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European airlines experiences, please share.

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    Well... I don't know.

    I have heard of lost luggages in many travel shows, airlines reviews and forums so I am really nervous.

    My preference of airline is for an European one, from the western part of the continent so Air France, Lufthansa, KLM are the ones I am most interested in. Any experience with either of those by forum members?

    The stupid luggage weight limit is just really annoying as it forces anyone who wants to look nice and is plus size to check in a bag.

    I am currently plotting a very light weight and stylish wardrobe.

    If any forum members knows of a vegan, lightweight, lace-up shoe that can be dressed up, I am all ears!


      Please, please tell us where you are going, and when. This will help make answering your questions so much easier.

      For instance, the choice of airlines is unclear to me. Are you going to France? If you are, Air France might be a good choice. If you aren't, then idk. Do you belong to a FF program in the US? If so, it might be best to travel on a partner carrier.

      Most women's lace-up shoes are not conducive to dressing up. If you are planning on doing a lot of walking, I'd suggest a good pair of walking/light hiking shoes (wear on the plane) and a pair of sandals or flats, depending on location and climate (this is why where and when are important things to know!). Patagonia makes some vegan shoes, but I cannot vouch for their stylishness.


        I don't know when I will be going and the landing country will depend on the airline I end up choosing, I guess.

        So far, the front runners are Air France and Lufthansa. Anyone flown them?


          Originally posted by darbs View Post
          kmcg - Have you tried the Merrell's barefoot line? I have the Pure Gloves and they are amazing. You could easily wear the solid black ones dressed up or down. I wear mine with long pants, skirts, and capris. They are super light weight and beyond comfortable. I have walked for hours in mine and even wear them to the gym for a spin on the treadmill and have worn them to work as well. They flatten down to nothing. I definitely recommend trying them on before buying because they fit close to your feet and you might need a smaller size than you think. They've got a few different options if you prefer a different look. They are seriously my new favorite shoes.
          Thank you so much for the great suggestion!

          Unfortunately, health concerns have put any planned fun on hold.


            OK, just as a quick report, I flew Lufthansa, Austrian Air and Alitalia while in Europe last week. Only Alitalia bothered to weigh my crammed Tristar, which was slightly over limit (8.8 kg) but all waved me on and I had no challenges at all carrying on.

            Best service was Lufthansa (except for an extremely rude steward on a United code share on the way back home) but the wide body regional jets in Europe are far more comfortable than the regional jets here in the US. I would fly Austrian or Alitalia again without hesitation.


              Originally posted by jeffmac View Post
              OK, just as a quick report, I flew Lufthansa, Austrian Air and Alitalia while in Europe last week. Only Alitalia bothered to weigh my crammed Tristar, which was slightly over limit (8.8 kg) but all waved me on and I had no challenges at all carrying on.

              Best service was Lufthansa (except for an extremely rude steward on a United code share on the way back home) but the wide body regional jets in Europe are far more comfortable than the regional jets here in the US. I would fly Austrian or Alitalia again without hesitation.
              Thank you Jeffmac!


                Little info about Ryanair.

                Im from Norway, and when im gonna fly, i`d allways pack for the Ryanair standard then i know i never will have a problem! It fun everytime when im gonna fly with SAS and so and im having panic for having to much weight on my cabin luggage(Yes they weight and check the size of the bag before entering the plan sometimes). Anyway i think longer than 4 hours flights with Ryanair is the maximum. And its far better than flying with a public buss.

                Alot of people here in Norway are whining on Ryanair for bad service, and so. But there is a reason they are very cheap. If your reading their rules. and keep yourself inside the rules. You will never have a problem.

                Was going on vacation to Spain with my family. and there was about 1200 dollars to save by flying with ryanair!(for 4 people) So i would recommand Ryanair to Anyone.


                  Originally posted by Badger View Post
                  My preference for trans-Atlantic travel is BA, but that just might be because they steadily infuse me with gin and tonics.
                  Me too. I've flown both coach and business, and they are generous in both classes with the alcohol (but especially in business where you get plenty of champagne before the plane even takes off).


                    Brussels and Austrian....and Swiss too!

                    Originally posted by backpack View Post
                    Links to blogs about them, customer service experience, plane seat configuration, luggage allowance etc...

                    Share as much as you can!
                    In May of 2013 I went to Brussels and Nice. From a service standpoint. There was a baggage handler strike at BRU. Brussels Airlines (and United) knew this when we boarded as it started a day prior. NEVER told us UNTIL WE WERE ON THE GROUND! I got my bag 10 days later....big headache. Really bad service and communication. On top of it, I had to cab an hour to the airport to pick it up, as they would not deliver.

                    JFK - BRU: I flew Brussels Airlines. Not passing judgement on the crew -- they seemed exausted and not to talkative.
                    BRU - NCE: Brussels Airlines: No idea...was fast asleep. :-)

                    NCE - VIE: I flew Austrian Airlines. REALLY pleasant crews. Always smiling.
                    VIE - ORD: Really sharp crew. They sure seemed to love their job. Many beverages that they offered were native to Austria. I got a nice 2 minute presentation on the history of a particular beverage. Very professional in a friendly in an un-stuffy way. Would love to fly them again!

                    Swiss I flew three years ago to Italy from LA. Service almost as good as Austrian. Those flight attendants worked their butts off. They were ALWAYS up offering passengers something. Very impressed.


                      I have flown Lufthansa and Swiss, and now I choose them whenever I can. They are wonderful, even in coach. Decent food (really), lots of drinks, attentive service, and both Zurich and Frankfurt are good airports with plenty of amenities, including showers. They have strict weight and size limits for carry on, though they are not the worst. However, they have never weighed or sized my bags, and on my last trip, I actually carried on three items and no one said anything. These airlines do not charge for the first checked bag, and as a result the overhead bins are not crowded. I've never had difficulty finding sufficient place in the overhead.

                      (Actual flights traveled: Lufthansa: Budapest>Munich>Boston, Amman>Frankfurt>Boston. Swiss: Boston>Zurich>Budapest, Boston>Zurich>Tel Aviv.) Yes, weird combinations. In both cases I ended up with tickets that flew me to my destination on Swiss and back on Lufthansa.)
                      Last edited by bchaplin; 03-28-2014, 04:16 AM.
                      All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
                      Edmund Burke


                        I flew Swiss last year for LAX-Zurich and back, coach on the way over, business on the way back. While the crew was not as friendly as Air New Zealand (flown them twice for LA to London), they were efficient and happy to get you whatever you needed, food was pretty good, and the planes had seatback IFE. I'm curious to see how Virgin when I fly them to London.

                        Generally, if I am flying overseas, I try to avoid the US airlines if I can.


                          OK - quick hits and YMMV Most of my travel has been between UK and Dusseldorf (company HQ is there, the other part of my business section is not too far) and some other trips round Europe for business and pleasure.

                          Lufthansa - never had any problems with carry-on, even when I had the Targus backpack of doom as my work EDC. Good planes, helpful staff.
                          Swiss - only used them once, two words: free chocolate!
                          Ryanair - Western Flyer works like a charm. Not had it measured or looked at twice, even fits under the seat in front. If you follow the rules they do provide a very cheap option. Website is a PITA because of all those pages of would you like to add an extra...
                          FlyBe - generally ok for a budget carrier, but my German and British colleagues who use them a lot have taken to calling the Fly Maybe.
                          SAS - were as prompt as they suggested. Used them to get to Copenhagen and back once, no other experience.
                          BA - used them to travel across Atlantic - definitely worth getting Premium Economy for the bit extra leg-room, etc Good food options as was mentioned upthread.
                          Alitalia - loads of people with what appeared to be everything they owned, my one bag (pre-TB ) wasn't even looked at. Some delays, ok staff.

                          Can't think of any others at the mo, hope that helps a little.
                          Last edited by Vertandor; 03-29-2014, 09:13 AM.
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP - Leonard Nimoy


                            I feel like European airlines strike more than US ones. Not sure if this is accurate, or if it's just my experience. Last week some of the German baggage handlers were on strike, knocking out a lot of Lufthansa flights to Frankfurt. Later this week Lufthansa and Germanwings pilots might strike for a few days. So in the "one more thing to worry about department" if you are neurotic like me google "name of airline" and "strike" and "whatever 'strike' translates to in the local language".

                            In recent Germanwings flights I have had a not-overstuffed S25 and a MCB. No weighing, no checking, no problems.
                            What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.


                              I flew with British Airways when I went to Berlin in October and on the way back in December. Good service and no problems at all. They didn't look twice when I carried on my over stuffed Aeronaut on the way there and I ended up checking my even more overly packed Aeronaut on the flights back (I was nervous the whole time) and again, no problems at all. My beloved navy/wasabi Aeronaut showed up safely in Chicago and again when I landed here at home. She was a little dirty, but nothing a little soap and water couldn't fix!


                                British Airways lost my luggage for 5 days on my trip to Sicily. Even though it was probably 7 years ago, I have NEVER forgiven them (what does that say about me?). They also gave us erroneous information about how much personal carryon was allowed on a connecting flight from Heathrow to Milan. We had to dump a lot of stuff. (I guess I hold grudges.)
                                The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.