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Are Direct flights from Europe-IAH (via Newark) a joke?

Are Direct flights from Europe-IAH (via Newark) a joke?

 
Old Oct 16, 06, 8:41 pm
  #1  
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Are Direct flights from Europe-IAH (via Newark) a joke?

Recently took CO 63 from Madrid to IAH. Flight is marketed as 1-stop service via Newark with "equipment change." I thought this might give you some assurance that if the transatlantic flight was delayed, the continuation of the flight from EWR-IAH would wait. NOT! There is only about an hour built in to the schedule in Newark, barely enough time to get through customs under the best of conditions. In my case, the flight was 40 minutes late arriving from Madrid. The guy directing traffic out of customs wouldn't even allow us to try to recheck bags and connect. After spending over an hour in the rebooking line (with 2 business first clerks reading magazines, and no elite line), I got to standby on 4 different flights before getting home to Houston. I asked an agent in the PC about whether this was just pretending to be a direct flight and they said that "occassionally someone runs and makes the connection."

Questions for the team:
1. Was my experience really typical--should I avoid 1-stop flights and insist that my travel agent book two separate flight numbers with more time for transit in Newark?
2. If the flight had been delayed another half an hour, with the EWR-IAH plane departing on time, there would have been two CO 63 planes in the air around Newark. Isn't this an air traffic safety issue?
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Old Oct 16, 06, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by seabrookflyer

Questions for the team:
1. Was my experience really typical--should I avoid 1-stop flights and insist that my travel agent book two separate flight numbers with more time for transit in Newark?
2. If the flight had been delayed another half an hour, with the EWR-IAH plane departing on time, there would have been two CO 63 planes in the air around Newark. Isn't this an air traffic safety issue?
1. I would book as two separate segments and allow more connection time. CO used to have lots of direct single flight numbers from DCA-Europe - but discontinued them all - did not make sense.

2. Not sure on this.
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Old Oct 16, 06, 9:05 pm
  #3  
 
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Anticipation?

I always thought the "direct" flights between IAH & MAD were in anticipation of non-stop service. Even though Continental management at the DO's has indicted that the non-stop service is high on their list, the entry difficulties for non-citizens who might just transit IAH to MAD and lack of sufficient widebody aircraft has put off a non-stop indefinitely, AFAIK.

Two years ago we returned in BF on Flt. 63 which also arrived late and a concierage was waiting for us to advise we were seated up front on the next later scheduled flight EWR-IAH.
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Old Oct 16, 06, 9:17 pm
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Originally Posted by seabrookflyer
2. If the flight had been delayed another half an hour, with the EWR-IAH plane departing on time, there would have been two CO 63 planes in the air around Newark. Isn't this an air traffic safety issue?
This has just been discussed in a recent thread elsewhere - can't find it at the moment. I believe that when two flights sharing the same # are in the same area, one of the flights (maybe both), take on a different prefix, which designates it as a 'departing' flight verus an 'arriving' flight. Or something like that.
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Old Oct 16, 06, 9:40 pm
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Yeah, they're a joke.

Pick any obscure airport anywhere that has a connection in EWR, and you've got a direct flight to Europe! Maybe all Continental flights should have the same flight number to make it simple!

Now, if they were really smart, they'd make it so that whenever you put in your origin & destination cities on the website and a connection exists, it automatically comes up with a "direct" flight for you! What a personalized service! (Kinda like those 1-time-use credit card numbers you can get with some credit cards for use on the internet!) "Phoenix to Oslo - why yes, there's a direct flight!! Just one equipment change!" San Antonio to Rome - of course there's a direct flight too!!" I'm sure it would make all passengers feel extra special.

Get real, CO!! Admit when you have a nonstop flight and when you don't!
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Old Oct 16, 06, 10:02 pm
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"Direct" flights are just a marketing scam, all the airlines do it.

It's 'cause "direct" flights appear on computer rez systems before "connecting" flights. Lots of CO flights originate/continue to other domestic cities on smaller aircraft.

CO #4, MSY-(IAH)- LGW is a good example.

There ought to be a law.......
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Old Oct 16, 06, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Euroflyer
Pick any obscure airport anywhere that has a connection in EWR, and you've got a direct flight to Europe! Maybe all Continental flights should have the same flight number to make it simple!
Good one
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Old Oct 16, 06, 10:52 pm
  #8  
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1. When there the two flights with the same number, the 2nd one will have number 5xxx for air traffic considerations.

2. For Int'l-EWR-Domestic one-stop, yes, it means absolutely nothing. And since you'll still have to get off, go through immigration, collect luggage, clear customs, recheck luggage, and reclear security anyways.

3. The only one-stop flights that constantly use the same equipment is CO51 EWR-IAH-EZE on a 762. [But the 1st leg, FRA-IAH is on a 764.]

4. Careful when you book a "direct" flight as you only get mileage for the distance between the first city and final. You may be cheated a lot of miles. [For example, IAH-EWR-PEK, or SAT-IAH-NRT-GUM, for example.]
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Old Oct 16, 06, 11:21 pm
  #9  
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CO 34 DEN-LGW is very dangerous...check this out from CO.Com:

1 Stop. Time on the ground in Houston, TX (IAH - Intercontinental) is 47 minutes. Change Planes. Equipment changes in Houston, TX (IAH - Intercontinental) to a Boeing 777-200ER.

I always take an earlier DEN-IAH flight to allow plenty of time to make the connection. Yes, many of the direct flights are a bit of a joke.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 12:33 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by seabrookflyer
I asked an agent in the PC about whether this was just pretending to be a direct flight and they said that "occassionally someone runs and makes the connection."
At least they were honest.

btw, next time ignore the dude directing you to the rebooking line. Dump your bags for recheck (they're already tagged to IAH) and run for it. Since your bags are tagged, and it's CO's responsibility to get them to your final destination.

Then if you don't make it, you can go to Customer Service, the PC, or call on the phone, whatever you think will be the quickest. No need to stand in any line for two hours, ever.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 8:29 am
  #11  
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NW is (or at least was at one time) a particularly bad offender with their 1-stop bait-and-switch. I've had it happen to me on AA too, and I'm sure there are others.

Even when the equipment is scheduled to be the same on both legs, they'll make you run to the other end of the airport.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 9:50 am
  #12  
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The "direct" flight concept, while once real, is now complete and total fraud on the part of airlines.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 10:21 am
  #13  
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I am trying to think which CO mainline flights are true "direct" ones.

Besides CO51 EWR-IAH-EZE, which is usually the same 762 (not FRA-EWR leg), I can think of only of these longer-haul mainlines:

- CO126, the circular EWR-DUB-SNN-EWR
- CO223/667, IAH-SEA-ANC
- CO92/3 IAH-GRU-GIG

Air Mike have several, however:

- CO956/7 the 5-stop HNL-GUM milk-run
- CO951/2 HNL-KWA-GUM
- CO891/2 GUM-YAP-ROR-MNL
- CO953/4 GUM-ROR-MNL

Anything else?
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Old Oct 17, 06, 10:52 am
  #14  
 
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The fraud of direct flights is not just upsetting, it's upsetting because all the carriers do it and it benefits nobody.

I honestly can't remember the last time a "direct" flight for me did not involve a change of aircraft just like any connecting flight. To add insult to injury, if you would of been entitled to minimum segment miles if the connecting flight is under 500, you will loose it.
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Old Oct 17, 06, 11:15 am
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I chuckled when I was @ ATL last week and saw a departure board indicate "Newark / Tel Aviv". My favorite from the past was the direct flights from DCA to GVA that started off with an ERJ.
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