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I remember a while ago being told the only real way of being able to book J to certain long haul destinations was to go call / go online at 12 midnight on the day flights are released. 355 days ahead of time, I think, though there is no guarantee F seats will be released at this time.
I did this twice, to secure Avios seats to DXB (F) and BGI (J) during the winter months, but the good wife did give me a look along the lines of ‘have you taken leave of your senses’, when I told her what I was staying up late to do.
Seeing as a great many travellers aren’t going to plan this far ahead, it punishes this set, while favoring others who ‘play the game’. Given I can’t really plan this far ahead and don’t wish to get divorced, I like many other posters wish there was another system in place. Perhaps one where upgrade inventory was separate, so at least those not planning so far in advance stand a chance of using Avios in some fashion.in reply to: Big changes coming at Avios?12 Apr 2018
I suspect there are many business travellers who do all they can not to travel overseas with work during school holidays.
I doubt I’m the only one who acts this way.
It seems entirely reasonable that lounges are less busy at this time.
I see it as pleasant gesture, that said they’ll be those that take umbrage with it.in reply to: Gold members allowed extra guests during holidays25 Mar 2018
Process of elimination – Oman Air? (Given their 08:25 departure from LHR would also put you around IST at lunchtime).
Only heard good things about them in general though.
If not Oman Air, Gulf Air?12 Mar 2018
DavidGordon10 – thanks for sharing this. While a long way off, I’m due to transit IST with the family over the New Year period. The inbound connection is only around an hour, so very much hoping the new IST airport will have sufficient runways and gates at the terminal to handle the level of traffic the current IST struggles with.
Last time I visited IST was a few years back and the wait to take off, and hold before landing was lengthy.in reply to: Changing planes in IST – don't for the time being12 Mar 2018
e) a large number of corporations that pay top dollar for their employees to fly certain business heavy routes.
A company I know regularly pays £2,500 for flexible PE return LHR-BOS and £4,500-£5,000 for PE out J back on the same route. BA’s dominant position (4 daily) ensures they are really the only optionin reply to: Has British Airways thrown in the Towel?8 Mar 2018
To be honest I don’t find EWR too bad for immigration lines. However, it always depends on two (fairly obvious) factors:
1. How many agents are on duty to process pax
2. How many other flights have arrived just prior to yours
Last time I entered the US via EWR a little earlier this month, there was literally a handful of people in the queue on arrival in the hall and I was through in 5 minutes.
In January it was a good 30-40 mins due to another plane having disgorged its contents just before the flight I was on arrived.
I’ve noticed on the two times I’ve used EWR this year that the number of personnel processing was lower than in the past, though have seen a combination of waiting Intl pax being moved down to the domestic lines and other agents slowly but surely enter their cubicles to help the rush.
I wouldn’t chose JFK over EWR for immigration wait times, as in the past T7 could be pretty brutal, along with the main international terminal. Though T7 may be a bit better as CX have moved terminals.
While EWR isn’t perfect, it could be argued many entry points to the US aren’t that great either. Certainly arriving at ORD can be hideous at times. I also find the self service kiosks are not always brilliant, as you queue to use them, then shuffle off and join another queue for an immigration officer to stamp your passport. At MIA recently the latter queue took a fair old while and quite possibly it would have been quicker to have skipped this two step process and waited in the non-ESTA line.in reply to: Newark Immigration to be avoided28 Feb 2018
Welcome to the forum Scotishtaffy.
If OW is your preferred carrier and you are not 100% fussed about travelling F, you will likely find QR’s business class a very acceptable way to travel.
Without looking at the airline schedules, I’m not certain that QR or CX offer F all the way to MEL. If they do, I suspect you wouldn’t be disappointed with either.
I haven’t flown QF F, though I suspect many will speak highly of them.
BA no longer fly to MEL on their own metal.
There are other considerations you may want to factor in, for example do you plan a stopover, are lounges a key factor, budget etc.in reply to: Best First Class to Melbourne16 Feb 2018
Happy to vouch for the Grand Hyatt as well. Very large pool for HK and there is a steam room as well.
The Renaissance also shares the same pool, so another possible option for you.
Conrad and JW Marriott are slightly better located than the above two, but their pools are smaller.
Out of the above four the Grand Hyatt has the best club lounge, IMHO, larger than the others and has always been calm when I’ve visited.
I’ve only eaten at the two hotels you mention in Shanghai, so cannot offer a real opinion, other than I’d naturally be inclined to go with the Shangri-La.
There is a Ritz Carlton close by.
It could be worth considering the Swissotel, which has a good indoor pool.in reply to: Shanghai & Hong Kong Hotels .. advice please16 Feb 2018
I flew ERW-LHR this week and the new bedding, menus, crockery and food all looked to be present.
The pillow is very good / significantly better. The blanket I didn’t think was as thick as the older one.
Menu looks more like a business class offering in its layout than the small piece of card that has masqueraded as a J menu for the last few years.
Crockery etc was definitely a step up. Decent sized mugs for a cup of coffee / tea etc.
I skipped the evening meal as I ate in the lounge. The pre flight dining at EWR, IMHO, is far, far better than at JFK. Very good and excellent staff as well.
The breakfast was better than previous with two hot mains as well as all the other normal breakfast options.
Legacy crew on this flight were very good, polished and ran the cabin very efficiently given the sub 6hr flight time.
Add in the half decent AVOD and it is a noticeably different product than I ‘enjoyed’ a few weeks ago coming back from FLL to LGW.in reply to: The new BA Club world food15 Feb 2018
GF T5 yesterday afternoon, piles upon piles of The Sun and about 3 copies of the i, and that was it for English newspapers.
A busy Saturday, being the start of UK school’s half term, but suspect BA’s restocking could be improved.
(Only spotted a single copy of BT).
Over at the B lounge, a wide range of English papers and a similar amount of variety just before reaching the air bridge.in reply to: Reading material with BA11 Feb 2018
I experienced something very similar when flying FLL-LGW last last month in J, where the aircraft scheduled to operate the flight was a 4 cabin 777.
The TC I use, who I think I number of posters also use, mentioned BA may open up the F cabin on this 3 class route nearer the time. I stored this to the back of my mind thinking it would be nice if it happened, however unlikely.
At the time of booking there were no window seats left, which I think are the best option given you get a little privacy, versus none in any of the other J seats. So I took 12D, over the front row as its right by the galley.
At online check in I noticed rows 1-4 had opened up, so I selected 2A. Splendid.
However, on arrival at FLL, at the check in desk I was promptly given a boarding pass for 10D (front row by the galley). Having heard the pax in front of me querying the revised seat he was given, I suspected something was up. Sure enough it was, BA having decided to go back to seating J pax purely in the J cabin. Entirely their right to do so, as I was in a J ticketed seat, though annoying as having checked in and been able to select 2D, I was looking forward to a little more space / privacy.
What I was little miffed about was now not having the seat I had originally selected. In querying this, the agent turned their computer screen around and said, look, there are no other aisle (or window) seats available. The supervisor was hovering, so I mentioned this was a little poor, and she tapped a few things into the computer, and lo and behold I was given a boarding pass for my original seat 12D.
The F cabin was kept dark and empty for the flight.
Having flown to EWR a few days earlier in WTP on a 789, all I can say is the AVOD is light years better than the pathetic offering in terms of screen size, picture quality and selection of programmes on the LGW 777.9 Feb 2018
Interesting. The original provider was Peninsula. Watch the quality slip.
Very true, and I remember enjoying the odd glass of Peninsula Champagne, which I’d noticed had disappeared a while back.
I wonder if part of the issue CX face is that these are not true F class lounges. In a way they have become a victim of their own success as I suspect many OW emerald members make a beeline for these two lounges in HKG, regardless of whether they are flying CX or in F class. As such the amount of F&B consumed / foot traffic is probably a fair bit higher than say BA’s Concord Room.
Like many others, I enjoy my visits to these lounges as they are a step above most other lounges you can access with a OW emerald card.
At least in the UK, Sodexo are very large in the school catering business. Lets hope the quality doesn’t slip too much!in reply to: 100 Best Airport Lounges worldwide6 Feb 2018