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premium economy in newly refurbed 747 v airbus a330

Discussion in 'Transportation & Travel' started by keith, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    So.....

    I've tried premium economy in the A330-300 and hmmm. Nothing special, felt not much different to economy to be honest :/ albeit with a glass of sparkling wine when we sat down.

    We used to love PE upstairs in the bubble on the 747s but theyve been revamped and I guess theres more economy seats up there now :/

    So... whats PE like in the refurbed 747s? anyone know?

    Should I try and get a 330 or a 747 flight? :/
  2. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    I haven't been up there :sorry: all I would say is that what I've read there are a lot of angry PE passengers out there who are now fighting for the blocks of 2 seats downstairs.

    From what I can see is when you go upstairs, the first seats you get to are the 33 economy and these go forward to where the cabin doors are and after that there are a 20 PE seats.

    bubble.JPG

    The biggest gripes seem to be that the only toilets are the ones at the front of the cabin, so when passengers in economy want to go they have to walk through PE. You can imagine what it's like in PE before the seatbelt lights come on :unsure: I can't say I'd like it very much. Another thing that annoys PE passengers is that they don't have a dedicated team anymore, the cabin crew upstairs now cater for PE and economy, so you might get your meal first, but you have to wait until all of economy have theirs before you get your wine.

    One of the biggest moans is that as a PE passenger you are paying a premium price for a poor service in the bubble and you have to wait for economy passengers to get off before they can :lol:

    I know that feeling in UC and it can be frustrating especially when people are faffing about :lol: :lol:

    I wouldn't know what to do Keith, if I was flying PE I think I would probably go downstairs now and try and get one of the bulkhead seats.

    Not much help am I :lol:

    One good thing is that the new entertainment system is good :D

    I guess you could always go economy upstairs and try and get row 80 and pay for the extra seat, it would be cheaper than PE. I don't know if you can pre-book them though :unsure:
  3. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    It's REALLY insane :( Why they had to make such a stupid change I don't know :nono:

    That bubble was an oasis of peace and quiet and a true advantage of PE (there aren't many to be honest!)

    We were downstairs in PE on an A330 out of manchester in December. There were screaming kids galore (Hello? can we ban kids from PE please or at least have an adults only section??) the seat pitch was no better than economy IMHO or if it was better, it wasn't by much.

    PE is basically twice the cost of economy and I'm really struggling to justify it at the moment :(
  4. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    It has always seemed ridiculous to me, I thought it was a joke when it was first announced.


    :lol: I can't see that happening somehow, especially not on the Orlando route, although there are some airlines that do restrict children under a certain age from some cabins, which I think is a good idea :yes:
  5. Esmeralda
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    Esmeralda Serious Forum Regular

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    keith, can you not stretch to First Class... even if it's just the one way? Expensive I know but a blessed relief on the journey home for a sleep. I would rather go less frequently but have the First Class treat on the way back.
  6. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah you make a very good point indeed :yes:
  7. Esmeralda
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    Esmeralda Serious Forum Regular

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    Plus I have discovered that 9 times out of 10..... they don't sell the First Class seats the other way.... so when you get to the airport you can snap them up at a cheaper price... usually about £800 each... that is a saving. Still pricey but I'm an old person who can't go camping anymore cos I feel the lumps and bumps now.

    Plus think of the quicker airmiles you'll be racking up too.
  8. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Very true, but just remember Keith once you have turned left you won't want to turn right again :lol: :lol:
  9. Esmeralda
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    Esmeralda Serious Forum Regular

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    That's so true lol. Look at me now :(
  10. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    That is very true Wendy. :yes:

    I`ve recently managed to blag a great UC deal for our next trip using FC miles + cash. I couldn`t persuade Mr Branson to let us go out in May though, so we settled for June. :banana:
  11. piglet
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    piglet Serious Forum Regular

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    Ouch Keith, that was a bit hurtful. We flew out PE downstairs in September and UC coming back with my grandson aged 6. We were complimented both ways on how well behaved he was. In fact one person on the way out said he hadn't realised there was a child on board. It's not so much the child, as the parents who don't bother to control them. :sorry:
  12. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Sorry you felt hurt Val :hug2: as I'm sure you'd know, I'd never want that.

    However, you need to understand that I wasn't commenting on YOUR child and hopefully you'll be able to consider it from my, and many other peoples, perspectives.

    We simply don't want 9 hours stuck in a cramped space with crying, screaming, puking kids running around and what I'm saying is, if there was SOME class that we could buy in which kids were banned, that would be great. Perhaps it was called adult PE and it's rows in its own space? I don't see how that would be a problem to anyone.

    I likewise love it when upmarket restaurants ban kids under a certain age after a certain time in the evening. It makes for a better experience for us and given I have to be tolerant towards annoying kids for the other 99% of life, I think parents should be understanding and give me some adult space for the other 1% of time.

    In days gone by, parents were sensible enough to control their kids in public versus the now popular "leave them to do their thing, we're on holiday too" attitude. Likewise in restaurants, you wouldn't see parents with babies at the california grill at 10pm and if a kid was crying/misbehaving, they'd be taken out. Since we can no longer count on that behaviour, my personal view is that we have to carve out some kidless space for adults.

    As I say Val, no intent to upset :hug2:
  13. piglet
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    piglet Serious Forum Regular

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    Hi Keith :hug2::hug2: Do tend to agree with you about adults only after a certain time. Wouldn't dream of taking my grandson out for a meal after 7.30pm at the latest, he would be tired and grouchy.
    Val
  14. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    You'll see that happen more and more at Disney it seems. Children up very late (well past 9:00) waiting for their dinner in restaurants that have adults trying to have peaceful meals. I actually feel quite sorry for the children. Who keeps their child in a park all day and then expects the child to behave at dinner when dinner is at 10:00 pm! We saw that happen at Jiko just this month. :sigh:

    I do think the only way to control some of that (irresponsible parenting, no way around that) is to simply prohibit children in certain areas, or after certain hours. If parents aren't going to use good sense, then parameters need to be set up to give the rest of society a chance to not be subjected to those who won't take responsibility for their children. :sigh:

    I've seen any number of beautifully behaved children in restaurants and on planes so we all know it can be done!
  15. welshjim22
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    welshjim22 Earning my ears

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    Have the dilema of which seats to book in the next week or so. 10 premium economy seats to book. Had planned for upstairs prior to the strange decision of Virgin to split the bubble. Then again it's quite strange they have restricted seat booking to 90 days when it used to be longer and used the refit as an excuse. Thats right i will send 7 747's to hong kong for multi million pound refits with no idea how to update the online seat booking. Utter rubish. It was a planned reduction in time just like many other areas where they were once better they are now just ordinary.

    BA it is next time.

    Not quite sure why blanket bans should be imposed on children in restaurants just because some people can't control their kids. Not exactly fair on those that can.
  16. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    i had an argument with Virgin about the seating, at the time they weren't allowing any seat booking at all and couldn't tell me when it would be fixed. As they were advertising the fact that you could do this as a selling point i cancelled with them and booked with BA.

    it is unfair about the blanket bans but i'm not sure i know what the right answer is :surrender:
  17. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Well Im pretty sure the new refurb has left PE with less leg room. Perhaps it has more "pitch" or some other airline statistic but in terms of leg room, worse for sure.

    I'm sure they want to charge for reserving seats and the 90 day thing is just the first stage, like the baggage reduction.. little bit at a time and finally lots of charges. Like them removing the amenity kit from outbound flights, no water bottle in the seat back, less meals onboard (they now give out a thing saying that so as not to waste meals, they only take a very limited number and so you may well not get your choice) and so on. Virgin is all about the cuts now as far as I can see. Interestingly for me, the refurb did quite a lot for economy. You're still crammed in but no worse than before and the seats ARE more comfy. Food still as lousy but nothing in PE is any better! So PE for me now seems all about paying double for each seat for a small glass of fizzy once onboard (and they dont even call that champagne any more)

    In terms of banning kids, I'd be happy if some restaurants were adult only even if its only in the evening. Some could be children and parents only :) no problem with that and of course the vast majority would remain a free for all. I'd like an adult only section on the flight as well.
  18. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    air asia just this week announced child free areas, they did bring up the subject of annoying adults too. I had someone kick me in the back all the way back from MCO, i think there'd just be something else to annoy you Keith :lol:
  19. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    :lol: ain't that the truth :wink:

    It's just balance isn't it? Balance, tolerance and some understanding on both sides.

    I think it'd be better if there was an area of the plane designated as quiet/adult only. I think that would make a huge difference, lets get that one out the way first :lol:

    cell phones are now working on virgin flights at roaming rates and so it's about to become possible for people to stay on the phone all flight. I made a short call to try it and whispered into the handset :lol: Later a woman across the aisle said omg you've been on that phone all flight (in a nice but you know, I HAVE to mention this because Im so annoyed kinda way). I said eek? no? just 30 seconds earlier on? She said no you've been doing stuff on it ? well yeah, I had data so I was whatsapp and facebooking etc ;-) she went on to say that it would be the main reason for her not going virgin again if everyone was going to do that. So, she and I have to assume other people, are annoyed just to see people able to use a phone in the air even if that use is just silently texting etc. It "bugs" her for reasons which I can't even begin to comprehend! Likewise I suppose she wouldnt be able to sympathise with me for hating it when her kid coughed all over me when waiting for the restroom.

    Going to be very hard to make everyone comfortable on a ten hour flight in a narrow metal tube :/
  20. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    People being able to make/receive calls is probably as bad for me as having noisy children and their irresponsible parents on a flight.

    I can think of nothing worse than people having conversations and shouting because they can't be heard properly, or phones ringing because a call is coming in :nono: I would be absolutely fuming if I was sat beside someone who was doing this.

    I can see nothing wrong with texting, if the phone is in silent mode or using Facebook, Whatsapp etc or even using the internet if thats what people want to do, but I think the phones should be silent, which includes keypad tones :lol:

    If Virgin are going to allow this then I hope they have guidelines that the cabin crew follow correctly.

    As for a quiet areas on a plane, yep I could go for that :yes:

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