First time CW solo - advice please

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Old May 13, 19, 3:50 am
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First time CW solo - advice please

I'm a long time lurker and I'll start by thanking everyone on this forum for their contributions, all of which have helped me maximise my opportunities as a member of BAEC, which SHOULD see me hit Gold for the first time since joining the programme in 2013!
I have an upcoming return to JNB in June for business on the A380 and this will be my first experience of CW as a solo passenger. As I have always travelled with a companion in CW, I'm unsure what to expect regarding the divider - other than it needing to be down for the safety briefing, how does it play out in reality during the flight? Will the crew need to put the divider down to serve the seat next to me if I pick an aisle seat? Thus effectively passing their tray/food/drinks over me? Similarly if I pick a window/middle seat, will the divider be put down each time the crew pass me my tray/food/drinks?
I'm currently in 50B on the outbound and 52A on the return. I prefer window seats on the upper deck as a rule, but appreciate I've always experienced when travelling with someone so the experience will be different travelling solo. So I'm looking for any advice guidance from your experiences please
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Old May 13, 19, 4:00 am
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I'd go 53 AK or 59 AK - ie Uper deck, window, but WITH aisle access thrown in.

So you get best of everything - window seat for geeking out, side bin storags for extra room (good if working on flight). And not having to step over anyone.

As a rule the divider is rarely a huge deal on these flights. It will probably go up quite quickly unless you and your neighbour are keen to chat. The CC will have to lower it for service most likely, unless you're in an aisle access seat as mentioned (and even then they don't always think that way) but it's hardly the end of the world.

It's all very much about personal preference but for me I hate aisle seats in CW and love the cocoon of the window seats. So it's a no brain choice.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:13 am
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I also felt like OMG when I got upgraded to my first CW on my own, I'm going to have someone looking at me the whole 10 hours :/

I let them watch take off and then had the awkwardness of slowly putting up the screen. I put it down when I got my first drink and you know what the two of us clicked and pretty much spent the next 9 hours here and there talking with each other.

I'm an introvert and maybe the champers helped but the flight really flew by and maybe it was a what it could of been but once the doors opened we said goodbye and that was it. Maybe in my own mind, I was like it didn't matter what I said I'll never see them again.

So don't worry you might go in with a plan of putting it up as soon as the safety briefing is over but the person asking to keep it down for takeoff or they could put it up ASAP. or you never know you might make a friend for life.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:25 am
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You talked to a stranger in Club 😮

Divider goes straight up as soon as it can (immediately after safety demo on everything except the A380). Some crew will pass the food/drinks round. Most will drop the screen and then put it back up. A few will drop the screen and then leave you to do it.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:40 am
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My first experience in "new" Club World some 19 years ago was with the fans for dividers. No eye contact made with the passenger opposite, my eyes glued to the tv screen for the safety demo or staring out the window. After take off, I casually closed the fan while staring out the window. The crew opened it for the drinks run and he was asleep and drooling out of the side of his mouth. Fan back up quickly!

With the modern touch button screens it's even easier to do. You won't be crossing their feet to get out of your seat so no reason to chat to them. I've had crew bring my food round rather than pass it over the passenger next to me - even when we've travelled as a couple and the screen has been down the whole time. It's your right to have the screen up so don't feel pressured into keeping it up should they complain for any reason. If you happen to get chatting to them, just say "I'm going to get some rest and maybe sleep now. Good night" and put up the divider.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:51 am
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I generally pass the time of day with the person on the other side of the divide then the divide goes up and stays up. Having said that, I have ended up having a really good chat but it is rare. Don't feel bad about putting up the divide and don't be insulted or surprised if the other passenger puts it up either. The thing I most like about CW is that it is private and I can watch a film, work or just doze without interruption. Enjoy!
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Old May 13, 19, 4:52 am
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I have only ever travelled in Club Solo, so welcome to the Solo Club "Club". It isn't as bad as you may think, I tend to always go for a window seat mainly due to the privacy of the cocoon feeling and also the window for AV Geekery. Stepping over someones feet isn't an issue for me as I'm fairly nimble and flexible so amazing what a 6ft person can achieve with their log leg stretch. Id take the downside of stepping over someone than go for an Aisle. Regards the divider, I put it up after take off, this is mainly so the person on the aisle can see the window if they wish. We are all human, a gentle/friendly hello when they sit down is more than enough. Once after take off, divider up and then do as you please (within aircraft etiquette).

It is all down the crew regards how the give you a drink or meal service, I have found if the person you would be stepping over has their footrest down then it will be done via the divider, if they have not then they tend to do it from the front, but this is not always the case. I say just enjoy the comfy bed and make the most of it!
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Old May 13, 19, 4:56 am
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Agree with the comments about window seats. It can feel like you're in your own little world with 2 or 3 windows to look out of and minimal distraction. If you're fit and able, stepping over some legs shouldn't be a big problem anyway.
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Old May 13, 19, 5:10 am
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Originally Posted by Pascoe View Post
I'd go 53 AK or 59 AK - ie Uper deck, window, but WITH aisle access thrown in.

So you get best of everything - window seat for geeking out, side bin storags for extra room (good if working on flight). And not having to step over anyone.
I like these seats but wonder what they'd be like for someone who's claustrophobic, as it's quite an enclosed space
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Old May 13, 19, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by dajdavies View Post
I like these seats but wonder what they'd be like for someone who's claustrophobic, as it's quite an enclosed space
It is and for such people I would recommend an aisle. Very much less enclosed.
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Old May 13, 19, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by dajdavies View Post
I like these seats but wonder what they'd be like for someone who's claustrophobic, as it's quite an enclosed space
To me, they don't feel much more enclosed than any other window seat. All window seats have you confined between the cabin sidewall and the divider between the window seat and the aisle seat. It's true that in 53AK and 59AK you're looking at a floor-to-ceiling bulkhead rather than the airspace over the next window seat aft, but that's really the only difference. I know that someone who's claustrophobic may feel differently from me and may be more sensitive to it, but hopefully that gives an indication of what they're like. If anything, I would have thought that the sidewall curvature on the upper deck would be more likely to cause a feeling of being closed in.

In line with what snaxmuppet says, aisle seats are a different kettle of fish.
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Old May 13, 19, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
To me, they don't feel much more enclosed than any other window seat. All window seats have you confined between the cabin sidewall and the divider between the window seat and the aisle seat. I
That might be true if only comparing business class seats but if you were used to travelling in WT and suffered from claustrophobia then a free upgrade to a window CW seat might be a bit of an issue. A window CW seat is way more enclosed than a window in WT/WTP
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Old May 13, 19, 5:23 am
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A reader of The Spectator offered this advice:
”Further to your excellent advice to F.M. in Salisbury (20 April) regarding unwanted airline conversations, might I suggest what I have used in the past? As soon as the aircraft has reached cruising altitude, you apologise by adding ‘Sorry, my ears have popped and I can’t hear a word you are saying’. This leaves you clear to un-pop your ears at any time you feel like resuming the conversation.”
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Old May 13, 19, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
To me, they don't feel much more enclosed than any other window seat. All window seats have you confined between the cabin sidewall and the divider between the window seat and the aisle seat. It's true that in 53AK and 59AK you're looking at a floor-to-ceiling bulkhead rather than the airspace over the next window seat aft, but that's really the only difference. I know that someone who's claustrophobic may feel differently from me and may be more sensitive to it, but hopefully that gives an indication of what they're like. If anything, I would have thought that the sidewall curvature on the upper deck would be more likely to cause a feeling of being closed in.

In line with what snaxmuppet says, aisle seats are a different kettle of fish.
Possibly, but the one less seat, and the sidewall bins, for me, more than offset that curvature. but then again I am not super tall and not claustrophobic (or rather, actually I do suffer from a specific form of claustrophobia, but it's around being squashed in with people specifically, rather than enclosed spaces in general. So for me the BA J config is actually perfect.
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Old May 13, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by snaxmuppet View Post
That might be true if only comparing business class seats but if you were used to travelling in WT and suffered from claustrophobia then a free upgrade to a window CW seat might be a bit of an issue. A window CW seat is way more enclosed than a window in WT/WTP
You're right to point out the unspoken part of my post, because this entire thread is about CW.

And I can see the possibility that some people might think that a window WT --> window CW upgrade would put them into a seat that feels more enclosed, and unacceptably so. I imagine that this will be a pretty personal thing.

I can say, though, that I once moved myself from 22K on a 77W - WT+ window seat in the exit row right by the door because it felt extremely constricted with a normal-size person sitting next to me. I personally find it hard to imagine how even the most enclosed CW window seat could feel worse than that. On that occasion, though, I was fortunate enough to be able to move to a middle seat - 23F - in which I was a very happy bunny because 23E and 23G were both empty.
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