Coach to Europe E- on *A vs E+ on UA

Old Apr 1, 14, 9:00 pm
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Coach to Europe E- on *A vs E+ on UA

I have a number of flights to Europe over the next couple months. Buying business is not an option, and one's GPU's may not clear (assuming I buy up to W).

So, I am faced with the decision of United for E+ and a possible GPU, or Lufthansa, Brussels or SAS which doesnt seem to have any 'spacious' coach seating.

Seems like a no-brainer to stick with UA for the space, but the conversations on FT often wax poetic about the service and amenities on other *A carriers.

So, what's the right move?
Thanks,
Todd
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Old Apr 1, 14, 9:11 pm
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The service on some other carriers like Swiss is great, but if you're average or taller the E+ is worth more IMO.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 9:16 pm
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Personal space on an airplane is more important to me than IFE, Food, or FA service imho. Nevermind more favorable mileage accrual rates.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 9:32 pm
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How about SAS + OptionTown upgrades?
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Old Apr 1, 14, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Orion_1 View Post
How about SAS + OptionTown upgrades?
Just as unreliable to predict as the GPUs. And SAS C is not lie-flat.

I don't think any of the TATL Y options on *A are sufficiently better than UA E+ to go that route. Even if it means buying a couple drinks should I want one.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 9:59 pm
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Originally Posted by fivevsone View Post
I have a number of flights to Europe over the next couple months. Buying business is not an option, and one's GPU's may not clear (assuming I buy up to W).

So, I am faced with the decision of United for E+ and a possible GPU, or Lufthansa, Brussels or SAS which doesnt seem to have any 'spacious' coach seating.

Seems like a no-brainer to stick with UA for the space, but the conversations on FT often wax poetic about the service and amenities on other *A carriers.

So, what's the right move?
Thanks,
Todd
Like others - UA E+ really is the best "economy" option - but have you priced out some of the premium economy choices? For example, Virgin Atlantic premium economy is pretty decent (IMO) seat and can be had for a reasonable price quite often...
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Just as unreliable to predict as the GPUs. And SAS C is not lie-flat.

I don't think any of the TATL Y options on *A are sufficiently better than UA E+ to go that route. Even if it means buying a couple drinks should I want one.
I would agree on *A as no one (at this time, LH is adding one) has any premium economy and getting an extra leg room seat is not easy.

The better option, if you can swing it is to do a true premium economy product. BA and VS and AF have them. Its usually competitive with a non-advanced purchase coach seat. Nice version of a domestic F seat (slightly more recline) upgraded food/drink, blanket/pillow.

But if you are sticking to *A TATL, there is really is no better option than UAL in E+.

[I might add TPAC that there are lots of better options as ANA and Asiana both have more leg room on their long haul planes, so no real advantage in E+ in the seat overall (although different options exist about the ANA seat recline) and the soft product is oh so much better.]
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
[I might add TPAC that there are lots of better options as ANA and Asiana both have more leg room on their long haul planes, so no real advantage in E+ in the seat overall (although different options exist about the ANA seat recline) and the soft product is oh so much better.]
I just flew ANA in Y SFO-NRT. I'd take E+ for space every time. Definitely a couple more inches than what ANA has. Better IFE selections, too, assuming you avoid UA's 744s.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I just flew ANA in Y SFO-NRT. I'd take E+ for space every time. Definitely a couple more inches than what ANA has. Better IFE selections, too, assuming you avoid UA's 744s.
If you can avoid the 744 is a big "IF." Starting this month its 744 x2, the later 772 flight is on schedual in the winter. ANA on the 77W is 34" pitch, UAL is 34" pitch, ANA's seat is wider, IFE is infinitely better than on UAL, as is the food/drink/coffee/booze.

But even if the UA 772 was flying this route (so you get 36" pitch and the same seat width as on ANA) I would still go with ANA on the 77W. Any extra 2" of leg room is not worth the loss of service quality and crappy soft product UAL offers at this point.

I think a bigger/harder question is how UAL is going to fill up two 744s x-SFO to NRT without the connecting traffic it once got. Its not like they have spare 772s flying around. They might cut back to once a day.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
But even if the UA 772 was flying this route (so you get 36" pitch and the same seat width as on ANA) I would still go with ANA on the 77W. Any extra 2" of leg room is not worth the loss of service quality and crappy soft product UAL offers at this point.
Soft product covers IFE, right? I'd say UA kills ANA on that one. WAY more movies to choose from. On the 744 is it wifi and streaming media, but no plugs. That's harder. But on the other routes where UA competes TPAC with ANA (and not with a 744) I'd still go with UA in E+.

And ANA going 10-across on the 77Ws now isn't going to be much fun either. The ANA food was better but UA's is tolerable.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
But even if the UA 772 was flying this route (so you get 36" pitch and the same seat width as on ANA) I would still go with ANA on the 77W. Any extra 2" of leg room is not worth the loss of service quality and crappy soft product UAL offers at this point.
Maybe Seth doesn't like the ANA slide-seat.

Anyone have thoughts on how the Asiana Y seat compares to UA? The big downside of Asian in Y that I can see is that their most common discount fare, W, accrues at only 70% (and no premier bonus, unlike NH).

I think a bigger/harder question is how UAL is going to fill up two 744s x-SFO to NRT without the connecting traffic it once got. Its not like they have spare 772s flying around. They might cut back to once a day.
Well it's been two 744s most of the past six months, just switched to a 772 within the past month or so. Which begs the question, because there have been some really light loads in J on 852 especially. That second IAH-NRT is not going to help fill seats out of SFO either. Not to mention, as I think you're suggesting, the loss of US traffic, particularly ex-PHX and CLT.
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I just flew ANA in Y SFO-NRT. I'd take E+ for space every time. Definitely a couple more inches than what ANA has. Better IFE selections, too, assuming you avoid UA's 744s.
Id even take a UA 744 in E+ over most other carriers , especially being that Im 6'2" But would avoid it if at all possible due to no ife

No longer with us but USs 330s were also doable in Y even w/o an E+ section. LH among others must have a 27" pitch as I barely was able to get both legs into any position and that was before the person in front of me reclined
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Old Apr 1, 14, 10:58 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
But even if the UA 772 was flying this route (so you get 36" pitch and the same seat width as on ANA) I would still go with ANA on the 77W. Any extra 2" of leg room is not worth the loss of service quality and crappy soft product UAL offers at this point.
Why are you even talking about ANA as an option, OP is talking about going to Europe not Asia...
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Old Apr 1, 14, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
Id even take a UA 744 in E+ over most other carriers , especially being that Im 6'2" But would avoid it if at all possible due to no ife
Most UA flights to Europe are in PMCO 757-200s or 777s, both with pretty good AVOD. I'm not sure about 767s. Some are PMCO and others PMUA.

I would take UA E+ unless you paid for something like AF which is an upgraded seat in a shell with one less seat in a row as well as increased pitch plus upgraded meals, etc,
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Old Apr 1, 14, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
Most UA flights to Europe are in PMCO 757-200s or 777s, both with pretty good AVOD.
I haven't counted, but I would guess at least of 50% of UA's capacity TATL is on sUA aircraft - including 763s, 772s, and 744s.

The sUA AVOD is generally superior to the sCO, as it is newer generation.
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