UA vs. LH - Biz vs. First

Old Jul 28, 12, 3:23 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 129
UA vs. LH - Biz vs. First

I'm looking to take my family to England next year using award miles and am ready to book if something comes up that works for my schedule. I have enough miles for First both ways for all travelers using Saver award miles provided there is availability, but would be ok with most other options other than economy both ways (would really prefer First or Business outbound to arrive a bit more rested).

Looks like some current options outbound are:
1. UA Business on a 777 IAD-LHR
2. LH Business on a A330 via Frankfurt

Is one of these options vastly superior? Or should I keep waiting for the possibility of First on either UA or LH.

I flew UA First to LHR about 7 years ago and really appreciated the expedited customs and the arrival lounge to take a shower, so am leaning towards waiting on UA First, but maybe someone would say that is a long-shot and advise otherwise.

Thanks!

Cheers,
HalfSwede

Last edited by halfswede; Jul 28, 12 at 3:55 pm
halfswede is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 3:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 7,869
I don't think any FRA-based A330s have the new business class cabin yet, so in my view UA is a winner in C based on seat. There are those who object to UA's 2-4-2 arrangement aboard the 3-cabin 777, but I will take flat over angled any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, especially for an overnight transatlantic leg. On a daylight trip, food, beverage, connectivity and entertainment are more important for me, so LH becomes more competitive in that regard.

LH First is miles ahead of United in almost all measures, but you probably won't find O inventory until <2 weeks from your flight, despite what united.com tries to tell (or sell) you! I don't think East Coast-EU is a good value for F awards, but if you choose to go that route, book a UA flight as a placeholder and make change closer-in when Lufthansa availability is better. Also, consider a C out/F return combined award for better value and inflight experience.

Last edited by EWR764; Jul 28, 12 at 3:47 pm
EWR764 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 3:48 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,561
Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I don't think any FRA-based A330s have the new business class cabin yet, so in my view UA is a winner in C based on seat. There are those who object to UA's 2-4-2 arrangement aboard the 3-cabin 777, but I will take flat over angled any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, especially for an overnight transatlantic leg. On a daylight trip, food, beverage, connectivity and entertainment become more important for me, so LH becomes more competitive in that regard.

LH First is miles ahead of United in almost all measures, but you probably won't find O inventory until <2 weeks from your flight, despite what united.com tries to tell (or sell) you! I don't think East Coast-EU is a good value for F awards, but if you choose to go that route, book a UA flight as a placeholder and make change closer-in when availability is better.
Excellent advice. LH F > UA F > UA C > LH C. The one caveat is that LH C beats UA old C, but I believe it is all UA new C on the IAD-LHR route or at least that it will be by next year.
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 4:05 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I don't think East Coast-EU is a good value for F awards, but if you choose to go that route, book a UA flight as a placeholder and make change closer-in when Lufthansa availability is better.
If I book UA flight now as a "placholder" and change to LH F, will there by any kind of change fee? Does that fact that UA IAD-LHR becomes LH IAD-FRA-LHR make any difference?

Similarly, if I book UA C now as a "placeholder" IAD-LHR, will there by any kind of change fee if I 'upgrade' to UA F?

Thanks for the reply!

Cheers,
HalfSwede
halfswede is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 4:14 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: FRA
Programs: UA 1K, AA Exec Plat, MR Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 252
UA vs. LH - Biz vs. First

No fees for plat and higher.
coplatflyer is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 4:27 pm
  #6  
Senior Moderator, Moderator: Coronavirus, Community Buzz, and Ambassador: Miles & More (Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, and other partners)
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 150km from MAN
Programs: LH SEN** HH Diamond
Posts: 28,072
For the last few months late afternoon IAD-FRA (LH419) has been operated by the brand new 748i with new F and new C seats 5/6 times a week. IAD-MUC has been operated by one of the A333s with new C most days.

However, next summer's schedule is not yet certain as it might depend on the delivery schedule of more 748i since LH is planning to fly the 748i to India and LAX as well.
NewbieRunner is online now  
Old Jul 28, 12, 7:00 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,667
United C is just so much better than LH C.

UA has lie flat beds , better food and wine.

I prefer the UA staff vs those of LH as well.

If only UA would stop all of their useless announcements over the PA system!
ozflier is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 8:35 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 7,869
Originally Posted by halfswede View Post
If I book UA flight now as a "placholder" and change to LH F, will there by any kind of change fee? Does that fact that UA IAD-LHR becomes LH IAD-FRA-LHR make any difference?

Similarly, if I book UA C now as a "placeholder" IAD-LHR, will there by any kind of change fee if I 'upgrade' to UA F?

Thanks for the reply!

Cheers,
HalfSwede
The fee schedule for award changes, redeposits, reissues, etc. can be found here. In general, it will be based on your status. Keep in mind that most actual LH F inventory is released inside of 14 days prior to departure, so that may inform your expectations as to planning for fees.
EWR764 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 9:33 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: UA 1K, SPG Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 568
UA vs. LH - Biz vs. First

I don't actually lie flat in a bed, not fully reclined, when i sleep so prefer LH. I prefer the LH food, service and plane layout.
LeviFlight is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 10:53 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,280
Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Excellent advice. LH F > UA F
I haven't been on UA F, but I will say that LH's old F seats are terrible for an overnight flight. On that basis, I would consider UA F over LH F depending on whether you knew what configuration you'd get on LH.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 11:27 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Hertz, Avis, National, Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, Marriott
Posts: 7,869
Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I haven't been on UA F, but I will say that LH's old F seats are terrible for an overnight flight. On that basis, I would consider UA F over LH F depending on whether you knew what configuration you'd get on LH.
The new UA F suite has two advantages over the previous generation LH First Class seat: bed comfort (though I do not find old LH F to be terrible for sleeping) and entertainment.

In all other regards LH does a much better job, in my estimation. Aboard a reconfigured A330/340/744 or new 74H/A380, LH F is dramatically better.
EWR764 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 12, 11:44 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: DEN, BOS, HKG, SYD, SFO
Programs: UA 1K, SPG Plat
Posts: 215
Check the reviews of the new catering - I have *zero* complaints with their product, minus occasionally indifferent crews.

That being said, the LHR based crews are my hands-down favorite in the network.

Cheers,
Adam
DrDesmo is offline  
Old Jul 29, 12, 5:30 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The Jersey Shore
Programs: UA *G MM, AA G MM
Posts: 1,862
Originally Posted by ozflier View Post
United C is just so much better than LH C.

UA has lie flat beds , better food and wine.

I prefer the UA staff vs those of LH as well.

If only UA would stop all of their useless announcements over the PA system!
New LH C > new UA C though....
cl.lurker is offline  
Old Jul 29, 12, 5:57 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SIN/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP
Posts: 35,834
Originally Posted by cl.lurker View Post
New LH C > new UA C though....
No. They are the same hard stools they have on all their birds. Just on the 748, they let it recline more.

The Airbus will have the old seats or a long time to come.

LH Biz food is worse than UA C food IMO but that is a matter of taste.

For the few minutes ride from IAD to LHR, I would not book F, no matter how cheap it is. I can hardly be regarded as a proper 'overnight' flight.
weero is offline  
Old Jul 29, 12, 7:11 am
  #15  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 6,732
On such a short flight, go C. However, definitely go UA C, as LH C is garbage.
GetSetJetSet is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: