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  #1  
Old July 31st, 2009, 04:43 PM
Lookingforfacts Lookingforfacts is offline
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Default Choice air

is a (new?) type of cruise air from RC. It sounds like passengers will be able to select published fares as well as cruise line consolidator fares online and will get their flight information immediately.

http://www.national-anthems.net/foru...cruises/785879

I'll let the experts evaulate it but I'd be surprised if it doesn't have most of the same "issues" that currently exist with cruise air.
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  #2  
Old August 5th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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cruisenfever cruisenfever is offline
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Default Royal Caribbean's New Choice Air Program

Thought you all might be interested in viewing Royal Caribbean's New Choice Air Program.




We know that worrying about travel arrangements can cut into your valuable vacation relaxation time. Let us help you with your travel arrangements to and from the ship - that way you can let go of stress earlier and hold onto that happy cruise feeling even longer!

Choice Air

Our Choice Air Travel Program makes it easy for you to get the best deals and the best customer service when you fly to and from your cruise. Choose and reserve the ideal air itinerary for your cruise vacation - the extra peace of mind is on us!

Our user-friendly site lets you:
  • Easily identify itineraries that work with your cruise schedule Find and reserve your preferred flights immediately - or as soon as you are ready
  • Take advantage of published airline schedules and fares, including highly discounted fares, non-refundable tickets and promotional airfare sales
  • Filter results to show only the itineraries that maximize your time - no rushing to make connections or long, dreary layovers
  • Save time when you arrange cruise and air travel at the same time
  • Add transfers between airport and seaport with the click of a button
  • Reserve online 24 hours a day
  • Pay for airfare using multiple credit cards
  • Take advantage of exclusive offers and Royal Caribbean specials Once you've found and reserved the best air travel, your travel plans are in expert hands. Our customer service ensures you'll get the best support throughout your journey.

Before you travel:
If you need to make changes to your itinerary after booking, we'll work with the airlines to make the changes for you, with no additional fees other than what the airlines may impose.
We'll monitor flights to make sure that air travel disruptions don't ruin your vacation. If your scheduled flight is changed, we'll work with the airline to get you on another flight that gets you to your cruise on time.

While you travel:
We'll continue to monitor flights to identify air travel disruptions that could jeopardize your timely arrival at the ship. If any flight disruptions or delays occur, we'll be prepared to assist you. In the event of a delay that causes you to miss your ship, we'll work with you and our airlines to find a reasonable alternative so you can meet up with your ship at the next port (when feasible).

If there is a disruption to your cruise schedule that causes you to miss your return flight, we'll work with you and the airline to get you on another flight at no additional cost.

Reservations
Call 800-533-7803 or Visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/ChoiceAir. You may also book through your preferred travel partner.

Fees
North American guests pay a $15 service fee for domestic travel and a $25 fee for international travel.

Fees for guests outside of North America are determined by the local Royal Caribbean Cruise Line office.

CUSTOM AIR TRAVEL
Our skilled agents are available to make travel arrangements for you. If you're traveling with a large group, meeting up with guests arriving from different cities - or desire extra assistance for any reason - our personal consultants will search out the best fares and itineraries to meet your requirements for a fee of $50-$75.

Reservations
Call 800-636-2440 to make Custom Air requests for both Individuals and Groups. Hours of operations are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST and Saturday and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 Pm EST.

Custom Air requests may also be made through e-mail at customaircci@royalcarribbean.com

STANDARD AIR TRAVEL
Our Standard Air program allows you to pay a flat rate for your flights and transfers. We'll select a flight for you, arrange airport to seaport transportation and provide you with your itinerary 45 days prior to sailing. Pricing information will be provided at the time of your request.
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  #3  
Old August 6th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Patti thank you for all this information, this is good to know.

Gay
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  #4  
Old August 6th, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Sounds like $15 or $25 per person to use a somewhat customized self-serve website. Since you have to have a booking on RCCL to actually see the site, I can't comment on the actual operation. However, I wonder about some of those "features" - there are several free websites that let you do special filtering. Matching your cruise schedule -- does that mean that for the fee they put in the correct dates into the search fields? Ordering transfers and having you pay for the privilege of giving the line more money is a feature? Customer service -- the T&C states that you have to go through the airline first and only later turn to RCCL. And the "peace of mind" is disclaimed in the T&C and FAQ sections.

Finally, trumpeting 24 hour online booking as a feature makes me wonder. Given that 24/7 is the standard for online services, if RCCL needed to bring that up, were they short on actual "meat" to highlight.

However, for the RCCL faithful who want a likely simplified set of choices, it's a fee-based option to consider -- if you read the actual fine print beyond the promo blurb and feel that it's worth your money.
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Last edited by FlyerTalker; August 6th, 2009 at 12:53 PM.
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  #5  
Old August 6th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Well...all I can say is..."SO??"

FT, once you cut through the blah blahs for us, sounds like they are charging you to do what you can do for free anyplace else.

It may be easier for those who don't fly all the time to NOT have to wade through several flights....and it SEEMS that by using this site, you MAY not get stuck with the really scummy flights....

But...I am still cynical! I will continue to fly solo!

Thanks to Patti for the info and FT for the "fine print"
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  #6  
Old June 13th, 2011, 09:02 AM
StrongMinded1 StrongMinded1 is offline
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Exclamation Choice Air is HORRIBLE!!!

I made the biggest mistake booking my air through Royal Caribbean's "Partner", Choice Air. I purchased assigned seats for my party of 8 on a 6:40 am flight back on 3/7/2011. The carrier changed the flight time to 7:30 am but since the flight didn't change, I had the same assigned seats. On June 5th, Choice Air took me off my 7:30 am flight with NO reason, DID not notify me and then TWO days later, put us on a 9:00 am flight. Royal Caribbean called me and said the CARRIER made the flight change but after spending 4 hours on the phone yesterday with the carrier and Choice Air, I found out the change was voluntary by my agent, Choice Air.
BOTTOM LINE- CHOICE AIR makes it completely THEIR choice to do what they please with the flights that YOU paid for. You have no control over your own reservation and now I will be subjected to who knows how many more changes they feel like making until my cruise departs on August 27th, 2011. This is THE WORST agent you can deal with. And to add insult to injury, Royal Caribbean takes absolutely no responsibility for their "PARTNER". It's disgusting and obscene. My next stop is a complaint with the BBB. Royal Caribbean should be ashamed of themselves, partnering with Choice Air. Choice Air's customer service is horrible and their agents are untrained. Save yourself the aggravation AND added cost and book your own flights- it's the only way to guarantee you get the flights and seats you paid for.
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  #7  
Old June 13th, 2011, 10:51 AM
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Did you do any research about cruise air before you chose to book with them?

I am surprised to hear Choice Air made changes; are you sure it just wasn't an airline schedule change?
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  #8  
Old June 13th, 2011, 11:29 AM
greatam greatam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6rugrats View Post

I am surprised to hear Choice Air made changes; are you sure it just wasn't an airline schedule change?

I'm making an educated guess-the cruise line oversold/ran out of their contract tickets for the chosen flight. The cruise line then called into play the "free call" portion of their contract and were able to secure 8 tickets but at a totally different time.

Again, the "fine print" certainly indicates they can do this without even thinking.

"We reserve the right to choose the air carrier, routing and city airport from each gateway city and further reserve the right to substitute charter or commuter flights for scheduled air service without notice."

Last edited by greatam; June 13th, 2011 at 11:32 AM.
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  #9  
Old May 11th, 2012, 04:10 PM
cruising teacher cruising teacher is offline
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Default Cruise air update

Does anyone have recent experience with Choice Air. The Choice Air sticky is very positive. But many postings are not. We personally used it once. The only problem was I could not get assigned seats until 24 hours. Worked out ok but there was a lot of anxiety about being in a middle seat on a nine hour flight.



We know that worrying about travel arrangements can cut into your valuable vacation relaxation time. Let us help you with your travel arrangements to and from the ship - that way you can let go of stress earlier and hold onto that happy cruise feeling even longer!

Choice Air

Our Choice Air Travel Program makes it easy for you to get the best deals and the best customer service when you fly to and from your cruise. Choose and reserve the ideal air itinerary for your cruise vacation - the extra peace of mind is on us!

Our user-friendly site lets you:
  • Easily identify itineraries that work with your cruise schedule Find and reserve your preferred flights immediately - or as soon as you are ready
  • Take advantage of published airline schedules and fares, including highly discounted fares, non-refundable tickets and promotional airfare sales
  • Filter results to show only the itineraries that maximize your time - no rushing to make connections or long, dreary layovers
  • Save time when you arrange cruise and air travel at the same time
  • Add transfers between airport and seaport with the click of a button
  • Reserve online 24 hours a day
  • Pay for airfare using multiple credit cards
  • Take advantage of exclusive offers and Royal Caribbean specials Once you've found and reserved the best air travel, your travel plans are in expert hands. Our customer service ensures you'll get the best support throughout your journey.

Before you travel:
If you need to make changes to your itinerary after booking, we'll work with the airlines to make the changes for you, with no additional fees other than what the airlines may impose.
We'll monitor flights to make sure that air travel disruptions don't ruin your vacation. If your scheduled flight is changed, we'll work with the airline to get you on another flight that gets you to your cruise on time.

While you travel:
We'll continue to monitor flights to identify air travel disruptions that could jeopardize your timely arrival at the ship. If any flight disruptions or delays occur, we'll be prepared to assist you. In the event of a delay that causes you to miss your ship, we'll work with you and our airlines to find a reasonable alternative so you can meet up with your ship at the next port (when feasible).

If there is a disruption to your cruise schedule that causes you to miss your return flight, we'll work with you and the airline to get you on another flight at no additional cost.

Reservations
Call 800-533-7803 or Visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/ChoiceAir. You may also book through your preferred travel partner.

Fees
North American guests pay a $15 service fee for domestic travel and a $25 fee for international travel.

Fees for guests outside of North America are determined by the local Royal Caribbean Cruise Line office.

CUSTOM AIR TRAVEL
Our skilled agents are available to make travel arrangements for you. If you're traveling with a large group, meeting up with guests arriving from different cities - or desire extra assistance for any reason - our personal consultants will search out the best fares and itineraries to meet your requirements for a fee of $50-$75.

Reservations
Call 800-636-2440 to make Custom Air requests for both Individuals and Groups. Hours of operations are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST and Saturday and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 Pm EST.

Custom Air requests may also be made through e-mail at customaircci@royalcarribbean.com

STANDARD AIR TRAVEL
Our Standard Air program allows you to pay a flat rate for your flights and transfers. We'll select a flight for you, arrange airport to seaport transportation and provide you with your itinerary 45 days prior to sailing. Pricing information will be provided at the time of your request.
[/quote]
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  #10  
Old May 11th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Tinkerbellcgy Tinkerbellcgy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruising teacher View Post
Does anyone have recent experience with Choice Air. The Choice Air sticky is very positive. But many postings are not. We personally used it once. The only problem was I could not get assigned seats until 24 hours. Worked out ok but there was a lot of anxiety about being in a middle seat on a nine hour flight.

<snip>
I have recent experience with Choice Air. I utilized this service when booking my recent April Constellation cruise. I booked the cruise and the air last October. I chose which flights and which seats I wanted. I was required to pay my airfare in full when I booked it - not a problem for me.

I was given a Record Locator and was able to go in periodically to check and see if any more desirable seats became available (not that there was anything wrong with my original choice of seats on all four flights).

Any and all dealings with the Choice Air representatives were nothing short of being professional and helpful. I had booked with American Airlines and my outbound flights were scheduled at the time that Dallas-Fort Worth was in the aftermath of 8 or 9 tornados that had gone through a few days before I was scheduled to fly through DFW on my way to Fort Lauderdale. On the day before I was scheduled to fly out, I logged into my AA account to complete my online check-in only to discover that AA had cancelled all flights from Calgary to DFW over the next several days.

I was on the phone immediately with Choice Air. This was the Easter weekend and most flights were nearly fully or completely booked. They went above and beyond to ensure that I got to Fort Lauderdale with as little inconvenience to me as possible and they succeeded. (And no, I did not get seated in those dreaded "middle" seats on my rerouted flight!) Although many posters on here haven't a good word to say about Choice Air, I have had nothing but stellar experiences with them and would definitely use them if I choose to cruise again.
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  #11  
Old May 12th, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Angry Help, 35 min in ORD

In Nov, we are flying from Colo. Springs (COS) to DFW with 55 min. connection time to ORD then only 35 min connection for a flt to ROME, for a cruise the same day, this has been really bothering me, it usually takes at least 10 min. to get off a plane now, with everyone grabbing their bags from the overheads, and DOMESTIC flts start boarding 20 min early, don't know about international ones, that's assuming gates are next to each other. I called Choice Air who called AA, who said that it was a LEGAL connection. Any ideas???
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Old May 12th, 2012, 03:26 PM
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Red face

Sorry, make that Oct 26, not Nov, this cruise has changed so many times, that I don't know what is going on.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkismom View Post
In Nov, we are flying from Colo. Springs (COS) to DFW with 55 min. connection time to ORD then only 35 min connection for a flt to ROME, for a cruise the same day, this has been really bothering me, it usually takes at least 10 min. to get off a plane now, with everyone grabbing their bags from the overheads, and DOMESTIC flts start boarding 20 min early, don't know about international ones, that's assuming gates are next to each other. I called Choice Air who called AA, who said that it was a LEGAL connection. Any ideas???
If you are cruising the same day you land in Rome, you don't have any time at all if there is a glitch. Late plane to DFW or ORD for any reason and you will most likely miss your cruise. AA Domestic to International MINIMUM connecting time is 35 minutes at ORD. Would I take the chance? Absolutely NO WAY if I had a time sensitive place to be. The chances of your luggage making it are even slimmer.

May I ask why you booked the ticket? How much of a risk taker are you? Are you prepared to "catch up" to your ship in another country? Do you know how to get to another airport or country on your itinerary via train, plane, bus or rental car? DO NOT count on Choice Air to help you out. They will TRY (in the wording of the website, fine print, etc). NO GUARANTEES of any help at all.

I would be paying whatever it cost to change those tickets (if you even can-your tickets may be restricted to what you can change them to). You have the option of an almost 2 hours earlier flight out of COS with the same routing and arrive ORD between 12:30-2:30PM (3 different flights out of DFW to ORD that work with the 6AM COS flight).

There are three or four nonstops from DEN to ORD, then onwards to FCO on the nonstop or the same routing you have now BUT fly the domestic legs on one day, spend the night in Chicago, then fly ORD to FCO. This routing may cost you considerably more because of the overnight but it may be far cheaper in the long run than trying to catch up with the ship.

Why ruin your trip before it even starts?? You are already stressing out about this and you have six months to go. What happens if they change one of your flights by a few minutes BUT it still meets the MCT?

You could be so stressed by the time you get to ORD, you will need a vacation before your vacation even starts.

Last edited by greatam; May 12th, 2012 at 05:30 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkismom View Post
In Nov, we are flying from Colo. Springs (COS) to DFW with 55 min. connection time to ORD then only 35 min connection for a flt to ROME, for a cruise the same day, this has been really bothering me, it usually takes at least 10 min. to get off a plane now, with everyone grabbing their bags from the overheads, and DOMESTIC flts start boarding 20 min early, don't know about international ones, that's assuming gates are next to each other. I called Choice Air who called AA, who said that it was a LEGAL connection. Any ideas???
According to Flyerguide.com, 35 minutes is a "legal" connection for AA domestic to international at ORD. Personally, I always book at least a two hour window for a domestic to international connection. But then, I like to be in control of my own air arrangements.

What to do? Depends on your tolerance for risk and the amount of additional $$ you are willing to spend.

How much would it cost to change your flights? If that is more than you are willing to pay and you are stuck with "Choice Air", then be mentally prepared to arrive in Rome a day late and/or to have your luggage arrive a day late. If you are on the 5:15 pm nonstop ORD-FCO, options for leaving later in the day look slim to none.

A few obvious tactics: be as far towards the front of the plane into ORD as possible; know the gate assignments and airport layout in advance; as soon as you exit the plane have one person in your party ask the gate agent to call the other gate to say you are on the way; then sprint. If the door has just closed but your international plane has not left the gate, politely beg for the door to be re-opened. Have the AA customer service # programmed into your phone.

If you are lucky, your flight into ORD will arrive a few minutes early and the gates will be close.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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I'm really hoping and praying that there is a skd change, then I'll call AA and complain, it's worked before. Choice air said there would be no problem, when I originally booked, thru my TA, at least the next stop is Sorrento for 2 nights. I'll wait another few months, then really FREAK OUT!
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Old May 13th, 2012, 10:00 PM
cjcruiser27 cjcruiser27 is offline
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Definitely listen to this person! You are CRAZY!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatam View Post
If you are cruising the same day you land in Rome, you don't have any time at all if there is a glitch. Late plane to DFW or ORD for any reason and you will most likely miss your cruise. AA Domestic to International MINIMUM connecting time is 35 minutes at ORD. Would I take the chance? Absolutely NO WAY if I had a time sensitive place to be. The chances of your luggage making it are even slimmer.

May I ask why you booked the ticket? How much of a risk taker are you? Are you prepared to "catch up" to your ship in another country? Do you know how to get to another airport or country on your itinerary via train, plane, bus or rental car? DO NOT count on Choice Air to help you out. They will TRY (in the wording of the website, fine print, etc). NO GUARANTEES of any help at all.

I would be paying whatever it cost to change those tickets (if you even can-your tickets may be restricted to what you can change them to). You have the option of an almost 2 hours earlier flight out of COS with the same routing and arrive ORD between 12:30-2:30PM (3 different flights out of DFW to ORD that work with the 6AM COS flight).

There are three or four nonstops from DEN to ORD, then onwards to FCO on the nonstop or the same routing you have now BUT fly the domestic legs on one day, spend the night in Chicago, then fly ORD to FCO. This routing may cost you considerably more because of the overnight but it may be far cheaper in the long run than trying to catch up with the ship.

Why ruin your trip before it even starts?? You are already stressing out about this and you have six months to go. What happens if they change one of your flights by a few minutes BUT it still meets the MCT?

You could be so stressed by the time you get to ORD, you will need a vacation before your vacation even starts.
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  #17  
Old May 13th, 2012, 11:21 PM
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waterbug123 waterbug123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkismom View Post
In Nov, we are flying from Colo. Springs (COS) to DFW with 55 min. connection time to ORD then only 35 min connection for a flt to ROME, for a cruise the same day, this has been really bothering me, it usually takes at least 10 min. to get off a plane now, with everyone grabbing their bags from the overheads, and DOMESTIC flts start boarding 20 min early, don't know about international ones, that's assuming gates are next to each other. I called Choice Air who called AA, who said that it was a LEGAL connection. Any ideas???
The real issue isn't how early flights start boarding; it's the fact that boarding generally closes about 10 minutes before the scheduled flight time. That turns your 35 minutes into 25 minutes....25 minutes to deplane and get to your new gate (and hope your luggage gets there as well.) You are counting on not one but two flights to be on time or early in order to make your connection at ORD. There is no way I'd book an international connection like that period, let alone for a same day cruise departure.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkismom View Post
I'm really hoping and praying that there is a skd change, then I'll call AA and complain, it's worked before. Choice air said there would be no problem, when I originally booked, thru my TA, at least the next stop is Sorrento for 2 nights. I'll wait another few months, then really FREAK OUT!
Unless there is a schedule change that gives you the opportunity to change flights, it's very possible that you'll be catching up to the cruise in Sorrento. A few things to keep in mind if that happens:

You can't fly into Sorrento. The nearest airport is Naples.
If you have any trouble flying from Rome to Naples, you can also get to Naples via train.
The cheapest way to get from Naples to Sorrento is the Circumvesuviana train, for a couple of Euro/person. Next cheapest is the ferry, around 11 Euro/person. Or for maximum convenience (and max price) you can arrange a private car and driver, for probably between 75-100 Euro total. Drive is 45 min. to an hour, assuming the Naples-Sorrento road isn't closed as the result of a landslide, in which case add an extra 30-45 min. (It was closed last week on our return to the airport, after a land-based trip to Positano.)
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Old May 14th, 2012, 12:10 AM
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Gonzo70 Gonzo70 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkismom View Post
In Nov, we are flying from Colo. Springs (COS) to DFW with 55 min. connection time to ORD then only 35 min connection for a flt to ROME, for a cruise the same day, this has been really bothering me, it usually takes at least 10 min. to get off a plane now, with everyone grabbing their bags from the overheads, and DOMESTIC flts start boarding 20 min early, don't know about international ones, that's assuming gates are next to each other. I called Choice Air who called AA, who said that it was a LEGAL connection. Any ideas???
Wow! Please try to change your flights!!! That looks like a disaster in the making.

At least you have some time to work out a more reasonable itinerary, but it may cost you some $$$. I personally would never do the flight schedule you posted; way, way, way too risky.
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  #20  
Old May 14th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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6rugrats 6rugrats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkismom View Post
I'm really hoping and praying that there is a skd change, then I'll call AA and complain, it's worked before. Choice air said there would be no problem, when I originally booked, thru my TA, at least the next stop is Sorrento for 2 nights. I'll wait another few months, then really FREAK OUT!
No, you should be "freaking out" now. Don't wait a few months to try and fix this. As time goes on, your options become fewer. Personally, I start to worry when someone assures me it will be "no problem"; they aren't the ones who will miss their cruise. This is a ridiculously short connection to catch an international flight. It may meet the MCT requirements, but your plane to FCO will have already started boarding before your flight from DFW even arrives.

As already pointed out, you're adding two previous flights (COS-DFW, DFW-ORD) that have to be on time or early for you not to miss your ORD-FCO flight.

You will be stuck at ORD if everything does not work out perfectly, because that looks like the last flight leaving on AA for FCO that day. You'll miss your cruise.
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Last edited by 6rugrats; May 14th, 2012 at 12:07 PM.
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