An interesting initiating post and a very satisfied customer – thanks for your thoughts and I do agree with your, mainly positive, comments about BA staff, especially in J and F. I have been making 3 to 4 business trips to Australia, in J, per year since 2010, but I usually have less than one month’s notice of travel. My favourite is to fly QF from LHR to SYD or MEL and, if necessary, take internal flights with QF to BNE or CBR. QF is markedly cheaper, i.e., two to three thousand pounds, than BA and also offers a direct service to MEL. I like the QF A380 upper deck J product and the service is usually excellent. QF also provides the same number of EC tier points as I would receive with BA (I have gold tier status), but doesn’t reward me with so may Avios, but that isn’t such an issue. QF, like the Gulf carriers, also has a complimentary chauffeur drive service to/from the airport at both ends, subject to mileage restrictions. QF’s first lounges are excellent and the food and drink offerings within them are, in my opinion, very good. QF’s on-board food offering is also, I feel, very reasonable. I’m not a fan of EK, having used them for a return trip to BNE in 2010 when they used an A340-500 with old-fashioned cradle-type seats – not nice for 14 odd hours from DXB to BNE and vice versa. I know the hard product probably has a flat bed these days, but first impressions, etc.
For travel to SE Asia, I would choose CX over BA mainly because the J class product is 4 abreast, not 7 in that awful yin and yang configuration. I have used CX to travel from LHR to BNE via HKG in J in the past, but I have found that the flights with the shortest connection times in HKG are usually very expensive. I’d often have a 6 to 7 hour layover in HKG and then have an intermediate stop at CNS on the way to BNE which extends the journey time by another couple of hours – travel via DXB is usually much quicker.
If feasible, I travel with one of the One World carriers, but this is only because I undertake insufficient business and leisure travel to enable me to maintain a high status with more than one FF loyalty programme. That said, I’m still price sensitive for both categories of travel.