MP miles on AC vs US

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jebala, Feb 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jebala

    jebala Active Member

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    I am planning to get a business award for ORD to CDG round trip. I can find ORD-YYL-CDG round trip on AC or ORD-PHL-CDG round trip on US. Is there any difference in the quality for the international legs? If I use AC, how much time should I allow for transfer in YYL?
     
  2. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Think you mean YYZ, not YYL. AC's J seat is definitely more private than either UA, CO or US the other carriers you might be flying since the seat is in a "pod". Think that's the main difference you'll find over the US carriers. Service and food are pretty good. At YYZ, the Maple Leaf Lounge is probably superior to anything you'll find in the US, and if you're hungry there's hot pasta and soup, cold salad. Self serve bar, free wifi or if you need it PCs. AC flies from its own area and has its own MLL at CDG T2. You could mix your itinerary and fly AC outbound and US back.

    If transiting to an international flight off a US flight at YYZ you simply do a cursory passport check with Canadian immigration at the end of your walk from the gate. You don't follow most passengers down to the main customs hall. Once this check is done, you head back along the corridor down to the MLL or your gate. Your checked bags will go right onto your international flight and you don't even go through a security screening again. Can be done in a few minutes, so even a 45-minute connection would work, though keep weather in mind depending upon what time of year you're traveling. (On the return you would similarly take a fast track route to US pre-screening and your bags will also go through without need to collect them or go through Canadian customs. However, this time you will go through a normal security screening before heading to the gate.)
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you decide to try the mixture, I would go through Canada on the outbound because the Canada to USA transborder flights pre clear in Canada and then leave you in an almost holding pen area waiting for the flight.
     
  4. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    I would also recommend AC. I think AC meal service even in Y is much more superior then UA/CO for sure. Plus Maple Leaf lounge in YYZ is just amazing.
     
  5. Phudnik
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    Phudnik Gold Member

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    US usually flies a 332 PHL-CDG, which has the new Envoy Suites (fully flat seats). I haven't flown them myself, but I've heard they're pretty nice. In my experience, US's catering is a notch below other American carriers; I haven't flown AC on an intercontinental flight, so I have no basis for comparison.

    Since the Envoy lounge in PHL no longer exists, the lounges on AC will be nicer than what you get in PHL.

    PHL is my home airport, so I never connect there, but I have heard that it's not a great connecting airport.

    The transborder area in the AC terminal is rather nice, with a big MLL and several shops in the gate area.
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Maybe it was just my routing (SCL-YYZ-LGA) but I definitely had to collect bags to clear customs in YYZ in August 2011. It was easy, but the bags were not transferred through. The outbound is a piece of cake and one of the better transit experiences for a situation that is not a true I:I bit.

    If the US flight is on their new 330 C product that is definitely worth considering for the hard product. It is a very nice seat (same as Cathay and what AA just announced).

    Going from the Express gates (likely F) over to A for the long-haul departure will be annoying, but not terribly so.
    Agreed. There is nothing awful about it in either direction, other than dealing with the lines at immigration/security in YYZ heading into the transborder area. They can get pretty crazy at times and elite status doesn't get you the priority access.
     
  7. Phudnik
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    Phudnik Gold Member

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    The OP is coming from ORD, which is either mainline or an E170/175; either way the flight will likely come into B/C. Getting from there to A-West won't take very long, unless the moving walkways are blocked by people standing with their luggage. (Whenever I change concourses at PHL, I'm always reminded of the Jerry Seinfeld routine -- "this is not a ride, people!")

    I was thinking more in terms of flight delays, etc., rather than negotiating the airport.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Indeed...I have no idea why I just assumed they were on one of the 20ish daily LGA flights. :oops:
     
  9. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    This has recently changed and YYZ now operates the same process as YUL and YVR where bags don't have to be collected but are merely matched on a video screen as you get interviewed by the US immigration officer. If there is a delay or they want to give you a secondary, you would be directed to a waiting area while the actual bag is retrieved and brought up.

    However, that's why I suggested outbound on AC with minimal hassle, and return through PHL on US. But return is now simpler via YYZ too.
     
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  10. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    My vote is for US. CDG (along with LHR -but not LGW and TLV) are guaranteed the envoy suites. US's domestic product isn't great, bu their new Envoy product is top notch. Both AC and US have lie flats at an angle, but US is angled the opposite way and doesn't feel as much like a coffin.

    You need to clear Canadian customs on AC. It's not a huge hassle, but why bother? On the outbound, you'll be sleeping and both airlines have a very nice flat bed. YYZ is also a very large airport and connecting there is a much larger pain than PHL as you need to go from the gates, to the main terminal area for customs and then back out to the gates.

    I do like the YYZ Maple Leaf Clubs - but the Terminal A US Club (formerly Envoy Club) isn't bad at all. It's a step above most typical US domestic clubs.

    The US flights to/from ORD are not 50 seat RJs so will not be in terminal F. All the 170s and larger planes will arrive in A, B or C.
     

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