Is the cost of the upgrade from economy to an economy plus worth it? What airline should I use SFO - Heathrow? Thanks.
Economy plus is just more legroom; that's why it's still called Economy. You do not get better food, different boarding priority, lounge access at the airport, or any of the other perks of Business class. So, is the extra legroom worth the extra fee - to you? Before deciding, look at www.seatguru.com for your flight, and see where the E+ seats are. On my recent Air Berlin flight, they were not in a good location for us; I don't remember exactly where, but my mother and I decided to pass on them for that reason alone.
On Delta the upgrade gets you a couple of inches more legroom, boarding priority and complimentary spirits. However, we upgraded so we could sit together. There were no regular economy seats left together and we don't leave for 4 months. It was $80 per seat to do that. It was worth it to us.
Depends on what you get for the upgrade, plotted against how much it costs. We just flew SeaTac to Heathrow, RT, outbound on Air Canada and inbound on United. Economy seats were just fine both ways, and I am large and tall, and my husband is just tall. Air Canada's food, however, was execrable. Why are you considering the upgrade? More legroom? Do you get better food in Economy Plus? I have never upgraded - always fly steerage. I much prefer BA and Air France and Lufthansa to Air Canada or United.
Correction to Harold's post: On British airways, Economy Plus (world Traveler Plus) does get you better food: "Your World Traveller Plus experience includes a complimentary bar service, juices, teas and coffees, snacks and meals throughout your journey. You can look forward to a three-course meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on your flight time. On flights into and out of London Heathrow and London Gatwick, your choice of main course comes from the business class Club World menu, while all our main course options are designed by leading chefs." The WT+ section on BA flights is small, so the service is better. And the seats are roomier, as noted. So it is almost like business class, but without the flat-bed seats and the lounge access.
Sasha and Stacey: I stand corrected - thanks for your information. So, Dan, it seems to vary by airline, and you'll have to research just what you get, then decide if it's worth the extra money.
You can fly non stop from SFO to LHR with: British Airways (2 daily) Virgin Atlantic (1 daily) United (1 daily)
All above flights are aboard a Boeing 747-400. I don't know how important having some extra leg room is to you. That's what you are going to get extra: 4 to 7 inches of extra pitch (width might be 1 inch more). How much is that worth to you on a 9 hour flight from SFO to LHR? A survey by Seatguru found those seats on transatlantic flights (USA to Europe) to be 35% to 85% more than regular Economy. On a flight to London from SFO, a seat on Economy classs could mean a few hundreds dollars more. That's way more than I'm willing to give for 5 extra inches of pitch. They actually come down in price as you get closer to the departure date, therefore if you have a last minute booking you may want to check what the price would be.
My sister's going open jaw'd into Rome and out of Lisbon in June. She only flies Business Class for comfort. I checked out the ticket, and it was about $5700. Ouch! That comes down to about $600 per hour for the comfort and a better meal. I couldn't spend that much out of my pocket in good faith. Europe's out of my budget for 2013, and I'm flying to New England for $250 round trip. It's 2 weeks in Nova Scotia instead of Europe.
On a 12 hour flight, absolutely worth the extra leg room (and space between the seat back in front of you, especially if in recline position). My husband and I also aisle seets across from each other instead of sitting next to each other where one of us would have a middle seat. I don't sleep on planes, so after 8-9 hours, I just find it difficult to get comfortable, and the extra room allows me to "figit" more.
Ditto checking out Seat Guru as they mention pros and cons of certain seats (close to galley, seat doesn't recline or extra leg room). Since United is hubbed in SFO, we usually fly United so we can rack up the miles.
It's ABSOLUTELY worth it for me. Having had a knee replacement and just needing to not feel quite as cramped, this makes the difference between me going to Europe and not. I used to fly economy with no problem at all, but economy plus is the way I go now. It's worth the extra cost. We fly United because we have miles.
Having flown the n/s route before in both regular and econ plus, I would definitely spend the extra $ for econ plus if it was available. Worth every penny. Rebecca
Daly City, CA USA
To quote Roberto: "You can fly non stop from SFO to LHR with: British Airways (2 daily) Virgin Atlantic (1 daily)
United (1 daily)" Absolutely go for a nonstop flight. And go for the extra leg room that economy plus gives you. It makes a great deal of difference, IMHO, on a long flight.
Dan - Economy Plus on United Airlines to LHR is about $99 each way. For me being a tall person the $200 is worth it. I have flown World Traveler Plus on BA once and it was nice, but now I don't think I'd spend the extra $785.
If there are 2 of you flying on a British Airways 747, and you don't like the extra cost of Econ Plus, you can pay to choose seats when you book and reserve the seats at the back that are only 2 (window and aisle) instead of 3. These do not have extra leg room (same seat pitch as other econseats) but they have more sideways room. And you don't have to worry about sharing your space with a third person. Just don' tpick the very last row as that one is cramped by the curve of teh fuselage. The other two just ahead of that (I think it is rows 51 and 52) have space between the seat and the wall. These seats cost more to reserve than other Econ seats ($48 instead of $40) but it is still a lot less than Econ Plus.
Sasha is right! We got those seats once totally by accident (I thought we'd gotten bulkhead seats, but NOOOOO, those had been given away, so I had a hissy fit) and it was great. We put up the seat arm and were able to smoosh around and cuddle up and actually get some sleep. I had forgotten all about that until now! Thanks, Sasha!