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AY Or IB In Economy North Atlantic?  
User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3621 times:

Hi all. Next Feb. I am doing a oneworld RTW trip in economy class. I will be exiting the USA for Europe, out of Miami. Due to milage restrictions, I really only have the choice between MIA-HEL on AY MD-11 (then on to Asia on AY), or otherwise, MIA-MAD on IB (the wet-leased 747's) connecting then somewhere, probably FCO, with CX.

So can anybody who has flown both of these carriers offer an opinion, based on comfort and service, 1) should I take AY or IB ex MIA? and 2) Also, as a stopover, would there be more to see and do for 24 hours in Helsinki or Madrid? How far are either airport from the city centres?

Information and opinions very much appreciated. Cheers.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3217 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

I can't tell you much about Iberia, but it isn't hard to find out information about them, as there are lot of spanish speaking people in the Latin world.

I would pick finnair. For a start, you're on an MD-11 and god only knows how much longer that is going to be an option for passengers. Secondly, Helskini is an interesting city, and you are on the doorstep of Scandinavia, so why not jump on an A321 across the Gulf of Botnia, and spend your time looking around Stockholm! I can assue you that city will not dissapoint. Helsinki also presents itself with many interesting possibilities.

Another possibility is to go to nearby St. Petersberg.

One question though. If your not going to stop in europe for anything more than connecting purposes, why bother purchase a round-the-world ticket? The taxes are Usually significantly higher on these.

Helsinki Vaanta is 19 Km N of the Airport. Stockholm Arlanda is 40km from the airport, however there is a high speed train called "the Arlanda Express" that runs at something like 200km/hr that shuttles you straight to Centralstationen in about 15 or 20 minutes.



User currently offlineIberia340600 From Spain, joined Oct 2003, 804 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3580 times:

Airbear:

A couple of things. The IB flight out of Miami is not a wet-leased 747...it is one of the 2 leased 747-300s from Air Atlanta. There are two wet-leased 747-400s from Air Atlanta but those are flying between MAD-HAV and MAD-TFN.

As far as service on IB...just regular service on board. You will get a dinner and breakfast on the flight to MAD and probably a couple of movies(sorry...no PTV's).

Madrid is a great city to see...a lot of museums, a lot of architechture, great food and shopping, and if you are into nightlife...nothing beats Spain nightlife!! You also have Toledo, El Escorial, and Segovia not too far away. If you are into skiing you can take a day trip to the Sierra Nevada too.

Sorry I cant be objective with AY as I have never flown with them.

Just my .02 cents!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



Visca Barça!!
User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Thanks a lot for the replies sofar. Much appreciated.

Lufthansa... G'day. Thanks for the info re Stockholm, St.Petersb.,... not a bad idea, and yes, the attraction of a possibly last ride on the MD11 is attractive, although it seems that AY will still be flying these for some time to come. Flat-beds in J-cl. in 2005, apparently. As far as doing a RTW goes, I've got business in Florida, then Shanghai. This being the case, the extra flying time via Europe is negligable compared to travelling back to Asia from Florida via JFK, DFW, ORD or LAX, but the connection times at these places is significantly longer, so the entire journey time would actually be longer than going via Europe. Then, most importantly, the RTW is actually cheaper too. If I were going straight back to Oz , I wouldn't dream of going RTW, but under these circumstances... By the way, have you tried AY long-haul in Y class? What's it like?

Hi Iberia340600 ... Thanks for your info as well. Toledo etc sounds good. I had only ever been to Barcelona for a few days many years ago... then I spent the entire time in Madrid in my hotel room (4 days) with a mild case of pnuemonia, surviving on room service, before I was anywhere near fit enough to travel again. Shit happens, I guess.



User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3217 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3559 times:

airbear

I haven't used the MD-11 service, although a very very long time ago I used their DC-10s but it was so long ago, it doesnt count anymore. I've used the A320s service and its just fine, and I've had lots of friends who've used the MD-11 service and also found it just fine.

Finnair is a lot like Lufthansa and SAS. You're going to get value for money, and be looked after well, and things should run smoothly. I've had a look at pictures of their long haul meals and I'd say they're on par with SAS or LH.
I can tell you the AY lounges are great! Really stylish, they've got some damn good interior designers and architects on the case.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3549 times:

Hey, Lufthansa.... "they've got some damn good interior designers and architects on the case." ... yes, I believe so, including quite a well-known Finnish designer, who often posts images on A.net. Pretty much exclusively of AY, too, strangely enough!  Smile

User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3524 times:

In February, Helsinki is, BY FAR, colder than Madrid... if you like and enjoy cold and snow, no doubt... Helsinki is your choice!

BTW... I REALLY do wish a Round-the-world with OneWorld explorer... but I need saving some money! ... a leg will be AKL-SCL, OW is the unique alliance to do it!


User currently offlineGuyBetsy1 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 840 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

AY has better seat pitch in economy class than IB.

IB has 31-32" seat pitch.
AY has 33-34" seat pitch.

AY also has better service than IB anyday.


User currently offlineEUROBUS From Spain, joined Nov 2004, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3479 times:

Hi Airbear,

Haven't you got that little extra time to do it all?? I mean... Madrid and Helsinki? You could travel IB between MIA and MAD and take a few hours to take a trip around the city and then fly to HEL. You would have to stay a night somewhere, but I guess that's part of the fun of it.

If you travel CX you will fly with an excelent airline, but they do not fly to PVG, your final destination. You would have to go from MAD via FRA, AMS, CDG, LHR or FCO to HKG and then continue with KA. So having to spend some extra cash, why not spend it visiting some of Europe. Than you can go from HEL directly to PVG with AY.

However you do it, just enjoy it!  Wink/being sarcastic

Eurobus



Who says airports are boring places?!
User currently offlineAnair From Spain, joined Dec 2000, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3442 times:

Madrid-Barajas airport is very well connected with the city center. There's an underground line that takes only 10 minutes, the price is no more than 1 euro.
Even if you had to use a taxi, it doesn't cost more than 20 euros.

I hope you enjoy our city if you finally decide to come to Madrid

Go ahead Airbus!!!



En un lugar de La Mancha....
User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

Thanks again for the replies.

Anxebla... hmmm, yes it is a lot colder. Also, I guess the sun will set maybe about 15:00 or so, at that time of the year, so sightseeing might be a bit limited. As for SCL-AKL , yeah that would be an interesting trip. For your info, that flight continues to SYD. It runs 3 X per week, soon to be 4X, so if you ever get to do it, don't just stop at AKL. Come and see us here in Australia as well.

GuyBetsy1... hi. Interesting, thanks. If I wind up on AY, having O'world Sapphire status, I would be hoping to score one of the biz class seats on the all-Y-service MIA-HEL.

Eurobus... it would be nice to do it all, however time doesn't permit. Oh well... next time I do a holiday trip!

Anair... thanks for your info as well. By the way, is there any talk of IB returning to Asia?... after all, they flew to NRT a few years back.


User currently offlineDABZF From Germany, joined Mar 2004, 1201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3398 times:

I would probably choose MAD but only because I've spent about 25 years in HEL(L)  Laugh out loud and I've never flown longhaul on IB - done AY MD11 several times!

Like already mentioned, if you wan't some cold weather and snow (read: real winter) Helsinki is your option! Well, actually in Feb it's cold in MAD as well but the problem is that it's as cold both inside and outside  Laugh out loud (they just have no heating!) - though it's not as cold as Helsinki can be!

I would say that if you never been up north north - choose Helsinki! There's a lot of places in the world that resembles Madrid but there's only one Helsinki - cross over of european and russian!



I like driving backwards in the fog cause it doesn't remind me of anything - Chris Cornell
User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3392 times:

Airbear-..... unfortunatelly, IB will not longer fly Asia anymore. Angel Mullor, IB's General Manager said it a few time ago... no way to Asia  Sad IB is concentrated in the Americas... the only one exception is JNB.
But UX is very interested on the traffic rights towards China.

And of course, If I go to Australia we would met us  Smile

It's my dream to do a AKL-SCL... on the West-East way!



User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3394 times:

Hi D-ABZF. Ummmm. Just HOW cold are we talking here for Helsinki? Also, in late-Feb., what would be the daylight hours? Also, any further comments on AY MD11 economy service?

User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3378 times:

What places in the world look like Madrid, DABZF?? Just I'm curious about it!
I might say you Montréal "resemble" Helsinki ... or Canada to Finland...both are a real "freezers" in winter  Laugh out loud


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3217 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3339 times:

Helsinki

-10 C at the most. It's not as bad as it sounds. As for sight seeing, you'll still be able to do plenty after 3pm. The cities does keep on going, and there is a twilight for a bit after the sunset. Also being in the extreme north, it doesnt get as dark as it does in Australia.

Seriously, do stockholm or helsinki. You won't regret it. Its something different, is off the beaten track for tourists and you live in one of the hottest countries in the world, so why not go to one of the coldest. See, the white winter city of the North. Go, on, you'll love it.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

Hi again, LH ... yeah. Probably will do. Thanks & have a god w/end.

User currently offlineDABZF From Germany, joined Mar 2004, 1201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3305 times:

Well, some Latin America bigger cities do have the similar architechture than MAD - I'm not saying that they are excactly a like, don't get me wrong here!

You might get anything between 0 to -30c in HEL in Feb. - though -30 is VERY rare (but it can happen)! More likely you will have something between 0 to -15c. Daylight will last something like 9am to 4am.


[Edited 2004-11-19 12:51:02]


I like driving backwards in the fog cause it doesn't remind me of anything - Chris Cornell
User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3296 times:

Brrrr. Th-th-thanks f-f-for the i-i-info, DABZF.

User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3289 times:

it's already said, Airbear... you can choose having 10/15ºC or -10/-15ºC  Big grin This choice is yours!

User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3276 times:

Quite true, Anxebla. Now, please pass me the paella, would you?  Smile

User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3269 times:

If you wish eating a REAL paella, you need to do the stopover in Madrid Big grin ...or in VLC as well!

User currently offlineMaersk737 From Denmark, joined Feb 2004, 710 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3276 times:

Even though they have real paella in Spain, and maybe new uniforms at Iberia  Smile/happy/getting dizzy I would go for the AY MD11...


Cheers

Peter



I'm not proud to be a Viking, just thankfull
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