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Pearl64

Help with Asia flights

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We (there are two of us)need airfare from Atlanta to Tokyo on or about April 10. We want at least one day in Tokyo before we board the Nautica on April 13. There is a nonstop flight from Atlanta on Delta but I just read Delta is shifting their presence to the downtown airport. I am not sure how that will affect things. We also would like either comfort plus or premium economy. I know those are not the same. These are very long flights. We do not have enough miles to purchase business class even if we bought miles. We have both United and Delta miles. We prefer Delta if we must fly economy. Then we need a return flight from Singapore on or about May 3. This can be flexible if another date would give us better options.  I also just read that Delta is ending its presence in Singapore which explains the many connections to get to Atlanta. It would mean Korean Air which I know nothing about. We could fly from Charlotte if there were better options.

 

i need some suggestions as to where to look. I have checked both United and Delta. The former has better connections on the return but Delta has the nonstop on the outbound. Delta also has a premium select on some flights. I am not sure what this is so not sure if it is worth the additional money. I did check British Air from Charlotte. Price for premium economy and some business are more reasonable but it means American(not my favorite and no alliance with them) and connecting at Heathrow which can be difficult. From Heathrow it would be on BA. We are not opposed to a stopover if this would add to our comfort level. We are flexible with time.i tried to use the matrix website but there were so many options even when I used some filters. I also need to take in consideration layover times that we have enough time to go through any immigration, customs, and security. I am thinking at least three hours.

 

Thank you for all suggestions. 

 

 

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My understanding is that DL will continue its ATL-Tokyo flight, just switching it from Narita to Haneda. If you're going to Tokyo itself, Haneda is a win. Narita isn't bad either (they have a very easy train to/from Tokyo itself), but Haneda is even better. On the way back, going through Seoul would be easy, it's a great airport.

 

if you can get on that nonstop, I would do it. Going through Europe isn't ideal to me - I have done it, but I don't like it and it increases my jet lag.

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You mentioned Korean Air.  My son and daughter-in-law flew Korean Air in April, Toronto to Seoul and very impressed with them.

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One suggestion if the information in Matrix is a bit overwhelming.  Try switching to the "time bars" view.  Rather than trying to process all the flight departure and arrival time numbers, this gives you a graphical representation of the times, including connection times.  You can then hover your mouse over a bar to get details.  Color coded by airline as well.

 

As for DL cutting back at SIN - they never had more than one flight a day, leaving SIN around 6am and into Tokyo.  So it's not the great "loss" you might think.

 

Gonna miss the old NRT hub - it was run very efficiently and made for easy options across the North Pacific.

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Posted (edited)

We have flown United, Delta, ANA, and the last winter was Korean Air.  Economy.

 

Our experience was Korean was far better than the others.  Their service in economy was second to none .   Then Delta followed by ANA and at the bottom of our transpacific experience was United.

 

The only good United flight we have had was to Singapore but we had lie down business class seats because we were 17 hours.  Otherwise we avoid United for transatlantic or transpacific economy seats.  Often when booking United Asia you may end up on a code share operated by ANA.

 

Edited by iancal

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On UA, the 777 is 10-across.  On DL, it's 9-across.

 

Big difference in onboard comfort.  Look beyond just the price and the times.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FlyerTalker said:

On UA, the 777 is 10-across.  On DL, it's 9-across.

 

Big difference in onboard comfort.  Look beyond just the price and the times.

 

Huge difference. I would gladly pay extra for 9x versus 10x. You don't realize how much of a difference it makes until you're stuck in it for hours upon hours (or even just an hour).

Edited by Zach1213

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I can't help you with the best way to book flights like the folks on here can, but I can tell you the difference in the seat categories Delta offers, and I think this goes for that nonstop flight to Tokyo.  There's:

Delta One, which is business class, either a lie-flat seat or the new Suite. 

Premium Select, which is what I think you're looking for.   There are eight seats across in a 2/4/2 configuration with 8" more legroom and recline and little footrests. 

Delta Comfort+ which is a standard coach seat 9 across in a 3/3/3 configuration, but it has about 3" more legroom, a little more recline, and a power outlet. 

Main Cabin economy, which is the same standard coach seat as Comfort+ but with standard seat pitch and recline and no power.  The Tokyo flight as it stands now has all four types of seats, many Delta airplanes haven't been reconfigured yet and just offer Comfort+. 

 

When you're searching flights on Delta, look for Premium Select as a booking option and also the words 'new interior'

 

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Wow! Thank you for all the information. Using the time bar really helped. I have found Premium Select for $2120 approximately for each of us. Flights are as follows:

ATL-NRT April 9  Premium Select on a Boeing 777-200LR

 

SIN-ICN   Ecoomy on a Boeing 777-300ER    This is an overnight flight.

 

ICN-DTW  Premium Select  on an Airbus 350-900

 

DTW-ATL  Delta Comfort  Airbus A320

 

This looks like a good choice. Are there any drawbacks? Yes, the first overnight flight from Singapore but this was the best I could find.

 

Thank you all!

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Do you have any time/money to spend even a day in Seoul? For one, it's a great city; but, it will also help break up an excruciatingly long SIN-ICN-DTW-ATL trip. That extra leg, having to stop in Detroit, will make it feel soooo much longer.

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Not sure how we would work a day in Seoul. I found another option still the Premium Select. There is a nonstoip flight to Atlanta with a 10 hour layover in Seoul for the same price. Is there a place where we could catch some sleep at the airport? I realize we would really only have about 6 hours to kill. Does Korean Air have a stopover program or would the 23 hour between flights be the max? I really appreciate your help as you have far more expertise than I do. Also, is there a way to use miles to upgrade the overnight flight from Singapore to Seoul? Thanks.

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7 minutes ago, Pearl64 said:

Not sure how we would work a day in Seoul. I found another option still the Premium Select. There is a nonstoip flight to Atlanta with a 10 hour layover in Seoul for the same price. Is there a place where we could catch some sleep at the airport? I realize we would really only have about 6 hours to kill. Does Korean Air have a stopover program or would the 23 hour between flights be the max? I really appreciate your help as you have far more expertise than I do. Also, is there a way to use miles to upgrade the overnight flight from Singapore to Seoul? Thanks.

 

Yes there is a transit hotel in ICN airport that may be an option. Another option is to head in to the city or some other nearby sightseeing for a few hours, then come back. I don't know enough about Delta/SkyTeam to advise about upgrades, as I'm a OneWorld frequent flier.

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Incheon Airport (ICN) has several tour programs, depending on the length of your connection.  Some are tours into Incheon, others into Seoul.  Not sure if Korean (KE) has any overnight stopover programs such as on Turkish in Istanbul.

 

Tours are the province of the airport, stopover of Korean Airlines.  Check their websites for current offerings.

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Also just to add a little info on the Premium Select vs economy comfort. The premium select is a true premium economy. A separate cabin with more comfortable seats, better food and service. It wasn’t lie flat seats like business but SO much more comfortable than economy or even economy comfort (which is an economy seat with some extra legroom and a few other perks). Delta only offers long haul economy comfort on flights that do not have the Premium Select cabin, so it is one or the other on long haul flights. We flew Premium Select on a recent trans-Atlantic and it was quite nice. I cannot even imagine a 17-18 hour flight in an economy seat. Shoot me now!

The ability to upgrade with miles depends entirely on the fare class your ticket is in. It gets complicated so you will want to check with Delta to make sure what you are looking at is upgradable (is that even a word? 😂) if that is important to you. 

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Thank you everyone! I ended up calling Delta to answer my question about upgrading one segment. Lo and behold the agent was able to get me the flights in Premium Select for an even lower price! I am happy. I did take the longer layover in Incheon to either see some of the city or get a dayroom and rest and shower. It will break up this very long trip. We got the nonstop flights to Tokyo and back from Seoul. The only part I’m concerned about is the overnight flight from Singapore to Seoul in economy on Korean  Air. Three flights and no weird connections. Hopefully Premium Select will work on these long flights. It should be better than economy.

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22 hours ago, Pearl64 said:

airfare from Atlanta to Tokyo on or about April 10. We want at least one day in Tokyo before we board the Nautica on April 13. There is a nonstop flight from Atlanta on Delta but I just read Delta is shifting their presence to the downtown airport. I am not sure how that will affect things.

 

need a return flight from Singapore... read that Delta is ending its presence in Singapore which explains the many connections to get to Atlanta. It would mean Korean Air

 

Delta also has a premium select on some flights. I am not sure what this is

 

How it affects things is you still end up in the Tokyo area, just a different airport.  Kind of like flying into Newark vs. JFK if going to New York.

 

As for being limited to Korean Air coming home, China Eastern is also a Sky Team member, although the flights won't show up on the Delta site.  You'd either need to book through China Eastern or call Delta.  It would mean routing through Shanghai and probably LA or another west coast city.  No reason not to book Korean Air, just clarifying that there ARE other ways to get back to the US on a Sky Team partner when Delta itself doesn't service a particular city.

 

Premium Select is name of Delta's premium economy product.  It's worlds apart from Comfort+!

 

 

12 hours ago, mhb1757 said:

 I cannot even imagine a 17-18 hour flight in an economy seat. Shoot me now!

 

 

I did a miles run to Singapore a few years ago... 17-ish hours in coach ATL-NRT and another 8 hours NRT-SIN.   And back home again 30 hours later.  Somehow I managed to get a few naps in so slept through more of it than I thought I would (I can't generally sleep sitting up), and it didn't kill me, but suffice to say I won't be doing it again, LOL. 

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2 hours ago, waterbug123 said:

 

I did a miles run to Singapore a few years ago... 17-ish hours in coach ATL-NRT and another 8 hours NRT-SIN.   And back home again 30 hours later.  Somehow I managed to get a few naps in so slept through more of it than I thought I would (I can't generally sleep sitting up), and it didn't kill me, but suffice to say I won't be doing it again, LOL. 

Holy cow. You deserve some kind of an award for that one (or a mental health evaluation...I’m not sure which 😂). 

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Posted (edited)

Beyond the flight experience we have found that Delta has far better customer service than United when it comes to changing flights/schedule mid trip.  This is not about their respective change fees but rather about the difference in the level of assistance  and  service between the airlines.  

 

 

Edited by iancal

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