Best Star Alliance business seats to Europe?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by phonehome, Aug 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. phonehome
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    phonehome Active Member

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    I'm planning a trip for next summer with CO points from ORD to anywhere in Europe. I'm looking specifically for direct flights out of ORD. I am having trouble deciding which of the carriers have better business products in terms of recline, entertainment, food, etc.

    From what I've read so far, Swiss and LH have 170 recline and decent food, SAS has 170 recline and subpar food, TK has a flat bad on some trans-Atlantic flights (not sure about ORD-IST...?), UA has flat beds too. Is any of this incorrect?

    Does anyone have more specific tips about flying out of ORD? What would be your choice of airline for a business seat?
     
  2. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    I've only flown UA and LH C from ORD-Europe and can say that the UA seat on the 767/747 is far superior. It's a toss-up as to what you'd prefer comparing LH C and old UA C in the 777s. Although LH is definitely prettier, I think I actually preferred the 777 barcalounger. That said, food and service on LH were FAR better. Also, LH is more like 160 degrees. Wasn't particularly comfortable sleeping in that seat.

    Also consider US, CO, and AC.

    Other resources:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/star-alliance-carriers-reviews-and-comparisons.1023/#post-7845
    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemileatatime/
     
  3. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Yes, quite a bit of it.

    LX has true lie-flat (180 degrees, parallel to the ground) on all North American-ZRH/GVA flights.
    LH's seats go flat (180 degrees), but slanted (not parallel to the ground, there's a downward slope).
    UA does not have flat beds on all of their planes (some 777s will not have them by the time you fly next year).

    Your best shot at business-class lie-flat to Europe is probably going to be flying the short hop to YYZ and connecting to AC. You may also wish to shell out the extra miles for an F award if you can- generally F has higher award availability than C (with the exception of perhaps LH, which generally has good C availability), and ORD-DUS on LH is particularly where you might find more availability in F than ORD-(insert generic European destination) on UA in C. US and CO also do not have a ton of award C availability.
     
  4. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Swiss air new business class hands down for me.
     
  5. Lantean

    Lantean Silver Member

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    if it ever was available... :mad:
     
  6. Stealth Traveler
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    Stealth Traveler Silver Member

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    Some LX A343s don't have the lie flat, such as the every other day MIA-ZRH...but they should be fading those out and hopefully have the new A333. :) The seats are pretty firm and if you are 6'4" or taller, the slant on your feet is pretty restrictive when in full lie flat, but hey, the overall product was great! Would fly it every time.
     
  7. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Swiss LX 8 and LX 9 serve ORD and ZRH on the a330's. I would highly highly recommend their C product over UA or LH. LX hospitality and food quality is among the best *A TATL's. Turkish is an excellent product if you dont mind going to Istanbul, where by the way they recently opened an amazing lounge. LX is a great safe bet though and hubbing in zrh puts all of europe within easy reach. Plus ZRH is a very nice and easy airport to transit through as well.
     
  8. OneSweetWorld
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    OneSweetWorld Silver Member

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    I dunno if CO flies that route to Europe, but if you can get on their 777 with the new flat bed seats, i'd highly recommend it. I went to India on in non-stop from Newark and it was awesome. I came back on 747 LH in business and it was terrible. It was like sleeping in a dentist chair.
     
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  9. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    BMI Diamond club normally has easier access to LX metal than most other *A FF programs, except for miles and more which is easiest, but requires more miles for the same seat.
     
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  10. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    For *A TATL my rankings are as follows.

    #1, LX: Great catering and service, much higher quality booze than LH, great IFE with large screen and comfortable fully flat seat. ZRH also has a nice arrivals lounge. All around an excellent way to go and my first choice for TATL flying in C.

    #2. US Airways on an A330-200 (see this thread for equipment/route details). PHL envoy lounge is the nicest lounge in the US run by a US airline. The new envoy service in US is great! It's hard to believe that US has this type of service. I found them extremely attentive (this within a month of a trek with some SQ and an OZ TPAC) and welcoming. They seem to have very low FA:pax ratios as well. Both my flights there were 4 up front + purser, and my MUC-PHL only had 12 pax in Envoy. I found their catering to be great as well and my tenderloin on the way over tasted as good as one on the ground, served medium rare and with an excellent twice baked potato. Saving the best for last: the envoy suite; truly a revolutionary product. It's very comfortable, private, and all seats have aisle access; however, if you're travelling with someone, it's still fairly easy to talk with others unlike the AC herringbone. If you're tall, then this is the longest bed in the sky (from what it seems, I'm only 5'7" so my opinions are skewered to the vertically challenged crowd) If you can get an A330-200 flight, I would say US Airways would definitely be a go.

    #3. AC I've taken them extensively in the past 1.5 years and always had great service and pretty good catering; never had a problem with either. The seat is good, it's just not the best if you're traveling with someone, but it's fully flat and IFE is good aswell. Their lounges in YYZ and YUL are also much better than their US counterpart lounges (except PHL envoy lounge).

    #4. CO Their new seat is pretty good; not as comfortable as the US envoy suite, but I still got ~7 hours of sleep on it on an IAH-FRA flight. Catering can be mediocre to good, but Sundaes and hot appetizers are a redeeming quality if the rest of the meal is mediocre. Service and IFE have been great though.

    #5. Tie, LH/UA. LH has angled lie-flat seats with a steep angle and aren't the most comfortable to sleep on. Their crews are variable can be great or can be bland and awful. Food is okay, I haven't had anything on LH that's particularly wowed me, but it's edible. Ground services in Europe/lounges/FRA arrival lounge are decent though.
    UA-Flat seats on 763 and 744; they're a bit narrow for a C seat and lack storage but they're still comfortable. I've had a few great entrees ex-ORD but IAD catering can be below average. Catering and service has improved greatly over the last 2 years; ORD crews are much better than IAD crews and I've always found ORD TATL C crews to be decent. If UA keeps improving at their current rate, I'd probably rate them above LH in their air service.
     
  11. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I would agree that US706 PHL-MUC is an excellent C experience. probably the nicest US based *A experience for TATL. Envoy lounge is excellent and the Int'l departure terminal in PHL is fantastic.
     
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  12. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    EWR-LHR, FRA, and soon GVA fall 11 and I've seen possibly MUC winter 12 (it seems to switch between that and 764 in the preview of the upcoming winter schedule). IAH-LHR and sometimes FRA (winter and varies in Summer and fall).
     
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  13. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    For TATL C, ORD-IST is an A330-300 with fully flat seats about 5 of the 7 weekly flights. I've only done TK in F JFK-IST-JFK, but their F product is excellent (but sadly disappearing in September). If their C is still an average downgrade of their F, then it would still be one heck of a C product.
     
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  14. phonehome
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    phonehome Active Member

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    Thanks so much for all the info and tips, everyone! My info was mostly based on the flyerwiki website, but I guess some of it may be outdated. I really appreciate your help :)

    My first two choices right now are Swiss and Turkish. Since I'll be flying in September 2012 I hope there may be some availability on Swiss later on this fall. All the summer dates for ZRH-ORD in June/July that I have looked at are booked, both in First and in Business. IST seems to have a few seats available and I'd love to visit the city. I'm actually flying ORD-ZRH in C this winter, so I might diversify a bit and try Turkish instead. In any case, thanks for your help!
     
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  15. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    One more idea. If you haven't flown singapore before and want to - they fly from jfk to fra. The product on this route is dated compared to their newer offerrings and those offered by other star partners. Also, ord-jfk is difficult on star (need to change via lga or iad). Worth considering for availability and mystique sake but not for the best product.
     
  16. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    Still, the spacebed isn't too bad of a C seat and the overall SQ C experience is pretty good; I'd place it in the league of LX/US envoy suite C (for overall experience, obviously those two hard products are better.)
     
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  17. Lantean

    Lantean Silver Member

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    i think you mean EWR not IAD, that'd be way too far. ;)

    i agree about SQ JFK-FRA not being the best product... :(
     
  18. DMartinFoster

    DMartinFoster Active Member

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    I recommend SAS: very comfortable seats, excellent food and wine served by friendly crew.
     
  19. Lantean

    Lantean Silver Member

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    do you guys ever see EWR-ARN or EWR-CPH availability? i don't... ever. :(
     
  20. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Stay clear of UA. Even its new C seats are too close together and offer little or no privacy. In fact, if you take an aisle you'll have someone staring at you from a rear or forward facing seat, depending upon what seat you select. Gotta be the worst new C seat in STAR. CO seats are better, LH mediocre, LX better, OS okay. TK and AC have similar pods (though the latter requires a relatively painless outbound transfer at YYZ). SK is good too.
     
  21. msny

    msny Gold Member

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    Agree stay clear of UA. Go with either Swiss or Turkish, much better overall.
     
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  22. Brooklyn Bum

    Brooklyn Bum Silver Member

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    Don't really have a lot of experience on *A Trans Atlantic flights in business besides CO (love the new BF seats and the non-stops from NYC), but whatever you do, don't fly LOT. I don't think I've had a worse experience in any premium cabin ever.

    Even the new 767 seats are old and uncomfortable, the food is inedible, and the FA's wanted nothing to do with us the entire flight.

    There is a reason they offered me a $300/rt buy up.
     
  23. THREEA4ME
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    THREEA4ME Silver Member

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    Wondering if anyone would care to answer best business seat to Europe from LAX using Star Alliance 100K? Anyone have a great seat from LAX?
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I think you're giving the SQ soft product WAY too much credit here. I was not particularly impressed. Don't get me wrong - it didn't suck - but I'd much rather the flat bed options over anything the SQ soft product brings to the table.
    NZ to LHR, if you can find the inventory.
     
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  25. HPN-HRL
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    HPN-HRL Silver Member

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    NZ has without doubt the best C-class overall product of those I have experienced on *A.
     

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