Travel Airlines, Flights, Airports and Frequent Flyer Programs

juss

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Thread starter #1
Hey guys, there's a heap of threads on travelling and locations but not many specifically on airlines and flights.

Everything from good/bad experiences, who you fly with, who you won't fly with, short haul, long haul, flight sales and discounts.

I'll kick it off by asking if anyone has ever got that elusive free upgrade to business class?

Have updated the thread title to include airports and frequent flyer program discussion.
 
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Rubix WingMan

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#2
Generally stick to Singapore Airlines if I'm flying towards Europe or Asia, even though it's a bit exxy, it's a quality experience and you get outstanding service every time. Flew with Virgin Australia on the long-haul from Brisbane to LA last year and had no complaints whatsoever, the staff were very friendly, and some spacious seats meant it was an overall great experience flying. One tip is always stay away from Flight Centre, just book your own flights, obviously be careful of the scam websites, but there are much better deals than the ones FC offer.

As for the upgrade to Business Class, I'm still hoping for one on a long flight, but they always seem to be full.
 

juss

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Thread starter #3
I'm flying with Qatar Airways to Europe next year, from most reports they are a great airline, but never flown with them before. Their prices are actually really good compared to the other airlines for the dates I chose.
 

ash_1050

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#5
The thing a lot of people don't quite grasp with flights is you get what you pay for.

Got an all-in sale fare with Jetstar to Bali? Great, you're not going to be able to adjust anything and will have to pay for all add ons, including checked luggage. If something happens that disrupts their tight schedule, such as a volcanic eruption, you're going to have a bad time in terms of customer service as they are a volume based airline. Likewise you're 'discount fare' may end up costing you more if you're arriving at an airport in the middle of nowhere (Frankfurt-Hahn anybody?) and have to then pay for a bus/train/taxi to your destination city.

Flying with a full service airline such as Etihad? Your free checked baggage allowance is 30kgs as standard, meals and entertainment are provided and free alcohol depending on the route. Additionally there is a stack of behind the scenes benefits such as better flight slots, prioritised departure in the event of a backlog and better customer service if something goes wrong.

If you've got a flexible schedule or you're on a budget then cheap airlines can be handy. Likewise if you're on a tight schedule (e.g. business or funeral) then spend the extra cash to go with a full service airline.

Above all else ensure that you have sufficient insurance so that you're not out of pocket in the event that something goes wrong.
 

ash_1050

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#6
I booked an error fare with Etihad last week for €350 return from Europe to Australia with a full service airline, complete with a one week stopover in Thailand. Sure the total transit time is a bit longer than normal but for that price it's worth the additional 10 or so hours of transit.
 

kirky

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#7
Hey guys, there's a heap of threads on travelling and locations but not many specifically on airlines and flights.

Everything from good/bad experiences, who you fly with, who you won't fly with, short haul, long haul, flight sales and discounts.

I'll kick it off by asking if anyone has ever got that elusive free upgrade to business class?
I'm loyal to Qantas (gold ff and all thru personal flights) and got upgrades to Business from Premium last February and August last year on flights to USA and more recently from NZ in June.

Try to travel Premium whenever I can and never pay full fare (generally pay around $3,300 to USA return for Premium from Adelaide) and always wait for the discounted fares (which occur frequently) and then apply for upgrades.

Upgrades are simply on your status. Easier to get if solo and rarely get upgrades to/from Europe.

Airlines I wouldn't touch - United.
 
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Airlines I wouldn't touch - United.
Oh hell yeah

Flown with them twice to and from the US and put it this way on my last trip there I didn't even use them for the booked return flight back home because of how poor their service was.

I had no say in the booking as my brother is (was) loyal to them and the new Dreamliner wasn't all it was cracked up to be from Melbourne. On the return leg home I checked in with ahead of my brother to be informed that there was a delay of 2 hours of our flight between Seattle and LA thus missing our connecting flight home to Melbourne but they would switch me to Alaska Airlines so I could make the flight home. As I getting that sorted out, my brother comes over having checked in to the delayed flight only he wasn't informed about it at check in and finds out as I'm being switched to another airline. He was Business as well.

We started to suss out that the turn around at LAX would be too tight for us to make our flight home because they were saying that 50 minutes is enough time to arrive, change terminals and clear TSA at LAX. HA. So we go over to Alaska Airline to re-check in for the new leg to LAX and they refuse the check in because they need 90 minutes at LAX to transfer us to an international flight. So now we are livid and looking at arriving back a day late and having to take time off work. Lucky for us the duty managers changed and the new one managed to get us on a QANTAS flight home from LA after our flight from Seattle.

Just avoid United at all costs.
 

ash_1050

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#10
Just avoid United at all costs.
Agreed, I flew with them from Europe to the US in May, customer service is not their strong point. First I joined what looked like the boarding queue. I get to the front the lady informs me that because I'm not American I need to join another queue. I join that queue and they then redirect me to the check in desk. The check in desk checks my visa exemption is ok and sends me back to the queue. At the front of the queue I'm asked a bunch of dumb security questions (such as are you carrying any guns) and then when this is done I'm allowed to join the actual boarding queue. Given the flight was on an Airbus A380 there was a ton of people everywhere and a general chaos. Their codeshare and lack of communication with Lufthansa is also a pain in the arse, but that's another story.
 

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#11
Fly to HK quite often and Cathay are brilliant, have used them to Europe aswell a couple of times and their service and customer care is top notch. Have flown Emirates a couple of times to Europe and whilst a little pricier they offer brilliant service. When flying to Asia I use Singapore or Malaysian and both are great, Malaysia gets a lot of knocks but have never had a problem with them and find them great. Went on my first Thai Airways flight earlier this year and thought they were fantastic. Only other International Airline ive flown was China Air a few years ago from Sydney to Tapei and they were right up there for comfort. I avoid QANTAS at all costs, too many bad experiences. For short haul Asia flights I use Air Asia a bucket load, very cheap and mostly prompt service and never had a bad experience despite probably 70-80 flights with them
 

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Flew Lufthansa to Europe last December and they were the best airline I've experienced so far, an understated service and an economy class seat that didn't feel like a coffin. Cathay to HK is top notch as said above. Etihad was great for a quick flight to and from Europe, with the quick stopover in Abu Dhabi they can provide. Service is brilliant and but they service Australia with an older fleet of planes which turned the flight to a grind.
 

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#13
Well, lets go through my international travels

QANTAS
1997 - Sydney ---> Los Angeles - They made a stuff up, parents (6'3'', 6'1'') booked an exit row seat. Get through booking, get through checkin, get through everything, then told at the gate we cant sit there as I'm too young (7). They fixed it, but that was a tad incompetent.
1997 - Honolulu ---> Sydney - No issues
2010 - Melbourne ---> Hong Kong - No issues
2014 - Melbourne ---> Dubai - No issues
2014 - Dubai ---> London - No issues
2014 - Los Angeles ---> Brisbane - No issues

United
1997 - Los Angeles ---> San Francisco - No issues
1997 - San Francisco ---> Vancouver - No issues
2014 - Las Vegas ---> San Francisco - Initially delayed due to issues in San Francisco, but as there were something like 60 Japanese on the flight needing to get a connection in San Francisco, they prioritised our flight to get us in the air ASAP, meant I was straight onto my connecting flight.
2014 - San Francisco ---> Boise - No issues
2014 - Boise ---> Los Angeles - No issues

Canadian Airlines (now defunct)
1997 - Vancouver ---> Honolulu - No issues

Dragonair
2010 - Hong Kong ---> Beijing - Shitty legroom, I'm 6'5'' and was sitting diagonally into the adjacent seat. Luckily the flight was quite empty and I got to move to the exit row.

Emirates
2011 - Moscow ---> Dubai - No issues
2011 - Dubai ---> Perth - No issues

Singapore Airlines
2012 - Adelaide ---> Singapore - No issues
2012 - Singapore ---> Beijing - No issues
2012 - Shanghai ---> Singapore - No issues
2012 - Singapore ---> Adelaide - No issues

Malaysian Airlines
2013 - Adelaide ---> Kuala Lumpur - No issues
2013 - Kuala Lumpur ---> London - No issues
2014 - Amsterdam ---> Kuala Lumpur - No issues
2014 - Kuala Lumpur ---> Adelaide - No issues

American Airlines
2014 - London ---> New York - Seat configuration sucks. I was in the first row where it went from 2-3-2 to 3-3-3 in that aisle seat in where it starts at 3. Bumped all the ****ing time.
2014 - New York ---> Miami - I liked how they tell you on the plane which gate you're coming into and where every connection is leaving from.
2014 - Boston ---> Chicago - I liked how they tell you on the plane which gate you're coming into and where every connection is leaving from.
2014 - Chicago ---> Las Vegas - No issues

Delta Airlines
2014 - New Orleans ---> Atlanta - 4 ****ing hour delay?
2014 - Atlanta ---> Baltimore - You can't even pick a ****ing gate to leave from changing very 5th flight?? You realise how long it takes to walk from 1 terminal to another? **** off (yes, I realise there's a train, but I had 2 hours, may as well walk)

Cathay Pacific
2015 - Adelaide ---> Hong Kong - Upgrade to Premium Economy! :D
2015 - Hong Kong ---> London - No issues
2015 - Paris ---> Hong Kong - No issues
2015 - Hong Kong ---> Adelaide - No issues

British Airways
2015 - London ---> Berlin - No issues
2015 - Berlin ---> London - No issues
 

juss

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Thread starter #14
Well, lets go through my international travels

QANTAS
1997 - Sydney ---> Los Angeles - They made a stuff up, parents (6'3'', 6'1'') booked an exit row seat. Get through booking, get through checkin, get through everything, then told at the gate we cant sit there as I'm too young (7). They fixed it, but that was a tad incompetent.
1997 - Honolulu ---> Sydney - No issues
2010 - Melbourne ---> Hong Kong - No issues
2014 - Melbourne ---> Dubai - No issues
2014 - Dubai ---> London - No issues
2014 - Los Angeles ---> Brisbane - No issues

United
1997 - Los Angeles ---> San Francisco - No issues
1997 - San Francisco ---> Vancouver - No issues
2014 - Las Vegas ---> San Francisco - Initially delayed due to issues in San Francisco, but as there were something like 60 Japanese on the flight needing to get a connection in San Francisco, they prioritised our flight to get us in the air ASAP, meant I was straight onto my connecting flight.
2014 - San Francisco ---> Boise - No issues
2014 - Boise ---> Los Angeles - No issues

Canadian Airlines (now defunct)
1997 - Vancouver ---> Honolulu - No issues

Dragonair
2010 - Hong Kong ---> Beijing - Shitty legroom, I'm 6'5'' and was sitting diagonally into the adjacent seat. Luckily the flight was quite empty and I got to move to the exit row.

Emirates
2011 - Moscow ---> Dubai - No issues
2011 - Dubai ---> Perth - No issues

Singapore Airlines
2012 - Adelaide ---> Singapore - No issues
2012 - Singapore ---> Beijing - No issues
2012 - Shanghai ---> Singapore - No issues
2012 - Singapore ---> Adelaide - No issues

Malaysian Airlines
2013 - Adelaide ---> Kuala Lumpur - No issues
2013 - Kuala Lumpur ---> London - No issues
2014 - Amsterdam ---> Kuala Lumpur - No issues
2014 - Kuala Lumpur ---> Adelaide - No issues

American Airlines
2014 - London ---> New York - Seat configuration sucks. I was in the first row where it went from 2-3-2 to 3-3-3 in that aisle seat in where it starts at 3. Bumped all the ****ing time.
2014 - New York ---> Miami - I liked how they tell you on the plane which gate you're coming into and where every connection is leaving from.
2014 - Boston ---> Chicago - I liked how they tell you on the plane which gate you're coming into and where every connection is leaving from.
2014 - Chicago ---> Las Vegas - No issues

Delta Airlines
2014 - New Orleans ---> Atlanta - 4 ****ing hour delay?
2014 - Atlanta ---> Baltimore - You can't even pick a ****ing gate to leave from changing very 5th flight?? You realise how long it takes to walk from 1 terminal to another? **** off (yes, I realise there's a train, but I had 2 hours, may as well walk)

Cathay Pacific
2015 - Adelaide ---> Hong Kong - Upgrade to Premium Economy! :D
2015 - Hong Kong ---> London - No issues
2015 - Paris ---> Hong Kong - No issues
2015 - Hong Kong ---> Adelaide - No issues

British Airways
2015 - London ---> Berlin - No issues
2015 - Berlin ---> London - No issues
Looks like you've flown with a fair few and though with most you haven't had any issues, what would you say were the more comfortable economy seats?
 

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If you are flying to Fiji, avoid Fiji Air at all costs, unless you want to pay extra $$ to have your carry on luggage put on as checked luggage because im telling you right now, there is no way in the world anyones carry on suitcase will fit into Fiji Air bag dimension box.

I won't get carried away and get my self worked up again explaining it in here, but i made a thread about it which you should read before booking with Fiji Air!

http://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/do-not-fly-with-fiji-airway.1093815/
 
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#16
Looks like you've flown with a fair few and though with most you haven't had any issues, what would you say were the more comfortable economy seats?
Emirates the seats and in flight entertainment was amazing. It was excellent. However, the air stewards didn't want to know us. In the 14 hours from Adelaide to Dubai and then Dubai to New York, I think they spoke to us about 3 times. On the way home, the wife tripped over a loose seat belt and cut all of her knee coming out of Dubai. It took them an hour to come and see if she was OK. I had to get a box of tissues from a passenger to clean it up. It didn't want to know.

Flown with Virgin Australia and Qantas a number of times. To LA, New York, San Fran, Vegas and Seattle and Vancouver. Never had an issue with the actual flights. They were just as good every time and the seats, in flight entertainment and food was good. About 8 hours into the flight, the cabin temperature got really cold and that would be my only complaint. However, the air stewards gave every passenger their attention all flight and helped wherever they could.

United - just don't use them. Unless you are in the States and have a domestic flight, I would avoid them.

Air Pacific - would never use them again.
 

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#17
Looks like you've flown with a fair few and though with most you haven't had any issues, what would you say were the more comfortable economy seats?
Malaysian Airlines A380!
The A330 seats were horrible, but their A380 flight from KL to LHR was the most comfortable I've ever been on a flight.
 

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#18
I've flown United, Qantas and Air NZ to the USA.

United wasn't good. It was a 747 and it didn't have seat back inflight entertainment. The longest, most boring flight ever.

Both Qantas and Air NZ were great. The Qantas flight i had an empty seat next to me so that helped and the Air NZ I got and upgrade to premium on the way home.
 

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#19
I have flown both Qantas and Air New Zealand to the US.

Qantas A380 was awesome. For someone who cant sleep on a plane, the entertainment system was fantastic.

Air NZ was great as well.

I am flying Virgin to the US in October so I will be interested to see what they are like.

Dont fly Jetstar internationally. You get what you pay for. Flew to Hawaii with them and it was terrible.
 

juss

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Thread starter #20
Has anyone ever done, or know if it can be done, whether you can upgrade part of your flight to business class?
Flying from Melbourne to Athens and then Athens to Melbourne already booked with Qatar Airways, and while I can't afford to fly business class the whole trip, I really struggle with flying due to health reasons and would consider upgrading the first leg of the flight, which would be the 16 hours from Melbourne to Doha. From there I'd fly economy from Doha to Athens and then on the trip home.
 
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#21
Has anyone ever done, or know if it can be done, whether you can upgrade part of your flight to business class?
Flying from Melbourne to Athens and then Athens to Melbourne already booked with Qatar Airways, and while I can't afford to fly business class the whole trip, I really struggle with flying due to health reasons and would consider upgrading the first leg of the flight, which would be the 16 hours from Melbourne to Doha. From there I'd fly economy from Doha to Athens and then on the trip home.
Yes you can do that. Just ask your travel agent or at the check in counter.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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#23
I don't fly as often as others.

Singapore Airlines were good, but I haven't used them for a long time now (2007)? The last time, the interior (747 Singapore - Sydney) was looking a bit tired. Had issues at the airport in Bangkok that trip (Bangkok - Singapore with SIA before the Sydney leg).
Only flown Thai once, with two legs. Relatively short hauls, KL - Bangkok and Bangkok - Chiang Mai. Probably the best service I've ever had, and equal to Singapore generally.
Vietnam Airlines were fine for a low end full service airlines. Melbourne - HCMC, Hue - Hanoi, Hanoi-HCMC, HCMC - Sydney.
Qantas have been good the times I've flown them. The don't do a Sydney - Buenos Aires route anymore, but that was good. Got an A380 both ways Sydney-Dubai earlier this year. Its a little quieter than a 747 but in economy much the same experience otherwise. Emirates were good as well, thought the service was excellent, that was bot ways Dubai-Rome on a 777.
LAN (one domestic flight in Peru, one home from Peru)

Locally, Deathstar and Tiger don't fly to Canberra so I have never caught Tiger and only got Jetstar once when they first started between Melbourne and Launceston and I was living in Melbourne. For short haul flights, you don't need more than a seat. So long as you check what's included, budget carriers are fine.
Other than lost bags, the only problems I've had were passengers, not the airlines.

Lost bags count:
Qantas/QantasLink 4, Virgin 1 [all domestic]

Best airport : Singapore
Over-rated airport : Dubai
Worst major airport : Buenos Aires - both (they were upgrading Ezezia at the time though)
Would rather transfer through Melbourne than Sydney, but SYD obviously has more flights and for a tightwad is more readily bus-able from Canberra.
 

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#24
I fly a little with work.

The last international was emirates. I was not happy with the service at all. The inflight entertainment wasnt working, the crew couldnt care less. I emailed emirates, three weeks later, a very disdainful reply. Not impressed. I will now not fly with emirates again.

I like air nz premium economy and business class.

Internal flights, i use qantas and qantas link.

Best regional airport is weipa.
 

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#25
I fly a little with work.

The last international was emirates. I was not happy with the service at all. The inflight entertainment wasnt working, the crew couldnt care less. I emailed emirates, three weeks later, a very disdainful reply. Not impressed. I will now not fly with emirates again.
Forgot that happened to me in my 2010 Qantas flight I alluded to earlier.
At least they gave me 2 passes to QANTAS Club.
Shit that I only got to use it in Perth on the way back as my connecting flight in Hng Kong was with Dragonair :(
 
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