Which SFO - LHR plane would you take?

Old Aug 21, 18, 8:13 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
So I'll just bite the bullet and pay what it takes to be in 1-2-1. Either nonstop from SFO on United or connecting where I've got a few options - Air Canada's 787, from YVR, etc.
Good - you know what will work for you (and what won't work)! Thanks for letting us know and smooth travels.

JK-SFO
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Old Aug 22, 18, 2:28 am
  #17  
 
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Cost saving gone too far?
Id do my best to avoid this aircraft on the LHR route, I doubt it will get you there quickly.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 2:28 am
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Book PE on Virgin Atlantic.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 11:40 am
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I have gotten so many $895 offers to upgrade from Y to C on TATL and TPAC flights in the couple days ahead of the flight, and even at check-in, I've almost thought that had become the norm. Never bit the bullet because I've always been able to rationalize a better way to spend $900. More fool me! Always been curious why those offers don't quickly fill up C, but maybe they're only given to people like me who don't bite?
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:27 pm
  #20  
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I have never ever had an offer. If that is happening to others then that might be why.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:38 pm
  #21  
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There is currently a sub-$2600 RT biz fare on United and BA from SFO-LHR but it requires travel in both directions to be on off days, like M-T-W (sometiimes S or Th). Maybe you go a little earlier or later, even with the extra hotel nights, it's a deal. $10k for biz SFO-LHR rt is crazy, no one should ever have to pay that.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:58 pm
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Another option to consider is to fly somewhere else close by in Europe that's cheap, then catch a discount flight onwards to LCY. The time you waste with the connection you'll more than make up by avoiding the nasty immigration queues at LHR! Here's one idea : SFO -> FRA on AS, DE for $2,580 USD [Google Flights]. I've never flown Seattle Airlines or Condor, so can't comment on their J product.

Another thing I'd look at is using United's Expert mode to search along the dates you want to travel finding flights which show R availability. Whenever you find a flight with R availability that typically means you can use an upgrade instrument to upgrade then and there into J. You'll want to keep an open mind here (i.e. connecting at EWR, ORD, IAH, DEN) since availability to LHR with likely be scarce given how close to departure you're booking. As for upgrade options you can either use miles+copay, an upgrade certificate (i.e. GPU) if you've got those. Alternatively you can do a buy up. In that case you'll want to find fares which have tons of P availability and perhaps R availability.

Hope that provides some insight.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Aug 26, 18, 1:23 pm
  #23  
 
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I've done this route a lot and looks like you live near me. I gave up on United with the arrival of 10 across 777 and 9 across 787.
Just not worth the stress of worrying about a J upgrade, which usually does not happen anyway. Being a slave to the miles works as they intend!

Will probably go back when Prem Economy is assured if the fares are ok. For now as others have suggested PE on Virgin/BA would work.

I've actually been doing Norwegian Premium OAK-LGW, great when it works. Lately they are pretty unreliable though and their carry on bag policy is silly for non leisure travelers. Great fares even a few days out (around 500GBP OW) . You can see how they are doing on the route with flightaware. I've never seen long lines for non EU at Gatwick.

Don't forget BA OAK-LGW as well as SJC-LHR, where there are sometimes deals to be had and easy for you to get to. I'm giving the latter a go in Sept in WT+ as they call PE.

A hop on Southwest SJC-LAX might open some options too. I second what the other poster said about using LCY as a UK point of entry too. Nice airport.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by phil94028 View Post
I've actually been doing Norwegian Premium OAK-LGW, great when it works. Lately they are pretty unreliable though and their carry on bag policy is silly for non leisure travelers. Great fares even a few days out (around 500GBP OW) .
Isn't Norwegian running ex-SIN A380s from HiFly thanks to the Rolls-Royce premium cabin upgrade programme? Correct me if I'm wrong but PE pax on those flights are assigned to J which feature lie flat seats and what not? I'm unsure if your SJC/SFO/OAK -> LGW/STN is part of this programme. But something worth considering especially since Norweigian PY is likely a lot cheaper than even Y on many of these airlines.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Aug 26, 18, 2:03 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Isn't Norwegian running ex-SIN A380s from HiFly thanks to the Rolls-Royce premium cabin upgrade programme?
That was only on the one JFK-LGW route and only for a few weeks. There's only one of those planes and it is now in service for Air Austral.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 2:04 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Another option to consider is to fly somewhere else close by in Europe that's cheap, then catch a discount flight onwards to LCY. The time you waste with the connection you'll more than make up by avoiding the nasty immigration queues at LHR! Here's one idea : SFO -> FRA on AS, DE for $2,580 USD [[url=https://www.google.com/flights?lite=0#flt=SFO,SJC,OAK.FRA.2018-09-10.SFOBWI0AS1126~BWIFRA0DE2075*FRA.SFO,SJC,OAK.201 8-09-16.FRAYVR0DE2454~YVRSFO0WS1776;c:CAD;e:1;sc:b;sd:1 ;t:f;sp:.CAD.336443*.CAD.336443]Google Flights]. I've never flown Seattle Airlines or Condor, so can't comment on their J product.
Like any ULCC, Condor is a gamble.. it's fine when it works (angle-flat though), and then there's the night I see the spectacle where the Condor flight at the next gate over (MSP-FRA) is delayed, has been downgauged from an angle-flat 763 to a one-class 753 and now scheduled for a fuel stop in YQX. Then I remember why I don't fly ULCCs
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Old Aug 26, 18, 6:13 pm
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In case it helps, what I have done in the past when Norwegian are having a bad day, is just to book a 30K mile one way award SFO-LHR on United. They seem to be pretty much always avail day of travel and in my view a great use of miles (as long as it is not 10 across 777 E+) .
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Old Aug 26, 18, 8:19 pm
  #28  
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Thanks for the various suggestions. I have to be in London and coherent on Monday morning the 10th, and the earliest I could leave is Friday the 7th. Coming back is a bit more flexible but not much. So far I haven’t found a fare sale that works for me, the cheapest J I’ve found that would work is connecting thru IST on Turkish. I’m a bit nervous about that based on the delay stats, but it’s an option. And I keep checking various other origins and destinations hoping something good will open up.

But fundamentally I’m in the spot where airlines make their $$$. I have a pretty fixed schedule, can’t afford the risk of an LCC hitting me with a cancellation, will trade $$$ for more direct routes / less connections, and don’t want to fly coach. PE on Virgin is an option, if Star Alliance stays at $10K round trip. or if my schedule doesn’t firm up until Y gets really expensive on those dates the delta to J will be more justifiable. For me on this trip, that delta is what matters, not the absolute amount.

Thanks again, and keep suggestions coming if you have new ones.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:28 pm
  #29  
 
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I'm getting $2528/RT on AC in J for 9/7-9/15 on Kayak - is that an option?

Edited to add: the YYC and YVR return flights are also showing the same price.


Last edited by NoLaGent; Aug 26, 18 at 10:39 pm Reason: alt return options
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Old Aug 26, 18, 10:40 pm
  #30  
 
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If there is a non stop, a connection is always bad. Norwegian OAK-LGW has not been canceling, just late. 1-3 hrs most days but is does go and you are still at the hotel for check in time. and dinner. 4 hrs and the flight is basically free with the EU261 rule.

Sure would be nice if someone ran a reliable Premium Economy service on this route.Flights on time, sensible one way fares and a normal carry on policy United will not want to do one ways I suspect, or close in ticketing , once they get the class to work. Sure seems there are a lot of biz travelers who do not want to be too generous to the airlines and expect the Southwest model with a bit more comfort.

Close in anything TATL on the legacy guys is a ripoff. Except the mileage tickets.
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