jumpjets
Topic Author
Posts: 1110
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

Advice Please: J Class Travel

Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:48 pm

I am looking to book J class travel from London to Hanoi and from Siem Reap to London.

My recent experiences in J have been across the Atlantic with UK and US carriers - but the options to the far east from London are extensive and I have little or no experience of the J class on most of the carriers I could opt for.

Not surprisingly length of journey and price [as I will be paying myself!] will be an important factor. However what bothers me is that J class tends to focus on privacy for the individual traveller and I will be travelling with my wife. I would like to share the journey with her rather than each of us being shut off in our own little cocoon.

Any advice on which carriers offer the best value J class and which are most 'couple friendly' would be very welcome.

Many thanks
 
lax888
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:55 am

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:35 pm

Well it depends on your budget and if a fully flat seat is important to you. If yes, then it is rather difficult to find an airline which caters to couples in J class with their seating as they are all usually pretty private. BA has couple seats though and they have a sale at the moment which could fly you to Bangkok and from there you can just buy some local tickets on TG or VN to Vietnam and Cambodia. If you want to fly direct to Hanoi you could try VN although I am not sure how good their business class is. BR flies from LHR to BKK directly and they have seats next to each other in Business which would allow you to chat and be next to your wife without having a wall between you and her. Then you can basically transit in FRA, ZRH, CDG, AMS or CPH to name a few places in Europe, DXB, MCT, DOH or AUH in the ME or then HKG, BOM, DEL, KUL or SIN in Asia.

If you get a good deal I would definitely try Oman Air as they have a good business class product and you can have seats next to your wife and their seat is like first class on other airlines. I usually tend to choose the cheapest business class with the best product for my trips to Asia.

In summer I got a good deal from MXP to SIN via HKG on Cathay and only paid 2100€ for my ticket incl. taxes.

As you can see there are really so many options and you really have to give us some guidelines so we can give you some better advice.
i.e.
- max. price?
- flat seats a must or not?
- preference for an alliance?
- Asian, Middle Eastern or European airlines preferred?
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:46 pm

I would say BA (even though I'm not a fan of their new Club World) and the new CX J are both suitable for what you're looking for. The two seats in the middle on CX are at least angled toward one another, and they advertise it as being able to move forward to converse with your seatmate.

Coming back from Siem Riep you'd have to backtrack a little bit to get to HKG, but it's not bad.

And CX premium service is some of the best in the world. Lightyears ahead of BA in my experience.

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
falkerker
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:53 pm

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:55 pm

What about SQ? Their J class is fully flat and if you get the two middle seats it´s couple friendly. It´s not the herringbone style but frontfacing which is the way to go. Hard-product wise, you'd hardly do better than SQ A388. Furthermore you could connect SIN-REP easily.

A dummy booking on their website on mid July shows its 3.500GBP return LHR-SIN-LHR per seat.
 
planeguy727
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:58 am

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:54 pm

The new TG J class is quite lovely. The two seats in the middle of the a/c would allow you to be with your wife but each still have direct aisle access, etc.
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
jumpjets
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks for the input - plenty of food for thought there.

Looking on a purely price/journey duration the 'clear winner' is Air France which comes in at around £600 less than an Oman/Thai mix and even less than SQ or TG. Their connections also save several hours over Oman.

However I have only ever flown the v short LHR-CDG route with AF and did not find it a very satisfactory experience. Anyone been on AF J class who could comment on the style of seating for a couple travelling together and on the quality of service generally.

Planeguy727 comments that the new J class on TG is quite lovely - we get the A340-600s here from LHR to BKK - does anyone know if that has the new J class?
 
lax888
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RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:29 pm

Well not sure what new TG Business class Planeguy727 is referring to as TG has had that lie flat product for years now. I flew on the A340-600 and the configuration is 2-2-2 so basically you always can talk and be with your seat neighbour. However I prefer a flat bed to this seat as the padding is a bit thin I find. However it is probably much better than AF I can imagine just from a service and product view. Also I have heard terrible stories about transfering at CDG.

Are there no other options you can consider?
 
jumpjets
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:04 pm

Quoting LAX888 (Reply 6):
Are there no other options you can consider?

Yes there are plenty of other options - just a question of price/travel time/comfort/convenience to balance out!

Now I have a reasonably short short list I'll just monitor the prices over the next few weeks before taking the plunge and booking.
 
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readytotaxi
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:15 pm

Hi,
Can I suggest that you take a look at the Trip report section on this site.
That should help you with all the variables on your up coming flight.
Hope you have a great time.  
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
 
cedarjet
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:41 pm

I think you'll struggle to improve on the BA product - you're facing each other, it's a totally flat bed, the soft product is pretty good, lounge at T5 is good, arrival lounge at T5 is excellent on the rtn, and they are having a banger of a J class sale right now, judging from the quote I saw for LHR-SEA, SFO-LHR the other day - came in at £1,500 rtn.

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 5):
Looking on a purely price/journey duration the 'clear winner' is Air France which comes in at around £600 less than an Oman/Thai mix

I have flown their long haul J class and would not do so again. The seat is OK, not flat, not super comfy, loud mechanism, but the crew are just so disinterested, it doesn't feel super special. And given they keep having accidents and near-accidents, honestly, I would avoid AF. If they weren't in the EU, they'd be blacklisted, in the last ten years they've killed more passengers than all the airlines on the EU blacklist combined and doubled. I don't know why this doesn't count against them. I know I avoid them like the plague for this reason. I would add that they are horrible for losing bags.

BA all the way (or, at least, to BKK) unless Oman Air have a particularly amazing rate.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
planeguy727
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:58 am

RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:23 am

Quoting LAX888 (Reply 6):
Well not sure what new TG Business class Planeguy727 is referring to as TG has had that lie flat product for years now. I flew on the A340-600 and the configuration is 2-2-2 so basically you always can talk and be with your seat neighbour.

I'm referring to the 1-2-1 herringbone seating on the 777-300.

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Tha.../Thai_Airways_Boeing_777-300_J.php
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
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HELyes
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RE: Advice Please: J Class Travel

Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:55 am

I know a couple of oneworld travellers in UK who flew (in J) the routes LHR-HEL-HKG-HAN and BKK-HEL-LHR last year, on Finnair/BA/DragonAir. The booked the trip on Finnair's site, they sounded really pleased with the experience and the price was among the lowest that time.

I checked the price for the same routing on random days in Nov this year, 2254 GBP. You would just need a separate one hour flight from Siem Reap to BKK on Bangkok Air.

Finnair long haul J-product works fine for couples, their A340 to HKG has angled lie-flat seats, the BKK service has a new A333 most of the times, with full-flat beds in business similar to LX. Smallish HEL provides an easy transit and HKG is my personal favourite in Asia.

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