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Inflight Experience / Seating Bucket List biz class

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Ben Rushworth, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Ben Rushworth

    Ben Rushworth Reader

    Hello there Ben/others,

    I am an infrequent traveller who was fortunate enough to travel in premium cabins for a while in the 2000s due to my previous employment. Those days are, sadly, behind me, and now such a trip would be a splash-out for a special occasion.

    Such an occasion is coming up, where I have promised my mother that I will take her to Japan in a premium cabin for her 70th birthday. While I'm not a fan of the phrase, she describes it as ticking two things off her "bucket list": the premium air travel experience, and the visit to Japan itself.

    I have begun shopping for itineraries from my small regional airport in northern Europe. I have several possibilities, and I am keen to hear views from more regular travellers as to which they'd pick in order to make this trip - likely my mother's one and only experience of a premium cabin - memorable: I have read most of the airline reviews on OMAAT and I have found them so far to be very useful, but I am struggling to make a final decision.

    Within my rough budget, and subject to availability, I can choose between either the following or very similar trips:

    MAN - LHR - Tokyo (either Narita or Haneda would be fine) - BA, with LHR-Tokyo operated by their 773 or 787 aircraft.
    MAN - HEL - Tokyo; Finnair to Helsinki and JAL to Tokyo (JAL leg on 787)
    MAN - FRA/MUC - Tokyo - Lufthansa, or Lufthansa/ANA (ANA 773; LH 748)
    MAN - DXB - Tokyo - Emirates (A380, obviously...)
    MAN - AUH - Tokyo - Etihad (B787s)
    MAN - DOH - Tokyo - Qatar (773 and then A350)
    MAN - IST - Tokyo - Turkish (long haul leg on 773)
    MAN - CDG - Tokyo - Air France (long haul leg on a 773)

    I have been leaning towards Qatar due to the almost-universal admiration for Qsuites I have found online, but Manchester is not a Qsuites destination so we would have "old" biz on that leg, whereas perhaps Emirates or Etihad would be more consistent.

    I am grateful for any and all views.
    Many thanks,
    Ben
     
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  2. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ben - +1 on Qatar. I think you can cross off BA, AF, and maybe LH. BA has lie flat seats, but certainly not the best (except for the new planes and the few retrofits); AF does not have lie-flat J throughout its fleet, and I'm not sure LH does either. Maybe.

    But in terms of experience would think Qatar is very high up on the list, along with JAL or ANA, next would be Turkish (on my list) followed by Emirates and Etihad. I think all of them are close, and all much above BA/AF/LH in J.
     
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  3. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    If you are traveling together for such a special trip, I also think having direct aisle access becomes much less important. For me, that would bump Turkish up a bit since you'd be sitting next to each other, and the soft product is consistently great.
     
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  4. wilve

    wilve Active Member

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    See if you can get ANA and their new Business Seats out of London!
     
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  5. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    I'd also look at flying into Haneda if you have the choice. Narita is a long way outside of the city and Haneda is much more convenient if that's where you'll be staying.
     
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    rickyw likes this.
  6. Ben R

    Ben R New Member

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    Thank you for this. ANA from London is outrageously expensive, but we could connect to FRA and take ANA from there for about half the price. If I was feeling especially frugal I could take a budget airline to Germany and book the long haul separately, but I'm not sure the % saving is worth it.

    It's certainly longer in total to go via the middle east, which is a factor for an older lady like mum but not so much for me. I'm definitely leaning more to QR or EK now.
     
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  7. Ben R

    Ben R New Member

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    I looked - £5k more! Might be able to take ANA from Frankfurt though...
     
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  8. Ben R

    Ben R New Member

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    Yes, sitting next to someone I know means the privacy issue is reduced. Plus she's only five foot tall so I can definitely get past her if I'm by the window!

    I hadn't even really thought about Turkish until they came up on an itinerary search, and now they're a real option. Maybe behind QR/EK.

    Thank you for the reply!
     
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  9. Ben R

    Ben R New Member

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    We're taking a cruise ship from Yokohama, and I believe Haneda is much closer to there too. It's definitely the preference, but the company will do transfers from Narita too.

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply!
     
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