Which SFO - LHR plane would you take?

Old Aug 13, 18, 7:58 pm
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Which SFO - LHR plane would you take?

There are two nonstops daily between SFO and LHR. As of now one is a 777-200 with 8 across business and 9 across coach and the other is a 777-300 with Polaris 1-2-1 business and 10 across coach.

Hereís my dilemma. On the dates I need to travel, round trip coach is currently $1,500 and business is $10,500. My company will pay for business but not at that much of a premium. So should I book the -300 with worse coach seating and hope a reasonable upgrade price ($5000 or less round trip) comes along or go for better coach on the -200 but get a much worse seat if I am able to upgrade?

i havenít seen this particular problem discussed before and would appreciate your thoughts.

And yes, I am keeping my eyes open for reasonable 1-connection fares, such as SFO-YVR-LHR on air Canadaís nice 787-9.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:15 pm
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Why don't you book and see if the upgrade price is within the allowable expense for your business?

If it is not, cancel and re-evaluate. If it is, confirm in business.

I would book the flight that would allow you to confirm in business. None of this waitlisting shenanigans.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
Which SFO - LHR plane would you take?
Too many unknows

When are you traveling? That 772 configuration may be gone by time of travel.

Is Prem Economy an option?

What is your status? What days of the week are you traveling? to evaluate your chance of upgrading.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
Why don't you book and see if the upgrade price is within the allowable expense for your business?

If it is not, cancel and re-evaluate. If it is, confirm in business.

I would book the flight that would allow you to confirm in business. None of this waitlisting shenanigans.
Unfortunately right now neither offers an upgrade aside from upfaring to the $10,500 fare. The amusing thing is that both Y and J fares are the same on both flights, even though one is clearly better than the other in each class, especially J.


Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Too many unknows

When are you traveling? That 772 configuration may be gone by time of travel.

Is Prem Economy an option?

What is your status? What days of the week are you traveling? to evaluate your chance of upgrading.
flying in 3 weeks, leave Saturday (arrive Sunday), work all week, return following Saturday. Soon enough that I doubt the 772 will go away before then.

Premium economy is an option but I donít see it being worth a coach flight to the east coast following by PE to LHR. Now if PE included domestic first maybe but even so I prefer one long leg to two 5-6 hour ones going to Europe.

And Iím only platinum this year so my only real hope on SFO-LHR is a relatively reasonable J opening up that I can upgrade to.

Iíll at at least have a decent E+ seat either way, question is if it is worth risking 10 across in Y vs the chance of a better experience if I can get into J.

Amusingly, J fares are identical on the two flights , at least right now, and from the seat maps both appear to have about the same percentage sold.
Iím not so much looking for specific guidance (although Iíll take it), more wondering what the opinions are on this sort of thing, with two closely scheduled flights where one is better in coach but the other is better IF an upgrade comes thru.

Bob

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 13, 18 at 8:44 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
Iím not so much looking for specific guidance (although Iíll take it), more wondering what the opinions are on this sort of thing, with two closely scheduled flights where one is better in coach but the other is better IF an upgrade comes thru.
i would never use the term ďmuch worseĒ for a Biz class product when in the mix is a real possibility of being doomed to the 777-300 10-across Y.

The 3-class (9 across) 777 is the 2nd best Y in the fleet. Perhaps the very best. I would take the conservative sure thing.

Of course, I always take even money with my 21 and often double for less against an A/10 showing at the BJ tables. I know...Weak!!
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Old Aug 13, 18, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
flying in 3 weeks, leave Saturday (arrive Sunday), work all week, return following Saturday. ....

And I’m only platinum this year so my only real hope on SFO-LHR is a relatively reasonable J opening up that I can upgrade to....
Saturday before Labor and Plat might have a chance to upgrade,
the Saturday after Labor Day -- best to focus on the E+ seat.

With 3 weeks to travel, fares are not going to change. However, you may get a $1K+- offer at check if there are open seats.

On the return, upgrade chances like to be poor but again the checkin offer could happen.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
The 3-class (9 across) 777 is the 2nd best Y in the fleet. Perhaps the very best. I would take the conservative sure thing.

Of course, I always take even money with my 21 and often double for less against an A/10 showing at the BJ tables. I know...Weak!!
There's no such thing as a sure thing. The 9-across 772 could be swapped out with a reconfigured, 10-across 772.

There's no difference between even money and insurance, unless you're playing on a 6:5 table (don't, ever) in which case even money isn't offered anyway. And, there's no reason to double for less; double or don't double. Doubling for less is the worst of both worlds.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Saturday before Labor and Plat might have a chance to upgrade,
the Saturday after Labor Day -- best to focus on the E+ seat.
ITA Matrix shows an Aeromexico flight for $4052 RT; 737 to MEX and then 787 to LHR. The return flight is at 10:35 PM, but the fare is the same if you prefer to return Friday night (arriving Saturday afternoon) or Saturday night (arriving Sunday afternoon). There appears to be availability for Sep 1 - 7/8 or Sep 8 - 14/15. It won't help you re-qualify for Platinum, and it's not non-stop, but there's little chance AM is 10-across in J...
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Old Aug 13, 18, 10:34 pm
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If you are willing to invest effort in travel arrangements, SFO-BEG is also still $2,700 - allows a stopover in FRA and you could split-ticket from there to LHR.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 12:01 am
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I took the 777-300 SFO to LHR and then back again in June. Same fare situation as you, so I bought a W fare, hoping to upgrade with GPUs, which did not go through. Sat in E+ middle seat of the 3 seats on the right side on the way to LHR (a K seat, I think); sat in E+ aisle of the 3 seats on the left side on the way back to SFO (a C seat).

Even with the 10-across seats, I felt fine, slept fine, had enough room to read, watch movies, eat, etc. It helped that I had nice, relatively small-sized people sitting by me (I'm medium height and thin, as well). I didn't notice that the newer seats were thinner or had less of a cushion. The flight times worked for my schedule. The FAs were nice and the service was fine for economy.

I'm going again next month on the 777-200 and am waitlisted for an upgrade to business, which I actually think will go through. Maybe I'll get on of the few planes with the new Polaris seats, rather than the 8-across sUA-style! This flight was picked based on the schedule I need for that day. We'll see . . .

Basically - I decided that the schedule timing and nonstop flight were more important than the flat bed for that enormous price. Good luck - and, please let us know what you end up doing and how it works out!

JK-SFO
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Old Aug 14, 18, 1:33 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
With 3 weeks to travel, fares are not going to change.
I can't speak for SFO-LHR, but I've seen SFO-HKG go from P->D->P several times now. The D phase may last a couple weeks and then P opens up in the ~T-2 week timeframe. Don't know if I missed any Z fares in between.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:27 am
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10 across is positively awful and to be avoided like the plague. There is too much reliance on your seatmates being up to a certain size, and the person in front not reclining for it to be comfortable for me and that was not the case on the 9 across. Just did 2 flights LHR-SFO-LHR on the old faithful. I will miss E+ on those, but not the 8 across biz and I don't waste my GPUs on them. Even if they would clear.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 2:57 am
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Unless I can upgrade at booking, I always go for the 777-200 where the E+ seating is plentiful and reasonably comfortable. I'm dreading when those planes disappear.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 6:58 am
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I infer that you are comparing BA J with United Y. I have done very long distance flights on BA J in 787s (which is narrower than the 777) and found it to be very comfortable.
With a lie flat bed, I don't mind that it is eight across in J.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 10:03 am
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What about flying from YVR for $6,500?
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Old Aug 21, 18, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by JK-SFO View Post
I took the 777-300 SFO to LHR and then back again in June. Same fare situation as you, so I bought a W fare, hoping to upgrade with GPUs, which did not go through. Sat in E+ middle seat of the 3 seats on the right side on the way to LHR (a K seat, I think); sat in E+ aisle of the 3 seats on the left side on the way back to SFO (a C seat).

Even with the 10-across seats, I felt fine, slept fine, had enough room to read, watch movies, eat, etc. It helped that I had nice, relatively small-sized people sitting by me (I'm medium height and thin, as well). I didn't notice that the newer seats were thinner or had less of a cushion. The flight times worked for my schedule. The FAs were nice and the service was fine for economy.

I'm going again next month on the 777-200 and am waitlisted for an upgrade to business, which I actually think will go through. Maybe I'll get on of the few planes with the new Polaris seats, rather than the 8-across sUA-style! This flight was picked based on the schedule I need for that day. We'll see . . .

Basically - I decided that the schedule timing and nonstop flight were more important than the flat bed for that enormous price. Good luck - and, please let us know what you end up doing and how it works out!

JK-SFO
Still haven't finalized my schedule and bought tickets yet, I may end up having to go SFO-LHR-ZRH and then return, but I have decided what to do. I flew back to SFO yesterday from Denver on a 777-200 and that reminded me how much I hate the 8 across business seating. For a short daytime flight the first leg I did yesterday on an A319 was more comfortable in first. More shoulder room, more armrest room, and even more storage than the 777-200 J seats.

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.
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