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Old 7th June 2017, 18:13   #931
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

I believe in LHR, if you are travelling BA end to end, you are in Terminal 5 and hence there is no passport control. However, if you have to change the airline in LHR and most of the american ones are from T3, there is passport control as far as I can remember.
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Old 7th June 2017, 18:37   #932
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

I don't think that you have to go thru Passport Control in LHR even if there is a change in Terminals. Only security needs to be cleared again. (Had travelled BA all thru last year). I will agree with initial response. Check out Jet if upgrade is possible - that's a no-brainer; especially if you can use upgrade coupons for this. Amongst the airlines, I believe, AA and Virgin will be lot better than Delta and United. However, given that you are travelling to Atlanta - Delta is likely to have the best connectivity.
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Old 24th July 2017, 15:36   #933
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

Thank you all for the overwhelming response. Very helpful.

Strange turn of events, denied a B1 Visa, reapplied immediately and got it the second time. Couldn't decipher the reason for the first rejection, but the second time was a breeze though!

Finally decided to go with Lufthansa, the BOM connection on jet seemed to be very tight. And also made it an all star alliance trip. To and fro India on Lufthansa metal, while tickets booked on United, and all domestic transfers in the US on United.

While for the return, I will have to exit from SFO. However Lufthansa doesn't fly out of SFO. So doing an SFO - IAD - FRA - MAA. Have about 3 hours layover in IAD and FRA.

Looking forward to an elite status in the star alliance network
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Old 24th July 2017, 15:53   #934
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

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While for the return, I will have to exit from SFO. However Lufthansa doesn't fly out of SFO. So doing an SFO - IAD - FRA - MAA. Have about 3 hours layover in IAD and FRA.

Looking forward to an elite status in the star alliance network
LH does fly out of SFO - but the flights, both LH metal and the UA codeshare - do not have a timing that is convenient for connecting with any of the India bound flights. So you'll be routed through Dulles or other United hub.

Or you could elect to spend a day in Frankfurt if you have a schengen visa available. OK maybe not in Frankfurt, take the S-Bahn train to Heidelberg and it is a beautiful and historic old town with, for example, Gutenberg's original press, a city centre that is preserved from medieval times etc. Or your pick of other nearby towns such as Dusseldorf or Cologne.

LH 455 3:05 pm 11:00 am - 3 digit code so on LH metal
LH 9127 7:00 pm 2:55 pm - UA codeshare
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Old 24th July 2017, 16:19   #935
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I flew LH Delhi San Fransisco vv several times via Frankfurt. Even though you could do it a little quicker going via the Middle East, I always preferred this connection. You get to fly the A380 all the way and Frankfurt is a very convenient stopover. Just make sure you dont accidently get a UA flight. They are the pits!

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Old 24th July 2017, 17:19   #936
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

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Just make sure you dont accidently get a UA flight. They are the pits!

Jeroen
Flew CCU-FRA-ORD / CCU-FRA-IAD 2-3 times when LH used to ply from CCU.
The transatlantic sector was almost always on UA.
Once had the 'special privilege' of stepping off from LH J class (upgrade) to UA Y class (middle seat) !!
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:05   #937
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I flew LH Delhi San Fransisco vv several times via Frankfurt. Even though you could do it a little quicker going via the Middle East, I always preferred this connection. You get to fly the A380 all the way and Frankfurt is a very convenient stopover. Just make sure you dont accidently get a UA flight. They are the pits!
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By far the shortest route to the bay area - and I do this very regularly given where I work - is DEL - SFO direct on AI. Or anywhere else in India - DEL - SFO on AI. Business is quite cheap and given company policy to book the lowest airfare, I find myself on that flight all the time, as do several of my seatmates that I chat with from time to time, they confirm that they've started taking AI regularly for DEL-SFO runs.

AI DEL - SFO is on an oldish 777LR but quite adequate if you are not too particular about gourmet meals. And the price? Well, I've seen premium economy at cheaper rates on BA for example. So .. but be warned, the flight seems like it lasts forever even in J. In Y you'd regret not taking a one stop.

If you are booked into or get upgraded to F, AI will escort you all the way from checkin to the boarding gate, sending a guy to carry your bags for you, pick you up from the lounge etc. The J/F lounge is great, lots of food and drink options, and the showers are luxurious but for some stupid reason, the amenity kits they provide there are from the Centaur hotel, meaning they are just the sort of soap / shampoo you get in a cheap lodge sort of hotel.

The other really short route is anywhere in India that has a direct Cathay flight to HKG and then HKG-SFO on CX, or if you don't mind the mixed itinerary AND flying United, there's a tight but manageable just because of HKG's famed efficiency connection onto UA HKG-SFO.

AI being direct DEL-SFO shaves several hours off even the CX route, which is already a few hours shorter than LH or BA.
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:21   #938
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

What are the best flight options for BLR-BOS sometime in September and returning in November
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:23   #939
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What are the best flight options for BLR-BOS sometime in September and returning in November
The best? Emirates or Qatar first class. For cheapest I am sure cleartrip etc will be glad to provide that.
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:25   #940
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The best? Emirates or Qatar first class. For cheapest I am sure cleartrip etc will be glad to provide that.
should have been clear. Got the point.

I will be travelling Economy, company policy and hence need some suggestions on which are the best possible flight routes and connections to make and looking for suggestions from people who may have made similar travel in the recent times.
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:31   #941
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should have been clear. Got the point.

I will be travelling Economy, company policy and hence need some suggestions on which are the best possible flight routes and connections to make and looking for suggestions from people who may have made similar travel in the recent times.
As you're going to the East Coast pick something that goes via Europe. Frankfurt, Paris, London, wherever. Roughly equal flight times, roughly the same quality of service as long as you don't pick codeshares onto US flights, and three or four hours gap in between so that you can shower (will need lounge access - paid, unless you have status) or at least freshen up and change, and get some food + email done etc on the ground before your next flight.

Second choice Emirates or Qatar via Dubai / Doha, and these are going to be one short trip and one much longer trip, with extra love and attention paid to you by customs on your return because any returnees from the gulf will bring along all sorts of things. So avoid if you can.

If your corporate travel books you I seriously doubt that you will have any choice in the matter at all. So grit your teeth and hope for the best.

Oh, Boston september to november. Good of your company to send you in winter, watch for weather delays and horrible amounts of snow. Buy the bulk of your cold weather gear in Boston - polar fleece jackets and such. And layer up - meaning a tshirt or two, then your shirt, then a sweater and then your jacket. If you're shivering in the early morning in Bangalore you'll freeze in a Boston winter.

Also - i hope your company gives you a rental car. In downtown areas of Boston there's the T (subway / local train / tram) network, but beyond that, there's lots and lots of nothing much. And "Boston" can be anywhere upto the New Hampshire border Where in Boston? You should be able to drive with just your Indian DL but try to get an IDP international permit as well.

Last edited by hserus : 24th July 2017 at 18:37.
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:31   #942
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By far the shortest route to the bay area - and I do this very regularly given where I work - is DEL - SFO direct on AI..
No offense, but I try to avoid AI as the proverbial plague. Flew back and forth several times from the US east coast with AI. Amongst my worst experience flying long haul. The most pathetic cabin crew I have ever had the misfortuen to fly with. Dirty plane, poor food and catering. And this was business class too.


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Old 24th July 2017, 18:42   #943
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

I sort of level set my expectations. The ticket price is around that of a premium economy ticket and for that I get a seat that's just about lie flat.

The planes I've been in have been reasonably clean and the food has been OK. Service? Well, I've flown AI on their AB3 to Singapore a couple of decades back for example and I know how horrible that can be, they're much improved from those days.

Given a choice I'd probably fly BA (if only because they have a superb lounge in LHR, or CX, or ANA via Tokyo, for much the same reason, compared to the utilitarian bus station that greets you in FRA) but well, corporate travelers, especially those with a known travel budget to stretch across X trips tend to try minimizing the cost in their own interest, because the paperwork required to approve an increase in the budget is fun trying to push through finance.

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No offense, but I try to avoid AI as the proverbial plague. Flew back and forth several times from the US east coast with AI. Amongst my worst experience flying long haul. The most pathetic cabin crew I have ever had the misfortuen to fly with. Dirty plane, poor food and catering. And this was business class too.

Jeroen
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Old 24th July 2017, 18:47   #944
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

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No offense, but I try to avoid AI as the proverbial plague. Flew back and forth several times from the US east coast with AI. Amongst my worst experience flying long haul. The most pathetic cabin crew I have ever had the misfortuen to fly with. Dirty plane, poor food and catering. And this was business class too.
If you said "No Offense" because you assumed Indians have some fondness for AI, rest assured otherwise .

I have only flown AI domestically a couple of times on one of those those feeder routes (Bangalore-Bombay and then onto Muscat I think) that too maybe 12-15 years ago. When I was flying in to be with the missus when my first child was arriving, there was no service of any kind and the sole flight attendant on board was yawning through boarding and deplaning, and sleeping the rest of the time. It was hilarious. The only positive was that I had picked up the ticket dirt cheap as a last-minute auction sale.

The only people who still fly them are the real loyalists who like being served Indian food by women in saris. Also, like hserus said their business fares are killer and from what my relatives tell me, you can upgrade using points etc. But these days even the old faithfuls are migrating to the likes of Emirates and Etihad. There is some hope that after the airline is privatised, it will regain some of its (long) lost glory. Time will tell...
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Old 24th July 2017, 19:05   #945
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Default Re: The International Air Travel, Airports Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
No offense, but I try to avoid AI as the proverbial plague. Flew back and forth several times from the US east coast with AI. Amongst my worst experience flying long haul. The most pathetic cabin crew I have ever had the misfortuen to fly with. Dirty plane, poor food and catering. And this was business class too.


Jeroen
Haha; I know this is a very popular opinion but somehow I've had a good experience the three times I've flown AI: between DEL - ORD.

Another matter that the first time I flew, I wasn't sure if the flight would be operated until a few weeks before because most of the pilots were on strike (protesting AI-IA merger I think).

The DEL - ORD non-stop flight became DEL - Frankfurt - ORD with Frankfurt just being a technical halt: no one got off/on.

AI food (at least the vegetarian options) was decent (that served on Etihad/Emirates wasn't better) and something (synonymous with Rule 11) was served without hesitation or disdain.

I've flown Air France, Etihad, Emirates, Delta and Swiss more than I have AI, and I didn't find the service on any them significantly better. Fancier, sure. Both the plane interiors and crew. But better? No.

Plus, for reasons some of them that we know, Etihad and Emirates have "that" look for Indians that puts me off the moment I'm at the ticketing counter.

My experience is such probably because I've only flown cattle class. I'm sure flying business/first on these airlines will be way ahead how it is on AI.

But yes, AA and United are the benchmark worst.
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