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Flying from Sydney to NY with two kids < 2

Flying from Sydney to NY with two kids < 2

Old Oct 1, 18, 7:39 pm
  #1  
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Flying from Sydney to NY with two kids < 2

All,
We need to fly in 3 weeks from Sydney to NY. We will be flying business class. Even though our kids fit in bassinets, we were thinking we would take one extra seat (so 3 seats in total) and request one bassinet.

It seems like the least flying time would be either on United or Air Canada (19 hours on both). JAL is longer at 22.5 hours and Cathay even longer at 25 hours of pure flying time. Hawaiian is good too at 19.5 hours.

I wanted to get some help in planning the trip. Given our kids:
1. Which airline would you suggest out of Air Canada, United, Hawaiian, JAL, ANA and Cathay. One big advantage of Air Canada is that even Vancouver to NYC leg is fully flat seats. However last time I flew Air Canada, a few of the seats in the plane had faulty inflatable mattress
2. If we flew United, we have 3 options for stop-over : LAX, SFO and Houston. Any recommendations?

Thanks a ton in helping us plan the trip.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 8:01 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by marrduk24 View Post
2. If we flew United, we have 3 options for stop-over : LAX, SFO and Houston. Any recommendations?.
If you fly UA, I suggest LAX, then SFO, then IAH. LAX and SFO will have lie-flat seats to Newark; IAH will (likely) not. LAX is generally less delay prone. SFO has the Polaris lounge, which is a nice plus, but I'm not sure it makes up for the possibility of waiting out a weather delay with two young children.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
LAX is generally less delay prone.
LAX also has the requirement to transfer from TBIT to Terminal 7/8. Whilst not all that complex, it is more effort that SFO. SFO delays will never affect the SYD arriving flights, and will generally have minimal impact on the EWR flights.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 8:16 pm
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My vote would be for SYD-SFO/LAX-EWR (see above for notes comparing SFO and LAX, but I would lean in favor of LAX). I think UA is a good choice here for having a 1-stop routing that's lie-flat all the way and the 787 cabin layout is friendly for families. If you really care about service quality to the exclusion of schedule convenience, CX or JL are probably better choices.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 8:25 pm
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On Hawaiian you'd have lie flat seats with the advantage of a stopover in Honolulu to break the trip if you have the time. Going to SYD, you'd have 2 daytime flights - and the HNL-SYD flight gets you in around dinner so you aren't landing first thing in the am like the LAX or SFO UA flights.

Going back though - you'd essentially have 2 red-eye's, but the SYD-HNL flight leaves late evening giving you a full day in SYD.....
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Old Oct 1, 18, 9:24 pm
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If you're looking for a more positive flight experience then choose CX or JL. Top to bottom the boarding process, food, service, and comfort on either beats UA or AC. Its just a fact.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 9:35 pm
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marrduk24 Welcome to FT

Originally Posted by marrduk24 View Post
We need to fly in 3 weeks from Sydney to NY. We will be flying business class. Even though our kids fit in bassinets, we were thinking we would take one extra seat (so 3 seats in total) and request one bassinet.

It seems like the least flying time would be either on United or Air Canada (19 hours on both). JAL is longer at 22.5 hours and Cathay even longer at 25 hours of pure flying time. Hawaiian is good too at 19.5 hours.

I wanted to get some help in planning the trip. Given our kids:
1. Which airline would you suggest out of Air Canada, United, Hawaiian, JAL, ANA and Cathay. One big advantage of Air Canada is that even Vancouver to NYC leg is fully flat seats. However last time I flew Air Canada, a few of the seats in the plane had faulty inflatable mattress
2. If we flew United, we have 3 options for stop-over : LAX, SFO and Houston. Any recommendations?

Thanks a ton in helping us plan the trip.
Paying for these tickets with cash (not award)? You have many options.
Is minimum travel time/minimum transit the main criteria?
Several airlines can get you to NYC (or EWR) with 1 stop,
Do you need to fly Star Alliance or a US airline?
UA fly SYD-IAH/LAX/SFO and then on to NYC
QF fly SYD-LAX-JFK, but would cost $$$$
Many of the airlines flying from SYD leave about the same time, so departures/arrivals times are similar

General questions: SFO/LAX-SYD/MEL and vv (service, food, connections, etc.) [Merged]

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia (not from all airports to all airports)
  • American Airlines AA(LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
  • Air Canada AC (YVR – SYD BNE MEL) [Star Alliance]
  • Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR via AKL) (AKL-ORD from Nov 2018)[Star Alliance]
  • Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX via Tahiti. Last segments on codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
  • Delta DL (LAX – SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
  • Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL – BNE SYD MEL ADL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner)
  • Hawaiian HA (HNL – BNE SYD) (AA & VA partner)
  • Jetstar JQ (HNL – BNE SYD MEL)
  • Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK(via LAX) DFW HNL YVR*– SYD; LAX-BNE; LAX SFO**-MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) (**MEL SFO from 1st Sept 2018) {* seasonal}
  • United UA (LAX-MEL, LAX SFO IAH– SYD) [Star Alliance]
  • Virgin Australia VA (LAX – BNE SYD MEL) (codeshares with AC*) (Delta & AC* partner) [*= some routes in 2017-18 link
And others via Asia & Middle East
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Oct 1, 18 at 10:02 pm
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Old Oct 1, 18, 10:07 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk @marrduk24.

Agree with everything stated by others, but if you are looking for great hospitality and support and warmth from the FAs I would fly Air New Zealand. However, if you want to limit the number of stops and are interested in flying United then I would choose SYD-SFO-EWR. For the lie-flat, ease of connecting to flights state side and the Polaris lounge.

Not certain of the age of your children but the bassinets are really for small babies, i.e. under six months of age or so. The extra seat makes great sense in my mind. My son had his own seat from a year old (when flying between the USA and Australia). Domestically he was a lap child until we had to purchase a seat for him as most of the time he wanted to sit in my lap anyway.

Last edited by Aussienarelle; Oct 1, 18 at 10:12 pm
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Old Oct 1, 18, 10:26 pm
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I can't speak to the comparative quality of the seats and service, but with two little kids, it seems like a stop roughly halfway in Hawaii might be good. I'd definitely investigate the Hawaiian option.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 11:27 pm
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Thanks for the feedback.

We will be paying in cash and no alliance preference.

While flight time is not the sole criteria, certainly 5 extra hours of flying with kids is not fun.

Kids are twins, 8 months old. We were thinking of getting 3 seats instead of 4.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 12:28 am
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I've flown SYD-HNL via Hawaiian as well as SYD-SFO, SYD-IAH, and SYD-LAX on UA although only the SYD-SFO was in Polaris. Bear in mind SFO has the Arrivals Lounge as well as the Polaris Lounge. I found the Arrivals Lounge to be a good place to grab a shower and clear my head immediately after leaving Customs and dropping my bags off for the connecting flight. Add that to the relatively short walk to the domestic gates and the possibility of lie-flat to your end destination and I'd say SFO is your best bet.

SYD-IAH is potentially another 3-4 hours longer flight which may not be good for the kids and may not have lie-flats to your end destination. OTOH, I really like IAH as an airport better than LAX or SFO.

I enjoyed the SYD-HNL flight on HA and it was only about a 90 minute layover before my UA connector to LAX but if you're paying for business class anyway, you may as well get the benefits of the Polaris lounge at either SFO or IAH. Showers make a HUGE difference with travel that long.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 2:34 am
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Thanks all.

Another question - my company is offering united ticket at among half the price of whatís available on unitedís Website. But since itís a personal trip, they wonít let me book it via them (annoying).

Is is there any consolidator that I can check for discounted united tickets?
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Old Oct 2, 18, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by marrduk24 View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

We will be paying in cash and no alliance preference.

While flight time is not the sole criteria, certainly 5 extra hours of flying with kids is not fun.

Kids are twins, 8 months old. We were thinking of getting 3 seats instead of 4.
All the replies have been very good, please sign up for the FF program on what ever alliance you choose to use.. (and try signing up the kids, not sure of age requirement for children but well worth it)
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Old Oct 2, 18, 10:07 am
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If kids are young you probably do not want herringbone config but rather seats in pairs.
i would try to separate two flights ideally by a couple days at some place you like but at least by an overnight at some convenient perhaps in-terminal hotel (eg fairmont yvr hyatt dfw).
A stopover in hnl sounds awesome to me.
Without stops i personally strongly prefer shorter segment first followed by long haul but your options are limited. New sq flt would be a great choice but it starts later iirc...
ime cathay anf jal were great for flying with small kids with very helpful fa but cx is herringbone is much longer.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 10:30 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
New sq flt would be a great choice but it starts later iirc...
Not really. A stop at LAX adds 12 miles to the great circle route (9,930 miles), or 0.1%. SFO adds 52 miles, or 0.5%. HNL adds 99 miles, or 1.0%.

SIN adds 3,512 extra miles, or 35.4%. You're adding about 8 hours of flight time. (A hypothetical SYD-EWR nonstop flight is only 396 miles longer than SIN-EWR -- your'e flying nearly 4000 miles to get 400 miles closer to your destination).

If OP were starting in PER, you'd be correct -- PER-SIN-EWR is the shortest viable routing. But from SYD, you're going way out of the way.
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