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Are there airlines you avoid for long international travel?

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26 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

We flew BA this summer from SFO to LHR and back on the huge double decker airbus (A380). I thought paying extra for seats in pairs on the upper deck (economy/World Traveller) would be the best. It was nice to be in pairs but it didn't really help because the seat space is atrocious on this plane! It was terrible. When the person in front of me reclined, I had like six inches between my face and their seat. If you had a meal, forget using your tray to eat. The stewardesses asked everyone to put their seats up during drinks and meals thank goodness. I have never felt so claustrophobic on a plane and I have flown many times transatlantic in economy, on KLM, Air France, and United. Those planes were all Boeing's and had areas to walk around the cabin during the flight to stretch your legs or get some breathing room. This economy cabin had nothing like that, no where to go. Behind was another economy cabin and then the galley, which was curtained off. Ahead was the bathroom line and then premium economy which was also curtained off. I was stuck. BA was fine service wise but I would never fly on the A380 ever again! 

 

Just to clarify, the BA A380 has pretty standard seat size in economy...31" pitch (legroom), 17.5" width. To compare with the other airlines you mention (let's use a 777-200 for them since you didn't say which specific aircraft type, and they all fly 777-200s): KLM is also 31/17.5, Air France is 32/17, and United is anywhere from 31/16 to 31/18. So when it comes to the actual dimensions o the seat, they're pretty much all identical.

 

 

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Let's see.  You had a 31 inch pitch seating, which was easily known to you before you bought your tickets.  Amazingly, that's the same pitch as on....KLM and Air France and United.

 

I'm also curious just where these "areas to walk around" can be found on Boeing aircraft but not on your A380.

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3 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

Let's see.  You had a 31 inch pitch seating, which was easily known to you before you bought your tickets.  Amazingly, that's the same pitch as on....KLM and Air France and United.

 

I'm also curious just where these "areas to walk around" can be found on Boeing aircraft but not on your A380.

Totally agree. An economy seat is an economy seat. Yes, it's cramped, yes, if the seat in front of you reclines it intrudes on your space,  in the same way as if you recline your seat. But, you can get pairs of seats,  which is unusual in most wide-bodied aircraft these days. The A380 is probably the quietest,  smoothest (less susceptible to turbulence) aircraft flying these days,  although, unfortunately its days are numbered. 

As to the comment about walking around - words fail me!

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19 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

Let's see.  You had a 31 inch pitch seating, which was easily known to you before you bought your tickets.  Amazingly, that's the same pitch as on....KLM and Air France and United.

 

I'm also curious just where these "areas to walk around" can be found on Boeing aircraft but not on your A380.

The Boeing's had areas on both ends of the cabin where you could walk around, one was near the galley and one was an open area where you could get your own snacks and drinks. I think that was Air France. I stretched my legs a lot and chatted with moms with toddlers who wanted to move around a bit. I don't care if the economy seat pitch is the same on all carriers, the BA plane felt different and was more limiting for movement, period. And wowzz, I would love to know why "words fail you" about my comment about being able to walk around on the plane. Perhaps you enjoy being strapped into a seat for eleven hours. 

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17 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

And wowzz, I would love to know why "words fail you" about my comment about being able to walk around on the plane. Perhaps you enjoy being strapped into a seat for eleven hours. 

Words fail me, because every time I have flown on an A380, or indeed any other wide body , I have strolled around. I still don't understand why you didn't walk about on the BA flight.  

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Believe me, I tried! The upper deck economy cabin is at the back and dead ends at the galley which was curtained off. There were stairs down to the lower deck (I could see them through the curtain) but you couldn't go anywhere. At the front of our cabin was the bathroom line and more curtains for the World Traveller Plus cabin. And I couldn't walk across the front row of our cabin to make a loop because the front row passengers had their legs propped on the wall. I wasn't going to jump over them. I could only walk up to the bathroom line (about twenty feet) or back to the galley curtain (same distance). I don't know what type of cabin you were in where you could walk around? 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rocklinmom said:

The Boeing's had areas on both ends of the cabin where you could walk around, one was near the galley and one was an open area where you could get your own snacks and drinks. I think that was Air France. I stretched my legs a lot and chatted with moms with toddlers who wanted to move around a bit. I don't care if the economy seat pitch is the same on all carriers, the BA plane felt different and was more limiting for movement, period. And wowzz, I would love to know why "words fail you" about my comment about being able to walk around on the plane. Perhaps you enjoy being strapped into a seat for eleven hours. 

 

I have definitely had cases where a seat felt more cramped because of the mood I was in - tired, crabby, sick, not wanting to go on the trip, stressed, etc. etc. but I was just letting you know the actual dimensions are more or less identical. 

Edited by Zach1213

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On 8/30/2019 at 9:15 AM, rocklinmom said:

We flew BA this summer from SFO to LHR and back on the huge double decker airbus (A380). I thought paying extra for seats in pairs on the upper deck (economy/World Traveller) would be the best. It was nice to be in pairs but it didn't really help because the seat space is atrocious on this plane! It was terrible. When the person in front of me reclined, I had like six inches between my face and their seat. If you had a meal, forget using your tray to eat. The stewardesses asked everyone to put their seats up during drinks and meals thank goodness. I have never felt so claustrophobic on a plane and I have flown many times transatlantic in economy, on KLM, Air France, and United. Those planes were all Boeing's and had areas to walk around the cabin during the flight to stretch your legs or get some breathing room. This economy cabin had nothing like that, no where to go. Behind was another economy cabin and then the galley, which was curtained off. Ahead was the bathroom line and then premium economy which was also curtained off. I was stuck. BA was fine service wise but I would never fly on the A380 ever again! 

That’s very good to know because I’ve had that same strategy in mind if we ever fly an A380, but not having space to stretch and walk is not healthy on a long haul. Your lack of space with the seat reclined is a nightmare! Not all Airbuses are bad in Economy, though. We flew an A330 on Delta and had a good amount of space. 

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47 minutes ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

That’s very good to know because I’ve had that same strategy in mind if we ever fly an A380, but not having space to stretch and walk is not healthy on a long haul. Your lack of space with the seat reclined is a nightmare! Not all Airbuses are bad in Economy, though. We flew an A330 on Delta and had a good amount of space. 

Delta’s A330 fleet have the same pitch/legroom as BA’s A380 fleet - 31”

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7 hours ago, rocklinmom said:

Believe me, I tried! The upper deck economy cabin is at the back and dead ends at the galley which was curtained off. There were stairs down to the lower deck (I could see them through the curtain) but you couldn't go anywhere. At the front of our cabin was the bathroom line and more curtains for the World Traveller Plus cabin. And I couldn't walk across the front row of our cabin to make a loop because the front row passengers had their legs propped on the wall. I wasn't going to jump over them. I could only walk up to the bathroom line (about twenty feet) or back to the galley curtain (same distance). I don't know what type of cabin you were in where you could walk around? 

First 

 

7 hours ago, rocklinmom said:

Believe me, I tried! The upper deck economy cabin is at the back and dead ends at the galley which was curtained off. There were stairs down to the lower deck (I could see them through the curtain) but you couldn't go anywhere. At the front of our cabin was the bathroom line and more curtains for the World Traveller Plus cabin. And I couldn't walk across the front row of our cabin to make a loop because the front row passengers had their legs propped on the wall. I wasn't going to jump over them. I could only walk up to the bathroom line (about twenty feet) or back to the galley curtain (same distance). I don't know what type of cabin you were in where you could walk around? 

First of all , I agree that it is important to move around. Secondly,  I do have experience of a similar situation on an A380 on a number of occasions, albeit for a 15 hour flight on Malaysian Airlines  (great airline, by the way),

In very general terms, economy pax on an A380 are loaded on to the lower deck. Think 250 pax in one cabin  - but lots of aisle space to walk up and down.But , realistically cram them in!

Then, some carriers also have another cabin for economy pax on the upper deck. This will typically be only 80 or 90 pax, but with twin seats by the window, a quieter overall feel, and a more personalised feel.  The downside is that there is less room to move around. This cabin normally commands a higher fee when it comes to choosing seats. 

In this case, BA is no better or worse than any other carrier operating an A380.  it comes down to the individual choosing a seat that is suitable for their own requirements. 

Can I ask,  why did you pay to choose these seats, as they obviously did not meet your requirements? 

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The seats seemed like the best bet for economy (smaller cabin and in pairs). I'm sure being in rows of three or four on the lower deck would have been even more cramped. I don't have any requirements for economy, just what I can pay for five people to fly transatlantic. BA was the best price at the time I booked.  I would much rather be able to pay for business class but that would require me winning the lottery. 

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24 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

The seats seemed like the best bet for economy (smaller cabin and in pairs). I'm sure being in rows of three or four on the lower deck would have been even more cramped. I don't have any requirements for economy, just what I can pay for five people to fly transatlantic. BA was the best price at the time I booked.  I would much rather be able to pay for business class but that would require me winning the lottery. 

So you got exactly what you wanted. A smaller cabin, and seats in pairs. Obviously the downside of a smaller cabin is that there is less space to move around in (which also applies to many business cabins as well!), so you need to decide which is most important to you. Certainly it doesn't seem to be a reason not to fly with BA again.

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I fly to Shanghai/Hong Kong 2-3 times a year on business, typically on AA.   I stick with one of the major US airlines or look for one of the major non US flag airlines that is a codeshare partner with a US airline.  I generally find the services fairly consistent on international flights, although every flight is different.  A couple of suggestions.  First, in my experience, Shanghai is typically cheaper than Hong Kong.  My business often has me flying into Shanghai, but ending up south of Hong Kong.  While it would be more convenient to fly out of Hong Kong, most of the time I find it a cost savings to fly back to Shanghai.  The day you fly can also make a big difference as well, enough that I once recognized a $1000 savings by staying an extra day - even after I took into consideration extra hotel, the flight back to Hong Kong, etc. It can also make a difference on the connecting city, both in terms of plane and cost.  For instance, you might find it cheaper to fly through one city going and another on returning.  Also consider booking two different tickets.  A recent trip to Europe netted savings by booking two one ways vs one round trip.  

 

Pay attention when booking as to whether the flight is actually with the airline you booked through or a code share partner.  For instance, a flight booked on Delta through Detroit could end up actually being on China Air, which is a Delta code share partner.  Cohorts of mine that are Delta frequent flyers like Delta better than China Air, but if the flight times work for them, its not that big of a difference.  Don't think that happens if the flight is originating in Atlanta.  For what its worth, I fly China Air inside China, but am able to get the points on Delta.  A recent flight to Europe was booked on AA with an AA flight number, but was actually on a British Air plane.  The return was on AA.  In the past, I have found BA quite good, but this trip, AA noticeably beat BA for both comfort and service on board.  Cathy Pacific is an AA codeshare partner.  

 

As to the plane, airlines don't necessarily fly the same planes out of different gateway airports.  So if you are trying to fly premium economy, make sure you check what it is for that plane/route.  AA flys (or at least used to) its larger, newer (and I find more comfortable) planes to Asia out of Dallas.  Chicago routes tended to be older planes and not as comfortable.

 

Personally, I try to stay on AA as the FF points work better for me.  My preference  for Shanghai is through Dallas.  The plane is comfortable and I have always had good service.  Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, wowzz said:

So you got exactly what you wanted. A smaller cabin, and seats in pairs. Obviously the downside of a smaller cabin is that there is less space to move around in (which also applies to many business cabins as well!), so you need to decide which is most important to you. Certainly it doesn't seem to be a reason not to fly with BA again.

Fly on BA again, sure. Fly on an A380 again, never. 

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14 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

Fly on BA again, sure. Fly on an A380 again, never. 

That's a shame. The small  economy upstairs cabin is fantastic, and imho, is the best economy cabin currently avaikable for lh travel. 

Edited by wowzz

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2 hours ago, pilot123texas said:

Pay attention when booking as to whether the flight is actually with the airline you booked through or a code share partner.  For instance, a flight booked on Delta through Detroit could end up actually being on China Air, which is a Delta code share partner. 

 

There is no "China Air".  There are several PRC airlines that DL codeshares with, including China Eastern and China Southern.  Delta also codeshares with "China Airlines", which is Taiwanese, not PRC.

 

2 hours ago, pilot123texas said:

For what its worth, I fly China Air inside China, but am able to get the points on Delta.

 

I find this interesting, as you are probably flying on "Air China", a PRC airline.  However, Air China is not a codeshare partner with DL, nor is it in SkyTeam (instead is with Star Alliance).

 

Could you be confusing China Eastern with your "China Air"?

 

All of which points out why abbreviating airline names can be an issue.

 

 

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3 hours ago, rocklinmom said:

Fly on BA again, sure. Fly on an A380 again, never. 

 

I will fly A380 on BA again but I will try to avoid upper deck because I think that the cabin is too big! We fly business and I think that the personal space in the window seats is too big, the distance to the window is too big so the view is bad when on the ground!

Edited by sverigecruiser

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2 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I will fly A380 on BA again but I will try to avoid upper deck because I think that the cabin is too big! We fly business and I think that the personal space in the window seats is too big, the distance to the window is too big so the view is bad when on the ground!

Probably the first post in history to say that there is too much space around their seat!

In future, fly economy, and you will not have any problem with too much space!. 

 

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4 hours ago, wowzz said:

 

In future, fly economy, and you will not have any problem with too much space!. 

 

 

Or pay to select a seat on the lower deck!

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On 8/30/2019 at 1:15 PM, rocklinmom said:

 Those planes were all Boeing's and had areas to walk around the cabin during the flight to stretch your legs or get some breathing room. This economy cabin had nothing like that.....I would never fly on the A380 ever again! 

 

Please understand that all 380s are not the same, just like all Boeing planes are not the same.  Each airline orders planes to its own specifications....they tell the manufacturer, Airbus or Boeing, how many seats, what kind of configuration of seats, how far apart the rows should be, how the galley should be arranged etc. etc.  You could fly another airline's 380 or another airline's Boeing 777 and it could be completely different from your prior experience.

 

On 8/31/2019 at 10:15 AM, rocklinmom said:

Believe me, I tried! The upper deck economy cabin is at the back and dead ends at the galley which was curtained off. There were stairs down to the lower deck (I could see them through the curtain) but you couldn't go anywhere. At the front of our cabin was the bathroom line and more curtains for the World Traveller Plus cabin. And I couldn't walk across the front row of our cabin to make a loop because the front row passengers had their legs propped on the wall. I wasn't going to jump over them. I could only walk up to the bathroom line (about twenty feet) or back to the galley curtain (same distance). I don't know what type of cabin you were in where you could walk around? 

 

So perhaps next time choose a seat on the lower deck.

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Wowzz-

I only thought it was unusual because we were "International Virgins" (except for driving to Mexico

and Canada). This was our first ever trip to Europe. We left SeaTac and changed flights at Heathrow

for Rome. The first leg of the trip was a very pleasant surprise in economy. Therefore, that is why we were

so surprised at the contrast on the second flight. Very different vibe and service. 

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2 hours ago, nini said:

Wowzz-

I only thought it was unusual because we were "International Virgins" (except for driving to Mexico

and Canada). This was our first ever trip to Europe. We left SeaTac and changed flights at Heathrow

for Rome. The first leg of the trip was a very pleasant surprise in economy. Therefore, that is why we were

so surprised at the contrast on the second flight. Very different vibe and service. 

There is a big difference between long haul and short haul flights,  with less personal interaction possible on the short leg. Having said that, there is no excuse for rudeness from the cc. 

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Really? I guess I do not know how to count... hmmm... 7 hours versus 3 hours. 

I am used to the short and long flights in the USA as I said before. PDX to LAX is 2. 5 hours and

guess what??? We are treated the same as when flying to Hawaii or Miami or

on a return trip which is about 6 hours. This is a direct comparison with our experience.

 

Apparently, we self educated in Europe. And guess what? There is a big difference!

BOTH were on BA.

 

People can only come to conclusions based on their experience and research. So glad that you pointed

out that there is a "big difference between long and short hauls flights".But, you are WRONG when it comes to

domestic.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, nini said:

Really? I guess I do not know how to count... hmmm... 7 hours versus 3 hours. 

I am used to the short and long flights in the USA as I said before. PDX to LAX is 2. 5 hours and

guess what??? We are treated the same as when flying to Hawaii or Miami or

on a return trip which is about 6 hours. This is a direct comparison with our experience.

 

Apparently, we self educated in Europe. And guess what? There is a big difference!

BOTH were on BA.

 

People can only come to conclusions based on their experience and research. So glad that you pointed

out that there is a "big difference between long and short hauls flights".But, you are WRONG when it comes to

domestic.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The difference is that in short haul, BA now positions itself as a loco operator,  in order to compete with the likes of Ryanair and Easjet, as you found out when you wanted some water.  In long haul, BA is still a full service provider, hence the difference in service level.  

 

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