Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
comeonnow1

Re: Flights..would you rather?

Recommended Posts

Hi friends!

I'm trying to decide on flights. The flight from home to Venice is all set for the start of our trip.

It's the flight back home I can't decide on.  So, how about a game of "would you rather?"--

 

Option A--

Take the 7:55 AM flight, disembarking the ship by 4:00ishAM), keeping in mind there will be wine the evening prior in Barcelona.  Only one stop (Munich) before home in Denver.

OR

Option B--

Take a 12:55 PM flight, disembarking ship around 9AM, but with stops in Frankfurt, then Chicago, then home to Denver.

Both are Lufthansa Air.

 

Thoughts?

FYI-We are using Viking Air Plus. There were a few other late morning flights, but they have less than 90 minutes, which I am under the impression is a maintained Viking standard for layover time.

Thank you!

 

Edited by comeonnow1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi comeonnow,  What cruise are you on? It just so happens that we live in Colorado and we will be departing from Barcelona on July 18 after our Iconic Mediterranean Cruise. We opted for the  7:55 AM Lufthansa flight to Munich and then non stop to Denver. The Munich airport is much less of a hassle than Frankfort and we don't have to navigate Chicago.

Edited by Micktooth
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would choose an a flight that avoids Frankfurt.  If going through Frankfurt make sure you have at lease 2 hours to get through customs and change flights. I have been in/out of Frankfurt of the airport. It took us about 1 hr 45 minutes to clear customs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just got back from our Empires of the Med a few weeks ago, Athens to Venice. We spent 4 days in Athens pre and 4 in Ljubljana post,  flying out of Venice to return home. Each direction 3 flights, 4 airports.  We flew out of Venice at 6am. 

 

For us, the killer part was too many flights, too many airports. I would definitely go for the itinerary with the least layovers.  We have flown to Europe many times so speak from experience.  I think all European airports can be a challenge, especially when tired.  

 

I would definitely go for A, even with the early flight. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, MSEm said:

I would choose an a flight that avoids Frankfurt.  If going through Frankfurt make sure you have at lease 2 hours to get through customs and change flights. I have been in/out of Frankfurt of the airport. It took us about 1 hr 45 minutes to clear customs.

 

If you went through immigration and customs in Frankfurt it is because it was your point of arrival in the Schengen area.

 

But, OP is talking about the return flight. Because both countries are part of the Schengen Agreement, it is like domestic travel in the US; there is no border crossing involved. OP won't have to go through customs and immigration until they arrive in the US.

 

1 hour ago, comeonnow1 said:

I'm trying to decide on flights. The flight from home to Venice is all set for the start of our trip.

It's the flight back home I can't decide on.  So, how about a game of "would you rather?"--

  

 

Once upon a time, I would have said stuck my nose up a disembarking before dawn but as I get older the idea of fewer hours travel time has a lot of appeal.

 

The MUC-DEN has a lot of appeal because it is only one stop even if it means a pre-dawn departure. Not getting a full night's sleep doesn't bother me because it will help me sleep on the way home (that and an Ambien). And it won't be a 4 am departure because Barcelona to Munich is not an international flight.

 

Ugh, a layover over in Chicago!? What time of year are you traveling?  If you have to change planes in the US, why can't they give you direct to the US? Why do they have to route you through Frankfurt as well? There is a direct flight from Barcelona to Newark and there has got to be direct flights from Newark to DEN.

 

All in all, I agree with Ready to Sail! Plan A is the more appealing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Micktooth said:

Hi comeonnow,  What cruise are you on? It just so happens that we live in Colorado and we will be departing from Barcelona on July 18 after our Iconic Mediterranean Cruise. We opted for the  7:55 AM Lufthansa flight to Munich and then non stop to Denver. The Munich airport is much less of a hassle than Frankfort and we don't have to navigate Chicago.

Hi Micktooth!

We are on the Mediterranean Odyssey -Nov.1 cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

If you went through immigration and customs in Frankfurt it is because it was your point of arrival in the Schengen area.

 

But, OP is talking about the return flight. Because both countries are part of the Schengen Agreement, it is like domestic travel in the US; there is no border crossing involved. OP won't have to go through customs and immigration until they arrive in the US.

 

 

Once upon a time, I would have said stuck my nose up a disembarking before dawn but as I get older the idea of fewer hours travel time has a lot of appeal.

 

The MUC-DEN has a lot of appeal because it is only one stop even if it means a pre-dawn departure. Not getting a full night's sleep doesn't bother me because it will help me sleep on the way home (that and an Ambien). And it won't be a 4 am departure because Barcelona to Munich is not an international flight.

 

Ugh, a layover over in Chicago!? What time of year are you traveling?  If you have to change planes in the US, why can't they give you direct to the US? Why do they have to route you through Frankfurt as well? There is a direct flight from Barcelona to Newark and there has got to be direct flights from Newark to DEN.

 

All in all, I agree with Ready to Sail! Plan A is the more appealing.

Our return flight will be on Nov. 13th--so there will be chances for bad weather by then in Chicago.

Ok, y'all may have me convinced to call my Viking air plus rep and move back to the early flight with only one stop.  I also didn't take into account that the first leg of our flight (Barcelona to Munich) would not in fact, be considered the 3 hour pre arrival since it is not international.  So yay-that's one extra hour of sleep I did not account for.  

Thank you all! I'm super glad I found these chat boards. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned to Denver from Barcelona after our Mediterranean Odyssey cruise. We took the 7:55 a.m. flight to Munich.....Viking had us leave the ship at 3:15!!  We had to sit on the bus for a half hour waiting for one couple who were late (isn't there always one?).  A positive note - the Barcelona airport was not very busy, easy to check in and get through security!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, LFS517 said:

We just returned to Denver from Barcelona after our Mediterranean Odyssey cruise. We took the 7:55 a.m. flight to Munich.....Viking had us leave the ship at 3:15!!  We had to sit on the bus for a half hour waiting for one couple who were late (isn't there always one?).  A positive note - the Barcelona airport was not very busy, easy to check in and get through security!

Oh ok...3:15 is pretty painfully early to be all ready to go....ouch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MUC-DEN avoids having to clear customs in the US and go back through security. I'd probably choose that even with a 3AM disembarkation.
If you pick up any Duty Free liquids in Barcelona or Frankfurt, you'd have to pack it into your checked bag after customs in Chicago before re-checking it on to DEN. If you're traveling carry-on only, it'll be a problem, because you won't be able to bring it through security in Chicago.
However, customs at ORD isn't that bad if you have a decent layover and either Global Entry or the Mobile Passport app to expedite customs.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LFS517 said:

We just returned to Denver from Barcelona after our Mediterranean Odyssey cruise. We took the 7:55 a.m. flight to Munich.....Viking had us leave the ship at 3:15!!  We had to sit on the bus for a half hour waiting for one couple who were late (isn't there always one?).  A positive note - the Barcelona airport was not very busy, easy to check in and get through security!

 

That is crazy!! The airport is only a half hour ride -- even less if there is no traffic. That still puts you there at 4 am and at that point the check in might not even be open because it is still 4 hours before departure for a domestic flight.

 

If you don't like Viking's departure time, you can always take a cab at a more civilized hour. Viking concierge can order a cab for you. Oh, and make sure that they take you off the list so that the bus doesn't wait for you. Yes, you will have to pay for it but leaving at 5:30 is a lot better than leaving at 3:15.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always look at # of stops, total travel time as well as connection time. But fewer stops is probably #1.

Smaller chance of lost/delayed luggage and missed connections. Fewer opportunities for weather or equipment or crew delays. 

I prefer to travel direct into US and clear customs/immigration only one time (in US). I avoid Heathrow whenever possible when traveling to US from Europe.

i can’t speak to Munich or Frankfurt as I have not travelled through them.

I avoid having Viking arrange travel because I prefer to have control over my flights and routing. And I really dislike someone else controlling my transfer to the airport.  Detest coach transfers to airport where you are waiting on other passengers. Take a taxi, Uber or book a private car.

But it depends on personal preference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

If you went through immigration and customs in Frankfurt it is because it was your point of arrival in the Schengen area.

 

But, OP is talking about the return flight. Because both countries are part of the Schengen Agreement, it is like domestic travel in the US; there is no border crossing involved. OP won't have to go through customs and immigration until they arrive in the US.

My experience at Frankfurt was as described by Peregrina.

 

Flying Copenhagen to Vancouver via Frankfurt, we disembarked at Frankfurt and headed directly to the Business Lounge for a few pints. From the Lounge, we headed directly to the Vancouver departure gate - no security checks or customs/immigration.

 

When selecting flights we would normally opt for the least number of changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




When selecting flights we would normally opt for the least number of changes.


I would probably choose a 3-segment flight with two Schengen connections (ie. going through customs at final destination) over a 2-segment flight where I had to go through customs at the connecting airport. Especially if it's an east-coast US airport.
I'll never connect home through Dulles again. Period.

But typically flights arriving in DEN as the first US stop would be fewer segments than the alternatives.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, just_dont said:


I'll never connect home through Dulles again. Period.

But typically flights arriving in DEN as the first US stop would be fewer segments than the alternatives.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

 

 

That is exactly how I felt  after the Homelands Cruise.  We had a 3.5 layover and got to the plane 15 minutes before take off due to getting through customs..After Med. Ody. Cruise we were routed through Dulles again.  I questioned viking about it since they did air that cruise but they said it would be fine.   We were about 30 minutes total from gate to gate with customs.  I don't know which is normal.  We did go through a National weather emergency in Dulles the second time so I'm glad customs was so easy and left time to deal with that.  it delayed arrival home about an hour. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP-do you have Global Entry? That makes US entry easier and faster.

That’s why we always try to fly direct to US from Europe. Only one immigration/customs and it’s pretty painless. Our longest wait is always at the bag carousel in Chicago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/4/2019 at 8:16 AM, broker1217 said:

OP-do you have Global Entry? That makes US entry easier and faster.

That’s why we always try to fly direct to US from Europe. Only one immigration/customs and it’s pretty painless. Our longest wait is always at the bag carousel in Chicago.

No we don't.. and if we keep our flight as it currently is, we would be going through customs on our stopover in Chicago.  Yikes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No we don't.. and if we keep our flight as it currently is, we would be going through customs on our stopover in Chicago.  Yikes.
Download the Mobile Passport app on your phone/ tablet, and fill out all the information on the flight to ORD. There's a separate line with FAR fewer people at customs (or it might be the same line used for people with Global Entry).
We returned through Chicago Sept 2017, and there was ONE family ahead of us in the Mobile Passport line. Glided right through.
Granted it was new back then, and it's possible many more people now know about and use it, but it's your best option without Global Entry.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you were asking about either option A or B, but if you want to consider other possibilities, there is a direct flight on American Airlines from Barcelona to Philadelphia at 12:50 pm if that opens up some other options for you. Personally, I loathe Frankfurt, and avoid it whenever possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, lackcreativity said:

I know you were asking about either option A or B, but if you want to consider other possibilities, there is a direct flight on American Airlines from Barcelona to Philadelphia at 12:50 pm if that opens up some other options for you. Personally, I loathe Frankfurt, and avoid it whenever possible. 

 

And there are a couple of flights a day to DEN from there, however, the problem with connecting on the US side is that the flights to DEN have to be one of the airlines or consortia that Viking does business with like United, Delta, American and their partner airlines--not Southwest or JetBlue, which both do a lot of business between Denver and the East Coast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, just_dont said:

Download the Mobile Passport app on your phone/ tablet, and fill out all the information on the flight to ORD. There's a separate line with FAR fewer people at customs (or it might be the same line used for people with Global Entry).
We returned through Chicago Sept 2017, and there was ONE family ahead of us in the Mobile Passport line. Glided right through.
Granted it was new back then, and it's possible many more people now know about and use it, but it's your best option without Global Entry.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Thanks everyone!

How long does it take to obtain Global Entry start to finish?. I see it's a bit of a process-with an in person interview being mandatory etc.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This notice is on the TTP.CBP.DHS.GOV website

 

 
×
 The extended partial government shutdown has resulted in a substantial backlog of CBP's Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) applications and renewals.
Applicants for Global Entry (GE), SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST should expect significant delays in application processing times and limited appointment availability at TTP enrollment centers.
Conditionally approved GE members should seek to complete their GE interviews without an appointment upon arrival from an international flight at any of the 49 airports participating in CBP's Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) program.
 
I applied on May 6th and hoping I get my GE approval before our August trip.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I went on MyVikingJourney to browse excursions--and noticed our flights had been removed. Turns out the Chicago to Denver leg of the trip changed, so Viking Air had to cancel it due to it only having a 10minute layover-which obvi won't work! 

So, we called VA, and are now taking the early (OptionA) 7:55 AM flight.

 Looks like the decision was made for us...unless more flight times get moved around by the airlines.   Turns out, after all this discussion, I'll have to be ready to disembark at 3AM regardless.  If you happen to be on that shuttle bus with me, I will apologize in advance for my disheveled appearance   🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If confronted with a 3 or 4am departure from the cruise ship DH and I would book the 2 flights in segments with a stay overnight near the transferring airport.  It might be pricey but worth it to us.  So If we had to fly from Barcelona to Munich, Munich to Denver we would look for a later flight on the day we disembark, sleep near Munich and catch the flight from Munich to Denver the following day.  Leaving in the middle of the night is just too brutal and would leave a bad taste toward the entire cruise.  I would begin dreading it as it got closer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 6:24 PM, just_dont said:

Download the Mobile Passport app on your phone/ tablet, and fill out all the information on the flight to ORD. There's a separate line with FAR fewer people at customs (or it might be the same line used for people with Global Entry).
We returned through Chicago Sept 2017, and there was ONE family ahead of us in the Mobile Passport line. Glided right through.
Granted it was new back then, and it's possible many more people now know about and use it, but it's your best option without Global Entry.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

 

Thanks for the tip, DH and I will look into this.  Is there a charge for the app or to the government?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...