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OneWorld - Business Class Question  
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4635 posts, RR: 23
Posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3411 times:

To my delight, it has been decreed that I can afford to book an Around-The-World flight with OneWorld in Business Class.

I've been busily checking the web sites for the airlines I'll be flying (QF, CX, BA, AA... and IE - unfortunately) and wonder what to expect regarding things like the seating, IFE and the food.

Some questions -

* Has anyone experienced a Qantas Business Class Skybed? What's good and bad about it?

* The serve yourself bar area / and the LED mood lighting on Qantas Business Class - can anyone tell me more about it? Especially that bar thing... the info on the web site is sparse at best.

* Cathay Pacific around Asia. Opinions?

* Is Aer Lingus to be avoided in Europe? My plans means that I will have to fly them at least once... and I've read some unfortunate things on here.

* Should I take BA or AA across the Atlantic? I am thinking BA, as they seem to have a better product, but I might be wrong. I'm with AA throughout the US and Canada though.

* Has anyone had a OneWorld around the world ticket in the US in Business? The fare rules say that if the specified class of service is not available, you get the next lower - ie - Economy. However, it says that in the US, you get First Class instead, if no Business is offered. Is this actually true? Do they have First Class domestically on American on all services, or what?

Any advice or opinions would be appreciated!

Trent.


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJamotcx From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1037 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3375 times:

On American internal flights, they have coach and first. The first is nothing special, just a bit of a larger seat and better service. Nothing compared to the first you would get on its 777's.


Jamo


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3292 times:

Should I take BA or AA across the Atlantic? I am thinking BA, as they seem to have a better product, but I might be wrong

BA for definite, it is light years ahead of AA in J

I've written a couple of BA J class trip reports which may be useful for you:
LHR-SFO-LHRhttp://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/50479/
LHR-IAD http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/50578/

The photos linked should come back up on the 10th but if they don't I have some more on here:
LHR-SFO-LHRhttp://makeashorterlink.com/?G2C812AB9
LHR-IAD http://makeashorterlink.com/?H2D852AB9
Username and Password: flyertalk



[Edited 2004-11-08 14:34:44]


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3201 times:

Hi Trent,

I can answer a few of your questions...

* Cathay Pacific around Asia. Opinions?
Well CX is pretty good on its regional flights in Asia. I think some of the best flights in terms of regional service is Tokyo and various Japanese flights. CX uses a mix of various a/c types in regional flights. I will try to get flights with International configuration, such as Airbus A340-300s (34C and 34Ds all have J beds), Airbus A330-300 (333 -- three class configurtion; 330 -- that is the regional two class cabin -- 45" legroom and okay seats), and Boeing 747-400s. I will avoid 330 and 772/3, which feature a regional J class product. You can find 744, 34D, 34Cs, and 333s on various flights to BKK, SIN, TPE, NRT, KIX, ICN, CGK, and MNL. I think CX is definitely among the strongest among all these OW airlines.

* Is Aer Lingus to be avoided in Europe? My plans means that I will have to fly them at least once... and I've read some unfortunate things on here.
Well EI regional business class product is rather average and EI lounges are pretty dull -- not much food offering too. It is definitely weak compared to BA and AY. I actually like AY better. However, a short LHR to DUB flights is an experience -- fine. You will get a meal at all flights. I don't think EI is on my "to avoid" list... I actually find its long haul Premier product quite fine, except a few 333s that have the old seats.

* Should I take BA or AA across the Atlantic? I am thinking BA, as they seem to have a better product, but I might be wrong. I'm with AA throughout the US and Canada though.
BA's Club World is fine, and is better than AA for sure. But if you are trying to accumulate AA miles, you cannot earn any AA miles on BA transatlantic service to the US. Just a warning...

* Has anyone had a OneWorld around the world ticket in the US in Business? Yes, I bought an OW ticket before and at all domestic segments by AA, you will entitle to domestic first class, if it is a two-class product.

About all these OW airlines, I actually heard mostly bad things about Iberia, but all the other airlines are fine. I will try to stopover at Japan -- BA offers pretty good service out from NRT, and the Japanese appetizers and entrees are planned by Nobu chef... pretty good... CX is another good airline that I will definitely try a long haul flight on. QF's new skybed is another great thing too. You can perhaps do a SYD-HKG on QF, and HKG-LHR on CX or the vice versa. For some reasons I also like AY much. However its International J seats are rather dated, and the new seats won't come on line till next year.

Have a good trip!

Carfield


User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2718 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

* Has anyone experienced a Qantas Business Class Skybed? What's good and bad about it?

I took QF9 and 10 SIN - MEL return, as part of CDG - MEL business trip about 10 days ago. I was impressed with the SkyBed as I usually find the lie-flat style seats much less comfortable than fully flat like BA's. Advantages: lots of space, very wide and long, private due to 'hood' when reclined fully, massage function is more than a gimmick and quite useful on something like a 24hour flight Oz - Europe, upper deck is best as they have reduced seats from total of 30 to 22, (if you get the exit row as I did, you could almost hold a private party at your seat for the space you have). Service seems to have lifted slightly, though already very good on QF International Business. Disadvantages: If you are really sensitive to the very slight incline, you may have difficulty sleeping, but I am and I didn't (significantly better than CX J class for example). Overall, for me it is now a 'toss-up' as to whether to stay in QF J or bother upgrading to QF First (which is fantastic), as the products have converged quite a lot with the SkyBed.

In the US: when flying on this DONE4 or 5 fare basis, you should try for BA and the QF LAX - JFK flights if they suit your itinerary, as the US carriers are a big step down from these two in J.

In Asia, CX has wonderful service, especially in its consistency and reliability.

Transatlantic: no-brain-er: BA J class

Enjoy your trip. It should be great.

OzGlobal



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2718 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

* The serve yourself bar area / and the LED mood lighting on Qantas Business Class - can anyone tell me more about it? Especially that bar thing...

The bar is common on premium longhaul carrier's J class now. Appart form Virgin, who make a feature of these and have stools, etc, it basically amounts to a part of the galley with a facelift, stocked with self serve food and drink, cf. BA's "Raid the Larder" idea for sleeper flights.

The LED mood lighting is also in place on CX, BA, Emirates and others. It helps convince your body that it is evening, night or morning based on the sequence. The idea is to construct an artificial day-night-day cycle for example on a trip form Europe to Singapore, when outside it maybe daylight. Personally, I find Melatonin much more reliable for resetting the body clock!

OzGlobal



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

BA's "Raid the Larder" idea for sleeper flights

Just to note: The Raid the Larder is not available on east coast US routes despite the fact it says so in the menu! The Raid the Larder has also been slimmed down. On routes to the west coast US a large proportion of it goes early as experienced flyers know it will run out so stock up during the sleeping phase.

You are largely expected to pre-flight dine if flying eastbound and onboard service has all but been eradicated. You can get Midnight Munchies from the galley if necessary



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4635 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3018 times:

Awesome responses, everyone!

OzGlobal - thanks for the SkyBed information. It's hard to get a good handle on things from the web site, and you've clarified everything that I was wavering on. I'd been told that upper deck exit row was the way to go, so I'll definitely be doing that!

Carfield - thanks for the info on CX especially.

Fgbdavidson - cheers for directing me to those trip reports.

If anyone else has any information to add, or differing opinions, I'd be more than interested in hearing them. Spending $10,000 on a round-the-world ticket is a big deal and I don't particularly want to waste any part of it by picking the wrong airline in the wrong place or anything like that.

Thanks again!

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3165 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3008 times:

I would consider buying a separate ticket to Canada and starting your RTW from there. Prices are generally better ex Canada.

Have a great time!



14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

EI is pulling true J from their shorthaul product, and, to be honest, I'd avoid their longhaul J product if at all possible. The service isn't bad (and being served with Waterford crystal and fine china is always nice)...but the seats are terrible. Not much more than glorified domestic F seats here in the States.

I wish it wasn't true, but EI seems to be disassembling itself.

Don't forget Finnair via HEL depending upon where you are flying!

Steve


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4635 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2973 times:

In addition to the people on this thread, another friend said he was put on Finnair instead of Sabena a couple of years ago, and he has nothing but praise for them.

Looks like I might have to try Finnair on a couple of European segments too!

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineAussie747 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2925 times:

From USA to AUSTRALIA only select services have the Skybed in QF however will be completed within the next few months

Otherwise are available on all Flights to LHR EX MEL/SYD/PER via BKK/SIN/HKG and on A330/744 services to HKG. Some services to SIN have the skybed as well. For seating on the 744 try to grab Row 16 Upper deck (Exit seat)

I think the new product is fantastic they have even made an effort with the crew as well.

The bar is only located on the main deck (nothing stopping you from going up stairs/downstairs. However it is fully stocked with snacks/nick nacks similar to some QF club longes at times as well.

AVOD will start on the A330 services from January 2005 as well. 744 services to follow at a later date.







User currently offlineAero From Germany, joined Oct 2004, 181 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2811 times:

Has anybody here tried LAN business class from Europe, US or Australia to SouthAmerica?...I think is excellent! Any Opinions?

Regards.



LAN...the star of the Latin American skies
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4635 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2723 times:

Nice to know what the bar has in it - thanks Aussie747.

I'll be popping downstairs a lot, mainly to peer through the curtains to Economy and to make faces at them  Big grin

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineKanebear From United States of America, joined May 2002, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

First, the airline with whom you book your RTW makes a LARGE difference. Unless you have a travel agent you work with, I prefer CX as they are very easy to work with and have a good knowledge of the rules and how they apply. Reissues are also easy as can be. Simply send the ticket in and CX sends it back (there's a reissue fee of course). No need to go to the airport.

AA have a dedicated RTW team but they're rather tough to get to and it can be difficult hashing things out with them. The difficulty in getting through to BA and the HORRIBLE state of their telephone support would put me off them. BA are wonderful in the air but an absolute travesty on the ground. I can't count how many times I've refunded and purchased a new ticket rather than subject myself to endless telephone calls trying to change/correct an itinerary.

Also, the advice about booking your RTW ex-canada is VERY good advice. You'll save quite a bit of money and perhaps can even do F class as opposed to J. You will need to speak to a Canadian travel agent (NOT directly to Cathay/AA/BA/etc) and have them ticket it for you but doing so can be worth the extra ticketing fee they impose.

Regarding the airlines, be SURE to take LA. Their A340 is an excellent aircraft, the seats in J and F aren't the top but they are very comfortable and the service/food is IMO second to none. They're an EXCELLENT experience.

On the AA/BA comparison, I have a curveball to throw at you. If you have AAdvantage miles or can get them, you'll want to fly AA. BA definitely outshines AA in J class, however AA allow you to easily upgrade to F class for 25,000 miles. I'm sure some out there may disagree but IMO the Flagship Suite is hands down the best seat across the Atlantic (I did 60k miles in it this year, so I had LOTS of experience with it). Not all flights have the Flagship suite but it's VERY worth booking them. Also, BA's catering have fallen to such a low standard (my last experience was in May so a lot can change between now and then) that the difference is not enough to warrant choosing BA over AA. Also, you'll have LOTS of opportunities to fly BA elsewhere.

If you can't upgrade, AVOID AA J and go BA. AA's J class is a glorified coach IMO. Seats are comfy and the food is decent. The service can be great but often is just mediocre.

Now, finally, another consideration. Where to put your miles/points! Given that you're in OZ I'd put all my points in QF. You'll earn a TON of miles given that it's all premium class travel as well as lots of upgrade points. You will also achieve Platinum status before you're even done with the itinerary. Let me tell you, once you're elite on an airline (especially Emerald in Oneworld) you will NOT want to live without.

HAVE FUN!


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4635 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

How come it's cheaper to book the tickets ex-Canada? I don't get that... I thought the prices would be similar no matter where you booked it, but obviously not.

I have quite a few more things to think about now.

Appreciate the assistance!

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineKanebear From United States of America, joined May 2002, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2560 times:

No, the prices vary considerably from place to place due to currency variations and local market conditions. JNB at one time was the ultimate bargain (US$4200 for a SIX continent FIRST CLASS RTW) but after a surge of people using the fare OneWorld doubled the fares and ended that. Then the Rand doubled against the dollar and South Africa became one of the MOST expensive places to originate. It's not widely known knowledge but a bit of research will turn up the RTW bargain countries. I haven't done one in quite a while so my knowledge is out of date sadly.

User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2506 times:

Other good places to start a OWE that spring to mind are CAI and GIB.


"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17030 posts, RR: 67
Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2495 times:

My parents are actually on a RTW Biz Class on Oneworld right now. I believe the ticket is called Oneworld explorer or something...

Their impressions are long and varied (this is the second time around) but I know they definitely take BA and QF over anyone else.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4635 posts, RR: 23
Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2442 times:

To get to the places offering the cheaper fare, from Sydney, would end up costing me more than the OneWorld 4 Continents fare from here. Thanks for letting me know about that though.

My points will definitely be going into my Qantas FF account. It'll mean I should have enough points for a return Sydney to Los Angeles when I get back - if I can find award seats.

Thanks for all your help!

Trent.



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8225 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2436 times:

Cairo has been the cheapest I have found, even with the recent increases.

When buying in Sydney shop around some. You can get a bit of a discount from some travel agents - I got one at FC. throw in a few hotel rooms and you might get a better deal.

Just be sure to work out your flight schedules carefully. You need to set the date for the first flight out of the country, but can leave the others open if you are not sure of the dates. Changing dates will not cost anything, but changing routings can get expensive.

From SYD you are allowed one stop leaving Australia (PER?) and one on the return (AKL?). Using these will help build your FF miles. The only thing to check first is that you have a maximum of 20 flights. Set the flights you really need first and then fill in other flights to build miles. With careful planning you will hit QF's top tier on the single trip and QF Gold is pretty well automatic unless yo mess up the flights.

Have a great trip!


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