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International Assistance Any topics relating to traveling or communicating with international treatment locations are here.


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Old 10-30-2016, 12:18 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Default Getting to Europe, alternate ideas

I just came back from Germany on business and thought that I'd share two less often discussed options for getting there, or anywhere in Europe, for those who really, really need a high class of service on their transatlantic flights to avoid problems with sitting intolerance. Laura still has problems sitting for long times, though it's moved up from an hour to 4 plus hours of tolerance. I don't have problems with sitting for long times but I can't sleep on planes. First class means I can rest if not sleep and arrive with a slightly less vile attitude. Laura's decision at that point was, so long as I travel to Europe very seldomly, it's cheaper to find a first class ticket for me than to file for divorce when I return sleepless with an attitude that poor.

That said, the two things we tried this time were British Air, using frequent flier miles earned with Alaska Air, and Condor Air.

British Air had very nice service but routed everyone through Heathrow. If you even think of going through Heathrow, give yourself at least two hours for a layover. I walk fast, don't check bags, and have deliberately streamlined the way I pack my backpack for speed in going through security and I still took upwards of 35 minutes to get from my Seattle to Heathrow flight to my Heathrow to Frankfurt flight. For someone who's traveling to get surgery, I couldn't imagine that you could get through the crowding in Heathrow in less than a full hour. If you do decide to brave Heathrow, the first class flight didn't need all that many miles and was very well handled. The flight from Heathrow to Frankfurt was standard economy class seats throughout but was fortunately fast. I'd imagine a flight to Spain wouldn't be all that much longer but haven't checked. If you do try this, you have to look for the first class transatlantic portion either separately or, at least primarily, to find the low cost fares. If you include lots of connector flights, the costs go up quickly.

Condor doesn't fly that many places and doesn't fly that many days. Their first class seat does fold down completely flat but it's the "burial at sea" configuration. On the good side, they were low cost without being unacceptable. Make sure you have your ereader charged as the movies weren't all that good but I'd suggest anyone interested look into them for their travel. One problem, though, was the need for the Frankfurt gate agents to check everybody's passport. This wasn't communicated but the gate agents very clearly and it ended up with us leaving about 15 minutes late. Even if you have a feeder flight where they check your passport, check with the condor gate agent for the flight you're boarding to get across the water. The biggest endorsement for them is that I'm actually coherent enough after the flight for me to write this up on the shuttle bus heading home.
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Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:13 PM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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I had looked into doing a Trans-Atlantic cruise. I may still do it that way since I wouldn't be able to walk after an 8 hour flight and not being able to move much.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:38 AM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Yes, Laura jokingly investigated those as well. About a week on the ship each direction, though, and that travel time is pretty daunting if you have limited time off from work.

Your profile says you're in Indiana. You might look into using IcelandAir. If you break up your hops, mid-West to maybe Boston, Boston to Iceland, Iceland to Europe; you might be able to fly. IcelandAir's big claim to fame is that they'll let you stay over in Iceland without charging you as if you had separate fares. That works well for someone who needs a day to recover from a ~5 hour flight. First class isn't very good for them, though, so there's no way to buy a seat that will allow you to stretch out flat.
__________________
Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:31 PM
RobertM RobertM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annapurna View Post
Yes, Laura jokingly investigated those as well. About a week on the ship each direction, though, and that travel time is pretty daunting if you have limited time off from work.

Your profile says you're in Indiana. You might look into using IcelandAir. If you break up your hops, mid-West to maybe Boston, Boston to Iceland, Iceland to Europe; you might be able to fly. IcelandAir's big claim to fame is that they'll let you stay over in Iceland without charging you as if you had separate fares. That works well for someone who needs a day to recover from a ~5 hour flight. First class isn't very good for them, though, so there's no way to buy a seat that will allow you to stretch out flat.
Thankfully I am self-employed and can with a little help work from anywhere. If I had to fly across the Atlantic I would have to be in business or first class. If I flew coach I would get dragged off the plane because I probably couldn't walk off it.
__________________
L5-S1 Herniated Disc
nerve compressed

6 months of PT
2 Right SI joint injections
3 L5-S1 injections
6 facets injections
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