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Old Feb 23, 12, 6:11 am   #1
 
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Choosing Airline from US to Australia

I'm having a hard time choosing an airline to fly from the US to Australia.

For the dates I'm planning, all of the major carries are within a few dollars of each other. Swaying my vote is United or Delta/V Australia because I have FF programs with both of them.

United (in Economy Plus)
Delta (in Economy Comfort)
V Australia (in Premium Economy)
Qantas (in Premium Economy)

If you had a choice, who would you choose and why? Your help and thoughts are appreciated.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 6:42 am   #2
 
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Go for the one you have FF programs with so you can get miles. Quantas really gets you on luggage charges and any extra kgs are some ridiculous prices.
I've never flown V though.
Good luck! Where are you flying from in the US?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
I'm having a hard time choosing an airline to fly from the US to Australia.

For the dates I'm planning, all of the major carries are within a few dollars of each other. Swaying my vote is United or Delta/V Australia because I have FF programs with both of them.

United (in Economy Plus)
Delta (in Economy Comfort)
V Australia (in Premium Economy)
Qantas (in Premium Economy)

If you had a choice, who would you choose and why? Your help and thoughts are appreciated.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 8:59 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by usagishouse View Post
Go for the one you have FF programs with so you can get miles. Quantas really gets you on luggage charges and any extra kgs are some ridiculous prices.
I've never flown V though.
Good luck! Where are you flying from in the US?
Hi usagihouse, thanks for your response.

I know it makes sense to fly a carrier I can earn miles with; which I can do with any of them. As I am hub captive at MSP, I am more prone to flying Delta, though I have begun to switch my alliance towards United. I also earn miles with American Airlines, though I would prefer not to fly them directly.

Having that said, I know I would earn miles with any of the carriers.

The last I looked, a month or so ago, V Australia flights only earned 50% of miles flown, but I think maybe that has changed -- I read just recently this morning somewhere that flights now earn 100%.

Although not THE deciding factor, flying United across the Pacific for 14 hours without inflight entertainment would not be the most pleasant experience. I am in the process of making a "comfort chart" to help me sway my vote.

So if anyone has some first hand experience, appreciate it.

Regards,
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Old Feb 23, 12, 10:31 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
I'm having a hard time choosing an airline to fly from the US to Australia.

For the dates I'm planning, all of the major carries are within a few dollars of each other. Swaying my vote is United or Delta/V Australia because I have FF programs with both of them.

United (in Economy Plus)
Delta (in Economy Comfort)
V Australia (in Premium Economy)
Qantas (in Premium Economy)

If you had a choice, who would you choose and why? Your help and thoughts are appreciated.
If they are all truly within a few dollars of each other for the classes quoted go either VA or QF as they are true premium economy. Wider seats, greater recline, more pitch, larger screens and separate cabin. DL and UA are just basically a better economy seat with more pitch and slightly more recline.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 3:14 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by Nugget_Oz View Post
If they are all truly within a few dollars of each other for the classes quoted go either VA or QF as they are true premium economy. Wider seats, greater recline, more pitch, larger screens and separate cabin. DL and UA are just basically a better economy seat with more pitch and slightly more recline.
If, as Nugget_Oz queries, they are all truly within a few dollars of each other, then QF on the A380 is clearly the way to go. It will fully credit to AA, including a 10% bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usagishouse View Post
Quantas really gets you on luggage charges and any extra kgs are some ridiculous prices.
There's no "u" in Qantas. As for luggage charges, on a US-Oz flight, QF (in economy or premium economy) allows 2 bags, maximum of 23kg each - how much more do you need?
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Old Feb 23, 12, 3:47 pm   #6
 
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If you are looking at PE, our only options are QF or VA. Both the UA and DL products are not premium economy, they are economy with a couple of inches extra leg room.

I would be inclined towards QF on the A380. You get much more leg room, a wider seat, better recline and almost Business class quality food and drink. That is without mentioning the quieter cabin on the A380. The VA product will also be good but it is on a 773 and I don't know about the specifics of the product.

QF will provide you with a 2 bag allowance. You can buy extra bags in advance for $105 a piece and anything over 50lbs (23kg) is charged at $50.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 9:43 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Nugget_Oz View Post
If they are all truly within a few dollars of each other for the classes quoted go either VA or QF as they are true premium economy. Wider seats, greater recline, more pitch, larger screens and separate cabin. DL and UA are just basically a better economy seat with more pitch and slightly more recline.
Amazing that they are all within the same price bracket, then for me , it is a no brainer, ... Qantas
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Old Feb 23, 12, 10:02 pm   #8
 
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Thanks for all of the responses. I appreciate them.

The prices for September were all between $1440 & $1520.

Another choice that just came up was Air Canada (MSP to YYZ to YVR to SYD), which would also earn miles on United, HOWEVER, according to seatguru there is no economy plus, so it's strictly cattle class and no cattle class with style.

I honestly am less inclined to fly Qantas just because of the miles.. If I fly a *Alliance member then I will earn status after this trip, if I fly a SkyTeam or SkyTeam adjacent (Delta/V.A.) then I would be close to status, but that would mean making some mileage runs, which I'm not sure I would be able to do...

Thanks again for the comments.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 1:22 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
Thanks for all of the responses. I appreciate them.

The prices for September were all between $1440 & $1520.

Another choice that just came up was Air Canada (MSP to YYZ to YVR to SYD), which would also earn miles on United, HOWEVER, according to seatguru there is no economy plus, so it's strictly cattle class and no cattle class with style.

I honestly am less inclined to fly Qantas just because of the miles.. If I fly a *Alliance member then I will earn status after this trip, if I fly a SkyTeam or SkyTeam adjacent (Delta/V.A.) then I would be close to status, but that would mean making some mileage runs, which I'm not sure I would be able to do...

Thanks again for the comments.
Presumably then it's just a fairly straightforward trade-off between how much you value the ongoing benefit you will get from attaining status in *A vs flying in a bit more/less comfort on the long trip across the Pacific.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 2:52 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
The prices for September were all between $1440 & $1520.
Is that one way or round trip? If you're finding QF premium economy for $1,500 round trip, please tell me where you're finding it - I will be making multiple mileage runs ....
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Old Feb 24, 12, 4:48 am   #11
 
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To be honest, AC is probably preferable to UA if you are looking at *A only as there is at least some personal entertainment which doesn't exist in the old 747s UA uses.

Another option may be NZ which has a very good PE product with convenient connections through AKL.

That said, if you are happy to go with DL points (don't know about EQM earning), VA is a good choice.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 12:14 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
Thanks for all of the responses. I appreciate them.

The prices for September were all between $1440 & $1520.

Another choice that just came up was Air Canada (MSP to YYZ to YVR to SYD), which would also earn miles on United, HOWEVER, according to seatguru there is no economy plus, so it's strictly cattle class and no cattle class with style.

I honestly am less inclined to fly Qantas just because of the miles.. If I fly a *Alliance member then I will earn status after this trip, if I fly a SkyTeam or SkyTeam adjacent (Delta/V.A.) then I would be close to status, but that would mean making some mileage runs, which I'm not sure I would be able to do...

Thanks again for the comments.
If you are looking at *A the other option is Air New Zealand, they have a Pacific Premium product which is outstanding. You would have to get to LAX-AUK-SYD though, but that is no worse than to YYZ-YVR-SYD.
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Old Feb 25, 12, 3:22 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
Although not THE deciding factor, flying United across the Pacific for 14 hours without inflight entertainment would not be the most pleasant experience... So if anyone has some first hand experience, appreciate it.
Before you book UA for the miles you might want to look at this thread on the delay / cancellation record for UA flights to SYD and MEL. It has 1250+ posts in it.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...d-threads.html

The reliability record on those UA flights is something short of sterling. They're old birds and they get sick a lot. Can you comfortably ride out a delay in each direction of one or two days if they occur?

Me, I'd book AC ex-YVR for the newer birds and IFE. They mean more to me than E+.
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Old Feb 26, 12, 1:44 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Before you book UA for the miles you might want to look at this thread on the delay / cancellation record for UA flights to SYD and MEL. It has 1250+ posts in it.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...d-threads.html

The reliability record on those UA flights is something short of sterling. They're old birds and they get sick a lot. Can you comfortably ride out a delay in each direction of one or two days if they occur?

Me, I'd book AC ex-YVR for the newer birds and IFE. They mean more to me than E+.
That's what I did for my November eclipse trip. AC even throws in QF SYD-MEL essentially for free ($7, I think that's just tax).

Beside the old birds issue, another one to consider is outbound SFO weather. The date I was looking at, LAX-SYD was zero on the cheapest class, which was still available on SFO-SYD, but I just can't imagine how early to fly LAX-SFO to avoid misconnecting.

And then I saw AC LAX-YVR-SYD for the same price, 100% EQM and extra miles to bring me just over the status mark (I will already have the minimum 4 segments on UA/CO/CM), and of course the rarity of weather delays for YVR, I took it.
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Old Feb 26, 12, 6:52 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dereiziger View Post
For the dates I'm planning, all of the major carries are within a few dollars of each other. Swaying my vote is United or Delta/V Australia because I have FF programs with both of them.

United (in Economy Plus)
Delta (in Economy Comfort)
V Australia (in Premium Economy)
Qantas (in Premium Economy)
I find this hard to believe. Qantas LAX-SYD return in Premium Economy is currently "from US$3048". United LAX-SYD return in Economy is currently sub-US$1500 for much of the year.

Even if you were to buy the annual Economy Plus option for United (if you don't have status and get it for free) then that's $499 for the year for up to 2 people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HkCaGu View Post
Beside the old birds issue, another one to consider is outbound SFO weather. The date I was looking at, LAX-SYD was zero on the cheapest class, which was still available on SFO-SYD, but I just can't imagine how early to fly LAX-SFO to avoid misconnecting.
It depends a bit on the time of year, but weather days late in the day aren't overly common for larger planes, and even when there are delays they normally aren't more than an hour or so. United is also fairly good at putting people on the direct flights if there's a chance than you're not going to make the connection (eg, if you're on LAX-SFO-SYD and LAX-SFO looks like it may be delayed, they will normally move you do LAX-SYD just by asking). Both LAX and SFO are excellent for UA-to-UA connections, even from Domestic to International (same terminal, or adjacent terminals connected by a short air-side walk)
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