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Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Durham,NC
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Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Good morning! I'm going to Venice, Florence, and Rome (in that order) from 12/13-24. I would come back from Rome after Christmas buy my Mom would be very upset (although we both acknowledge anything can happen and I could be stuck in an airport). Regardless, I'm trying to decide which airline/itinerary to fly. I'll fly out of RDU and my preference is fly into Venice and out of Rome, rather than in/out of Rome (but I could be persuaded otherwise). Price is always a concern, of course, but so is peace of mind. Given last year's snowstorms and multiple cancellations, I'm nervous about flying Delta to VCE via JFK or returning by AA via ORD. Even though it's quite a bit more expensive, I'm leaning towards flying AA direct from RDU-LHR-VCE and FCO-LHR-RDU. Until they change terminals around, I'll have to go between terminals 1 and 3 and go through security again each time. I assume I'll have to go through customs too? There are more than 3 hours (but less than 4) between LHR-VCE and 2.5 hours between LHR-RDU on return. Delta offers the cheapest flight, so far, flying RDU-JFK-VCE and then FCO-ATL-RDU. The difference in cost is between $200-300, depending on which site I check. Any points to ponder to help me make my decision? Should I wait until later to make my reservations?

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

I'm leaning towards flying AA direct from RDU-LHR-VCE and FCO-LHR-RDU. Until they change terminals around, I'll have to go between terminals 1 and 3 and go through security again each time. I assume I'll have to go through customs too?

_____________

AA don't fly LHR-VCE or LHR-FCO. Those flights will most likely be codeshares operated by British Airways. If so you'd be connecting between Terminals 3 & 5.

If you connect airside at LHR you won't need to go through customs and immigration, just security at the Flight Connections Centre.

Sausalito
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2. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Avoid ORD at all costs during the winter. In fact, avoid ORD anytime.

JFK is better, although the queueing delays for outbound take-offs can run an hour or more, so connections need to fall back as protection.

LHR is probably the best of the three, but when things get derailed there, they really get derailed.

Chicago
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3. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Our experience in LHR was that time is a problem - our two hour layover was spent getting from point A to point B but they are used to it so you should be okay. They know there are problems which may be better in December, but they sometimes hold connecting planes for passengers. Personally of the three airports I like ORD the best to get from terminal to terminal - have never had anything but headaches in Kennedy so I guess it depends on your experiences. Got stuck in New York in the summer and finally rented a car and drove home because they could not get us out - blamed it on Chicago but when we called family in Chicago - discovered the problem was in New York. The biggest issue through Chicago in Dec could be the weather and since you are coming from RDU - have you considered leaving through DC or Richmond - Why come north to go east?

Durham,NC
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4. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Thanks for the responses!

I'm trying to avoid going north, believe me. It's difficult finding airlines that fly any other way to Venice. US Airways flies to Venice from RDU via PHL and then Brussels. I want to avoid PHL if at all possible, b/c that's where the bulk of my flight issues seem to happen. Continental flies into Newark and United flies into DC. Delta flies from ATL to Rome, so I'm still contemplating a roundtrip to FCO and then taking the train from Rome to Venice. I'm also looking at flying USAir via Charlotte to LGW and maybe flying Easyjet, if the flights will match up.

Regardless, this is one trip I'm going to get travel insurance for. :o)

USA
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5. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Avoid LHR. It is the worst airport of the ones you are considering for connections. Your idea of taking United's flight from IAD to FCO is a good one. I would go with that if the price works out. Otherwise I would go with whatever was affordable out of JFK.

toronto
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6. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Have transferred through all 3, and my choice would be JFK if there is a sufficient wait time between flights.

Iowa City
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7. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

I think the previous pots are right-avid ORD in winter,actually at any time of the year.One problem with LHR is,you have to go through Security again-it is slow, the personnel are always rude,so,LHR would not be my choice either,so,that leaves JFK.

San Diego
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8. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

I agree with everything said about staying away from ORD in winter.I also think LHR is a pain as there are different carry on rules and I travel with carry ons.

I think of your alternatives, I'd go through DC OR consider flying into with Delta and instead of going round trip Rome fly into Rome/Venice and out of the other. They have flights to both.

Travelling The World
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9. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

Like REFieldJr I have done all three many times, and JFK wins for me, although personally I find Newark better. (I have done from doors opening on an incoming flight from London to being at the gate for my connecting flight - inlcuding immigration, security etc. - in 20 minutes at EWR!)

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Connect via JFK, ORD, or LHR?

I also think LHR is a pain as there are different carry on rules and I travel with carry ons.

______________

The one bag rule was relaxed several months ago.

www.heathrowairport.com

I'd say your experience depends a lot on the terminals you are transferring to or from. For example, at LHR a T4 to T4 connection is a doddle. A quick security check and you're back in departures. Someone going from T4 to T1 might have a quite different experience.