Please help me choose: ATL-XXX-ZRH

Old Aug 23, 17, 9:19 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by dilbertsdaddy View Post
Honestly, I don't like any of them.

JFK 2:24 is the best for the connection

In general I would always favor the direct flight from the US rather than connecting in Europe. The problem is that in this case it is JFK

JFK could be fine one day and a nightmare the next

Faced with 4 bad choices, I would choose the first one
I would generally choose the longest overwater flight, but there are always other considerations, many discussed.
What I don't think was discussed was the time of year. Summer is risky because of afternoon T-storms. Winter is risky because of potential for snowstorms, but less frequent than summer T-storms. Spring and fall generally okay, except for early fall hurricanes.

If this is a summer flight, the T-storm issue pushes option #1 further down the list, to the point where I think I'd rather take the 1h35m connection in CDG, especially since there is probably a backup CDG-ZRH an hour or two later, at least on weekdays (IIRC their ZRH schedule on Saturday is pretty weak). And if you're on time, there is probably even time for a shower in the lounge.

If you do misconnect in JFK, I'm sure there are plenty of other routings to get you to ZRH, especially since JFK-ZRH is relatively early, but you would certainly risk losing the upgrade.
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Old Aug 23, 17, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I would generally choose the longest overwater flight, but there are always other considerations, many discussed.
What I don't think was discussed was the time of year. Summer is risky because of afternoon T-storms. Winter is risky because of potential for snowstorms, but less frequent than summer T-storms. Spring and fall generally okay, except for early fall hurricanes.

If this is a summer flight, the T-storm issue pushes option #1 further down the list, to the point where I think I'd rather take the 1h35m connection in CDG, especially since there is probably a backup CDG-ZRH an hour or two later, at least on weekdays (IIRC their ZRH schedule on Saturday is pretty weak). And if you're on time, there is probably even time for a shower in the lounge.

If you do misconnect in JFK, I'm sure there are plenty of other routings to get you to ZRH, especially since JFK-ZRH is relatively early, but you would certainly risk losing the upgrade.
I second this post!! I generally try to choose the longest over-water flight in D1 to maximize sleep. Furthermore, there are several flights a day from AMS/CDG to ZRH. If it were me, I'd choose the ATL-AMS TATL flight.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 1:49 pm
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Question

For those who would choose ATL-AMS-ZRH, the connection time is only 1hr 15min. How risky is that? (I wouldn't connect via CDG for less than 2hr.)
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Old Aug 25, 17, 2:04 pm
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The advantage of connecting in AMS (or CDG) is that if there is a misconnect, there probably will be another flight in a couple of hours. If you misconnect at JFK then it is the either the next day or another connection at CDG/AMS.

If it is "meet up with a group" as in a group tour where you are canceled if a no show, then I would go the day before. If the group is a bunch of friends headed off somewhere that you could meet up with later in the day, that is another thing...
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Old Aug 25, 17, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by ConciergeBrandon View Post
For those who would choose ATL-AMS-ZRH, the connection time is only 1hr 15min. How risky is that? (I wouldn't connect via CDG for less than 2hr.)
MCT is 50 minutes, I believe--so it is certainly doable if everything is on time. Also I believe they have a fast track for tight connections.

I have booked my mother with a 55 minute connection there in a couple weeks. If she can do it, that will be a sign that anyone can indeed do it. (Sure glad she doesn't know what FT is to see this!)
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Old Aug 25, 17, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by youvesaiditall View Post
MCT is 50 minutes, I believe--so it is certainly doable if everything is on time. Also I believe they have a fast track for tight connections.

I have booked my mother with a 55 minute connection there in a couple weeks. If she can do it, that will be a sign that anyone can indeed do it. (Sure glad she doesn't know what FT is to see this!)
I've done a 60 minute connection at AMS -- the inbound flights from the US are often early (though you can't count on this) and they do have a separate passport lane for short connections. But I did this knowing if I missed it there was another flight in a couple of hours -- I had no deadlines at my destination.

I never would have done a connection that short back when you had to clear security when coming from the US.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 4:17 pm
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I have done the JFK-ZRH several times and have been delayed 2-3 hours. But as I was heading to Zurich it did not matter. The fact that you are meeting a group might influence my choice. How much does it matter if you are late? If it really matters - fly a day early and enjoy Zurich for a day.

Otherwise my typical preference is to do my transfers in the states when possible.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by ConciergeBrandon View Post
For those who would choose ATL-AMS-ZRH, the connection time is only 1hr 15min. How risky is that? (I wouldn't connect via CDG for less than 2hr.)
with a non EU passport wait time in AMS is easily an hour. Much worse than CDG! With European passports provided the automated gates are working, AMS is ok. However, personally I prefer CDG over AMS.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by MarLim View Post
with a non EU passport wait time in AMS is easily an hour. Much worse than CDG!
I don't fly TATL a ton, but I've connected in both and I'm pretty sure my shortest transit at CDG (coming from the US into schengen) was longer than my longest such transit at AMS.
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Old Aug 25, 17, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by MarLim View Post
with a non EU passport wait time in AMS is easily an hour. Much worse than CDG! With European passports provided the automated gates are working, AMS is ok. However, personally I prefer CDG over AMS.
We all have our preferences and weight different things so I am not disrespecting your preference, but...

I've never had to wait an hour for passport check in AMS in 20+ years of connecting there (4-6 times a year on avg)

In the bad old days before the new configuration, when coming from the US, after the passport check you had a TSA type security and sometimes that would back up so much they would stop checking passports (like the time where you had to remove all power cords and cables from your carry on). But even then I would be surprised if it was much over a 30 min line.

I've only connected at CDG maybe 6-8 times (most recently in May) and there hasn't been a time where there hasn't been a non trivial wait, whether for a bus between terminals or for a standing around until the passport station got around to opening. I still shudder at the time our 777 parked at a remote gate and we all walked down the airstairs to a waiting bus, which took 30+ minutes to get to the terminal as it had to wait for crossing planes every few minutes. That was the time you could use SWU to upgrade from PE to J and I was so thankful I was able to upgrade. I'm sure it was near an hour before the people at the back got to the terminal.

Yes CDG is much better than it was in the dark days but has a long way to go until its stress levels approach AMS.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
I don't fly TATL a ton, but I've connected in both and I'm pretty sure my shortest transit at CDG (coming from the US into schengen) was longer than my longest such transit at AMS.
just transferred this morning Schengen to Non-Schengen at CDG: zero wait time in both directions. Of course I know it's not always like this ...
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Old Aug 29, 17, 6:55 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
I don't fly TATL a ton, but I've connected in both and I'm pretty sure my shortest transit at CDG (coming from the US into schengen) was longer than my longest such transit at AMS.
Agreed. Never had more then a few minutes wait at AMS. CDG regularly more than 30 minutes IME.

Also no need to reclear security at AMS on flights from US.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 7:22 am
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I avoid JFK like the plague.
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