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Best U.S. City To Depart From?


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Seems like maybe positioning oneself in the most advantageous city in the U.S. to fly round trip to BKK may be worth the trouble. I am not in a big city.

 

Since I would fly business class (multiple reasons) for the U.S. to BKK longer flights but economy within the U.S. and could fly the day before, maybe a better idea? Thinking not a possibility if flying economy to BKK but business class may make this worth it.

 

Asking U.S. PA where they recommend leaving from and what airlines they favor.

 

Seems cost, duration and experience may be better long distance flying from a particular city.

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The cheapest and best flight times are probably from the big cities. I would say LAX on the west coast and JFK on the east coast.

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San Francisco - SFO

 

LAX is a madhouse, and can be prone to delays during traffic and peak hours. Also, the transfer from the Domestic to International terminal is not convenient.

 

If you're flying from SFO, it is not feasible to fly to LAX, even if there's a non-stop from LAX to BKK, as the transfer from Domestic to International is inconvenient, and often difficult. The only terminal-to-terminal transfer I would consider worse than LAX is Manila (MNL).

 

If your flying domestic into SFO, the Domestic-to-International transfer is efficient, whether by walking or airtrain. In fact, without luggage, I've walked it many times.

 

SFO is well managed and efficient.

 

If you haven't done so yet, register with TSA-Precheck -- super fast and efficient.

 

Also, the US Customs and Immigration kiosks upon return in the Trusted Traveler Program are super fast and efficient.

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I've flown TPAC in/out of SFO, LAX, DEN, DFW, IAH, ORD, JFK, & YVR.  The short answer is that they all suck for various reasons. The long answers get really tedious. For instance, LAX sucks in general but the new TBIT is actually pretty nice, unfortunately you can't use PC at TBIT, but you can exit TBIT's check-in and use PC at another terminal and then use a connecting hallway after screening to get back into the secure area of TBIT.  So do I recommend this convoluted clusterfuck of a workaround or do I simply say LAX sucks?  There are similar problems with all the other gateway airports in the US so pick whichever option gets you the best routing and schedule.  Once you're in Asia most of the gateway airports are better than the dilapidated crap that passes for an airport in the US.  HKG, SIN, ICN, HND, KIX, and NRT are all fine.  The main airports/airlines to avoid are those in China.

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San Francisco - SFO

 

LAX is a madhouse, and can be prone to delays during traffic and peak hours. Also, the transfer from the Domestic to International terminal is not convenient.

 

If you're flying from SFO, it is not feasible to fly to LAX, even if there's a non-stop from LAX to BKK, as the transfer from Domestic to International is inconvenient, and often difficult. The only terminal-to-terminal transfer I would consider worse than LAX is Manila (MNL).

 

If your flying domestic into SFO, the Domestic-to-International transfer is efficient, whether by walking or airtrain. In fact, without luggage, I've walked it many times.

 

SFO is well managed and efficient.

 

If you haven't done so yet, register with TSA-Precheck -- super fast and efficient.

 

Also, the US Customs and Immigration kiosks upon return in the Trusted Traveler Program are super fast and efficient.

 

I Respectfully disagree. LAX, specifically TBIT is amazing! The terminal is comfortable, modern, clean and has some of the best lounges in the USA. The connector makes connecting to international flights so easy and simple ( fly with AA domestically to be within a few minute walk to TBIT). I beloved delta also occupies some of terminal 5 and 6. Term 4,5 and 6 can all connect to TBIT using the walkway. When you arrive into LAx they have plenty of kiosks or better yet plenty of global entry kiosks.

 

I have nothing bad to say about SFO. Fly out of there a few times and you cannot even compare it with TBIT. Lounges are pathetic.

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Because of my Midwestern location. I would have to say that O'Hare (ORD) gives you the most options.

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LAX and JFK will get you to most competition so therefor the best price.  I fly cattle call so I can speak about Business class.  I have flown out of JFK and LAX, both are not the best but who the f#@k cares, twenty something short hours later and I will be walking down Soi 6...

 

Joker...

 

Oh yes both Shanghai and Bejing are not a lot of fun to fly into but they are leaps above Manila...

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I'm not sure what would rank a city better than others for flying to Bangkok, other than the quality of the airport and services. If you live on east coast or anywhere in between, isn't it better just to fly straight to first stopover somewhere in Asia (Taipei, Narita, etc.) and then to Bangkok, instead of the inconvenience of getting off in another US city, having to walk to different departure gate, wait, so on and so forth?

 

I live on the west coast so have always flown out from either LAX or SFO.

 

I prefer SFO as it seems like there's a lot less cluster f**k and seems more efficient than LAX. That departure level at LAX is a congested madhouse.

GFE: Gull Friend Experience

 

Official Pattaya Song

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Are there direct flights between Bangkok and anywhere in the US?

The last time I came home I couldn't find any flights with less than 2 stops. (On the way over I went Minneapolis to Tokyo to Bangkok (one stop), but Delta no longer flies between Tokyo and Bangkok.)

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Are there direct flights between Bangkok and anywhere in the US?

The last time I came home I couldn't find any flights with less than 2 stops. (On the way over I went Minneapolis to Tokyo to Bangkok (one stop), but Delta no longer flies between Tokyo and Bangkok.)

 

No direct flights currently. There was in the past and there is talk about bringing it back again, but nothing yet... which sucks balls for anyone from the US!

 

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/07/28/thai-airways-nonstop-us-flights/

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No direct flights currently. There was in the past and there is talk about bringing it back again, but nothing yet... which sucks balls for anyone from the US!

 

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/07/28/thai-airways-nonstop-us-flights/

Well, that sucks, but thanks for the info.

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I often start out from Omaha or Des Moines, fly the day before on Southwest airlines to LAX (I like breaking the trip up with one night in LA). I check prices out of SFO and SEA but the last couple of years it has always worked out best from LAX.

 

You can get good prices leaving from Chicago (ORD) but that first leg of the trip is a VERY long flight.

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Seems like maybe positioning oneself in the most advantageous city in the U.S. to fly round trip to BKK may be worth the trouble. I am not in a big city.

Since I would fly business class (multiple reasons) for the U.S. to BKK longer flights but economy within the U.S. and could fly the day before, maybe a better idea? Thinking not a possibility if flying economy to BKK but business class may make this worth it.

Asking U.S. PA where they recommend leaving from and what airlines they favor.

Seems cost, duration and experience may be better long distance flying from a particular city.

O'Hare is fine. I always use United or Cathay Pacific. If United I'll have a lay over in Narita about 2-3 hours. If I fly Cathay the lay over is in Hong Kong, again about 2-3 hours. I hated when I would fly from West Palm, or New Orleans, because would then have to fly to a major hub. If I flew two different airlines I would want to stay overnight at SFO for example because if the flight there was cxl or late and missed my flight with the other airline I wouldn't be covered. Also I would have to pay for a room for the night to. I'm living near Chicago now and flying out of O'Hare is so much more easy and less headaches for me. Also works out good for me because when United is high Cathay is low and vise versa. Also I will buy coach and when I get to the airport see how much an upgrade will cost. Sometimes will use my points and a cash combo, or if they give me a deal pay for the upgrade.
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Seems like maybe positioning oneself in the most advantageous city in the U.S. to fly round trip to BKK may be worth the trouble. I am not in a big city.

 

Since I would fly business class (multiple reasons) for the U.S. to BKK longer flights but economy within the U.S. and could fly the day before, maybe a better idea? Thinking not a possibility if flying economy to BKK but business class may make this worth it.

 

Asking U.S. PA where they recommend leaving from and what airlines they favor.

 

Seems cost, duration and experience may be better long distance flying from a particular city.

 

 

I have flown MSP, SFO, LAX, and SEA to BKK and MNL. If I was retired I would always fly out of MSP, but for now it is only SFO or SEA.

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Where are you situated? Reason I ask is because I'd personally prefer to take the shortest domestic leg as possible in order to then take a 2 leg trip from there in business class. And that's only assuming your local airport doesn't offer a 2 leg option on a decent carrier. I would hate traveling across the US first, only to then take a 2 leg flight. No departure location would be worth that extra travel and layover time in my opinion, unless you're hell bent on trying a specific plane that only leaves from one airport (Korean 747-8 from LAX that is being discussed on another thread, for example). My priorities are A) 2 leg trip, and B) Airline/Hub/Lounge selection. Shortest travel time wins.

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Thanks to all. Flying from U.S. to BKK long no matter what you do.

 

Little Evil, I'm in the middle of the country so I have to fly to some large city airport to fly overseas. I thought I would just check in with the brain trust on PA to see if one city may be better than the other since I have to fly somewhere in the U.S. anyway.

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Regarding the approximate three-hour layover in Asia in route to BKK:

 

I normally fly out of SFO, but have flown out of JFK on occasion.

 

With any of the major Asian airlines (i.e. Eva, JAL, Cathay, Korean Air, etc.) I like the idea of an approximate three-hour layover on the way to Bangkok for the following reasons:

 

It's a chance to rest, change clothes, relax, and have a nice meal.

 

In fact, I oftentimes change to clean socks, underwear, t-shirt, etc. and get cleaned up.

 

All of the business lounges are nice and usually include shower facilities as well.

 

In my opinion, an approximate 3-hour layover is ideal, your more relaxed and comfortable on the next three-hour leg to Bangkok, and when you arrive in Bangkok, you're less exhausted. Since we often take the 90-minute taxi ride to Pattaya, we're much more awake and ready to go once we arrive in Pats.

 

If you take a non-stop from the USA to Bangkok, and then the 90-minute commute to Pattaya, you're likely to be much more exhausted once you arrive.

 

TL;DR

 

There are advantages to a comfortable three-hour layover.

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Thanks to all. Flying from U.S. to BKK long no matter what you do.

 

Little Evil, I'm in the middle of the country so I have to fly to some large city airport to fly overseas. I thought I would just check in with the brain trust on PA to see if one city may be better than the other since I have to fly somewhere in the U.S. anyway.

 

Still a useful piece of info if you're into saving as much time as possible. ORD or DEN would be good bets from the middle of the country. All the major asian and middle eastern carriers for 2 leg trips to BKK, and that would be two of the shorter options from the middle of US. Then again, I'm into shorter travel time over domestic airport experience, so to each their own on that end.

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To the OP's original question, there are still a lot of variables to account for:

 

1.  Which transpacific hubs are easiest for you to fly to?  You say you are in the "middle" of the US, but that doesn't tell us if you are a non-stop away from specific hubs.  For example, if you live in Des Moines, then flying to LAX or SFO means taking 2 planes, versus one plane to ORD.

 

2.  Best fares?  This varies wildly.  Since you are gonna fly business class, I'd subcribe to new posts on Flyertalk Premium Fare discussion, new posts, via IFTTT.  For example, Qatar had some great fares last month in biz class that have now expired.

 

3.  Frequent Flyer Program?  I don't know if the OP has a favored FFP, or a favored alliance.  If you are flying business class, then you should have a preferred alliance at least.  Otherwise, you are leaving real money on the table.

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In the NYC metro area, I prefer Newark Liberty (EWR) over JFK.  Best flight I've found is EWR non-stop to NRT (Tokyo Narita) n United, then NRT-BKK on ANA.  Shortest total journey time and hours in the air from the East Coast.  The  flights to and from EWR have  convenient  departure and arrival times (Late morning and late afternoon), but the arrival time in BKK is around midnight, although it can be as early as 10 p.m. depending on DST and class of service (you can get biz tickets that use Thai flights from Tokyo, which depart an hour earlier than ANA, but a three-hour stopover in NRT (ANA) seems right to me  as it allows for delays in arriving and a crowded security check without rushing.

 

Evil

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I have flown almost exclusively out of LAX.  And I also have to fly there from PHX first.  I would disagree with the assessment above that it is a problem in LAX.  Usually any issues I have are due to delays with the domestic.  Southwest on time performance and baggage delays if you check any mean you have to book about a 3 hour layover to be comfortable in making the connection.  Heck biggest issue I've ever had in LAX was the fun protest this trip.   :Think1:

 

Otherwise I have no problems.  Getting from the domestic terminals to the Tom Bradley international terminal is a piffle if you are healthy.  Walk.  Takes about 5 minutes which is welcome after the first flight.  I admit security can be occasionally slow but I suspect many airports are the same.  Once past that the international terminal is fine.  And if you go business the lounges are fine.

 

Like you I flight coach domestic and business to BKK.  My back wouldn't take economy all that way and I can afford it.  Every trip I make I try to find a better deal but so far EVA has won for more than 10 years for meeting my preferences which are:

 

Times - I arrive in BKK 11 AM and return arrive LAX 2-3 PM so can catch flight home.

Business - lie flat seats with 1-2-1 arrangement.  No one climbs over anyone else.

Price - no one else offers the same for equal price that I can find.

 

My flight are PHX - LAX eventing arrive before 8 PM.  Depart LAX on EVA around 11 PM and arrive BKK 11 AM.  Return is leave BKK noonish (civilized) and arrive in LAX 2-3 PM.  Onward to PHX and home.

 

One last note is that if you are ever SURE you will be a regular flyer between them the price of a ticket is cheaper if it originates in BKK.  No idea why but having RT tickets BKK-LAX-BKK is cheaper than same flights LAX-BKK-LAX.  Weird.

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Because of my Midwestern location. I would have to say that O'Hare (ORD) gives you the most options.

Agreed ..

 

Except the lowest cost option is United via Narita (I bought mine recently from ANA, but it's United to Tokyo) ... they suck in economy.

 

I don't mind LAX transfers esp if you are gold status or flying business.

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  • 2 weeks later...

IAH is good out of Houston. Many one stop airlines available. Inexpensive now, too. ANA, EVA, KOREAN, QATAR, EMIRATES, AIR CHINA, UNITED, AMERICAN, DELTA, SINGAPORE, LUFTHANSA, TURKISH, AIR FRANCE, BRITISH AIRWAYS.......

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