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Sydney to San Francisco Flights

Sydney
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Sydney to San Francisco Flights

Hi All,

My partner and I are travelling from Sydney to San Francisco, San Francisco to New York, then New York home to Sydney.

The cheapest flights are from United Airlines but a lot of the reviews say that their planes and the flight from Syd to San Fran is horrible. I can only imagine what New York to Sydney would be like then...

Can anyone give me some more advice or their experiences on flying long haul with United?

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

we have flown the pacific route with UA for over a decade.

in fact we are off again in a few months to NYC via SFO from SYD with them.

we have always found the crews to be accommodating and the food almost always edible. a downside is said to be the IFE but that doesn't bother us as we read, sleep and actually talk to each other. and u dont have to put up with someone punching the back of your seat playing games etc. as is our experience with these new fangled touch screens.

one way of decreasing the trauma of economy travel is to upgrade to UA's economy plus. 5" extra leg room which turns into 5' after 10 hours. look at buying an annual subscription if there are 2 of u for that distance covered.

i have tried qantas and v australia on this route and always come back to UA.

when i read some of the UA reports i really wonder if these people were travelling on the same airline i have been with.

i have no hesitation is saying 'go with them' if the price is right.

Edited: 30 May 2011, 03:20
Australia
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803 posts
37 reviews
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2. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

Have just done (for the 3rd time) SYD-LAX-IAD and IAD-SFO-SYD on United in their Economy plus seating section (more legroom only)

Perfectly adequate and acceptable and in E+ there is good legroom - I am 195cm tall and the legroom is fine even if the passenger in front fully reclines. You do not get seatback entertainment - there are overhead screens that show TV and movies in rotation.

Food is edible and plentiful on international segments - you pay on US internal flights, alcohol is free on trans pacific, service is fine, checked baggage on US internal flights is free if you book on the same ticket as your international flight.

I also like United when flying to the US East coast as there are minimal transfer hassles at either LAX or SFO, baggage is checked right to end destination and there are lots of convenient flight times to choose from. If there is a problem on one leg then it is easier to sort out a solution because you are dealing with one airline only.

Only you know what is good value and what is important for you. 14 hours sounds a long time - it is but I find it easily do-able on United. I value legroom (which I pay for), connection convenience and don't care about entertainment options. As you say, United are cheaper than most and that also factors considerably in my decision making process.

You will get a divergence of opinions in this forum but weigh them up with what your priorities are.

They also fly daily to both SFO and LAX. They cannot compete with V australia's entertainment but from my perspective V aust have lousy shedules and they have always been too expensive for me and don't offer extra legroom seating.

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

"checked baggage on US internal flights is free if you book on the same ticket as your international flight"

are u sure about this, vacation?

i was under the impression that baggage on domestic flights coming off (going to) international flights within 24 hours was free but other than that u paid a baggage fee for other domestic flights even tho they are incorporated in an international ticket.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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4. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

I can't say for sure, but I think vacation is actually right. I had similar experience flying CX-AA before.

"checked baggage on US internal flights is free if you book on the same ticket as your international flight"

Australia
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803 posts
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5. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

No, not sure at all - to be honest I wasn't aware of any timing restrictions as I have only ever done direct connections - ie within 4 hours of landing/leaving the US.

Have had a quick look on their checked baggage pages but couldn't see anything relevant.

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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6. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

no biggy, i guess i will find out when we get there. but the $25's will soon add up.

Sydney/Melbourne
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18,129 posts
74 reviews
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7. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

I used UA to SFO then on to JFK last year, admittedly in Business, not Economy, dreading it because of the horror stories I'd heard, and was pleasantly surprised. Their FAs weren't the harridans they were made out to be - quite efficient, professional and polite. Food was acceptable - after all it's just airline food.

I generally take my iPad so I have the IFO I want and not what's thrown at me.

I was very happy with their ground service. We inadvertently left a bag on the carousel in SFO (don't even ask!!!). When we arrived in New York and I threw myself on the mercy of the UA ground staff, they informed me that my bag had been found, identified, and was already on it's way - it arrived 15 minutes later on the next flight! Very impressed.

Newcastle, Australia
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2,502 posts
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8. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

Like lien I choose to fly United. Did it 18 months ago and will do it again in just over 3 weeks. Sure they don't have a great IFE system but they do have movies on the big screen and as long as you know ahead of time you can plan for that. We always bring an ipod full of movies and music for the journey which does just fine.

As far as baggage, our last flights were SYD-SFO, then 1 day stopover, then SFO-RDU, then CLT-LAX, then 7 day stopover, then LAX-SYD. This was October 2009 and we did not pay any baggage fees.

Aspen, CO
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980 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

Qantas is no longer flying SYD-SFO as they have moved that flight to Dallas. United is definitely lacking in coach IFE, but if you are prepared and bring your own entertainment it will be fine. If you add economy plus, it's more than fine. The extra legroom on that flight if I can't get Business is well worth it. I have low expectations of airline food in any instance, so if you are picky eaters you should come prepared for that as well.

Newmarket, Canada
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55 reviews
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10. Re: Sydney to San Francisco Flights

I've flown the SYD-SFO route with UA recently. Like evamelb, I've only flown it in Business Class, not Economy. I actually prefer the UA long haul business product to any other airline when I'm travelling with my wife. The seats are excellent side-by-side lie-flat beds that offer good comfort and privacy from other passengers, but you are not isolated from your partner. Now if I was travelling by myself, I would probably choose not to fly United and instead opt for a product with individual pods for better privacy.