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geoherb

How much is nonstop to Europe worth paying extra for

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How much difference in price is it worth to you to get a nonstop flight to Europe versus going on two flights? My choices are a nonstop that would be $400 more versus a flight to Toronto and then a flight to London. There's a nearly four-hour layover in Toronto. Total travel time is 11 hours versus 7-1/2 hours. The nonstop arrives at 6:35 a.m., and the Toronto flight arrives at 11:50 a.m.

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As someone who has to connect through Atlanta to get anywhere, I've come to just kind of shrug and accept those and would take the connection for the savings. 

 

If you take the 6:35 a.m. arrival flight, what would you do the rest of the day? I have early check-in with IHG hotels as an elite benefit but even then having a room to drop my bags at 9:30am or so (assuming a fair amount of time for immigration and getting clear of the airport) is pushing it. On the other hand, if you're going straight to a ship after arrival, the non-stop option involves less risk of you missing departure. 

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If you take the nonstop you are arriving very early.   Are you going to a hotel in London?   You may not be able to get an early check in.    I also assume your departure time is somewhere around 6-6:15pm.     Do you think you will get any sleep with the early evening departure?   Lack of sleep and not getting into a hotel room - do you deal with that well?   (recipe for disaster with my DH :classic_biggrin: )

 

On the other hand, how much later is the departure for the connecting flight?  If later, maybe more conducive to getting some sleep.  Do you have any options for lounge access during the layover?  And, if you are going to a hotel, then perhaps a better chance of a room being ready by the time of your later arrival.

 

If your passport has a chip in it (that little gold symbol on the cover), the new automated immigration lines do move fast than they used to, so there's some good news.

 

Although I prefer nonstops, I'd probably save the $, especially if there is more than 1 of you traveling.  

 

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Of greater concern to me would be what the equipment and onboard service would be for the various options.  Many times, connections have given me better experiences than what I would have received for a non-stop.

 

Only YOU can make that kind of decision, and only YOU can place the correct personal value to connections vs non-stop.  Because what any one of US thinks means nothing to the eventual decision that YOU make for YOURSELF.

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Everyone is going to have a different opinion. I currently live in a market with only one nonstop outside of North America (and that's to Reykjavik, seasonally) but a job that sends me out of the country constantly, so changing planes to me is normal. I have family in Chicago who wouldn't dare, because they're spoiled for choice. Raleigh is a bit in between.

 

I agree with FlyerTalker that the aircraft itself may make a difference. I have definitely added an extra stop to get a better onboard experience or to stay loyal to an alliance. But many people have nonstop as their number one priority, and that's totally fine (as I get older, I care less about loyalty but more about comfort and speed of getting to my destination personally).

 

So, if I were in your situation and could save $400pp (is it per person?), I would go via Toronto. That's a lot of money you can spend on the other end of your trip...an extra experience or night in a nicer hotel will probably leave a more lasting memory than 8 hours in a plane.

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Thanks, everyone. The planes leave about the same time from my home airport, a little after 6 p.m. We'll be staying in London for two nights before our cruise. (I'd love to spend more time in London, but DH wants to see his mother on her 93rd birthday the day we leave, especially since we missed her 92nd one last year.) 

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I fly with British Airways so wherever I'm going I always connect at Heathrow outside London. I don't even look at nonstop flights because I prefer British Airways even if it cost more.

 

The only exception is when I fly to Oslo. I love to fly but even for me it doesn't make sense to fly Stockholm-London-Oslo when the nonstop Stockholm-Oslo flights takes less than one hour! 

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That’s a good question and one we always consider. For us, we’d pay $50-100 more pp for a nonstop but likely no more than that. Maybe we are extreme, but every penny we save enroute is a penny to spend at our destination. 

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I always pick non-stop if possible.  Less stress, easier, and less chance of luggage going astray.

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It's not totally clear, but I am assuming that your two-stop flight is booked on one ticket? If that is the case, I would save the money rather than flying non-stop.

If it is two separate tickets, then 4 hours is too tight, with no buffer for a late incoming first flight. 

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Agree with Daisyloo. We pick non stop whenever possible since less stress, easier and less chance of loosing luggage, plus you get to London earlier for more sightseeing. If your hotel room is not ready, they usually can hold your luggage in a secure room. All you need is one experience of lost luggage or missed connection to make up your mind. Unless you are on a very tight budget, waiting 4 hours (or more if connecting flight is delayed)for a connecting flight is not my idea of a vacation.

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On 7/9/2019 at 1:56 PM, Zach1213 said:

Everyone is going to have a different opinion. I currently live in a market with only one nonstop outside of North America (and that's to Reykjavik, seasonally) but a job that sends me out of the country constantly, so changing planes to me is normal.

 

I'm with Zach...it depends a LOT of your home airport.  The only international nonstop from my home airport of CHS is a British Airways flight to LHR.  We often fly to Europe, but seldom is London our destination, and given that I'm a Delta frequent flyer, I'd prefer to use Sky Team airlines and that doesn't include BA. So for me, a connection is pretty much a necessity.  And while one stop is pretty much a guarantee for me, sometimes I will voluntarily choose an itinerary with a 2nd connection if the savings is significant or it allows me to do something like use a business class upgrade certificate for the over-the-pond leg.  We'll be doing that in October for instance, when we travel to Italy for 10 days.  There wasn't any availability to use our free upgrade certificates ATL-FCO or JFK-MXP, so instead we're using them for ATL-AMS, and then connecting again AMS-MXP.  To us, getting the business class lie-flat seats for free on the overnight leg was worth an extra connection.

 

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I prefer to leave as late as possible from North America to get some sleep.  So a 6 am arrival is more like midnight in North America, so I would have less chance to get some sleep. I would take the later arrival,  less time also to stay awake that day.  Helps with jet lag.

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15 minutes ago, bennybear said:

I prefer to leave as late as possible from North America to get some sleep.  So a 6 am arrival is more like midnight in North America, so I would have less chance to get some sleep. I would take the later arrival,  less time also to stay awake that day.  Helps with jet lag.

 

This is my personal preference, too. The difference to me between arriving in to Europe at 10am/11am versus 6am is massive, and the later departure allows me to get more tired and put me to sleep on the plane.

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On 7/9/2019 at 9:33 AM, geoherb said:

How much difference in price is it worth to you to get a nonstop flight to Europe versus going on two flights? My choices are a nonstop that would be $400 more versus a flight to Toronto and then a flight to London. There's a nearly four-hour layover in Toronto. Total travel time is 11 hours versus 7-1/2 hours. The nonstop arrives at 6:35 a.m., and the Toronto flight arrives at 11:50 a.m.

For our B2B Cruise I found a nonstop flight on Iberia LEVEL for $280 one way with luggage and meals included in the fare departing SFO at 8:20 PM arriving the next afternoon at 4:45 PM a perfect time to get to our AirBnB settled in and  wash and get ready for dinner around 8 PM or so.

 

I found a Southwest flight from TPA-San Diego -San Jose CA for $148 with luggage and we arrive home at 6:30 PM a decent hour for a good cost.

 

I would pay up to get a nonstop but if I had to connect I would rather do it in Frankfurt or another European City to a EU or non EU Destination than go via JFK.

 

This nonstop on Iberia is perfect as we don't have an early AM wake up. We will arrive SFO by 4:20 before rush hour and can sleep on the plane and arrive by 5:00 PM. My Mother is coming in from Paris and will wait for us so be it but its a great time.

 

For Jet Lag a late afternoon arrival is good  as you can have time to take  a walk and have dinner and stay up  until a decent hour and have  a good sleep!  Better than arriving in the morning when your hotel room or AirBmB is not ready.   

 

On the Westbound I like a Noon Arrival into SFO as it allows me to transition to my routine but an evening arrival is also very good!   I love these Trans Atlantic Cruises as your Jet Lag  is greatly minimized one way so when you sail back to the US we have an overnight in Tampa and then the flight the next day to ease back to our routine. 

 

For instance when I flew to Israel last year on United the flight left SFO at 9:40 PM I spent  a day in LAX Plane Spotting and saved $1000 doing  I arrived TLV the next night at 9:30 PM and slept on the plane for 9 hours and then got a good sleep for 8 hours and had no jetlag.  On the return I left at 1:00 AM and arrived SFO at 4:45 AM over an hour before our scheduled arrival time and Customs opened at  6:00 AM.

 

I got home by 7:10 AM and had a 40 minute nap and Bath and started my day as if it was morning and stayed up all day. Had coffee at 4:00 PM and went to bed at 9:00 PM and had no Jet Lag.

 

Its differs for different people!

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On 7/24/2019 at 6:11 PM, Donray said:

Always select non stop if possible.  

 

So, if you had a one-connection itinerary available for X dollars (and let's stipulate that X is greater than $1000), and a non-stop is priced at 2X - you would always take the non-stop?

 

What if X is $1500?  Or $2000?

 

Just checking how absolute "Always select" really is.

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I have a little problem with being crammed in a small, long metal tube for any long period of time.  Unless I get to fly Business and have my own little cocoon to concentrate in and not get claustrophobic, I need to stop once, maybe twice (depending on where I'm going).  If I'm traveling cattle class, I'll take a flight from my home base to either ATL or JFK.  From there, if I can get a nonstop to my destination, fine.  Otherwise, I'll take a connection and relax outside of that tube for a few hours.   

 

It's just me.  I don't have price dictate what I do.  Sometimes, I like to find some "esoteric" routing to get where I'm going, just to see an airport I haven't been to before.  

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7 hours ago, travelplus said:

I would pay up to get a nonstop but if I had to connect I would rather do it in Frankfurt or another European City to a EU or non EU Destination than go via JFK.

 

May I ask why?

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For our Med cruise last November we flew nonstop from Atlanta (our hometown airport) to Rome. We paid more for those flights but it was money extremely well spent. One flight each way. Ate dinner, watched a movie, slept for a few hours, woke up as the sun was rising, ate breakfast, and we landed shortly after that. It was as easy as it could get for a trip of that length. No wasted time fumbling through intermediate airports, switching planes, and adding extra hours to an already long trip. We arrived in Rome as rested as we could possibly be. On the return, we arrived back in Atlanta surprisingly rested, also flying nonstop. 

 

After that experience, nonstops to Europe will absolutely be the way to go unless there are no nonstops or the price is prohibitively expensive. 

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1 hour ago, *Miss G* said:

 

May I ask why?

Yes and the reason is I have had delays at JFK and it adds time to get to San Francisco. Once in the winter my flight home took 6 hours 45 minutes due to the winds. Also when I connect in Europe my bags go right through to SFO and I prefer Customs at San Francsico vs. JFK.  AIrports in the east coast are prone to weather delays.

 

I live 45 minutes from SFO, 20 minutes from San Jose  with  international flights and 55 minutes to Oakland also with international flights. To me the extra $200 for a nonstop is worth it both in time and also for my luggage.

 

For instance my Parents left on a 7:00 AM flight via Dallas arriving at CDG at 10: 30 in Paris.I took the nonstop Air France  flight that took off at 3:00 PM and I arrived at 11:30 AM so I had a leisurely morning and my car service picked me up at 10:00 AM vs getting up at the crack of dawn.


When I left Israel last August I had a 1:00 AM flight so I left where I was staying at 8:00 PM and arrived to Tel Aviv airport at 8:30 PM and I arrived SFO at 4:45 AM over an hour early and waited for customs to open at 6:00 AM. As I was at the front of the airplane I cleared customs and had my luggage by 6:20 AM and was home by 7:05 AM. I was well rested and had no Jet Lag.

 

Adding a stopover can add flying time too! 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

I know for some to  save money having a connection is good but when it goes bad then you can be stuck .

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Tapi said:

For our Med cruise last November we flew nonstop from Atlanta (our hometown airport) to Rome. We paid more for those flights but it was money extremely well spent.

 

After that experience, nonstops to Europe will absolutely be the way to go unless there are no nonstops or the price is prohibitively expensive. 

 

You're in a unique situation in that your hometown is also a hub for a major airline.  For many people, a nonstop to Europe isn't possible without making a long drive to depart from a different airport from their hometown.

 

5 hours ago, travelplus said:

Yes and the reason is I have had delays at JFK and it adds time to get to San Francisco. Once in the winter my flight home took 6 hours 45 minutes due to the winds. Also when I connect in Europe my bags go right through to SFO and I prefer Customs at San Francsico vs. JFK.  AIrports in the east coast are prone to weather delays.

 

 

Again, living in a large city that offers many international flights helps you.  There is only one European flight nonstop into my home airport (British Air from LHR to CHS).  Many are like me, and don't really have viable options to fly nonstop from Europe to their home airport.

By the way, any airport anywhere in the world can be affected by weather.  That's not unique to the east coast.  Granted, summer thunderstorms have east coast weather on everyone's mind at the moment, but it's not isolated to the east coast.  A few years back we arrived back at Civitavecchia after a cruise and disembarking was delayed for an hour or two (I forget exactly) due to violent thunderstorms.  Can't recall if the airport, which is a little distance away, was affected that day but it easily could have been.

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46 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

You're in a unique situation in that your hometown is also a hub for a major airline.  For many people, a nonstop to Europe isn't possible without making a long drive to depart from a different airport from their hometown.

 

Absolutely true. In the OP’s case though, they do have the choice between a nonstop or a cheaper connecting flight, thus my reply. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, waterbug123 said:

 

You're in a unique situation in that your hometown is also a hub for a major airline.  For many people, a nonstop to Europe isn't possible without making a long drive to depart from a different airport from their hometown.

 

 

Again, living in a large city that offers many international flights helps you.  There is only one European flight nonstop into my home airport (British Air from LHR to CHS).  Many are like me, and don't really have viable options to fly nonstop from Europe to their home airport.

By the way, any airport anywhere in the world can be affected by weather.  That's not unique to the east coast.  Granted, summer thunderstorms have east coast weather on everyone's mind at the moment, but it's not isolated to the east coast.  A few years back we arrived back at Civitavecchia after a cruise and disembarking was delayed for an hour or two (I forget exactly) due to violent thunderstorms.  Can't recall if the airport, which is a little distance away, was affected that day but it easily could have been.

 

[Waves hello from DFW as I wait for my connecting flight home to Kansas City and their general lack of international flights after an overnight from São Paulo]

 

Edited by Zach1213

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16 hours ago, travelplus said:

Yes and the reason is I have had delays at JFK and it adds time to get to San Francisco. Once in the winter my flight home took 6 hours 45 minutes due to the winds. Also when I connect in Europe my bags go right through to SFO and I prefer Customs at San Francsico vs. JFK.  AIrports in the east coast are prone to weather delays.

 

I live 45 minutes from SFO, 20 minutes from San Jose  with  international flights and 55 minutes to Oakland also with international flights. To me the extra $200 for a nonstop is worth it both in time and also for my luggage.

 

For instance my Parents left on a 7:00 AM flight via Dallas arriving at CDG at 10: 30 in Paris.I took the nonstop Air France  flight that took off at 3:00 PM and I arrived at 11:30 AM so I had a leisurely morning and my car service picked me up at 10:00 AM vs getting up at the crack of dawn.


When I left Israel last August I had a 1:00 AM flight so I left where I was staying at 8:00 PM and arrived to Tel Aviv airport at 8:30 PM and I arrived SFO at 4:45 AM over an hour early and waited for customs to open at 6:00 AM. As I was at the front of the airplane I cleared customs and had my luggage by 6:20 AM and was home by 7:05 AM. I was well rested and had no Jet Lag.

 

Adding a stopover can add flying time too! 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

I know for some to  save money having a connection is good but when it goes bad then you can be stuck .

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your reply.  I thought you were referring to connections going to Europe as opposed to connections coming from Europe. 

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