Showing posts with label 747. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 747. Show all posts

Friday, November 13, 2015

British Airways Premium Economy Review

What is premium economy?  Premium economy is not on US carriers. Economy Plus, Main Cabin Extra, and Comfort+ are all economy with a little more room, 2-6in, to the row in front.  Many foreign carriers are installing a new cabin on long haul flights for premium economy.  Lufthansa describes it as: “A new travel experience between Business Class and Economy Class on long-haul flights: enjoy more comfortable seats, more service and more extras.” British Airways promotes: “a more comfortable, relaxing experience on longer routes and proof that a premium service doesn't have to break the bank, wider seats and more legroom, small, intimate cabins with expert, attentive service, delicious meals and full bar service, personal entertainment system with noise-reducing headphones, [and] larger free baggage allowance.”
Seat and Amenity Kit
Premium economy is a class between economy and business class, but is it a step up from coach or a step down from business class? The Qantas A380 upper deck has business, premium economy, and economy seats; 6, 7, and 8 seats per row respectively.  A British Airways 777 has 8 wide premium economy and 9 wide coach. The cabin is like economy in most ways.  There is no lounge access and the seats reline far, but are not close to flat.  The food service is improved, but still a single course.  The drink menu is the same as coach and the business class bathrooms at the front of the cabin are roped off.  Luggage isn’t expedited, general security lines are used, and passengers are directed to the general check in line. This is definitely an improved economy experience and not a Spartan business class service.
Premium Economy View
I enjoyed my British Airways World Traveler Plus experience.  I was originally booked on a 747-400 with the first version of premium economy. I misconnected in Heathrow because of a 4 hour fog delay. The delay was great, the Captain invited passengers into the cockpit to chat and kill time; it was a wonderful and rare experience. I was rebooked on a 777-300ER to Houston with the new cabin style. The service is the same, but the TV is better, there are more power outlets, and other little enhancements. I barely made the flight and was greeted with an offer of OJ or Champagne. I settled in to my seat in the last row with limited, though still ample, recline. The TV was large and clear and the seat next to me vacant.  I settled in and enjoyed the meal service. Bar options are the same as coach, Red Label rather than Black Label. The seat was comfortable for the 10 hour trip and I landed in Houston refreshed. As an added surprise, my luggage made it with me to Houston (United left it in Houston for the night while I went to Denver). 
Premium Economy Meal
Good trip and a great option when business class can’t be booked.  It’s also a great upgrade option, often $300ish dollars more than coach one way.  If you set your expectations that it’s an improved coach, you’ll be delighted with the value.
No First Class, but Ample Premium Economy

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

British Airways 747 Business Class Review

I had about 100,000 British Airways miles to start the year, mostly left over from buying money for credit card points. I wanted to spend my miles before British Airways devalued their award chart (advanced notice to members helped me save their value) and booked a trip to the UK and Ireland.  I would go business class over and premium economy back. I had the miles for round trip in business, but wanted to try a true premium economy product (Premium economy review).  I booked on and payed a large fuel surcharge fee. I didn't mind because this was my best shot at an interesting looking business class.
Business Class Seat - Upper Deck
I flew on a 747-400 from Denver to London Heathrow. BA has a strained relationship with the 747. It was the long haul workhorse for many years, but they are retiring the fleet for 777, 787, and A380 aircraft. There are already a dozen or more in the desert being scraped. Since the fleet is being retired, BA is understandably not updating the interiors or going beyond basic maintenance. That was until I read yesterday that 18 747's will be upgraded with more business class seating (and less economy) and new TV screens.  Great news once the upgrades start, but I flew on one that was, at the time, slated for parting out.
The lack up upgrades was evident. The aircraft interior looked tired, almost worn out. The TV system had an older, low def, flat screen with some bright hot spots scattered about. The aircraft also needed a good vacuuming and a cleaning crew with more attention to detail. Once settled in my rear facing seat, it was comfortable and drinks were served as doubles. 
Not Going To Be Parted Out Just Yet
The dinner service was pleasant and ended about two hours after take off.  This left me not tired with 5 hours until breakfast and landing.  I took a trip down stairs to stretch and make small talk with other people who couldn't sleep. The crew had some whiskey bottles and light snacks left out for the business class cabin at the bottom of the stairs by the second door. I enjoyed making myself a drink and munching to pass the time. Eventually I went back to my seat and got a short and restless nap in before breakfast. The Denver flight arrived at LHR terminal 3, so customs was a breeze and I had a quick bite at the AA arrivals lounge (nothing like BA in terminal 5 of Lufthansa) before hopping the underground into London. Good trip, but it showed that BA was not giving maximum effort on the Denver flight.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lufthansa European Business Class Meals

I ordered the fish and loved it. Yes, on a two hour from from Madrid to Frankfurt I ordered the white fish option.  Risky, except I was flying Lufthansa and they have the best food on airplanes.  It was all really good.  They even serve a full meal on the 189 mile flight from Frankfurt to Brussels.  I wish American carriers fed passengers as well.  There's real food in the lounges too, so be careful not to fill up on the ground.
White Fish Meal from Madrid to FRA
Pork Option on Two Hour Flight
Quick Bite to Eat on BRU-FRA Route
Quick Snack on 737 to Brussels
Hot Coach Meal FRA-MAD on an A321
747 Business Class Dinner Chicago to FRA
747 Business Class Breakfast Chicago to FRA

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lufthansa Business Class Is Amazing

It's so Luftastic!  I love Lufthansa and recently flew their 747-8 in the upper deck business class (super quiet).  It was a wonderful experience, enjoy the photo's like I enjoyed the Glenfiddich Select Cask scotch.
Business Class Seat for TTL
Good For Sleeping
Glenfiddich Select Cask and a Starter
Main Pairs Well With Glenfiddich Select Cask
I Enjoyed the Glenfiddich More Than Dessert
I Drank the Upper Deck Out of Glenfiddich Select Cask
Flight Attendants Procured More Glenfiddich from Down Stairs

Thursday, April 23, 2015

British Airways Award Ticket Seat Selection Fee

I paid 50,000 miles and $557 in taxes and fees to British Airways for a business class ticket to London.  This was not enough for British Airways to give me a free seat assignment.  That will be an extra $113 for the USA - London segment. I'm flying premium economy back and the fee is $56. 
BA Seat Selection Webpage

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental For Sale - Brand New

Need a new 747-8 Intercontinental, but don't want to wait in line?  Well you are in luck, a 747-8 purchased for VIP use is for sale, brand new and ready for cabin outfitting.  Lufthansa is the only operator of the passenger 747-8 at the moment and cabin outfitting can take two years or longer, so don't expect to be flying around in a 747-8 without a crane on the tail soon. 
The 747-400 Isn't Very VVIP Anymore

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The 747 Looks Great

The 747 is my favorite Boeing product (the Saturn V was a group effort, so I don't count is as a Boeing product) and it looks better than any other airliner moving people today.
Lufthansa 747-400 Top

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lufthansa 747 & 737 Economy Class Review - Denver - Frankfurt - Geneva

I had a good feeling about this one until I got on board.  I was able to change my MileagePlus award ticket to get the idea timing for my flights from Denver to Geneva.  This was my first time flying long haul with Lufthansa in coach and I was expecting their entire long haul fleet to have seat back TV’s in coach (they have all the other times I’ve flown with them).  Once I boarded, I noticed the old business class (not uncommon, they are still updating aircraft) and then I entered the economy cabin and was stunned to find there were no seat back TV’s.  This was going to be a very long 9 hour flight (unlike my short 10 hour flight with Lufthansa in First).
Lufthansa 747 in Denver
The plane was packed with maybe 5 or 6 empty seats in all of coach, so there was no hope of spreading out with an open middle seat.  The seat on this flight was very well padded and comfortable.  It seemed to recline pretty far too.  Boarding went very quickly and we were soon on our way.  The drink and meal service started right after we hit cruising altitude.  The meal I picked was a very flavorful pasta dish that I enjoyed thoroughly.  Really, good airline food is served to the people in the back.
Lufthansa 747 Coach Seat & Leg Room
After the meal service was cleared, I popped a melatonin and tried to fall asleep.  Thanks to my eye mask and ear plugs (bring your own, they are not provided to coach customers) I was out until my neighbor woke me for breakfast, a quick and enjoyable egg dish.  Less than 30 minutes after finishing, we landed.  A surprisingly good flight, that would have been interminable had I not been able to sleep.
Very Good Coach Meal DEN-FRA
After quickly clearing customs in Frankfurt, I went to the closest Lufthansa lounge for lunch and internet.  The closest lounge was closed for remodeling, so it wound up being a very far walk.  The business lounge was packed and I grabbed one of the last available seats (Star Gold members can also use the Senator lounge, but that was a hike).  After a quick snack and some wandering the internet, I went to my gate for Geneva.  
Lufthansa 737 Tail
The Geneva flight was staffed with a very senior looking crew, odd I thought for a one hour trip (they are paid by the hour).  It turns out that for some reason the crew on this afternoon flight overnighted in Geneva, explaining why it is a popular route for the crew members.  The flight was fast and bumpy with impeccable cabin service.  They even fed coach passengers a potato salad and salmon snack, very tasty.
Lufthansa's Intra-Europe Coach Seat
After landing in Geneva, I grabbed the 75 minute free public transport ticket in baggage claim and went to catch my bus to the Intercontinental Hotel.  My trip had some good surprises and I was anticipating more.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lufthansa 747-800 Picture

The 747 is a great looking aircraft, the 800 version is no exception.
Lufthansa 747-8

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guess Which One I Flew

Guess which of these was my aircraft this weekend.  Yup, the CRJ.  I was connecting in SFO and saw about a dozen planes that made me think 'oh, I want to go on that one.'  The CRJ did not evoke a similar reaction.
British Airway 747 Looks Great

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Slow News Day

It's a slow news day, no mergers, no smoking deals, and I don't have any flights booked until mid April.  All that aside, a Untied 747 can still create some excitement.  It looks great and is going somewhere far away and interesting.
United Airlines 747-400 White Over Blue