Over the years I've accrued a good number of miles via United's MileagePlus program. But these days they are harder than ever to cash in for a comfortable seat from the West Coast to Europe. I'm in the process of trying to book my award miles to join a Rick Steves tour in 2018. But I'm facing a dilemma here. Which is the lesser of the two evils in making my flight selections to an entry European city?
Option A: Nonstop flight from SFO to Frankfurt on United Airlines. Pros: Easy to book, can select my seat in advance. Cons: spending 11+ hours on a United aircraft! I no longer fly United domestically due to non existent amenities (like in-flight entertainment that doesn't require the use of my own phone/iPad) and cramped seating.
Option B: Nonstop flight from SFO to Geneva on Swiss Air (or, alternatively, to Vienna on Austrian or Frankfurt on Lufthansa...). Pros: Better inflight service, leg room, and amenities than United. Cons: Cannot select seat more than 24 hours in advance of flight. And I absolutely need an aisle seat.
Which would you choose? Does anyone happen to know if United's trans-Atlantic flights are any better than their transcontinental ones (e.g., SFO-EWR) in terms of comfort and service? And does anyone happen to know if there are ways of selecting seats on Swiss, Austrian, or Lufthansa any sooner than 24 hours in advance? The current frequent flier forum boards all indicate that there is not!
Sorry for the long question and thanks in advance for your advice.