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  1. Disagree. First, on the ground: Especially with a handicapped person, the last thing you want is to be making a tight connection with limited rebooking opportunities. Better to have excess time at a connection point than to be rushing to make the next flight. Plus, you will be at the vagaries of any assistance services that you have requested. Which leads towards a European connection point. Even though a booking engine may show you the shortest connection, remember that you don't have to take that first one. You can build in a safer and more comfortable connection by forcing a later flight through a multi-city booking tool. Second, in the air: Shortest time is one consideration. But that totally ignores the factors of onboard seating/amenities/comfort, aircraft choice, desirable/undesirable airports and many other factors, including price. For example - would you rather fly on a 777 with 10 seats across or 9 seats? Trust me - there is a difference you'll notice, unless you are Twiggy. There are folks that absolutely focus in on the fastest way to get there. IMO, they leave a lot of considerations behind and probably miss out on an overall better experience.
  2. Not desiring to be argumentative -- but curious why you would not want to make a connection in Europe? Asking to try to add additional "data points" to that side of the choice. So other folks can make more informed decisions.
  3. Or United. Or Delta. Or Air Canada. Or Alitalia. Or Air France. Or British airways. Or Lufthansa. Or KLM. Or TAP. Or Aer Lingus. Or Finnair. Or Iberia. Or LOT. Or SAS. Or Swiss. Or Turkish Or some combination of carriers.
  4. Disagree. Depends on the airport and airlines. There are "Express Path" immigration procedures for business/first passengers in Sydney, "Fast Track" at Heathrow and similar schemes at a number of other airports. At CDG, you would look for the "Acces No 1" signs -- sometimes you need a special No 1 card from your carrier, sometimes your boarding pass will do.
  5. And for those who didn't see it before, his first performance on BGT that propelled him to the semis.
  6. For those who have enjoyed Jon Courtenay onboard Crystal, here is his new performance on Britain's Got Talent in the semi-finals.
  7. I don't read that as trip interruption. I think they just want to have everyone with medical coverage insurance. Don't want the PR nightmare of someone, somehow, developing covid and having to be left behind in some backwater port. No reason to require trip interruption as part of a "medical" protocol. And, FWIW, I would wager that the protocol numbers will eventually reach double digits.
  8. All these posts point out that the devil remains in the details. If the passenger cancels the flight, then the usual policy is to issue a credit. If the airline cancels the flight, then the airline will try to issue a credit, but will usually refund in cash if pressed. Who cancels is the big factor. As noted, Air Canada is one of the worst for refunds. Lufthansa and LH Group airlines are close behind.
  9. Cruise lines have a LOT more on their plates than being concerned about "safety" onboard commercial aircraft. A recent little story you might want to read. https://viewfromthewing.com/new-studies-reporting-covid-19-transmission-on-planes-are-good-news/ Finally....if you are expecting 100% "safe", there is no such thing. There is potential "danger" in every endeavor, and that includes both medical and non-medical issues.
  10. The Symphony is scheduled to have several segments visiting Thailand, including the first sailing of 2021 leaving from Bangkok. At the present time, Thailand is effectively shut down to all tourist visitors. Today, there is a report on a new proposal to "somewhat" open the borders to visitors. Don't get your hopes up. In fact, I'd be even more dismayed than if they had said nothing. The new draft proposal includes: Everyone must have at least $100,000 in health insurance And a negative Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival Prepay both a 14 day quarantine and a 90 day hotel stay Travel only by charter or private flight 31 steps in all. More on the story here and here: https://viewfromthewing.com/the-31-strange-steps-thailand-wants-visitors-to-go-through-as-it-re-opens/ https://www.godsavethepoints.com/thailand-90-day-tourist-visa-stv-draft-plans/
  11. Those surcharges also show up in the prices paid for revenue tickets as well. So you get a "fare" that can be $1 (as with a current TAP TATL offering), with surcharges pushing the "price" to higher levels. Again, highlighting that in aviation parlance, "fare" and "price" are two different things. The fare breakdown showing in ITA Matrix gives one great info on all ticket pricing and the various components.
  12. One other consideration is the interior configuration of the aircraft. Many are not thrilled with the BA layout -- I would suggest you do searches for interior cabin photos so you can see what BA and AA have to offer. Especially as cabin services are in great flux, the actual seat has a greater impact on your overall enjoyment.
  13. Some background articles. All specifics are subject to change, so keep an eye out on the publication dates. https://upgradedpoints.com/airline-fuel-surcharges/ https://onemileatatime.com/airline-fuel-surcharges/ Look for the "YQ" in the fare construction.
  14. That's relatively easy for a company that does repetitive "loops" throughout their schedule. Crystal, OTOH, may or may not have the same itinerary in a coming year. Sure, some of the Med and New England trips may be the same, but a large number aren't. If Crystal did this, there would be lots of friction with it applying to some cruises and not others.
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