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New Beijing (PEK) direct route advice - unrefurbished A330-200 experiences

New Beijing (PEK) direct route advice - unrefurbished A330-200 experiences

Old Feb 21, 17, 3:57 pm
  #1  
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New Beijing (PEK) direct route advice - unrefurbished A330-200 experiences

Upcoming Beijing trip in December in economy.

How bad are these unrefurbished A330-200 V2? What has your experience been on them?

Is there a better plane for economy on a different airline?

I don't travel much but have read that these planes are old and horrendous. I am booking a single seat for grandma and would like to give her the best experience possible .

If you guys could provide any advice on how to get to Beijing in economy most comfortably it would be awesome. Right now this Qantas route is the cheapest but the plane seems older with ancient IFE.

Should I stick with Qantas flight or go with Virgin, China Southern/Eastern, Air China, Xiamen, Hainan? All prices are similar (not sure about Virgin yet)

Thanks!
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Old Feb 21, 17, 5:09 pm
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Economy is good on the A330's. 2-4-2 layout is great and much preferable to 3-3-3.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 9:20 pm
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Service on a QF A330 is still good in Economy.
How much is the fare?
Have you seen Air Asia X with their Premium Flatbed product....do not try their regular Economy product.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by mingzie View Post
Upcoming Beijing trip in December in economy.

How bad are these unrefurbished A330-200 V2? What has your experience been on them?

Is there a better plane for economy on a different airline?

I don't travel much but have read that these planes are old and horrendous. I am booking a single seat for grandma and would like to give her the best experience possible .

If you guys could provide any advice on how to get to Beijing in economy most comfortably it would be awesome. Right now this Qantas route is the cheapest but the plane seems older with ancient IFE.

Should I stick with Qantas flight or go with Virgin, China Southern/Eastern, Air China, Xiamen, Hainan? All prices are similar (not sure about Virgin yet)

Thanks!
What nationality is grandma? If Chinese I'd probably recommend a Chinese carrier. QF does have Chinese speaking crew, but only one or two on each flight.

QF's A332s are perfectly fine. And in fact the older the IFE probably the better for grandma... the latest versions can be quite confusing even for those not quite 'old' yet!
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Old Feb 24, 17, 9:04 pm
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Australia to Beijing.

If booking the seat for your grandmother then make sure you get an aisle seat.
As LHR/MEL/Europe suggests a Chinese airline maybe preferable if your grandmother does not have a good command of English.

The other essential thing is to book a direct flight, as changing planes adds more complications and time to the journey. Some of the Chinese airlines you mention may not have direct flights. Air Asia don't have direct flights.

The Qantas A330's that will be flying to Beijing are certainly not old and horrendous, and Qantas are offering some good fares.
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Old Feb 25, 17, 12:32 am
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And by December, they may have refurbed these aircraft.
While nothing was announced at the HY results, there have been suggestions QF will refurb EBG/EBL and add crew rests for longer flights to some of the other 332s.
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Old May 5, 17, 7:34 am
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Does anyone know if this route has or will be refurbished by December? I was wanting to book a business class seat, but am not a fan of the angle-flat seats.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by wenznomad View Post
Does anyone know if this route has or will be refurbished by December? I was wanting to book a business class seat, but am not a fan of the angle-flat seats.
Bumping this. Flying PEK-SYD in business in December. Am I right in thinking these are the pre and post refurbed layouts?

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qa...A330-200_B.php

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qa...A330-200_C.php

Appears the former is still operating this route. Is that likely to change before December?
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Old Jul 24, 17, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
Bumping this. Flying PEK-SYD in business in December. Am I right in thinking these are the pre and post refurbed layouts?

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qa...A330-200_B.php

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qa...A330-200_C.php

Appears the former is still operating this route. Is that likely to change before December?
AFAIK QF is not proposing to refurbish these last two A330s and so it will remain as angled lie-flat.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
AFAIK QF is not proposing to refurbish these last two A330s and so it will remain as angled lie-flat.
Ok, thanks. Thought that might be the case. Might explain the bargain fare compared to other options.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
Ok, thanks. Thought that might be the case. Might explain the bargain fare compared to other options.
That and the rather later arrival time. May suit some.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
Bumping this. Flying PEK-SYD in business in December. Am I right in thinking these are the pre and post refurbed layouts?

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qa...A330-200_B.php

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qa...A330-200_C.php

Appears the former is still operating this route. Is that likely to change before December?
Qantas occassionally has the SYD-PEK route serviced by A330-300 aircraft, but this is usually once every week, or once every two weeks.

I was fortunate when I flew this route that I had an A330-300 in both directions, and my flights were 5 days apart!

You can look at the routes and which aircraft fly them on the link below:
http://theqantassource.com/routetracker.html

If your travel dates are flexible, and the aircraft type is an important consideration for the enjoyment of your flight, it could be worth checking the little popup boxes for each flight to see if it says A332 or A333 for the aircraft type.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 6:24 am
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Thanks for this. No flexibility on dates now, unfortunately.

Having checked MMB it's currently marked as A332 out and A333 back; I guess one out of two is not bad, even if the wrong one! I assume though there's quite a high likelihood of change given it's five months out.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:25 am
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Each time when I flew the A333 on the PEK-SYD route, the plane was quite empty.
From speaking to the flight attendant on the trip back to SYD, it appears that because the A333 has one less fuel tank than the A332, they actually had to "bump" people off the A333 flight to reduce the weight of the plane.

It was a very interesting conversation.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
...they actually had to "bump" people off the A333 flight to reduce the weight of the plane.

It was a very interesting conversation.
Same for PVG flights... the A333 is weight restricted. Gives some economy pax a spare seat beside them, but not enough to allow people whole rows to sleep.
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