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Yes, you can fly to Frankfurt from almost all major markets in America.  And yes, if you need to, you can fly to Berlin on Delta.  But what about Munich?  No love from any American based airlines.  Until now.  Continental has started flying non-stop from their hub in Newark, NJ (also serves NYC) to Munich, Germany.  So, let’s compare the two.  Like always, I use similar dates through Kayak.com.
Continental – Flying a 767-200, Continental’s flight leaves Newark at 5:30 PM and arrives in Munich at 7:40 AM.  Good times.  The return flight leaves Germany at 9:20 AM and arrives back in Newark at 12:35 PM.  Again, good times.  For a coach ticket, you will be shelling out $1429.  Business class, $1907. (less than $500 difference!)
Lufthansa – Flying A340s (Lufthansa’s standard long-haul jet), Lufthansa offers service from both Newark and New York-JFK.  The JFK flights are similar times as Continental’s offering, but the flights to and from EWR show some difference.  Leaving Newark at 8:10 PM (not a problem), you arrive in Munich at 10:10 AM.  A little bit later that could affect getting to a morning business meeting.  Coming back, though, there is the advantage of leaving Germany at 3:20 PM and arriving back in Newark at 6:20 PM.  From a business meeting standpoint, this is great.  You get half a day in Munich.  From a sleeping and jet-lag perspective, arriving back in New York later in the day will help you adjust.  Prices are the same for coach ($1429), and the business class service is the same price from Newark ($1907).  The price for business jumps to $3813 flying from JFK.
Conclusions – Price: same.  This means that if you have miles or a loyalty to one airline or alliance, go with it.  If you can afford the extra $500, business class can really make a more pleasurable experience, considering you will be spending 17 hours in flight, round trip.  The differences come in the schedules.  The Continental offering is not bad.  In fact, it’s quite good.  Lufthansa’s EWR offering is good and bad.  It’s good because of the return trip, but it’s not great on the way to Munich.  At the end of the day, though, the times are not that different.  The Continental service is not a game-changer.  Instead, it is a supplement.
Remember: It’s all about the little things.
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