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Which Transcon Flight from LAX to Choose?

Which Transcon Flight from LAX to Choose?

Old Feb 7, 18, 9:49 am
  #1  
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Which Transcon Flight from LAX to Choose?

My fiancee and I will be arriving at LAX in the mid-morning in May, off of a redeye on Air Tahiti Nui. We then plan to use United miles to book separate tickets in first/business class for the final transcontinental leg to get home to the East Coast. Our preferred final destination is PHL, since we live about 30 minutes from there, but we're willing to fly into EWR instead (about 90 minutes from home) if it's going to be a significantly better experience. Because we live close to PHL, we usually fly AA. I don't have a good sense of UA's service on the flights we're looking at.

Which of the following would you choose?

Option 1: LAX-EWR nonstop
This would be in business class with p.s. service. We'd appreciate the lie-flat seats, and upgraded amenities, but those aren't crucial since it's a daytime flight. Arrival at EWR is around 11:00 pm, with a 90 minute drive home after that.

Option 2: LAX-DEN-PHL (1 hour connection in DEN)
We'd be in domestic first class on both legs of this flight. This option is 10,000 fewer miles per person, and puts us at PHL at almost the same time we would have arrived at EWR on the nonstop LAX-EWR option. We get the benefit of saving an hour on the drive home, but there is the loss of p.s. service and fact that it involves a connection (I'm assuming 1 hour is sufficient at DEN?). The LAX-DEN leg currently indicates that it will have a 777-200 with lie-flat seats, so at least we should have those for a short portion of the journey. It's then a 737-800 for DEN-PHL.

I can't decide if it's better to get home earlier by arriving at our preferred airport and saving 10,000 miles per person, while making a connection and potentially sacrificing service/amenities. Would you rather do that, or use more miles, get home later, and at least have the nonstop p.s. service into EWR?
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Old Feb 7, 18, 9:55 am
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I don't think the P.S. service is that good to distort your travel + pay more for it.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 9:58 am
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A domestic F recliner on a UA 737 will be brutal after an overnight long-haul. Given that the PHL option involves an additional connection, I would go for lie-flats LAX-EWR.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:02 am
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If you have the 120K miles and don't mind using them for Everyday awards, go for the lie-flats. Your chances for saver awards are not much better than zero. Even just two or three hours of sleep make a huge difference on arrival on East Coast.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:32 am
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I think it's worth about 10,000 miles just to avoid a connection, and the lie-flat on a day flight after a red-eye seems definitely worth it separately.

I'm confused about where your car is parked, though.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:40 am
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Flying PS Business out of LAX will get you admittance into the LAX United Club before departure.
The lie-flat seats will help with jetlag.
It's a nonstop, less chance of something happening/IRROP. Can you imagine how you'd feel if you missed your connection at DEN.
The amtrak ride from EWR-PHL or Uber? Or however you're going to do it... =(

I would take the PS flight. In fact when traveling to Philadelphia, I always do LAX-EWR-ZFV. It's just easier and less stressful than connecting. Amtrak has always been able to move me up to an earlier train without any issues.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I think it's worth about 10,000 miles just to avoid a connection, and the lie-flat on a day flight after a red-eye seems definitely worth it separately.

I'm confused about where your car is parked, though.
We won't have a car parked at either airport - we already have a generous offer to pick us up from the further-from-home EWR if needed, so if we went with the PHL arrival instead, it would be an unexpected (but nice) convenience to the person picking us up as well.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I think it's worth about 10,000 miles just to avoid a connection
And add a 90-minute drive? No way. I would consider a long drive after a long flight is a terrible idea.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
And add a 90-minute drive? No way. I would consider a long drive after a long flight is a terrible idea.
Yeah, but the choice is lie-flat and 90-min drive or two domestic F flights and (to make a comfortable connection) 90-min layover in DEN. And someone else is driving.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 11:48 am
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ZFV, you get PS to EWR and a train ride to the 30th Street Station in PHL.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 11:55 am
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For those suggesting Amtrak, the OP mentions that his/her desired LAX-EWR flight will arrive at ~11pm, which would allow for only one possible weekday connection to a Keystone service at 11:37pm arriving 30th Street Station at 12:40am.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 12:52 pm
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If you have a ride back from EWR and don't mind the exorbitant miles cost for a p.s. Standard Award, then by all means take the lie-flat. Much more comfortable seats, avoid LAX-DEN (which I think is full-time Snacked now?), avoid DEN catering, get UC access in LAX (although also poke your head in the *A lounge at TBIT)... the list of positives goes on.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 12:52 pm
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Another vote tor EWR-LAX. ps and lie flat service... includes a sundae also!

I think someone else mentioned it also, but you don't have much room for late departure from LAX with only a 1 hour connection in Denver before missing your connection.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
And add a 90-minute drive? No way. I would consider a long drive after a long flight is a terrible idea.
90 minutes isn't long. My shortest post-flight drive home is ~3-1/2 hours.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by thejaredhuang View Post
ZFV, you get PS to EWR and a train ride to the 30th Street Station in PHL.
I'd second the ZFV option. Fly into EWR and take the train down to Philly. However, can you get the Amtrak ticket on an award ticket?
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