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8 replies
Some direction re: Connecting flight to Croatia appreciated
Tsuki
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Hello All,
I am more than willing to do my “due dilligence’ on a flight search. However, I seem to be stalled out by my confusion regarding connecting flights to Croatia. We will be traveling to Croatia fairly soon (mid July, leaving early August, specific dates pretty flexible as long as we don’t leave before July 13th and are back in the US by about August 7th). We would like to fly into Split and out of Dubrovnik. We are flying from Rochester NY. Toronto is a fairly easy option (free parking if we stay overnight and I don’t mind a day in the city), as are Syracuse and Buffalo. NY City or Newark are also possible. There seem to be good connecting flight to the UK from Toronto, including some charters, but the Olympics may negate this.

Could anyone give advice on which cities in Europe are good “points of departure” for our itinerary?ie. best value from our cities at the time that we are traveling. We can pick up a cheap flight (easyjet?) from Europe once we are there. Thanks so much. Any help/advice is very appreciated!

Mim, thanks for your welcome. I might have posted a version of this to you privately by accident. Sorry if I did—was trying to post and flubbed it.

augustin25
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I didn’t do exhaustive research but it looks like a good balance of cost and easy itinerary would be Toronto to London Gatwick or Rome non-stop followed by direct flights to/from Split & Dubrovnik without having to change airports. Did you want to just land somewhere in Europe and fly to Croatia the same day, or would you prefer to spend a day or two where you land? Would you be willing to go to Dubrovnik first instead of Split?

oldlady
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Look at www.whichbudget.com to see which airlines fly which routes. Their search set-up by country works well for this type of search. Also look at www.Europebyair.com Air Croatia is one of the airlines that honors the Europe by Air flight pass which might save some money, plus the flight map for the passes will show you some of the options available to/from several cities in Croatia.

Don
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First thing I did was run ROC to DBV, SJU on ITA to find best published fares within your date range. $3000+ Yikes! Ditto with SYR and BUF. That’s the first really high fare spike I’ve seen because of Olympics this summer.

From NYC, $1600+

I like your Toronto idea. Canadian Affair to London is running $929 total nonstop flights around your dates. From there, could use the Eurair $99 passes on Croatia Airlines like OL mentioned. Or shop LON-Croatia with Skyscanner and Whichbudget which could turn up something better than the $99 passes.

—- updated

Maybe better… Air Transat YYZ-ROM 17 July / MAN-YYZ 6 August $832 total. Or…
BCN 14 July / LIS 5 Aug. $791.
ROM 17 July / LIS 5 Aug. $790.
AirTransat.com

augustin25
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There are a lot of options in the $900-1000 range to London and Rome, the tough part is matching dates for the transatlantic flight with days when you can catch a cheap same-day flight on to Croatia.

Those are some nice finds, Don Smile

Tsuki
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Thanks so much for the help everyone! Great information and it gives me some “traction” to start searching. I do agree that matching the days and airports for flights to Croatia is a bit frustrating, but I’m making charts. Sorry for not responding right away—I was flat-out with a some sort of bad respiratory thing for a couple of days, but I’m back on this now. I’ll let you know what I came up with shortly. Any experience with AirTransat? I do love the price, but I’m a little nervous about possible cancelled flights, possible really uncomfortable plane, etc. A

Tsuki
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Hi Everyone.
After many hours hunting, I haven’t really been able to improve on Don’s initial finds (no real surprise there!). Air Transat from Toronto seems the way to go. Another reason that this works well is that many flights come through Rochester from the midwest. In the summer we are frequently unable to make a connection to Europe due to planes into or out of Rochest being delayed or cancelled due to Summer thunderstorms (or so they say—we have had this happen four times, which is really a bit much). This doesn’t seem to happen nearly as much when flying out of Canada.

I can get in and out of Europe via either Gatwick or Rome FCO for $ 905 (Travelation—includes taxes and fees). Best travel dates for us are leaving on the 17th of July and returning on the 3rd of August. However, we are flexible out until about the 7th of August. Husband doesn’t want to be away from work for much longer than 2 1/2 weeks—could probable be stretched out by a few days with a little negotiating on my part. Right now I don’t see very good connections to Lisbon, although the price is pretty good if I’m leaving from there, but I’m still working on checking this one out.

A problem with leaving from Gatwick is that all of the flights back leave around 11:30 a.m. This makes it difficult to manage a 2 1/2 hour flight back and still make the connection. Rome looks better time-wise, as it’s both a much shorter flight (a little over an hour) and the flight back to Toronto leaves at 2:00 p.m.

Flying into Gatwick also seem to make sense, since we wanted to go to Split first and there seem to be more connections. Also, we would get in earlier, giving us more options for catching a flight out. (The Rome flight gets in at 11:30 a.m.). The flight from London to Split might, however, be a bit more expensive than Rome-Split.

I’m really most concerned about the flight From Dubrovnik to Rome (or Gatwick, or Lisbon) and the possibility of not making the flight to Toronto if something gets delayed. There is an 8;30 a.m. Easy jet flight into Rome FCO. Hopwever, I’m not seeing too many other direct flights in the early morning that would get me into Rome by about 11;30 a.m.

I thought that I could book through with Croatia Airlines via some of the search engines such as Booking buddy (Cheapo air carries this airline, and a few other sites do also), this would “connect” the flight and protect me in case of a delay. However, there doesn’t seem to have direct flights to Gatwick—they all seem to go through Zagrev —makes for a very long trip and I’d miss the connection. I also don’t see them connecting to Rome. The best connections with Croatia airlines from Dubravnik actually seem to be through Frankfurt. I’m not as concerned with the London Gatwick to Split leg. It would be annoying if something happened, but there are enough options that I could probably get to Split eventually without a giant disaster. But missing my flight home would be a very big problem.

I admit to being stumped and frustrated on this. Any ideas.? How reliable is Easy Jet and can anyone think of other connection options or ways to “problem proof” this? Oe do I just need to take a chance on that single morning flight to Italy? I’d like to go ahead and make my Air Transat flight reservations before I loose out, but I don’t want to make a reservation that will end up stranding me and then costing a fortune due to connection problems. Thanks everyone for your thoughts/advice.

Don
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Sounds like you’re aware of this Tsuki, but for the sake of others reading your thread …
A couple thoughts come to mind.

1. I would not want to book separate tickets with same-day connection without sufficient time, and without fully realising the risk I’m taking — i.e. if Airline A gets me there too late, for whatever reason (weather, mechanical, strikes, etc.) Airline B will not accomodate me. At minimum, I’d want 4 hours between flights on separate tickets. Better yet, plan time for the final city and spend at least a night there before the flight back home on a separate ticket.

2. Be aware that Easyjet, and other low-cost airlines especially, often use alternative airports. There are at least 5 airports for London, for example (LHR, LGW, STN, LCY, LTN), at least 2 for Rome (CIA and FCO). If you have to change airports, I’d add at least another 2 hours to my 4 hour minimum. If overnighting there for the last 1-2 nights anyway, then no problem.

As far as connecting other airports to Croatia, I really like Skyscanner. It will check low-cost, as well as “big” airlines, from many sources, all in 1 go. Try their one-way search in/out of Croatia.

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Thanks to Don and everyone who reponded for all of the advice on the trip.
Flying out of Lisbon was really the cheapest, but sadly, there were no direct connections from Dubovnik.

We thought about it for a long time but the savings on the Air Transat tickets didn’t balance out the problems and expense invoved in a possible missed connection. This is especially true since my husband has now decided to do some business in Zagreb as soon as we get to Europe. So now we are going from London to Zagreb, Zagreb to Split, to some of the Islands by ferry, on to Dubrovnik by car, bus or train, and then leaving fom Dubrovnik to London.

I was able to find a flight directly out of Rochester NY to Toronto on 7/18, with an Air Canada/Lufthansa flight to London Heathrow on the 19th. We will stay overnight in Toronto and do something in the city, so that’s fine—and it gives us enough of a “pad” to make it up to Toronto if something happens to delay the evening flight.. Return is also through London Heathrow, and we will fly in on Easy Jet or one of the other small carriers (still need to make these reservations) on the day before. Our flight from London on 8/6 (takes us through Newark I think, on United) and then on to Rochester. The flight wasn’t the cheapest (about $1000 per ticket, incl. taxes and fees), but it includes the connecting flights to Rochester, and has really good times (out of Toronto at 6:30 p.m.—gets us to London in good time for connections, return flight leaves at 4:00 p.m.). For some strange reason, flights without the connecting legs to Rochester were not really any cheaper.

Anyway, for last minute in the summer while the Olympics are happening, I think that this is not too bad. Next time I’ll have to try to watch for fares earlier to save $$$. The help was much appreciated. I really feel that I learned something playing around with these various connections and Skyscanner and Whichbudget—it will be a big help on the next trip I’m sure! Oh, special thanks to Don for the advidce about clearing cookies and cache. I found this $1000 fare on Vayama with excellent connection times, but only had put in one traveler by accident. When I tried to redo the search, the fare jumped over to $1350 and not all of the times were available. I just happened to read your post suggesting that I clear cookies.I tried I, and got my original fare back. So…thanks a million for that!