LHR-SYD in Premium Economy – which airline should I choose?Back to Forum
Anonymous21 May 2014
I have to go to Sydney later in the year and plan to fly Premium Economy.
First choice is BA, but CX & QF are also possibles.
I have read lots of reviews and accept there probably isn’t much between the 3 airlines and there is also little difference in price.
Is there one airline that stands out as being better than the others?
I have flown on BA 777-300 & A380 so am not going to choose based on which metal the airlines use.21 May 2014
Hi BA744fan. Based on hard product and most likely soft as well, I would have thought QF would have the edge here. But their schedules now that they fly via DXB do seem less attractive. I do wish they still flew via Asia.
Another Oneworld option could be JAL, but with LHR flights I think going via Haneda now, I am not sure if there is a SYD connection. Others will confirm, maybe Tim Fitzgerald or the great AlexMcWhirter.
Both JAL and All Nippon have decent Y+ products.Not sure what FF clubs you are a member of, but you can get Virgin points on ANA.
But if you wanted to pick up extra miles/avios etc how about LHR-JNB on BA 380/744(!) followed by QF from Joburg to SYD?
Let us know what you choose!21 May 2014
Drsimon – debateable. QF is good in PE, certainly but BA in the 777 is certainly competitive in comfort terms. Service can be hit and miss with both carriers.
I would also think in terms of sleep patterns and, from London, I would prefer the long, overnight leg first (BA or CX) rather than finding myself in the terminal in Dubai at a time my body will tell me is ungodly. For this same reason, QF may have the edge on the return leg.22 May 2014
Some interesting points.
I have flown QF numerous times but that was before they rerouted via Dubai, which is a toilet compared with when I used to stop in Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong.
CX is meant to have a good product and they also offer multiple connections on both legs. Only downside is reduced Avios and no bonus TPs for booking a premium cabin.
By all accounts the new WT+ seat on the 777-300 & A380 is very good which is making me lean towards being loyal to BA. I also have a better chance of an upgrade.22 May 2014
I would also say CX are the best in PE.
But i recently travelled on Air New Zealand between AKL and Sydney, with their 773-ER with the fabulous Premium Economy on, and that felt more like a business seat, service different, cabin separated, and meal and food selection dedicated. That would now mean going via LAX.
They have been the best experience in PE.
For the cost though, you could get Business class on China Eastern or China Southern, as mentioned on the other thread here for just over £2,000, equal to some Airlines PE. These PE cabins on some Airlines are grossly overpriced as VS used to be down to Sydney.
I have also used Air Asia X in their Premium seats fully flat, and for roughly £500 one way from KUL to MEL or SYD.
Eva Air have a spacious seat for PE and you can obtain a return to Bangkok for £900, and then choose another Airline like Air Asia X down to Oz.
Virgin Australia are also good, with a dedicated small bar area for PE passengers
Shame we do not see the Gulf Carriers doing something as i am sure it would be spectacular, but they do very well for the classes they have already.
Perhaps Singapore and the other Airlines considering PE will make new strives forwards on what there is.
Many choices, but perhaps choosing two different airlines depending on where you want to stopover, or a low price Business seat is a better choice.22 May 2014
It is very subjective – but the feedback on Air NZ Premium is fantastic – though the long way to get to Sydney. Otherwise CX it supposedly the next best and you have good schedules / options to choose from.
Benefit of BA if you have Avios is that if you book a published fare – then you might be able to upgrade with Avios if seats come free. (Maybe better to book as 4 legs rather than 2 – LHR-SIN-SYD-SIN-LHR as might be easier to upgrade 1 leg? – Haven’t done this route before on an upgrade so could be wrong on that – maybe someone else on here can advise on that point).
JAL would require an airport switch on the pure JAL LHR-HND leg and an overnight stop on the way back. ANA don’t fly Tokyo to Sydney so that isn’t an option.
Might not be what you want but could also check 1 way Business, 1 way economy on someone like QR – might come in at a similar price or there might be special J for the dates you want on QR / another carrier that is close to the Premium fare?22 May 2014
@ BA744fan – 22/05/2014 07:29 GMT
You can always get something of the best of both worlds: book on BA, using the BA codeshare with CX between HKG/SYD so that you get to sample both BA’s A380 and the CX hard product. Plus you also get the full WTP TPs and Avios for all four sectors. This does not always cost more than the LHR/SIN/SYD itinerary.22 May 2014
I really can’t add much to the excellent advice given above.
What I can say is that Australia is a seasonal destination in terms of price and that premium economy fares are not always that cheap.
If you shop around nearer the time you may find you can travel business class with an indirect carrier (especially one that’s not so well known) for not a lot more than a direct premium economy flight with either BA or Qantas.
The latter are now the only two direct carriers from Europe. Virgin recently, and quietly, ended its direct flight service.
Note that the most expensive time to travel Down Under would be towards the Christmas peak which starts on or around mid-December.22 May 2014
I will more than likely book BA even if I end up routing through HKG and flying on a CX codeshare to/from Sydney.
If I build a stopover into my itinerary, is it possible to upgrade individual flights in the event of availability using Avios?23 May 2014
Yes you should be able to upgrade individual legs with Avios if booked on BA flight numbers and it is available or becomes available with Avios. However any itinerary that has a codeshare on (such as BA operated by CX) has to be booked direct with BA to be upgradeable. Agents bookings cannot be upgraded unless a pure BA itinerary.
Hope that helps23 May 2014