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AY vs CX; better business class in A340?

AY vs CX; better business class in A340?

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Old Nov 22, 12, 6:41 pm
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AY vs CX; better business class in A340?

I plan to book 2 business class tickets for our honeymoon in 12/2013, the choice is between AY HKG-HEL and CX HKG-DME. Since its Winter we plan to go up north to scandinavia so both Moscow and Helsinki seems great as stopover.

What concern us more is the flight experience. Since it's our first flight on business class, and its our honeymoon vacation, we wish to have the better experience if there's a difference at all

What I noted is that both airlines are flying their A340s on the above routes, and both are in their older models (i,e. not the latest flat-bed models) and otherwise I couldn't spot much differences.

Does anyone of you here have experience in either flights or both? Can you share with us your experience with the flights?

Please comment on the checkin process/ seat arrangements/ inflight meals/ entertainment options/ service / lounge if possible!
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Old Nov 23, 12, 12:47 am
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CX in an eyeblink. The CX inflight service cannot be compared to AY, it's simply superior. Also your ground experience at HKG will be much better (w/o OneWorld status?) as you can access the CX J lounges prior to your flight from Hong Kong.

My 2 cents.
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Old Nov 23, 12, 2:24 am
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Comparing the two CX wins clearly. The soft product (inflight service) is just better like NoWindowSeat says.


However, a few things to consider:

CX A340 has the herringbone layout. Look here to see what I mean.
I love it, but quite a few people dislike it. Especially for 2 people traveling together the seat layout makes it difficult to interact. I think this is the biggest factor you need to consider as a couple. On CX, you will feel isolated from each other, maybe not what you want on the honeymoon.


DME may not be the best hub for scandinavian destinations. HEL is inside schengen area, so once you have cleared HEL immigrations, connecting travel is a breeze.

If you hold no FF status, lounges in HKG before flight is clearly better if you choose CX.

Checkin in HKG is as easy regardless of CX or AY. Both uses the MTR in-town early checkin if you like that. If you plan to do check in at the airport, then AY check in is more limited. CX is open "all day" and AY is not.

AY flight exHKG is a night flight. That means they are focused on getting people fed quickly and then sleeping. Nothing is stopping you from enjoying the trip, just a note that service may be different depending on time of day.
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Old Nov 23, 12, 2:34 am
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Service-wise - go CX (AY is good, CX is VERY good)

Practical considerations
Going up north* means that from HEL you need one connection. From MOW you need two - first MOW-HEL (or CPH, ARN, OSL) than the domestic leg up north.

Also for a MOW stopover you'll need a Russian visa, while at HEL you might not need it, depending on your passport. (and even if you'd need it, you'll have it anyway, due to your final destination being in Schengen)

*How north is "up north" for you? Coming from HKG, HEL might be waaay north, but around here it is south, the "north" is another 60-90 minutes flight But in December it can be helluva cold up there (much colder than your freezer at home, but equally dark) so read up before deciding the destination.

Last edited by WilcoRoger; Nov 23, 12 at 4:24 am
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Old Nov 23, 12, 3:47 am
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OT: It's actually quite interesting that someone plans Moscow & Scandinavia (especially the cities) in December for their honeymoon..it's very, very dark here until Feb or so..but what's dark and dull for some is clearly exotic to many!
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Old Nov 23, 12, 4:11 am
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How long do you plan to spend in Moscow (or Helsinki)? I love Moscow, a very vibrant metropolis, but it is not always so welcoming to foreign tourists, unless they know at least some Russian. Street signs are also in English, but e.g. metro signs are not, and unfortunately the general level of English is quite poor. Of course, if you stay in the $$$$$ hotels very close to the Red Square, this does not necessarily apply.

DME is a good airport, so is HEL.
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Old Nov 23, 12, 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by SPBanker View Post
How long do you plan to spend in Moscow (or Helsinki)? I love Moscow, a very vibrant metropolis, but it is not always so welcoming to foreign tourists, unless they know at least some Russian. Street signs are also in English, but e.g. metro signs are not, and unfortunately the general level of English is quite poor. Of course, if you stay in the $$$$$ hotels very close to the Red Square, this does not necessarily apply.

DME is a good airport, so is HEL.
And going just by flights, I'd choose CX.
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Old Nov 23, 12, 4:26 am
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Another thing - if going to Finnish Lappland, the domestic leg is probably very close to free compared to HKG-HEL. E.g. a BKK-HEL-IVL return was just another 100 on top of the longhaul, but bought separately it was 400
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Old Nov 23, 12, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by WilcoRoger View Post
Also for a MOW stopover you'll need a Russian visa
Depends on passport. If OP is national of Hong Kong, then he doesn't.
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Old Nov 23, 12, 8:37 am
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Agree, generally AY is good, CX very good.

Yes CX herringbone layout in Business Class probably not the best for honeymooners, you might feel separated:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Catha...954b1d6510b8d5

A panoramic view to AY's A343 Business Class cabin (old fabrics):
http://media.finnair.com/fleet/a340/a340_business.htm

HEL is known for an easy and quick transit, never tried DME in Moscow.

Finnair Non-Schengen Lounge in HEL for Asia flights, panoramic:
http://www.helsinki-vantaa.fi/files/...Via_Lounge.swf

Last edited by Andaman; Nov 23, 12 at 8:59 am
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Old Nov 23, 12, 9:00 pm
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I just did JFK-HKG with CX in J. Service was pretty good but it wasn't anything special. I have had better in AY and even AA. Then again I have had worse also

I'll try CX F a few times and J a few more times within next two months and might change my mind, but for now I would choose AY over CX. Besides, I've heard horror stories about Moscow airport...
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Old Nov 24, 12, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by tentativetraveller View Post
I just did JFK-HKG with CX in J. Service was pretty good but it wasn't anything special. I have had better in AY and even AA. Then again I have had worse also

I'll try CX F a few times and J a few more times within next two months and might change my mind, but for now I would choose AY over CX. Besides, I've heard horror stories about Moscow airport...
Better service with AY and AA over CX??

Tell us when you've flown in F!!!!
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Old Nov 24, 12, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by terminalfive View Post
Better service with AY and AA over CX??

Tell us when you've flown in F!!!!
Well, the OP did ask about C.
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Old Nov 24, 12, 11:57 am
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[QUOTE=intuition;19732355]CX A340 has the herringbone layout. Look here to see what I mean.
I love it, but quite a few people dislike it. Especially for 2 people traveling together the seat layout makes it difficult to interact. I think this is the biggest factor you need to consider as a couple. On CX, you will feel isolated from each other, maybe not what you want on the honeymoon./QUOTE]

Even if not on honeymoon I would prefer the standard layout over the herringbone. I don't like backing into the herringbone seat and having to interact with personnel over my feet. And I feel my space small compared to the standard seated cabin.
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Old Nov 24, 12, 12:41 pm
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A panoramic view to AY's A343 Business Class cabin (old fabrics):
http://media.finnair.com/fleet/a340/a340_business.htm


Thanks for that link.

Does anyone have a link/video/photo of the two ex-AF340s or the ex-Virgin A340 so that a more fulsome comparison can be made?
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