Brisbane to Europe - older aircraft flat bed or newer aircraft premium economy?

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SO glad to discover this site & Keith’s astounding wealth of information & guidance, plus this highly knowledgeable, helpful community. Big thanks to all!

Any use to a PH community member with Mileage Plus miles in place and ‘spare’? United earlier this afternoon (12/9) had 3 Business seats available – perhaps a tad surprisingly? – on SQ’s inaugural A350 Bne-Sin, October 17, presumably with extra bells , whistles & fun. (Alert: the words ‘from October 16th’ on, eg, RoutesOnline don’t mean the A350 starts that day, though it took this relative novice till today – too late – to nail that, even via SQ to start.)

A first timer on the forum, I’d love your thoughts on the long-haul: Europe via Asia.

For a leisure trip, regrettably budget-juggling this time round, the return options are Prem Econ with the acclaimed Singapore Air, at app $3500 for my time frame, with outside chance of invitation to bid for upgrade (best PE food in the sky, says Skytrax ’17 + all round excellence + new A350 ex BNE) versus some extra dollars for Business all the way eg Vietnam Air Dreamliner (low $4000s) or Finnair or QF + Air France, mid $5000s, ex SYD/MEL, with an el cheapo Tiger connection south to start.

There’s another tempting variant: SQ PE to Sing, really decent stopover, then Turkish Business from there, app. $5200. I read Turkish is great in the air, best Bus. food & in their top ten Bus (Sytrax ’17 again) BUT not so great on the ground and at fix-ups. And (thanks to Keith’s course) I could also credit points on Turkish to my new Kris Flyer a/c with Velocity transfer potential.

Does a flat bed win – as long as it IS flat – hands down, worth every extra dollar, no matter what?

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Hi anniet,

Reading your post, I get all excited from your enthusiasm.

A tool I personally use is routehappy.com . It may or may not be helpful to you.

Personally, business class is all about the seat. First class is all about privacy and the next step in service. Premium economy is somewhere between economy and business as the name suggests.

It really depends what you value more. For me, a good night sleep and space to do so is most precious. Flat bed goes a long way to help me increase my chances of getting better sleep.

Others value on air service, ground service, what alcohol they serve, in-flight entertainment, how their food is.

I too am based in Brissie and am very excited we get upgraded on the SQ route to SIN.

I would try and strike a balance between total travel time, comfort (flat bed and whether you get direct aisle access  e.g. 1-2-1 seat configuration), and of course the price.

It also depends whether you have any bucket list-like airline and aircraft you would like to try.

Good luck.

  • To add:

    Some people can sleep well in economy. A new aircraft like A350 would be much more comfortable in comparison to an older one but a flat bed is a flat bed to me. Especially on such a long flight to the EU, I would pick flat bed if my budget allows.

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Thanks heaps for your very helpful responses w-view (mod). (Apologies at delay: Yahoo decided the PHacks alert to it was Spam!)

Am now happily trawling through routehappy too: more enthusiasm & excitement!

Really appreciated your succinct boil-down of seat-class differences and also the neat, strike-a- balance formula. I’m sure that’ll appeal to other PH members, specially at the less-seasoned end like me.

Certainly cinched the ‘flat bed’ priority for me (but I’m now hanging out for the food, 2nd, too!) Has helped lots to validate some thinking & clarify planning. Still hoping for that SQ inaugural, despite some hefty price jumps now!

So, two further queries to you & other members:

  1. Any thoughts on whether inaugural flights on high quality carriers really are extra special, ultra-memorable, gangbusters experiences, usually? (SQ call centres so far haven’t seemed to know of the A350 ex BNE at all, let alone any ‘party’ factor.)
  2. And on late evening departures, also on better carriers (the TK business flight, but others seems to leave SIN late night): Any comments on whether the full dinner production usually still happens even for, say, this 11.30pm departure, or it’s scaled back to a light meal? Not yet clear from TK direct.

Best to all at PH and members, in their travels.

  • Hi,
    Try doing google search for Singapore Air inaugural flights, etc. you should see how much they ‘celebrate’. Personally, my guess is that it is not going to be much of an event. If it was the worldwide inaugural A350 Singapore Airline flight, they would be making a big hu ha about it.
    Hope that helps. Sorry to be a downer but I may be completely wrong ;).

  • Thanks loads again, w-hiew (mod)

    Hadn’t even THOUGHT of this type of thing being on ole Dr Google, but there is: my ‘bad’. In fact, to my surprise too, there’s a few SIA A350 launches with quite a lot of hu ha, by my standards, not ‘just’ dancers, balloons, giveaways, departure lounge goodies and etc but through to water cannons on the tarmac. I surmised that may be much more so at the Sing. end of these A350 launches, & maybe it is, but one ex Milan seemed fun enough.
    Also discovered there’s a passenger cohort of first & last flight devotees. Maybe I’ll soon be one! Thanks.

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