Skip Navigation

Flight search website for difficult connections?

Travel Forums General Talk Flight search website for difficult connections?

1. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4833 posts) 8y

I've started pondering details of my next RTW (even if it's still two years away, that doesn't mean it can ever be too early to start planning! might help me survive the coming winter...) :) and it's possible that I'll want a direct flight from anywhere in South or Central America to anywhere in Canada. The key here is that I categorically refuse to have a stopover in the USA (just never going through that hassle again).

Unfortunately, all the flight search websites I've tried suck royally for such searches. I know for example that Air Canada has three direct flights a week from Lima to Toronto (and similar numbers for other SA destinations), but I just can't find these with the search engines I try, let alone the alternatives that I don't know about yet but do want to find. Kayak seems to have regressed to only searching through American airlines (and refuses to search from Cuba, while I'm thinking that any cuba-canada flight is bound to avoid the USA), Momondo found something which was labeled as "air canada", but doesn't display enough information to tell if it's useful, and clicking through to the source website gives me a "session timeout" (not momondo's fault, but useless all the same), etc.

Ideally I'm looking for a website that's intelligent enough to automatically suggest or show that there's alternative options on other dates than the one searched for (so I can find those elusive "once a week" connections), but I'm fine with just doing seven subsequent searches if that's what it takes - just as long as the website will actually know about all airlines and their connections.

So, given those constraints, anyone have any suggestions for a decent website?

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

Can you call Air Canada, see what flight goes from where to where and when, then call the discount place and ask for that specific flight?

I discovered this week that a flight change (which we weren't notified about!!) meant we landed at 9:50 at CDG and had to catch our connecting flight--in another terminal--at 10:15. So I called Air Canada, got the code of an earlier flight, then called Cheap Tickets to change my booking. It worked perfectly!

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4833 posts) 8y

I'm not looking anywhere near that specific yet; just trying to inventory which all options there are - which alliances are flying straight to Canada from which South/Central America locations.

For example, Cuba isn't really high up on my list of places to see, but if there happen to be frequent flights from there to Canada at reasonable prices, then that means it becomes a country that I'll want to research for my itinerary. But before I can do that, I will thus need to know which flights exist (that bypass the USA), and that's where I'm having difficulty finding a comprehensive flight search site.

I guess I could call Air Canada just to get a list of cities from which the fly directly... but that's the sort of thing that the internet is (supposed to be) good for - and it doesn't help me find the other airlines that'll do the same.

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 10, 2008, at 6:51 AM by Sander ]

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 8y

Cuba should be high on your list;)

Anyway, apart from me not knowing any search engine, I do check the airports on wikipedia a lot. All airlines flying into/out of those respective airports are included on those pages, whereas almost any search engine only shows the regular bigger airlines OR budget airlines, but rarely a combination of those two.

It's also much more fun, checking all those pages...dutch winters are long

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4833 posts) 8y

Quoting Utrecht

Anyway, apart from me not knowing any search engine, I do check the airports on wikipedia a lot. All airlines flying into/out of those respective airports are included on those pages, whereas almost any search engine only shows the regular bigger airlines OR budget airlines, but rarely a combination of those two.

Ah! That is really useful. I didn't know wikipedia listed that information, but now that I do, this is pretty much perfect. There's really only three or four big Canadian airports, so I only need to look at those wikipedia pages to find out all possible departure points (with respective airlines) in South/Central America.
Thanks!

edit: W00t! Perfect! I can fly nonstop from Mexico City to Vancouver with Japan Airlines - which is part of oneworld, which means that I can do it on the same RTW ticket as Auckland to Santiago de Chile. Sure, I'll be racking up miles like there's no tomorrow, but hey, I'm sure that with two years to think about it, I can go and rationalize this to myself... :D (And who knows, maybe two years from now Obama will have dissolved the TSA and DHS and the USA will be a pleasant place to visit again. (Yeah, yeah, I know - but I like to keep dreaming anyway...))

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 10, 2008, at 7:25 AM by Sander ]

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

Most airlines include route maps on their website. Have you seen these sites:

http://flyertalk.com/forum/index.php
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimyvrroutemap/
http://airlineroute.blogspot.com/
http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/
http://www.mobissimo.com

I too hope Obama will turn around the Immigration/Customs quagmire, and the TSA has changes in the works too - possible changes to the liquid ban. We're turning away perfectly good international tourists at the moment, and for a nation with a bad reputation to begin with, this is not at all good!!!

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 10, 2008, at 12:21 PM by Daawgon ]