Flying to SE Asia from East Coast

Oct 28th, 2009, 09:17 AM
  #1  
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Flying to SE Asia from East Coast

I got good advice a bit ago on how to tell what Star Alliance flights fly the route from DC to SE Asia and what seats are available. We will be using Star Alliance miles to fly biz class from DC area (IAD most likely?) and it seems various routes are available. Ultimately we'll be limited to what is available at the time we will be going, but will have a fair amount of flexibility. My question is what routes are the best to fly? East Coast to Europe and on from there? Or East Coast to West Coast and go from there? Others that I may have missed that u recommend? I know we want lie flat biz class seats, but beyond that does one route work better then another? What about jet lag, does it help to leave during one timeframe versus another? Thanks!
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Oct 28th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Do you want lie flat or flat beds? In industry parlance, lie-flat is at an angle. If you want flat beds, I think you don't have much choice. I think that UA would be your best option and only on certain routes. You could also use Air Canada to Tokyo at least. The only other airline I can think of that could get you there would be Singapore, but I don't think you can redeem miles for their flat beds. Air New Zealand would be flat beds, but I seriously doubt that they would let you route through New Zealand.

One other option might be Turkish, if the 773 is on the right routes for you to book.
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Oct 28th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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I guess I mean flat beds which I have flown on UA. AA has angled seats, I guess they are lie-flat? Odd industry parlance! thanks for explaining it to me.

So it sounds like I will need to look at UA flights that offer the flat beds if that is my preference. I know they haven't converted their 777 yet, so that would probably eliminate most of the routes flying thru Europe.

What about times to leave the East Coast and on the return? Does it make much difference?
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Oct 29th, 2009, 02:34 AM
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Not sure what your concern is with the time. Are you asking whether it is faster to fly through Europe? If so, the answer is no. Your fastest option to both BKK and SIN, which are the two major gateways to SE Asia would be going through Tokyo on either ANA or UA (or some combination of the two).

FWIW, UA flies the 747 on both IAD-NRT and NRT-BKK, so I would think this gives you the flat bed on both legs. They fly the 777 on NRT-SIN, though both directions are daylight flights, so it may not be a huge deal.
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Oct 29th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Sorry I wasn't clear. I am wondering if the departure time leaving in the am or in the afternoon makes any difference for jet lag. For example going to Europe from the East Coast my departure time preference would be later in the evening as opposed to a 6pm flight.whenever I can I will take a flight that departs the East Coast 9 pm or later.

Thanks for the info on flight length. First timefor us to travel to SE Asia so all this is new to me.
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Oct 31st, 2009, 10:43 PM
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You can see what routes have the new business class seats by going to this link and clicking on routes, then mouse over the city name:
http://suitedreams.united.com/

For Singapore, you would have the new seats from SFO-HKG-SIN. Or SFO-HKG-SGN (Ho Chi Minh City). Or IAD/ORD/SFO-NRT-BKK. Also ORD-HKG (Hong Kong where you could connect to another *A carrier).

SEA/LAX-NRT, SFO-PEK are 777, so the old bucket seats.

The ANA flight IAD-NRT has lie-flat 170 degrees incline. I would expect about the same for inter-Asia flights but am not sure.
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Oct 31st, 2009, 10:51 PM
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IAD-FRA-BKK is only 42 miles longer than IAD-NRT-BKK.

You could go to http://www.staralliance.com to do a flight search.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 12:11 AM
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Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think you can use United miles to go to Asia via the Atlantic (I assume you are UA since you are in IAD). So, even if gong via FRA were shorter, you can't do it. It also wouldn't give you flat beds in business class, at least to FRA - BKK.

Thought I had responded to your question on jet lag. At any rate, I have only gone from Europe, so can't be of much help. Sorry.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for all the info -- very helpful.
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Nov 3rd, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Also, if you wanted to check out possible combinations, you can use www.kayak.com. Put your cities in, then when you get search results, on the left hand side click on "Star Alliance" and it will show you only those airlines. (They also have "One World" button.)

The Asia flights are always tricky for jet lag as they typically leave at mid day and arrive at mid day (taking 12+ or so hours) so when to sleep? I have done it several times and have yet to find a great answer.
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Nov 3rd, 2009, 01:21 PM
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laurie_ann -- thanks, never knew that u could select just for Star Alliance flights on kayak. that's good to know.

hmm..so just deal with the jet lag I guess.
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Nov 3rd, 2009, 01:44 PM
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There are others here who have traveled to Asia much more than I have, but I've been a few times, including once to Southeast Asia (all from Chicago, to or via NRT). I don't seem to have much of a problem with jet lag going there; it's much worse for me coming home. The flights I've taken have all left around noon and arrived in the late afternoon to late evening, and I've been able to get more or less a normal night's sleep on arrival. I usually stay up for the first part of the flight out of Chicago and then sleep for as much of the last two-thirds as I can (easier said than done, as some of my flights have been in economy). On our trip to Bangkok last year, I probably slept five hours during the middle to second half of the flight to NRT and about two hours on the flight to BKK, and I was pretty much fine.
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Nov 4th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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travelgourmet is correct. You cannot route mileage awards (via Star Alliance carriers) either using CO or UA miles going EAST to Asia (through Europe or the Middle East.) They will only allow this routing going North (via Tokyo or HKG) or West via the Pacific (LAX/SFO/etc)

As for jetlag, each time we fly to SE Asia (and that's always flying West out of LAX) we try to get the "overnight" flight. Even with a connection, you can almost trick your body into thinking you've slept (provided you do sleep on the flight--sleeping pills are a must for us on this trip) overnight, as you arrive early in the morning (albeit 2 days later.) If you fly midday (we we had to once), you have to deal with there being light outside for most of the flight (which certainly doesn't help your body's clock or your ability to sleep) and you'll usually get in around midnight or 1 AM, and, at that hour, you don't really know up from down.

Either way, the jetlag will always be worse coming back than going there. Coming home, it can be brutal

Good luck figuring it out!
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Nov 4th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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ms_go & filmwill -- thanks so much. Never thought the flight would take so much figuring out!
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