Relocating to NYC - Sell Me on Delta

Old Mar 8, 2019, 11:31 am
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Relocating to NYC - Sell Me on Delta

Took a new job and will be doing a significant amount of international travel in paid business class. Will be living in Manhattan and trying to decide between United @ EWR, or Delta/American @ JFK. Annual travel should look something like:

Sydney 2x year
Frankfurt 4x year
Sao Paulo 2-3x year
SFO 6x year

So, why should I (or shouldn't I) pick Delta?
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 11:41 am
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It seems like United is your logical choice. The destinations you are traveling to most often are United / Star Alliance hubs and connectivity will be far better. The commute to JFK is not really any easier than the commute to EWR unless you really want to take a train.

I would argue that Delta's international business class has a superior hard product on average, but Sao Paulo and Frankfurt are both served out of JFK on Delta's worst product, and United's b-class refresh is moving along quickly.

I would also argue about Delta's superior ops, but you'll be able to fly mostly nonstop to those destinations so it matters less, and let's be honest - every New York airport has bad ops.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by ethernal
It seems like United is your logical choice. The destinations you are traveling to most often are United / Star Alliance hubs and connectivity will be far better.
Why does connectivity beyond the destination matter? DL serves SFO, GRU and FRA non-stop from JFK. EWR-SYD requires a connection, too. Do you want to wager UA is done with Polaris refits before Deota One suites are complete?
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 11:57 am
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As a DL die hard I must agree with [MENTION=846525]ethernal[/MENTION]. The destinations you picked are much better served on UA from EWR. You can also do EWR-SJC which might be more efficient if you are going to the SF peninsula. SFO usually has multiple weather delays whereas SJC does not.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 11:58 am
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If you're not flying to any locations where DL's route map out of LGA is useful, and when you're flying to both SFO and FRA frequently, I would go with UA.

UA has superior connections to SYD (LAX, SFO and IAH) vs only LAX on Virgin Australia / DL, and has SFO as a hub as well as FRA as a Star Alliance hub. GRU is a crapshoot between the two of them.

If you're living or working on the west side of Manhattan, EWR will be as fast if not faster than JFK.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:03 pm
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There really isn't much value to being loyal to a particular airline if you are always going to be in paid international (assuming so for the TCON to SFO as well) since all of the benefits (i.e. lounge access, free luggage, priority lines) you would gain through status are already included in your ticket. I would say pick the flights that provide the best balance of timing, service, cost and amenities.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:07 pm
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Do you get business class on your flights to SFO? If not, I think I would give Alaska a hard look as well.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme
Why does connectivity beyond the destination matter? DL serves SFO, GRU and FRA non-stop from JFK. EWR-SYD requires a connection, too. Do you want to wager UA is done with Polaris refits before Deota One suites are complete?
Admittedly Delta's SFO connectivity is pretty good, but still, frequency is always better than lack thereof. EWR-SFO is basically hourly. Between JFK and EWR, there are 7 Star Alliance flights to FRA versus Delta's one. You don't think that matters? It gives you a lot more flexibility (even ignoring benefits under IRROPS).

And yes, I expect UA to be done with Polaris before Delta is done with their suites retrofit based on their currently published timelines (2020 vs 2021 for Delta). And if we want to talk about Polaris, we should probably talk about the Polaris lounges that exist in both EWR and SFO now (assuming OP will get J to SFO). They outclass any Delta SkyClub.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:09 pm
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Someone suggested the SQ JFK-FRA nonstop in another thread, but the last time I checked, it was scheduled at inconvenient times.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by The Situation
There really isn't much value to being loyal to a particular airline if you are always going to be in paid international (assuming so for the TCON to SFO as well) since all of the benefits (i.e. lounge access, free luggage, priority lines) you would gain through status are already included in your ticket. I would say pick the flights that provide the best balance of timing, service, cost and amenities.
With that amount of paid J, OP is looking at obtaining United Global Services or Delta 360. OP should definitely stick with one airline.

Originally Posted by sdix
As a DL die hard I must agree with [MENTION=846525]ethernal[/MENTION]. The destinations you picked are much better served on UA from EWR. You can also do EWR-SJC which might be more efficient if you are going to the SF peninsula. SFO usually has multiple weather delays whereas SJC does not.
EWR-SJC is no more on UA.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:18 pm
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I recommend booking whichever airlines gives most options - having flexibility is key when traveling for business or encounter IRROPS.

Suggestions for your destinations:
Sydney: OneWorld - American and Qantas
Frankfurt: Star Alliance - United, Singapore, or Lufthansa
Sao Paulo: OneWorld - American and LATAM
SFO: United
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:18 pm
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It's the inbound FRA-JFK on SQ26 that leaves FRA at ~8:30am that may be problematic - but not much worse than the DL nonstop that leaves 90 minutes later IMO. The outbound SQ25 leaves JFK at 8:15 or 9:15pm depending on daylight savings.

LH/UA blows the competition out of the water on this route in terms of frequency and convenience.

Again, I think if the OP gets to fly business on NYC-SFO then it's down to UA or DL. If not, I would give AS a look as well.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Someone suggested the SQ JFK-FRA nonstop in another thread, but the last time I checked, it was scheduled at inconvenient times.

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Old Mar 8, 2019, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by GoSh4rks
With that amount of paid J, OP is looking at obtaining United Global Services or Delta 360. OP should definitely stick with one airline

Which is as good point to add. Delta360 is pretty useless; UA Global Services has real benefits (documented upgrade priority benefit with separate inventory vs. regular complimentary upgrades, ability to "force open" award space, security line cuts, boarding benefits, and so on) - and easier to get than DL360.
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by manacit
If you're not flying to any locations where DL's route map out of LGA is useful, and when you're flying to both SFO and FRA frequently, I would go with UA.

UA has superior connections to SYD (LAX, SFO and IAH) vs only LAX on Virgin Australia / DL, and has SFO as a hub as well as FRA as a Star Alliance hub. GRU is a crapshoot between the two of them.

If you're living or working on the west side of Manhattan, EWR will be as fast if not faster than JFK.
Completely agree!
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Old Mar 8, 2019, 1:24 pm
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If considering United, be mindful of how partners earn PQM and PQD... I don't think it's as generous as the Skyteam arrangements (at least with tier 1 partners) regarding partner flights (as opposed to United ticket stock but codeshare).

If buying business class, I think the poster in the AA forum had it right - buy based on price and schedule, unless you have a lot of domestic economy/+ flying that you haven't mentioned. But know that Polaris and Flagship lounges beat the pants off SkyClubs since they are business/elite only, no credit card entry or day passes. I haven't been to the new AF lounge in JFK though.
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