EWR for flat beds, en route to Philly

Old May 18, 20, 10:17 am
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EWR for flat beds, en route to Philly

when traveling LA to downtown Philly, is it worth it to fly UA flat beds into EWR rather than AA domestic F into PHL? renting a car on arrival, so it looks like only an extra hour of drive time if chosing the former for a Sunday afternoon arrival in November. price is ~ the same, donít care about points/status UA vs. AA, leaning towards EWR. am i missing anything in this comparison?
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Old May 18, 20, 10:20 am
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I'd might opt for EWR only if it was an overnight flight.
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Old May 18, 20, 10:23 am
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No guarantee that there will be flat beds on LAX-EWR in November. Although I think it's more likely than not, at this point I doubt anyone could be confident.
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Old May 18, 20, 11:16 am
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Is AA scheduling the 8am departure with a flat bed-equipped aircraft in November? That flight was usually run by a 332 with flat beds up front, but as has been discussed in the AA forum, the 332 has been pulled from the schedule in the medium-term future due to fleet storage. There's a possibility that a 788 fills in for the 332 if/when demand recovers, but I don't know AA's long-term plans here (and I suspect AA doesn't either).

EDIT: I now see that you were the OP of that thread in the AA forum. I guess the answer to my question is "no" then, in which case my recommendation would be to wait to see if AA adds the 788 back to the schedule. If you're concerned about a fare increase or have some other pressing need to book now, then I'd go for UA to EWR, primarily due to the value I put on having a flat bed on transcons and the terrible LUS 321 F seat you'd otherwise get on AA.
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Old May 18, 20, 11:33 am
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link to relevant AA thread
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Old May 18, 20, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
If you're concerned about a fare increase
with a UA ETC to burn covering most of the fare and UA's current waiver allowing a free cancel & fresh ETC, there's very little risk to booking UA now. plus, some smokin' $448 J fares LAX-EWR-CMH and likely ~$100 refund post travel for the inevitably delayed or schedule changed final segment.

suppose the relevant concerns would be something like a super PITA car rental process at EWR relative to PHL, crazy tolls EWR to Philly, horrid Sunday afternoon traffic on the 95 . . .
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Old May 18, 20, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
when traveling LA to downtown Philly, is it worth it to fly UA flat beds into EWR rather than AA domestic F into PHL? renting a car on arrival, so it looks like only an extra hour of drive time if chosing the former for a Sunday afternoon arrival in November.
It will take more than an hour (at least 2, maybe budget 3) to get into Philly downtown (Convention Center, etc.).
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Old May 18, 20, 12:05 pm
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You can also take Amtrak from the EWR airport to Philly in one hour. More reliable then the NJ Turnpike
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Old May 18, 20, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
You can also take Amtrak from the EWR airport to Philly in one hour. More reliable then the NJ Turnpike
1. Whatever slight value a lie flat seat brings is overtaken by the time & hassle associated with the extra travel.
2. No way would I drive when there is easy Amtrak service from EWR.
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Old May 18, 20, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
when traveling LA to downtown Philly, is it worth it to fly UA flat beds into EWR rather than AA domestic F into PHL? renting a car on arrival, so it looks like only an extra hour of drive time if chosing the former for a Sunday afternoon arrival in November. price is ~ the same, donít care about points/status UA vs. AA, leaning towards EWR. am i missing anything in this comparison?
Personally I would say yes. I hate domestic F and anything more than 3-4 hours I'm just not comfortable in it at all. On a transcontinental I will definitely find and utilize something with a proper J cabin.
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Old May 18, 20, 2:52 pm
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I've done PHL-EWR and vv many times, its super easy by train.

But if you MUST have a car once your actually in PHL, it really is not that big of a deal to drive from EWR.

I actually did a circle trip last year ORD-PHL spent 2 days working in PHL then ZFV-EWR-TPA for lie flats (well and that was the time they dumped the PHL-IAD service) so it was shorter trip for me to get to EWR instead of connecting thru ORD or IAH.

All the above being said... it is virtually impossible to predict the lie flat climate/scheduling for November... IMhO booking anything in the near term is speculative at best.
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Old May 18, 20, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
I've done PHL-EWR and vv many times, its super easy by train.

But if you MUST have a car once your actually in PHL, it really is not that big of a deal to drive from EWR.

I actually did a circle trip last year ORD-PHL spent 2 days working in PHL then ZFV-EWR-TPA for lie flats (well and that was the time they dumped the PHL-IAD service) so it was shorter trip for me to get to EWR instead of connecting thru ORD or IAH.

All the above being said... it is virtually impossible to predict the lie flat climate/scheduling for November... IMhO booking anything in the near term is speculative at best.
Agree, it's an easy drive and can be done easily in under an hour and a half. The train is convenient, too, unless someone chooses to stand in front of a train in which case the rail line will be shut down. Yes, this happened to me between PHL and ZFV.
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Old May 18, 20, 6:21 pm
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I usually fly into EWR even to see family in Philly or South Jersey. I do it for price reasons, but a lay-flat is not a bad reason either. There are a few considerations though - while the drive is not bad, traffic can be unpredictable so you may need to allow extra time on your return flight. EWR airport is worse than PHL. You also will face multiple tolls and that is an added expense (worse if you have to pay a daily fee for electronic tolling, but the NJTP should have cash lanes).
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Old May 18, 20, 7:34 pm
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Iíve been in the PHL vs EWR situation many times. Every time I chose EWR, I regretted it. It sounds fine on paper (Woo! Lie-flat!), but in the end the extra 1-2 hours and hassle just sucks. You will spend the entire time thinking about how you couldíve been at your destination already, instead of being stuck in the cesspits of Amtrak, NJTransit, or (worst of all) the Turnpike.
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Old May 18, 20, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by _fx View Post
Iíve been in the PHL vs EWR situation many times. Every time I chose EWR, I regretted it. It sounds fine on paper (Woo! Lie-flat!), but in the end the extra 1-2 hours and hassle just sucks. You will spend the entire time thinking about how you couldíve been at your destination already, instead of being stuck in the cesspits of Amtrak, NJTransit, or (worst of all) the Turnpike.
I totally agree, although I'm not as much of an Amtrak hater as you are - but their schedule to/from the EWR train station is not that frequent. Every time I saved a couple hundred bucks by flying out of EWR instead of PHL I regretted it as well. If you have pre-check, security at terminal D at PHL is almost always very quick. Then during normal times, you have the small but very friendly United Club, and some decent dining options as well. I live in Center City Philly, and the 20 minute train ride to the airport is always an easy trip.
Of course at the moment, last time I checked, UA was down to three flights a day out of PHL (two to ORD and one to IAD), rather than the 12-15 flights prior to COVID. I just hope once things improve that UA will restore their flights to PHL and not give the city the boot!
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