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Old 12-29-2002, 03:31 PM   #1
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First International Flight

First of all, I would like to thank the Webmaster of this site for all the great info I have gained about air travel.

I am making my first international trip in a few weeks and it is for my company as I drew the short straw and will have to train newbies how to check their email, access their files and generally work within the Novell environment.

Being that this is my first international flight, I am really not sure what to expect and I was hopping that you could fill me on what to expect on my flight.

First I am planning on arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport at 2PM for a 6PM Continental flight bound for Zurich, is that enough time to get my ticket, check my bags and egress through security? One of my co-workers told me that Newark is a mess and that I should give myself as much time as I possible can.

Second, I know that airlines are cutting way back on food service during the flights, should I plan to eat at the airport before hand or is their enough food still served on international flights?

Third, one of my co-workers tells me that I am going to look terrible when I step-off the plane in Zurich and that I should spend some extra money and head for (an arrivals lounger?) and use their shower facilities before heading off to work. Is there such a thing offered in Zurich by Continental Airlines or is this something offered by the airport itself?

Fourth, I am used to "ABCD" as the normal location for seating on the aircraft, I am currently booked in 3K how can there be a K? Did the agent who made the reservation make a mistake or is there actually a seat K?

Fifth, (I am sorry to ask so many questions this is the last one I promise.) I am a computer person and being without my laptop would be like a fish trying to live out of water, am I allowed to bring my laptop on a international flights? From what I have read there is nothing specifically stating that I cannot bring my laptop but, there is also nothing saying that I can either.

Thanks so much for your time in answering these questions.
Daniel

P.S. I am sure that to you seasoned travelers, I look like a total newbie and indeed I am but with all the new rules and changes in policy since 9/11 I am totally confused as to what is going on in the skies. Some days I receive food others I do not, some days security is really fast others it takes forever. Which makes me wonder will I be as confused come my day to take the skies bound for Zurich?
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Old 12-29-2002, 05:13 PM   #2
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I'm no aware of Continental having service from EWR-Zurich. Are you making a stop and when are you going. Secondly, Their is no presidents club or arrivals lounge in Zurich that continental offers, but you will have access to the presidents club in Newark after you check-in and clear security. I really couldnt say how long you need before your flight. 2pm for a 6pm seems a little to long. I would suggest maybe 3:30 pm. But i really couldnt be certain. Security shouldn't be a problem because your in BusniessFirst and continental has implemented fast security lines for premium passengers. If your seated in BusinessFirst, and from what i know i think you are since your seat is 3K, dont worry about eating. The food in BusinessFirst is endless and delicious. Yes you will be able to bring your laptop on board. As far as your seat assignments go, I'm not sure what airplane your getting cause their was no flight from EWR-Zurch on continental but if it's a 767 the configuration would be ABDKL, and if it's a 777 it's ABDEKL. Dont worry about being a newbie. We were all one of them at some point. Are you an elite member with an airline?
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Old 12-29-2002, 05:55 PM   #3
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I hope that the companies travel agent did not make some horrid mistake because, she states in writing, Flight#: 78 EWR(Newark)--->ZRH(Zurich) Non-stop and Flight#:79 ZRH(Zurich)--->EWR(Newark) Non-stop.

No, I am not an elite member of any airline, however, I am an elite member with Marriott Rewards(Platinum) and I am Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Member.
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Old 12-29-2002, 06:15 PM   #4
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Hi!
Don't be afraid. You're right.

CO 78
From: EWR To: ZRH
5:55 PM 7:45 AM
Trm:C 762 Trm:B
Meal DS

CO 79
From: ZRH To: EWR
10:25 AM 1:55 PM
Trm:B 762 Trm:C
Meal LS

If you're not an Elite Member at One Pass, be sure to enroll, because with the mileage you will get (plus it is in Bussiness) you will be there.
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Old 12-29-2002, 06:23 PM   #5
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How can one enroll to be an elite member? From my limited understanding the only to become and elite member is to fly actual miles.
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Old 12-29-2002, 07:01 PM   #6
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Sorry, what I meant it was that AFTER you were coming back you would have mileage enough to be a Silver Elite Member. From that flight you will get 12000 miles (including the bonus from Bussines)
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Old 12-29-2002, 07:12 PM   #7
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According to the Onepass website it is 25,000 miles for a silver elite membership or is there a special that I am not aware of?
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Old 12-29-2002, 07:41 PM   #8
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No, you're not missing anything... You won't earn Silver elite with this flight alone, but you'll be well on your way. Just one or two more trips on Continental over the course of the year would do it easily.

Enjoy Zurich! I've been a few times, but never flying directly in -- I've always arrived by train from Basel.

You can absolutely bring your laptop on the flight -- you'll even have access to an EmPower power port to keep your laptop humming for the whole flight if you want. In coach you need to be in rows 17 through 23 for this, but all of BusinessFirst is equipped with EmPower. You can buy a power adapter for just about any laptop that can cope with the strange (but standard) EmPower jack.

As for food service, I'm sure you'll be very happy with Continental's BusinessFirst offerings. Even in coach you'll find that the accomodations on International flights far surpass anything you can get on even the longest-haul trans-continental domestic flight.

Are you really intended to go straight to work from the airport? I expect that will be rough simply due to the time zone changes. Depending on how rigidly your body tracks your internal schedule you'll be anywhere from a brain-dead autistic to a slightly scatterbrained ADD-sufferrer when you de-plane. I always try to bake a day or so in between arrival and having to think when I visit Europe.
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Old 12-29-2002, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thank you all for you help and insight. Now that I am sure that my stomach will be taken care in the skies. Does anyone have suggestions for restaurants on the land? I have heard that White Tiger is great for Thai food any other suggestions?

As for the going straight to work from the flight, I have never thought about not doing that. If I could get permission from my boss, would you suggest that I take a day to relax and get acclimated to Swiss time?
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Old 12-29-2002, 09:58 PM   #10
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Be sure to write about your flight to Zurich in the trip report section. Also what days are you going? I'm sorry to alarm you about Continental not offering service to Zurich from Newark. For some reason when i pulled up a timetable on continental.com it didnt show a non-stop and only pulled up 1 flight going through Amsterdam. Strange. Anyway have a good flight.
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