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LH Choices Ex EWR. BBJ. 744 Or A330!  
User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4341 times:

I will be flying out of EWR on 15Oct and have the luxury of choosing to fly either EWR-FRA on the BBJ or the 744, or EWR-DUS on the A330. Im travelling on staff J tickets and all the flights at the moment are wide open.

Does anyone have experience travelling in Business on all these 3 LH aircraft, and which do you think will provide the most pleasant flight experience?

Im very tempted to try the BBJ but i have read somewhere that the experience isnt quite up to what you can normally expect on a regular LH aircraft.

Any imput is greatly appreciated!

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePHXmd80 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4338 times:



Quoting SKORD (Thread starter):
BBJ or the 744

BBJ on the way over and 744 back. Lets get a trip report of that BBJ too!

PHXmd80


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4334 times:

Quoting SKORD (Thread starter):
Im very tempted to try the BBJ but i have read somewhere that the experience isnt quite up to what you can normally expect on a regular LH aircraft.

This BBJ is operated by swiss company Privat Air.
I have flown on one of their BBJ operating AMS-IAH-AMS for KL this spring and AFAIK the cabin interior is the same (feel free to prove the opposite), so here are my views:

  • The seat is more basic than the current LH Business Class seat, but still comfortable. Seat pitch / space is on par.
  • IFE consists of a personal DigiPlayer which is sub-standard and I did not take one for the eastbound night flight.
  • Headsets were of noise-cancelling type, but the third pin to power them had no receiver at the DigiPlayer, so noisecancelling was in-op. I chose to use ear plugs for the eastbound flight and slept very well.
  • Noise from the engines / the flow of air along the fuselage is a bit more than in the forward cabin of a A330/A340, especially if seated in the aft of the BBJ. But still it is less noisy than in a ordinary B737NG. Sitting right aft the wing on the westbound flight, it was not an issue. On the return I was in row 01.
  • The lavatories are of standard B737NG size, meaning that they are small compared to the A330/A346 (and there is no window - hehe ). Quite small for my bulky body.
  • Before the flight I was worried to fly for 10+ hours in auch a small cabin (diameter), but this was absolutely no problem for me.
  • Boarding takes only a few minutes. This is a major plus IMO. Even on the full flight (44 pax) to AMS it took less than 10 minutes before everybody was in his seat. On the way to IAH we were 20 pax and boarding was completed faster than you can say Popocatepetl.
  • Food / drinks were Mainline KL-Business Class. Service, however, was carried out by Privat Air's staff, who, I have to say, really know how to serve a customer !   


Bottomline:
There are a few downsides of the BBJ-service (seat, IFE), but the speed of boarding / deplaning and the absence of a usually rather noisy Economy Class cabin would lead me to use the BBJ-service again.
If IFE is of major importance to somebody (even on night flights) he might be better up in a mainline a/c.
-HT

EDIT: Am I the only one for whom the list with bullet points is no longer working ?

EDIT2: And, oh, if the choice is between B744 and A340 only, I prefer the A340 for its 2-2-2 layout over the B744's 2-3-2.
(the BBJ has a 2-2 layout).
[Edited 2008-09-15 22:08:14]

[Edited 2008-09-15 22:13:45]


Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4323 times:
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Quoting SKORD (Thread starter):

I've been on the 744 and the 330 and I liked the J class seats. I have only been on the 319CJ of privatair, but they are pretty much the same.
The boarding is quick, just 44 passengers (IIRC), 4 F/As, professional service, no in seat IFE, you can a portable DVD player. Food is good, no lie flat seats, A little louder (my personal experience).

I would chose the BBJ on one of the flights so you can compare in the future.

I vote: BBJ and 744

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

Thank you all, very insightful! To date, my only 744 experience was in the back end of a VS flight MCO-MAN... a very forgettable experience!! It would be nice to experience a journey "up-front" to compare. I am travelling outbound on SK from CPH-ORD so i can only pick 1 LH flight to try. I have done LH on a 340-300 last year and really enjoyed it. I love the LH J cabin and service and this is the one thing that is slightly putting me off the BBJ!

However.. wide-bodies are easy to travel on anywhere in the world, whereas a long-haul BBJ is fairly special and im highly tempted by this (lots of showing-off to friends and colleagues!!  Silly )

Are the BBJ Cabin Crew LH or Privatair staff? I like to enjoy every second of my flights so a lie-flat bed is not high on my list of priorities, but catering and entertainment are, and of course, a WINDOW is essential!!!

On a side note, does anyone know if you can gain access to any lounges at EWR by paying for a one-off entry upon arrival? If not, then can access be booked and paid in advance, and is the lounge worth it? (comfort, drink & food availability and choice etc) If i choose the BBJ flight i have a 3hr transfer time from my inbound DL flight, the 744 gives me 5hrs, and the A-333 7.5hrs) Thanks again!  Smile


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4301 times:
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Quoting SKORD (Reply 4):
Are the BBJ Cabin Crew LH or Privatair staff?

It's all Privatair.

Quoting SKORD (Reply 4):
I like to enjoy every second of my flights so a lie-flat bed is not high on my list of priorities, but catering and entertainment are, and of course, a WINDOW is essential!!!

Then you should go on the BBJ. 2-2 seats, so you are always close to a window and the food I enjoyed on my flight was really delicious  thumbsup 

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4297 times:



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 5):
WILCO737 (MD11F)

As our resident LH expert, i bow to your superior knowledge!! As much as i would love to go on the 744, i hate the fact that i may be sat in a centre section seat. Last year i flew FRA-ORD and the guy in the window had the blind shut the entire flight!! Its really annoying as he didnt even sleep, just watched movies! Everytime he went to the bathroom i opened them, and when he got back he shut them again!  banghead  I was hoping he may offer to swap seats... but sadly, no!

There are 2 of us travelling so i think that maybe BBJ is the way to go! I can at least boast to my non-aviation friends that i flew in a "first-class Private Jet" back from the US!  Big grin

p.s. I REALLY hope LH buy SK!!!!


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4296 times:
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Quoting SKORD (Reply 6):
As much as i would love to go on the 744, i hate the fact that i may be sat in a centre section seat.

That's the problem about widebodie airplanes. If you sit in the middle, you cannot see anything. And yes, such people who keep the blind shut are annoying

Quoting SKORD (Reply 6):
There are 2 of us travelling so i think that maybe BBJ is the way to go!

I'd give it a try with the BBJ, if you don't like it, you don't need to fly with them anymore. But everytime I plan a trip to the US, I check for the loads on the Privatair flights to connect then. Although I like flying in a 744 for sure. It is faster, so flight is shorter and it is quieter and I have the feeling less turbulent because of the huge mass of a 744 compared to a BBJ or 319CJ.

I hope your landing will be better than the one I experienced in EWR. Was the hardest I've ever experienced (as a passenger)

WILCO737 (MD11F)


[Edited 2008-09-16 02:35:37]


It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4292 times:

Long flights suit me just fine (more time to sip plenty of Vino and some G&T's  Big grin ) and i quite like a bit of turbulance! The loads at the moment on the BBJ are looking excellent for Non-rev, so... lets go for it!  Smile

Next year our big trip wil be to N.Z so no chance to try a BBJ then! How come your landing in EWR was so bad? I hope you didnt spill your drink!


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4290 times:
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Quoting SKORD (Reply 8):
Long flights suit me just fine (more time to sip plenty of Vino and some G&T's Big grin ) and i quite like a bit of turbulance! The loads at the moment on the BBJ are looking excellent for Non-rev, so... lets go for it! Smile

Sounds good...

Quoting SKORD (Reply 8):
How come your landing in EWR was so bad? I hope you didnt spill your drink!

Dunno why, but I never drink in an airplane.

But we are drifting off topic.

Quoting SKORD (Reply 4):
If i choose the BBJ flight i have a 3hr transfer time from my inbound DL flight, the 744 gives me 5hrs, and the A-333 7.5hrs)

Another good reason for the BBJ. Not too long of a connection.

The service on Privatair is very personal. The F/A always call you by your name, they remember what you had to drink and have time for a quick chat. Not too many passengers to serve.

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

And we have a winner!! BBJ! If things go wrong then hopefully i can pay for Lounge access and i may well go for the A-333 and enjoy a few hours at EWR.

User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4284 times:



Quoting SKORD (Reply 10):
And we have a winner!! BBJ!

Excellent choice !
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineCastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4283 times:

Oh, am I too late now...?  Sad
Well here are my two cents anyway:

I flew on all 3 aircrafts with LH, and I must admit I don't enjoy that much the 744. I simply don't like this aircraft and would always prefer an airbus. that said, the A330 is a great choice - but I would definitely go with the BBJ. flew once DUS-ORD (though I admit it was an A319, when it was still serving the route), and that was great. even though the flight was pretty full, it's a completely different experience, just like flying in a private jet. somehow the entire attitude changes when you know there is no cramped Y class after the last seat in your class, and you get the feeling that the combined LH-Privatair product goes a bit further to give you a special service. plus, of course, the entire boarding procedure is nothing to compare to a regular jet, you just feel like you are a part of a selected group going on a private field trip!  Silly
Also, the Privatair crew gave great and personal service - better than what you'd typically than you'd find in LH C class - and I also think the meals were of higher quality.

Definitely BBJ. was one of my best flight experiences.


User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4281 times:



Quoting HT (Reply 11):
Excellent choice !
-HT

Thank You! But do you have a specific reason for this congratulation?


User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4279 times:



Quoting CastropRauxel (Reply 12):
Oh, am I too late now...?
Well here are my two cents anyway:

Not too late at all... and especially welcomed!! Thank you very much for your imput! Although everyone seems to agree that some aspects of the whole experience (seats not lie-flat, no TV screens but personal DVD players instead) may not be the same as a LH wide-body, the Service and product appears to be on a par, if not better than LH mainline.

With all your comments in mind, i will definately be going for the BBJ.. after all, its a fairly unique experience considering how few BBJ services there are throughout the world... compared to how many 744's and A33's operate daily! I consider myself very lucky to be able to choose and experience this flight!

I would hope to do my first trip report... i just hope i have the guts to be glared at while taking loads of photos!!


User currently offlineCastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4278 times:



Quoting SKORD (Reply 14):
everyone seems to agree that some aspects of the whole experience (seats not lie-flat, no TV screens but personal DVD players instead) may not be the same as a LH wide-body

True. but I had no problem with the seats - they were very comfortable, although not lie-flat - and there was something more personal in the overall experience that was worth it. I think there is even something more personal in being given a DVD player, rather then having everything already there.


User currently offlineSKORD From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

As long as i can recline a little and get 30mins nap... im happy! There is a general feeling coming through the posts that the personal service offered by the Privatair Crew is a lot better than on Mainline LH a/c.

Can anyone offer any light onto how much influence LH have on the training of the Privatair staff, and are they monitored regularly by LH? This is off-track i know.. but still interesting!


User currently offlineCastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4271 times:



Quoting SKORD (Reply 16):
the personal service offered by the Privatair Crew is a lot better than on Mainline LH a/c

...What personal service?  Wink I love LH, but most of their FAs don't tend to be too personal, not even in C class (usually the most you get would be a smile from a nice young FA if you're lucky - this is when they still have the zeal - or a frown from an old bored FA if you're not. though there are many excepetions and some great crews here and there).

I doubt if LH has any influence on Privatair training, but I bet they do monitor them.


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8968 posts, RR: 76
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4268 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
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Quoting SKORD (Reply 16):

Can anyone offer any light onto how much influence LH have on the training of the Privatair staff, and are they monitored regularly by LH? This is off-track i know.. but still interesting!

From what I know is that LH is doing some audits at those airlines flying under LH Flight number. So, LH sends out some guys to Privatair and just observes them and see if the quality, safety etc is good enough to "allow" them to fly with LH flight number.

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineB777Neuss From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4247 times:

Quoting SKORD (Thread starter):
EWR-DUS on the A330.

LH only operates A340 out of EWR to DUS.
One point which wasn't mentioned before, DUS would be the better airport to connect, very fast and efficient transfer.

Quoting SKORD (Reply 8):
The loads at the moment on the BBJ are looking excellent for Non-rev, so... lets go for it! Smile

I tried the FRA-JFK BBJ flight this summer. One day before the loads were excellent, around 40-50% but as I arrived at the gate there were 17 non revs. But if you don't get a seat you have 3 more flights to Germany with LH.  

B777Neuss

[Edited 2008-09-16 10:52:23]

User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4228 times:



Quoting SKORD (Reply 13):
Quoting HT (Reply 11):Excellent choice !
-HT
Thank You! But do you have a specific reason for this congratulation?

Doesn't my reply #2 contain enough information pointing into direction that BBJ would be my first choice ?
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
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