BT thoughts on aircraft type ..

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  • Bullfrog

    Apologies if this question is more for the ‘anorak / plane lovers’ than the professional business travellers.

    We would all probably agree that our preference is to fly as comfortable as possible, ie First Class or Business Class.

    I’m heading to Barbados very shortly with Virgin (& delighted to be flying Upper Class) but the real buzz for me, seems to be that I’m booked on the 747, rather than an A330.

    I just wondered whether I’m the only ‘nutter’, or do others share my thoughts ?


    Maybe you and I are the only ‘nutters’ or maybe others will come out of the woodwork!

    I completely agree with you and although a/c type isn’t my first criterion, it is certainly one of the main ones and more important than food or IFE. My favourite for longhaul is the A340 and my last and next few flights between CPT and Europe are on OS and LX/WK using that aircraft, on daylight flights which is another big + for me.

    I also love the 747 although sadly BA’s are very tatty inside and I have not found it worth paying a premium fare unless it is really cheap.

    Coincidentally we are also going to Barbados soon although on a BA 777. We were restricted to certain dates and I am not a fan of VS either, so choose BA as it was about £400 cheaper than VS and thought I’d spend the money saved on something more enjoyable than sitting on a ‘plane for 8 hours.

    I hope you enjoy your trip to BGI, we’re looking forward to ours, not having been before and only hearing good things about it.

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    My first long haul flights were on 747’s. When I went on an A330 I was surprised how much quieter it was than the 747. However I did like the Club seat upstairs on the 747 , rear of the cabin and port side (64A?). The floor area was 8 feet long plus side storage, really spacious and private. Only downside was it was the seat with the bassinet, so if there was a booking with a baby you’d get bounced, although that never happened to me.


    I also love the 747 although sadly BA’s are very tatty inside and I have not found it worth paying a premium fare unless it is really cheap.



    I am a fan of the upper deck of the 747 (64K) on BA! BA has a bit of a mixed bag now. The refurbished ones with the new IFE etc are fine (I flew one last week from JFK) but the ones they are pensioning off in the next couple of years have certainly seen better days. I do also like the A380 (4 engines is best!) but it is a huge beast and the luggage wait can sometimes put a downer on the trip. I like the 787 and A350 but sometimes feel the 787 is cramped especially if I am at the back! The 777 is fine but does seems a bit of a noisy beast by comparison now


    I hate A330s as much as I love the upper deck on B747s. So I think you are very fortunate and hope you will love your trip!


    I just wondered whether I’m the only ‘nutter’, or do others share my thoughts ?

    My favourite aircraft are [1] A380, [2] A350, [3] 747 (upper deck if possible), [4] DC-10. Haven’t flown on the 787 so can’t comment.

    I really have a soft spot for 2 more, [5] 707, [6] Russian IL-62 (not for comfort though!). And of course [7] Concorde (enormous fun and a great experience, though not very comfortable).

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    You’re not a nutter. When booking flights to places like New York there is such a choice of metal I sometimes decide by plane type as well as departure time. I have a soft spot for a BA 747 up stairs or seat 1A/K. Space on an 380 is also nice.


    My only interest is the seat and the real estate around the seat (long haul is business and BA). I will avoid the 777 like the plague. Done HKG once in a 777 but when you have the choice of more real estate on another aircraft (don’t want to give too much away 🙂 ) the choice is easy to make.

    Upstairs on the 747, first row (although can not remember the last time I was on a BA 747). Hardly ever flew downstairs on the 747,

    If I am in CE, only row 1, any other row you may as well in in economy.

    When I fly F (not done so unless an upgrade for many years), I would chose the known level of service over the airline or aircraft. Used to love Thai, Singapore and LH F – now days though, more than happy with my CW seat to HKG and back.. on a specific location on a specific aircraft….


    A great topic Bullfrog, even if it is a bit anoraky……. : )

    The question should make us reflect, and remind us all, how lucky we are these days !!
    I chuckle when I read regular travellers bemoan premium travel , and modern day issues.

    How travel has evolved in a relative short period of time.

    As a child I vividly remember feeling like the bee’s knees, the first time I travelled in 1st Class. It was on a CP DC-8 over the pole.
    Huge comfy seats with tables in the armrest with 2×2 seating
    Truly brilliant food and inflight service you could only dream of these days!!
    And many years later my, How I was wowed by AC’s Executive Class cabin and the service on-board, which by comparison was truly a different world.

    Yet, if BA were to plonk that proposition into , NOT 1st Class, NOT Club World but their PE cabins I’d bet there would be quite a few keyboards hot with disgust !!

    It’s a simple question of where we place ourselves on Maslow’s triangle .

    Now my anoraky answers……..I’ll stick to long haul “Y” nowadays
    1) EK’s front cabin in the 380
    2) CX’s 350
    3) When available — Dual seating as the widebody plane tapers

    1) 747 ‘s are definitely my all time favourite
    2) VC10’s a close 2nd
    3) Back cabin of DC8-63’s – CP’s specific

    Almost forgot, as GivingupBA mentioned DC10 was also a fovourite despite it’s bad rep !!


    Dear Bulldog, I am an anorak/nutter and the aircraft type is key to my booking plans. I love to be on an A380, for the space, (including larger lavs and the onboard lounge on QR), the smooth and very quiet flight. It also benefits from 6,000ft cabin pressure by way of the composites used in construction.
    The A350 also has this better cabin pressure and larger windows due to composites.
    But my favourite is the 787 because it’s the only aircraft to ventilate the cabin with fresh air directly from outside. All other aircraft’s cabin air is taken from an engine bleed, which many argue contains oil particles, which is bad for health. Clean air plus 6000ft pressure (which de facto contains more oxygen and humidity than 8,000ft aircraft) means I always feel physically better when I get off a 787 than when I boarded it.
    BTW I always pay my own money to fly in J or F.


    The question should make us reflect, and remind us all, how lucky we are these days !!

    So true, canucklad.

    Back in the 1980s Qantas business class on its B747 fleet was eight across 2-4-2 and the seating was little better than today’s premium economy.

    My favourites for onboard quietness would be:

    * Up front on a Super VC-10
    * The first eight or so rows on an MD-80

    I always remember when taxiing away at LHR on an SAS MD-80 there was more noise from the convection ovens in the galley than from anything else.


    Cannot agree with the “tatty” BA 747 comments – maybe I was lucky but the F cabin I flew in in October looked like new and the service matched. It rattled and rumbled fit for its age on take off, but most certainly was not tatty.
    Hate 777, enjoyed the L1011 and MD11, very much like 767 and loved 757 as long as being used for its purpose (not longhaul) and would say that Airbus consistently comes up with the most passenger friendly planes today.


    Must admit I am an anorak, every August my son and I go away for a week seeking out new airports, airlines or aircraft. It his thing and my birthday present to him. This year an IB 340 and a Latam 787 were on his list.

    We went IB 340 LHR to Mad, then Latam 787 to Fra then BA metal to LHR did the trick, this year its looking like Atlanta or Zurich. I would love to do the Wideroe summer season of all aircraft types and airports in 3 weeks.

    Memorable were F in CP early 90’s a few times, and BCAL DC 10, Would love to do Etihad Residence, anyone ever done it? The kick in the back from the DC10 on take off was something I will never forget.


    Thanks fellow flyers .. I won’t be staying in Barbados, I am connecting directly to Bequia and really looking forward to a beach retreat. The 787 is a great aircraft for the ventilation / moist air, and I have not yet done the A350.

    Front cabin on Virgin is spacious .. a real bonus.

    In the days of Air New Zealand 747 First Class, one could fly to LA & then take their service to Sydney. 12 seats and 100 % coverage of restaurant quality food for every First Class passenger .. a truly great way to fly.

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