Breaking Up the Travel/Class of Flights

Dec 21st, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Breaking Up the Travel/Class of Flights

Raised this topic in response to a question on another (different subject)thread. Thought maybe I'd get some more feedback with its own thread.

O.K. I admit we've been spoiled and have been flying business class each trip to Europe. Now to save some money we've been thinking of switching to economy (we can fly UAL economy plus) and break up our travel by spending the night at the U.S. departure point before catching the Europe flight segment, e.g. PHX to IAD (spend night) and then catch our flight the next day. Thought it might give us a chance to catch our breath versus the whole shabang. Anybody do this regularly?

Pros and cons from the perspective of the people who have done it?

What if (as Elainee commented she does) you want to go with one segment economy (e.g. Phx to IAD) and the international as business?

Book as multi-city trip or two separate trips?

I played a little with UAL's site and don't see a way to change classes doing it on-line so I'm assuming you'd have to do it by phone unless you do two tickets(?).

Ideas welcome! Thanks.
patandhank is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 09:27 AM
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I have never tried it. I'd rather just suck it up and do what it takes to get there. I would pay more for a nonstop flight from my homecity direct to at least London (or Paris). Yes I travel economy, but I've never experienced business class or first class so a case of I don't know any better -haha.
suze is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Unfortunately but for flying BA there are no nonstop flights to Europe from Phoenix. Everything has at least 1 connecting flight. We flew BA coach one time and obviously we survived, but we lucked out and had two seats along the side instead of being stuck in the middle row.

patandhank is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Whenever possible we like to fly to the east coast (from Seattle) and spend the night in a real bed, then take the morning departures to London. The day flight over the water is much easier on the system than "sleeping" overnight - in coach or up front, and we find that it really reduces jetlag once we're in Europe. We usually get a Priceline hotel at LHR (have yet to spend more than US$80 for a 4-star) and feel much better the next morning.

The morning flights from NYC, Boston, DC or Chicago all arrive at Heathrow around 8 - 9 PM local time, so by the time you get to the hotel it's 10 - 11 and after a welcoming pint or nosh in the hotel bar, bed feels like the right thing to do.
Gardyloo is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 12:27 PM
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The international business segment will determine the fare you're paying. Which usually includes a domestic FC connecting segment for very little money.

By flying the domestic segment in economy or economy plus will not save you much money.

That's a separate issue from the overnight thing. PHX-IAD is only about 4 hours. I don't see what's the advantage of having to leave a day early, check-in to hotel, sit around some east coast city for most of the day, and then fly to Europe.

Now, it may makes a little more sense if you're taking one of the day-flights between E. Coast to Europe. But I don't think UA offers any from ORD or IAD.
rkkwan is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 01:28 PM
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Unfortunately but for flying BA there are no nonstop flights to Europe from Phoenix.

Isn't London part of Europe?

because if it is BA has non-stops about 4-5 days a week from Phoenix.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 02:10 PM
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AA what I meant was there are no other airlines flying out of PHX that fly nonstop to Europe aside from BA. So if we wanted to fly UA, we always have a connecting flight. I probably didn't phrase it well in the original post.

Thanks rkkwan for the input. I haven't really researched the options on UA much but we were thinking more along the lines of trying to get an early morning flight out as Gardyloo mentioned versus killing all day in IAD (or whichever) departure point. Sounds like from your post that may not be doable on UA.
I agree we wouldn't want to kill all day just waiting on a flight.
patandhank is offline  
Dec 21st, 2008, 03:05 PM
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Sorry, it was me that misunderstood your post, but we're in a deep freeze here in Chicago. We just came back from Christmas shopping, totally frozen, to the bone...and I guess my brain wasn't working correctly.

The local weather channel is issuing a deep freeze tonight, as low as -30F. Not sure how we're going to survive tomorrow's MNF at the Soldier Field.

Back to warm Florida on Tuesday evening...
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Great to see rkkwan posting! : )

I was going to make a similar point. We've looked into this option and we use miles to upgrade to business or use miles for the whole ticket. Whether we fly from SFO (our home airport) or Atlanta/JFK we end up using the same miles or having approx. same cost. In fact one time the DH wanted to stop over in Boston for a conference and it turns out his tickets would have been more than my direct flight from SFO that just routed through Atlanta or JFK (we're on Delta).

If we were going to stay over a couple of days in NY or DC or Boston, we would do so both to break up the flight and to sightsee on the East Coast. But we never found significant cost savings just to stop over one night, and the hassle of getting in and out of city center--or the unappealing prospect of airport hotels--took this approach off our list.

I think Economy Plus on UAL and getting the flight over with asap (going direct) would be what works for us if we couldn't upgrade, but your "taking a break" approach is certainly an option that works for some.

annw is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 06:56 AM
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I didn't mention that I am referring to flights to Europe--usually CDG in Paris or Venice/Rome airports.
annw is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 09:44 AM
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The trips I mentioned were not to Europe but to South Africa and to India paying cash. Big difference in cost if taking coach to London and then separate business ticket for the big flight. AF has good price LHR to South Africa. BA had good price to India. If not for the price...non-stop always best. I, too, always take the morning flight JFK/LHR.
Elainee is offline  

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