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Comparison between BA Club World and new Finnair A350

Comparison between BA Club World and new Finnair A350

Old Nov 18, 15, 2:20 pm
  #1  
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Comparison between BA Club World and new Finnair A350

In the context of a mileage run from LHR to HEL and back, I was fortunate today in flying back from HEL to LHR on a brand new Finnair A350-900. These are destined for long haul routes, but as they are completely new, Finnair is trialling them on short routes first. I noticed the aircraft type when I made the reservation, but was sure that my bad luck would win out and they would change the aircraft back to an A320 before I traveled.

But NO! This afternoon I found myself in seat 11A on this amazing aircraft.

So what do I think about it? Well, the ambience is bright and relaxing. The aircraft is super-quiet. The toilets are very smart. The business class seating is in a herringbone shape, 1-2-1. All seats have direct aisle access. The IFE is just amazing. The touch screens react much faster than the ones I am familiar with on BA CW and can be scrolled with a finger (and the moving map can even be stretched and pinched like an iPhone/iPad). There is far more space to put bits and pieces than in CW. Up until this point I was thinking that here is a product which will blow CW away.

But ... the seats are significantly less comfortable than those in CW. Specifically, I found that the seat was just not deep enough, and no amount of fine tuning could cure that. The footrest is fixed, unlike the adjustable footrest in CW. The seat goes fully flat for sleping, but the end (where your legs go) is very narrow (a little like the long haul ex BMI A321s BA use for some flights to TLV). I for one would not be so happy with it for a long night's sleep.

My conclusion: Finnair has put a good deal of thought into this product. However, my personal feeling is that they have gone for looks rather than actual seating/sleeping comfort. I would definitely choose BA's CW over it if I had a choice.
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Last edited by mikebg; Nov 18, 15 at 4:29 pm
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Old Nov 18, 15, 4:05 pm
  #2  
 
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Had a short hop HEL-ARN-HEL couple of weeks ago and I agree with the leg support issue. Zodiac Cirrus could have been a very good product but it seems that AY went €€€ first and decided to squeeze the seats into a tight configuration. IFE seemed to be okay and step forward, but IMO the moving map/airshow gizmo is somehow overkill and not easy to use in detail.

Y cabin seemed rather nice, didn't test the seat though. In J I would prefer AY's A330/A340 with Zodiac Vantage seat over this A350 version of Cirrus any day.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 4:29 pm
  #3  
 
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The killer foot coffin! Have you tried the Cirrus seat on over carriers as I know it varies? Have AY packed it in especially tight or is it standard for the A350?

It obviously doesn't bother some people but it's something I dont like, which is why I prefer CW over Cirrus on night flights
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Old Nov 18, 15, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Cap'n Benj View Post
The killer foot coffin! Have you tried the Cirrus seat on over carriers as I know it varies? Have AY packed it in especially tight or is it standard for the A350?
I wouldn't know! Most of my flying is TLV-LHR-TLV, with the occasional LHR-HEL-LHR thrown in. Either BA (used to be LY though) or AY. LHR-HEL is usually a major punishment, unless I manage to get an empty seat next to me in which case I lift up the armrests and get a flat bed (albeit very narrow amd a little short).
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Old Nov 19, 15, 12:02 am
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AY seem to have gone for the (slightly) budget option here, in that they've squeezed 8 rows of J seating in between the first two exits, whereas QR only have 6 rows in roughly the same space (allowing for slightly different placement of the loos). Result is obviously less seat pitch.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 12:20 am
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Thanks for the review ^

For a few years now, as I pass through HEL I have thought more and more about AY's premium product. As I don't travel out to Asia that often, I haven't had cause to use them.

H
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Old Nov 19, 15, 12:53 am
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I found the AY A350 J class seats rather 'plasticy' in appearance. The personal space was fine with the exception of the 'foot coffins'. The privacy screen between the middle two seats appeared glued into place. It would be easier to have a conversation with a person seated across the aisle.

The absence of overhead luggage bins in the middle created a feeling of more space. However both myself and the cabin crew I spoke to expected problems when the aircraft moves to long haul and some people try to bring everything but the kitchen sink in their hand luggage.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 1:48 am
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I agree with most of the comments so far. You can find a detailed overview of the cabin and seat in my video (it's a monetised channel, I should declare):


The seat isn't long enough - at least not as long as a CW seat. Also there isn't a great deal of storage. Nonetheless the ambiance and feel was excellent and well above the tired CW product.

Going to the Far East it'd be a coin toss between AY and BA for me.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 4:22 am
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Well, it certainly sounds like they've used the XWB part of the A350 to angle the seats in nice and tight so far. Will be interesting to hear a comparison from someone who's flown o. The AA/CX 777s
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Old Nov 19, 15, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by winchpete View Post
The absence of overhead luggage bins in the middle created a feeling of more space. However both myself and the cabin crew I spoke to expected problems when the aircraft moves to long haul and some people try to bring everything but the kitchen sink in their hand luggage.
I'm not so sure of that. The bins impressed me with their size. I have never seen anything so huge on an aircraft before.
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Old Nov 20, 15, 2:21 pm
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What a pity I was hoping to fly on AY's 350. But ..... the dreaded killer foot coffin returns! I have not flown on AY since I woke up after a BKK-HEL flight in their then new business and could not walk because of the pain in my knee - I ended up in hospital for a couple of days (undiagnosed!).
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Old Nov 20, 15, 2:38 pm
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Well, the AY C seat has something like 4" less or so on length than the comparable Cirrus seats from AF, CX, QR, AA - it should feel tight - their configuration is not premium but probably in line with the their £1-1.2k fares to many destinations from London...
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Old Nov 20, 15, 3:00 pm
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Its interesting the views on all these so called better seats. For a decent sleep there is not much if any that i sleep better in than CW and i really enjoy slouching in W position. If BA could spread the seats so there was no stepover and somehow include a tad more storage, I would not have any complaints at all. There again upper deck 62-64A/K is spot on..
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Old Jan 5, 18, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by dodgeflyer View Post
Well, the AY C seat has something like 4" less or so on length than the comparable Cirrus seats from AF, CX, QR, AA - it should feel tight - their configuration is not premium but probably in line with the their £1-1.2k fares to many destinations from London...
Seriously ? 4" less legroom than QR ?
Is that when in bed mode or seat mode ?
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Old Jan 5, 18, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by Sisyphus1carus View Post
Seriously ? 4" less legroom than QR ?
Is that when in bed mode or seat mode ?
I may have been bullish (and wrong); also given that QR doesn’t use the Cirrus seat but obviously the super diamond is similar. It is something like 2-3 inches shorter depending on the seat. That said, I just got off my first CX A359 flight and must have had one of my worst sleeps in recent memory. Upon checking I see the bed length is stated as 70” vs 78” for AY , and 81” in the 777. The leg space is equally as narrow so except for the foot well that is larger on CX A359 than AY, the squeeze points are equally similar. The 777 is just massively superior in that regard.
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