Foreign Airlines

I figure this is a “less than cosmic topic”…

I June I’m going to Budapest for the month, but I’m only getting so much reimbursed for travel. I basically have two choices:

a) $935 ($800 reimbursed) for a non-stop 8.5 hour flight from JFK to BUD out and an 11 hour flight with a 1 hour stopover in AMS (10 hours in the air) back. Outbound and first inbound legs operated by Malev (seems to be a Hungarian airline), while the return leg from AMS to JFK operated by KLM.

b) $750 ($750 reimbursed) for an 18-hour outbound and an 11.5 inbound both operated by Finnair, each with a stopover in Helsinki (not sure how long each stopover is).

So, does anybody know anything about these carriers (particularly Malev and Finnair) to say whether they’re to be avoided or not? Overall, which would you take?

Well, first of all Finnair is a large carrier from Finland and is totally respectable. As far as I know, and by doing a quick seach on http://www.crashdatabase.com, they have no reported major incidents at all. Their overall quality is high, and I recommend them.

Malev is the state-owned airline of Hungary and by checking the above site, we can find only four incidents and they were all in the seventies when the airline used poor Russian aircrafts. Today of course, it’s a modern airline using the latest types of aircraft and is indeed respectable and trustworthy.

I’d say, choose Malev if you don’t mind spending the extra money and want the quickest flight; otherwise choose Finnair. You’ll have great flights either way, I’d say!

Without any question, go with Finnair. The KLM flight is quite possibly a codeshare with NorthWest, who operate some incredibly uncomfortable antiquated planes, and Malev aren’t up to much either.

Actually, it’s the other way around. Northwest listed, but operated by KLM. Technically, the outbound leg is also listen Northwest, but operated Malev.