Tuesday, September 2, 2014

West Coast Airport Envy: This SFO-Based Flyer Is Jealous of LAX

It's just not enough that Southern California has better weather and more celebrities than Northern California - now they are getting all the latest and greatest international flight products that the airlines have to offer. I've been noticing this trend through my random award availability searches (yes, for fun I search for award availability during my free time), but as I've been planning a couple recent trips where I actually needed to book flights, this really came to light.

Here's a few examples from a random day next month:

Emirates: while both SFO and LAX only have once daily flights, the A380 out of LAX features true lie-flat Business Class seats as well as the shower spa for First Class passengers.
  • SFO: 1x service to DXB with a Boeing 77W
  • LAX: 1x service to DXB with an Airbus A380

Cathay Pacific: now that the 747's have been retired, both SFO and LAX are only serviced by  Boeing 77Ws. However, LAX has twice as many daily flights, which means twice as many award seats.
  • SFO: 2x service to HKG with Boeing 77Ws
  • LAX: 4x service to HKG with Boeing 77Ws

Singapore Airlines: SFO actually wins here on quantity, with 2 potential routes to SIN, either connecting through ICN or HKG. Both of those routes are serviced by a 77W on the longhaul sectors. However, LAX gets the nod here from a quality standpoint with the A380 featuring the much-coveted Suites. [Note that it is possible to grab 2 seats on the LAX-NRT-SIN route on the A380 at the Saver level if you book ~11 months in advance].
  • SFO: 2x service to SIN with Boeing 77Ws
  • LAX: 1x service to SIN with an Airbus A380

Korean Air: SFO just has 1 daily 77W, while the LAX route matches that, and raises with 2 Airbus A380s. As easy as Korean Air award space has been to get in the past, I've found that it has become increasingly harder to find. SFO often only has 1 seat in First Class available, while LAX almost always has 2+ seats available on at least one of the flights.
  • SFO: 1x service to ICN with a Boeing 77W
  • LAX: 3x service to ICN with a Boeing 77W and two Airbus A380s

British Airways: on top of the additional flight, the British Airways A380s feature the newest offering which even features an enhanced tasting menu specific to that route.
  • SFO: 2x service to LHR with a Boeing 747s
  • LAX: 3x service to LHR with a Boeing 77W and two Airbus A380s

Those are just a few examples that I came across through my recent searches, but I'm sure there are many more.  

Any other SFO-based flyers not feeling the love lately, and would you take an extra connection through LAX for the best product?

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