AirStairs
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HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:36 am

Hey,

I am going to PEK in August to live/study/work and it is about time to start looking at tickets. My parents are willing to spring for J given the length of the flight, my height, and the fact that I simply cannot sleep in a Y seat. Even so, I am trying to keep the fare reasonable.

My options seem to be

PHX-SEA-PEK with AS/HU, around $3,200
PHX-SEA-PEK with AS/DL, around $5,600
PHX-SFO-PEK with UA, around $4,900
PHX-LAX-PEK with UA/CA, aroung $5,000
or PHX-DTW-NRT-PEK with DL, about 240,000 SkyMiles

Going by straight up fare, HU seems really attractive and I am leaning toward it. The hard product seems lightyears ahead of DL's 763s on an 11 hour flight. I guess the only concern I have with HU is soft product, especially food, and there isn't much information about dining on the website. I haven't flown DL transcon in years, is the food and service that much better? If I went with DL, I would probably go with the miles option (I don't mind the extra legs at all): would the potentially better soft product make up for the angled lie-flat on the 744 over HU's fully flat 332?

To be honest, if I had my first choice I would go with UA through SFO. The outbound is showing 744 and I would love to try the new IPTE, but the return shows 777 and frankly I don't know if it would really be worth the odds of getting a recliner, as I truly do have a hard time sleeping on non-flat.

My inclination is that HU represents the best value here. Can anyone confirm or dispute that or provide further insight?

Thanks!!
 
MHTripple7
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:08 am

I would definitely go with HU. They have gotten fantastic reviews on airlinequality.com, and the following trip report portrays them in a favorable light.

Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330 (by PlaneHunter Nov 22 2008 in Trip Reports)

Plus, the price is very good.
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:42 am

NH has great fares in J.
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AirStairs
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:32 pm

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 1):
the following trip report portrays them in a favorable light.

Yeah I have looked through that TR a couple of times and it is helpful but I wish there was something about the long-haul J experience. To be honest that TR didn't really assuage my fears about food on HU.   
 
LAXintl
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:04 pm

Contact a consolidator that deals with Asia fares. They should be able to secure reduced rate Biz class tickets.

Personally I like the new UAL premium product very much.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
OP3000
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:52 pm

Quoting AirStairs (Reply 3):

To be honest that TR didn't really assuage my fears about food on HU.

One of my colleagues has flown TXL-PEK a couple of times on J and told me food was very good, with western options in every course. IIRC he even asked for a special meal (vegetarian) on one of the flights and even that was solid. Overall, given the better hard product I would hands down choose HU, and given you are going to spend awhile in China it should be a better intro to your trip.

If you do take them hopefully you can bring us back a TR yourself.
 
AirStairs
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:11 pm

Quoting OP3000 (Reply 5):
If you do take them hopefully you can bring us back a TR yourself.

I would like to. I just got off the phone with Dividend Miles and they said any routing is going to be 90,000 in business and that UA showed no availability but I could do a PHX-YVR-PEK routing with US/CA. Any thoughts on the CA product? I would be terrified to fly CA economy for 10+ hours but how is business? The seats look comparable to LH but I have heard some not so great things about space in LH C Class and I am pretty tall.

HU looks to be the winner so far, but I think that 90k Dividend Miles deal might be a steal as well.
 
OP3000
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:33 pm

Quoting AirStairs (Reply 6):
Any thoughts on the CA product? I would be terrified to fly CA economy for 10+ hours but how is business? The seats look comparable to LH but I have heard some not so great things about space in LH C Class and I am pretty tall.

I can't tell you about the seat length/width, although I don't think they'll win any awards. They're similar to the AA J class seats which are not completely lie-flat. And the cabin interiors on CA are a bit boring - and I think the onboard experience is not very luxurious. Then again, neither are UA or DL these days. One plus is YVR is actually a great airport (and you'll get to use the AC lounge there which ain't half bad).

I'd consider CA strictly on a cost basis while expecting an average experience.
 
toobz
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:35 am

90k in J class is a great deal if I'm reading this right..I would go with that option (compared to Skyteam 250k!!)
or if $3k is not a problem go with that. And save the miles for something else. Sorry I don't have any personal experiences on HU or CA to report on. But 90k is actually not a bad deal and neither is the $3k for J
Aaaahh..decisions decisions..   
 
AirStairs
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:44 am

Quoting toobz (Reply 8):
90k in J class is a great deal if I'm reading this right..I would go with that option (compared to Skyteam 250k!!)

That's why I even bothered to call, I couldn't believe it. If there was UA availability I would have taken it right then and there but I have looked at biz class reviews of CA and they go from decent to terrible   .
 
AirStairs
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:05 am

New option, 125k miles through CO offers US/CA outbound through SFO and CA/US return through YVR. We can transfer miles directly from Amex MR to OnePass, so that is a bit tempting, the timing is a lot better than CA outbound through YVR. Does anyone know about upper deck availability on CA? I have heard about BA's strict upper deck policy, is it pretty easy to get a seat up there? If I am gonna go with CA I at least want my first upper deck experience  
 
OP3000
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:09 am

Quoting AirStairs (Reply 10):
I have heard about BA's strict upper deck policy, is it pretty easy to get a seat up there? If I am gonna go with CA I at least want my first upper deck experience

Why don't you call CA's reservations line and ask - but most of the business class seats are in the upper deck and they're bound not to be as uptight or rigid as BA or AF.
 
LAXintl
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:17 am

Photo online of the Air China upper-deck. Looks rather drab.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Zuguang Lee



I notice they are introducing a new product, and here are some more details;
http://www.airchina.com.cn/Passenger...tBusinessClass/businessclass.shtml
However does not really look like the seat is even close to lie-flat, or atleast you would think they would highlight that if it was so.

In summary I think, CA is kinda a meager offering. Sure, its better then flying Y class, but far from a world class product or service delivery.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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legacyins
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:21 am

I have flow CA business class many times between SFO-PEK. Their seats are angled flat and not lie flat. Business class is in the upper deck and it is nothing special. CA's fares are quite high for the product they offer. I am going to try HU next time even though I need to make a connection in SEA.
 
AirStairs
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RE: HU, DL Or UA From USA To PEK?

Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:01 pm

Thanks everyone for your input. I have looked at as many TRs as I can find for CA J class, and it really doesn't seem worth it, even when paying with miles. UA has ZERO availability on any PEK flights in J which is a bit disappointing.

Quoting legacyins (Reply 13):
I am going to try HU next time even though I need to make a connection in SEA.

I think we might just go with cash and do HU through SEA. The times work, the connection is a bit long but I think the lie flat will be worth it. I was willing to go with UA in Y if I could get Y+ and found a good deal through ANA Mileage Club where I could transfer Amex miles in and get my whole itinerary in Y for 60k, but both transpacs are full in Y+ already and there is just no way I can fold myself into a UA Economy seat for that long.

HU here we come!

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