PSAatSAN4Ever
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Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:14 am

Greetings to all!!

I am in the planning phases of my next European trip, which is September 23rd through October 11 of 2019, flying LH SAN-FRA, train to Amsterdam, KLM AMS-HAM, train to Berlin, TXL-INN on EasyJet, train to Zurich, and flying home from ZRH. I have a few questions to ask of the group:

#1: How far into the year did Edelweiss Air fly into SAN? I had originally hoped to finish the trip in Switzerland and fly home (again) the non-stop, but currently it is only showing to September 20. Might anyone know when if they will announce a schedule extensions as in years past?

#2: Choices for coming home to San Diego from Zurich aside from the non-stop: a choice of four different 787's connecting either at EWR, IAD, SFO, or YVR.

EWR offers the opportunity to fly perhaps one last time in a 757, but it requires transferring through EWR...

IAD offers the possibility of a trip on the mobile lounge, but only connecting to a 737-800.

SFO offers the longest layover of them all, nearly three hours, and a connecting 737-800.

YVR offers the unique opportunity to transit at YVR and pre-clear customs there, connecting to a CRJ-900.

I am leaning towards Air Canada at YVR, but I would love to know experiences from the group about United versus AC internationally, as well as experiences connecting International to domestic U.S. It may come down to price, but if it's within reason, I'll go with my preferred itinerary.

By the way, AC flights aren't showing up as options on UA or LH's website; however, I can't see any UA or LH on AC's website either. At least at this time.

Thanks in advance to everyone!!
 
LH658
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:20 am

Lufthansa, Air Canada, United, and BA
 
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janders
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:41 am

How about ZRH-LAX on LX ?
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
UALFAson
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:21 am

Depends on whether you're one of those people who prefer to be on a widebody plane for as long as possible.

UA's 737-800s are awful. They're fine for the hour-ish hop down from SFO but I would not fly one all the way IAD-SAN.

Likewise, a CRJ-900 is a tiny plane to be in for as long a flight as YVR to SAN.

If it were me, I would go through EWR or, more likely, take the 787 all the way to SFO. UA's SFO terminal has lots of good food options, some shopping, breathtaking views on a clear day, and isn't the worst place to have to walk around for a couple of hours.
"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
 
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longhauler
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:34 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

YVR offers the unique opportunity to transit at YVR and pre-clear customs there, connecting to a CRJ-900.

I am leaning towards Air Canada at YVR, but I would love to know experiences from the group about United versus AC internationally, as well as experiences connecting International to domestic U.S. It may come down to price, but if it's within reason, I'll go with my preferred itinerary.

By the way, AC flights aren't showing up as options on UA or LH's website; however, I can't see any UA or LH on AC's website either. At least at this time.

YVR is a very convenient transit. Like YYZ and YUL, you don't have to deal with your bags, just a fast track to US pre-clearance then on your way. But ....
looking at the Air Canada website, unless I am doing something wrong, I see no fare less than $2500 for ZRH-SAN through YVR!

You wont see any UA or LH flights unless they are code-shared. For example, if you looked on the AC website, you'll see DEN-SAN as possible connection options. ZRH-YYZ-DEN-SAN. (but still very expensive).
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
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longhauler
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:39 pm

UALFAson wrote:
Likewise, a CRJ-900 is a tiny plane to be in for as long a flight as YVR to SAN.

Pilot scope restrictions hold the passenger load to 76 seats. With AVOD and 2x2 seating, it is a pretty comfortable ride.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:25 pm

Is there an option to use DL on ZRH-ATL-SAN? DL might be a comfortable ride on the ATL-SAN sector.
AC through YVR is a decent choice. Great airport to connect at, though the US section is a little lacking in food options, so don't lay over there much more than 2 hours.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:36 pm

You guys are wonderful. Thank you for your responses! Let me refine my statements and questions.

First, this trip MUST end at SAN. I've done enough long-distance traveling to/from LAX, and while I might have no problem departing from LAX, at the end of a big international trip, it's much more comforting to see Balboa Park than Century City. The trip AFTER this one (2020) I am hoping to depart LAX on the A380, but that's a different matter.

IF Edelweiss Air is extending their flights into October of 2019, then that will be our first choice, but should it happen that late September is the last, then alternate choices will take place. Star Alliance is my number one choice, simply because we will be flying LH on the way over.

The problem is that Air Canada doesn't show up as an option on either UA or LH's websites, nor do UA or LH on AC's website. All three show up on both Expedia and Orbitz, but I have never booked international on those airlines, and I want to upgrade us to Premium Economy on both segments. Can I call up LH and AC after purchasing a ticket and pay for all the upgrades over the phone? I did that last year going to Europe, but that was all on a single LH ticket (although Edelweiss required a separate phone call, but it wasn't a problem). This itinerary on both sites was running VERY reasonable, but if nothing can be done except through Expedia or Orbitz, no thanks.

My husband and I have both flown domestically in the U.S. for ages, and we know about the shrinking legroom. We've actually done SAN-EWR on UA many times, and know all about the limitations of leg room. Thanks to all for that concern, but we'll manage.

My number one choice is to return via YVR, simply because I'd like to try the transit-Canada thing, AND their Premium Economy is 2x4x2 instead of 3x3x3 on United (there are two of us going), and 2x2 on the CR9 YVR-SAN. But if this proves to be impossible to deal with, there are other 787 options.

If there's a chance to ride a Mobile Lounge at IAD, there's my first choice. If not, EWR is equally as good, and it would mean (most probably) one last ride on a 757.

I appreciate your responses - much gratitude here. I'll let everyone know what turns out, even though the tickets won't be purchased for quite a while!
 
IADCA
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:04 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
You guys are wonderful. Thank you for your responses! Let me refine my statements and questions.

First, this trip MUST end at SAN. I've done enough long-distance traveling to/from LAX, and while I might have no problem departing from LAX, at the end of a big international trip, it's much more comforting to see Balboa Park than Century City. The trip AFTER this one (2020) I am hoping to depart LAX on the A380, but that's a different matter.

IF Edelweiss Air is extending their flights into October of 2019, then that will be our first choice, but should it happen that late September is the last, then alternate choices will take place. Star Alliance is my number one choice, simply because we will be flying LH on the way over.

The problem is that Air Canada doesn't show up as an option on either UA or LH's websites, nor do UA or LH on AC's website. All three show up on both Expedia and Orbitz, but I have never booked international on those airlines, and I want to upgrade us to Premium Economy on both segments. Can I call up LH and AC after purchasing a ticket and pay for all the upgrades over the phone? I did that last year going to Europe, but that was all on a single LH ticket (although Edelweiss required a separate phone call, but it wasn't a problem). This itinerary on both sites was running VERY reasonable, but if nothing can be done except through Expedia or Orbitz, no thanks.

My husband and I have both flown domestically in the U.S. for ages, and we know about the shrinking legroom. We've actually done SAN-EWR on UA many times, and know all about the limitations of leg room. Thanks to all for that concern, but we'll manage.

My number one choice is to return via YVR, simply because I'd like to try the transit-Canada thing, AND their Premium Economy is 2x4x2 instead of 3x3x3 on United (there are two of us going), and 2x2 on the CR9 YVR-SAN. But if this proves to be impossible to deal with, there are other 787 options.

If there's a chance to ride a Mobile Lounge at IAD, there's my first choice. If not, EWR is equally as good, and it would mean (most probably) one last ride on a 757.

I appreciate your responses - much gratitude here. I'll let everyone know what turns out, even though the tickets won't be purchased for quite a while!


There's always a chance to ride a mobile lounge at IAD. If you want to go through the hassle or the midfield CIS is closed, all IAD-terminating international passengers coming off UA are transported to the international arrivals area by mobile lounge. I wouldn't recommend that: the lines at the midfield immigration facility (and re-clearing security) are usually much shorter, but if you're a US citizen - especially one with Global Entry - it's perfectly viable. You could even use the mobile lounges twice this way: after re-clearing security in the main terminal, take the mobile lounge out to D (and then just walk to C if your connection is from there). Remember about finding and picking up your checked bags, if any.

The other way is to go through the midfield FIS facility and then just walk over to the mobile lounge connection in D, and take a quick roundtrip to the main terminal on the moon buggies. It's airside to airside, so no issue at all other than potentially needing to walk a bit down from or to C if one of your flights is in or out of there. C/D is one building, though, so there's no hassle there.
 
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redzeppelin
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:45 pm

I did the YVR connection a few years ago on KL/DL AMS-YVR-SLC. The immigration/customs experience was quick and easy. It seems like yesterday, but I just checked my log and it was back in 2012.

My only warning is to beware of long layovers. You will go straight to USA customs preclearance upon arrival, and then to the USA departures/preclearance concourse to wait for your flight. I found that the concourse didn't have many amenities to offer a weary traveler. I had over 3 hours to wait and it felt like forever -- I started to feel very confined and anxious after a while. Maybe it was just jet lag. But I would have felt better if I could have explored the rest of the airport.
 
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mercure1
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:03 am

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

First, this trip MUST end at SAN. I've done enough long-distance traveling to/from LAX, and while I might have no problem departing from LAX, at the end of a big international trip, it's much more comforting to see Balboa Park than Century City. The trip AFTER this one (2020) I am hoping to depart LAX on the A380, but that's a different matter.



Then simply connect on one of the many dozen LAX-SAN hops.

To me, ZRH-LAX would seem the easiest. Good thing with LAX is you really won't have weather/ATC risk like you can at other potential US hubs be they on the east coast or SFO.
mercure f-wtcc
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Topic Author
Posts: 272
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Re: Best Way ZRH-SAN Outside of Edelweiss AIr

Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:12 am

Thank you for the discussion.

I have eliminated the ZRH-YVR-SAN option, as getting either LH;s or UA's websites to find me this option proved too difficult to arrange. Occurring almost simultaneously, the options of connecting on UA via EWR and IAD were changed from 787's to a 767-300 and 767-400. Lovely airplanes, but on my types-flown list. For the same price as everything else, the ZRH-SFO-SAN route is on a 787, with a shorter overall travel time than via the east coast.

Since we've already flown ZRH-SAN non-stop before, and not knowing when and if it will become available this year, I have decided not to wait to find out after the price may go up. I'll be quite happy to add a type to my list and save some money for the trip itself.

Happy flying!!

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