advice needed: us award, ua 1st or LH business?

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by profan, Oct 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. profan

    profan Active Member

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    Hello,
    I am planning a first class award redemption to North Asia with US Airways Dividend Miles with a stopover in Europe on the return. Returning from Europe (Lisbon) to USA i have several options:

    a) LIS-FRA-IAD with the last segment in UA 1st class presumably available now for my dates (according to united.com)
    b) LIS-FRA-IAD with the last segment in LH Business on the new B747 (LH418) available now for my dates.

    Questions:
    a)if LH opens 1st class inventory at T-14 on this flight, will US allow me to change my otherwise 1st class ticket (even if I have to pay a fee)? My travel is longer than 14 days so it will already have started by the time Lufthansa opens up additional inventory (if it does at all). I know US Airways does not permit changes after flying the first segment, but does anyone have experience if they would allow a change in only the class of service (no routing or flight schedules)?

    b) Is UA 1st class that much better than LH's new business? This is a day flight, so sleep/bed is not that important for me. I mostly care for food/IFE and overall service on this flight, especially if there is hope of upgrading to first class. What would you chose?
     
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  2. profan

    profan Active Member

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    forgot that US doesn't offer LH 1st class even if its available to other partners, so seems like a moot point now.
     
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  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Supposedly that is still not always the case.
     
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Lufthansa business class is quite comfortable, and I have always enjoyed the crew's service on LH vs. UA flights , but that difference in more noticeable in coach (steerage!) class - that I often fly for work purposes. If the comparison is between LH business and UA business, I'd go with LH. But, if you're sure that you're getting seating in UA first class - and not their business class - go for it - you'll be spoiled with the seating configuration! If you can do so, check out the LH first class terminal in FRA. Otherwise, the LH business class lounge (remodeled early this year) will serve you just fine.
     
  5. JetsettingEric
    Original Member

    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    How do timings fit for you?

    How long is your trip? Do you plan on the 748 F opening up before your first segment?

    It really is a toss up. I would book assuming i get the product as is, and you get the F upgrade on LH, then it' a huge plus, but don't expect it.

    Do you want to check off the 747-8 as a new aircraft type, if so, that's worth doing LH for that. Seat comfort, the UA F seat is very nice. It's a tad roomier than the LH 748 J seat, but neither will be crampt. IFE, both have great selections, the trouble after so many flights is that you've watched what you have already wanted to watch. So if you'd had a long LH or UA section i may just choose the other in hopes of something better to watch.

    Both are great options. Enjoy your trip. One of my favorite uses of dividend miles. I'm in Asia right now, no one has heard of US, and they've got some wonderful redemption options.
     
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  6. profan

    profan Active Member

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    Thank you for your input everyone. I had to rework my ticket due to some other issues with availability and also scrapped the European layover altogether -- will visit both Hong Kong and Japan instead. Basically now I have: East Coast USA-YYZ(full day)-IST(overnight)-CDG-BKK(full day)-HKG(destination)-HND(layover)/NRT-IAD-East Coast USA. Right now YYZ-IST is on AC J on B767 (never tried them, excited). I think there is a good chance I could change to LH 1st YYZ-FRA-IST as the time gets closer, but not sure building an artificial connection in FRA is worth it just to experience LH1st + FCL/FCT in FRA. The booking as is already includes segments on TG F and NH F.

    What I love about this booking is that I will have nearly full days in YYZ and BKK (neither of which I've visited previously) and IST (which I like quite a bit), in addition to the destinations of HKG and Tokyo. I will try new products (AC, TG, NH). I would have more options if from the US I were to route via IAD/ORD/CLT/NYC/even IAH to FRA/MUC (all too familiar), but for me the novelty of visiting Canada and flying AC for the first time, in addition to a day in Istanbul, outweighs the non-guaranteed LH F (and even guaranteed UA F).
     
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  7. JetsettingEric
    Original Member

    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Enjoy! AC is a very nice airline. Their lounges are of an international standard.

    For YYZ - the economical way into the city is taking the GO Bus. Think greyhound style coach, and a few stops into the city. There is a pricey express bus as well. The GO Bus doesn't run that frequently into the city, but if you can time it it will save you some money. Have canadian dollars ready, but they will make change.

    YYZ-IST is a nice overnight. Unlike the East Coast to western europe flights which are way too short, IST gives you enough time to have dinner, get a full 8 hours of sleep and then have breakfast and land. AC J beats UA/LH J, especially when you have a short vs. long overnight flight. Direct aisle access, no stepping over someone or having someone step over you.

    The lounge at IST and BKK are both very nice. Make sure you save time for a massage at BKK. Also, the Conrad in Bangkok has a nice day rate if you need a place to freshen up and store luggage.
     
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