A380 First Class

Old Oct 31, 15, 1:34 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
Traveling with a companion these are your options on the carriers I have flown F on:
…...
BA 744 F - 1A/K. Very close in Zone A.
BA 777 F - Any middle pair
….
1A/K on the BA 747 are not close enough to chat to your companion without the rest of the cabin hearing. They are also angled slightly away from each other which makes seeing the other person difficult and you have to lean forward and twist slightly to speak to them, as do they too. Awkward. Go for 4E/F, the forward of the middle pairs.

Agree on the BA 777.
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Old Nov 11, 15, 8:15 am
  #77  
 
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Looks like I'll finally be able to give the apartments a try next summer AUH - LHR.

From the regulars which timing is the best to maximize the experience:

2am departure, 830am departure, 130pm (EY 17) departure (all times approximate).

I'm inclined to go with 130pm since it's all daytime so likely to have a full menu and I can just sleep when I get to LHR but wanted to get input from the EY experts.
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Old Nov 13, 15, 1:14 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by grannieflyer View Post
I would humbly like to add my opinion to this post with my thoughts about Etihad F on their A380's. Not sure if one leg LHR/AUH, in early Feb and a long haul SYD/LHR return June/August qualifies me, but here goes. Do understand that I am not young, so my priorities may be very different to some younger posters, and I am retired so now have to pay for my ticket!

I find the wonderful 'private space' offered, especially if travelling alone almost priceless. The price of the F class ticket (bearing in mind that I do also use the free chauffeur transfer from LHR to my final UK destination, included in the ticket to the max): is from Australia at least $2 grand cheaper than any other F class offering.

I have always been treated with great courtesy. In flight have always had great service.

On board showers do not excite me personally, but I do appreciate that for some getting off a flight straight into a business meeting a shower before landing may be a deal breaker. Yes, the bed with its much spruked 'coco mattress' and 'poltrona frau' leather overlay could be softer, but its not that bad, last AUH/SYD segment managed to get 8 hrs quality sleep, and thats from a grannie with bone grafts and titanium screws in her back.

Could not agree more that Etihad's service on ground is often woeful, but I have genuinely 'weighed up' my options, and no other airline seems to compare price wise/on board product wise as I type.

Any other suggestions would be very gratefully received...suspect I will need to do yet another SYD/LHR return flight in the next 10 weeks or so.
While younger than you, we do share something in common, as I have metal in my back from spinal fusion following an accident so I do struggle with firm beds (the funny part of it is that I had always slept on ultra-firm mattresses up until I suffered my spinal injury, but that injury flipped my needs the other way). I can only sleep (well, snooze really) on my side on the slide out bench, which is better than nothing, but I don't find that very refreshing.

As I've said a few times here on FT, while I find claims Etihad First is the best F experience out there (a huge claim) rather fanciful, it's not the worst by any measure (just not the best - upper half yes, number 1 no). It can be good value though if you snare the fares during one of the regular promotions, and I agree with you that Etihad doesn't charge as much of some of it's competitors on some routes (which may be it's own self-assessment). I don't get as het up as others over some of the ground experiences (I'm not about to die in a ditch over the missing First lounge, it'd be nice but it's just a small part of the package and the T3 Premium Lounge is pretty fair for F&B and quite decent for wait staff service) apart from disruption management for F pax. Etihad are also a little more generous with chauffeur drive mileage for F than Emirates, and it's a good plus.

I wouldn't worry if your "humble opinion" differs from my evaluation of my Etihad run to Platinum Guest First and Business flights. Unlike a certain cohort here, I don't believe they need to match (I can only honestly give my evaluation in terms of my direct experiences and assessments, but I don't presume to tell others what theirs should be), and to give credit you are not making silly claims that it's the best in the world either (which the facts just don't support).

If Etihad works for you, and you are happy with it, I don't see any reason not to fly it (at the end of the day, even listening to everything everyone cares to say, you are the one flying it after all). For example, I don't begrudge flying Etihad frequently this year to get Etihad Guest Platinum and to get a personal in-depth assessment of this airline I hadn't flown previously prior to this year. I'm an airline enthusiast so I like to do more than just read about cabin experiences, etc - I want my own direct experiences, even if they disappoint (because there is a difference between knowing and guessing - and I'm lucky enough to have the money to indulge my expensive hobby to research these things).

Having just done four Emirates First long haul flights this week, I have to say I had more enjoyment/liked more these flights than my Etihad ones overall (even though Emirates is not perfect across the board either). Both have different strengths and weaknesses, but Emirates has more strengths than Etihad in my recent like for like comparison.
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Old Nov 13, 15, 1:35 pm
  #79  
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Originally Posted by SuiteFlight View Post
I'm an airline enthusiast so I like to do more than just read about cabin experiences, etc - I want my own direct experiences, even if they disappoint (because there is a difference between knowing and guessing - and I'm lucky enough to have the money to indulge my expensive hobby to research these things).

Having just done four Emirates First long haul flights this week, I have to say I had more enjoyment/liked more these flights than my Etihad ones overall (even though Emirates is not perfect across the board either). Both have different strengths and weaknesses, but Emirates has more strengths than Etihad in my recent like for like comparison.
Overall I'd agree, although my personal EY flight was better than my personal EK flights, but as I've noted previously my EY A380 Apartment flight was only 2/9 seats filled with an empty Residence, so staff (cook/FAs) were able to spend quite a significant amount of time with myself and the other passenger. I sense that EK handles a full load in front cabin better than EY does on their respective A380s. But, since cabin load cannot really be predicted much in advance, I would generally opt for EK over EY, I feel the sum of multiple EK experiences would be better than the sum of multiple EY experiences.

Not that either is really "bad" of course .
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Old Nov 13, 15, 9:37 pm
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
Not that either is really "bad" of course .
Agreed, both do better than the median First offering (there are some First in name only experiences out there), and I would not proclaim either as world's best (a huge claim, thrown around just a little too casually by some folk here). While I personally find Emirates a bit more polished than Etihad, I don't feel it necessary to ensure others feel the same - at the end of the day it's you flying, and you have to make your own choices.

That said, if some pompous fanboy (usually coming from a limited data set) comes along, who presumes to tell me how I should interpret my own flying experiences I most likely will pop their balloon

As much as I like giving the different First and Business cabins in my region an extended road test (as part of my anorak commercial aviation infatuation/hobby) I have to admit that paying for First or Business class is not a very rational thing to do in a large majority of cases ($10K can buy a lot of Krug lol). You can enjoy a lot more nicer things on the ground, for much much longer (and still have plenty left over), but then there is still a little magic left about trying to replicate a little of that at 40,000 ft. :-:
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Old Nov 14, 15, 11:50 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by SuiteFlight View Post
Agreed, both do better than the median First offering (there are some First in name only experiences out there), and I would not proclaim either as world's best (a huge claim, thrown around just a little too casually by some folk here). While I personally find Emirates a bit more polished than Etihad, I don't feel it necessary to ensure others feel the same - at the end of the day it's you flying, and you have to make your own choices.
I know one of my personal favorites is QF F, but I also know that others have had some less than stellar (though none actively bad) experiences with it.

Although all are better than KU "F" . I'm still trying to figure out a way to try TAAG Angola F , once I found out they actually had it while waiting for an AA flight at GIG. Not expecting much though but I don't think I've seen a single trip report for it anywhere, even in Portuguese.

Originally Posted by SuiteFlight View Post
That said, if some pompous fanboy (usually coming from a limited data set) comes along, who presumes to tell me how I should interpret my own flying experiences I most likely will pop their balloon
Which is deserved, especially as a good crew can make even a mediocre F good (one of the best crews I've ever had in F was on AA GRU-MIA, and even on the old 772 F it was a great flight), and a bad/indifferent crew can ruin even a great product.

Originally Posted by SuiteFlight View Post
As much as I like giving the different First and Business cabins in my region an extended road test (as part of my anorak commercial aviation infatuation/hobby) I have to admit that paying for First or Business class is not a very rational thing to do in a large majority of cases ($10K can buy a lot of Krug lol). You can enjoy a lot more nicer things on the ground, for much much longer (and still have plenty left over), but then there is still a little magic left about trying to replicate a little of that at 40,000 ft. :-:
Indeed, plenty of restaurants with US$100 (or local equivalent) prix fixe menus that are better than nearly anything served in the sky, and even spending US$50 per glass of Krug, still cheaper than the plane.

Last edited by TheBOSman; Nov 14, 15 at 11:55 am
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Old Nov 15, 15, 8:23 pm
  #82  
 
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A good crew can make (and conversely a bad one can break) a flight, agreed.

Particularly with First Class, where you are paying through the nose for personalised service as part of the marketed offer. You have a right to feel a little cheated if you get rude or indifferent crew on a paid First ticket (and even if it's redemption or op-up for that matter).

I used to look favourably on QF First (good crews on QF are very good) but they are lagging somewhat on hard product (and it's a shame QF put it's First on the lower deck - I much prefer it on the upper deck with the spacious First bathrooms this choice provides), and I found their earlier soft product much nicer than the current offerings. Still up there though, if you get a good crew. And Qantas do look after their Chairman's Lounge members very well (alas not me, but I used to travel with a couple of CLers).

I'm interested to see what EK are going to do with their next gen First, but at the moment I'm rather taken by AF's new First (with its CDG lounge and ground services). It doesn't get much attention because it's incredibly difficult to fly via redemption, but there is something rather special about it (perhaps not as in your face as some would like, but I like it).
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Old Nov 18, 15, 10:02 am
  #83  
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Are Sydney, London and New York currently the only EY routes with A380s on them? And Mumbai is next from mid-next year?
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Old Nov 18, 15, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by danger View Post
Are Sydney, London and New York currently the only EY routes with A380s on them? And Mumbai is next from mid-next year?
correct
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Old Nov 19, 15, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by danger View Post
Are Sydney, London and New York currently the only EY routes with A380s on them? And Mumbai is next from mid-next year?
And Melbourne is coming next June too.

http://www.ausbt.com.au/etihad-to-fl...from-june-2016
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Old Nov 19, 15, 6:21 am
  #86  
 
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Looking for a little advice from the experienced EY flyers regarding A380 F.

I'm a vegetarian, should I order a veg meal and accept the (almost always) poorer quality accompaniments etc or chance it and ask the chef to create something suitable? I've done a fair bit of research on the product but alas have been unable to find this nugget out

On other carriers I always take AVML by the way.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 7:24 am
  #87  
 
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Originally Posted by Armodeen View Post
Looking for a little advice from the experienced EY flyers regarding A380 F.

I'm a vegetarian, should I order a veg meal and accept the (almost always) poorer quality accompaniments etc or chance it and ask the chef to create something suitable? I've done a fair bit of research on the product but alas have been unable to find this nugget out

On other carriers I always take AVML by the way.
Can't comment on whether the SPML (Special Meal) are any good, but they can - to a small extent (obviously it's not a full kitchen or pantry on-board) - put something custom together for you.

An example of my own, is that I ordered one dish but asked if I could have sweet potato mash from another dish as my veg component instead. They ummed and ahhed a bit but eventually realised it was pretty simple to arrange and I got my preferred veg. That gives some support that you should be able to construct a meal using what's listed on the menu. And they can always cook up some eggs for you (it's one of the few elements made from scratch onboard).
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Old Nov 21, 15, 9:17 am
  #88  
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On one flight I asked the chef to prepare a vegetarian biryani from the F menu and enjoyed very much, although I have to say that I also enjoyed the quality of my AVML earlier this month (which I mixed without problems with items from the F menu).
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Old Nov 21, 15, 10:12 am
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by Armodeen View Post
Looking for a little advice from the experienced EY flyers regarding A380 F.

I'm a vegetarian, should I order a veg meal and accept the (almost always) poorer quality accompaniments etc or chance it and ask the chef to create something suitable? I've done a fair bit of research on the product but alas have been unable to find this nugget out

On other carriers I always take AVML by the way.
Definitely order veg meal. If its no good refer to the menu onboard for alternatives
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Old Nov 21, 15, 4:45 pm
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by SuiteFlight View Post
A good crew can make (and conversely a bad one can break) a flight, agreed.

Particularly with First Class, where you are paying through the nose for personalised service as part of the marketed offer. You have a right to feel a little cheated if you get rude or indifferent crew on a paid First ticket (and even if it's redemption or op-up for that matter).

I used to look favourably on QF First (good crews on QF are very good) but they are lagging somewhat on hard product (and it's a shame QF put it's First on the lower deck - I much prefer it on the upper deck with the spacious First bathrooms this choice provides), and I found their earlier soft product much nicer than the current offerings. Still up there though, if you get a good crew. And Qantas do look after their Chairman's Lounge members very well (alas not me, but I used to travel with a couple of CLers).

I'm interested to see what EK are going to do with their next gen First, but at the moment I'm rather taken by AF's new First (with its CDG lounge and ground services). It doesn't get much attention because it's incredibly difficult to fly via redemption, but there is something rather special about it (perhaps not as in your face as some would like, but I like it).
I think crew can make or break any experience in any class although one doesn't expect much in Economy but a simple smile or courtesy goes a long way. I have had flights where I'm grumpy and angry all way through and sometimes happy with much love for the airline where one of the cabin crew tucked me into blanket when she saw me curled up.

Yes, EK First needs update soon. Typical arab *blingy* type interior is getting really old. I believe EK will set new standards when they decide to redo interior.

AF is very actively promoting it on Tele here in North America. I've seen the new add few times. I hope I get a reason to fly AF.
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