Help: The most cost efficient way to experience 747 upper deck?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by mediator, Aug 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mediator

    mediator Silver Member

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    So while at the airport and watch those gigantic 747 taxing around, I'd always want to try the upper deck for once. I have 200K BA miles and 15K CO miles, also 10K MR points sitting in my account. I know this sounds funny but I just wonder what is the most cost efficient way to experience 747 upper deck? I live near BOS and travel to PVG once or twice a year. Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
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  2. UA191

    UA191 Silver Member

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    Try to find an available date that you can fly BA from JFK-LHR. The BOS-JFK leg could be on AA. This is probably the most cost effective way to do what you'd like.

    Another option could be to fly CX/AA from BOS to HKG via SFO on their SFO-HKG 747 flight. If you wanted, you could connect directly from HKG to PVG (normally at no additional cost).

    JAL is the only other OneWorld airline I can think of that has 747 service... although I'm not sure on which routes they operate...

    Hope this is some help!
     
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  3. mediator

    mediator Silver Member

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    Thank you mjones! I think JAL doesn't have any 747 left. I guess I'll try the BOS-LHR.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    QF might still have some 747s in oneworld, but I'm not sure of the routes. Regardless, be sure to verify the class in the upper deck--it's usually C/J but can be IFC on same carriers. If it's C/J, be sure that you can get an upper deck seat assignment; this can be tough without elite status as there are typically more J/C seats on the lower deck which many consider to be less desirable.

    It's tough to find, but some USA legacy carriers fly a very few domestic 747 flights, usually to position the aircraft for an international route. It doesn't hurt to ask about this. The reservation call center might be able to help you or you might find someone here who really know's AA's route structure. You can't plan on this, but once or twice I got lucky and when several flights to my destination were cancelled, the airline pulled out a reserve 747 to accommodate the passengers from several flights all at once; 747s can fly in rougher weather than narrow-body aircraft as a general rule.
     
  5. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    UA/CO has one-way North Asia-South Asia awards for 22.5K miles. So open-jaw your next trip to PVG to return from HKG, redeem on CO and go PVG-BKK-HKG on Thai... and pick a 747 flight for the BKK-HKG segment (they run them regularly).

    I plan on doing this myself: I am booked on TG going HKG-BKK-FRA, all UD 747. I did it in part because I wanted UD 747 too (at one point on a previous trip TG was using 747s on DPS-BKK, and I was excited... and then they stopped :().
     
  6. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    Another option, which might not be exactly what you had in mind, would be to fly to Japan and then book yourself a domestic ticket on an ANA 747-400D. The upper deck is configured as coach seating and cabin service is pretty minimal, but it's still the upper deck, and as an added geek bonus you will probably get the highest row number on your boarding pass that you have ever seen (they go up to 86).

    Here's the seat map: https://www.ana.co.jp/dom/inflight/seatmap/74p/

    Right now ANA operates these birds from Tokyo Haneda to Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa. If you consolidate your CO and MR points into either UA or CO you should have enough miles for a Japan domestic award ticket. Then you can use your BA miles to splurge on some kind of premium cabin to Japan and back.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you do this, be sure to allow lots of time in BKK before your flight to enjoy their IFC lounge.
     
  8. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I should note that that's a C redemption for 22.5K- so no IFC/Royal Orchid lounge, just the Royal Silk C Lounge, though you do get a 30 minute massage in the spa (just not the full hour, full body one you'd get in F).
     
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  9. THREEA4ME
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    THREEA4ME Silver Member

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    I'm flying AMS-LAX on KLM upper deck business and quite excited. Anyone fly that route before?
     
  10. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Not that specific route, but I've done KLM TATL on the upper deck, including in the bulkhead seats. I didn't like it as well as the old NW 747-200 upper deck with just twelve old FC seats. That was special.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Try LH Y all the way in the back on the A380. It goes up to 94. :eek:

    Actually, if you're stuck in Y on that plane the very back cabin is pretty nice (I flew in 92G), but that's a different thread.

    Slightly back on topic, VS and NZ also have coach seats on the upper deck of some 744 configs.
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If business class is on both decks, be careful about carriers that reserve upper deck seats for their elites. For example, NW used to do this and SQ seems to do it now. (Officially it's only supposed to be certain seats and rows on SQ, but I've been told that I couldn't reserve an upper deck seat many months in advance.) Try to reserve the seat before purchasing the ticket if the airline will let you.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    KE booted me out of the upper deck once when they oversold Y and undersold C. They turned upstairs into Y seats for their elites with Y service. I ended up downstairs with the same seat but the full C service.
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The LH A380 is all FC and business class on the upper deck and all coach on the lower deck according to the only A380 seatmap posted on their website.

    Others have suggested some all coach domestic Japanese flights on the 747 which I would not advise. The JAL domestic 747s that I've been on, although not recently, seem very strange in that they are not configured with walls and separate compartments but rather seem to all be one big "room." This makes clear how large the 747 is, but to me the arrangement was off-putting.

    In my mind, part of the upper deck experience is the quiet cabin and exclusive private feeling, combined with FAs serving a fairly small number of upper deck passengers, so that it seems very personalized. You would miss all of this in coach, even if on the upper deck.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Indeed. I was just pointing out a higher row number than the 86 that JAL has.
     
  16. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    I don't know why the main cabin being "one big room" would have anything to do with the experience on the upper deck, which is "one big room" on basically any other airline you'd fly. I'd actually expect an average Japanese domestic flight in coach to be quieter and more friendly (if not more personalized) than an average flight in business class on United... But yeah, at the end of the day it's still Y class, so you'll only have the satisfaction of knowing that you're upstairs.
     
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  17. nd.mp

    nd.mp Active Member

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    AF has upperdeck Y seats. They're significantly more roomy--and hella quieter--than the cattlecar below.
     
  18. PedroNY
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    PedroNY Silver Member

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    JAL's 747 has economy seats on the upper deck. At least in January 2010 on NRT-JFK route they had about 60 seats on the second deck in 3-3 configuration. Maybe they don't do this any more, but at least that is the "cheapest" mile redemption out there for the upper deck.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY
     
  19. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    JAL has retired all of their 747s
     
  20. onlybeef42
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    onlybeef42 Silver Member

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    I flew upper deck LAX-NAN on Air Pacific (Oneword miles) and it was wholly economy on the upper deck (aka - cost efficient).

    FYI - On the westward flights you have to specifically request the upper deck as they leave it for overflow and specific requests only. We requested the upper deck and scored a whole row each. The eastward flight was completely full top and bottom, and when we requested the upper deck we regretted it... ;)
     

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