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Need your help in choosing the best domestic flights
I’m a traveler from Europe, and plan to visit several cities in the USA during my trip in July.
I will start in NYC, fly to SFO, LAS, LAX and back to NYC again for my flight back.
On my last trip I booked all segments on AA in First Class (LAX-LAS-JFK-IAD), but when I was at the airport for my first flight, I was told there was no Lounge access (which was weird, because in Europe all Business Class tickets give you lounge access).
It’s wasn’t a big issue, but because I’ll be paying more than double the economy fare, I would like to have lounge and lie flat seats.
[B][U]My options are:[/U]
JFK – SFO;[/B] JetBlue Mint (which has lieflat seats, but I’m not sure about the lounge access)
[B]SFO – LAS;[/B] United or Virgin (both have the same price)
[B]LAS – LAX;[/B] American or Delta (both have the same price)
[B]LAX – NYC;[/B] American/Delta/JetBlue/United (All have similar prices / and all are lie flat.)
My question what are the best options on the above flights, in terms of Lounge access/ good seats etc. I would appreciate if you can give more info on which offer lounge access, and for the last flight where all airline have lie flat seats, which has the best seats and service.
Apologies for all the questions but I’m posting this hear because of all the experienced travelers on this website.
Thank you very much for your reply and the time you take to answer my questions.
PS. I’ll be landing JFK at 15.15 and my onward flight will be around 19.30, will I have enough time to clear customs, collect bags and check-in for the flights to SFO.
Many thanks again.
hi Hamada, as you’ve discovered on your last trip, US carriers do not allow lounge access for domestic first class flights. You may be able to get access with some credit cards but I’m not sure that a. you’d be eligible for US cards and b. whether it would be worth it to get something for a couple of visits. This has not changed so I would not expect lounge access, just the better seats and priority boarding for most of your flights. The silver lining is that most US lounges are rarely anything great so you are not missing much :). You could check the airports to see if there any contract paid lounges if this is really important.
The exception would be the lie flat seat transcons on the legacy carriers (AA and DL). They both include lounge access for their first class services. I think in terms of seats the AA seats are maybe a little bit better but Delta One seems to have a little edge for service food etc. I’d read a few reviews and see what you prefer before booking. JetBlue mint is a great product in the air. If you are traveling alone I’d try to get one of the single suites with doors. However, jetblue does not offer a lounge.
Last suggestion:your California-LAS flights are very short so I’d look at whether you’d really need to pay for first.
Well, jetBlue Mint doesnt have lounge access included – they dont operate any lounges. The lounge at JFK T5 is paid access only (or complimentary if you have and show your Amex Platinum card. If you fly AA for JFK-SFO in business or first, you will get AAdmirals Club access. In terms of seats and the soft product, Lucky thinks that jetBlue has a slight edge, especially when you choose one of the private suite seats.
For all your other flights, lounge access is not included because it is domestic and not a transcontinental route and business/first class is a recliner seat.
Dear [USER=79]@Gaurav[/USER] & [USER=29]@David W[/USER]
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
I have booked JetBlue Mint from JFK to SFO, and American Airlines Business on the A321T from LAX to JFK. The flights between SFO-LAS-LAX are short flights, and as you suggested I’ll be looking into Economy fares, my only concern is that we will have 2 pieces of about 20KG each, so the difference after paying the baggage fees, between Economy and First will not be that much.
[B][U]My 2 questions for now;[/U][/B]
1. We’ll be landing in JFK at 15.15 with a Qatar Airways flight (Terminal 8) and our JetBlue flight departs at 19.50 from Terminal 5. Will we have enough time to clear customs, collect bags and check-in for the flights to SFO. We’ve been in the states last year, and we still have an active ESTA.
2. Is there any kind of pass we can purchase to have lounge access for the other domestic flights.
You have more than enough time during your connection at JFK to go from T8 to T5. I believe you can purchase access to the Aspire Lounge at JFK T5.
The LAX-JFK transcon on AA in Business grants AAdmirals Club access so no worries there.
For your SFO-LAS-LAX legs I think you can pay for a day pass at the lounges. Might not be wroth it but that’s up to you.