Help with choosing Business or Premium Economy

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by Johnston, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Johnston

    Johnston Newbie

    Oct 7, 2008
    Hi all - please bear with me I am brand new with both forums and also frequent flyer talk. We have been saving up our points to do a trip to Europe for our anniversary. We are flying from Perth in early 2012 and still trying to work out itinerary but as you have to get in early to get the points (eg 12 months ahead) you want we are determining best entry and exit flights. We want to fly on Qantas and not a partner airline and our points will allow us to fly Business return departing from Singapore, not enough to fly Business from Perth return all the way. I need to have more space due to a hip problem and the 13 hour flight is the one that concerns me, Singapore is only 5 hours so will brave and pay for economy! There appear to be a couple of options on type of aircraft - 747 or A380. Would like your thoughts on business class in both and also premium economy in both those aircraft. We want to do our homework first and if the option is only for one of those classes we know which aircraft to choose on that day. The A380 seems to cater for premium economy in a 2-3-2 rather than 2-4-2 on a 747? However would like to hear your pros and cons for both. Also best entry and exit points for Europe - we are visiting France and Italy primarily want to spend a week at least in each and the up in the air literally where to go from there. Singapore-London seems doable in terms of FF options and also Singapore-Frankfurt, however at this stage just seeking opinions and advice, Thanks
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  2. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    Welcome to AFF, please keep in mind that QF are reconfiguring the 747's to match the interiors of the A380, I am not sure if that extends to the config for PE in terms of seats abreast. Its also important to note that QF are also changing the new A380s config, and again its not known how they will compare, in short is probably to say exactly what the experience will be like.

    As for entry and exits into Europe, again flights and routes will change, and that may affect your choice as day options often differ to night.
  3. Johnston

    Johnston Newbie

    Oct 7, 2008
    Thanks for that of course what is for now won't be set in stone for 2012 - however it gives me some insight into booking options. Also as a Silver FF it seems seat selection isn't all that great = online checkin 24 hr prior gives far better seat options but at time of booking seat selection is for seats at rear of the aircraft? Therefore we would hope to allocate seats at time of booking but perhaps won't be given best options at that time. I think we will probably try to book business class both ways - seems to be more business seats than PE. So in saying that - can you compare Business on 747 to Business on A380?
    For those who fly the Singapore-Europe route regularly perhaps you can recommend from personal experience the best route to attain the FF seats? It seems SIN-LON offers more options than the others.
  4. Flashback

    Flashback Senior Member

    Oct 29, 2006
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    One main difference is that the bed is true flat, rather than sloping. Also the A380 has a business lounge in which you can go and 'hang out' during the flight.
  5. davidj-bell

    davidj-bell Member

    May 23, 2009
    the only thing to be aware of is that if you book a return from Singapore->Europe, then you have your trip across 2 itineraries. In theory, if your flight from Perth is delayed, then you may miss your connection to Europe, as these are technically 2 separate contracts.

    Also, you may be better off landing in London, existing from Frankfurt, and getting a eurail pass for europe.
  6. pauly7

    pauly7 Established Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    A380 is alot quieter than the 747.

    A380 has better AVOD, more content and more reliable.

    A380 seating configuration means there is no middle seat. Everyone is either an aisle or window.
  7. Johnston

    Johnston Newbie

    Oct 7, 2008
    That's great thanks - no problems I think with Singapore as we will do an overnighter there and break the trip as I can't travel for that long in one hit with my back and hip.
    Eurail pass is a good idea! I like the idea of train travel too ... I will have to do my homework and try to get business FF on A380 but as was mentioned earlier at least the 747s are being upgraded as well to match. I would imagine if you book Business FF seats you can do seat selection at time of booking. Also like the idea of the lounge access. We are not Qantas Club members and I was quite disappointed as we flew in to Melbourne on a paid Qantas flight from Perth and had our Air NZ flight outbound delayed - our club lounge passes said we must fly on Qantas that day (which we did) - no mention of it only being an outbound or international flight, just fly on Qantas the day you want entry to the lounge. The lady on the desk was quite rude about it and made us feel quite embarrassed.
  8. mosanator

    mosanator Member

    Nov 3, 2007
    I completed a booking for a business class trip using points and had to do a lot of searching and differing options, and I am a gold FF.

    Ended up going into Amsterdam (QF & CX) and out of Frankfurt (QF). Later on thought we could have done a RTW reward, coming back via US, but the timings etc probably wouldn't have worked out. But those rewards are good value. So keep your options open, keep searching and be flexible. At the time I was looking (last Dec) there appeared to be a good availability out of Melbourne. Not sure if that is normally the case. If it was that might be an option other than going to Singapore?

    Good Luck
  9. gumpy

    gumpy Active Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    This may be a little controversial but i prefer Business class in the 747 over the A380, I will explain why, please don't kill me...

    1. 747 has fewer Bus seats and I felt that I was better looked after than in the 72 seat A380. Especially the case when they start the dinner service and it takes them awhile to work down the aisle and all I wanted was a glass of water... my throat was parched after waking up... =)
    2. I could hear people snore on the A380 =), the 747's loud enough to zone out...

    The A380 is magnificent and an engineering marvel but i found it all a bit less personal than the smaller planes. If it will be your first time on the A380 the of course go for it but if you've been there before I'd pass for the 747. This time round if I do go the A380 again for trips to Asia and the US i'll apply for upgrades into first.

    For Prem Econ what i just said doesn't apply, i'd go for the A380 over the 747 for that class... If i had a hip problem i'd def go Business over Prem Econ... the prem econ doesn't recline far enough to take sufficient weight off your hips...
  10. Johnston

    Johnston Newbie

    Oct 7, 2008
    They're exactly the sorts of comments I am hoping for Gumpy - personal experience and opinions. All goes toward helping me to make an educated choice at the moment of selection. Maybe I will fly Business on both at the end of the day depending on what is on offer!
  11. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    Melbourne, AU
    The cabin width of the A380 and 747 PE cabin is different - so I can't see any reason for QF to reduce by one the number of seats abreast on the 747? Unless there is going to be an upgrade of the PE product to 7 across of the 747 (and then 6 across on the A380).
  12. laffer

    laffer Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    If you are looking to book rail, can i suggest you do not use raileurope. Usually there prices are much higher. Try to go direct if you can.
  13. Stealth

    Stealth Member

    Oct 24, 2009
    Perth Western Australia
    Also be very careful of a booking that comes up with a BA codeshare. Their business and PE does not compare and should be avoided like the plague!
  14. jakob

    jakob Intern

    Mar 12, 2007
    My 2c for the OP

    I think if you choose business then I suggest the A380; as a silver you should be able to select a pair in the front mini section, which should help minimise the issues with having a large number of overall seats vs 747. Then you have all the other benefits of the A380 as a better plane to ride in (pressurisation, noise) and the seat (flat, greater pitch, no middle seats).

    I think if you choose premium economy I suggest 747, for far more subjective reasons... because the seat is the same AFAIK. I think its position in the aircraft is better (closer to exit vs 380) and it is by far the newest cabin within the 747's which i think feels nice (like i said very subjective).

    Although your not travelling till 2012, I don't think the referb of 747's start till later, or at least they won't be completed so it'll be a lottery at best (this refers to business cabin referb).

    anyways i have enjoyed both cabins, hope you will enjoy your flights too, whatever you choose...

  15. twocan

    twocan Newbie

    Aug 27, 2010
    Gold Coast
    As with Johnston I am new to here, googled today as was frustrated with QF options for us spenders as opposed to fliers, points came from spending. We did a family holiday in 06 business as we had a 5 month ended up BA as a recommendation from my brother saying Qantas dont look after kids whereas BA do a better job which they did. Now my current delema is that we want to go to Europe in 2011 but the availability seems like 1 in a million chance of getting 2 business seats, was preferring the a380 as its newer but the guys comments on meals did make sense. any tips on getting a380 seats I am almost out of dates we can get individual seats on different flights which is a sheer waste.
    Sorry for the length but any assitance greatly appreciated and hope im in the right section for this question:)
  16. medhead

    medhead Suspended

    Feb 13, 2008
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    Welcome to AFF

    The answer is really going to depend on where in Europe you wish to go. I would repeat my earlier advice to consider Frankfurt as an entry point, if that suits your plans. Qantas have also just released PE on this route from February or March next year. It is also a less popular route so there would be more chance to find award seats. The only downside is that you won't be on an A380.

    A380 means flying to London, which is more popular. If you are set on the A380 then it is worth checking from Oz to Singapore separately from SIN-LHR. As the available on each leg can be different.

  17. straitman


    Apr 27, 2003
    SE Oz (Sale)
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    Welcome to AFF.

    As medhead says, look at the options of other arrival and/or departure points and non direct services. This won't help your 380 search but it will help your chances of getting two business seats together.
  18. twocan

    twocan Newbie

    Aug 27, 2010
    Gold Coast
    Thanks but it seems very unlikely we can get two seats on the same plane every time I search I get a great no of flights but only a single seat available even geting a QF flight is difficult, the only exception is qf1 via singapore not what i wanted but hey I guess beggars cant be choosey. Definately will be looking at alternative programmes or just get out of the programmes all together, I will keep my membership so it clogs their data base out of frustration, staff arent much help either
  19. TonyHancock

    TonyHancock Senior Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    East Cheam
    My sentiments exactly.

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