Should I go VA or QF from Sydney to New York?

11 replies

ciaomucca

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 May 2012

Total posts 28

Should I go VA or QF from Sydney to New York?

I'm looking at flying economy to New York for a few weeks over July/August.

QFF Gold, but will only have that status going over to NY as the review date is while I'm away and I won't have enough status to retain.

I'm VA Platinum but the tickets we're looking at are with Virgin America LAX-JFK and as far as I can tell there's no reciprocal lounge access with Virgin America.

Anyone had much luck with OpUps on VA? Anyone know about lounge access when using Virgin America?

What's everyone's preference for this long haul flight? QF or VA?

driley28

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 May 2012

Total posts 299

Definately QF.  If you are travelling on the A380 the seats and inflight entertainment is better than the B777 Virgin Blue fly to the states, and at least you will get to access the QF Business Lounge in SYD and the Oneworld Lounge in LAX on the flight over.

am

Member since 15 Apr 2011

Total posts 216

Tricky decision...

By July/August, QF107 all the way from SYD to JFK should be a refurbished aircraft (the A380 gets in after the leg to JFK has departed, so no way of connecting from QF11) so I'd say Qantas. As driley28 says, you'll at least have lounge access on the way out, and you'll get full QF International service on the LAX-JFK leg rather than a domestic LCC service (albeit with one of the better carrier).

There's also the chance to fly the A380 on the return trip. I also personally prefer QF, but that's a subjective opinion...

What is the difference in cost? 

cssaus

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

Member since 29 Jan 2011

Total posts 75

If you're thinking of doing the VA option, then the connection to JFK you want is with Delta. Delta has lounges at LAX with reciprocal access for VA Gold/Platinum members. However on the return from JFK, if you want to take VA from LAX to SYD then the only connection being offered on the VA web site is with Virgin America.

At JFK, as far as I am aware, Virgin America only has a lounge on the "land side" and not "air side". At LAX you'd be using a temporary lounge facility.

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 992

Ciaomucca: as it happens, I just came back from a trip to New York. I chose to fly Qantas into DFW, partly because they had some excellent fares on sale and also because I am not a fan of LAX; stopped over DFW's Hyatt airport hotel (also stayed a day to visit the Kimbell Art Musem at Fort Worth), then headed onto JFK with AA.

But unelss you're well less than 5"10, avoid economy (well, avoiding economy is a rule to follow in most cases if one can!) – Sydney to DFW is a long flight, 15+ hours, and I was in economy for the first leg and it was not fun for my legs - by the 12 hour mark they were aching to be stretched out fully, and then some – I ended up doing calf-raises on the stairs to the 747's business class bubble!

Go for premium economy – best bang for buck in my book, I flew this on the way back and it made all the difference.  

skyhawk

Member since 05 Jun 2011

Total posts 12

Hi, ok, I definitely would go for VA for several reasons. Firstly, you get lounge access to the Virgin Atlantic clubhouse in JFK. The terminal that VIrgin America uses there is the same as Virgin Atlantic to LHR, and their lounge is fantastic! Forget any crappy AA lounge, think free massage, ordered food from menu etc. Access is granted for velocity golds and above despite Virgin Americas business pax having to pay a small fe to enter! Secondly, the VA77W Y product is great, nice wide seats, and as a platinum you should get exit rows etc is not an upgrade to Y+. Thirdly, often premium pax are seated in the main cabin select on Virgin America, which is Y+ flavored. if booked in VA Y+ you can reserve seats in here at time of booking, but as a platinum on a Virgin airline, you would stand a good chance of an at airport upgrade. Forget a comp to J, though you may be able to do a cash upgrade if offered at check in. Also, virgin is much cheaper whenever I've looked. Go VA......

ciaomucca

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 May 2012

Total posts 28

Hi everyone, thanks for your feedback and tips! All very useful indeed.

A couple of points:

> I find it really quite strange that QF isn't offering any connections to New York from QF11 on the A380. It's simply not coming up as an option through their website or any other travel agent website. All New York-bound customers from Sydney on QF have to go on the QF107 747 or the OF7 747 via DFW.

> VA is about $300 cheaper at the moment, which for two of us means an extra $600 to splash about in NYC...

> Skyhawk: Thanks for the tip about the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in JFK. Have you been into the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse when departing JFK on a Virgin America flight though? Couldn't find any information online about access to the JFK Atlantic Clubhouse for VA Gold/Plat members.

Thanks again everyone!

am

Member since 15 Apr 2011

Total posts 216

QF11 LAX-SYD arrives in LAX almost an hour after QF107 LAX-JFK has left... The only way to connect between the two is to spend the night in LAX. The only other way to do the A380 and connect to JFK is to fly via MEL and fly on QF97 to LAX.

I'd go for VA if it saves you $600...

skyhawk

Member since 05 Jun 2011

Total posts 12

Hi, more info on the clubhouse from a recent article by John: http://www.ausbt.com.au/inside-virgin-atlantic-s-funky-clubhouse-lounge-at-new-york-jfk

skyhawk

Member since 05 Jun 2011

Total posts 12

Oh, and in my opinion, any connection on Delta should be avoided like the plague- a truly dreadful airline in transcon Y. I flew them lax-JFK last year- and that will be the last time. The seats are jammed unbelievably close together, and their design makes the pitch seem abhorrent. I came out numb, so vowed to just stump up for J if ever on Delta again. However, virgin America is great. For my trip to Toronto in July, VA was trying to connect me on Delta as virgin America does not fly there. No way. So I'm on Virgin America to Chicago, and booked myself a separate AA flight for the hop to Toronto (AA also a shocker in Y, but ok for 1 hour). I have told the VA call centre that VA is too good to be associated with this dog of an airline, which se said sounded like familiar feedback......

DrTGanguly

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Nov 2011

Total posts 107

I have never done the flight, but if cost difference is not too bad the advantage of taking the 107/108 flight from LAX - JFK is a big selling point.  No matter how deccent Virgin America may be QF offers international service of 107/108.  Also another thought, as Gold FF you get pretty good seat selection and if the plane doing either of the legs on 107/108 is 4 class as a Gold FF you may be able to sit in Y+ seats for no extra cost.  QF dont sell F on QF 107/108, but they still fly a 4 class plane quite regularily as they are somewhat in eurplus atm.  So despite your imminenet expiry date, you can select seats as Gold now and get the Y+.

msport2012

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 14 Apr 2013

Total posts 295

@Skyhawk, I fly Detla regulary albeit I fly Business. They are a good airline, not fantatsic but offer the best connections throughout the US domesticly. Furthermore, they are the only US airline that is able to match my US schedual with the most direct flights. Ie: ATL ---- SAN x4 a day!!!!

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