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What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

Denver, Colorado
posts: 1
What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

My daughter is flying to Rome from Denver in late June and will return in August. Since there are no direct flights from Denver, her options are open as to which city and airline she uses from the US to Italy. She may also wish to do some additional travel in Europe and can change her departure rom Rome to another city. Any suggestions?

13 replies to this topic
Saint Louis...
posts: 9,258
reviews: 12
1. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

If she buys a non-refundable fare then no, she can't change her departure city without paying a penalty. But she can fly open-jaws. Into Rome and and home from another city. This is done by booking a multi-city ticket which is priced the same as a round trip.

I like to search on either Matrix: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ or kayak and then book directly with the airline.

Worldwide
posts: 2,136
reviews: 536
2. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

Direct air service from Denver includes to London (BA) and Frankfurt (LH). One can easily reach Italy from other cities like London or Frankfurt by budget or "full service" airlines, rail, etc. Or one can choose from several other carriers with transfers in hub cities, Chicago or New York, etc. Spending a couple of days (or longer) in or around London or Frankfurt might be attractive.

The link to ITASoftware's Matrix noted in reply #1 is your friend. It's worth learning how to use that for flexible cities from DEN to multiple destination airport options, for a selection of dates.

For rail options, including how to get great prices (and the implicit advice to avoid EurailPasses as out-of-date and overpriced in the 21st century), check the TA rail forum - and *especially* Seat61. Pages on Italy are given below - but there are pages on most other countries visible on the left sidebar of each page:

http://www.seat61.com/Italy.htm

http://www.seat61.com/Italy-trains.htm

Edited: 2:15 am, April 26, 2014
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 5,174
reviews: 75
3. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

Don't worry about which airline she flies. On economy they're all about the same. Pick whichever has the best price and schedule.

On the way back if you can make the connection outside the USA that helps a bit. USA immigration takes a long time so it's nice if her first stop in the us will be Denver so no rushing to another plane after immigration.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,615
reviews: 57
4. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

I prefer changing planes here in the USA and then getting a non stop into Rome(or whatever city I am visiting in Europe). I agree that in general the best way to choose a flight is to compare itinerary and price and pick the one that suits you best.

From here in San Diego I always have to change planes somewhere as the only non stop to Europe from here is on British Airways which never has the right schedule for my needs.

I like to arrive in Europe in the AM and have the whole day in front of me and those flights always get me in at 10PM at night which I would hate! Your daughter may have different needs.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 1,826
reviews: 12
5. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

Actually, wes032 was suggesting to change planes in Europe on the return. I agree with both of you - if possible, make your connection in the US on the outbound flight, and in Europe on the return. This will avoid extra time in immigration when your daughter is trying to make a connection.

I have only ever flown Delta to Rome - they have a daily non-stop from Atlanta that departs around 4:00 PM and arrives in Rome around 8:00 AM. It is not a bad flight if you can sleep on the plane (I never seem to be able to!). Atlanta is a pretty easy airport to navigate for transiting passengers, but I would still allow plenty of time for your connection in case of delays on the DEN > ATL flight. If you are a US citizen flying back through ATL, then the immigration process is not too bad - you should still allow at least a couple of hours, though,

-JimG

Helsinki, Finland
posts: 501
6. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

I think there are some differences. The leg room is usually pretty much the same, but food, drinks, baggage allowance and the in-flight entertainment might be different.

From the European carriers BA has one of the most generous policy on luggage - the maximum size of checked-in bag is bigger than with competitors and you are allowed to take essentially two bags (56cm x 45cm x 25cm and 45cm x 36cm x 20cm) to the cabin, and neither of them has any weight restrictions. Alitalia on the other end allows hand luggage sized only 55cm x 35cm x 25cm, 8kgs.

European carriers often have open bar flights, Americans may have some restrictions.

Not all of the long haul flights offer IFE's yet, but it's more to do with the age of the aircraft. So it may be a good idea to check the plane type too. The planes also have different configurations, others may feel nicer to travel.

This just in addition to what others have mentioned: schedules, preferred airports/cities for transfer etc.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,615
reviews: 57
7. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

I also like Delta's product as you can upgrade to economy comfort seating if you choose.

The planes I have used all have individual screens for entertainment.

I always manage to sleep a little on my flight TO Europe but I try to stay awake during the flights home. I have not managed to find any good spots to connect in Europe so usually connect in the USA in both directions. Always leave several hours between flights.

I only travel with carry on luggage so I have no idea which airlines have the best prices for checked bags.

London, United...
posts: 14,887
reviews: 22
8. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

I would avoid Alitalia if I was her. It's absolutely not the best airline,mThere is much better economy products out there. Past that it's all about schedule and price.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 1,826
reviews: 12
9. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

Riff M, your approach is similar to mine (except that living in Atlanta typically means no connections to most of western Europe). My wife and I flew to Rome earlier this year, and the plane was one of the newer Delta 767s with updated seatback IFE systems (headphone jack, USB, etc). That was really nice, especially for an 11 hour flight.

We also travel with only carry-on luggage, and since Delta gives you one free checked bag on trans-Atlantic flights, that meant there was plenty of overhead space (since most of the other pax had checked their bags). I was actually able to stow my personal item in the overhead (after ensuring that the space would not be required for someone else's carry-on), so had the maximum available legroom in my seat.

-JimG

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 5,174
reviews: 75
10. Re: What's the best airline to fly from the US to Rome?

"Delta gives you one free checked bag on trans-Atlantic flights"

More or less every major airline gives you a free checked bag on trans-Atlantic flights. There may be exceptions but I know United an American do.

And on the transiting, I did mean on the return flight. That's where US immigration is a problem. On the way to Europe it does not really matter.

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