Best (flattest) seating for international?

 
Old Mar 1, 06, 11:06 pm
  #1  
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Best (flattest) seating for international?

My wife has an injury to her low back which makes sitting upright challenging for long periods and the flatter a seat will be, the better. We had made reservations for Air France 1st class due to the "lie flat" beds, but had to cancel and I was told tonite that they no longer have these seats anyway as they have done away with first class and now just have busines. I have plenty of miles available (and just redeposited 200,000) and am looking for suggestions as to whether there are any better options than just booking international business class with Delta.

Thanks for any thoughts/Suggestions. Hope this is not a topic that has been covered to death (am brand new here).

Thanks,

Steve O.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 1:38 am
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Originally Posted by Luvwine
My wife has an injury to her low back which makes sitting upright challenging for long periods and the flatter a seat will be, the better. We had made reservations for Air France 1st class due to the "lie flat" beds, but had to cancel and I was told tonite that they no longer have these seats anyway as they have done away with first class and now just have busines. I have plenty of miles available (and just redeposited 200,000) and am looking for suggestions as to whether there are any better options than just booking international business class with Delta.

Thanks for any thoughts/Suggestions. Hope this is not a topic that has been covered to death (am brand new here).

Thanks,

Steve O.
Welcome to FT, Luvwine
I believe you should take a look at the AF Forum http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=594. There has been much discussion of the OTC (old travel concept which was 3-class seating) and the NTC (two class). There are still routes which AF flies which offer First Class. Moreover, there is a "sticky" near the top of the page on that forum which provides pretty regular updates re: service. On the DL forum you will find differing opinions about International BE service. I have flown DL International BE many times and have found it to be quite comfortable. I feel confident that anyone with a low back problem would be quite comfortable with the recline. I have also flown AF, first class. The seats are, indeed, flat and IMHO more comfortable for sleeping. However, all things considered I don't believe that the seats are that much better in FC for reading, eating, watching a film. I suggest choosing the flight which best suits your schedule.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 2:59 am
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Thanks obscure. I checked out the topic you referenced (did not read all 25 pages, but several of them). Not sure I understood all the language, but I gather that flights from Atlanta (where we are located) to CDG seem to be "old J configuration" whatever that means, but from the way they were described, seem to be less desireable. I clearly have a lot to learn, but would love to have some sage advice for what is likely to be a good bet for comfort and service for booking award travel for the fall. (You know, something simple, like perfect seating, free massages, Krug Champagne, Ch. Cheval Blanc '47, duck l'orange, fois gras, and creme brulee...... Seriously, thanks for the welcome, and I appreciate any suggestions.

Best,

Steve O.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 3:45 am
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KLM World Business Class has 60 inch pitch and 150 decline, except on the soon to be phased out older 763 ex ATL and on the B 777/ A 330

KL 663/664 , an all C class configurated Boeing Business Jet on the AMS-IAH rotation has newer seats that get good reviews.

Avoid AF Old Travel Concept, the old Business Class configuration like the plague.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by Threy
KLM World Business Class has 60 inch pitch and 150 decline, except on the soon to be phased out older 763 ex ATL and on the B 777/ A 330
Delta's BusinessElite is 60" pitch and 160 recline, as a comparison.

Originally Posted by Threy
Avoid AF Old Travel Concept, the old Business Class configuration like the plague.
Is the Old Travel Conecpt in first better or worse than KL/DL Business Class in terms of seat comfort?
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Old Mar 2, 06, 6:22 am
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As one who flies Delta B/E frequently I suggest your wife bring along a baby pillow and stick it in the small of her back for sleeping.....and/or buy one of those little Fom pillows from Brookstone.....

I carry both....plus a supply of Tylenol...
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Old Mar 2, 06, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by TTT
Is the Old Travel Conecpt in first better or worse than KL/DL Business Class in terms of seat comfort?
The OTC AF F seats are lie-flat 180 degree seats (and not lie-flat-at-an-angle) though they are not 'shell' seats. They are still mostly available on the 777-200ERs which AF uses on their late night departure from ATL to CDG. I believe AF has only reconfigured one or two of their 25 772s so far with NTC.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by dedehans
As one who flies Delta B/E frequently I suggest your wife bring along a baby pillow and stick it in the small of her back for sleeping.....and/or buy one of those little Fom pillows from Brookstone.....

I carry both....plus a supply of Tylenol...
Welcome to the DL Fourm, Luvwine. May I suggest a really great product for anyone, and especially someone with a bad back. We don't have back problems but I've yet to meet an airplane seat that's really ergonomically well designed. It's a Self-inflating Back Rest Rectangle from Relax the Back. I'll provide a link but in case it doesn't work go to relaxtheback.com, click on "back supports" under "in the office"--then the link to "lumbar supports"--the first product listed is this "self-inflating back rest." It weighs next to nothing, rolls up very compactly, and is really great for lumbar support--and you can adjust how much air to put in it depending on the level of support you want. We use them on ALL our flights, and we fly a lot. By the way, since you're based in Atlanta, there is a Relax the Back retail store in the "Disco Kroger" Shopping Center--on Piedmont--just north of Peachtree (at least it was still there a few months ago). BTW, also in that shopping center is a very good luggage store, Morris Brothers Luggage. There may be other Relax the Back stores around the city as well.
Cheers

http://www.relaxtheback.com/self-inf...duct-1837-1878

Last edited by atl runner; Mar 2, 06 at 7:45 am
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Old Mar 2, 06, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by ClipperDelta
The OTC AF F seats are lie-flat 180 degree seats (and not lie-flat-at-an-angle) though they are not 'shell' seats. They are still mostly available on the 777-200ERs which AF uses on their late night departure from ATL to CDG. I believe AF has only reconfigured one or two of their 25 772s so far with NTC.
The OP will be using DL miles if I understand his post, and as of January 1st, AF F cannot be used with DL miles.

I am not sure where the OP would be starting from on his trip and where he is going to, but if he is going to FRA, he could try to get SQ F seats. The only true F seats obtainable to Europe still (though very hard to get). Otherwise he has to go J.
In J, DL B/E seats have good pitch and recline, though they are getting old. I personally love NW's new WBC seats. Some people don't like inclined flat bled, but if you do, the NW seats are great and even the old seats on NW are as good as DL B/E. If you don't fully flat inclined bed, they have a setting which is close to cradle, but when I read comments about it, it seems a lot of people do not even see the button that gets you that setting.

Avoid AF until they have finished the full transformation of their fleet as you can hardly be guaranteed NTC with all the airplanes they have still in OTC.
I think KLM new seats are the same as NW's and their old seats are also similar.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 8:30 am
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Not sure if you can use British Airways but they have a direct flight from Atl to LGW with both true lie flat seats in first and business.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by DeltaFlyingProf
The OP will be using DL miles if I understand his post, and as of January 1st, AF F cannot be used with DL miles.

I am not sure where the OP would be starting from on his trip and where he is going to, but if he is going to FRA, he could try to get SQ F seats. The only true F seats obtainable to Europe still (though very hard to get). Otherwise he has to go J.
In J, DL B/E seats have good pitch and recline, though they are getting old. I personally love NW's new WBC seats. Some people don't like inclined flat bled, but if you do, the NW seats are great and even the old seats on NW are as good as DL B/E. If you don't fully flat inclined bed, they have a setting which is close to cradle, but when I read comments about it, it seems a lot of people do not even see the button that gets you that setting.

Avoid AF until they have finished the full transformation of their fleet as you can hardly be guaranteed NTC with all the airplanes they have still in OTC.
I think KLM new seats are the same as NW's and their old seats are also similar.

Yes, we would be starting in Atlanta then flying to Europe. We are actually fairly flexible. Paris is a default destination but Brussels, Milan, Rome,even Vienna, Istanbul, Prague, or Budapest would be fine. We have not traveled to Europe in a number of years due to physical limitations and I would be happy going just about anywhere now!

What are "SQ" F seats? F means first class but SQ? (Sorry for the silly question). Booking more than six months out still tuff to get? Also you recommend "NW" (Northwest?) "WBC" seats? What does "WBC" mean?

Thanks for your advice

Best,

-Steve O.

Last edited by Luvwine; Mar 2, 06 at 9:45 am
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Old Mar 2, 06, 9:39 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by atl runner
Welcome to the DL Fourm, Luvwine. May I suggest a really great product for anyone, and especially someone with a bad back. We don't have back problems but I've yet to meet an airplane seat that's really ergonomically well designed. It's a Self-inflating Back Rest Rectangle from Relax the Back. I'll provide a link but in case it doesn't work go to relaxtheback.com, click on "back supports" under "in the office"--then the link to "lumbar supports"--the first product listed is this "self-inflating back rest." It weighs next to nothing, rolls up very compactly, and is really great for lumbar support--and you can adjust how much air to put in it depending on the level of support you want. We use them on ALL our flights, and we fly a lot. By the way, since you're based in Atlanta, there is a Relax the Back retail store in the "Disco Kroger" Shopping Center--on Piedmont--just north of Peachtree (at least it was still there a few months ago). BTW, also in that shopping center is a very good luggage store, Morris Brothers Luggage. There may be other Relax the Back stores around the city as well.
Cheers

http://www.relaxtheback.com/self-inf...duct-1837-1878
Thanks for the recommendation. I will pass it along. We are VERY familiar with TWO of the Relax the Back stores in Atlanta and my wife is an Occupational Therapist, so she has a pretty good understanding of the issues. Thoughtful of you, however.

Best,

Steve O.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by Luvwine
Yes, we would be starting in Atlanta then flying to Europe. We are actually fairly flexible. Paris is a default destination but Brussels, Milan, Rome,even Vienna, Istanbul, Prague, or Budapest would be fine. We have not traveled to Europe in a number of years due to physical limitations and I would be happy going just about anywhere now!

What are "SQ" F seats? F means first class but SQ? (Sorry for the silly question). Booking more than six months out still tuff to get? Also you recommend "NW" (Northwest?) "WBC" seats? What does "WBC" mean?

Thanks for your advice

Best,

-Steve O.
SQ is Singapore Airlines, generally considered the best, or one of the best, in the industry.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 9:58 am
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SQ is the airline code for Singapore Airlines. WBC is Northwest Airlines' business class. If you look at the top of the Flyer Talk page and click on "HELP" you be able to click on a glossary of terms as well as other info (e.g., airport codes) that will help you understand all the acronyms and other crazy language we use here. Good luck.
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Old Mar 2, 06, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by Luvwine
Yes, we would be starting in Atlanta then flying to Europe. We are actually fairly flexible. Paris is a default destination but Brussels, Milan, Rome,even Vienna, Istanbul, Prague, or Budapest would be fine. We have not traveled to Europe in a number of years due to physical limitations and I would be happy going just about anywhere now!

What are "SQ" F seats? F means first class but SQ? (Sorry for the silly question). Booking more than six months out still tuff to get? Also you recommend "NW" (Northwest?) "WBC" seats? What does "WBC" mean?

Thanks for your advice

Best,

-Steve O.

Steve,

Others have replied to the meaning of my criptic acronyms Since you have a long time before the flight, you may want to try to grab some first class seats on Singapore Airlines First class (SQ F ). Arguably one of if not the best first class service in the air. I am not sure, but I think you can only go to Frankfurt with it and need to connect in New York to do so.

If you want to have an idea about the first class service and seats on SQ F on the 747 they use from JFK to Frankfurt, there is a nice trip report on airliners.net. Scroll down to the middle to see the seats on the 747 (the ones at the top of the report are on 777 and not as nice.
The author did not put a picture when the seats are put in the bed position, but believe me, they do get to be a pretty good bed. And SQ will make the bed and provide you with a pyjama, yours to keep.

Now the catch is that it is VERY difficult to obtain 2 F seats using miles (particularly DL miles). But you may get lucky if you have a lot of flexibility in your choice of dates.
I was able to snatch 2 F seats from US to SE Asia in 2000 going through the pacific, and 2 F seats in 2002 going through Frankfurt for my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. After that, it became close to impossible to get 2 seats in First class using miles, but again, give it a try and if you do snatch the seats, I can guarantee you will be happy you used 100k miles for each ticket rather than 90k on Delta or AF or even worse, 100k (the same amount) for CO's business class.

Good luck and let us know what you find!
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