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Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

San Jose, California
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Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

Hi Everyone,

I'm thinking of taking a trip to Portugal in the Spring of 2015. I'd like to fly Premium Economy but tickets are more than double the cost of an Coach flight. Is P/E (additional 5 inches of space) really worth the $4,000 price tag or is flying Coach for 15 hours from San Francisco to Porto adequate? I suspect it would depend in the airline and configuration of the aircraft, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

Thank You,

DJS

p.s. I've read most of the travel tips and they are very helpful -:)

San Diego
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1. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

On what airline is Premium Economy $4,000 for one ticket???

That doesn't sound right at all!

I have flown from SAN to Europe several times in coach.

The difference is that from SAN there are no non stops so I have to change planes and wait around in airports for several hours between flights. The only good thing about that is that I get to exercise a bit and stretch. On the leg from the east coast to Europe I usually sleep so it is not bad at all. I have paid for Premium Economy on the leg from Europe back to the USA because flying in the daytime is more difficult for me.

I have never paid the type of price you are quoting!!!

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

There aren't any non stop flights to Portugal from SFO. You'd have to make a connection either on the east coast or at a European gateway (eg London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich). The flights from SFO to Europe are in the 10-11 hour timeframe.

If I were you I'd look at extra legroom economy (economy class, but you then pay for extra 3-4" inches separately) which is about an additional $150 each way. Do a long haul to Europe and you could do a short haul connection in basic Y.

Look at United Economy Plus via London, Paris or Frankfurt (connecting to Star partner TAP or Lufthansa) or KLM Economy Comfort via Amsterdam. With United via FRA make sure you book a flight operated by UA and not a code share on Lufthansa, as LH doesn't have Economy Plus, and their new seats are rather uncomfortable.

And to answer your question, yes I have happily survived 15 hours in coach. On United, Delhi-Newark and SFO-Hong Kong (14.5), both with Economy Plus.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

Do not think about the length it does not help, just do it. I have done toronto to hong kong several times, every asks how long was it and I could not tell u, I just want to get there and back. Price seems high, I know my emergency exite were a lot less when I have got them

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

15 hours is nothing for us travel hardened Aussies. Try 24hours and more from my home town to the UK or NYC.

Cant say I was really "happy" - but I more than "survived". Just get on with it!!!

Tennessee
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5. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

Survived it several times, and happy to get there. But you'll definitely be ready to deplane no matter how much you like flying!

Get an aisle seat if possible, so you can stand and stretch your legs occasionally. Do things to pass the time (movies, reading, and some sleep) and try not to think about the time and you'll soon be on final approach.

Hard to believe P/E is $4000, but that would rule it out for me!

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

I'm with Nozzie .... 15 hours is not long haul. That's how long it takes us to get halfway there ... pffft.

Oregon
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7. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

I'm also surprised that Premium Economy would be double the price of regular economy. Are you sure that you aren't looking at the business class fare? And actually, sometimes you don't even know what the Premium upgrade cost is until you've booked your economy seat. Then you may get a pop-up asking if you want to upgrade. In flying SFO to Hong Kong, I think that it cost me about $149 extra each way.

And I have survived several long haul flights in Coach, including my first, which was 15 hour non stop LAX to Melbourne.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

Let's be clear about "premium economy".

The US airlines, plus KLM and a few others, offer extra legroom economy. These are branded as Economy Plus (United), Economy Comfort (Delta & KLM) and Main Cabin Extra (American). These are still economy. You buy an economy ticket and then pay a supplement - usually on a per sector - basis to get an economy seat with more legroom.

True Premium Economy is a separate class of service between economy and business class, with bigger overall seats, a different cabin experience and better meals. You also earn more frequent flier miles and elite qualifying points than economy. The seats, size wise are more akin to US domestic first. Examples are BA's World Traveller Plus, Virgin Premium Economy, and others offered by Air New Zealand, Qantas, EVA and Air France.

There is a HUGE difference between the two. The true premium economy books into separate fare buckets and can indeed be 2X the price of at least the cheapest basic economy.

Edited: 16 June 2014, 03:07
Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

It's really not that big a deal. You read a book or watch movies. And as someone above noted, it's not 15 hours from SFO to Europe, anyway. It's more like 10 to Western Europe. Even my flights from Chicago across the Pacific to Japan or Korea are not 15 hours.

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Long Haul: Anyone happily survived a 15-hr flight in Coach??

15 hour is nothing. I am flying to Italy via Dubai in October this year. The first flight from Brisbane and Dubai is 14 Hours with a 3 hour lay over and 5 hours from Dubai to Rome. Us poor Aussies have to travel huge hours to get any where