Is it worth upgrading to business class on United’s direct flight between San Francisco and Tahiti?


As a member, you now get better savings when you book direct.

United recently started direct service between San Francisco, California and Tahiti, French Polynesia (airport code: PPT).

Earlier this month, I took advantage of the flight, and was able to snag an incredible deal for both flight and 4 nights in an over-water bungalow.

I was able to fly economy over and business back, so wanted to share my experiences in case you’re considering taking the same flight, and don’t know whether the upgrade to business class is worth it. (Unfortunately, I lost some of the pictures I took, so you’ll have to rely on my account below!).

The verdict: It depends.

As a lawyer, “it depends” or “maybe” is perhaps my favorite response to any question. But it’s especially true here.

Economy service, particularly is you are in Economy Plus, is decent. The flight is roughly 8 hours each way, which can be difficult for a business class flight — practically speaking, it meant that after dinner service, there was about 3.5 hours to sleep before breakfast service started. While United offers you the opportunity to skip breakfast (you can tell them before you fall asleep), I’ve found that even with an eye mask and ear plus, I can’t sleep through the smell of cooked food.

On the flight over, you’ll leave SFO in the early afternoon and arrive in PPT at around 8pm, which means that you’ll be sleeping soon after you land, anyway. I did this leg in economy, and am glad I did.

On the way back, you’ll leave at night and land in SFO early in the morning, which means you may benefit more from a bed (particularly if you want to go into work the next morning).

I was a little nervous about the 2-2-2 business setup on the business flight, but the new Polaris seats were really comfortable, and I love the Saks Fifth Avenue products. While I haven’t confirmed this, I think the new SFO to PPT route is pretty coveted and that the flight attendants working it were assigned to the routes based on seniority, so you can expect some pretty great service on the flight.

If your only (reasonable) option for flying to Tahiti is on economy, don’t let that deter you. But if you have the means or found a great deal in business, it’s definitely a nice way to treat yo’ self.

United announces new non-stop flights from San Francisco to New Delhi, Melbourne, and Toronto

This morning, United announced new service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The new flights are:

  • San Francisco to New Delhi, India (flight times are difficult though, with arrival in New Delhi at 12:45am and the return leaving New Delhi at 4am).
  • San Francisco to Melbourne, Australia
  • San Francisco to Toronto, Canada

United also announced additional flights and/or year-round service for their Seoul, Auckland, Tahiti, and Amsterdam routes.

United hypes this big announcement and I was hoping for direct flights to Guam, South America, and Africa, as Toronto is already well-serviced by Air Canada, there are currently direct flights between LAX and Melbourne, and there’s already non-stop service from SFO to Mumbai.

That said, will likely try out at least one of these new routes! Will you?

San Francisco Trip Deal: $308 direct, round-trip from SFO to Barcelona on Level by Iberia

Level, which is a long-haul, low-cost offshoot of Iberia, is putting direct flights from San Francisco to Barcelona, Spain on sale. Flights start at $308 direct, round-trip. There is currently availability between November 2018 and March 2019.

Sample travel dates include:

  • January 19-23
  • January 26-30
  • February 9-16
  • March 9-13
  • And more

To support Josh Trips, search for travel on Google Flights and book using this link:

BOOK THIS FLIGHT

United offering limited nonstop service between SFO and Barcelona

As a San Francisco-based travel blogger, I’m always on the lookout for new nonstop flights leaving from the Bay Area.

So it was an awesome surprise when this morning, I saw that United will be offering special nonstop service between SFO and Barcelona (airport code: BCN) in February 2019. United will be offering the following flights:

  • February 23 – San Francisco 1:45 p.m. Barcelona 10:25 a.m.+1
  • February 24 – Barcelona 12:50 p.m. San Francisco 4:20 p.m.
  • February 27 – San Francisco 1:45 p.m. Barcelona 10:25 a.m. +1
  • February 28 – Barcelona 12:45 p.m. San Francisco 4:15 p.m.

These flights are being offered as a result of Barcelona hosting the 2019 Mobile World Congress, and will help the Silicon Valley crowd get to/from the event.

Tickets aren’t cheap (I just did a search and it was $2,589 on United) and there is no saver award availability, meaning you’d be paying at least 70,000 miles. If you are cost-sensitive, Level by Iberia offers the best deals to Barcelona from San Francisco (with round-trip, direct flights as low as $308), but this is still a pretty cool offer from United.

H/T: Live and Let’s Fly

SFO to name terminal after Harvey Milk

San Francisco’s interim mayor, Mark Farrell, signed a bill into law today to officially name the new Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after former mayor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

According to SFGate, the Harvey Milk Terminal will not be open for a few years — until at least summer of 2019 — as SFO undergoes a $2.4 billion rebuild.

I’m excited for this change and look forward to checking out the new terminal when construction is completed!

San Francisco Trip Deal: $662 round-trip from SFO to Bali on Singapore Airlines, EVA Air

Singapore Airlines and EVA Air, both members of the Star Alliance, are putting flights from San Francisco to Bali, Indonesia on sale! Flights start at $662 round-trip, after taxes with very good availability between February and May 2018.

Singapore Airlines and EVA Air are both known for providing excellent service in-flight

To find this deal, use Google Flights and search for flights between SFO and DPS.

Icelandair bringing back non-stop flights from San Francisco to Iceland

Icelandair has announced the return of direct service between Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF) and San Francisco, California (SFO). The flights will begin on June 1, 2018, with four non-stop flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday, and Saturdays.

Currently, you can only fly non-stop to Iceland from San Francisco on budget airline WOW air. In addition to offering more on-board services than WOW air (such as a free checked bag), Icelandair is a partner of Alaska Airlines, meaning you can redeem your Alaska MileagePlan miles for a direct flight to Iceland and also earn miles on it.

Since WOW air often offers flights for as low as $99 one-way from SFO to Reykjavik, Icelandair will have to keep ticket prices low to be competitive.

H/T: Points with a Crew