Trip Comparison: BA WT+ / QF Prem

Old May 12, 13, 5:13 am
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Trip Comparison: BA WT+ / QF Prem

Not really a TR, since I'm lacking photos and it's more whingey, but I hope this is interest to some people. Recently, I flew QF LHR-MEL and BA back SYD-LHR, in Premium Economy / WT+, A380 out and 777 back.

So this may be an extremely well-known story to many regulars here, but to me this was my first experience long-haul on another carrier's WT+ equivalent. I found the difference between QF and BA to be stark and am interested to know other people's opinions on this too.

Firstly, the A380 was a great plane - speedy boarding (thanks to two bridges) and the Premium cabin is upstairs with Business. QF treat Premium with Business and First, so you get dedicated boarding etc - nice touch.

The window seats have storage boxes along the edge like in BA CW - very handy, no need to use the overhead bins (A380 feature rather than QF I guess?). Seats seemed bigger and better legroom than BA, and it was easy to squeeze out past your aisle neighbour. Nice adjustable headrests. I slept a lot - far more than on the return leg. Very comfortable.

Anyway, on to the soft product experience. First thing that happens in QF's Premium is you're given a glass of Champagne, and welcomed by name with a shake of the hand from the steward. First thing I had to do in BA's WT+ was spend 5 minutes trying to reattach the headrest that was hanging loose.

QF Food was outstanding, and better than anything I've had in BA WT+ or even CW. Juicy, tender food (a lamb tagine), warmed through and not baked to a dry crisp at the edges. So, question: why is this? Might it be the ovens on the A380 are just better? Or is BA just terrible at heating food?

But that wasn't the only food plus. QF wine was excellent (four Aussie wines) from big bottles, not the BA mediocre economy wine in plastic bottles. And to top it all off, the breakfast. For a long time I've been asking why BA don't do cereal for breakfast. Why bother heating up manky pre-processed egg gunk? Surely it's more expensive and less good than cereal? Well, QF do cereal. Muesli and milk. It was wonderful.

BA 777 was surprisingly dirty in comparison to the QF A380 (even though they're both quite new), and one of the curtains at the back of the WT+ cabin was missing meaning the baby behind me was even louder than it should have been. And my final whinge, the toilets. On the 777 you're lumped in with the rest of economy to use the toilets at the back (and in one someone had inexplicably left a, err, brown present on the floor). And there was always a 10 minute queue during the whole flight. In QF, you can use the rear Business toilets - far more pleasant. In the BA 747s, IIRC, WT+ has its own bathroom… Why do we get lumped in with economy on the 777? Seems an unpleasant oversight.

In short, I think BA can and should learn a lot from QF here. Whilst it could easily be argued that providing a service in WT+ which in my opinion exceeded that in BA Club does not make economic sense, it really was eye-opening to see how polished and professional a Premium Economy service can be. Needless to say I'll be flying QF both ways next time I head down under.
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Old May 12, 13, 5:23 am
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Storage boxes on A380 are standard.

On comparison between PE in BA and QF, agree there is no comparison. In BA, WT+ is WT with more room. On QF, it is more akin to business class with less comfortable seats. I HATE airline food- the very thought of eating a cooked meal that has been sitting for 12 hours is repulsive. On QF, i declined the meal and they said that their premium customers can order freshly made baguettes, as long as they wait about 20 minutes.The crew also give similar attention as BA give in CW. Passengers get greeted by name etc. The IFE is also superior.

However, even in WT, BA could learn a lot from QF
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Old May 12, 13, 5:42 am
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I find QF PE far superior than BA PE.

It is a shame that QF is reconfiguring their A388's in MNL and that results in a loss of 38J/K (albeit cold but I really loved that seat!).

/AE
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Old May 12, 13, 5:44 am
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I have to agree.

However, I've only experienced BA's WTP product many years ago (~10years) as op-ups from Y - long before the CW main was introduced.

I flew out to SYD on holiday last year, and deliberately chose QF PE over BA WTP as I felt the product was better (based on comments here). Everything was as you describe - except I had sparking wine rather than champagne (but very drinkable).

Food was very nice, and as you suggest they can make you fresh hot snacks to order. There's a nice desert wine on the menu, something which you don't readily get offered in CW on BA. Some passengers also got PJs (either they were status passengers who were offered, or they asked).

I had the luxury of the 38J/K exit row seats for all sectors (again, due to advice from this forum), but I believe they've gone now following cabin refits ????

BA Avios and TP, all in for £1.4k pp.

[edit]

Full TR here - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...ns-sydney.html with loads of photos of the food
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Old May 12, 13, 7:00 am
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The Airbus ovens can make a difference to the food, IMHO
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Old May 12, 13, 7:16 am
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I'm not sure I could tell the difference with the exact same menu on a 380 and a 777
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Old May 12, 13, 7:19 am
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Anyways, thanks OP for taking the time to post

I am flying LHR-SYD in WT+ in July and am more than a little apprehensive about such a long trip not in J.

For me the quality of the food is not such a big deal, it's more of a bonus.

For me, speedy boarding is important and good service with the beverages Not super concerned if we get plastic single serving wine bottles rather than big bottles unless it's champagne.

Finally, decent AV is important
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Old May 12, 13, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by dc2447 View Post
Anyways, thanks OP for taking the time to post

I am flying LHR-SYD in WT+ in July and am more than a little apprehensive about such a long trip not in J.

For me the quality of the food is not such a big deal, it's more of a bonus.

For me, speedy boarding is important and good service with the beverages Not super concerned if we get plastic single serving wine bottles rather than big bottles unless it's champagne.

Finally, decent AV is important
In all these criteria, QF is much better than BA. Sorry!
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Old May 12, 13, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by jdbelfast View Post
In all these criteria, QF is much better than BA. Sorry!
don't be

Two of the fares are redemptions, if I was able to get redemptions on QF I certainly would have gone down that route.
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Old May 12, 13, 7:39 am
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Trip Comparison: BA WT+ / QF Prem

The Air France long haul premium economy is a step down from BA WTP. The good is exactly what the economy passengers get. At least the food is closer to Club on WTP.
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Old May 12, 13, 8:56 am
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QF premium yes, better seat, pre takeoff drink, pe kitchen. Far better on paper.

I found the return from SIN to LHR to be a hassle though, too many Aussies, and they're all on Sydney time. I did the trip 3 times in PE on QF with the JSA, each time was woken 3-5 hours before arrival by yabbeting Aussies who were up walking and talking at 3am. Very annoying.

Got op-upped on return in January, far better, and I found business qf on the a380 to be better than CW. Roomier seat, no problem getting into the aisle (although I had an exit row seat)
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Old May 12, 13, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
I found the return from SIN to LHR to be a hassle though, too many Aussies, and they're all on Sydney time. I did the trip 3 times in PE on QF with the JSA, each time was woken 3-5 hours before arrival by yabbeting Aussies who were up walking and talking at 3am. Very annoying.
And are you honesty telling us you weren't expecting Aussies on Sydney time on a Qantas flight from Sydney when you booked your ticket on this flight?

If you didn't want Aussies close by when you booked a PE ticket on a Qantas flight, you really need to reassess your planning processes ("not the smartest tool in the shed" is how they would describe this in Australia).
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Old May 12, 13, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by MOR View Post
And are you honesty telling us you weren't expecting Aussies on Sydney time on a Qantas flight from Sydney when you booked your ticket on this flight?

If you didn't want Aussies close by when you booked a PE ticket on a Qantas flight, you really need to reassess your planning processes ("not the smartest tool in the shed" is how they would describe this in Australia).
I think this expression only works if you say "sharpest" rather than "smartest". Tools are not generally considered smart.
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Old May 12, 13, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by dubbin View Post
I think this expression only works if you say "sharpest" rather than "smartest". Tools are not generally considered smart.
That is a very good point .
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Old May 12, 13, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
QF premium yes, better seat, pre takeoff drink, pe kitchen. Far better on paper.

I found the return from SIN to LHR to be a hassle though, too many Aussies, and they're all on Sydney time. I did the trip 3 times in PE on QF with the JSA, each time was woken 3-5 hours before arrival by yabbeting Aussies who were up walking and talking at 3am. Very annoying.

Got op-upped on return in January, far better, and I found business qf on the a380 to be better than CW. Roomier seat, no problem getting into the aisle (although I had an exit row seat)
So apart from people talking QF was better in everyway? This is why I bring ear plugs on over night flights
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