Return Connection in MUC

 
Old Jan 17, 12, 4:08 pm
  #1  
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Return Connection in MUC

Upcoming trip in March to ZRH and IST. Doing US GNV-CLT-PHL-ZRH then TK ZRH - IST. The return flight is the question though. On US's website they price out a return from IST -MUC -PHL - CLT - GNV around $650 with IST - MUC on a codesahre with TK. But if I book the TK IST - MUC separately from the US MUC -PHL - CLT - GNV the price goes down to about $350. The same IST - MUC flight on TK's website is about $90 instead of the implied $300 on US's site.

Now i assume the risks of not booking the flights through US's site would be that if the TK flight is late US won't care and I will be left paying out for a new ticket. The Tk flight touches down at MUC 9:30am and the US flight leaves MUC at noon. The question is whether 2.5 hours is enough to make it through customs, get reticketed, recheck bags, go through security again, and make it to the gate? US seems to think so, since the flight is offered on their website. Since US and Tk are both *alliance could TK ticket me in IST for my US flight and check my bags all the way to GNV if I have my PNR for the US flight? Or should I just pay the constructive $210 insurance policy?

Thoughts? Any and all help is appreciated.

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Old Jan 17, 12, 6:30 pm
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My experience has been that German immigration is very efficient - 2.5 hours would be enough - plan for some extra time to clear US security in MUC, though. MUC is a clean, efficient, manageable airport.

I would not risk it, though...anything can chip into that 2.5 hour layover - weather, air traffic, strikes...who knows. A last minute airfare to the US is not cheap.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 8:11 pm
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Can you book it via Expedia or Travelocity and get the desired price on one itinerary? Whenever possible, you should book everything on one ticket to ensure you get the proper protections in the event of delays/cancellations. If you are on separate tickets, the airline is obligated to get you no further than the ticketed destination. If you are on on ticket, the airline delayed is responsible to get you to your final destination.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 6:43 am
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MUC is an excellent airport for connections...
Please ask nicely and TK will check the baggage through to your final destination (they don't have to, but normally European airlines do this without any problem - I do not think TK would be much different).
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Old Jan 18, 12, 6:48 am
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2.5 hours at MUC would be ample time, including US security clearance, HOWEVER you might not in fact have 2.5 hours or even 1.5. I agree the insurance is worth $210. But I also second the recommendation re: consolidators (travelocity et al.), who often generate itineraries which you don't get elsewhere.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 7:08 am
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TK will check your baggage to your final destination in the US when you show your US-itenerary to the agent in IST.

2.5 hours in March should be fine in MUC. Winter is - hopefully - over and now snow.

You have to clear immigration in MUC which is fast and efficient. TK and US are in the same terminal so you just have to go to the main hall, find the US counters and check in for your onward flight.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 8:43 am
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Thanks for the responses. I tried expedia and travelocity. Travelocity would only give me air france and delta flights. Whereas expedia got a little bit closer on the routing but it cost an extra $4k to book it. So struck out there. (Of course I could be doing something wrong. Trying to fly GNV - ZRH 2/29, ZRH - IST 3/3, IST - GNV 3/10)

Seems to be a consensus that MUC is a good airport and it's possible to pull it off. However nobody advocated booking it separately. Sounds like I'll just bite the bullet and buy the insurance policy. I would rather spend $210 now than another $2k needed to rebook.

At least this way I would get the PQM's for flying on TK when booked through US. The discount fares on on Tk's site probable don't qualify for partner US miles. Thanks for the help, any other ideas let me know.

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Last edited by GNVGator; Jan 18, 12 at 9:10 am
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Old Jan 18, 12, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
...At least this way I would get the PQM's for flying on TK when booked through US. ...
US has booked me on LH K fares connecting out of FRA in the past, and those earn 0 PQMs when accrued to US ... so I'd just be a little careful.

If there's a way you can find out the TK fare class, the US webpage link is helpful.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 2:40 pm
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Assuming you can get TK to check your bags through to your final destination, you might not have to clear immigration and customs in MUC -- when connecting there from one non-Schengen (i.e., non-EU, roughly speaking) flight to another, you would ordinarily just remain within the non-Schengen transit area -- but if you weren't already checked in for your US itinerary, I'm not completely sure you would be able to do so at your departure gate (though I seem to recall that it is not uncommon at European airports for there to be "transfer desks" at departure gates to allow for check-in by passengers arriving from elsewhere). Of course, if you can do online check-in for the US flights while still in IST and have your US boarding passes in hand when you get to MUC, so much the better.
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Old Jan 18, 12, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Jones3 View Post
Assuming you can get TK to check your bags through to your final destination, you might not have to clear immigration and customs in MUC -- when connecting there from one non-Schengen (i.e., non-EU, roughly speaking) flight to another, you would ordinarily just remain within the non-Schengen transit area -- but if you weren't already checked in for your US itinerary, I'm not completely sure you would be able to do so at your departure gate (though I seem to recall that it is not uncommon at European airports for there to be "transfer desks" at departure gates to allow for check-in by passengers arriving from elsewhere). Of course, if you can do online check-in for the US flights while still in IST and have your US boarding passes in hand when you get to MUC, so much the better.
Yea I was wondering the same thing as to whether I would have to go through customs since I would be transient. It's becoming clear that I can pull it off but if there is any delay then it would be time to sweat...
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Old Jan 18, 12, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
US has booked me on LH K fares connecting out of FRA in the past, and those earn 0 PQMs when accrued to US ... so I'd just be a little careful.

If there's a way you can find out the TK fare class, the US webpage link is helpful.
That's awful. It begs the question how would anyone earn partner miles? I wonder if it wouldn't be better to call and book over the phone to make sure that it is a qualifying fare code?
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