aveugle
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:39 pm

Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:58 am

I'm looking to book a flight from LAX to either Stockholm or Copenhagen for late June or early July of 08. I need to book early I believe, and I will be using UA miles and I am wondering since I have the choice, which Star Alliance carrier is the best for me to fly. It doesn't necessarily have to be direct to Stockholm or Copenhagen. I can't decide which will be the best in terms of comfort in economy class- how do the different star alliance members differ in their economy product?

Thanks for any advice.
 
HT
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:36 am

Quoting Aveugle (Thread starter):
which Star Alliance carrier is the best for me to fly. It doesn't necessarily have to be direct to Stockholm or Copenhagen.

  • Specifically out of LAX, I would not recommend LH: Their product in Y is solid but nothing special. Presence of PTV in your actual a/c by July 2008 might be a 'hit or miss'. The most important factor for me, however, would be the very long queue at check-in for Economy Class: On 04-OCT-2007 that line (handling flights to FRA, MUC and FRA again) extended all the way out of TBIT to the curb. If you obliged to check-in at their Business Class desk, this statement is neglectable of course.
  • LX via ZRH gets quite good reviews for Y (I flew them in C on the day stated above, but was not too impressed by a) the seat and b) the slow meal service).
    Transfers at ZRH are okay if you allow 60 minutes for the transfer, as your onward flight be in the busy 1700h-bank.
    Departure out of LAX is rather late (the airport is not overly busy around that time). By the time you arrive at CPH or ARN and are in your hotel (or similar) it will be time to go to bed, which will help to ease the effects of jetlag.
  • If it's CPH where you are heading to, consider to use SK via SEA. Alternatively via ORD. Flying via IAD or even EWR I would avoid due to the long transcon sectors.
  • If you are happy with UA longhaul and are obliged to get into Eco Plus, you might consider using them LAX to FRA (I hope the service will continue also in Summer 2008), but make sure to get onto a B777.
    Connecting at LHR would be an alternative, but allow 3+ hours.
  • However, if you are looking for comfort on the transatlantic sector, (and do not care about a long transcon in Y), think about using SQ from JFK to FRA.
  • NZ via LHR would be another option ...

-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
aveugle
Posts: 48
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:18 am

Wow thanks for the info! The last time I flew to Europe, I flew UA on a 777. That was actually back in August of 2001. It seemed to be not too bad, not especially fantastic- a bit cramped but the IFE selection was acceptable and I remember being fed quite well throughout the entire trip. Has anything major changed with the UA product?....they would probably be my default choice.


Thanks again for the information, I will definitely take it into consideration.
 
HT
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting Aveugle (Reply 2):
Has anything major changed with the UA product?

I cannot tell from own (recent) experience, but what others have stated, service levels of F/A's can be 'hit or miss' on a somewhat moderate level (but then this is also valid for other carriers ... )

Personally, seating comfort is more important to me than service - i.e. I would prefer some Eco Plus with bad service over standard Eco with good service. If O knew about the "bad" service upfront, I could / would take appropriate measure to ease the problem by bringing along my own food and drinks.

Quoting Aveugle (Reply 2):
Wow thanks for the info!

You're welcome !
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
AlexPorter
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:38 am

I think the best one-stop itinerary involves Air New Zealand to LHR and then SAS to your choice of CPH or ARN. As a bonus, they share the same terminal in LHR. But still, LHR is generally a nightmare to connect in, but this may be compensated for by limiting the itinerary to one stop.

However, if you want the best overall service across the Atlantic regardless of the number of stops, here's what you should do:
- United to JFK (requires a terminal change in JFK via AirTrain)
- Singapore to FRA
- SAS to CPH or ARN

Singapore has top-notch service, but you'll have to connect twice this way.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
LDIkaros
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:48 am

RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:23 pm

Quoting Aveugle (Reply 2):
Has anything major changed with the UA product?....they would probably be my default choice.

I flew UA earlier this year on the SFO-LHR route. While I liked the seats in E+ the food was very bad and the overall service lacking. The service standards on UA have definitely slipped in the last couple of years.

If you fly UA make sure you get seated in the E+ section. Even then, I suggest to bring your own food.

I usually fly LH SFO-MUC because of the convenient flight times and the fact that I can get to my destination non-stop. However, their Y class is cramped and there is no PTV as of this time. If you are tall and value seat comfort you might want to avoid the long flights on LH from LAX.

I personally would go with the NZ flights via LHR. LHR is bad but not that bad that I would avoid it altogether.

Hope that helps.
 
b777a340fan
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:32 pm

If you want the shortest route, I think UAL or SAS would be your best choice.
 
CXfirst
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:13 pm

I would choose NZ to LHR, then SK to CPH.

However, LHR is absolutely horrible to transfer through and stay at, but if you have Star alliance gold status it shouldn't be too bad if you don't mind a bit of lines, as you will get into the London lounge.

If you can, and don't mind spending a couple more miles, choose to go in Y+ as it is usually worth it.

---------------------------------------------

SQ from JFK-FRA is good service, but I think it is a relativly short flight. I would not bother with a transcon, just to get on a 'relatively' short flight with SQ.

---------------------------------------------

I do not know much about the service on LX, LH and SK when it comes to long-haul.

-CXfirst
 
LX64A332
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:44 pm

RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:33 pm

You should definately consider LX via ZRH. LX uses A343 on the LAX run, and ZRH is a great place to connect through, with the airside center and observation deck, your time will pass fast. You might even consider taking a later flight to CPH or ARN so that you could enjoy ZRH's great facilities. The service on LX is good, and the PTV's with AVOD is definately a better choice than LH's cramped 744's with no PTV's.

Avoid these Star Alliance carriers:

UA: Outdated PTV with no AVOD on 777 and non existant PTV on 744, poor food, and diminishing service.
US: Worn out seats, unfriemdly service, and cardboard packaged food, no or outdated ptv
LH: Service is good, however no PTV's in any aircraft, which can make a flight seem looooong coming from the west coast.

Possible LX alternates:

NZ: good sound product, try and get Y+, only dowside is connecting in LHR which is a NIGHTMARE!!!
SQ: Obviously excelent and consistent product, but you would have to connect in JFK and FRA


regards,

LX64A332
SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:02 am

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 8):

LX,
when was the last time you flew ual across the pond??


AVE,
i'd fly ual lax-ord and hook up with sas ord cph...3.5 hrs of crappy service and then get great service and go non stop vs cnx thru the most horrible airport in europe(lhr) or go out your way and connect in fra ord zrh to get to cph...
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18850
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:08 am

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 8):
UA: Outdated PTV with no AVOD on 777 and non existant PTV on 744, poor food, and diminishing service.
US: Worn out seats, unfriemdly service, and cardboard packaged food, no or outdated ptv

And on both UA and US you will pay $5 for alcoholic drinks in Y class. I think every other airline mentiolned in this thread still offers free drinks in Y on transatlantic routes. (UA drinks are free in Y only on transpacific routes, for competitive reasons no doubt).

My first choice of Star Alliance carrier would be LX via ZRH. Their A340s are pretty good in both Y and J classes and connecting at ZRH is much more pleasant and relaxing than LHR which I would do everything to avoid. Second choice would be LH but suggest find a connectiion using their LAX-MUC nonstop rather than LAX-FRA since the LH (and Star Alliance) terminal at MUC is also excellent, one of the best terminals anywhere and much less congested and easy to navigate than FRA. LH also has a good reputation for on-time performance and general reliability.

A connection via SEA using SK SEA-CPH would also be a good option although I haven't flown SK for quite a while so am not familiar with their current longhaul service. Their service in Y class on intra-Europe flights has gone downhill in recent years with buy-on-board food/drinks etc., unlike most other major European carriers.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:08 am

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 7):
I would choose NZ to LHR, then SK to CPH.

Without a doubt. NZ Economy is far and away the best star alliance product you could get between US-Europe. LX/LH are a distant second. If you can OS might be worth a go.
34" seat pitch, AVOD PTVs with lots of options, decent NZ wines, and meals that compared to the competition are fine. LX meals were rather stodgy and lacking in flavour by comparison.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:23 am

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 11):

I agree. Go with NZ, they are a very good airline and the seat pitch beats SQ's. Even if you are going business I would advise NZ over SQ as the 744 product with SQ is dated.

As others mentioned, LX also sounds alright and LH if you bring a book.
 
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czbbflier
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:24 am

Not that I'm an expert or anything but don't forget poor ol' Air Canada... LAX-YYZ and beyond... Connections in YYZ aren't that bad...
 
744
Posts: 376
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:04 pm

Air Canada was awesome. Especially the BRAND NEW 777 to FRA and connecting from FRA on SK or LH was great. I love Air Canada. You should try it as well. Great service, great food, great airplane.
 
777ER
Crew
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:53 am

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 7):
choose to go in Y+ as it is usually worth it.

NZs Y+ is 100% worth it. Business Class meals, drinks and service for a Y+ fare!
 
AirCop
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:18 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but in the end, you still have to fly on whatever airline has seats available to your destination for United passengers.
 
Robbie86
Posts: 305
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RE: Best Star Alliance Economy To Europe

Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:42 pm

I would recommend you to take UA to either EWR, SEA or ORD and from there fly with SK to ARN or CPH. (From SEA it can only be to CPH)

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