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Texas is calling next year... but where should we fly to?

Texas is calling next year... but where should we fly to?

Old Sep 4, 18, 7:58 am
  #1  
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Texas is calling next year... but where should we fly to?

Planning a possible trip to Texas for next summer with the family. Not so fussed whether we fly into Dallas, Houston or Austin. We'll likely move around within the State, so where we fly into could be decided by the best metal, availability and the most likelihood of some F availability coming up some time in the next 10 months (but I'd book J for now).

Austin is a single 747 service per day.
Dallas has an amazing 5 flights daily (I'm staggered). 4 are 777s and 1 747 service in the middle of all that.
And lastly Houston is twice daily, both on 777s.

My questions:

1) Are those all ex-T5? (preferable to T3 and that mammoth walk to the end gates with young kids - not a fan when we've been to PHX or LAS)
2) Austin and Dallas 747s - are they Hi-J?
3) Currently pretty much all have the dates we want or could make workable in J, but nothing had 4 F tickets (but neither does any destination in the US for next summer). Which routes do you think are most likely to possibly show some F availability for four tickets closer to the time? Dallas - because of the frequency?
4) You can see my 'name' on here - and not been on a 777 since I last went to IAH (thankfully). Is there ever any occasion when selecting a 777 in J is preferable over the 747 options above (unless F opens up).

Thanks...

PS - Oh, and good memories of my one Texas visit in 2011 - got to sit at this work station in Historic Mission Control (none of the 'look from behind the window' group tour nonsense), and went to the 'return home celebrations' of the final ever Space Shuttle crew, who'd landed back in Florida the day before, and were then flying there jets back 'home' to a heroes welcome in Houston. 100+ degrees inside an aircraft hangar on a US Air Force base... very surreal and VERY memorable!


747_not_777 is offline  
Old Sep 4, 18, 8:01 am
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2) I was on the Dallas 747 last week and it was mid-J which doesn't seem to be an unusual occurrence. As a single data point, I flew in F cabin and it was less than half full.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by 747_not_777 View Post
My questions:

1) Are those all ex-T5? (preferable to T3 and that mammoth walk to the end gates with young kids - not a fan when we've been to PHX or LAS)
2) Austin and Dallas 747s - are they Hi-J?
1 - All T5
2 - Austin and Dallas are currently non refurbed Mid-J.s Who knows what will be used next year when you wish to fly.
Forever in Seattle is offline  
Old Sep 4, 18, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by 747_not_777 View Post
Dallas has an amazing 5 flights daily (I'm staggered). 4 are 777s and 1 747 service in the middle of all that.
You've probably noticed this, but there's only one BA flight to DFW: the 747 - in case the fact that the 777s are AA aircraft (with whatever seating vagaries are still left on them) makes any difference to your aircraft choice.
Globaliser is offline  
Old Sep 4, 18, 8:21 am
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3) FWIW DFW has the worst availability for 4F in the next year (1 single outbound occurrence). IAH has pretty good options, AUS even better, up until April. That may be a systematic opening up of F seats at shorter notice which seems like your best chance of getting 4F.

Are you sure you don't want to go at Easter.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
You've probably noticed this, but there's only one BA flight to DFW: the 747 - in case the fact that the 777s are AA aircraft (with whatever seating vagaries are still left on them) makes any difference to your aircraft choice.
Doh! I was staggered to see so many... hadn’t noticed the flight numbers differing when taking a quick look at the online BA timetable whilst munching lunch. Thanks!

Last edited by 747_not_777; Sep 4, 18 at 8:32 am
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:25 am
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Considering your alias I reckon you know what to do, but if no availability shows up in F, J seems to get better reviews on AA than BA, despite flying the 777. Might be worth considering. 4F Avios seats are quite rare.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
the 777s are AA aircraft (with whatever seating vagaries are still left on them)
These are generally AA 777-300's with AA F and the (in my opinion) amazing AA J 1-2-1 reverse herringbone.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 8:33 am
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At least at Austin you can push wheel your baggage all the way to the car rental area and aren't do the out of the aircon to the hot bus loading area - you still get to go outside though, just no bus
E14 26C is offline  
Old Sep 4, 18, 8:38 am
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Don't forget you can switch route later if something pops up. Changing class cost 35pp, and so does changing class, date & route. Clearly that's ok at 6months+ but not short notice with other parts of your trip booked.

Are there 241s involved here?
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Old Sep 4, 18, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by YacozA View Post
These are generally AA 777-300's with AA F and the (in my opinion) amazing AA J 1-2-1 reverse herringbone.
If you are BA Gold (OWE) you would be able to book row 3 in J mini cabin (just behind F).

Fantastic product - you feel like in F, but pay (with money or points) for J.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 9:28 am
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It may be worth pointing out that DFW and MIA were the starting point for the first BA/AA metal swap announced a few months ago. As part of AA adding a fourth daily flight over the winter months (up from the current 3) BA is downgrading their 744 to a 772 during the same time period. I see that BA 744 is loaded again starting in March, but that's still a ways off and it wouldn't surprise me to see the swap continued into next summer depending on the results of this winter's flights and the outlook of how things are booking as next summer gets closer. Just a thought.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 10:04 am
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We recently took BA 190 outbound to the UK and BA 191 inbound back to the States, both in 1st class. BA 190 had some maintenance issues (faulty headset plug; damaged curtain; seat was a bit touchy to adjust, etc.), but BA 191 had none of that. Service onboard was impeccable. The only real drawback was that the terminal at ABIA (Austin) is under construction and you have to walk about 350 yards through a bevy of strung together land bridges to get on and off the plane. Some of it is air conditioned and some of it is not.
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Old Sep 4, 18, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
Are there 241s involved here?
Aren't there always ;-)

Liking the idea of no bus transfer at Austin, and straight out into the car rental area too...
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Old Sep 5, 18, 6:40 am
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Arriving into Austin you should find the walking and immigration very quick (relatively few international flights compared to DFW or IAH - I've found this one of the quickest airports for entering the US). Could be very useful after a long flight with kids.

As someone else pointed out - some of the DFW flights you are seeing (the 777 ones) are on American Airlines so would depart T3 at LHR. Some advantages though - the business class product is excellent; great seat and excellent privacy in the "mini-cabin" if you can get it. Also access to the Cathay and Qantas lounges in T3 beat anything equivalent BA can offer in T5 (choose these over the BA or AA lounges in Terminal 3).

My choice here would probably be to fly into Austin - by far the easiest of these 3 airports to enter the US and travel into town from - you could be downtown pretty quickly - and Austin is a way better place to start a holiday than Dallas or Houston - much more relaxed and fun cities to ease into the first couple of (jet-lagged) days - grab brunch, stroll the quirky shops and relax!
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