MRYapproach
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:10 am

SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:05 am

I have to fly from SFO to Europe in the first week of May. Any suggestions?

SFO-ZRH via SWISS is the most direct, but flight prices are all over the place and I've heard the quality isn't great on those old A340 birds. On the other hand, I've never ridden an A340, who knows how long they'll keep going.

Most of my long haul flights are 777W over the Pacific. A Lufthansa A380 would be special, but require changing planes in Frankfurt.

Eventual final destination is Grenoble, but I have an office to visit in the Zurich area. So it's hard to beat flying direct to Zurich and using trains from there to get to Grenoble.

Star Alliance is preferred for EVA miles.

thanks!
 
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KLMatSJC
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:16 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:46 am

Swiss is now using their 77Ws to SFO, so you can't fly their A340s out of here.
A318/19/20/21 A332/3 A343/5 A388 B712 B722 B732/3/4/7/8/9/9ER B744/4M B752/3 B762ER/3/3ER/4ER B77E/L/W B788 CRJ2/7/9 Q400 EMB-120 ERJ-140/145XR/175 DC-10-10 MD-82/83/88/90

Long Live the Tulip and the Cactus
 
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KLMatSJC
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:16 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:46 am

Swiss is now using their 77Ws to SFO, so you can't fly their A340s out of here.
A318/19/20/21 A332/3 A343/5 A388 B712 B722 B732/3/4/7/8/9/9ER B744/4M B752/3 B762ER/3/3ER/4ER B77E/L/W B788 CRJ2/7/9 Q400 EMB-120 ERJ-140/145XR/175 DC-10-10 MD-82/83/88/90

Long Live the Tulip and the Cactus
 
Bostrom
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:19 am

If you want to fly A340 another option is SAS via CPH. Most of their A340s have been fitted with their new interior and are quite nice on the inside.
 
kimimm19
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:08 pm

It kind of depends on your priorities.
Direct: Swiss with the 77W
A380: Lufthansa over Frankfurt (not the worst connection experience)
A340: SAS and Iberia are your easiest bets
Price: .....
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:16 pm

In Y, Swiss is nothing great, the normal cramped seats and food is very hit or miss, in J, certainly better, but not exceptional.

Have you looked at AF ? then taking a train from Paris to Grenoble, it's about a 3 hour train ride and not that expensive....

Of course, using that train of thought.....You could also fly Norwegian, if you catch them on the right day you can get a premium economy seat for the same price as everyone else in Y, just remember, once you find the flight, switch to the Norway version as there are some serious savings to be had there rather than the US site.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:27 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
Have you looked at AF ? then taking a train from Paris to Grenoble, it's about a 3 hour train ride and not that expensive....


Seriously? Between Air France strikes, French ATC strikes, and French rail strikes, what are the chances of pulling off that itinerary as scheduled? Maybe 5-10% at best?
 
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PatrickZ80
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:48 pm

IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
Have you looked at AF ? then taking a train from Paris to Grenoble, it's about a 3 hour train ride and not that expensive....


Seriously? Between Air France strikes, French ATC strikes, and French rail strikes, what are the chances of pulling off that itinerary as scheduled? Maybe 5-10% at best?


It's not that bad, but it's not an option I would recommend either. If you're price-sensitive Norwegian is certainly an option, however you got to be a little creative since their European feeder network is not what it's supposed to be. Getting to Europe is easy, but getting to where you want to be in Europe is something else. Grenoble is a very seasonal destination and outside the season there are almost no flights available.
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:57 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
Have you looked at AF ? then taking a train from Paris to Grenoble, it's about a 3 hour train ride and not that expensive....


Seriously? Between Air France strikes, French ATC strikes, and French rail strikes, what are the chances of pulling off that itinerary as scheduled? Maybe 5-10% at best?


It's not that bad, but it's not an option I would recommend either. If you're price-sensitive Norwegian is certainly an option, however you got to be a little creative since their European feeder network is not what it's supposed to be. Getting to Europe is easy, but getting to where you want to be in Europe is something else. Grenoble is a very seasonal destination and outside the season there are almost no flights available.


Look at the actual number of strikes, compared to the A'Net perception of how many strikes there are.

And that is why I said, get to Paris, then take the train across, a lot easier than dealing with flights to Grenoble.
 
Bostrom
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:44 am

jetwet1 wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:

Seriously? Between Air France strikes, French ATC strikes, and French rail strikes, what are the chances of pulling off that itinerary as scheduled? Maybe 5-10% at best?


It's not that bad, but it's not an option I would recommend either. If you're price-sensitive Norwegian is certainly an option, however you got to be a little creative since their European feeder network is not what it's supposed to be. Getting to Europe is easy, but getting to where you want to be in Europe is something else. Grenoble is a very seasonal destination and outside the season there are almost no flights available.


Look at the actual number of strikes, compared to the A'Net perception of how many strikes there are.

And that is why I said, get to Paris, then take the train across, a lot easier than dealing with flights to Grenoble.


I have the impression that MRYapproach was looking at flights to Zürich and is familiar with European trains. But, Paris is not a bad idea. And also a way of flying the A380, although not with Star Alliance.
 
Georgetown
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:50 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:57 pm

If *A is your priority than you're looking at LH, LX, UA or SAS. I think in most scenarios the LX direct to Zurich is going to be your best option. They also have a nice product in the pointy end of the plane. If you have time for a stopover the SAS flight to CPH isn't a bad option and CPH has to be one of my favorite cities in the EU. UA also has a direct to CDG on a 787 which would keep you on *A and let you grab the train to Grenoble. Obviously if there is a huge price differential between the *A carriers/flights choose what makes the most sense for you.

If price is your driving factor people have mentioned Norwegian which will likely be your best option.
Let's go Hoyas!
 
aklrno
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:54 am

If your flight involves a connection at SFO from any flight originating in the western US be sure to give yourself a few hours to connect at SFO. Close in connections seem to suffer the worst delays there. If you are truly starting your flying day at SFO then no problem.
 
MRYapproach
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:10 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:39 am

oh, jeez, I booked this SWISS flight SFO-ZRH. In economy. Looks like a giant mistake based on the comments at SeatGuru. I know Swiss went broke about 10 years ago, but how did it become a cattle car? I thought maybe I'd at least get a ride on an A340, but now it's a 777 with 10 across. Any suggestions on sleeping pills? Sheesh.
 
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PatrickZ80
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:09 am

Then there's only one thing left to do...

https://www.swiss.com/ch/en/customer-support/refund
 
Bostrom
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:06 am

MRYapproach wrote:
oh, jeez, I booked this SWISS flight SFO-ZRH. In economy. Looks like a giant mistake based on the comments at SeatGuru. I know Swiss went broke about 10 years ago, but how did it become a cattle car? I thought maybe I'd at least get a ride on an A340, but now it's a 777 with 10 across. Any suggestions on sleeping pills? Sheesh.


It sounds like the kind of thing you should check before booking. But isn't it possible to cancel the booking?
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:27 pm

Bostrom wrote:
It sounds like the kind of thing you should check before booking. But isn't it possible to cancel the booking?


Why would he cancel?
 
Bostrom
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:36 pm

IPFreely wrote:
Bostrom wrote:
It sounds like the kind of thing you should check before booking. But isn't it possible to cancel the booking?


Why would he cancel?


To book a ticket with another airline that isn't 10 across? Or an airline that uses 10 across but on a wider aircraft.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:59 pm

Bostrom wrote:
To book a ticket with another airline that isn't 10 across? Or an airline that uses 10 across but on a wider aircraft.


Look at his options -- all economy, all about the same, and he's worked up because of anonymous complaints on the internet? He'll find similar complaints about all of his options. Just a bunch of unnecessary drama.
 
JulietteBravo
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:25 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:08 pm

Ok ok - no panic. I guess 10 abrest is every airline you had on the list with B777ER, isn't it?

I strongly recomend you the following: Add/book a "paid seat" on row 50. Take A/B or on the other side. Space there is superb on the LX 777!
 
Bostrom
Posts: 296
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:36 pm

IPFreely wrote:

Look at his options -- all economy, all about the same, and he's worked up because of anonymous complaints on the internet? He'll find similar complaints about all of his options. Just a bunch of unnecessary drama.


For direct flights, Swiss is the only option. But with one stop MRYapproach can choose to fly Lufthansa, 3-4-3 seating on a A380, an aircraft 65 cm wider than the 777, or SAS with 2-4-2 seating. But yes, you can find people complaining about all those alternatives.
 
MRYapproach
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:10 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:15 am

ACTUALLY, it was not THAT bad on SWISS. The food was decent, and the wine was OK. Pitch was tight but what I really noticed was the side-by-side spacing. Fitting 10 abreast in an 777 in economy is a mess. No other way to describe it.

Fortunately, on the outbound flight I had an empty seat next to me. As a result, no real issues.
On the way back, I had a window seat plus two others in my row. Both were cool Euros and we had something in common about mountain biking.
I made pleasantries and then swallowed some sleeping pills. Everything after that seemed to go well.. It's a long enough flight to go big and still end up sober enough for custom.
Thankfully, the pitch is not un-human, so this flight is do-able.
TO SUMMARIZE: this economy seat is too small for proper trans-Atlantic
This was SFO-ZRH and return. Also it rained the entire time in Zurich. Except the part when I flew off to Corsica to catch the start of 2017 Giro D'Italia.
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: SFO to Europe in early May

Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:46 pm

I'm glad you ended up happy with the flights.

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