Any advice with American airline companies?

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Orwell
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Post by Orwell » Wed May 28, 2008 11:29 pm

I'd also advise avoiding a US airline if you can. It doesn't happen often, but they've been known to land on the 101st floor. Quite impractical if you ask me.
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Post by JaddziaDax » Wed May 28, 2008 11:40 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:So they don't have to check a bag and risk having it disappear? I know plenty of people that go on short trips with just a carry-on bag so they don't have to deal with the airlines losing their luggage.
thats what I do for cons and such.

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Douggie
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Post by Douggie » Thu May 29, 2008 12:51 am

Thanks for the advice/stories, people! I know I probably won't be having enough with one bag as I'm staying 2.5 weeks in the US. And I probably have to bring back souvenirs for people. :) And yeah, I'll take a sturdy bag!

The problem is that I have to take an American airline company, because I'll be flying from Amsterdam to New York. Then fly from New York to Atlanta (I come one day earlier, because I wanna see the Georgia Aquarium :D). Then drive with you guys from Atlanta to Chicago. Then fly from Chicago back to Amsterdam. If don't use an American airline company, it'll cost me at least 1300 EUROs, which I find very expensive to do so - and for flights within the USA, there will be no other choice anyway.

Expedia shows me: American Airlines: 602, Continental: 680, United: 736 and Northwest: 962. Orbitz gives a few other options, including British Airways or BMI mixed with American Airlines. Also Delta for 703. As for now I tend to go with Continental or Delta, because it seems like (mostly) everybody is avoiding American Airlines here :P and 2 of the 3 flights are non-stop.
Otohiko wrote: It's generally advised that if you fly through the US, you avoid Atlanta and Chicago (lol, ironic considering where the cons are).
Hmmm, that's the two airports I will be using! :O But my trip back to Amsterdam is most likely not going to be non-stop, so I have a choice of a few cities I have to stop to. I heard in the north they are stricter with checking, so there's a chance you might miss the plane (I heard 2 hours is just not enough to transfer planes), so I tend to choose going back through Atlanta instead of Newark or Cincinnati. So I don't know if that's still a bad choice?
Nessephanie wrote:(btw, are you flying into Chicago and driving down with us? (Brad, Jay and all of us) or are you flying directly into Atlanta? I can't remember hehe :3)
Hehe, it's both flying and driving with you guys! :D see up
Coffee 54 wrote:2) If your checking a bag, use TSA approved locks.
Thanks for the info! I'll check them out! But do they break open each bag or did you have something suspicious looking in your bag? :O


Oh yeah, another question: anybody having experience with Expedia or Orbitz?

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Post by Nessephanie » Thu May 29, 2008 3:45 am

otay! I wasn't sure if you were driving down and back, or just back ^^

As for opening your bag, the only times it's happened to me is when I've packed my laptop in my checked bag. I guess a large metal object is suspicious >_>

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Post by Copycat_Revolver » Thu May 29, 2008 7:25 am

Screw all that nonsense, I'll be taking a bus to awa.


...uh. :uhoh:

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Post by Otohiko » Thu May 29, 2008 9:37 am

Douggie wrote: I heard in the north they are stricter with checking, so there's a chance you might miss the plane (I heard 2 hours is just not enough to transfer planes), so I tend to choose going back through Atlanta instead of Newark or Cincinnati. So I don't know if that's still a bad choice?
Eh, it's all relative! There might be a higher chance, but I don't think I've heard directly of people having problems with that. Not sure it's a big difference.

As I say, often the problem is more the airport than the airline. And the problem with airports is usually not that they're bad, just that the traffic/number of people in them is high, increasing the chance of problems and delays for everyone. O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson are the two most heavily-used airports in the world. Heathrow and even Frankfurt am Main are pretty much in the same category. Something like Schiphol, on the other hand, is a big airport with much more reasonable amounts of traffic, so it's usually much better to fly through.

(My brother flew through Detroit yesterday btw, also one of the rather busy ones, on Northwest airlines, and had no problems whatsoever. Even his guitar arrived safe.)
Oh yeah, another question: anybody having experience with Expedia or Orbitz?
They're okay. I usually look up tickets through them and then contact airline agents. Sometimes the latter have better deals. If you can, I'd check with the airline's own agent directly before buying.
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Post by aesling » Thu May 29, 2008 10:32 am

You might want to keep in mind as well what airlines are charging for checking baggage now. A lot of them are charging for a second checked bag (but the first one is still free). However, American Airlines is now charging $15 each way to check one bag and $25 each way for a second checked bag (as of June 15th), so that could end up being quite expensive.

And personally, I'm not a big fan of United Airlines since last time I went to AWA they lost my bag for like 4 months and it was a huge pain in the ass trying to get it back or get reimbursed.
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Post by dwchang » Thu May 29, 2008 11:37 am

Nessephanie wrote:
Otohiko wrote:It's generally advised that if you fly through the US, you avoid Atlanta and Chicago (lol, ironic considering where the cons are).
Bah Chicago is fine. (I assume we're talking O'Hare)
I'd have to respectfully disagree.

O'Hare is regarded as one of the worst airports in the entire US. In fact, O'Hare had to get rid of 20 - 30% of their flights because they were delaying the rest of the nation (i.e.since they are one of the major hubs, if they have delays, they delay other airports and screw everyone else up). I heard it was requested or demanded by the FAA :P.

Given a lot of it is the weather I'll give you that, but I've also dealt with just retardation in general. I have *NEVER* gotten in on time in Chicago and I have flown into O'Hare A LOT. That's actually quite an accomplishment...to never be on time. The worst was being delayed > 7 hours and being redirected to Indianapolis where we literally sat on the runway for 5 hours. Best part is, we were in Chicago when they redirected us...WTF? All we had to land and that was it...

I've *heard* a lot of the retardation has to do with under staffing and just disgruntled workers in general (if they don't have enough workers I imagine that means the ones they have are overworked).

In short, O'Hare is quite possibly my least favorite airport in the entire nation with Denver being my favorite. It was clean, well organized and everything was on time.
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Post by Coffee 54 » Thu May 29, 2008 11:37 am

Douggie wrote:
Coffee 54 wrote:2) If your checking a bag, use TSA approved locks.
Thanks for the info! I'll check them out! But do they break open each bag or did you have something suspicious looking in your bag? :O


Oh yeah, another question: anybody having experience with Expedia or Orbitz?
I think they just selected mine randomly, though it probably didn't help much that they're were huge spaces of time between when I checked into the airline and when my flights actually took off. "He's not going anywhere for awhile, let's check his stuff." But that's just a guess.

I used expedia for my trip to Japan last year and my most recent trip to Colorado. At the time I saved money by ordering 3-4 weeks before the actual flight. But with fuel prices rising the way they are that may not be such a good idea anymore. In fact I got some quotes for flights one month from now verses flights three months from now, and the 'three month' were actually slightly cheaper. So you might want to do that airline agent thing Oto suggested. I likely will too before I go back to Tokyo this year. (Hotel is booked, Flight isn't)

And on the topic of airports, Denver's is quite nice and freaking HUGE. I know your not going to be flying anywhere near there, I just thought I'd mention it.

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Post by JaddziaDax » Thu May 29, 2008 2:35 pm

so far the only airport that I've been in that can say I actually LIKED is DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) place to me seems to run like an well oiled machine, and Skylink FTW!

LAX (Los Angles) was hell... I've never had to connect through ATL (Atlanta) or ORD (Chicago) those were always my destinations, so I never spent too much time there.

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Post by wurpess » Thu May 29, 2008 2:50 pm

JaddziaDax wrote:so far the only airport that I've been in that can say I actually LIKED is DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) place to me seems to run like an well oiled machine, and Skylink FTW!
I have a love/hate relationship with that airport. >.> I hate it for connecting flights. When getting tickets that have that as a connection, if I don't have at least 45 min-1 hour between flights, I usually end up either sprinting to get to my gate before the door closes (as well as trying to mentally urge the shuttle to go faster), or missing my flight. Of course, one of my flights always seems to be in the satellite terminal while the other one is in the airport proper. . .all the way on the other end. :? I think I've only missed a connecting flight a couple times in my life, and it was always there. But then again, when that's where I'm departing from or if its my final destination, I love it.
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Post by BasharOfTheAges » Thu May 29, 2008 4:14 pm

dwchang wrote:The worst was being delayed > 7 hours and being redirected to Indianapolis where we literally sat on the runway for 5 hours. Best part is, we were in Chicago when they redirected us...WTF? All we had to land and that was it...
My last time through O'Hare, they had us on the tarmac for something like 2 hours before my 13-hour flight to Tokyo took off. My ass was tired from sitting before we got off the damn ground. O'Hare does suck for transfers.

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Post by Nessephanie » Thu May 29, 2008 4:47 pm

dwchang wrote:The worst was being delayed > 7 hours and being redirected to Indianapolis where we literally sat on the runway for 5 hours. Best part is, we were in Chicago when they redirected us...WTF? All we had to land and that was it...
There was probably no place to land lol

I just find it funny that everyone says O'Hare is bad, when I've never had a single problem with it (aside from the one weather delay, which I don't put on the airport). Whether it's myself flying in and out (which has been alot), or us picking people up/dropping them off, there haven't been delays. *shrugs*. (Though to be fair I've never connected through O'Hare, only arrived and departed from it.)

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Post by Kitsuner » Thu May 29, 2008 4:58 pm

JaddziaDax wrote:Skylink FTW!
8.47?
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Post by godix » Thu May 29, 2008 9:06 pm

Orwell wrote:I'd also advise avoiding a US airline if you can. It doesn't happen often, but they've been known to land on the 101st floor. Quite impractical if you ask me.
That's a bonus the airlines give special travelers. Not only do you fly to New York or Washington DC, they'll give you a special closeup view of the tourist sites.
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