Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Delta to Europe - best partners when we get there?


  1. #1
    Full Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    161

    Default Delta to Europe - best partners when we get there?

    Hi all, we're thinking of doing a "backpacking" trip to Europe and the Med. By that I mean, just get there and then see where we can go next. We're old so this won't be too crazy. If we wind up on a Kibbutz I can guarantee I won't be doing manual labor.

    I've been looking at "gateway" destinations - routes with lots of Delta One seats (yes, we are nonrev snobs) and LHR, CDG, ZRH, PRG and a couple others seem to be open regularly. BUT, once we get to Europe, who are the best partners for Delta nonrevs? And what about the bargain airlines - is that a better deal compared to a ZED standby?

    Then, lodging and ground transportation are the next mysteries to solve. HA!

    Thanks


  • #2
    Administrator Migflanker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    LA, the city of angels & freeways
    Posts
    4,706
    So FOMTS you ‘re going to “backpack” through Europe – I do love your enthusiasm *wink*

    The only logistics tip I can offer is to look at PDL, as I recall D2 mentioned JFK/PDL as a DL summer seasonal route.

    What I can help you with is “backpacking” *wink*. Tips I’ve picked up from some enthusiasts that occasionally tag along with me on my “casual” hikes.

    Check your phone plan/mobile hot spots - https://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html

    Travel light - less clothes, more socks and wear great boots.

    Travel by train

    When in doubt, eat where you see kids (it means good cheap food)

    Hostel with a kitchen

    Line your backpack with a trash bag, carry an extra lock, a map and ‘some” duct tape

    And most importantly when backpacking it isn’t about the miles, it’s the elevation gain.
    *laughing*


    More of what I’ve learned about backpackers Wisdom From The Trail




    Last edited by Migflanker; 27-Jul-2018 at 11:44 AM.
    Keep'em Flying

    Migflanker - Senior NonRev Correspondent - Los Angeles

  • The following user likes this post from Migflanker:

    MRSDS1DONNA (27-Jul-2018)

  • #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    15
    Hi FOMTS,
    I think that backpacking through Europe as a "mature" adult is an awesome idea. Once I have successful launch of offspring, I plan to do it myself. I did look into it a bit. I would highly recommend reading some of the numerous travel bloggers that are now ubiquitous on the web. They are literally late 20-30 somethings just travelling and writing and living off of it while doing it. I say this because they have useful posts about things like travel insurance (the consensus seems to be Travel Nomad), how to use any frequent flyer/ hotel points- also useful for a nonrevver to augment ZEDS and benefits and other stuff that you just do not think of off the bat. The two I like are Nomadic Matt and Mylifesamovie.com. Matt has travelled a long time and Alyssa is just cute. She doesn't spend a lot and does a lot of outdoors stuff, and practical stuff on packing. She also has a tutorial on how to use skyscanner to find cheap flights. Depending on when/ where you're going, ZEDs are great, but sometimes you need a ticket. Intra-European flights can be cheap, but be advised that their carry on allowances are brutal. Trains are very useful, but they can be more expensive than ZEDs at times, so it depends on the time / money cost analysis that you do. Most of the time, ZEDs can check bags free, I believe. I have had great luck and experiences Zedding in Europe. One other warning, take the time to really cull your Travel ID site. Just randomly plug in flights that you might do. You'll find that quite a few airlines require listings a few days in advance. If you think you might need it, list a more than a few days out, LOT, Air Canada, and United are a few examples. United in particular seems to have a very poor IT interface. My family used a ZED on them and it was exceedingly difficult. Always bring chocolate!

    If you do think that you will ZED a lot, I would recommend looking into a credit card that has a Priority Pass membership. Priority pass are airline clubs and they do have a good coverage in Europe, Asia and the middle East. It's actually the states where they aren't very widespread. It's nice to have a quiet place with complimentary food and wifi when you're that always early nonrev. (Just an opinion- avoid Amex Platinum; they do not allow you in Centurion lounges without a boarding pass-not always possible for a nonrev, so they are a poor value at $550/ year!) I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, ($450/yr) which I like and keep, but any credit card that gives you Priority Pass and other benefits is good. Chase includes some rental car protection as well, which I find reassuring, although for countries like Italy, best to pay the extra for insurance. Remember that when all else fails, you can usually get back to North America via London. LAST choice due to their taxes, but also remember that if you are connecting, (within 24 hours) you do not pay their high taxes- which are even higher if you fly Business/ first.

    Hostel World is a membership organization that allows you to book hostels all over the world. Hostels sound like a great idea for certain destinations, however, do price them out. I found that during a recent trip to Krakow, a hostel was 80E and a nice B&B was just a bit higher. No contest. It can be a very nice social experience from what I hear, I would just be a bit choosy as to when and where. Obviously Air B&B and the like are all great things. Pay attention to seasons, you can travel like a king in the winter in Mainland Europe, but summer is expensive. Save Eastern Europe for summer, do Paris, Rome etc in the winter. Btw, we had a recent trip to Poland and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Very kind, patient people, beautiful cities and country and good museums in Warsaw. Great food too!

    One last thing, just an opinion, you may want to intermix your travels with river/ ocean cruises if you spot any deals. Cruises can be very economical ways of seeing a lot of different places that you may/ may not want to return to. A cheap cruise can be a respite from backpacking and you have access to discounts via your interline benefits. I really like Vacationstogo's website for finding them, but I book with absea.com since they provide great service but do not charge any fees.

    Hope this helps and that you have a great time!

  • This post by wills liked by 2 users:

    Migflanker (27-Jul-2018), MRSDS1DONNA (28-Jul-2018)

  • #4
    Administrator Migflanker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    LA, the city of angels & freeways
    Posts
    4,706
    Lots of great info Wills. I’ll definitely look into that Chase card. BTW, I’ve found that FA’s also really like pralines- especially Peanut Butter. laughing*
    Last edited by Migflanker; 28-Jul-2018 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Peanut Butter Pralines
    Keep'em Flying

    Migflanker - Senior NonRev Correspondent - Los Angeles

  • #5
    NonRev Correspondent
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    3,350
    BRU, MAD...Nice loads all summer.
    ddagencylv - NonRev Correspondent - Global Aviation News

  • #6
    NonRev Correspondent zedman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    376
    Regarding ground transportation: First, to list AF has a reliable tool to check loads https://gp.airfrance.fr/FR/fr/QuitterAction.gpnet your airline has the codes. Sometimes train is cheaper if you add the cost of going to an airport. Than you have some bus like that: https://www.flixbus.com/bus?wt_eid=2...=1533547521738 their price can be good, however it takes time for distances. Enjoy your vacation...
    zedman - NonRev Correspondent - ZED Travel

  • #7
    NonRev Correspondent vulindlela's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    IND
    Posts
    656
    Quote Originally Posted by FOMTS View Post
    routes with lots of Delta One seats (yes, we are nonrev snobs)

    Then, lodging and ground transportation are the next mysteries to solve. HA!

    Thanks
    Nothing wrong with that.
    We chase down biz class too. In the last 10 years, I have flown 50+ long haul flights, and only been in the back once.
    We do it differently than most though. I like to avoid places like AMS and CDG. I know they have lots of flights, but that also means lots of nonrevs. Easier to have a cancelled flight as well, when you have dozens of other flights to move pax to.
    Had a friend who was doing CDG-IND on a Wednesday recently, and on Tuesday he was #1 on the list. Next day he was #60. I really do not like that unpredictability.
    I use FRA a lot. Great connections to anywhere on LH. I tend to use airports with just a single flight, or only a few(DUS, BRU, etc). A lot easier to manage loads.

    As for lodging and transport, we generally use bus and metro, and we have been using Airbnb a lot.
    Vulindlela - NonRev Correspondent - Indianapolis


  • >

  • The following user likes this post from vulindlela:

    Migflanker (07-Aug-2018)

  • Thread Information

    Users Browsing this Thread

    There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Bookmarks

    Bookmarks

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •