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Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

WNY
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Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

We are thinking of making a trip to Europe and would like to fly into one city and out of another. We probably would be visiting Italy [Florence area] and Switzerland [up to Bern or Zurich]. I have been trying to figure out which airline to use, hopefully with only one stop each way, two at most.

We will be trying business class for the first time and have read here that British Airways is very good, but it doesn't look like that's a possibility for our itinerary. I don't like United or American, and definitely not US Air. Delta has some choices from our US location, but I haven't been crazy about Delta, either.

We could do a different itinerary, but Florence is a "must". So, we could do, say, Paris or Frankfurt or Brussels.

Any advice before I give up trying to do this myself and go see a travel agent?

Thanks much!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

Are you prepared to pay for tickets or are you trying to use FF miles?

Open-jaws are very easy to arrange, but if you want to fly into or out of smaller cities then you'd probably have to change planes someplace in Europe in addition to connecting from home (where?) to a US gateway. It's not a big deal; your luggage is usually checked through to your ultimate European destination. Coming back, you go through immigration and customs at your first US landing point, then just re-check your bags for the flight home (if any.)

Florence is a small airport; you might look at Rome or Milan plus a train ride, or Pisa, which is quite close to Florence but has generally better air connections. Neither Florence nor Pisa have transatlantic nonstop flights, however.

When is your trip?

Edited: 7:20 pm, January 27, 2014
San Diego
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2. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

You seem to have thrown out lots of airlines without really explaining what you seek?

I use Delta lots for flying to Europe so don't understand your reluctance to use them?

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

I use United and AA all the time flying intercontinental and never had an issue. I never found them much different than the European airlines, at least in economy which is what I usually fly. And on short haul flights, I've never found BA particularly good. They're an airline like all the others. Maybe business there's more of a difference. Although the one time I was in United business from Europe, I had no issues at all so not sure why you would not fly them.

Edited: 9:54 pm, January 27, 2014
Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

Most US-based airlines are going to seem rather similar than different.

Some airlines have installed better business class product. Figure out what equipment your flight might be using, and head over to Seatguru and the airline's website to compare seat features.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

I have flown Business with AA and United, and was not greatly impressed. In my opinion, the level of comfort and service was below that which I received with Singapore, Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic or Swiss.

Cape May, New Jersey
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6. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

I have used the Expedia and the Europeandestinations websites to successfully book Europe trips in which I wish to fly into one city and leave from another. Have never had a problem. Was able to vary the journeys to my liking and itinerary.

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

Nothing wrong with looking at BA. But, beware of doing a connection in London that requires changing airports from Heathrow to Gatwick (BA offers flights to Pisa from LGW as well as LHR). Swiss is another good one to look at, especially if you're looking at returning from Switzerland.

United's hard product (100% lie flat beds) is actually very good. I'm not going to say their service is the best because it's not, but it's not horrible, especially if you can get an ex-Continental plane out of Newark (2 class aircraft). One advantage of flying BA from the east coast is that they serve you your meal in the lounge before departing, giving you as close to a full 6.5 hours' rest as possible.

8. Re: Advice for "Open Jaw" trip, US to Europe

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