Comparing two routings options for MAD

Old Jul 14, 17, 1:59 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: TPA
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 341
Comparing two routings options for MAD

Iím torn between two routing options for TPA-MAD. To me, itís pretty much a toss-up on which route to choose. If you are interested in over-analyzing this with me, this is the thread for you

Option 1: TPA-IAD-MUC-MAD. (LH)
Pro: Decent sleep on LH J seat.
Pro: First time checking out the TK Lounge at IAD.
Pro: Lounge Boarding for IAD-MUC.
Option 2: TPA-IAD-MAD. (UA)
Pro: Arrives 10 hrs earlier (8am) -- yeah, I know, this is a big one.
Con: Wonít get much sleep on UA J seat unless itís Row 1 (764), which is taken.
Any other Pro/Cons Iím leaving out are helpful. I know the conventional wisdom is less connections, but itís coming at the cost of sleep and comfort. Iím also asking as someone who really enjoys maximizing the travel, not just getting to the destination.
I was also thinking with the 2nd option, I could head to the hotel, catch up on a little sleep, and still come out ahead. Heavily dependent on a room being ready tho. This is a leisure trip.
FTstudent is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 2:03 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,204
I'd be on the UA flight without a doubt. That 10 hours is a big difference and I'd skip the meal and be right asleep, assisted with booze or pharmaceuticals if needed, leaving IAD.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 2:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus 1K; Marriott Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,355
For me, it depends on what you have planned in MAD, and when.
Arriving Madrid at 8 am can be a terrible shock to the body - especially if you can't get into your hotel room and have to spend the morning walking around Madrid like a zombie.

Arriving in a European city in the evening is my preferred timing, especially if I could get a long enough layover in MUC or FRA for a shower in the Senator lounge. I did this in MAD in May, and it worked out splendidly, got seats on the Metro into the city center (not likely with an 8 am arrival), and had just enough time for a late dinner (which isn't late by Spanish standards) and then off to bed - slept wonderfully and was raring to go the following day.
transportprof is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 4:12 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 11,344
I would bias toward the option with fewer stops, but if you already know you'll get better sleep on the LH flight I would definitely go with it. Personally I'm usually happy sleeping in UA seats (I guess I'd admit I'm the "target Polaris customer" as I value sleep quality above all else in long-haul J.)
findark is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 4:25 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: Mileage Plus Premier 1K, SkyMiles Gold Medallion, AAdvantage Gold
Posts: 873
Less stops = less opportunities for something to go wrong. Also, 10 hours is a really long time.
DA201 is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 4:47 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2022), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 9,009
Are you MAD? Option 2 all the way.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 6:49 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: JAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 6,732
Or Option 3:

Do the drive to MCO and fly LH: MCO-FRA-MAD. The beauty of this is that the MCO-FRA flight leaves around 9PM so you could leave the evening before your original day of departure.

Living in JAX, this has been my game plan and it works out nicely.
TomMM is online now  
Old Jul 14, 17, 8:03 pm
  #8  
QBK
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WAS-ish
Programs: UA 1K + UC + 0.97MM, Marriott Plat, National Exec
Posts: 1,322
What are the departure times on the two IAD-xxx options? I have a heavy preference for a later departure, especially when I'm in J. I loathe flights that leave at 5pm and arrive early in the morning are horrible, because I can't get much sleep. I'd much rather depart IAD/EWR at 9pm, go straight to sleep, and land in Europe at noon.

(Actually, the best TATLs for sleeping, IMO, are the ones that leave SFO at 7pm and land at 3pm Europe time, but that's clearly out of scope here).
QBK is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 8:18 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,204
Originally Posted by QBK View Post
What are the departure times on the two IAD-xxx options?
The nonstop leaves IAD at ~6p; the MUC is a 10:30p departure. I agree that the 10:30p is far more conducive to sleeping, but I'd still take skipping the extra connection and not getting to MAD at 4p. And I've managed to convince my body to sleep on those early flights well enough often enough to make up for the other challenges.

If the arrival day is going to be a complete write-off anyways then the later flight with the extra connection could be fine. But I rarely have that luxury in my travel schedule.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 9:50 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: TPA
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 341
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I'd be on the UA flight without a doubt. That 10 hours is a big difference
Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
spend the morning walking around Madrid like a zombie.
Exactly where my head is caught between. Lol
I didnít want to overload the first post with a lot of extra detail, but Iím currently booked on Option #1 for Wednesday on a Business Saver Award. Original booking was 7PM TPA-IAD, 10:30PM IAD-MUC, then onward to MAD. So I built my site seeing list accordingly.

I watched the routing misconnection 3 times this week; once while sitting on the TPA-IAD flight. I called UA and asked if they would move me to the earlier flight. They did and without any extra miles, which was super nice of them since the flight was I0, XN0, X0!

Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
Do the drive to MCO and fly LH
This is actually very curious. I was going to dismiss it out of hand, seeing as how LH has a TPA-FRA flight, but it's sold out for Wednesday. Taking a closer look, MCO-FRA has Business Saver Award space and I've never flown a 744. I'll have to check it out!
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
The nonstop leaves IAD at ~6p; the MUC is a 10:30p departure.
This.
FTstudent is offline  
Old Jul 15, 17, 5:46 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Since the BoSox and ChiSox won it, now it is the Cubs turn to take the Series. Go Cubs Go!
Posts: 3,685
To the OP, what about TPA-FRA-MAD on LH? You would arrive late afternoon in MAD.
chitownflyer is offline  
Old Jul 15, 17, 6:51 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,845
Originally Posted by chitownflyer View Post
To the OP, what about TPA-FRA-MAD on LH? You would arrive late afternoon in MAD.
That would be much better IMO. Arriving late afternoon means you can check into your hotel right away at arrival as well.
LordHamster is offline  
Old Jul 15, 17, 7:08 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: TPA
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 341
Originally Posted by chitownflyer View Post
To the OP, what about TPA-FRA-MAD on LH? You would arrive late afternoon in MAD.
Flight is sold out.

Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
MCO-FRA-MAD
On second thought, that will turn into a logistical problem. Flying a separate ticket back to TPA.
FTstudent is offline  
Old Jul 15, 17, 7:57 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: IAD
Programs: UA GS, 1MM; Marriott Lifetime Titanium Elite
Posts: 556
It looks to me that the UA flights IAD-MAD are 757 through November. If a near term flight not sure if you'd favor narrow body TATL vs another option.
fivevsone is offline  
Old Jul 15, 17, 8:41 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: In between IAD and DCA
Programs: UA Plat 1.1MM , Marriott Gold Elite, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,135
This is just me, but personally I am not a fan of LH's J seat. I've never gotten good sleep on it. The cubbies for your feet are pathetically close together. UA's J seat is better for me. YMMV.

I'd go TPA-IAD-MAD.
UAL250 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: