Sponsor Message:
Travel Polls & Prefs Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
UA MEL-SYD-LAX/SFO How Bad Is It?  
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7395 times:

Hey all,

I'm going to be leaving Aus for a time because I am homesick and miss my family. I'm studying so I'm going to take a few terms off and head home for a bit.

I do love it here though!!

Anyways I was talking to my parents and they are looking to use their Aeroplan miles to fly me home one way and there is a lot available for the time I want to go home which is early July. The issue I have is that it is on UA and although I'm fairly low maintenance as a passenger I do enjoy the IFE and will have my laptop to substitute but it only has about 2-3 hours battery life.

I know UA doesn't have seatback IFE on the 744 which is what they show flying but how is the legroom (I'm 6'1) and the general IFE on a 13.5 hour flight?? I'm going to see if they can find something on NZ (which I like the best) but Aeroplan's website shows nothing.

I will connect to AC at LAX or SFO on to YYZ and know what that is like.


Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineretrolivery From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7375 times:

If your parents are using Aeroplan, has any availability come up for Air Canada themselves? I know that AC034 flies direct SYD-YYZ with a stop in YVR, with AC033 doing the same on the return.

It's aboard 777-200LR equipment with AVOD, mood-lighting, etc. Much better than what you'll find on UA to be sure (although I've not flown on UA's services from LAX/SFO to Australia, it's kind of a no-brainer in this case).



A3, AA, AC, AI, AK, AM, AP, AZ, B6, BA, CO, DL, EK, EY, FL, FI, FR, KL, KM, LH, MA, MH, MS, OA, OK, OS, SR, TA, TG, U2,
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7352 times:

Quoting retrolivery (Reply 1):
It's aboard 777-200LR equipment with AVOD, mood-lighting, etc. Much better than what you'll find on UA to be sure (although I've not flown on UA's services from LAX/SFO to Australia, it's kind of a no-brainer in this case).

No there is nothing for AC, those rewards seats get gobbled up pretty quickly. Been on the AC 77W (that was in J so big difference) on a YYZ-PVG flight and the mood lighting has a huge effect. AC is good because you get seat back IFE and plugs to use a laptop when in flight, also I think the Y pitch is about the same as in their transborder product which I am fine with.

I think AC has a lot of demand on that route because it is the most expensive of the options, also because it is one flight a day. If I were to pay the cheapest 3 airlines are KE, EK and NZ.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinezrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3182 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7348 times:

How flexible are you on your date? Are you wanting Y or C class?

On July 18, there is at least one seat SYD-YVR on AC in Y. On other dates, there is AKL-YVR on NZ in C.



14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7309 times:

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 3):
How flexible are you on your date? Are you wanting Y or C class?

Probably Y, but would consider Y+ or J if it is available.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 3):
On July 18, there is at least one seat SYD-YVR on AC in Y. On other dates, there is AKL-YVR on NZ in C.

AKL-YYZ via LAX is available on Jul 12 and 13 but ekk. 10 abreast in Y might we worse than no AVOD with UA.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 690 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7274 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Tim, don't freak out about 10 abreast on the NZ 77W. Determine the dates the flight is available, call NZ and find out if the 2 seat rows in rear cabin....row 57 & higher are available....and select one of those seats once booked. Lots of room at window (cabin curvature) and aisle. Only one other person to deal with as a seatmate. An aisle seat in the center 4 seat section is convenient as well to avoid climbing over strangers to get out of your seat. As you've experienced, you just can't beat NZ service in Y. If AC is not an option due to availability, select NZ when available by adjusting your travel date. A lot is said about 10 abreast, but if you pick a good seat the layout is not an issue. I didn't feel the NZ 77W was any worse as a 10 abreast airplane than a fully packed 747. It frankly was a great flight, with comfortable seats, legroom, entertainment, food and service by a great crew. I was in Y, row 57.
I'm not bashing UA, but considering what you're accustomed to in traveling long-haul Y, I don't think you'll be happy on UA. Definitely consider buying up to Y+ for legroom, but entertainment is lacking. Food and beverage is OK but not to QF or NZ standard. Riding a 747 has its charm, but its a long ride as you know, on anything!
Good Luck with your plans,
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7267 times:

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
Tim, don't freak out about 10 abreast on the NZ 77W. Determine the dates the flight is available, call NZ and find out if the 2 seat rows in rear cabin....row 57 & higher are available....and select one of those seats once booked. Lots of room at window (cabin curvature) and aisle. Only one other person to deal with as a seatmate.

Thanks for the info, also there is the option of upgrading to Y+ on NZ also.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
I'm not bashing UA, but considering what you're accustomed to in traveling long-haul Y, I don't think you'll be happy on UA. Definitely consider buying up to Y+ for legroom, but entertainment is lacking. Food and beverage is OK but not to QF or NZ standard. Riding a 747 has its charm, but its a long ride as you know, on anything!

Been on the 747 a few times and there is a small novelty but I love the 777 also, if I choose UA I hope for a swap but that is unlikely. I will look again and see if the option comes up out of MEL with NZ because the alternative is buying a ticket to AKL and transiting that day or the day before which is no big deal because I think there are seat sales on at the moment.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9666 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7243 times:

I personally think it depends on if you are a good sleeper or not. On the LAX-SYD flight, the flight leaves relatively late. If you can sleep well enough on an airplane, it isn’t too bad. On the SYD-LAX flight, it leaves earlier in the afternoon, so you are awake a bit longer and stuck with general screens for IFE. If you don’t sleep on airplanes, it is a long flight and watching the 4 main screen movies can get boring.

If you want legroom, UA and economy plus is a good option as it is relatively inexpensive compared to Air New Zealand’s premium economy. Legroom on Air Canada, Qantas and V Australia is all 32''. Air New Zealand is 32-34''. United and Delta are 31''.

There are people on this forum who say that flying without seatback IFE is like punishment and that United should be bankrupted and liquidated because of it. However in the draconian days of 15-20 years ago, there was no seat back IFE on any airline. To this day, DL, AA and UA all have a portion of their long haul fleet without it (DL flies 767s and 747s on 12 hour flights without it too, and many say US airlines are horrible). IFE is nice and AVOD is better, but if you want to go home and UA is the only option, I am sure you will manage. Others have a better economy product, but economy is about transporting you from A to B in my opinoin and is miserable on any long haul flight. My personal opinion is that I would bring the laptop, and use it for some IFE, watch the main movie if you are interested and take a sleeping pill to fall asleep. You’ll wake up and be at your destination after a long arduous 14 hour flight. I’d prefer the nonstop option without IFE and mood lighting compared to a transit via AKL, but that’s my opinion.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8142 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

I'm amazed that IFE is even a factor when choosing your flight. For one thing, it doesn't always work, whether cos the whole aircraft needs to be reset which often takes up to an hour, or the headphone socket at your seat is broken (this happens to me a lot).

But most of all, are you sure you can't entertain yourself without TV? Pretty damning if that's the case. One thing I love about flying - other than the hardware, the destinations, the view from the window - is the chance to read for hours. How often do you get to do that on the ground? A single hour is a luxury, but in flight you can read a whole book in a single sitting. Don't overlook the value of sitting and thinking about life and your journey - both in general and the specific trip on which you have just embarked.

I love catching up on movies (when the audio works on both ears etc) but having IFE has taken away some of the original charm of flying. Why not fly United and enjoy some reading time and conversation with your seat mate (UA is "the friendly skies" after all) and the view from 35,000, and see where your thoughts take you?

(And turning off the TV at home is never a bad thing either. There hasn't been a TV at Chez Cedar for six years - since I was 32 - and it has not been missed.)



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5736 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7076 times:

If you are somebody who can sleep on planes then I would personally go UA and pay for EconomyPlus ($150?)

UA aren't that bad. Is QF or NZ better? Yes. But I've never met somebody who hasn't survived UA SYD-LAX/SFO  

If you want to go home at the cheapest price using your miles and UA is the only option then book it. If you dilly dally hoping seats on other flight open up (less likely than more) you may well miss those seats. And remember what they say about beggars not being choosers....

(On that point I went to the USA on QFFF points last year. The only option was via HNL. QF's 767s to HNL make UA 747s look luxurious, but I couldn't complain because the flight cost $80)



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7062 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 7):
However in the draconian days of 15-20 years ago, there was no seat back IFE on any airline.

The difference is it didn't exist until then.

The biggest gripes I think people have is that they haven't implemented AVOD in the past few years when other airlines have, even on older fleets.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 9):
If you are somebody who can sleep on planes then I would personally go UA and pay for EconomyPlus ($150?)

I can in certain circumstances, night flights I usually get some sleep but one advantage I see in going with NZ is that their flights leave at 7-8pm where as UA leaves SYD in the middle of the day.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 9):
If you want to go home at the cheapest price using your miles and UA is the only option then book it. If you dilly dally hoping seats on other flight open up (less likely than more) you may well miss those seats. And remember what they say about beggars not being choosers....

NZ has a couple of seats a few days later out of AKL so their is some options. I may book that and experience EK across the Tasman (being an A.netter and all)



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5736 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7009 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 10):
I may book that and experience EK across the Tasman (being an A.netter and all)

If your going across the ditch don't even consider anyone else! EK are far and away the best airline on the route, and their fares to AKL are pretty reasonably priced



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25638 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6927 times:

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
A lot is said about 10 abreast, but if you pick a good seat the layout is not an issue.

Even the 2-abreast seats and armrests at the rear are still narrower than on a 9-abreast 777 (or 10-abreast 747). If there are any other options, why put up with 10 abreast on a 777? Air travel is unpleasant enough as it is.


User currently offlinerunner13 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6901 times:

WOW what did we ever do without seatback monitors. I've flown the SYD-SFO route in Y+ it's worth the 150 bucks. Very comfortable. How about this. Stay up the night before drinking all night long. Bring a good book, you know those things with paper and words in them that tell a story, and some good magazines, you know good guy magazines like Men's Health, Maxim, and Stuff. Enjoy the free flight from you parents miles and quit bitching about not being able to watch tv on the 12 hour flight. Just saying.

User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 958 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 6786 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 8):
A single hour is a luxury, but in flight you can read a whole book in a single sitting

Exactly, I am baout to fly on UA from ORD to NRT on 747 and have my book and crosswords ready for the trip.It give your brain a chance to work while your body is relaxing.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6436 posts, RR: 38
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6748 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 10):
I usually get some sleep but one advantage I see in going with NZ is that their flights leave at 7-8pm where as UA leaves SYD in the middle of the day.

The UA flights leave SYD at 1350 and 1445 which is the same as 1550 and 1645 when converted to NZ time. There's only 3-4 hours in it.. And I wouldn't expect you to become that much more tired within those 3 hours!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

Ok so I'm going to go with UA for this flight, how do I upgrade to Y+ because I'm going to be booking this through Aeroplan's website, and the only options are economy or first.


Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 690 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6194 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hey Tim,
You should receive a UA confirmation/record locator you then use on the website to display your booking. You select seats from the seat mask for each flight and follow through the prompts to enter credit card info.
If you are interested in a window seat, please note only rows 19, 20 and 24 have windows.....all others are misaligned with no view other than the sidewall. If you prefer an aisle, opt for the center section but avoid row 25 due traffic to/from lav's behind you. Row 19 seats have built-in tray tables.
Layout and configurations are found on "www.seatguru.com" and "www.seatexpert.com". You can also use Google Images for pictures of the 747-400 Economy Plus cabin.
Enjoy your ride,
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6065 times:

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 17):
You should receive a UA confirmation/record locator you then use on the website to display your booking. You select seats from the seat mask for each flight and follow through the prompts to enter credit card info.
If you are interested in a window seat, please note only rows 19, 20 and 24 have windows.....all others are misaligned with no view other than the sidewall. If you prefer an aisle, opt for the center section but avoid row 25 due traffic to/from lav's behind you. Row 19 seats have built-in tray tables.
Layout and configurations are found on "www.seatguru.com" and "www.seatexpert.com". You can also use Google Images for pictures of the 747-400 Economy Plus cabin.
Enjoy your ride,

I'll check it out when I book the ticket. If I understand Seat Guru the UA Y+ seat is the same seat with 3 inches more legroom, may be useful because I'm pretty tall and can get around others much easier.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7261 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5980 times:

Avoid UA if there is any other option whatsoever. I'd rather pay for a ticket than convert miles to travel UA. I could barely cope with 3h on their 744 let alone 15h

User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5746 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 18):
Avoid UA if there is any other option whatsoever. I'd rather pay for a ticket than convert miles to travel UA. I could barely cope with 3h on their 744 let alone 15h

If I was paying I would avoid them also, unless they were significantly cheaper than all the other options.

My personal choice of airline from Aus/NZ to North America is NZ.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 18):
I'll check it out when I book the ticket. If I understand Seat Guru the UA Y+ seat is the same seat with 3 inches more legroom, may be useful because I'm pretty tall and can get around others much easier.

I'm having an issue getting Y+ more less general seat selection as the tracking ID number isn't working on UA's website. Is this because I booked through Aeroplan??

Any Ideas on how to resolve it so I can get the seat that makes me sleep the best.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 690 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5696 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

If you have a UA MileagePlus account, log in using your account # and future bookings will display. If no UA account,
you need the 6 digit/letter "record locator' for UA. It is a separate confirmation/reference # to the AC/Aeroplan booking record.
If AC/Aeroplan cannot identify the specific UA RLOC, call UA, provide the flight #, date of departure and your name so the UA agent can display your booking. They'll provide you with the RLOC for future use and help set up your Y+ seat assignments/purchase over the phone or let you access your booking to handle it yourself by using that RLOC. Look at the seat map for your specific flights ahead of time to determine what seats are available in Y+ if you elect the phone agent to handle for you.....like asking for a specific row, seat #, window, or aisle etc to insure you get your best seat request.
Good Luck, hope this helps getting you set up for your UA flights.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19942 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5696 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Thread starter):
I know UA doesn't have seatback IFE on the 744 which is what they show flying but how is the legroom (I'm 6'1) and the general IFE on a 13.5 hour flight?? I'm going to see if they can find something on NZ (which I like the best) but Aeroplan's website shows nothing.

I flew UA from SFO-SYD in 2008. On the outbound leg, the interior of the aircraft had not been redone since the early 1990's (the seats were newer, but the bins, bulkhead covers, etc. were all old). IFE consisted of CRT monitors mounted in the ceiling (most of which were severely discolored) and the old-fashioned tri-color projectors. In our section, the screen had broken off the bulkhead and was replaced with strips of white computer paper. Channel 9 is pretty much useless because from about an hour out of SFO until maybe an hour out of SYD there is no radio traffic.

On the trip back, the interior had been redone, so at least it wasn't 20 years old, but there is still no IFE other than the overheads. Standard UA seat pitch in Y is 32", IIRC.

The only reason I was on UA was it was a "free" mileage flight. I say "free" because it still cost $300 in fees, but that's much better than the $1500 base fare I would have paid. Their onboard product is just not competitive with any other transpacific carrier.

No matter which airline you fly, it's a horribly long flight. My advice is to get someone to prescribe you some sleeping pills to knock you out for most of the flight (flights to the North American continent tend to leave in the afternoon and arrive in the morning of the same day, but fly overnight ["time travel"]). There is only so much pain that the AVOD can alleviate. You will eat two meals aboard the aircraft, so again, even if the food is horrible, you'll live. What winds up making a bigger deal is that you will have to clear US customs if you fly UA to a Canadian destination. I would suggest going with AC for that reason alone, not to mention mood lighting, better soft product, and AVOD.


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3385 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5588 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
No matter which airline you fly, it's a horribly long flight. My advice is to get someone to prescribe you some sleeping pills to knock you out for most of the flight (flights to the North American continent tend to leave in the afternoon and arrive in the morning of the same day, but fly overnight ["time travel"]). There is only so much pain that the AVOD can alleviate. You will eat two meals aboard the aircraft, so again, even if the food is horrible, you'll live. What winds up making a bigger deal is that you will have to clear US customs if you fly UA to a Canadian destination. I would suggest going with AC for that reason alone, not to mention mood lighting, better soft product, and AVOD.

I have done it both ways a few times so I know how long it is, actually the eastbound legs I find go faster usually. Because its using Aeroplan, I basically have to choose what is available and NZ or AC isn't listed as an option.

I will be transiting in SFO and will get on an AC flight from there so the US customs clearance I will have to deal with regardless which is no big deal as I usually get whisked through without any issues.

One other thing regarding UA's baggage rules, what is the limit and how much is the extra bag fee? I will be checking 2 bags.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Air Canada 77L & 77W Long Haul - How Good Is It? posted Sat Sep 18 2010 22:32:51 by initious
Really...How Bad Is Coach In A DL/NW 744? posted Wed Oct 7 2009 04:02:38 by Josh32121
How Tough Is It To Upgrade Across Alliance Members posted Tue Aug 25 2009 20:15:03 by LHCVG
Just How Bad Is Delta's Food? posted Wed Aug 1 2007 11:38:14 by Braybuddy
KLM Lounge In AMS - How Good Is It? posted Mon Apr 23 2007 14:44:20 by Keysman73
Ba's Online Check-in (seat Part) How Good Is It? posted Mon Jan 15 2007 03:00:02 by KLM672
UA 767 FRA - IAD New Business Class, How Is It posted Thu Jul 23 2009 12:18:04 by Hamad
Connecting In SYD. Is It Really That Bad? posted Wed Mar 22 2006 01:36:20 by Don81603
Austrian B767-300ER How Is It To Fly With? posted Fri Mar 23 2012 11:30:56 by vlad1971
Flight Loads LAX/SFO - SYD posted Mon Nov 8 2010 01:13:42 by ZBBYLW