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Re: [tdf-discuss] LibOCon proposals

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }a:link {  }Hi Christian,
thanks for your remarks and questionsabout the flight connections. 


It would be nice if Zaragoza's team could elaborate more on howto
get to Zaragoza (by plane) . It should not be a huge problem,given that
it already held some
international conferences, butnevertheless there are a couple of
the usual "findme a cheap flight to XY" portals and other
travel-planningportals cannot be used, as ryanair is not included in
thoseportals (probably because of their "you have to pay a extrafee
for stuff that is included with other airlines" policy),and it
doesn't use the main airports, but the lesser frequentedones, thus
you always have to commute from$big_airport/$train_station to
$ryanair_airport. That complicatesthings quite a bit. (and it doesn't
help that you cannot see aschedule on ryanair's website, and it
appears that all flights arenot available - there are available seats
in march, but when yougo to the future, all you get is the "not
available icon".(Oct/Nov is out of the schedule already, so no hits
at all,probably also making people believe there is no connection)...

1. Regarding the flight connections,Zaragoza airport is currently under
negotiations with Ryanair toreadapt its schedule for the Summer period
(March 30thonwards) and for the rest of their agreement (I guess it
lasts until2014 or 2015). Last October, Ryanair stopped flying to
Alicante andMalaga (altough to Malaga it should restart on April), and 
this is atypical example of the trading between Ryanair and many
airports(Ryanair asks for XX+1 and the airport says XX-1). That is why,
lastJanuary, Ryanair stopped selling tckets for the summer season
untilnegotiations come to an end, in order to put extra pressure on
theactivities. Probably they will discontinue some Spanish flights tothe
Canary Islands such as Tenerife, Las Palmas, and maybe Seville
orBologna. What is sure is that flights to the main EU capitals will
bepursued, since they are strategical for the authorities:
LondonStansted, Milan Orio al Serio, Brussels Charleroi, Paris
Beauvais(yes, not CDG), Rome Ciampino, etc.  
However, we should be able to know theexact agreement in a few days, as
it has been stated in the localpress (first part of February), and then
flights should be on saleagain (they were on sale from November till
Christmas before Ryanairblocked the sales).

After being contacted, I also tried tofind a way from Munich to
Zaragoza, so let me describe theproblems by example. Feel free to
stop reading here, or jump tothe next ######################

Tried the various portals asoutlined above, for example swoodoo,
expedia and a couple ofothers - none of them could find a connection
from Munich toZaragoza, and not even from Paris to Zaragoza (I knew
from theproposal that ryanair serves this route (again not Paris CDG,
butBeauvais, 80-90km outside Paris).  Thus no direct way, and even
ifthere was a route from MUC to Paris, I would have to commute
betweenairports, so went to ryanair website and
looked for flights -problem see above. No schedule (or I'm too dumb
to find it), andthe booking system to check for flights basically is
useless, asunless you look in the next months, you won't get any
results.(and it uses captcha, that you have to keep filling out after
Xrequests). On the plus side, the flights really are quite cheap,
evenif you add the additional fees for your luggage and not paying
withryanair's own payment-card/system. (You can get it starting at
about60 € (with one piece of luggage with max. 15kg)).

So nextstep - get to Paris - that's an easy one and surprisingly
cheap aswell - Deutsche Bahn has "Europa Spezial" tickets thatcost
39€ from Munich to Paris (with TGV a little more than 6hours) - but
you can book that 92 days in advance only andavailability is
limited... On thSo I need to connect the two - Iknow French & English, so that was no
real problem for me, butit took quite some time nevertheless, as the
private shuttleservices did a good job with google... Unless you're
traveling ina large group, you pay more than 100€ one way. (if you
startlooking for info at the correct places, you'll have that info
muchquicker of course).
Here only the short version:
* Beauvaisairport has a shuttle service to the city, but not to any
of theother airports, and not to any of the main stations, but to a
ratherrandom metro station (at least to me it is random to me -Porte
Maillot) it's 15€ per trip, about 90 minutes but dependingon traffic
* Porte Maillot and Gare de l'estrequires changing trains once (at
Palais Royal/Louvre) and metrois cheap (1,70€ per trip, around 30
So in theory Igot a connection, but it took quite a while to figure
so essence of the above:
*you won't find ryanair flights in the common travel portals/metasearch
* Ryanair doesn't serve the main airports, but usessmaller ones, so
you almost certainly have to commute from airportto airport or from
train station to airport.
Paris→ Zaragoza:
It is from Beauvais airport (BVA), 80/90km north ofParis
There is a bus-shuttle between Porte Maillot (a Metrostation) & the
airport, organized by the airport (15€ pertrip, around 90 minutes)
This info probably should beenough to get the idea, and probably is
enough to help out theperson who contacted me - but maybe you could
line it out/point tothe info from previous conferences.

2. Spanish airline Vueling, asubssidiary from Iberia, requested some
slots to start flying thisspring from Paris Orly to Zaragoza, but
nothing has been announcedyet. Unfortunately, Zaragoza had flights to
Paris, Frankfurt andLisbon, with Iberia regional (Air Nostrum), but all
of them werehalted by 2010. 
Therefore, the main ways to reachZaragoza are two:
either directly trough Ryanair,which, as you say, does not appear in the
Amadeus booking system,and in some cases uses airports like Beuvais, but
is definitely verycheap
or by flying to Barcelona orMadrid and then taking the High speed rail
to Zaragoza (75' and 90',with around 20-25 departs a day from both
cities, visit the Spanishtrain for info:

In both airports there is direct trainconnection to the Station (train,
bus, and in Madrid also subway)
A. Madrid Barajas to Madrid Atocha (25'with commuter train Cercanias),
and there is also subway L8 withchange at Nuevos Ministerios.
B. Barcelona El Prat to Barcelona Sants((25' with commuter train
Other cheaper option is taking the busfrom Madrid Barajas T4 directly to
Zaragoza (13 €), 3h40'. In BCNyou must get first to the Bus station .
From both cities there arehourly buses to Zaragoza,
In your case, for example, I wouldprobably get a flight from Munich to
Barcelona, Madrid or Bilbao, andthen train (or bus for cheap budgets) to
Zaragoza, 6h of TGV and thengoing to Orly or CDG are definitely too much
for me.  Apart from themain arlines, Spanish lowcost  Vueling may be a
good option, ischeaper than, for example, Air Berlin. It flies from
Munich andNuremberg to BCN, and from Berlin to Madrid, BCN and Bilbao. 
But, of course, is easier to get fromMunich to Berlin than from Munich
to Zaragoza :-)
Nevertheless, from those members orattendees coming from Brazil and all
Latin American countries, flyingto Madrid or Barcelona and taking the
train is easier than flying toCentral Europe, because of the 3 hours
less of  flight, and becausethere are also no direct flights to Berlin
yet (correct me if I'mwrong), and I guess you should connect via
Frankfurt or Munich.
In any case, remember than we have adiscount of 30% for all Spanish
trains, and apart from those tripsthat we will cover with our budget (as
mentioned in ourhope, our first move willbe to cover additional Spanish train trips. 

Hope this info is useful for you, letme know in case you need anything
else, best regards,

Juan Pradas
Gestor de Proyectos Milla Digital - Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza
Milla Digital Project Manager - Zaragoza City Council
Av. Hispanidad, 20, Edificio Seminario 50009 Zaragoza (Spain)
Tel. +34-976-723738

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