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Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

Perth, Australia
posts: 12
reviews: 2
Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

My husband and I are travelling from Sydney to San Francisco on a United Airlines Boeing 747-400. I've just realised that the economy section has no personal tv screens and was thinking about upgrading to business class. Does anyone roughly know the cost of what it would be to upgrade from economy to business?

Thanks :)

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 23
1. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

Ask UA for a quote

uk
posts: 2,627
reviews: 73
2. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

Calling UA is the best way to be sure but if you look at the cost of a BC ticket at the moment it will give you some idea of the magnitude of the price increase.

If you're purely upgrading to get a personal TV, then you will find an Ipad will be a lot more cost effective.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,046
reviews: 5
3. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

If you have United frequent flyer miles you can upgrade for 30,000 plus a copay of up to $600 depending on the fare basis of your ticket. That's each way. - united.com/web/…awardTravel.aspx

But, as Geordie says, it it's just because of the IFE, invest in an iPAD loaded with your own entertainment.

The other thing to remember is that United is in the process of installing streaming wifi on its 747 fleet. That includes free streaming AVOD entertainment and paid for internet access. You'll need your own wifi enabled device (such as an iPAD or laptopd). According to the latest information just under half (10 out of 23) 747s have wifi installed and active.

Worldwide
posts: 2,176
reviews: 537
4. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

Hmmm. It might be too late for this time, but:

1. If IFE is very important, maybe Perth(or Sydney)-XXX(to be determined by choice of airline)-SanFrancisco on an airline known for great IFE (plus seating, plus service, etc.) might be worth considering from the outset? Singapore Airlines and Asiana come to mind - in all cabins.

2. As others have noted - it may be more practical to design your own IFE via a tablet or other device. That is, if IFE is your main issue. US based airlines haven't been leaders in IFE for decades - and with current trends in personal entertainment systems may never become leaders again in this regard. The IFE leaders are mostly all major Asian carriers these days - like Singapore and Emirates.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
posts: 4,226
reviews: 12
5. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

I try to sleep on that flight as I know I'll be arriving in the US in the morning, so personal IFE is not important to me. The main cabin screens are fine if I can't sleep, plus I always have a book with me as well.

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
6. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

agree with ellenwillow.

UA have upgraded their cabin screens and while it is not avod the selection of movies, tv progs etc is still pretty good.

upgrading to business purely on the basis of IFE imo does not have a viable cost/performance benefit.

Edited: 4:42 pm, July 08, 2013
Melbourne Australia
posts: 325
reviews: 90
7. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

I thought it would have been more of an issue than it was when I did that flight. It wasn't that bad, the shows they had were okay, and I had my IPad loaded with movies and TV shows just in case....cheaper than an business upgrade for sure. BUT I did pay the extra $150 each way for 6 inches of extra leg room. Now THAT made a difference. I was able to put my tall handbag in front of me as a footstool which helped a lot. Unless you don't sleep at all on planes, some hours will be dark and you probably will sleep/nap. Even if you don't have a laptop or IPad, buying one would be cheaper than an upgrade then you will have more $ for when you get there and with the falling dollar, that's a bonus. PS - I found that flight cold and I bought my own Subway (ham and cheese) on board as the food on planes these days is not that good. Check their website for the costs, but business is a huge cost (thousands) vs the "premium economy - extra leg room". (a hundred or so)

Edited: 5:19 pm, July 08, 2013
South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
8. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

just to clarify. united do not have premium economy. they have economy plus which is purely extra leg room. no other benefits,

Coffs Harbour...
posts: 1,221
reviews: 139
9. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

Difference in price would be in the area of approx $4000 each. So $8000 for the 2 of you.

To put it in perspective. As you have mentioned you really wanted a IFE. Instead of upgrading, for the same price you could:

*Buy 2 brand new Apple Ipads loaded with movies

*Upgrade your home TV to a 80 inch, Full HD LCD TV

*Return Stretch Limo transfers in Per and Sfo

*Stay in the Royal Suite at your hotel in SFO.

You can do ALL the above (and keep most of them) - or upgrade.

LOL - The funny thing is.........I would choose Business Class, but that is just me

Melbourne Australia
posts: 325
reviews: 90
10. Re: Flight upgrade on United from Sydney to San Francisco

I did mean economy plus you are right lien. The six inches of extra leg room on a long haul flight is worth the extra $150!