Which european airline is best

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  KSHaggag 18 Aug 2011
at 10:14
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)

  • Anonymous

    rchoonfl
    Participant

    Of all the major international European airlines, which has the best business class product and service?

    I currently use BA but only becasue there doesn’t seem to be a better alternative for a London-based person. I don’t spend much time in lounges (but it is a nice ‘optional’ benefit to grab some ‘me’ time). I try not to eat on planes (generally opting for starter or just the main). I do prefer the full-flat rather than the lie-flat. The entertainment system is important on a day flight so that I can catch up on the movies I have missed. I am perfectly comfortable in business but would not refuse an upgrade to 1st. Most important of all, frequent flyer points are vital as they are part of the compensation I give to my family for the time I am on the road (which is why I also use Amex BA)! I only travel long-haul, mainly to US east coast, South and East Asia with 15 trips in total in a year. I am a BA gold card holder and I think their frequent flyer programme is pretty generous (better than SQ’s!).

    In a perfect world, I would fly a combination of SQ (for when I want to sleep) and CX (for when I am not sleeping). I am pretty sure that none of the European airlines will come close to matching the product and service of either. But is there one that is better than BA? I don’t mind connecting through a continental hub if there was a better option as I don’t tend to check luggage in so one-stop is ok.


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    LX for fares, consistency and comfort.

    AY for fares. Consistency and comfort as well if you get the new Business Class product.

    Both ZRH and HEL are good for transits to Intercontinental; arguably, the latter is the best in Europe if you’re up front.

    Hope that helps.

    Simon


    PatJordan
    Participant

    Rchoonfl

    being London based have you considered Aer Lingus to USA? The LHR-Dub timtable is frequent so conecting shouldn’t be a problem. The long haul A330 has a decent business class product.

    Main pro is that you clear US customs before leavind Dublin, saving some time in the US.

    Against that, Aer Lingus is stand alone and its FFP benefits might not be as valuable as other alliances.

    Star Alliance have a good lounge network, I particularly like their lounge in LHR T1. For someone who uses the rewards for family this might be more useful to you, particularly as Star Alliance fly to all your preferred destinations.

    Safe travels,

    Pat


    PatJordan
    Participant

    Rchoonfl

    being London based have you considered Aer Lingus to USA? The LHR-Dub timtable is frequent so conecting shouldn’t be a problem. The long haul A330 has a decent business class product.

    Main pro is that you clear US customs before leavind Dublin, saving some time in the US.

    Against that, Aer Lingus is stand alone and its FFP benefits might not be as valuable as other alliances.

    Star Alliance have a good lounge network, I particularly like their lounge in LHR T1. For someone who uses the rewards for family this might be more useful to you, particularly as Star Alliance fly to all your preferred destinations.

    Safe travels,

    Pat


    rchoonfl
    Participant

    Thanks for the feedback. I think I will give Swiss a try on my next flight out.


    JonathanCohen09
    Participant

    Hello,

    I would echo Simon R’s comments totally. you will not be sorry if you give Swiss a try.

    I am and have been a very big fan of theirs ever since the days of Swissair.

    Please let us know where you end up flying with them and how you get on.

    Best to all,

    JC


    Senator
    Participant

    My vote is also on Swiss for long haul and short haul. I am booked on LX heading to LAX in late September in Business. I may upgrade to First, haven’t decided yet.


    RichHI1
    Participant

    I am intrigued by LH for long haul as they have ordered 748’s ( and I believe they now own Swiss and Austrian?) . I see they are updating first seating to a separate seat and bed alongside. Has anyone direct experience of this? Previous experience on LH some years back was good but not so good as to warrant the FRA layover. I am particularly focussed on seat length as a tall person. Thanks.


    Senator
    Participant

    RichHI1,

    I am not sure if you travel in Business or First. My advice would be the following:
    Business – I would use Swiss as my first choice. I have also travelled Austrian and if you are on a daytime flight, keen on F&B (as I am) and not fuzzy about IFE – Austrian is great. I find the Lufthansa seat a poor solution for night flights, and the F&B a bit dull. It is ok for a day flight.

    First – I have not been on the new Lufthansa First products. There are two different products; the A380 and the single chair/separate bed being rolled out across the A330/A340 fleet and re-vamped B747-400s. Both look intriguing. I still find the old B747 seat (reclines to 180 degrees) a very good sleep. I loved the Swiss First on the A330-300s. Great seat, wonderful bed, excellent F&B, and brilliant IFE. The ZRH airport experience is not as good as the FRA experience. So depending on what you’re in to, you could go either Lufthansa or Swiss.


    RichHI1
    Participant

    Thanks Senator.
    Normally Long Haul I travel First as I am 6’5″ and have sports injuries to my knees.
    I do the odd daytime flight in business but no over nights.
    I have always found LH efficient though troubling when things do go wrong. I have a soft spot for 747’s which is why I am looking into LH as they are buying 748’s.
    Spent a year commuting every week LHR-GRU and ended up on TAM as better deals than BA and I preferred the service. I think the TAM First seats are similar to the Swiss ones and they used a330’s too(now 777). Following the Air France Rio crash and my instinctive preference of Boeing look and feel over Airbus I think I would shy away from A330’s over water. Done a daylight IB to Latin America and that was an a346 which was not bad at all (Good coffee 🙂 )


    GoonerLondon
    Participant

    I also like LX long-haul; NEW J is great quality – though the seats aren’t as good as BA J in terms of space and privacy, though the singles intermittently spaced on each side are very close. Old J is however, poor.

    LX New F is Excellent (Only on 330-330), OLD F seat is pretty poor though.

    Personally, having to transfer through an airport when you can fly direct, particularly when you are going home is NOT FUN. I get you can save a bit of money (though LX is not the bargain it once was), but its crazy to overfly London on a transatlantic run to change in Switzerland.


    Senator
    Participant

    GoonerLondon,

    You are spot on when it comes to a connecting (long-haul) flight when coming home. At ARN, our choices are slim so unless you are travelling:
    SK to/from EWR/ORD
    CO to/from EWR
    DL to/from JFK
    CA to/from PEK
    QR to/from DOH
    TG to/from BKK

    However, from LHR I can undestand.

    For me it boils down to money. If I can save £500 I will go via somewhere.


    rchoonfl
    Participant

    I agree. there is a huge part of me that thinks i am being obtuse to want to try a 1-stop route and add on 4 hours to every journey. But i feel hard done by with BA especially when you stack them up (unfairly) with SQ and CX. I have recently tried AY and AF and have been uninspired. LX does look pretty good and their FFP looks pretty generous to keep homelife on an even keel. So I will give it a go – probably to NY in early Sept


    GoonerLondon
    Participant

    Of course, if you are going to change somewhere, then by all means you can choose on the elements of service that particularly push your button.

    Rchoonfl – im interested what makes you feel hard done by. The usual anti-BA bandwagon fuel – catering and inflexibility – dont seem to apply to what you say you value.

    Think on this:

    – East coast USA flights – direct from LHR you have so much more daily choice. This is vital when things go wrong. One of my LX JFK forays was a disaster because weather effected my LCY-GVA connection, i was transferred to LHR to get to GVA, but by the time I got to GVA I sadly missed the GVA-JFK flight, so was routed via CDG! (Oh and my bag didn’t make it – it decided to travel via FRA). This isnt an anti-LX thing – its just they typically only have 1 flight a day (Except JFK).

    -Lie flat seats in J is pretty common across European carriers, as apposed to fully flat that you are used to. Remember BA have fully flat on every single flight. Few other carriers have this promise on the transatlantic run – only VS I think

    -Exec club and AMEX 2-4-1s – Miles and more is OK, but by no means as generous. Slightly easier to earn status on the transatlantic though – but what do you need status for if you dont care about lounges and always travel J?

    – FIRST upgrades – BA run bigger F cabins with more seats per cabin. This means some will say BA F isnt as good as LX F – but what is undeniable is that BA have better upgrade opportunities

    – In flight entertainment – there is much better choice for you on the BA AVOID system (lets not talk about the 12 channel system), ands if you are British, there is more tailored to your viewing preferences.

    – Catering and in flight service is definitely a reason to try something else, as it can get a but dull if you fly a carrier a lot. I found LX and AF to be better than BA in both J and F. But you say you dont value this anyway.

    So im afraid I dint get it for east coast USA – given what you value, you want to add 8 hours on a return journey, for a poorer value proposition. Are you crazy?!

    Asia is a different matter. On the basis you rethink BA to east coast based on above, I’d give AY a go – adds to your BA balance, and the hub is enroute and doesn’t add too much overall travel time. And is cheaper too. This starts to make sense.

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