CDG-IAH CO vs. US vs. AC

 
Old Feb 28, 12, 10:28 pm
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CDG-IAH CO vs. US vs. AC

Dear experts,

I will fly from CDG to IAH roundtrip at the end of May and price difference between CO direct and US (either via CLT or PHL) or AC (via YYZ or YUL) is $1,800 (5.8K CO vs. 4K US/AC). I flew CO BusinessFirst on this route before and would love to repeat but I unfortunately have limited budget and couldn't spend more than $5K for this ticket otherwise I will have to pay the $800 bucks out of my pocket.

Based on Seat Guru, it seems that for the US option, flying via PHL will give me a better seat comfort as A332 (CDG-PHL-CDG, 1-2-1 seating) has been retrofitted while Boeing 767 (CDG-CLT-CDG, 2-2-2 seating) has not been (if I am wrong on this, please let me know). For AC, I have absolutely no clue.

I am not sure if I should post this on CO or US or AC thread, but I will appreciate any opinions (pros vs. con) leaving aside million miler quailification and travel time element out of the picture. In terms of elite bonus, both US and AC give full elite bonus for Premier Platinum on UA/CO.

Thanks,
Kiam
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Old Feb 28, 12, 10:35 pm
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Are you an US passport holder? The routing on US Airways via PHL sounds best to me but I avoid PHL for international travel because of immigration AND the security there, BUT the ride will be nice and in case of IRROPS you're at a domestic hub with lots of routings available.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 12:19 am
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AC is nothing to get excited about. Nice soft product and people, but the seat and food are just OK. Plus you have the hassle of connecting through Canada. I recently flew GVA-YUL-CLE, and AC couldn't print out YUL-CLE (CO) boarding passes in GVA, or airside before immigration in YUL, so I had to rush landside. Turned into a bit of a PITA.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by hangpilot View Post
AC is nothing to get excited about. Nice soft product and people, but the seat and food are just OK. Plus you have the hassle of connecting through Canada. I recently flew GVA-YUL-CLE, and AC couldn't print out YUL-CLE (CO) boarding passes in GVA, or airside before immigration in YUL, so I had to rush landside. Turned into a bit of a PITA.
While I always favor non-stops itineraries t ones that involve stops, I can understand that cost is a consideration.

I'm a little surprised, though, by your assessment of AC's J. Their overseas fleet is entirely full flat, and there is always direct aisle access from every seat. Their 767 is 1-1-1 and their 777 is 1-2-1.

Most of the CO 767's are still not lie-flat, instead they still have the very old-school Bracaloungers with the loop style IFE. But even once they are converted to lie-flat and AVOD (2 of their 767's are already converted), they will still be 2-1-2, meaning direct aisle access only from some of the seats, and the only one in which you won't have someone crawling all over you is the central aisle seat.

AC also has excellent AVOD and the catering is very good. Finally the Canadian gateways at YYZ and YUL have U.S. pre-clearance, so once you get on the connection to IAH you are flying a U.S. domestic flight.

If cost is a consideration, I would pick AC over CO in a heartbeat in J.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 6:13 am
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There is a difference between YYZ and YUL. Flying AC Int'l-US through YVR and YYZ, one only needs to go through US pre-clearance there, but not Canadian immigration. I would not choose YUL since you'll need to go through Canadian immigration first before getting to US pre-clearance.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 6:16 am
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Seems like US is your best bet.

US probably has the best J seat out there. The food will be meh, but it is all airplane food anyway and you don't have to deal with transborder immigration on the way home.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 9:24 am
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As long as you are on a US A330, US is the best option. If you'll be on a US 767 stay away.

Last edited by PVDtoDEL; Feb 29, 12 at 10:06 pm
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Old Feb 29, 12, 10:18 am
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Air Canada

Originally Posted by hangpilot View Post
AC is nothing to get excited about. Nice soft product and people, but the seat and food are just OK. Plus you have the hassle of connecting through Canada. I recently flew GVA-YUL-CLE, and AC couldn't print out YUL-CLE (CO) boarding passes in GVA, or airside before immigration in YUL, so I had to rush landside. Turned into a bit of a PITA.
I find AC fine, until you have a problem. More often than not, I have had issues when dealing with AC employees. I believe their corporate motto must be "We are not happy, until you are not happ!". I would fly US.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
As long as you aren't on a US A330, US is the best option. If you'll be on a US 767 stay away.
Sorry I should have added this. TITCR.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by hangpilot View Post
Plus you have the hassle of connecting through Canada.
Now you know how the rest of the world feels about the USA.

Guard: "Why are you visiting the US?"

rruaco: "It's a handy spot to refuel my plane."

[rruaco is directed to the special room for sarcastic furriners]
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Old Feb 29, 12, 8:02 pm
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Was connecting at EWR on Continental an option or was the fare the same as IAH-CDG non-stop? How about connecting via ORD or IAD on UA? The CO EWR-CDG flights are usually on a 752 and have lie flat seats in BF, as well as UA business class seats on the ORD-CDG and IAD-CDG routes.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Time traveller View Post
Was connecting at EWR on Continental an option or was the fare the same as IAH-CDG non-stop? How about connecting via ORD or IAD on UA? The CO EWR-CDG flights are usually on a 752 and have lie flat seats in BF, as well as UA business class seats on the ORD-CDG and IAD-CDG routes.
IAD-CDG is currently on the CO 752s same as EWR-CDG.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
IAD-CDG is currently on the CO 752s same as EWR-CDG.
That's true, which means ORD-CDG, EWR-CDG and IAD-CDG are lie flats, but IAH-CDG is not, at least not yet.

With all other things being equal, I would personally choose a connection with a lie flat seat on the TATL portion, rather than a non-stop BF recliner seat.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 10:33 pm
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CO/UA direct or indirect ORD or EWR has similar price around 5.7K.

Btw, what is TITCR and IRROPS? Sorry I'm bad at this.

Last edited by kiam; Feb 29, 12 at 10:44 pm
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Old Feb 29, 12, 10:38 pm
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Thank you so much everyone for your input, I'm very grateful and I will choose US via PHL on A332 flat bed at $4K although I will have almost 4 hrs transit time. I'm glad to find out AC option via YUL requires two immigration clearance, which means no way I will do that.
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