Coming home from Europe on AA...connect in LHR or JFK?

 
Old May 28, 13, 4:42 pm
  #1  
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Coming home from Europe on AA...connect in LHR or JFK?

I'm planning out my first trip to Europe, coming home in early August from ZRH. (I'm starting the trip with LAX-LHR, returning out of ZRH to avoid paying hundreds in UK APD...thanks Dave Noble and everyone else in that thread!)

Out of ZRH, I have two routing options: ZRH-LHR-LAX or ZRH-JFK-LAX...

option A: ZRH-LHR on a BA codeshare, a 2:45 connection in LHR then the new 77W nonstop home LHR-LAX. Attempting to use a SWU to get into J, right now 22 of the 52 J seats are open (and 3 of 8 F seats)

option B: ZRH-JFK on an AA 763, a 2:50 connection in JFK, then a dinner flight home JFK-LAX on a 762. 20 of the 30 J seats are open from ZRH-JFK, 21 of 30 open in J (and 8/10 F) on JFK-LAX (plus a possible comp EXP upgrade JFK-LAX since it's a domestic flight)

as of last check, the fares either way were identical, except option A was an extra $38.50 for the UK Passenger Service Charge (but no APD). I would think the flying experience on the 77W would be better than either 767, even in Y, and the lounges in LHR > those in JFK, but do I have a better shot at clearing the upgrades going via JFK? Looking for advice from the international trAAvel experts here...thanks!

(UPDATE): fare just went up $200 to go via LHR, fare bucket changed from V to H...grrr...

Last edited by SoCalFlyer23; May 28, 13 at 4:45 pm Reason: added updated fare info
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Old May 28, 13, 4:46 pm
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Option 1 for sure. Enjoy!
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Old May 28, 13, 4:59 pm
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Go via LHR.
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Old May 28, 13, 5:01 pm
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I'd take option one, given the choice.
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Old May 28, 13, 5:21 pm
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Having just flown ZRH-JFK-ORD-TUS this past weekend I would vote for option 1 but option 2 isn't all that bad and you get to avoid LHR all together.
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Old May 28, 13, 5:27 pm
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Id do ZRH-LHR-LAX. That nice long flight to LAX (J or F I hope) will end with a drive home!

BA code share or AA137

A
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Old May 28, 13, 5:51 pm
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By far go via LHR. Much better hard product in either J or F and those 762's are showing their age with MX.
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Old May 28, 13, 5:54 pm
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Option 1 - especially if you have checked bags to avoid 2x baggage claim.
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Old May 28, 13, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Exec_Plat View Post
Id do ZRH-LHR-LAX. That nice long flight to LAX (J or F I hope) will end with a drive home!

BA code share or AA137

A
It'd be AA137, this is my first (and possibly last) year as an EXP, so got to make the SWU's count! Either way I'd be getting home before dark and going home, AA137 lands at LAX at 5:20 PM (plus customs/immigration at LAX), the ZRH-JFK-LAX itinerary (AA65/133) would get me home at 7:00 PM having already cleared customs/immigration at JFK. So really, about the same time.

Originally Posted by JMN57 View Post
By far go via LHR. Much better hard product in either J or F and those 762's are showing their age with MX.
Copy that, if I could afford to buy a J seat it'd be a no-brainer to take the 77W. But is 77W in Y > 763/762 in J ?
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Old May 28, 13, 6:20 pm
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Option #1 is much the better choice
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Old May 28, 13, 6:26 pm
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Option A (with LAX-LHR)

BUT...you say you plan to travel EARLY AUGUST. That is pretty soon and you will probably not be at the top of upgrade wait-list.

Hard to tell which SWU has more chance to clear but I would be inclined to say ZRH-JFK is more likely to clear.

How does MCE look like on the LHR-LAX?. IF MCE and exit rows are full, that probably means lots of exps on SWU waitlist.

As a connecting EXP, even if your SWU does not clear, you will trump all local EXPs for the JFK-LAX flight and I could say that it is very likely that you will clear JFK-LAX with domestic upgrades.

Tough choice...I'd probably gamble and go through LHR (just because I have not seen the 77W yet, even if it is just MCE).
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Old May 28, 13, 6:27 pm
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No brainer-- option 1.
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Old May 28, 13, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Hayvenhurst View Post
Option #1 is much the better choice
That seems to be the consensus, unfortunately it was a much better choice before the ZRH-LHR-LAX fare jumped $200 and the fare bucket went from V to H. Maybe this is just post-Memorial Day and the V fare will come back...?
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Old May 28, 13, 6:36 pm
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If you think you can get the upgrade, do Option 1.

If not, I'd offer up that my last several connections through LHR have given me some concern. They had all been 2+ hour connections but invariably flight delays caused that window to shorten and then there's running through LHR to contend with.

Perhaps the ZRH flights will be better on time - I was on BA coming from LIS and DUB and both times they were significantly delayed.

I felt that a missed connection at JFK might offer me more alternatives to get back to LAX than a missed connection at LHR.
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Old May 28, 13, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
Option A (with LAX-LHR)

BUT...you say you plan to travel EARLY AUGUST. That is pretty soon and you will probably not be at the top of upgrade wait-list.

Hard to tell which SWU has more chance to clear but I would be inclined to say ZRH-JFK is more likely to clear.

How does MCE look like on the LHR-LAX?. IF MCE and exit rows are full, that probably means lots of exps on SWU waitlist.

As a connecting EXP, even if your SWU does not clear, you will trump all local EXPs for the JFK-LAX flight and I could say that it is very likely that you will clear JFK-LAX with domestic upgrades.

Tough choice...I'd probably gamble and go through LHR (just because I have not seen the 77W yet, even if it is just MCE).
Right now, MCE only has 10 open seats out of 30, including 4 open exit row seats (16 ABC and 16JKL) Of course, there's no way to know how many of those 20 are EXP and have applied for the upgrade...or is there?

I asked the EXP desk about all these flights, and they said they had no way to see the upgrade waitlist...? Is this info I could find out via an ExpertFlyer trial subscription?
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