Observations from a DONEx | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Observations from a DONEx

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JohnM

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I've just completed a DONEx, using QF, BA, IB, LA and good 'ol AA:)p) in the process. One wonders how often and how well AA clean their domestic aircraft. They always seem scruffy. But it's the price to pay for a heap of SCs in what they call First Class:)lol:).

A few observations that may interest some folks, and some questions:

QF is, as usual, great but LAN runs high on the list. Their aircraft, staff, service and service items (cutlery/crockery/amenities packs) always seem to have an immaculate look and feel about them, in my experience.

LAN is in the process of retrofitting aircraft with new skybed-like seats and the most awesome AVOD - wide-screen format, high-definition screens that make QF's skybed screens (that aren't very old) look positively tiny and antiquated. Imagine a screen the full width of the back of a QF skybed.

I'm usually not much of a video watcher, but the LA screens got me in. Also, the handsets are new devices that make the old skyphone-type sets that have been around well over 10 years now look and feel obsolete. All in the most stunningly retrofitted 767 I've been in.

I can't see how Qantas can claim to have been awarded the prize for best in-flight entertainment when they've only just started installing AVOD.

I can thoroughly recommend a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones for going off into your own world and making flights just slip by. They cost a few $$ (although of course the price has just dropped $100 in the few weeks since I bought mine).

Does anyone know why QF still uses plastic knives? I thought it must have had something to do with flying to the US but my LAN flight SCL-LAX had all metal cutlery.

I must say that the red wine selection in Business on QF is extraordinarily good at the moment. Very pleasant it was over the Pacific the other night. Tip: always check upsairs and downstairs as the selection on my flight had the same cabernet in both sections, but different (and both excellent) shirazes.

It always seems possible to rely on at least one AA check-in clerk to try to claim your bag is too big if it's over 50 lbs. I thought I had escaped unscathed this time, but at my very last AA check-in, she tried to hit me for excess. Her answer when I showed the '30Kg' clearly printed on the paper ticket was "It's not an AA ticket!". When I pointed out that is was OneWorld she had to check with another (older) colleague who gave the OK.

Strangely, each time this has happened to me it has been a younger staff member. I can't help but wonder why AA would put an inexperienced staff member on the First-class check-in desk. AA certainly works in mysterious ways. This time was not a fight, but I've had to battle a young dragon on a previous occasion. The lesson is: stand your ground.

The new terminal in Madrid is a vast improvement on the old one, except that the shower rooms in the Iberia lounge in the main international terminal seem to have no exhaust system. Spain is quite warm and humid at this time of year. So, if you like a sauna, give it a go!
 

aus_flyer

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Some interesting observations! AA check-in staff certainly are dragons. Similar breed to BA lounge dragons.

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Lan. I'm flying Lan in their retrofit A340, in F, from AKL to SYD. Very much looking forward to seeing them for myself!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Thanks JohnM :)

How was the redeye SCL-LAX? I understand LA is stopping selling F on this route soon, so I am hoping to snag a F seat if possible.
 

JohnM

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It was the SCL-LAX flight that had the retrofitted 767, so that was the flight I was raving about. I was in 2L, so there was no F class.

The notional flight time is 13h 30m, but bear in mind that there is a transit stop in Lima, which is short enough to stay aboard. So it breaks into two sectors of c. 3h and 9h. Easy peasy. Enjoy.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Thanks. Do you have any seat suggestions (other than trying to get row 1 of course)?
 

JohnM

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No suggestions, apart from to say 2L was fine and easy enough to step over the person next to me, but I'm tall and skinny. The rest of the J cabin looked pretty much as good.

The seats aren't as high-backed as the QF skybeds, but the recline and stretch seems similar, maybe even a little flatter at full extent. There's easily as much space between the rows as in QF J.
 
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