BA/AY euro J class comparison.

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  • IanFromHKG

    “Both flights were operated by A320 aircraft and I had the front bulkhead window seat on each. I know BA charges for seat selection for non top tier card holders and i’m not sure what Finnair’s policy is.”

    I believe Finnair also do not charge top tier cardholders.

    “I don’t understand why BA don’t rename the First Class lounge the ‘Gold’ or ‘Emerald’ lounge instead.”

    Well, because of the oneworld lounge access rules allowing “First Class” lounge access for top tier. Yes, it’s a bit of a con since real BA F passengers get the Concorde Room (or Bar, in some locations) BUT the reality is that it is better (generally speaking) than the business class lounge AND oneworld is the only alliance that offers top-tier members access to first class lounges (generally speaking – yes, I know there are exceptions such as QR’s lounges, yes I know that there are HON circle lounges etc but then again these aren’t alliance-wide privileges they are LH-group-only etc etc)

    “Who wants to compare European Airlines on their European routes, with European hardware….its all overpriced economy, but nothing else.”

    Well, Mr MiseryGuts Philip, there are some of us to whom a comparison of comfort and service on a 3-hour flight is of interest, particularly those of us who have a long-haul flight attached to one end of it (rolls eyes). Oh, and you also happen to be wrong… See my first comment below

    Now, a few comments of my own:

    AY are running their A350s on certain of the London flights. I have an upcoming flight on them in the summer, where the connection through to London from HEL will be on the A350 (in all likelihood, the same A350 I will have flown in from HKG on!) and to be honest, although I find the (Zodiac Cirrus) seat on the AY A350 rather cramped for long-haul, it’s a bloody fantastic aircraft (from the passenger perspective) for short-haul. Sadly the timing for the return flight means I will be on an A320, but then I would rather be on a poky cramped narrowbody at the start of a long-haul journey than at the end when I am likely to be tired and grumpy before I even start. Anyone flying the HEL-LHR or vv route who can fit that into their timings would be mad to choose BA, regardless of the food!

    I have done both the BA and AY A320 on the route. I would opt for AY, myself, albeit this is driven to some extent by my height (I’m 6’3″/189 cm) and because I just don’t find the BA seat – smart-looking though it is – remotely comfortable. The cushions appear to have been stuffed with bricks, and even with my legs splayed my knees are hard up against the seat in front if the occupant reclines, at which point the seatback feels as though it is right in my face (so much so that out of interest I measured it using a piece of A4 paper as a guide – with me sitting upright, the setback was 12″/30cm from my nose). It was also impossible to use a laptop (even my 11-inch MacBook Air). And before anyone starts about the extra space in row 1, let me add that I find bulkhead seats particularly uncomfortable – if I can’t put my feet forward, my knees ache.

    I have once experienced the AY Premium lounge being full. It is definitely of modest size, and interestingly the seats that look over the apron are much more closely spaced than the corresponding seats in the J lounge; so if you enjoy an apron view and want a bit more space then the J lounge is the place to go. Since the lounges share a common reception, it isn’t hard to take whatever F&B you want from the premium lounge and take it into the J lounge.

    I assume rferguson didn’t try these since he didn’t mention them, but the lounges have very nice shower rooms – albeit the toiletries (all featuring fruit flavours) smell VERY strong – gentlemen beware!! I spent one morning smelling so strongly of some berry or other that even *I* wanted to complain about myself!!

    The sauna is a bit of a gimmick. It is tiny, and I haven’t seen anyone use it. It is between the J lounge and premium lounge in the same area as the showers, so I suspect it is available to all passengers able to access either lounge

    Anyway – thanks for the review rferguson, your input as always is valued (by most of us, anyway!)


    @rferguson — on discussing this subject with ‘alaingirl’, she rather sheepishly told me that the blueberry juice served on AY comes from Estonia and NOT Finland (probably due to the aforementioned short summers they have).
    P.S. They had temperatures in mid-twenties a few days ago, but as my late mum used to say, “one Swallow doesn’t make it summer)

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