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Need help flying to Rome - can't decide which flight is best from Salt Lake City

Need help flying to Rome - can't decide which flight is best from Salt Lake City

Old Jul 17, 19, 12:51 pm
  #1  
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Need help flying to Rome - can't decide which flight is best from Salt Lake City

We are taking our first family trip to Europe, with little experience flying internationally. We will be flying SLC to FCO, with one layover. Assuming cost is not an issue, which route makes the most sense?

SLC-JFK-FCO

SLC-ATL-FCO

SLC-AMS-FCO

SLC-CDG-FCO

Note that the U.S. options have us changing planes at about 9:00 pm home time, and arriving in Rome at what would be 3:00 AM back home. If we pick between the U.S. routes, is JFK or ATL better for layovers? Total flight times are nearly identical.

If we pick the Europe layovers, we are switching planes in what would be the middle of the night back home. But maybe that would help us start adjusting to local time?

The first three routes put us in Rome about mid-day. The last one puts us there at 5:00 pm local.

I am juggling the prospect of everyone adjusting to the new time, which airports are better for layovers, etc., and canít decide which flight is best for a family.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 1:48 pm
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Schedule (not the time at home, but the actual arrival times of flights and equipment, especially depending on what cabin you are flying in, are important factors). SLC-AMS is the best option. It is probably a codeshare of KLM on a 787 which is a nice ride and the AMS is an easy and reliable connection. International flights provide better service than domestic flights, so more time on the international flight is better. CDG is fine if things go smoothly, but if AF decides to strike or you have irrops, its a nightmare.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 1:55 pm
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I like to maximize sleeping time on the outbound flight, so the European connections would be preferable to me. AMS edges out CDG for the reasons the Situation mentions above. On the return I donít like having to pick up and recheck my bags during the layover (US connections), so Iíd pick AMS again there too.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
Schedule (not the time at home, but the actual arrival times of flights and equipment, especially depending on what cabin you are flying in, are important factors). SLC-AMS is the best option. It is probably a codeshare of KLM on a 787 which is a nice ride and the AMS is an easy and reliable connection. International flights provide better service than domestic flights, so more time on the international flight is better. CDG is fine if things go smoothly, but if AF decides to strike or you have irrops, its a nightmare.
If you choose to connect in Europe, give yourself enough time to go through passport control (entering Schengen), change terminals, and pass through Security.
Personally I fly to Europe from SFO and much prefer a night departure, sleep on the TATL, and arrive in Europe sometime mid-afternoon, a relaxed layover, and arrive at final destination in the early evening, ready to transfer to the city, get checked in, catch a light meal, and hit the rack, defeating jet lag.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:16 pm
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SLC-AMS is by far my preferred option. I use it a few times each year. AMS is a great airport, destination-wise as well as for a connection. AVOID CDG like the plague.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ss278 View Post
SLC-AMS is by far my preferred option. I use it a few times each year. AMS is a great airport, destination-wise as well as for a connection. AVOID CDG like the plague.
I actually don't mind CDG at all.
But I do appreciate the general meme advising other passengers to stay away.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:28 pm
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the earlier you arrive at your final destination, the more likely it is that you could have to wait to check into your hotel
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
It is probably a codeshare of KLM on a 787 which is a nice ride .
I don't think that KLM flies to SLC. I think it's only Delta and it is usually a 767. Not a great ride in business (though not awful), but many like it in coach.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by BradLivermore View Post
SLC-JFK-FCO

SLC-ATL-FCO

SLC-AMS-FCO

SLC-CDG-FCO

The first three routes put us in Rome about mid-day. The last one puts us there at 5:00 pm local.
I fly TATL from SLC a bunch, and think the AMS route works best as long as you get to your final destination sometime during the afternoon. That way, you can check in, shower, relax, have dinner and already be on schedule with the time change. I also like to think about alternative flights, if something should get cancelled or delayed. If the afternoon DL flight gets cancelled or delayed, there's another KLM flight leaving in the evening. Once in AMS, you should have plenty of alternative options to get to FCO. I try to avoid ATL and CDG from personal experience, and have gotten lucky at JFK - but there will be construction there next year. On the way back, I absolutely prefer to go through immigration at SLC, usually a breeze compared to ATL or JFK. That way, you won't have to re-check bags, either. I like the DL flight that gets to SLC mid day, so there's a chance for other options that still get to SLC on the same day. Enjoy Europe!
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Old Jul 17, 19, 2:46 pm
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If the SLC-AMS leg is the one leaving at 2pm...it is a rugged flight. I say that because you are not tired enough to fall asleep until final couple of hours of the flight. You then land in AMS just after midnight on the body clock. Literally messes with your whole first day of arrival. By the time you get to Rome you will just want to sleep.

CDG flight is nice because it leaves at 5pm or so. Lets you eat, watch a movie and then get some sleep. You land around 4am on the body clock, which isn't too horrid. Make your connecting flight, you will doze...but by time you are in Rome, hotel room should be ready. Drop your stuff off and you will only need to fight off jet lag for 6-8 hours. You should be ready to go the next morning.

I agree with everyone on the return--take one of the overseas nonstops. Nothing worse than collecting bags and/or missing a connection.

Last edited by SLCEO; Jul 17, 19 at 2:48 pm Reason: adding
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Old Jul 17, 19, 3:07 pm
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I'd go with SLC-ATL-FCO option. For USA-Europe flights, connecting in a USA hub has fewer hassles than connecting in an Europe hub. And ATL flights are more likely to be on time than JFK flights.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
I don't think that KLM flies to SLC. I think it's only Delta and it is usually a 767. Not a great ride in business (though not awful), but many like it in coach.
KLM flies seasonal using their 787 SLC/AMS. It's only three or four days each week. I love it for the fact it's a late departure both directions. Leave at 5pm from AMS, meaning get full day before flight. Its basically last flight to US ex-AMS. Return leave somewhere around 9 or 10pm from SLC.

Originally Posted by Austin787 View Post
I'd go with SLC-ATL-FCO option. For USA-Europe flights, connecting in a USA hub has fewer hassles than connecting in an Europe hub. And ATL flights are more likely to be on time than JFK flights.
For return I'd go either via ATL in J or AMS if in Y.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 3:44 pm
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What time of year?

If winter, definitely avoid JFK at all costs.

Would go via ATL on outbound and through AMS/CDG on return (prefer arriving in my final destination in the US if possible instead of having to connect to another flight after a TATL)
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Old Jul 17, 19, 4:13 pm
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I would look at SLC-ATL-FCO on the outbound, then FCO-AMS-SLC on the return. The SLC-AMS routes are flown by DL on a 767 or KLM on 787. For the DL flight, the timing of the outbound makes it a bit odd for sleeping during the flight, and likely gets you to Rome too early to check-in to your a hotel. The KLM flight is at a much better time, but the 787 in economy isn't very comfortable(not as bad if your sharing your row with children/smaller family members). Theres numerous SLC-ATL flights every day and the ATL-FCO flight is a better flight in Y on the A330. For the return, similar story, but flying straight home from Europe as opposed to connecting back in the US is always nice. That being said, in both directions, I would prioritize overall flight times and connection times over any specific routing. With little international flying experience, I wouldn't book anything with less than a 90 minute connection when dealing with passport controls. Longer connections just mean you can get a decent meal on the ground vs what you'll get on board.

Also, just doing a quick search on the website, I'm seeing one-stop options with SLC-DTW-FCO, and SLC-ORD-FCO with ORD-FCO operated by Alitalia. Not sure what routes are seasonal though so depending on OPs dates, these might not all show up.
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Old Jul 17, 19, 5:13 pm
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Avoid CDG, JFK and AF for all the reasons mentioned above.
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