). If you are flying from Europe to US when flying on american airlines you will have to deal with extra security and longer checkin. I also agree with previous reponses, the service is best on european airlines.

Also read the fine print when booking, they might still put you on an american carrier even thou your are booking with the european.

Avoid connections thru Frankfurt, London, Chicago. Best cities to connect is Munich.

I could write a book about this, especially when traveling with kids.
London is okay, as long as you allow heaps of times. It takes ages to get anywhere at Heathrow and its way too crowded but otherwise I don't have an issue with it.

My main issue with Frankfurt is the staff (especially security) who are just a bunch of brainless rent-a-thugs for all I care so I try to avoid going there.

I actually found Chicago to be quite good so far. The staff are okay and security and immigration are smarter than average.
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  #28  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:49
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

Of course, if it appeals to you, you could book Air France. With a bit of research into flight numbers etc, you could get yourself onto an A380...

I think they're the only ones flying the A380 Europe/NYC this autumn....
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  #29  
Old 23.06.2011, 21:20
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

Have to fly to America for a wedding in November and will probably fly with Delta, Zurich - Atlanta.

Anyone got any comments / experiences that wish to add with specific reference to flying with Delta from Zurich and their hub in Atlanta?. To be honest I haven't read good things, but better to surprised in a good way!.
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  #30  
Old 23.06.2011, 22:13
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

I always fly Swiss to the States, and fall back to Lufthansa. After taking these flights for a while, stepping onto a transatlantic American Airlines flight is like stepping back into the 70s.

And Swiss flies direct to New York and Boston, well worth avoiding connections even for a slightly higher cost.
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  #31  
Old 23.06.2011, 22:28
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

It's all luck of the draw. I've flown with Delta via Atlanta and it wasn't good but it was cheap.

I've flown with Continental to Newark and found it quite good. OK, food was OK and the entertainment system broke down on the way back, but it was on time and the baggage arrived safely.

The same day we took Continental to New York, another couple flew with Swiss to NY too. Their flight was 4 hours late.

You just never know.
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  #32  
Old 23.06.2011, 22:32
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

Oy!!!

no perfect solution. Normally I would fligh EU airlines - and from the comfort point of view, still the best if you fly economy (that is where I am stuck with).

IF you are going Buz - well then - not SWISS and not LUFT - no flat beds there yet - you get lovely flat beds on continental! and they offer real champagne, while lufties flights only give you sekt.
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  #33  
Old 23.06.2011, 23:33
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Re: Advises about flights to US

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The entertainment consisted of an overhead monitor showing some saccharin sweet schmaltz to 30 other passengers
Yeah, exactly. normal...for US carriers. And I didn't say the food was good--but it is the best on the US carriers. Anyone who flies economy on any airline and expects good food is kidding him/herself. Swiss's food was above average but still not good.

Previous poster asked about Delta specifically: it is the only airline I have flown out of Zurich where the ground crew has been completely inefficient. I showed up over two hours early for my flight (already checked in and just having to drop a bag) and the line was already down and around the corner. And no, there was no "quick bag drop". This was about a year ago. Their in-flight service is very friendly but their ground crew-incompetent. So just be warned (more than anything else).
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  #34  
Old 24.06.2011, 01:41
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Re: Advises about flights to US

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Swiss? Lowest? ha! You are right that they can be competitive, but a lot of the time they are more expensive.
Only with the international carriers will you get in-seat entertainment. If this is important to you, then I too would recommend Swiss.

And as a general rule, when possible, book solely with the carrier you are taking overseas. That way, if you do run into issues with missing a flight or something, you are on the top of their list to take care of. If you go through a third-party website, the airlines are *not* required to rebook you...the website you booked with is, and this is when people run into major issues. That isn't to say that the airline won't rebook you, but in general, especially for the international portion of your flight, booking on aa.com or united.com or whatever airline you choose saves you a lot of hassle. HTH

Depending on whether you are on a US-based website or a Swiss-based website, the prices can be different. Just do your research. But it is definitely possible.
I was checking prices today from Zurich to New York.
Swiss came out significantly more expensive (30% more) than booking a US carrier on a US website. With the strong Swiss Franc try getting prices from a .com international website (i.e. not Swiss or European localised sited) and you might get a nice surprise on the USD prices. 9 hour flight travelling with a friend or partner might be not so bad on a US carrier whereas if flying alone you might prefer the creatue comforts of a European airline.
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  #35  
Old 24.06.2011, 09:49
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

I guess the most important thing is not the food/entertainment but to get from point A to B in one piece and I kind of trust American pilots
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  #36  
Old 24.06.2011, 11:43
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

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IF you are going Buz - well then - not SWISS and not LUFT - no flat beds there yet - you get lovely flat beds on continental!

swiss does offer a flat bed but its not horizontal - its about 4 degrees off.
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  #37  
Old 24.06.2011, 13:32
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

I just flew Delta to the US. Round trip was 787 CHF.

The service was pretty good, the food not bad, and the movies
were actually pretty good.

Unfortunately, you don't have an individual screen in the back
of the other person's chair.
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  #38  
Old 24.06.2011, 13:59
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

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Aer Lingus via Dublin. Food is not really any better or worse than your average US carrier (is it just me or are they all about the same?), in-seat entertainment system one of the better ones I've seen (fair bit of music as well as movies, you can stop/start any of it at will), prices are usually competitive, but the real draw as far as I'm concerned is that you go through US customs and immigration in Dublin airport, and on arrival you're treated as a domestic flight. None of this pick up your bags, recheck your bags, wait in line for half an hour nonsense.

Top marks for service on the US side as well. I flew Dublin-O'Hare with them a couple years ago, landed in the middle of a colossal icestorm, took three hours to get our baggage unloaded because all the ground equipment was frozen up. I didn't think I'd get any compensation because (A) it was the weather, (B) I didn't actually have an onward booking (was headed the rest of the way by bus)... but nope, they stood me a hotel and a meal, no questions asked.
That's pretty awesome. It's not on all flights, but something I'll definitely keep in mind.

http://www.aerlingus.com/travelinfor...usimmigration/
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  #39  
Old 24.06.2011, 14:06
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

In response to AJB I flew with Delta on the Atlanta to Zurich route and the flight was fine, plane was new or recently refitted although the airport was completely overrun with people. Given that it was the week after the ash cloud delays last year that is understandable though.
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  #40  
Old 24.06.2011, 14:15
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Re: Advice about flights to US [Good prices? / best Airlines?]

I'm with the others - Swiss frequently have specials to the US (some on the web now) and they're upgrading their fleet, so the newer planes are really good. Anytime I've flown any US carriers I have had luggage problems or later arrivals cooinciding with other flights resulting in missing connecting flights due to the stupid arrivals system of collecting and rechecking bags... can't beat Swiss efficiency
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