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Old Jun 1, 10, 6:01 pm   #1
 
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General questions: SFO/LAX-SYD/MEL and vv (service, food, connections, etc.) [Merged]

Flying SEA-SFO-SYD in a couple of days (already confirmed w/ SWUs to biz class), but there are a few details to consider. Looked for an “everything to know” thread, but had no success, so comments & suggestions will be greatly appreciated: (1) can bag be checked thru at SEA for the whole trip; (2) would OLCI at SEA cover the whole trip or are there some formalities at SFO (yes, have ETA); (3) SEA-SFO flight arrives approx noon & plan to BART to the Ferry Terminal for lunch, then various to-dos including shopping in Hayes Valley before return to SFO for UA 863 departure at 10:41pm. So, how early should one be at SFO? (4) when are the in-flight meals served (I recall seeing a post sometime this year(?) regarding eating strategies; something about light, late lunch?), but for a 10:41 departure are we talking about a “full” dinner with all the bells & whistles, plus whatever else (“snacks”? breakfast?); in other words, forego a dinner at, say, Tadich Grill before returning to SFO?
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Old Jun 1, 10, 6:20 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
can bag be checked thru at SEA for the whole trip
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
would OLCI at SEA cover the whole trip
It should as far as I know.

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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
how early should one be at SFO?
I would try to be at the airport by around 9:00 just to be safe.

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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
when are the in-flight meals served
A full dinner is served shortly after takeoff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
in other words, forego a dinner at, say, Tadich Grill before returning to SFO?
No airline ever has, or ever will have, food that can even come close to Tadich Grill. If you eat because you enjoy it, eat at Tadich Grill. If you only eat to maintain body function, that's different.
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Old Jun 1, 10, 6:42 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
(4) when are the in-flight meals served (I recall seeing a post sometime this year(?) regarding eating strategies; something about light, late lunch?), but for a 10:41 departure are we talking about a “full” dinner with all the bells & whistles, plus whatever else (“snacks”? breakfast?); in other words, forego a dinner at, say, Tadich Grill before returning to SFO?
Here is a description of the SYD-SFO meal in C. It may be similar...

Let's Eat! 2010 International First and Business Class

Quote:
SYD-SFO UA 870 May 20:

To begin:

Smoked salmon with avocado ratatouille
Whipped goat cheese dressing
[The avocado was good, but the salmon was brown and smelled funny]

Main course:

Filet mignon with peppercorn cream sauce
Mashed sweet potatoes and steamed vegetable medley

Brie and onion stuffed chicken breast with jus
Roasted new potatoes and squash with carrots
[I had this one; but I couldn't find any brie in the chicken, the three potatoes were boring, and the small piece of cooked carrot and small piece of cooked squash weren't exciting either]

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
Semi-dried tomatosauce and fresh basil

Dessert:

International cheese selection
Victorian blackjack red leicester, king island camembert

Pavlova
Meringe with cream and fruit
[This one was pretty good]

Midnight snack:

Warm Australian chicken and roasted pumpkin meat pie
[sounds neat, but I slept through it]

Cheese, cucumber and lettuce sandwich

Chips

Chocolate

Prior to arrival:

Fresh fruit appetizer with croissant and

Chorizo and potato omelette:
Sauteed spinach and mushrooms with oven-baked tomato
[Was originally planning to get this, but lost interest after the chicken dish]

Fresh seasonal fruit plate
With creamy yogurt

The fellow next to me who'd paid full-fare business ate some of his chicken dish and ignored the rest. Can't blame him. What has happened to intl C meals lately??
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Old Jun 1, 10, 6:47 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post

No airline ever has, or ever will have, food that can even come close to Tadich Grill. If you eat because you enjoy it, eat at Tadich Grill. If you only eat to maintain body function, that's different.
As someone who cut their teeth (literally) at Tadich's I can't imagine skipping it in favor of the onboard "cuisine". Enjoy.
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Old Jun 2, 10, 2:43 am   #5
 
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MEL-SYD-SFO questions

Hey everyone,
I'm doing my first long haul flight on United in Sep from SFO-SYD-MEL-SYD-SFO and have a few questions.

I'm waiting for an upgrade to clear (550 bucks and 30K miles) for the SFO-SYD leg but spent $50 bucks to upgrade the MEL-SYD leg but will be in coach for the SYD-SFO leg back. My question is in Melbourne do I get any perks for being in J (might upgrade to First) for the short hop to Sydney but then go back to Y for the long leg? Like checking in with the first or business check in area etc? Any help would be great!

Looking forward to trying United up front on the 747 but not in Y!

Thanks,
James
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Old Jun 2, 10, 3:47 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
forego a dinner at, say, Tadich Grill before returning to SFO?
I am assuming that you don't live in San Francisco, so this is a rare treat for you. Don't skip it for United food!
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Old Jun 2, 10, 4:38 am   #7
 
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I was on the SFO to SYD flight just one week ago, traveling in the C cabin. The food was very unimpressive - the choices were the usual crappy chicken, beef or pasta. I would definitely prefer a good restaurant meal over the UA C class meal.

Sitting in the upstairs of the B744 was very nice though. It felt quite spacious, though I would recommend getting a seat forward of row 15 (if you are sitting upstairs) to avoid noise from the gallery.

Have a great flight!
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Old Jun 2, 10, 9:29 am   #8
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Just remember you need an AU airport visa to be approved before you can board. Call UA and have them do it. Otherwise they will have to do it at SFO, which is just another thing to do. No big deal, but it must be done.
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Old Jun 13, 10, 3:44 pm   #9
 
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best way DC to Melbourne Aussie?

United Economy Plus or AA to Lax then Qantas' version of economy plus?

More interest in comfort than miles.

Or do I fly Emirates or equivalent?
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Old Jun 13, 10, 3:47 pm   #10
 
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Couldn't you do all UA, IAD-LAX-SYD-MEL ?
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Old Jun 13, 10, 3:52 pm   #11
 
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Qantas's Premium Economy is truly a different class from regular economy unlike United E+ where extra leg room is the only difference. QF Premium Economy offers a wider seat and leg rest, and upgraded food. Booze is free on QF and UA economy for Pacific flights.

So if you're choosing based on comfort only then go for QF.
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Old Jun 13, 10, 3:54 pm   #12
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...So if you're choosing based on comfort only then go for QF.
Understanding there will be a significant price difference
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Old Jun 13, 10, 5:06 pm   #13
 
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Consider NZ via AKL.
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Old Jun 13, 10, 5:22 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by n198ua View Post
Couldn't you do all UA, IAD-LAX-SYD-MEL ?
Right I think the OP means all UA E+ (like you have suggested) OR AA to LAX and then QANTAS to MEL.

Based on comfort, the domestic leg would be E+ and international would be Qantas...hands down.

Enjoy
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Old Jun 13, 10, 5:24 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBeeper View Post
United Economy Plus or AA to Lax then Qantas' version of economy plus?

More interest in comfort than miles.

Or do I fly Emirates or equivalent?
If price is no object but it has to be Y (translated as company travel policy requires Y but everything is fair game as long as it is a Y ticket) and you don't care about miles, then you would be foolish not to choose a real premium economy product rather than E+ which is just Y with more pitch. If nothing else, the foot rest in a true premium economy cabin is a game-changer versus 14 hours in a unsupported sitting position on UA.
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