Departure airport from Locarno, Milan or Zurich?

Departure airport from Locarno, Milan or Zurich?

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becmcentire
becmcentire
21 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2018 - 2:59 PM

My family of 4 is spending 5 days in Wengen in June. From Wengen we travel by train to Locarno (Wednesday) to attend a summer concert. We travel back to the United States early on Friday morning. I have not booked my airline tickets yet. Wondering if it is best to return via Zurich or Milan. We would request the easiest airport to depart from & which would give us the best travel by train from Locarno? We will be departing Locarno on Thursday so we will have an afternoon/evening to spend in the area before departing on Friday. Would Zurich be best? I understand it is an easy travel airport & that you can stay in old town & make an easy connection to airport for 6:00 am flight. Assume Milan is closer but a very large airport & accommodations would have to be airport hotels in order to be close enough for international early flight.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 28, 2018 - 3:57 PM in reply to becmcentire

Hi becmcentire,

Locarno - Zurich is only 2h16 (to Milan 2 hours). Please refer to the Swiss train timetable. It is indeed an easy travel airport. I would fly from Zurich. If you have a 6 am flight, you probably will have to take a taxi to the airport.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3904 posts
expert
Mar 1, 2018 - 5:46 AM in reply to becmcentire

If you have a 6:00am flight you really need to be at the airport by 4:00am for an international flight!

cam223
cam223
72 posts
active member
Mar 1, 2018 - 8:11 PM

If you are departing from the Zurich airport--4 am is a must.

I don't know what airline you are flying but for what it's worth--the United people at that airport give us superb service. We had issues with the way that our tickets were issued and they solved them for all of us. It took quite a while to go through security, etc and it was a very long walk to the gate.

We took an Uber to the airport--I would definitely use a taxi or Uber, etc.

becmcentire
becmcentire
21 posts
new member
Mar 1, 2018 - 8:59 PM in reply to cam223

Thank you, Yes we are traveling United. We are from Houston so we have traveled them for years. Wow we were told Zurich was a very efficient easy airport. I can't imaging it's a long walk to gate being such a small city? We are very accustomed to walking miles at IAH Houston. We traveled to Wengen/Lauterbrunnen Valley & came home via Munich since it was a direct flight to Houston. Very early flight. The airport there is large & that early in the morning there was only international flights leaving so there weren't a lot of domestic travelers. We even had time to declare VAT tax purchases. I really appreciate the advice.

Lucas
Lucas
8820 posts
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Mar 2, 2018 - 7:32 AM in reply to becmcentire

Depending on the time of day the train is a very easy option (about 10 minutes). It gets tricky if you need to be at the airport before 05:30 or so. So in that case a taxi might be best.

Are you sure your flight is at 06:00? The airport only opens for flights at 06:00 and usually they are European flights at that time - are you connecting elsewhere before heading on the the US?

Zurich is an amazing airport (best I've ever used). I've never spent more than 15 minutes at security for example. It is, I'm sure, 1/10 the size of Houston so it won't be much walking for you either. :)

I flew in from the UK the other day (after snow storm delays) and got off the plane at 21:25, and was on a train at the airport by 21:45 (no checked bags but still had passport control (non-schengen flight and I don't have an EU passport). I do of course know where I'm going and I walk quickly!

Last modified on Mar 2, 2018 - 7:33 AM by Lucas
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Mar 18, 2018 - 8:17 AM in reply to becmcentire

>> I can't imaging it's a long walk to gate being such a small city?

It can be, depending on which departure gate your flight leaves from.

Zürich airport has the following information about the time to get to departure gates from check-in desks:

  • Gates A: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Gates B: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Gates D: 20 to 25 minutes
  • Gates E: 20 to 30 minutes (includes a transfer on the internal airport train)

For my flight home from Zürich to Australia in October 2016, my Singapore Airlines flight departed from Gate E67 - right at the very end of the E Gates - quite a trek to get there.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 18, 2018 - 8:17 AM by Removed user
Lucas
Lucas
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Mar 18, 2018 - 8:32 AM in reply to Removed user

I'll never forget my 55 minute connection at Charles De Gaulle....and having to go through passport control on my way "home" to Canada....ugh that was a lot of running!

Last modified on Mar 18, 2018 - 8:32 AM by Lucas
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Mar 18, 2018 - 9:37 AM in reply to Lucas

>> I'll never forget my 55 minute connection at Charles De Gaulle....and having to go through passport control on my way "home" to Canada....ugh that was a lot of running!

I hate short connection times, and try to avoid anything under about 90 minutes usually! Two hours is usually about right!

My worst experience was a transfer in Sydney, where I was paged over the public announcement system ... "will Qantas passenger so-and-so please report immediately to Gate # where your flight is awaiting immediate departure!" And despite the rush, or perhaps because of it, I still got pulled aside for an explosives test on the way through!

That was quite the trip home - 33 hours total. We were delayed in leaving Frankfurt by 7 hours due initially to massive amounts of snow on the runway. By the time that was cleared, they had run out of de-icing fluid for the wings. So that had to be flown in from Berlin. We were supposed to fly to Singapore, but the crew had to land in Bangkok instead, because they had reached their maximum hours of duty. As Qantas had no landing rights in Bangkok, we had to stay on the plane while a new crew was flown out from Australia. So when I got to Singapore, my connecting flight had long left, and I was put on to a Sydney flight instead of a Melbourne flight - hence my transfer in Sydney and close shave with missing my connection to Melbourne!

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 18, 2018 - 9:38 AM by Removed user
Lucas
Lucas
8820 posts
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Mar 18, 2018 - 11:53 AM in reply to Removed user

Wow, rough trip!

That was by far the shortest connection time I've ever booked and I only did so because the flight was under 400 Euros for Zurich to Vancouver. I couldn't pass up that price.

I don't know how they rationalize that connection time at an airport like Charles De Gaulle though....

cam223
cam223
72 posts
active member
Mar 18, 2018 - 4:51 PM

Our last trip from Charles de Gaulle in late 2016 was quite easy. We just didn't have far to go to the gate. But airlines and destination gates are very different for each traveler, so flying United just wasn't a problem.

United flies out of Terminal E at the Zurich Airport. It is easily a 25 minute walk. Security was another 20-25 minutes. We spent a considerable time getting our tickets and luggage redone by the United agent so I'm sure there were many unhappy customers behind us even though we arrived at the airport over 2 hours early and United had lots of staff at the desk. There are always people with issues so allow enough time to get your boarding pass, through security and to the gate. Good luck!

Lucas
Lucas
8820 posts
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Mar 18, 2018 - 5:03 PM

If ever you will get a good experience at an airport it is in Zurich. Always smooth running. I can't remember the last time security took more than 10 minutes. Always amazes me. :)

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Mar 18, 2018 - 11:11 PM in reply to Lucas

>> That was by far the shortest connection time I've ever booked and I only did so because the flight was under 400 Euros for Zurich to Vancouver. I couldn't pass up that price.

Yes, with cheap fares, it's often the case that what you save in money you pay for in blood, sweat or tears!

Alpenrose

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