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Going To FCO: US Or BA From SEA?  
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5556 times:

Hey all,

Doing some serious research into my flights to Italy this coming summer. I'll be flying out of SEA on 8/26 (Saturday) and returning on 9/18 (Monday).

I'm a Mileage Plus member, and prefer to keep my miles on Star Alliance airlines if possible. UA of course doesn't fly to FCO, so that's out. I absolutely REFUSE to fly Northwest Airlines, so they're out without even thinking anymore about it.

On Expedia, it appears my two best options (doesn't even show SK or LH via PDX) are:

* US Airways for $1,100 (approx) and goes via PHL. I've never flown on US, or on the A330.

* BA for about $1,250. Via LHR, on a 744 or 772. I've never flown on BA, and am seriously considering paying the extra $150 or so try them out.

Between the two, I'm not quite sure. Is BA significantly better? More convenient of course. What kind of service can I expect on US domestically, and then internationally? BA has a great reputation, which is why I'm considering them.

Your two cents....Thanks!

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5533 times:

SK has a flight both days, with only one stop (CPH). Try their website or give them a call.


Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5530 times:

US' product on the A330 is outstanding... one of the best.

N


User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3094 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5523 times:

I've flown:

US from SEA-PHL, most likely the route you will be taking. I really liked US on that route. I thought the service was decent (well as decent as a buy-on-board domestic transcon can be). One thing you will like (although it not might matter for you if you have status on *A), is that for 24-hour web check-in, anyone can pick the exit row seats. On a 5-6 hour flight on an A320/321, I thought the extra inches of legroom made a big difference.

BA from LHR to FRA, and from PRG to LHR. The A320 on LHR-FRA was in good shape, and service was great as well - deli box including sandwich snack, on a flight of a little over an hour. The PRG to LHR was on a 763, which was aging a bit, but also had a hot snack service. Crews on both flights were amazing. However, beware that LHR is a dump, and there are much much easier places for connecting flights. I would probably put PHL as better for connecting than LHR.

I've heard nothing but good things about the US A330 service across the Atlantic. I've also heard nothing but good things about BA service on SEA-LHR. I haven't actually flown either of these, so I couldn't compare with DL/UA/NW, etc.

If I were in your shoes, I'd probably go with US just because of the miles (SEA to Italy will give you a ton!). However, I think if you were to pay the extra $150 for BA, you would more than make up for it in the extra service you would receive, and also would have a less hectic return home, since you just go through customs at SEA and don't have to deal with re-checking baggage and making a connecting flight.

My 2 cents. Let everyone know what you decide (and maybe do a trip report too!).


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2920 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5516 times:

If you are Star then I would recommend SK via CPH. Depending on where you live in WA you can always try LH out of PDX via FRA.

User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5502 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 3):
maybe do a trip report too!).

Count on it...  Wink I've done several before and enjoy writing them and getting feedback.

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 3):
re-checking baggage

I've found the way to totally avoid checking luggage at all, domestic or international. I did that when I went to Germany and UK two years ago, and I carried everything on. Worked like a charm!

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 4):
Depending on where you live in WA you can always try LH out of PDX via FRA.

I'm about 30 miles north of SEA, but PDX is an option since my folks live down there. I've been wanting to fly that route as well, however it would be FCO-FRA-PDX-SEA. Yikes...

The only problem with US, besides connecting in PHL, is that I won't get home to SEA until 9pm, and I have to be at work the next morning.

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 4):
If you are Star then I would recommend SK via CPH

I also want to try to SK...mainly because the flight attendants (female) are supposed to be really hot. But, I'm pretty price sensitive this time, and SK and "price sensitive" are never mentioned in the same sentence...  Yeah sure


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5771 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5464 times:

I flew from the US to FCO on US a while back, had a really good experience. I think I might have put up a trip report... maybe not.
Anyhow, I highly recommend their A330 service across the pond. Which is saying something, because I usually go out of my way to avoid Airbus! (Let's not open that kind of worm can here). But, I recommend it.

That said, if you're dying to try out BA, they're probably even better. At least, they have a reputation. And I haven't flown on 747s or 777s yet, so that would be tempting to me as well...

But yeah, great experience on US A333.


User currently offlineHaveric From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5449 times:

Remember, you only earn 25% mileage on the BA route but 100% on US...

Also, when you make your connection to FCO in the US (or Canada) your arrive in Rome earlier and don't waste a whole day flying around Europe...


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5411 times:

Quoting Haveric (Reply 7):
Remember, you only earn 25% mileage on the BA route

Not sure I follow you...so for the approx. 12,000 miles I'd earn flying BA I'd only earn 3,000 miles???

Also...should I consider buying this ticket right away, or would still get a good deal a few months from now?

[Edited 2006-01-13 21:32:53]

User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3094 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5381 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 8):
Not sure I follow you...so for the approx. 12,000 miles I'd earn flying BA I'd only earn 3,000 miles???

Also...should I consider buying this ticket right away, or would still get a good deal a few months from now?

Well if you're using the AS Mileage Plan, then yes you would only receive 25% of the miles flown in coach, assuming you buy a restricted ticket. I don't think you could even earn AA miles on BA, except for the intrea-European sectors. Not sure how BA's own program or other programs would work. BA is pretty stingy with miles unless you're flying full fare coach or higher.

I usually buy my tickets to Europe around this time of the year - sometimes things go down but typically they will stay the same or go up slightly. If you see a great fare I'd pounce on it, but otherwise I'd try to buy in the next couple of months.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5373 times:

if you can fly on BA's "world traveler plus"..you get full miles and much extra seat pitch which is nice for a long-haul flight.....

I've flown on WTP+ a few times and for the price, its great!



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5354 times:

Thanks for the explanation on the 25% thing. I don't belong to the AS mileage plan, and would be buying the ticket via Expedia, so perhaps those are considered full-fare or perhaps not. Interestingly, the US flight shows as $1,604 on the UA website, but $1,161 on Expedia. They don't even list SK at all, and I'd have the option of AC via YYZ, if I felt like paying $2,230. Um...no.

Based on what Haveric mentioned, if I flew BA, I wouldn't arrive in Rome until 5:40pm! Yikes. That's at least a 3 hour layover at LHR, since the flight from SEA arrives at approx. 12pm.

I'm strongly leaning towards US at this point....


User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4057 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5289 times:

Service-wise, I think the US A330 would be great. But since I don't want to be seen as advertising, if you were considering spending the extra to just try out BA, I'd think it would be partly worth it just to skip connecting through PHL.

User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5227 times:

Quoting Haveric (Reply 7):
Remember, you only earn 25% mileage on the BA route but 100% on US...



Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 8):
Not sure I follow you...so for the approx. 12,000 miles I'd earn flying BA I'd only earn 3,000 miles???

Actually, it's worse than that. If you aren't already a member of the BA FF program, you aren't allowed to sign up without a full-fare ticket, so you'll get nothing unless you can credit it to another airline.

I'd recommend going with US. Going with another airline is cool for about 15 minutes, and then you think....gosh, this is a lot of miles to be giving up!

But then again, these days, the miles are meaningful to me. As is the extra money.  Smile

Steve


User currently offlineVega From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5164 times:

I have flown on BA 747s (SFO/LAX-LHR) and the US 330 (PHL-ROM, etal.). If you're flying in coach, you may be dissapointed in your expectations regarding better seating/service on BA. If you're flying WT+ (upgraded Coach) on BA, you will notice more room, but the same Coach service. If you fly in Business Class, BA has the edge, both in the seats and in the service. It really comes down to the basic difference in cultural attitudes between U.S. and British flight crews. In my experience, BA treats their premium passengers (both on the ground and in the air) as "premium passengers" - and you feel that way. On the other hand U.S. international airlines seem to have the attitude that you're paying for a bigger seat and the service is not to be an expected benefit. That said, I would rate US 330 international flights = or better than any other U.S. airline in coach and better in business class than everyone, except = to COs 777s and I have flown AA, DL and UA internationally to/from Europe. The obvious possible flaw in the above evaluation is that my flights on AA and DL were a little over 3 years ago and their services may have improved. One final point, connecting domestically in PHL can be a headache, but US domestic mainline services (Terminal B and C) to US international (Terminal A) is in my opinion essentially seemless and better than most large U.S. airports. LHR on the other hand is so overcrowded and chaotic that I try and avoid it, using AMS instead. Whenever possible, however, I much prefer flying non-stop from a U.S. port to a European port to avoid the hassle and post trans-Atlantic arrival exhaustion of a connection in Europe.

User currently offlineFCYTravis From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 1191 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5142 times:

The US A330s have outstanding in-seat advanced video-on-demand systems.

http://www.usairways.com/about/aircraft/a330/inflight.htm

That alone makes them worthwhile when going transatlantic. The service in Y, from what I understand, is nothing special, but if you're looking for something special out of any transatlantic economy service, you're looking in the wrong place.

You will earn 100 percent Elite Qualifying Miles in Mileage Plus while flying US Airways.



USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5116 times:

The one drawback about flying US Airways to FCO is the awful hour that you have to get up to catch the flight to PHL. Lets see the flight leaves around 0630, hour and a half early to the airport 0500, travel time from who knows where, you get the idea, and then you get into FCO early also.

User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5086 times:

Quoting AirCop (Reply 16):
The one drawback about flying US Airways to FCO is the awful hour that you have to get up to catch the flight to PHL. Lets see the flight leaves around 0630, hour and a half early to the airport 0500, travel time from who knows where, you get the idea, and then you get into FCO early also.

Nahhh...not a problem. I'm taken the first UA flight to ORD and IAD from SEA, and I have to get up damn early for those, so it's not an issue for me. Plus, that's what Starbucks is for...  Wink I believe the flight to PHL leaves SEA around 6:30am.

If I take BA, I lose a lot of time in LHR. I would get to LHR around noon, and then not get to FCO until like 6pm. That's absurd. Instead, I can leave SEA early, arrive in FCO fairly early, and still have the entire day to poke around. So, US is going to be the better option for me.

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 15):
You will earn 100 percent Elite Qualifying Miles in Mileage Plus while flying US Airways.

 checkmark  Right on.

Thanks everyone...I'm probably going to book my flight tonight on US. I'm looking forward to trying a new airline, flying on a new plane (A333) and also seeing two new airports: PHL and FCO. Count on a detailed trip report in late Sept. or early October!  biggrin 

I noticed no one recommended AA or DL? Why is that? DL and AA go via JFK, and I think DL goes via CVG and ATL as well.


User currently offlineFCYTravis From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 1191 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

Because neither of those airlines will earn you miles on United, and if you're trying to keep building miles on your M+ account, US then is your best bet because it's a member of Star Alliance.


USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5032 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Thread starter):
* BA for about $1,250. Via LHR, on a 744 or 772. I've never flown on BA, and am seriously considering paying the extra $150 or so try them out.

Try pricing the BA segments separately. SEA-LHR-SEA and LHR-FCO-LHR, you'll probably get a much better price than that. I priced up IAD-LHR-SEA in WT+ today for about $720 at a similar time to what you are looking at...

BA WT is nothing to write home about, but then is any Y class? If you are into *A mileage then go with *A, and that is from a BA flyer. If it were J then the choice is a very different proposition.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5015 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 17):

I noticed no one recommended AA or DL? Why is that? DL and AA go via JFK, and I think DL goes via CVG and ATL as well.

hey.....look on the bright side....this might be the first thread ever on A.net where the replies stuck completely to the original post.... Smile

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 19):
Try pricing the BA segments separately. SEA-LHR-SEA and LHR-FCO-LHR, you'll probably get a much better price than that. I priced up IAD-LHR-SEA in WT+ today for about $720 at a similar time to what you are looking at...

BA WT is nothing to write home about, but then is any Y class? If you are into *A mileage then go with *A, and that is from a BA flyer. If it were J then the choice is a very different proposition.

I agree....probably get better fares with different routings...also, WTP+ is very good...certainly worth the price!



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4996 times:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 20):
hey.....look on the bright side....this might be the first thread ever on A.net where the replies stuck completely to the original post....

LOL...Gkirk must be banned again...  Wink Otherwise, we would have sheep sex comments or yet another anti-German rant.  Yeah sure

Seriously though...just booked my flights on US!

SEA-PHL A319 11A
PHL-FCO A333 24A

FCO-PHL A333 24A
PHL-SEA A319 11A

Base fare came to $1,170, and then taxes of $84.20. Not bad...that's about what Seattle U. told me it would cost for airfare.

Strangely enough, the US site didn't let me choose my seats, yet gave me seats that I would have chosen anyway...on the left side, and window seats! I did enter my UA M+ number, so maybe they pulled in my seat preferences from UA?


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