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Is there a way to check if a specific plane is ‘old’?

Is there a way to check if a specific plane is ‘old’?

Old Jan 22, 19, 4:37 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Is there a way to check if a specific plane is ‘old’?

Hi everyone,

sorry if this I a silly question, or has been covered before. I’m fairly new to this.

I flew with my son last year from LHR to JFK, on BA WTP. The flight there was decent, and featured the newer model of IFE etc. We were very disappointed on the return flight, which had the same IFE onboard as when I flew when I was pregnant with my son 14 years ago. The plane was shabby and felt scruffy.

We’re booking flights to Miami in J, and wanted to know if we could avoid this. Also, is it even an issue in J class? Or have the premium cabins been updated on the old planes? If not, what is the older J product like?

Thanks in advance!
Flyingmedic is offline  
Old Jan 22, 19, 4:46 pm
  #2  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
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It is a complex area, and it depends on the aircraft. For 777s I need to have multiple coffees to work it out.

If you know the seat numbering system you can work out the precise variant of the aircraft, then look at the aircraft details in thebasource.com and that mentions the IFE system. The SuperJ 747s all have Panasonics, which is just about the best in the air at the moment of any airline. Thales isn't too bad either, it's the Rockwell-Collins that are problematic.

If you get stuck then just mentioned the flight dates, flight number and / or the first and last row of WTP and someone suitably caffeinated will normally revert back. There's a bit of me that queries the value of this since no matter what the aircraft, what the airline, it's always best to have your own entertainment at least as a fallback. Would you really change your bookings just because of this? Plus the advent of wifi is changing the game somewhat, albeit at an extra cost.
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corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Old Jan 22, 19, 7:34 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Hi flyingmedic,

Just to add to what c-w-s has said, all the J seats by enlarge are the same regardless of the longhaul aircraft you get. So in that sense, don’t worry. All the A380s and 787s have the Thales IFE. The 747s are a mixed bag as are the 777s (unlikely for MIA).

If you’re really concerned, you can check the flight tracker on thebasource.com and that will give configs and aircraft registrations that have flown the service over the last few months which may help to prepare. Of course, there’s always the caveat of last minute swaps.

Regards,
Champ
champair79 is offline  
Old Jan 22, 19, 8:29 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I notice that for the few random dates I chose during the summer the LHR-MIA flights are all 747s...
If you're really worried fly AA instead!
Guaranteed better seat and decent IFE in J, IMO.
Wong Jnr is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:48 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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You will most likely get the oldest aircraft, and there's a reasonable chance of the terrible IFE on LHR-MIA on BA's 747.

You won't really know until the day before or day of which aircraft you are getting, so as others have mentioned - look at direct on AA - the price should be the same
mikeyfly is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:57 am
  #6  
 
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747s with the Mid J config do operate to MIA and these are the old type. Select an A380 operated BA flight on this route to avoid the 1990s IFE
A P Yu is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 2:18 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by A P Yu View Post
747s with the Mid J config do operate to MIA and these are the old type. Select an A380 operated BA flight on this route to avoid the 1990s IFE
A lot of the schedule is now 3 x 747 and no A380 which is a pain
mikeyfly is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 2:27 am
  #8  
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The Mid-J 747 Cabin Refresh thread is a great resource - check the wiki for updates on the Mid-J cabin refreshes and full refurbishments
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Prospero is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 4:06 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Just returned from MIA. 2 flights per day by 744 and one 380 so that should help guide your choice if IFE quality is important. The IFE on my outbound was (I assume) the old Rockwell-Collins and was all but unwatchable so stayed off for the entire flight other than for the safety briefing and odd map check. Having said that, I still much prefer upper deck seats on the 744 in J to the 380.....
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AJBChina is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 4:47 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Android tablets are relatively cheap these days and can be loaded up with Netflix and anything else by using VLC Player... I can't imagine relying on the IFE and can't remember when I last watched something on it but I guess for some it's part of the "experience" so I can understand... but I would invest in a tablet and then never worry about it again and if you do have a system wide IFE failure then you can offer to share with your neighbour and get a warm glow
flyingmonkie is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:28 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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I find even the newer systems are a bit slow on BA (eg 789 - Thales?).

I’ve gotten used to it over the years, using tricks like adding lots of things to the favourites because by the time i get to the end of the movies it’s been so long since i started scrolling that i’ve forgotten some of the maybes i saw earlier - even this requires a good deal of dedication as iirc you can’t favourite without dipping inside the listing. Then i only have to spend 5 minutes trying to work out where to access all my favourites because it’s hidden in submenus rather than being accessible from the main list.

I got on a LATAM 788 last week and the IFE was amazingly responsive - as fast as an iPad - can BA load up whatever they have.

Tbh i think most people’s expectations of IFE are pretty low to begin with that most won’t mention it as being a problem, particularly since they know they will be rewarded with a pretty decent selection of movies.
email2markt is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:38 pm
  #12  
 
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agreed with a comment above--if the price is the same--stick to the AA 777 to MIA during summer while BA runs the 747s.
VSLover is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 1:44 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingmonkie View Post
Android tablets are relatively cheap these days and can be loaded up with Netflix and anything else by using VLC Player... I can't imagine relying on the IFE and can't remember when I last watched something on it but I guess for some it's part of the "experience" so I can understand... but I would invest in a tablet and then never worry about it again and if you do have a system wide IFE failure then you can offer to share with your neighbour and get a warm glow
I feel exactly the same. IMHO it actually enhances the "experience" as you can watch stuff the whole time in CW even during take off and landing.

Just did a return trip to LAS last week and managed to watch back-to-back episodes of Mad Men from Netflix on the iPad. Lying flat in the window seat (on the upper deck) with the iPad resting on the side locker is the way to go for me - very comfy. I just use the IFE for the moving map.
Scillybear is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 2:02 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Scillybear View Post
I feel exactly the same. IMHO it actually enhances the "experience" as you can watch stuff the whole time in CW even during take off and landing.
Yep. This is a big plus for me as I am often in the exit / bulkhead rows in WTP so I can watch during the boring bits!
flyingmonkie is offline  
Old Jan 23, 19, 3:11 pm
  #15  
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Thank you all! This has been very helpful.

Of course its not a or a deal breaker, and we wouldn’t alter a booking for this reason, but if we can avoid the older planes and have a better experience then i’d Like to try and do that from the off.

thanks again!
Flyingmedic is offline  

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