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Old 01-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #41
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One of the things on the "bucket list" for my wife and me is a trip to Australia and New Zealand (possibly with stops in the Philippines [where I was stationed in the Navy 45+ years ago] and Vietnam. But what keeps us from doing it is the thought of the trans-Pacific flight. The fares to go that far are really high anyway and if you upgrade to business or first class it gets to be a really big number. My wife has never flown across the Pacific although I have several times. All of them were in economy type accommodations (although long enough ago that there might have been a little more leg room.) But those flights were not pleasant and the thought of doing it again at my advanced age is a bit disconcerting.

Maybe I should just go back in the Navy and get assigned to a ship that will have a port visit in Australia?
I am also hesitating about a visit to Oz and Enzed for the same reason. One thing I am thinking of is stopping in Hawaii and possibly finding a cruise from there to Sydney. It won't happen in 2014 though!
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:04 PM   #42
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We are going to Oz and NZ this year and will hopefully go Business Class between LAX and Sydney. Fiji Airlines has Business Class tickets for under $5k return with a 4hr layover in Fiji (just checked and $4.6k for the dates we want).

Anyone flown with them before?
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:14 PM   #43
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For business class tickets (or first class) look for consolidators. They can get those fairs for around half of retail.

It's still one long damn flight anyway you go.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:25 PM   #44
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For business class tickets (or first class) look for consolidators. They can get those fairs for around half of retail.



It's still one long damn flight anyway you go.

What is a consolidator?
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:14 PM   #45
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One of the things on the "bucket list" for my wife and me is a trip to Australia and New Zealand (possibly with stops in the Philippines [where I was stationed in the Navy 45+ years ago] and Vietnam. But what keeps us from doing it is the thought of the trans-Pacific flight. The fares to go that far are really high anyway and if you upgrade to business or first class it gets to be a really big number. My wife has never flown across the Pacific although I have several times. All of them were in economy type accommodations (although long enough ago that there might have been a little more leg room.) But those flights were not pleasant and the thought of doing it again at my advanced age is a bit disconcerting.

Maybe I should just go back in the Navy and get assigned to a ship that will have a port visit in Australia?
Take a good look at Premium Economy on Qantas. My wife and I used it last year on the leg from L.A. to Sydney and back. Very comparable to domestic first class but not nearly as nice as business class. For comparison business class was $11,000 each (we had multiple legs NZ and AU) while economy was $2000, Premium economy was about $3000.
I could justify the econ premium but just couldn't pull the trigger on business class. I'd definitely to econ premium again.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:32 PM   #46
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What is a consolidator?

This should get you started...

Airline Consolidators | IndependentTraveler.com
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:10 AM   #47
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We are heading to HK for a week to visit DD. Economy tickets were $1400, business was $5xxx. I can think of a lot of other things to do with that extra $8k for the two of us in exchange for sitting in a tiny seat for 14hrs each way. We've been retired for a year, and have a pretty good sized travel budget, but until we finish some other projects that need to be done, we'll travel cheaply. Our last flight was in April last year for DD's university graduation in Hawaii. That was economy, and was not a problem, as it was a day flight, and 5 or 6 hours. We've traveled by business for years on the company's expense, and believe me, when you have to get off of a 14 hour plane ride and go to a big, important meeting, it makes a huge difference to be able to get some sleep. But for some touristy things in a place we've been many times, I think we can handle economy.

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Old 01-12-2014, 05:53 AM   #48
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[QUOTE=

It's still one long damn flight anyway you go.[/QUOTE]

One of the reasons my old company made business mandatory on any flight over 4 hours was this:
A 50 year old co-worker once 'tried to save the company money' and flew coach from NY to Japan. The seats were small/uncomfortable and he ended up with some horrible back issue (slipped disk?) that he tried to get fixed in Japan...ended up semi paralyzed and had to RE (not by choice).

A month later, another guy got some leg embolism from a cramped seat and almost had a heart attack. After that, the CEO (yeah, those mean CEOs) said "we fly business or we don't go"
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:29 PM   #49
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We are heading to HK for a week to visit DD.
If you're flying United, look into Economy Plus. For an extra fee, you can get extra legroom. It's not a lot, but it's certainly better than the standard coach seat.

We used it this past Sept/Oct while flying to Beijing and returning from HK (via Japan).

We've already booked our flights to/from Germany for an October river cruise. We're using United going over, so we've already booked Economy Plus. It's an open-jaw (two separate airports - to/from) and we're coming back on Swiss. I don't know if Swiss has the economy extra (travel agent is looking into it) but if it is, we'll upgrade; it's early enough.

When we flew to/from Oz a few years ago, we booked Quantas and got seats in the back of their 747 (they also fly the Airbus A380 double deck). With the 747, we had two across seating with extra open space against the window since the cabin curves in that area and there is no space to put a third seat. It was just open floor space where we could put our extra "junk".
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:55 PM   #50
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+1 on UA Econ Plus for trans-Pacific service.

We have also had very good luck with Air New Zealand premium economy. Find a plane that has been outfitted with the new Spaceseat -- IIRC it's on 777-300 planes. Have flown them LAX to NZ and LAX to UK and they are good seats. More than coach, but about 50% of business class.

Failing that ANZ also has a premium economy couch option that is comfortable for the long leg.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:47 AM   #51
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For those considering a trip to Australia, Quantas has announced a promo on their premium economy of about 2600 RT from LA. Promo good till Jan 29 or sold out. Check out their website for details. Qantas Premium Economy

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Old 01-15-2014, 12:59 PM   #52
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For those considering a trip to Australia, Quantas has announced a promo on their premium economy of about 2600 RT from LA. Promo good till Jan 29 or sold out. Check out their website for details. Qantas Premium Economy

Nwsteve
Seem to recall that Qantas bonds had recently been downgraded to junk......that, and they got out of Tassie.......downward spiral?
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:04 PM   #53
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Perhaps I should rethink my desire for business-class seats.

I think you most likely have a higher NW than I do, and as an executive you are certainly more accustomed to being pampered than I have been, meaning have flown in business-class seats more often to get spoiled. So, why am I complaining about that little seat?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
We are heading to HK for a week to visit DD. Economy tickets were $1400, business was $5xxx. I can think of a lot of other things to do with that extra $8k for the two of us in exchange for sitting in a tiny seat for 14hrs each way. We've been retired for a year, and have a pretty good sized travel budget, but until we finish some other projects that need to be done, we'll travel cheaply. Our last flight was in April last year for DD's university graduation in Hawaii. That was economy, and was not a problem, as it was a day flight, and 5 or 6 hours. We've traveled by business for years on the company's expense, and believe me, when you have to get off of a 14 hour plane ride and go to a big, important meeting, it makes a huge difference to be able to get some sleep. But for some touristy things in a place we've been many times, I think we can handle economy.

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Old 01-16-2014, 09:27 AM   #54
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Yesterday, while reading a James Bond novel, I ran across a description of air travel in 1956 by Ian Fleming. Bond was flying from London to Boston on a Boeing Stratocruiser (B377). Out of curiosity, I looked up this quad-engine airplane. It had a double-decker arrangement. Very impressive for its time.

Wikipedia has the following to say.
In 1956 BOAC B377s had 50 First Class seats (fare $400 one way New York to London) or 81 Tourist seats (fare $290). The upper and lower decks were connected with a spiral staircase, which later appeared in early Boeing 747s.
The inflation factor since then is about 9X, so that in today's dollars the first-class seat was $7200 for round trip, while coach was $5220. The difference was not as much as today. Perhaps coach was more like business class today.

For comparison, I just looked up the typical airfare for Heathrow/JFK. Coach: $900. Business: $3500. First Class: $12000.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:55 AM   #55
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I used to take the NWA 747 to Narita from MSP. Top deck was 8 (yes, just 8) first class seats on the top deck. Two rows of two on each side. One time it was just me and some other guy.... Nice way to spend 17 hours!
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:27 AM   #56
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That looks like the same first-class arrangement we flew on a Qantas 747 once, when we got upgraded from business class.

Unless I am filthy rich, I do not see that it's worth the money over business class. I cannot really afford the latter already.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:25 PM   #57
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I'm 6' tall and tired of having my knees crushed when the person in front of me reclines their seat. Bulkheads seemed to be reserved for frequent fliers, or people under 5'2". Next time I fly international it will be in business class. This is why I save my pennies elsewhere, so I can splurge on luxuries like business class every couple years. Life is too short to arrive at your destination tired and cranky
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:26 AM   #58
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I'm 6' tall and tired of having my knees crushed when the person in front of me reclines their seat. Bulkheads seemed to be reserved for frequent fliers, or people under 5'2". Next time I fly international it will be in business class. This is why I save my pennies elsewhere, so I can splurge on luxuries like business class every couple years. Life is too short to arrive at your destination tired and cranky
I'm 6' 6"

I've been too cheap so far to pay for business class on international flights, going with economy plus instead.

After you fly business class, let us know if it was worth it...
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:42 AM   #59
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I definitely hate coach, but I'd never get to travel by air otherwise...
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:51 AM   #60
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Looks like flying coarh is going to get even more uncomfortable. Itís not your imagination, airlines really are shrinking the size of seats - Business, Editor's Picks - Macleans.ca

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Air Canadas third high-density Boeing 777 airplane will take to the skies in mid-December. The new plane will feature three cabinsbusiness, economy and premium economyand will pack in 109 more paying customers than existing 777s, boosting the total number of passengers per plane to 458 from 349. As if it needed saying, most of the extra bodies will be squeezed into the economy-class cabin. Each seat is about 43 cm across instead of the usual 46 cm, allowing them to be laid out in rows that are 10 across instead of the standard nine. Im not sure customers really notice the inch that much, says airline spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick, who adds that many of the narrower seats are more ergonomically designed. Sometimes they dont notice until theyre told.

Its not only elbow room passengers are losing, though. Several carriers, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines, to name a few, have adopted new slimline seats with thinner cushions and headrests. They can be placed closer together, front to back, freeing up space for additional rows.
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