UA F vs Lie-Flat C on other *A/Partners

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by yaychemistry, Dec 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I noticed a thread asking for opinions on LX C vs UA F earlier. I figure this sort of question may be common, so it may be worth starting a thread.

    In general, how does UA F (international) compare with other *A partners (or other partners) who don't have F, but have a lie-flat C?

    In particular, I'm trying to pick a FRA-NYC return, but the only F availability is on UA via BRU. However, since I'll likely be connecting anyway (unless I take the LH C) there's also VS C available via LHR or OS C from VIE. I figure the on-the-ground at LHR or VIE at the respective hubs will probably be better than flying UA F out of BRU.

    Can anyone compare either of those with UA F? And I welcome comparisons with any other lie-flat C seats on *A or UA/CO partners in case others are wondering.
     
  2. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    In this case, VS isn't a bad idea, especially if you have a long layover at LHR. I don't think the premium for UA F across the Atlantic is worth it.

    When choosing between VS and OS, I think VS wins big on lounge, seat (although OS has a very good angled lie-flat) and entertainment. OS has better food (by a mile) and outstanding service. Personally, I'd pick VS with a 3-5h layover at LHR... enough time for a swim, bite to eat, and maybe a massage. :)
     
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  3. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    Well, the FRA-NYC is the second half of a BKK-FRA-NYC leg and the BKK-FRA will be in F, so it won't cost any extra miles to do the UA F.

    Wait... a swim? VS has a pool at LHR?!?? This might have swayed me... I can do an overnight at LHR to visit the city as well.
     
  4. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    There's a hot tub, sauna, steam room. The VS LHR Clubhouse is IMO one of the top 3-5 lounges in the world. Keep in mind you will be assessed the premium cabin UK APD if you have a stopover in LHR (longer than 24h I believe). A connection, even one as long as 10-12 hours, avoids this.

    http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/us/attheairport/clubhouses/lhrclubhouse.jsp
     
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  5. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Don't forget to check SQ for FRA-NYC. A380 service beginning in January which will likely mean slim availability - but is something to keep in mind.

    Also take a look at US - their Envoy Suite is very good, with CX taking the same seat for their new business class. PHL is 100 miles away from NYC, availability on the 20x PHL-LGA is quite good, but Hertz On Demand on ways from PHL-NYC is also an attractive option.

    Air Canada also has a very good C product with lie flats. Depending on where your final destination is in NYC - might be worth it for a connection in YYZ or YUL to arrive at LGA. The AC Maple Leaf Lounges (from canada to US) blows any of the US domestic lounges away, with many complementary drinks that you serve yourself, soups, salads, etc.
     
  6. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    There is Y availability on the SQ A380 :)

    Unfortunately, it looks like the VS isn't an option, as it requires an 18 hour "connection" in LHR. The first phone agent told me I was limited to 4 hours, and the second call got me up to 12 hours. I already used my stopover on the outbound. So now its between OS C (via VIE) and UA F (via BRU). The mileage difference doesn't matter because I'm already on TG F from BKK-FRA.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Both of them are wrong. Just remind them that the connection time on an international trip is 23:59 and that if they don't believe it you'll be happy to wait on hold while they call a supervisor or the fare desk to confirm.

    Don't let bad info from agents force your plans.

    That said, I'd skip VS, but that's a whole different discussion.
     
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  8. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I'm intrigued.... Not worth the extra connection, or something specific to VS?
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I think that their in-flight is mediocre (food was awful both times I tried it, crew was surly and the IFE was pretty bad) and that the Clubhouse is fun once or twice but not worth the following 6-8 hours of meh to have that hour or two of fun (and the food in the lounge isn't great either).
     
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  10. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    I never flown VS, but was expecting good food and great service :(
     
  11. jetsetr
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    jetsetr Gold Member

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    Having flown VS UpperClass north of 10+ RTs SFO-LHR or JFK-LHR over the past 11 years, I understand why Wandering is somewhat critical of VS. The quality has gone down from its earlier halcyon days (no more on-board massages, amenity kit is weaker are two that come to mind). But that's not to say that it's still not a great experience, especially for those who have never flown.

    I actually find the VS Clubhouse at LHR to be fantastic, and agree with Gary (View From the Wing), that it is one of the top 5 lounges globally. And I disagree with Wandering, in that I think the food at the lounge is great, and even preferable to what can be served on board. But this is a matter of personal opinion, I suppose.

    Bottom line, if you have time to fully partake in the Clubhouse experience, including whirlpool, spa, dining, etc., then IMHO, it is worth flying Virgin Upper. But if you don't really have time to experience the Clubhouse, then you will likely be able to replicate or surpass the VS on-board experience with other carriers.
     
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  12. jetsetr
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    jetsetr Gold Member

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    FYi, the AC C lie-flats are the exact same seat as the VS C lie-flats, and are configured in the same herringbone layout. However, for some reason, the tables on AC are smaller than on VS, so that it is not as easy to dine with your companion at the same table on AC.
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes, the food in the lounge is better. But not enough to make up for the bad food I've had in the air. And there is no way it is in the top 5 globally. Unless you are excluding F lounges and even then I bet there are C lounges that would make that a tough competition.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I also don't think that AC has the seatbelt at the ottoman making it harder. I've done the dine with my wife thing. It was neat and all but we only did it because that is the only way to actually talk with the person you're flying with on the VS 340s. I'm not a big guy and wedging my ass into that little seat for the 30 minutes we spent eating was not particularly pleasurable.
     
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  15. From NYC
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    From NYC Gold Member

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    Don’t forget VS’ god-awful carry-on policy that’s set by weight, even in Upper Class, not by the size of your bag. That alone is what’s kept me from flying them for a good many years. Haven’t even bothered to check whether their ridiculous policy is still in effect.

    If you can swing getting a ticket on LH F, then you’ll have their F lounges to make up for not going to VS’ lounge.
     
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  16. jetsetr
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    jetsetr Gold Member

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    In my experience, I've never had a problem with carry-ons in Upper Class. Not ever.
     
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  17. From NYC
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    Well, then, things have changed, and that’s a good thing.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I didn't either, but the policy is there and if they choose to enforce it you don't have much basis from which to argue.
     
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  19. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    I agree the crew is snarly. But I would prefer VS over BA/AA.
     
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  20. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    The bar is amazing at the VS lounge at LHR.
     
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  21. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    Well, the original question is how VS C (or other lie-flat C) compares with UA F... I think I would take LH F in an instant if it were available.
     
  22. From NYC
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    From NYC Gold Member

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    Yes, but I tend to view these things in terms of the overall picture. For example, I brought up the carry-on policy because I'd been looking forward to VS Upper Class, but the experience, for me, was greatly lessened by having to check a bag and to empty parts of my computer knapsack into my about-to-be-checked bag because that was over the weight limit, and then the wait for my bag once I arrived brought it up all over again.

    And I forgot to mention the UK tax on TATL flights coming in or departing from there that becomes quite large when flying in classes higher than coach; a tax one doesn’t pay from other EU countries.

    So, for me, the quality of the seat/bed might be fine, but if other aspects of flying an airline are disruptive, then the bed doesn’t matter as much. The OP, and anyone else reading the thread, can determine for themselves whether those things will matter for them, no? :)
     
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  23. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    Point well taken!

    I suppose then, what I am lacking is a comparison with UA's F product:
    Any insight on the UA crews?

    What about the hard/soft product comparisons? I suppose i just don't know enough about UA's international F product. I'm guessing that the route I'm looking at (BRU-NYC) is the lie-flat on the 777, but not the suites. But are the suites all that spectacular anyway when compared with lie-flat C on others?
     
  24. From NYC
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    From NYC Gold Member

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    I only had experience with UA F about a year ago using miles to go to the SIN Do 2011. I found no differences between me and the other passengers, and didn’t experience someone else’s order being taken before me in row 1. I was just a CO Plat then.

    I’ll be taking the BRU-EWR flight in F, also miles, on 29 December. This time I’ll again be a Plat, but 1K Plat, if there is such a distinction.
     
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  25. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    Yes, but if the OP just took a flight directly to JFK or EWR, the necessity of a North American lounge would be moot.
     
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