Recommendations on LH vs. AC PE intercontinental (ex-NA)

Old Jul 31, 20, 9:07 pm
  #1  
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Recommendations on LH vs. AC PE intercontinental (ex-NA)

Hi folks, would love to hear people's thoughts on what would be the best experience to get from NA to Russia in September. Assuming the flights aren't cancelled my options are:

LAX/SFO-YVR-FRA/ZRH-LED/DME (with AC on the first two legs and LH/LX on the last one)
LAX/SFO-FRA-LED/DME (all LH)

The AC flights are either 777 (FRA) or 787 (ZRH). The LH flights are 747-8 (LAX) or 340 (SFO, currently appears to be the variant with rows 10-14 as PE). Price difference is something like $20 cheaper for the AC variant, $80 more for the SFO variant. One-way ticket on AS gets me to LAX for $60, so really, the question comes down to comfort on the plane and not so much the price. Mileage-wise going through YVR nets like an extra 100 miles, through ZRH another 300 on top of that (which is similarly meaningless).

So, can someone tell me which option makes the most sense here? Mainly interested in hard product and sleep comfort here, but other aspects matter too of course.

Last edited by lensovet; Jul 31, 20 at 9:13 pm
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Old Aug 1, 20, 2:43 am
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Originally Posted by lensovet View Post
So, can someone tell me which option makes the most sense here? Mainly interested in hard product and sleep comfort here, but other aspects matter too of course.
What makes sense in our day is to book something that will actually operate, and not something that may be cancelled. I would try to limit the number of flights, the number of transfers, and the number of airlines in the booking. Adding several flights, transfers and airlines increases the risk of a cancellation or tougher restrictions on transfers. If I were you, I'd book SFO-FRA-DME. My guess is that it's a bigger risk that a flight to LED, a smaller city, will be cancelled.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 3:36 am
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Thanks. At the end of the day I actually need to be in LED, and MOW is currently requiring 14-day quarantines for people coming from the US, so in one sense going straight to LED is a lower risk. But thatís a fair point.

side note: just a few days ago there were no ex-SFO flights on LH metal.
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Old Aug 1, 20, 12:38 pm
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LH PE product is a bit newer compare to AC. I would suggest that you fly direct to FRA with LH instead of going via Canada. I donít see the reason of going via another country. There isnít any significant difference between the 2 PE products. The only significant one is in case you want to bid for an upgrade to C. LH has usually some ďreasonableĒ minimum bids, for example around 500 euros per leg where AC bid is usually extremely high and not a good value.
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Old Aug 2, 20, 4:16 am
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What about 747-8 vs. 340? Any real difference?
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Old Aug 2, 20, 12:25 pm
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Why do you want to complicate things in already complicated travel situation?

​​​​​Just take nonstop LAX-SVO.

1. If you have Russian citizenship, there should be no difference coming to LED or SVO. Right now the situation is unclear because they are only starting flights, but I expect no difference in September RE: quarantine rules, at least not if you connect SVO-LED right away.

2. I would avoid connection in Europe. And Canada. Its not guaranteed you'd be allowed to transfer at all. Last time I
​​​​checked Germany allowed 3rd country connections only if "there was no other option", whichy can interpret as you wish. Or if you had European passport or long term residency / work visa. Switzerland currently allows 3rd country transit.
​​​​​​But I am in Europe now and situation here changes every week.

Just do not involve other country if possible in your journey.

In September LAX-SVO seems to be operated on 777 which has PE.

Last edited by AntonS; Aug 2, 20 at 12:33 pm
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Old Aug 3, 20, 2:11 am
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SU has been promising direct flights for weeks and keeps pushing them out.

first it was august 1st
then august 8
now itís the 16th
what will it be tomorrow?

plus itís on the wrong alliance. If Iím going to go through the trouble of flying in this environment, Iíd prefer it actually count for something.

i get the desire to help here but i had very specific questions, namely about the hard product on these aircraft.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 6:05 am
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Booked SFO-FRA-LED tonight.

within hours, SFO-FRA direct was replaced by SFO-MUC-FRA. Somehow they managed to do this in a way that breaks the connection, so now my flight out of SFO departs after the flight to LED is supposed to take off. Hilarious.
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Old Aug 6, 20, 5:04 pm
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Looks like all direct SFO-FRA flights are gone for September. I now have an impossible routing: FRA-LED on Sunday night followed by SFO-MUC-FRA…also on Sunday night. The LED flight got moved out by a day too, but I guess it refuses to reschedule with an overnight layover.

LAX-LED routing has gone up by $160 overnight.

LH is saying they can't re-route me from LAX because that's a different origination point (>300 miles). Also can't touch the ticket because it's <24 hours from booking. Priceline agent has been "looking into" putting me on LAX-FRA on Sunday afternoon (which would still make the adjusted FRA-LED connection) for the past half hour.

clearly should have booked the LAX outbound from the outset since those flights were 7x/week to start with, rather than 3x/week like SFO. for now will see what Priceline says — worst case I keep the ridiculous SFO-MUC-FRA flight and just ask them to move FRA-LED out by another day.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 1:15 am
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Originally Posted by lensovet View Post
worst case I keep the ridiculous SFO-MUC-FRA flight and just ask them to move FRA-LED out by another day.
You may not be allowed to take MUC-FRA, because it requires entering Germany.

​​​Unless you have European passport or residency permit, I would look for sterile connection or as I mentioned earlier SU nonstop.

Another viable option is SU103 from JFK which has been flying consistently in July and August so far. It was used as rescue flight outbound (tickets via Embassy) and normal sale on return, but I would think after Aug 15 or September 1 the outbound should be on sale as normal flight too. This might be slightly less risky option than LAX-SVO nonstop, which has not started flying yet.

Last edited by AntonS; Aug 7, 20 at 1:28 am
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Old Aug 7, 20, 2:21 am
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Technically UA is an option too, flying SFO-FRA on an almost identical schedule. Those planes are still in place and seem to be loading up faster than LH craft.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by lensovet View Post
Technically UA is an option too, flying SFO-FRA on an almost identical schedule. Those planes are still in place and seem to be loading up faster than LH craft.
This could be a viable option, but if you can figure out how to get refund of your Priceline LH ticket, book this one directly with UA.

In my experience in pandemic with LH/LX and agencies:
  • Many airlines took away opportunity from agencies to issue refunds in GDS or even changes that require email from agency, which takes a long time to reply, etc.
  • You may have to fight for refunds from LH group airlines. I waited 3 months for LX and ended up disputing with Amex.
I think with UA ticket number and booked directly with UA you will have much better chance of IRROPS rebookings and refunds.
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