UA SFO-NRT-TPE - Why?

 
Old Feb 2, 12, 10:20 am
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UA SFO-NRT-TPE - Why?

I have just done a couple trips SFO-NRT-TPE on both United and ANA, and am baffled by United. First, the flights on ANA and United leave within an hour of each other. (The "fastest" routing is to "switch" airlines at Tokyo.) However, while ANA has a very nice in flight product in Economy, United is significantly behind. (less room, inferior in flight entertainment, worse food.) Has United just given up on this route? (they do code share the NH flight.) Its even more ironic when the safety messages starts with the talk of spending millions on upgraded interiors... Hmmm...

Even more baffling is the "direct" flight to TPE. Sure it is billed as one flight number, but it is two different airplanes. (The 777 from NRT-TPE was much nicer.) United even sells a direct flight from Dallas to Taipei - an A320 to SFO, 747 to NRT and a 777 to Taipei.

Perhaps this is how they keep running it. You can see the "direct" flight and get the United option - even if adding ANA connections would get you there faster. (It is tough to see any "real" advantage of this flight numbering.)

Or perhaps they get the government traffic that has to fly on American carriers.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by L Dude 7 View Post
You can see the "direct" flight and get the United option - even if adding ANA connections would get you there faster. (It is tough to see any "real" advantage of this flight numbering.)
Direct flights are fairly common across the industry. As you've pointed out, they're not always faster, so buyer beware.


Originally Posted by L Dude 7 View Post
Its even more ironic when the safety messages starts with the talk of spending millions on upgraded interiors... Hmmm...
Along with the videos themselves, this style of two-faced doublespeak is part of the style of the new United's marketing.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
Direct flights are fairly common across the industry. As you've pointed out, they're not always faster, so buyer beware.
Is there an easy way to get a list of all of the UA/CO direct flights?
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Old Feb 2, 12, 11:48 am
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The B744 experience in Y on United is really lacking, yes. No IFE, food is mediocre, lousy legroom if you're in the cheap seats. If you have an opportunity to choose between NH and UA in Y, choose the former.

As for direct flights, this is a common industry practice. To keep route authorities on the up and up, airlines use the same flight numbers to segments continuing on. If you were looking for a non-stop UA leg DFW-TPE, you're asking for too much.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 2:50 pm
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Done the SFO-NRT-TPE many times...
For me the most annoying part is trying to use SWU for upgrade on both segments with same flight number...
And sometimes booking as multi-city is more expensive...

I have to agree the new 777 in coach is a bit better than the older 777. I like the AVOD and that the seat slights forward. The food, slightly improved but no where close to NH's offering.

I just flew on NH's HND-LAX on Monday and their economy seats have AVOD, and foot rest, food offering much better and also passing out water bottle. Only thing that is not as good as UA is that NH has less legroom than UA's E+
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Old Feb 2, 12, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by smfnrt View Post
Done the SFO-NRT-TPE many times...
For me the most annoying part is trying to use SWU for upgrade on both segments with same flight number...
Used to able to book the flight as two separate segments. Is that still possible?
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Old Feb 2, 12, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
Used to able to book the flight as two separate segments. Is that still possible?
You can, with multi-city booking. Basically SFO-NRT // NRT-TPE. But sometimes the fare is a bit higher due to taxes or something...
I almost always book it as multi-city if it's direct flight, so I can at least wait list on one leg vs wait list till both legs have NC > 1 for upgrade purpose. Very rarely if both legs have NC>1 then direct booking is fine.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by smfnrt View Post
You can, with multi-city booking. Basically SFO-NRT // NRT-TPE. But sometimes the fare is a bit higher due to taxes or something...
I almost always book it as multi-city if it's direct flight, so I can at least wait list on one leg vs wait list till both legs have NC > 1 for upgrade purpose. Very rarely if both legs have NC>1 then direct booking is fine.
Some will let you book on multi segments, some don't. A good example was UA 881 ORD-NRT-SIN last Oct, when they pushed the ORD-NRT flight leaving at 1pm instead of 12pm. The connection time as like 40 min in NRT. You can purchase the ticket as one "direct flight" but NRT-SIN will not be made available when trying to book using multi-segment. Sucks for upgrading, so had to route through HKG instead. I think they change the schedule since then make it possible again.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 11:02 pm
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I'm on this direct flight in a couple of weeks, and I just ran into another minor annoyance. Because the computers can't seem to distinguish the SFO-NRT and NRT-TPE segments, I can't even request the Japanese "bento" meal for the SFO-NRT leg. The computer won't accept the meal code because of the NRT-TPE leg.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by maize&blue View Post
I'm on this direct flight in a couple of weeks, and I just ran into another minor annoyance. Because the computers can't seem to distinguish the SFO-NRT and NRT-TPE segments, I can't even request the Japanese "bento" meal for the SFO-NRT leg. The computer won't accept the meal code because of the NRT-TPE leg.
I just did the same thing and there was no problem. Amazingly SWUs cleared 2.5 weeks out! I was expecting it to happen manually at the gate by the agents.

I was once on an NH 767 between TSA and HND. Went to try the Y seat, it was horrible. However, the NH TPAC planes are supposed to be better. How does that compare to UA E+?

If you are not going after lifetime mileage, you don't have to fly UA.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by maize&blue View Post
...I can't even request the Japanese "bento" meal for the SFO-NRT leg. The computer won't accept the meal code because of the NRT-TPE leg.
Call.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I just did the same thing and there was no problem. Amazingly SWUs cleared 2.5 weeks out! I was expecting it to happen manually at the gate by the agents.

I was once on an NH 767 between TSA and HND. Went to try the Y seat, it was horrible. However, the NH TPAC planes are supposed to be better. How does that compare to UA E+?

If you are not going after lifetime mileage, you don't have to fly UA.
I have flown both NH and UA for TPE-NRT-SFO. For me, I would take United E+ over NH Economy. But then again, I'm 6 foot 3, so every inch of extra legroom in E+ makes a difference. Last time I flew NH on the transpacific, I lucked out and was able to reserve an exit row upon booking (I don't think they are reserved for their elite members like UA does). The regular NH Economy seats even on the 777 I find to be pretty cramped.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 2:38 am
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I wonder if UA keeps the NRT-TPE leg because they used to fly (way back when) a SFO-TPE direct flight.

It also wasn't always a 777 on the TPE leg, as recent as late 2010 (might be wrong on this timeframe) it was still a 744 all the way through.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 10:49 am
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TSA-HND on NH is operated by secondary NH aircraft (Normally ANA subsidiary Air Japan- NOT Japan Airlines before someone tries to correct me). Their aircraft are not the best config compared to other NH aircraft. However until we see EVA join Star (hopefully) Tokyo Haneda to Taipei Songshan - your only Star Alliance choice will be on ANA with the Air Japan aircraft

Back to the OP: Agree TPE - NRT is pretty bad in Y; it's just as bad in C with the older 777's in use. If you don't mind earning to a OneWorld FFP then I suggest doing the Cathay Pacific flights from TPE to NRT (CX has historical route authority from TPE to a few destinations other than HKG). A lot of Y on UA TPE-NRT is agency booked tickets in Taiwan or Japan ; the connecting traffic does exist on that route but there are a lot of people on the TPE-NRT UA route who are purely going between Taiwan and Japan.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
Along with the videos themselves, this style of two-faced doublespeak is part of the style of the new United's marketing.
I actually think this is a valuable message for people to hear if they're crammed into E- on a late 1990s style tattered 767-300 (worst), an old 772 with dated products throughout the whole aircraft (slightly better) or marginally newer unconverted 762 or 764. Never mind one of the hundreds of domestic PMUA aircraft or handful of PMCO aircraft with old overhead mnitors, no AC power, etc. It at least opens up the possibility that they will try UA in the future because there's going to be improvements coming down the road (just not on their flight!)

Not everyone has taken a unilateral dislike to the videos
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