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Old Sep 20, 08, 8:57 pm   #1
 
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Smile shortest flight USA to europe?

hi,

we're planning a family vacation, shooting for after 12/25, from San Francisco, CA to Nice, France. when there, we were hoping on hopping onto planes for additional trips to Venice, Italy and Barcelona, Spain too.

my question is, do any of you have any recommendations on the shortest flight or way of getting there?

several family members have health restrictions (problems with circulation when flying, etc.) and this is a real concern for us.

we're completely flexible on how to do this so minimize flight times. like maybe breaking-up the SFO-NY flight midway and maybe sleeping overnight to make the flights into 4-5 hour blocks instead.

or, there's the option of taking a cruise instead, to eventually get there, but so far, the cruises we're finding out of NY or FL doesn't seem to go to our ideal itineraries.

at a complete loss here. help please? thank you.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:20 pm   #2
 
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Have you thought about Iceland air? That gives you a layover on the way. Still teh same distance, but at least there is a break in between.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:24 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
Have you thought about Iceland air? That gives you a layover on the way. Still teh same distance, but at least there is a break in between.

Good suggestion. To break it up the most it would be San Francisco-Chicago-JFK-Iceland-London. From there you could take the train anywhere in Europe. You could obviously do versions of that with fewer stops such as San Francisco to NY and then NY to Iceland and Iceland to London.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:31 pm   #4
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Icelandair is a good idea to break it up

They fly all over Europe like Milan and Paris
In addition, you can switch to the lo(wer)-cost Iceland Express in Reykjavik and fly to Barcelona or Paris
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:40 pm   #5
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Icelandair is the way to go.
If, for whatever reason, you can't make it work, look at Air Fungus to DUB.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:40 pm   #6
 
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Air Canada YHZ(Halifax)-LHR is 2848miles, 6h00m, on B767, while
Icelandair JFK-KEF is 2586miles, 5h45m, on B757.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:06 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by gura View Post
Air Canada YHZ(Halifax)-LHR is 2848miles, 6h00m, on B767, while
Icelandair JFK-KEF is 2586miles, 5h45m, on B757.
but if they are starting out from SFO, getting to YHZ is no snap

if you punch in ITA, it gives you elapsed times - as little as 13 hours via CDG - but there is a long flite to CDG

its easy to break in JFK, then go nonstop to NCE:

San Francisco, CA to Nice, France: 6558 miles 15 hrs 30 min

Delta Air Lines Flight DL150 on a Boeing 757
Departs San Francisco, CA (SFO) Thur, Dec 25 9:10a 5 hrs 42 min
Arrives New York, NY (JFK) 5:52p
Layover in New York 1 hr 18 min
Delta Air Lines Flight DL82 on a Boeing 767
Departs New York, NY (JFK) Thur, Dec 25 7:10p 8 hrs 30 min
Arrives Nice, France (NCE) Fri, Dec 26 9:40a
Note: The flight from New York (JFK) to Nice (NCE) is overnight

this is much easier than double-stopping or overnighting on the way

and i do not recommend Icelandair: narrow seats, tight pitch, even in business

but should you be shlepping elderly folk around europe?

how about a nice cruise to the mexican riviera??
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:11 pm   #8
 
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IcelandAir (TF) also services BOS, unless it has gone seasonal. That's marginally shorter than ex-JFK.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:24 pm   #9
 
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I just flew SFO-DUB on Aer Lingus and it was a delightful flight. It's a day flight which makes it easy to move about the cabin since you aren't interupting anyone's sleep. Although you will be tired when you arrive the next day. Their seats are comfortable. You are feed two nice meals and a large snack plus all the beverages you want. Movies run on a loop, with the seat backs holding the screen or you can play games on them.

I did find it interesting that the only ones moving about the cabin were the Americans. There is also a nice place to stand, out of the way, in the aisles by the center cabin bathrooms.

I have no idea how easy it is or the price to get from Dublin to Nice.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:31 pm   #10
 
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Yet another option might be SFO-BOS then a non stop on Aer Lingus BOS-DUB listed as 6 hours total elapsed time. And from DUB you can reach just about anywhere in mainland Europe. Might avoid Ryan Air and stick with Aer Lingus, BA or Air France.

I agree with the other posts about Iceland Air, not for the faint of heart...more suitable for the backpack traveler.

Sam
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Old Sep 21, 08, 10:21 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by sfogate View Post
I just flew SFO-DUB on Aer Lingus and it was a delightful flight. It's a day flight which makes it easy to move about the cabin since you aren't interupting anyone's sleep.
Say what? What do you mean it's a day flight? It's a redeye like the vast majority of eastbound flights to Europe. Do you mean it's a day flight because it leaves in the early afternoon and spends a bit of time in daylight? That will change rapidly as winter approaches, when the OP intends to travel. Early afternoon SFO departures will still be in darkness within a couple hours flying over Canada, and it'll barely be daylight in Ireland after 8am.
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Old Sep 21, 08, 11:04 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy View Post
Say what? What do you mean it's a day flight? It's a redeye like the vast majority of eastbound flights to Europe. Do you mean it's a day flight because it leaves in the early afternoon and spends a bit of time in daylight? That will change rapidly as winter approaches, when the OP intends to travel. Early afternoon SFO departures will still be in darkness within a couple hours flying over Canada, and it'll barely be daylight in Ireland after 8am.
I view any flight that departs, my time, in the early afternoon, as a day flight. If you stay on your departing local time, you arrive at midnight in Dublin, although it's morning there. For people like me that find it difficult to sleep on planes, it's perfect. I can arrive at my destination, take a short nap and still have a whole day to play.
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Old Sep 21, 08, 12:53 pm   #13
 
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I like SEA-AMS on KLM/Northwest to get from the west coast to Europe (and beyond) in the shortest total flying time. You could take the train or fly to Seattle from San Francisco, then fly the polar route to Amsterdam, around 10 hours. This avoids the long travel times involved with connections.

Trains from the airport get to the Amsterdam central station in 20 minutes, and you can continue on to the destinations of your choice with ease by train.

As for "day flight" - in the summer, the SEA-AMS flight that leaves around 7 pm and heads northeast is indeed almost all day light. By the time it is dark on the left side of the plane, day is dawning on the right side. A little disorienting.
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Old Sep 21, 08, 1:05 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyairfare View Post
I like SEA-AMS on KLM/Northwest to get from the west coast to Europe (and beyond) in the shortest total flying time. You could take the train or fly to Seattle from San Francisco, then fly the polar route to Amsterdam, around 10 hours. This avoids the long travel times involved with connections.

Trains from the airport get to the Amsterdam central station in 20 minutes, and you can continue on to the destinations of your choice with ease by train.

As for "day flight" - in the summer, the SEA-AMS flight that leaves around 7 pm and heads northeast is indeed almost all day light. By the time it is dark on the left side of the plane, day is dawning on the right side. A little disorienting.

They seem to have some time but are trying to avoid LONG FLIGHTS. Im not sure SEA-AMS really fits the bill.
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Old Sep 21, 08, 1:10 pm   #15
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if there are people in the OPs party with circulation problems the last thing Id want to do is fly on 757 which is 1 aisle. I wouldnt set foot onto anything but a Wide-body where they will be able to walk around and even have a few places to stand and hang.
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