Jawed
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Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:10 am

I will be booking a flight from SFO to DXB, but unfortunately I can't get business or first class. Given that I will be sitting in cattle class, what is the least painful way to travel from SFO to DXB? Any particular connecting airports that are known to be smooth? Any specific airlines and aircraft I should look for? For example, is a 747-400 coach seat far more comfortable or provides more legroom than a 777? I really don't know. Or are some common connections (like Frankfurt or London) plagued by more delays and more difficult plane transfers than other airports? Available connections range anywhere from Paris and London to New York and Frankfurt. On the return flight from DXB to SFO there are also options to fly east (connect in Hong Kong) or west, with comparable flight times but probably under different circumstances overall. Thank you for any tips!

[Edited 2008-01-03 22:17:05]
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:14 am

Might try IAH...

IAH isn't bad. Connecting CO to EK won't be too much trouble.

Cheers,
Cameron

[Edited 2008-01-03 22:18:35]
Cheers,
Cameron
 
rwsea
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:28 am



Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
Any particular connecting airports that are known to be smooth?

I'd connect through AMS given the choice of European hubs. MUC would also be a good choice. Avoid LHR, CDG, and FRA (in that order) at all costs. I'd also opt to connect in Europe rather than the US, just to break up the trip a bit more, and so that you can clear customs in SFO rather than in a hub somewhere in the Eastern US.

I guess that leaves KL as your choice. Their service is alright, nothing special. If you could somehow get to AMS on NW, they have 32" pitch in their A330s.
 
IAD787
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:30 am

I did BOS to DXB and that wasn't that fun on BA. I flew a 777 which went well, but I'll tell ya, four 7 hr legs is rough. I would advise a short leg then a long one. IAH is a really good bet actually. Is EK codesharing with CO on that route or are you going to have to get your baggage at IAH then recheck it to DXB? If so, stick with a single carrier. BA is a good bet on that route and it's better than any of the US majors. Delta would be your only option through ATL. The good news is that you do have plenty options.

Good luck! I also recommend Kayak.com to give you the most choices.
Former FlightBlogger turned Wall Street Journal Aerospace Beat Reporter
 
BlueElephant
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:31 am



Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):

He beat me to it, I would suggest CO to EK through IAH also, EK has a GREAT product, and is quite comfortable (personal experience).

CO might be offering Codeshare also.
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:32 am

What about flying via Asia? CX and SQ would both offer the route (CX possibly being preferable, since it'll be a 1-stop).
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:32 am

You've probably heard this before but, avoid the New York and Boston areas! If you can do that, then, you can cut down on the pain factor.
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
Flighty
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:36 am

What about Virgin America to JFK, then EK to DXB. Both nice airlines with PTV, even in economy. EK's economy product is very good.


Or, one of the Euro carriers would give you 1-carrier reliability. AF, KLM or LH. BA uses LHR which most people do not like (plus aren't taxes higher...)
 
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LTU932
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:36 am

You could do as suggested, SFO-IAH and then connect to EK's nonstop IAH-DXB flight. You can get to try a brandnew 77L at the same time if you like.
 
airxliban
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:36 am

Forget flying through Asia. I would also advocate connecting through MUC or AMS if you want to go through Europe. Otherwise go for EK through IAH or JFK, the entertainment on Emirates will keep you occupied for hours.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
HT
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:48 am



Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
Given that I will be sitting in cattle class, what is the least painful way to travel from SFO to DXB?

Have you considered to make a stop-over enroute ?

Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
On the return flight from DXB to SFO there are also options to fly east (connect in Hong Kong) or west, with comparable flight times but probably under different circumstances overall.

Overall, flying west (= follwing the sun) is less stressful on the body.
Combine that with one short stopover and you might get a itinerary that makes the most out of the necessary travel, as you can try to follow the rule:
Depart in the morning, follow the sun throughout your flight, arrive in the early afternoon (depending on sector length, especially when flying trans-pacific this might be a problem) and sleep in a hotel during the night.
A basic itinerary could be like:

SFO - HKG/INC/NRT/??? - DXB - AMS/FRA/MUC/LHR - SFO

Look if available RTW ( Round the world)-fares allow to make only 3 stops with 2 of them being 1 night only, but it should be possible.
-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 !
 
heyheyyu
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:21 am

How about SFO - ZRH - DXB?
 
ZBBYLW
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:32 am

Well as far as airplanes to look out for I would say the 763's offer the most comfortable seating arrangement at 2-3-2. The only issue being is if you can find a 763 (or 762 for that matter) with AVOD in Y. AC offers it on some of their planes, though its getting better. I would personally avoid EK 777s as they have a 3-4-3 layout which to me would be REALLY cramped, especially on a longer flight.
Keep the shinny side up!
 
HT
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:35 am



Quoting Heyheyyu (Reply 11):
How about SFO - ZRH

Who is flying nonstop between SFO and ZRH ?
No point to add a U.S.-transcon before the transatlantic sector like SFO - IAD - ZRH, IMO ...
-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 !
 
rwsea
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:39 am

I would avoid EK in coach, especially if the equipment is a 777 - EK has 10-abreast seating while most carriers are only 9-abreast. However, they do make up for it with more legroom. So if you're tall and slender, maybe EK is a decent choice (by all means through IAH rather than JFK).
 
swiftski
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:53 am

Last time I flew SFO-LHR on VS the guy next to me was connecting to a VS DXB service. Long wait at LHR though.
 
robertmalpass
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:35 am

My suggestion, based on personal preference alone would be VS straight through SFO - LHR - DXB. I know it's going through LHR which is a hell hole sometimes but I really like VS's Y product especially their new Y seats which are loads more comfortable than the old ones. Choosing VS would also mean two types of aircraft (B744 from SFO and A346 from LHR), both of which have VS's fab AVOD system, V-Port. The timings mean a good few hours at LHR
 
BCA2005
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:48 am



Quoting Robertmalpass (Reply 16):
My suggestion, based on personal preference alone would be VS straight through SFO - LHR - DXB.

The timings are awful with around 9 hours in LHR eastbound and an overnight layover on the westbound.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:48 am

Try Etihad for your long leg. Flights 100/101 are direct NYC-AUH. Then it's a short hop/drive to Dubai, (though I prefer Abu Dhabi as a city). Etihad Y is much, much better in goat class than EK...no comparison.
What the...?
 
centrair
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:17 am



Quoting HT (Reply 10):
SFO - HKG/INC/NRT/??? - DXB - AMS/FRA/MUC/LHR - SFO

All on Star through some very nice airports
SQ SFO-HKG-SIN-DXB
LH DXB-MUC-SFO

All on OneWorld through two nice airports
CX SFO-HKG-DXB
BA DXB-LHR-SFO

All on Skyteam
KE SFO-ICN-DXB
AF DXB-CDG-SFO

My personal favorite would be
UA SFO-NGO
EK NGO-DXB
VS DXB-LHR-SFO

If you did it RTW, it would make one heck of a Trip Report.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
vv701
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:51 pm

How about:

BA284 (SFO-LHR) d. 04.15 pm a. 10.30 am (744)
BA107 (LHR-DXB) d. 12.35 pm a. 11.20 pm (772)

I do not think there will be a change of terminal at LHR. There is the security of using a single airline. And the connecting times are virtually ideal.

Until the end of March both flights will operate through T4 at LHR. I think that from 27 March both flights will operate through T5 that opens for business that day. So that in itself could be an experience and a reason for routing this way.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:01 pm

I would look for, as others have suggested, a routing through Europe to break up the trip a bit more. However, if that's not an option, I'd go with DL via an easy connection in ATL. They offer a pretty nice Coach product on their 777's...probably more comfortable than EK's Coach layout, since it's 3x3x3 seating. Also, DL has really improved its intercontinental service as of late...PTV's, amenity kits, free adult beverage with the main meal, etc.
 
AA757200
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:38 pm



Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 4):
EK has a GREAT product, and is quite comfortable (personal experience).

Couldn't be further from the truth, in coach. One of the worst longhaul coach products. Way too tight. But frankly, all your options will lack loads of space and comfort, if you are going in the back. Either way, avoid EK.
 
drerx7
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:41 pm



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 21):
an easy connection in ATL

thats almost oxymoronic in my book...lol
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:45 pm



Quoting Drerx7 (Reply 23):
thats almost oxymoronic in my book...lol

Well it is...as long as your original flight is on time.  Wink

I love connecting through ATL terminal E. Nice place...good food selection...very spacious.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:51 pm



Quoting Brenintw (Reply 5):
What about flying via Asia? CX and SQ would both offer the route (CX possibly being preferable, since it'll be a 1-stop).

..flying over the Pacific would add quite a number of extra miles (and time) to the trip...

Since I've flown this route a number of times (Bay Area-DXB-KHI), I do have some experiences I could share..

One of the quickest route would be BA....SFO-LHR-DXB...since you stated you can't get F/J...

Quoting Jawed (Thread starter):
I can't get business or first class. Given that I will be sitting in cattle class,

...maybe you can get Y+....with 38' pitch, its not too bad at all.....the connection times are great and the journey is broken up into decent flight times..

The worst is to fly DXB-USofA (East Coast/Midwest) for 15-17 hours, then connect and fly for another 4-5 hours......... crazy ..after doing that a couple of times in cattle, there is no way I plan on doing it again.. no 

On a side note, flying the other carriers such as LH, AF and KL via their respective hubs would be just as efficient....I gave BA as an example because.... 1)I'm a OneWorld Kool-Aider  biggrin  and 2)they offer Y+ which the other carriers don't....
"Up the Irons!"
 
SailorOrion
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:03 pm

Considering that you should avoid (as mentioned above) LHR and CDG as transfer points, and assuming that you don't want excessive travel time, there are a number of options remaining:

SFO-AMS-DXB on KL (fastest overall flights time)
SFO-FRA-DXB on UA/LH (arrival in DXB in the middle of the night, connecting at FRA may be ok, but may be a PITA as well)
SFO-MUC-DXB on LH (easiest connection)
SFO-MUC-DXB on LH/EK (easy connection as long as you know to keep clear of immigration and take the non-Schengen T2-T1 bus)

return:

DXB-FRA-SFO on EK/UA
DXB-KIX-SFO on EK/UA (includes A340-500)
DXB-HKG-SFO on CX
DXB-HKG-SFO on EK/SQ
DXB-FRA-SFO on LH
DXB-FRA-SFO on LH/UA
DXB-MUC-SFO on LH

Note: this is for the winter schedule (till end of March)

Hope this helps,
SailorOrion
 
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ThrottleHold
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:07 pm

Try Aer Lingus SFO-DUB-DXB.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:30 pm

You really must consider Etihad. Their y product is as almost as good as Singapore, and that's saying a lot.
SFO-NYC-AUH. AUH is almost half way between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and EY has a coach that is free to go to Dubai.

EY definitely has a superior product to EK...by a long shot.
What the...?
 
boeingfever777
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:00 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):
What about Virgin America to JFK,

He is trying to avoid pain! IE: JFK, LHR, CDG, FRA...


I like how the poster clearly states "what is the least painful way to travel from SFO to DXB?" yet people are posting congested airports that will/could cause him delays and hardache.

CO1444 SFO-IAH 73N 3hr 42min
EK212 IAH-DXB 77L 15hr 10min

You would get into IAH around 2P with plenty of time to rest and relax before your 630P departure.

Cameron, stated it best SFO-IAH-DXB.  yes 
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
 
Jawed
Topic Author
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:07 pm

Thanks for the tips! A lot of people are suggesting IAH as the transfer point. What is so unique about that airport? Thanks.
 
UN_B732
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:09 pm

Nothing really, just an efficient, uncongested hub. IAH is a bit out of the way compared to say, LHR, but you'd spend more time on EK with excellent entertainment and decent service, which could make it worth it.

-A
What now?
 
HT
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:51 pm



Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 31):
Nothing really, just an efficient, uncongested hub.

Is this for "connecting" or also for flying out of IAH ?
Having read some other threads I got the impression that check-in with CO in Eco can be a lengthy one and also the queue at security for CO-departures can be quite long ...

Would a domestic flight SFO - IAH on CO and a EK IAH - DXB require to go landside in order to change terminals (aka. concourses) ?
-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 !
 
ag92
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:01 pm



Quoting Centrair (Reply 19):
SQ SFO-HKG-SIN-DXB

Or you could do SFO - LAX - SIN - DXB with the LAX - SIN in the Airbus 345 and the Y+ seats if you are allowed to travel in that class. The SIN - DXB would probably be with the Boeing 777, don't know if the plane is AVOD equipped or its a 50-50 chance of AVOD, the the LAX - SIN there will be AVOD
 
ba319-131
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:04 pm



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 18):
Etihad Y is much, much better in goat class than EK...no comparison.

- Really? If so EK really suck as EY is not that great.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 28):
You really must consider Etihad. Their y product is as almost as good as Singapore

- You jest, you cannot compare the two carriers, SQ are miles ahead.

I've had 4 EY flights, LHR-AUH & SYD-LHR.

Service was poor, IFE faulty on most flights, crew show no passion for their jobs.

EY would have to be really really cheap or do something special to get me to use them again.

Serach for my TR's to see for yourself.

M
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:31 pm

If it were me, I would go with either:

SFO-IAH-DXB on CO/EK
SFO-ATL-DXB all on DL
SFO-AMS-DXB on KL

I would avoid connecting in any other European airport or Asian. The last two would be easiest because they are on the same airline, but EK has better IFE.
I love ASO!
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:44 pm



Quoting Jawed (Reply 30):
Thanks for the tips! A lot of people are suggesting IAH as the transfer point. What is so unique about that airport? Thanks.

IAH rarely succumbs to the massive delays that plague other transfer points like JFK/ATL/LHR etc... About the worst thing you'll find at IAH is a sporadic afternoon thunderstorm during the summer that'll delay a flight for 30 or so minutes, possibly a bit longer. It is an easy airport to connect in, and even switching carriers shouldn't be a problem. I honestly don't know whether or not you'd have to recheck your bags, or whether CO could check them all the way through to DXB...certainly worth finding out.

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
Viscount724
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:10 pm



Quoting VV701 (Reply 20):
How about:

BA284 (SFO-LHR) d. 04.15 pm a. 10.30 am (744)
BA107 (LHR-DXB) d. 12.35 pm a. 11.20 pm (772)

I do not think there will be a change of terminal at LHR. There is the security of using a single airline. And the connecting times are virtually ideal.

Sorry, that's not correct. BA flights SFO-LHR (and LAX-LHR) currently use T1 at LHR, not T4, so if you're travelling before they move to T5 on March 27 you would have to change terminals. LHR is bad enough even without a change of terminals. However the fast connecting time may offset this to some extent. By the time you reached T4 and cleared security etc. your flight to DXB would probably be almost ready for boarding.
 
vv701
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:28 pm



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 37):
Sorry, that's not correct. BA flights SFO-LHR (and LAX-LHR) currently use T1 at LHR, not T4, so if you're travelling before they move to T5 on March 27 you would have to change terminals.

Thanks for the correction. Having read the other replies I would not touch BA with a change at LHR from T1 to T4. But if travelling after 27 March the T5 experience must be the way to go with a well timed connection and a long flight broken into 10h 15m in the air (overnight), 2h 5m to stretch your legs and 6h 45m in the air on the final leg.
 
boeingfever777
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:13 pm



Quoting Jawed (Reply 30):
What is so unique about that airport?

Intl. Terminal is clean and nice, lots of shops and places to eat. Not congested or to many delays.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 36):
IAH rarely succumbs to the massive delays that plague other transfer points like JFK/ATL/LHR etc...

Cam... Come on man... Central Texas Weather is like no other. One min is sun and fun the next min its doom and gloom and 2hr delays due to lighting and ramp closings!

For the most part of this thread as far as the out of the way IAH is it will save you time and delays and less hardache.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:01 pm



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 34):

That's the wacky thing about opinions; we're all allowed to have them and they're allowed to be different. I've had 4 flights on EY and they've been great.

I flew into/out of IAH last year and the check in line for LH was over 2 hours. Continental's bits looked shiny and new but the international airline checkins were crammed into a crappy, old corner. The lines were stretching outside.

Maybe it's better for transfers but it was not very nice for checking in.
What the...?
 
tennis69
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:06 am

SFO-ATL-DXB, go DL all the way.
 
baguy
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RE: Least Painful Way From SFO To DXB

Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:59 pm



Quoting HT (Reply 10):
NRT

If you end up there, I would fly to KIX instead, It is really spacious and should be a bit quieter than NRT. (I think UA fly to SFO from there, the only problem might be a long connection)


BAguy

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