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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:30 pm   #1
 
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LAX to SYD

A friend of mine wants me to go to Australia with her early next year. I just used a bunch of miles for a trip to Paris with my husband in October so I'm low on miles at the moment. I certainly cannot afford to purchase a business class ticket. But, I really, really, can't wrap my head around 15 hours in a coach seat, the entire time over the water no less, even an economy comfort coach seat. How bad is it?
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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:32 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxielady View Post
A friend of mine wants me to go to Australia with her early next year. I just used a bunch of miles for a trip to Paris with my husband in October so I'm low on miles at the moment. I certainly cannot afford to purchase a business class ticket. But, I really, really, can't wrap my head around 15 hours in a coach seat, the entire time over the water no less, even an economy comfort coach seat. How bad is it?
So go on the Virgin Australia flight in Premium Economy. Much better seat in a separate cabin. AND you get 150% MQM !
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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:43 pm   #3
 
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It's still going to cost you at least $2200 though (VA O class return ticket)
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Old Jul 26, 13, 1:44 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by mikepa View Post
So go on the Virgin Australia flight in Premium Economy. Much better seat in a separate cabin. AND you get 150% MQM !
If the seat is similar to the PE seats for transatlantic, then I heartily recommend them over the economy seats. They certainly aren't lie-flat business seats, but they are far more comfortable than economy. With a travelling companion too, you can get a window-side set of two seats and not have to worry about a third person in your row either.

I did DTW-LAX-AKL-SYD-PER-SYD-LAX-DTW in economy a few years and 30 pounds ago due to a screwup with our corporate booking agents. I was 5'11 and 220, and got to sit in the bulkhead middle seat from LAX to AKL. Possibly the most miserable 14 hours of my life.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 2:48 pm   #5
 
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I've done it 3 times in the last year, in Premium Economy. It ain't too bad.

Bulkhead row 31 if you want maximum legroom (C and G are my preferred). Otherwise any but the last row of PE.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 5:08 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxielady View Post
A friend of mine wants me to go to Australia with her early next year. I just used a bunch of miles for a trip to Paris with my husband in October so I'm low on miles at the moment. I certainly cannot afford to purchase a business class ticket. But, I really, really, can't wrap my head around 15 hours in a coach seat, the entire time over the water no less, even an economy comfort coach seat. How bad is it?
I do SYD-LAX-XXX-YYY 2-4 round trips a year, always in economy. I usually get an exit row seat when on Delta metal, but usually a regular economy seat when on VA (Virgin Australia) metal. It's fine; much shorter than the SYD-Europe trip I have today (in economy, 10-across on the EY 777 for the 14 hour flight one way).

I'm careful to do plenty of walking around the plane to keep comfortable. Really, once the flight is over 10 hours or so, it's just a long flight: I zone out, do some reading, watch a movie or two, and try to sleep a bit. In fact, for going to the eastern or central US, I really like the Qantas 16 hour SYD-DFW nonstop to get the long flight done in one fell swoop. (Again, my only experience is economy.) I find the short domestic flight in the US end to be more painful than the long haul that proceeded it, partly because narrow bodies have less room to walk around.

When coming home (to SYD), I often take the VA flight because it's an hour earlier. Lands around 6:30, which is typically the first flight in and thus beats the Customs rush, then do a full day at work with just a stop at home to drop my bags on the way.

FWIW, I'm 6' and skinny. So much to do in Australia; I'd certainly consider it worth it! To be fair, most Aussies (rightly) think that there's a lot more variety of interesting things in the States, but Australia is certainly worth a visit for an American.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 5:23 pm   #7
 
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It's a long flight, particularly if you start in the midwest and it is after transcon.

But, lots do it every day. If you can get EC, it's probably worth it.

Delta has pretty good IFE. If you can sleep a bit and watch a couple movies, it goes quickly. I've had much worse long-ish CRJ200 flights than I have every had to Australia. I've gone in Y, Business, and First (UA) and you feel a lot fresher up front but no big deal.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 5:43 pm   #8
 
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LAX to SYD

You'll find quite a few people who did this as an MR during the 2010 BNA/RDU/PIT/STL promo for DEQM plus a big RDM bonus. I was one -- really wasn't too bad with the right seats one way and a full row to myself the other. I think a few FT'ers scored op ups, but I wasn't one!
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Old Jul 26, 13, 6:42 pm   #9
 
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There is a significant difference between the DL (or UA) style Y+ that are just a couple inches extra legroom, and that of VA and others that have a separate cabin with wider seats.

The "true" premium economy products are more like domestic F class.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 9:23 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashill View Post
I do SYD-LAX-XXX-YYY 2-4 round trips a year, always in economy. I usually get an exit row seat when on Delta metal, but usually a regular economy seat when on VA (Virgin Australia) metal. It's fine; much shorter than the SYD-Europe trip I have today (in economy, 10-across on the EY 777 for the 14 hour flight one way).

I'm careful to do plenty of walking around the plane to keep comfortable. Really, once the flight is over 10 hours or so, it's just a long flight: I zone out, do some reading, watch a movie or two, and try to sleep a bit. In fact, for going to the eastern or central US, I really like the Qantas 16 hour SYD-DFW nonstop to get the long flight done in one fell swoop. (Again, my only experience is economy.) I find the short domestic flight in the US end to be more painful than the long haul that proceeded it, partly because narrow bodies have less room to walk around.

When coming home (to SYD), I often take the VA flight because it's an hour earlier. Lands around 6:30, which is typically the first flight in and thus beats the Customs rush, then do a full day at work with just a stop at home to drop my bags on the way.

FWIW, I'm 6' and skinny. So much to do in Australia; I'd certainly consider it worth it! To be fair, most Aussies (rightly) think that there's a lot more variety of interesting things in the States, but Australia is certainly worth a visit for an American.
Thanks for your very informative post.
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Old Jul 26, 13, 9:39 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxielady View Post
But, I really, really, can't wrap my head around 15 hours in a coach seat, the entire time over the water no less...
I didn't realize the comfort of the seat changed based on the topography below!
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Old Jul 26, 13, 10:06 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dEagleS View Post
I didn't realize the comfort of the seat changed based on the topography below!
While, topography can affect turbulence, but I'd expect land below to make it less comfortable on average, not more. It is often bumpy nearish the equator over the Pacific, though, due to the trade wind patterns, though I can't say I have the experience to make a statistically valid statement about that.
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Old Jul 27, 13, 1:02 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashill View Post
I do SYD-LAX-XXX-YYY 2-4 round trips a year, always in economy. I usually get an exit row seat when on Delta metal, but usually a regular economy seat when on VA (Virgin Australia) metal. It's fine; much shorter than the SYD-Europe trip I have today (in economy, 10-across on the EY 777 for the 14 hour flight one way).

I'm careful to do plenty of walking around the plane to keep comfortable. Really, once the flight is over 10 hours or so, it's just a long flight: I zone out, do some reading, watch a movie or two, and try to sleep a bit. In fact, for going to the eastern or central US, I really like the Qantas 16 hour SYD-DFW nonstop to get the long flight done in one fell swoop. (Again, my only experience is economy.) I find the short domestic flight in the US end to be more painful than the long haul that proceeded it, partly because narrow bodies have less room to walk around.

When coming home (to SYD), I often take the VA flight because it's an hour earlier. Lands around 6:30, which is typically the first flight in and thus beats the Customs rush, then do a full day at work with just a stop at home to drop my bags on the way.

FWIW, I'm 6' and skinny. So much to do in Australia; I'd certainly consider it worth it! To be fair, most Aussies (rightly) think that there's a lot more variety of interesting things in the States, but Australia is certainly worth a visit for an American.
To the OP: I would second @ashill's comments above.

Since 2011, I fly the LAX-SYD route 3-4 times a year, always in Economy Comfort, as it is free for DL Platinum). So far, I only had one OpUp to BusinessElite between SYD-LAX (last month between SYD and LAX, due to an influx of travelers escaping Australian winter for summer holidays in the US and beyond).

Personally, I find Economy Comfort on DL more than adequate for the long flight. I have only flown on DL metal so far. As far as possible, I always pick 31C or 31G - either of these two seats are ideal because they have extended leg room allowing me to stretch my legs underneath the curtain separating BusinessElite from Economy. Since I always hit the road running with work and appointments when I land, I tend to sleep between dinner and breakfast. For me, earplugs, eyeshades and melatonin (I buy the Trader Joe's variety) will do the trick for me. In between, I stand, stretch, and walk.

As an aside, I find myself appreciating DL's 9-abreast economy comfort seating on the 777-200L. Last week I flew on Emirates' infamous 10-abreast 777-300ER between SYD and DXB via BKK - Now, that is what I would call excruciating and cramped for a flight that is longer than the SYD-LAX route.

Last edited by jykt; Jul 27, 13 at 1:08 am..
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Old Jul 27, 13, 4:43 am   #14
 
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I've done this flight four times on UA. There's no getting around the fact it's a long time in a seat.

Go for EC and if you can get a bulkhead or exit row. If you want to spend the money on premium economy to for Virgin.

Bring snacks on board so you don't have to rely strictly on meal service.
A good book helps.

You will enjoy Australia. Awesome place to visit. Try to get out of the Sydney and see more of the country.
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Old Jul 27, 13, 9:33 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by DCAproducer View Post
You will enjoy Australia. Awesome place to visit. Try to get out of the Sydney and see more of the country.
I'm going down in October for the first time and planning on a 2 week backpacking trip from MEL to DRW. Would that count?
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