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shamrock604
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Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:05 pm

Hello all,

I will shortly travel from Dublin to the US using my staff priviledges.

I was just wondering who you all thought I would be best to travel with, considering general treatment and handling of staff travellers etc etc.

I can use DL via JFK or ATL, AA via ORD, or AC via YYZ.

The transit airports dont really concern me as I have used them all in the past, so on the basis of the airline service only, who would you recommend?

Thanks for any help!
 
Viscount724
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:21 am

I would choose AC since you pre-clear US customs/immigration at YYZ which can save a lot of time compared to the often long waits at major US airports.

Alcoholic drinks are also free in economy class on AC transatlantic flights. On DL I believe beer and wine only are free, and on AA you pay for everything.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:18 pm

Thanks Viscount, but we also have US preclearance here in Ireland, so regardless of who I fly with, i can clear here before I leave.

I was leaning towards maybe using AC for the return flight.

I just wanted to know how each airline is with staff passengers, such as cabin of travel, through checking of bags etc. Have flown staff travel with DL before and was very impressed!
 
Viscount724
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:08 am

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 2):
Thanks Viscount, but we also have US preclearance here in Ireland, so regardless of who I fly with, i can clear here before I leave.

Thanks. I forgot about that.
 
02hilliert
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:02 pm

I've flown Air Canada transatlantic twice in the last two years, and have been completely won over. The seats are good, IFE is more than adequate, the food is good and the cabin crew have been excellent on all flights in & out of YYZ and YOW (same couldn't be said for YUL though).

With regards to whether or not you'll land an upgrade, who knows? I suppose it all depends on loads, and likelihood is if you don't work for any of the above, you're less likely to be upgraded.

As I stated straight off the bat, you can't go wrong with Air Canada.
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shamrock604
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:22 pm

Cool, thanks!

If i go AC, its a shortish connection. Do you know if they through check bags if you are on staff tickets or do you need to reclaim them in YYZ?

Thanks again!
 
reifel
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:43 pm

Since you will need to clear Canadian immigration if you travel via YYZ, bags will probably not go through... Not sure if you will be able to preclear US immigration in DUB since your flight is going to Canada and they will not be able to seperate US from CA-travellers in DUB.

Basically you will need to fly to DUB, claim your bags, clear Canada immigration, clear US immigration, gave your bags back and fly to the US.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

Quoting reifel (Reply 6):
Since you will need to clear Canadian immigration if you travel via YYZ, bags will probably not go through... Not sure if you will be able to preclear US immigration in DUB since your flight is going to Canada and they will not be able to seperate US from CA-travellers in DUB.

Basically you will need to fly to DUB, claim your bags, clear Canada immigration, clear US immigration, gave your bags back and fly to the US.

Ah yes, thank you! I did not consider Canadian immigration and the need to clear customs!

AA or DL it is I think.....  
 
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longhauler
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:41 pm

Quoting reifel (Reply 6):
Basically you will need to fly to DUB, claim your bags, clear Canada immigration, clear US immigration, gave your bags back and fly to the US.

This used to be the way it was done, but no longer. As the vast majority of bags are not even inspected by US Customs upon entering the US, they no longer need to see your bags. So yes, your bags are checked right through to the US. On arrival at YYZ, you bypass Canadian Customs, and go straight to US preclearance, without your bags.

However ... US Customs is aware you have bags checked, and if they feel the need they can request to see your bags. Which incidentally are kept in a holding area just in case. If US Customs does not request to see your bags, they will simply be put on your flight.

All in all, a pretty slick system.
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shamrock604
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:38 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 8):
This used to be the way it was done, but no longer. As the vast majority of bags are not even inspected by US Customs upon entering the US, they no longer need to see your bags. So yes, your bags are checked right through to the US. On arrival at YYZ, you bypass Canadian Customs, and go straight to US preclearance, without your bags.

However ... US Customs is aware you have bags checked, and if they feel the need they can request to see your bags. Which incidentally are kept in a holding area just in case. If US Customs does not request to see your bags, they will simply be put on your flight.

All in all, a pretty slick system.

Sounds pretty good alright. That changes things a little....  

Is it similar if you are travelling US - Canada - Ireland?
 
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longhauler
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:29 am

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 9):
Is it similar if you are travelling US - Canada - Ireland?

It is even easier the other way!

You get off of your inbound US flight, bypass Canadian customs, just a quick check at passport control, then down to the International departure area, staying in the secure area the whole time. You only have to clear Customs if you do not make it on your outbound international flight as a non-rev. (This happens from time to time, so Customs has seen it.)

Just a few things about non-reving on AC...

AC will upgrade you to J, but only if Y is full and there is room in J. Normally it is the other way around though, J full and Y open. Everything is done according to rules and "by the book". There have been too many complaints of "favouritism" so now agents are occasionally audited to make sure all is done right.

This in mind though, if I am not mistaken, a full J service is not offered on the Ireland flights, only an upgraded Y service with a large seat. The route is flown with our "low yield" B767s. The biggest difference you will note from the rest of our fleet is that there is no AVOD IFE. You can see them on our website, or seatguru, as they have 8 doors, instead of 4 doors and 4 overwing exits.

On the plus side ... I could be your Captain.  

I mention this, as every time I have non-reved on DL, they have put me in J if there was room. I always thought this was a very gracious gesture, and appreciated it immensely. I always felt ashamed though, knowing that it was unlikely AC would show the same hospitality.
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shamrock604
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:22 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 10):

Thank you for all the advice!

Yes, DL are really great with the upgrades, but my employer would be quite "close" to them if you get my meaning, so we always do return the favour....  

I am aware about the "leisure" 767's being used to Dublin, and lack of IFE would not bother me at all on the overnight flight from YYZ to DUB.

So, I think my decision is made then.. Out with DL, home with AC....  
 
reifel
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:02 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 8):
This used to be the way it was done, but no longer. As the vast majority of bags are not even inspected by US Customs upon entering the US, they no longer need to see your bags. So yes, your bags are checked right through to the US. On arrival at YYZ, you bypass Canadian Customs, and go straight to US preclearance, without your bags.

However ... US Customs is aware you have bags checked, and if they feel the need they can request to see your bags. Which incidentally are kept in a holding area just in case. If US Customs does not request to see your bags, they will simply be put on your flight.

All in all, a pretty slick system.

Thanks for pointing this out, wasn't aware of that. So travelling TO the US is apparently not too bad. You get one more immigration control (Canada) but on the other hand you save time by not retrieving your bags (while traveling via a US airport will need you to get your bags, but only pass one immigration check (unless you're travelling from Ireland due to the preclearance). However on the way FROM the US back to Europe it seems to be a smarter choice not to transit via Canada, since they will require to pass Canadian immigration, If you transit through a US airport you don't get any immigration checks.,,,
 
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longhauler
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:33 pm

Quoting reifel (Reply 12):
However on the way FROM the US back to Europe it seems to be a smarter choice not to transit via Canada, since they will require to pass Canadian immigration, If you transit through a US airport you don't get any immigration checks.,,,

It is actually a little easier. As other than a passport control check, (a quick desk at the top of the escalator down to the International Lounge) there are no Customs formalities in YYZ at all. However, as you note, you ARE in a different country, and ease of transit aside, one must still adhere to visa requirements, and for some nationals that may be an issue.
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blueflyer
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:29 pm

Technically, there's no J service from DUB on AC. The flight is operated by one of three aircraft AC has not retrofitted to its new business class standards (the aircraft are nicknamed the Three Amigos by AC FFs because they're used extensively on "holiday routes" to Spain, Greece and Mexico in addition to DUB) and the front cabin is called Comfort Plus. The seats aren't bad. As longhauler said, they're a bit bigger and have slightly more recline than coach seats, but they are much closer to a typical F seat on a domestic US flight than most carriers', including AC's, version of J nowadays. The service is the same throughout the aircraft.

Revenue passengers upgrade to Comfort Plus by paying a flat fee per segment above and beyond whatever fare they paid for their coach ticket.

Quoting reifel (Reply 12):
However on the way FROM the US back to Europe it seems to be a smarter choice not to transit via Canada, since they will require to pass Canadian immigration

Canadian immigration seems to be under the impression that very few people already in the US will try and enter Canada illegally and immigration inspection reflects that belief. It is very relaxed, to say the least, and very fast thanks to dedicated inspection stations for connecting passengers. Overall, connecting to YYZ is like connecting to other major airports in the US, how long it takes depends on the distance between gates, immigration doesn't make much of a difference.
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cvg2lga
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RE: Staff Pass Travel: AA, DL Or AC?

Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:24 am

With a personal bias towards DL's Business Elite, I'd say go with them. But as a non-revver, I have to say you gotta go where ya can get to! If you need some loads checked on DL, just PM me. Happy to help.

Tchau

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