Upstairs or Downstairs? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Upstairs or Downstairs?

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philflyer

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Jul 24, 2007
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I am travelling to San Francisco from Sydney on Qantas in September. And for the first time I'll be using points to upgrade to Business Class. I have just been looking at SeatGuru for the best seats. And I just noticed that Bus Class is split over two levels.
Is it better to try to get into the upper deck? I have not travelled above economy before so I'm looking forward to the experience.
Phil
 

tscharke

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Sep 28, 2006
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upper deck :cool:

1. For that whole "im finally one of those walking up the stairs" sensation
2. It's quieter
3. The windows seat have massive storage bins which can be very handy

enjoy J mate :cool:
 

Shano

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Welcome to AFF, philflyer

QF points upgrades are not confirmed until around 24 hours prior to departure, which usually means that all of the "better" seats have been allocated by then, particularly UD seats.

So you would get a seat allocation based on the "best of the rest". FF status would get you a better allocation than without.
 

philflyer

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Okay.. I have FF Silver Status. I'm not sure if that will get me very far.

I've also just read some similar threads posted in the past about best seats, upstairs/downstairs and who gets their meals first. Very funny stuff! I'm going to enjoy being a member here.
 

NM

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I generally prefer the lower deck for the following reasons:
  • More overhead locker space - the upper deck overhead bins a very shallow
  • With a D or F aisle seat there is less chance of a seat neighbour needing to climb out over your during the flight
  • Get off the aircraft earlier meaning less waiting time at immigration processing. This is especially try for airports that use door 1L for exit (LAX uses 2L, not sure about SFO).
  • Similarly a good chance of a spare seat next to me when sitting in D or F seat. Very little chance of a spare seat on the upper deck.
  • The higher ceiling and wider cabin gives me the feeling of openness and space.
  • The self-serve bar is on the lower deck.

The only seats I like on the upper deck are row 16.

Thankfully most people seem to disagree with me and want to select the upper deck, which is good for me as I can usually snag a D or F seat even when booking at the last minute.
 

NM

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Shano said:
Welcome to AFF, philflyer

QF points upgrades are not confirmed until around 24 hours prior to departure, which usually means that all of the "better" seats have been allocated by then, particularly UD seats.
Then again, some of those preferred seats can become free again when the J->F upgrades are processed.
 

Shano

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I have never sat on the UD, however I do recall on a 744 walkthrough at the Avalon airshow some years ago how cramped the UD seemed to be compared to the LD.

As a first time J experience, any seat will be good...:)
 

Shano

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NM said:
Then again, some of those preferred seats can become free again when the J->F upgrades are processed.
True, so if your points upgrade clears, it never hurts to ring QF and try for the seat of your choice
 

NM

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Shano said:
True, so if your points upgrade clears, it never hurts to ring QF and try for the seat of your choice
Indeed. When I am waitlisted for an upgrade I keep checking each hour from T-24 and as soon as its cleared (usually first indication is the points being taken from the FF account) I call and get my seat allocation, hopefully before the other upgradees grab them.
 

simongr

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I still preselect the upper deck if I can. The reasons are mostly psychological rather than physiological - having only been flying int'l J for a year it is still special to me and I like that exclusivity.

However - it is always full - whereas downstairs is often not quite as full.

I think as a first experience I would definitely suggest UD but if you start getting regular J seats then spread it around a bit for comparison.
 

philflyer

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Hey thanks guys... your tips are very useful. I'm amazed at how much knowledge is shared here.

I am also quickly learning all the terms and acronyms you use.

Cheers!
 

NM

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oh and don't underestimate the feeling of turning left when entering at door 2L and sitting on the lower deck (rows 23-26 at least).
 

ozmerish

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I'm generally not fussed - happy to be in J :D

I prefer the UD - usually quieter IME - a good thing when I am ready for a power snooze.

Sometimes i've been lucky and only had one or two other pax up there - like having your own jet :cool:
 

Mal

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I prefer Downstairs ... similar reasons really to NM's.

For me, I prefer to be off the plane and into Customs as soon as possible. Upper Deck is a nice novelty, but for me it wore of pretty quickly (ie after 2 trips!).

The staff are nice on both decks. The Food is the same. Service is similar. To be honest, I wouldn't really notice the difference in service/food service time between the two.
 

serfty

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Put me with NM & Mal; Lowerdeck; there is always the chance there will be no-one sitting in the non-preferred E seat beside one's D/F seat.
 

AllBlacks19

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Jul 19, 2007
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Gday,

I am new to the site as well, and think its awesome! I worked for United for almost 2 years and my mate and I were non-reving which we did constantly (ive done SYD-LAX and SYD-SFO loads of times), usually to run over to China for some real chineese food or to get my hair cut in London. When we unfortunatly didnt get F and had to take business, well once we were done crying, I would always shoot for the upper deck. Most of the business class seats are up there, and the downstairs seats gave me a feeling of uncomftorbility because you are right between F and Y with only a few amount of seats in your section. I am incredebly spoiled now that I just booked a ticket today in Pacific Premium on Air New Zealand for 500$ more just so I could set on the UD. Its horrible not having non-rev privleges, and anyone who likes to travel needs to get a job with an airline. Best $8.50 per hour I've ever made!!!

Cheers
 

issi

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Dec 11, 2004
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I agree, better chance of empty seat next to you LD. UD storage bins are great if you have the window seat. Aisle seat has less storage but I prefer not to do the "toilet climb" in the middle of the night. Have you noticed that no matter how careful you are the stranger next to you wakes up as you have one leg out and the other in?:oops:
 

AllBlacks19

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garyjohn951 said:
Lower Deck for me, and D or F, have had no-one in E 50% of my trips.
If we are still talking about UA, this is not true. They pack their C FULL FULL FULL especially in and out of SYD, then top the rest of it off with non-revs. Ive seen it overbooked on numerous occasions. And I would much rather b on the upstairs on a full flight! SOOO Much quieter, and USUALLY the screaming babies are flying in C.
 

NM

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AllBlacks19 said:
If we are still talking about UA, this is not true. They pack their C FULL FULL FULL especially in and out of SYD, then top the rest of it off with non-revs. Ive seen it overbooked on numerous occasions. And I would much rather b on the upstairs on a full flight! SOOO Much quieter, and USUALLY the screaming babies are flying in C.
On QF, I have had an empty E seat on about 50% of my J trips on 744 aircraft, and on the other 50% of the trips the passenger on the E seat was a travelling partner of the other aisle passenger and so always exited over their partner and not me.
 
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