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Old 30th August 2019, 10:24 AM   #1
yflyer
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Default LH A350 or LX 777 Business Class?

Hello everyone, I have a friend (PPS and SQ regular) who plans to fly to Madrid. He is looking at flying either the LH A350 or LX 777 (connecting via MUC or ZRH etc). Does anyone have opinions on the difference between these types?

I had a quick look at the LH A350 J (2-2-2 layout, with the seat similar to their A380 J). It looks like a new plane, however LH didn't do anything special for the J cabin, which seems to be their existing product.

Swiss has a very interesting staggered 2-2-1 layout on their 777 which looks to have more privacy...

Appreciate any opinions on the cabins as well as service/catering etc.

How much expectation setting needs to be done when flying these carriers vs the regular SQ experience he is used to?

He was also exploring TK via IST. Any opinions on that appreciated too.

Thanks!

Last edited by yflyer; 31st August 2019 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 30th August 2019, 02:18 PM   #2
fone
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I just flew on LX to ZRH, was in a throne seat (ie "1" seat). Throne seats open up like T-48 hours, if he wants them, get him to login to book then, if he does not want to pay the fee for them.

I do not have too much expectation from services, having been quite accustom to UA service standards.

Seat controls are not well placed, my elbow keep pressing on them in lounge position.
Bed mode is not convenient to get out of the seat, I had to move back the seat to get out.
The space (ie gap from seat to aisle) to get in and out of the seat is rather narrow, may not have issue with a non-throne seat (but not so much privacy).
Food wise, portions are smaller.
Service was a tad slow, so sleep time may be shortened (it was a midnight flight ex-SIN, so dinner, sleep then breakfast). But I had the throne seat, so could always place the meal to the side and sleep without waiting for them to clear etc.

Edited:
Compared to SQ:
food is ok (I'm not that of a picky eater)
Space is much smaller to lie down on
Much more narrower seats to sit down too, and they use a shoulder strap for takeoffs and landing.

I almost took the LH A380, but was delayed and went on SQ A380 for FRA-SIN instead.
LX / LH combi was more direct flights for my itinerary (inclusive of some intra-Europe flights) so went with that instead of SQ.
IIRC LX plane had a universal plug, so our UK plugs fit without adapter, while the older SQ A380 required an adapter to fit.

Last edited by fone; 30th August 2019 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 30th August 2019, 08:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
Hello everyone, I have a friend (PPS and SQ regular) who plans to fly to Madrid. He is looking at flying either the LH A350 or LX 777 (connecting via MUC or ZUR etc). Does anyone have opinions on the difference between these types?

I had a quick look at the LH A350 J (2-2-2 layout, with the seat similar to their A380 J). It looks like a new plane, however LH didn't do anything special for the J cabin, which seems to be their existing product.

Swiss has a very interesting staggered 2-2-1 layout on their 777 which looks to have more privacy...

Appreciate any opinions on the cabins as well as service/catering etc.

How much expectation setting needs to be done when flying these carriers vs the regular SQ experience he is used to?

He was also exploring TK via IST. Any opinions on that appreciated too.

Thanks!
Have flown both LH and LX in those configs. Service and catering are roughly similar, one or two notches below SQ standards. "Efficient" and "serviceable" would be the two adjectives I'd use to describe them. I don't remember much of the lounges (kindly refer to the description of the service and catering). Neither airline provides anything special for PPS, only recognising *G status. Haven't flown TK, so can't comment on that.

If travelling alone, definitely LX*, regardless of the lower noise and higher humidity of the A350. The throne seat is obviously the one to go for, but either seat in the middle column (D/G) is still reasonably private for the solo flyer. Avoid taking one of the paired seats along the sides (non-throne A/B or J/K), because they have significantly less space. If you book early enough, D/G is readily available. As fone has mentioned, the thrones can be had for free some days before take off (check with the LX forum for the exact timing) if LH-group status passengers haven't already reserved them.

Also, because the LX seat lowers towards the floor in bed mode, some people gripe that it feels like a 'coffin', but hey if coffin means I have a nice rectangular space to sleep in with walls blocking out noise, that's not an issue with me, especially after popping an Ambien...

If travelling in a pair, then it's a toss-up. I'll pick whichever has the better connection, with the tie breaker in favour of LX. Both airports are some of the most pleasant in Europe, although at ZRH (hate to be pedantic but Zurich is ZRH not ZUR) you might have to take a train between terminals, similar to KLIA.

Note that LH has deliberately gone for a "social club"-like atmosphere (something something in surveys we learnt that travellers prefer to interact with total strangers something something nonsense) the seats do not have much in the way of shields around them. Unless you are seated right in front you can see everyone's heads. Very little privacy.

I believe also that the 777 on LX (3 bathrooms) has a better pax-to-bathroom ratio vs the 350 on LH (3 also, but 1 is reserved for crew leaving only 2 for the use of pax).

* Warning, rant ahead: On my travels to Europe, I usually fly solo (work). In that situation, I avoid LH with a vengence (clients book LH by default, cos it usually works out to be the cheapest option).

It has a HORRIBLE set up for solo travellers. As you have noted, LH uses an underwhelming 2-2-2 layout. Faced with this layout, most solo travellers deal with it by picking a seat in the middle column (both aisle seats) to avoid climbing over someone or being climbed over.

However, LH decided to angle the seats in the middle column (and in middle column only) towards each other, in this shape: /\. Which means that your feet, and those of your neighbour's, go into the same hole, separated only by a flimsy divider. Said divider only separates the feet, and does not extend to the leg area (from knee to ankle, basically), so it is very easy to accidentally make contact with your neighbour, when both of you are lying down. It has attracted a term: "LH footsie".

A supremely stupid idea, especially when the seats along the sides are in the \\ or // configuration, which avoids this problem, but introduces the 'climbing over' issue. The MUC flights, by the way, are almost always full in J, so don't expect an empty seat next to you even in the last row. The layout has absolutely no redeeming factors. No matter which seat you are in, expect to have some sort of compromise if travelling alone.

/rantover

Edit: Ah yes I thought I remember reading something about the whisky bar at Zurich, which I haven't had the chance to visit. https://www.swiss.com/sg/en/fly/airport/lounges-zurich, plenty of reviews out there on the 'net.

If flying out of Terminal E, your friend with his *G status should have access to Bar 28/10, which features a huge range of whiskies, if he is into that sort of thing.

Last edited by cowie; 30th August 2019 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 30th August 2019, 11:47 PM   #4
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Thanks very much, fone and cowie, for your very detailed inputs and feedback! Appreciated! Very useful info for my friend! Will also take note for my future travels...

I have heard about the LH footsie issue but thought the divider would help. Agree this becomes a non-issue when travelling with your partner/spouse. However if I was a solo traveller, it might be a cause for concern. Too bad though, because the A350 is always such a nice plane to fly.

The LX seats do look quite good from the perspective of privacy, especially the throne seats. Thanks, fone, for the tip about these seats opening up 48 hours prior...

I am also keen to check out the whisky bar in the ZRH lounge that cowie mentioned. One time I was in the LHR T5 BA J Lounge, and they had a gin promotion, with a selection of different gins to taste...had a lot of fun...

Last edited by yflyer; 1st September 2019 at 11:24 AM..
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Old 31st August 2019, 12:01 PM   #5
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(hate to be pedantic but Zurich is ZRH not ZUR)
Whoops! Thanks for pointing this out (Have corrected it...)! Got to get these airport codes right...otherwise some hilarious mixups could happen...
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Old 10th September 2019, 05:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
Hello everyone, I have a friend (PPS and SQ regular) who plans to fly to Madrid. He is looking at flying either the LH A350 or LX 777 (connecting via MUC or ZRH etc). Does anyone have opinions on the difference between these types?

I had a quick look at the LH A350 J (2-2-2 layout, with the seat similar to their A380 J). It looks like a new plane, however LH didn't do anything special for the J cabin, which seems to be their existing product.

Swiss has a very interesting staggered 2-2-1 layout on their 777 which looks to have more privacy...

Appreciate any opinions on the cabins as well as service/catering etc.

How much expectation setting needs to be done when flying these carriers vs the regular SQ experience he is used to?

He was also exploring TK via IST. Any opinions on that appreciated too.

Thanks!
I personally will take TK i the price is right. IST- MAD is 4 hours flight. ZRH/MUC-MAD may be lesser (3 hours?), but you wont get proper biz class (economy with empty middle seat?). I definitely prefer wide-body instead of narrow body. Even if TK is narrow body, it should be proper biz class.
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Old 11th September 2019, 09:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lingua101 View Post
I personally will take TK i the price is right. IST- MAD is 4 hours flight. ZRH/MUC-MAD may be lesser (3 hours?), but you wont get proper biz class (economy with empty middle seat?). I definitely prefer wide-body instead of narrow body. Even if TK is narrow body, it should be proper biz class.
Good point raised about real J on TK versus intra-Europe/short haul J on LH (Also applies to other Europe-based airlines like BA) etc, lingua101! I've not been able to figure out how European airlines can get away with saying that an economy class seat with an empty seat next to you equals a business class seat!
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Old 19th September 2019, 05:10 PM   #8
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Good point raised about real J on TK versus intra-Europe/short haul J on LH (Also applies to other Europe-based airlines like BA) etc, lingua101! I've not been able to figure out how European airlines can get away with saying that an economy class seat with an empty seat next to you equals a business class seat!
If everyone does the something, you have no choice right?

And they are unhappy with TK
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Old 21st October 2019, 10:38 AM   #9
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I just got back from another EU schedule, LOT 787 to Warsaw followed by Embraer 190 to London. The 787 was good, as a solo traveller take one of the middle isle 2-2-2 but yes, the 190 had just the blocked seat next to me. The 787 uses the same seat as TK but without their 2-3-2 middle seat.

Everything went well, on time and comfortable. Slept well enough, not eating.

The return was inter-EU LH and SQ from MUC to SIN on their A350. LH with blocked seat and, again, middle isle for the long haul. Honestly, the SQ seat was good but the bed, simply awful. I'm not a big person but leg space made it impossible to get a comfortable position. There was slippers, socks and eye shade provided, no ear plugs (or anything in comparison) and with the A350, no overhead storage. The only good thing with these seats is, they are so sturdy and close together that you can't feel the floor flex when somebody walks by.

I returned to at 7am SIN so tired that I needed a quick rest when I reached home then managed to stay up till late evening. I was a little disappointed by the service as well.

The LX single seat is better, but difficult to get. Service and food is also pretty good, but there is an overall cabin/service feeling of "clinical" instead of "comfort" if that says anything.

My overall happiness was no higher on SQ at the weekend than on TK, LX or TG. Actually, for me the TG A350/A380 seat is still up there, though can be tight for larger people. LOT is quite good in the air but not up to this level yet, and their ground service needs MUCH more work. I don't take LH long haul and none of my colleagues volunteer for them either so for trips to EU we typically check schedules and price of LO/TG/TK/LX and even BR through BKK before comparing with SQ - pretty much in that order but it does depend on destinations.

Long story short, I think your friend should look into LX and TK.
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Old 26th October 2019, 11:45 AM   #10
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If everyone does the something, you have no choice right?
Yes, all the major airlines in Europe are doing the same thing for Euro-J, so it looks like only the passengers lose out. I am surprised there isn't more of an outcry over it. Seems that regulars in Europe are used to it.

I hope one carrier breaks ranks and introduces proper J for intra-Europe flights, which then forces all the others to follow suit. But that may be wishful thinking. Not that it will make much of a difference for me personally, as I very rarely fly J.
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Old 26th October 2019, 11:55 AM   #11
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I just got back from another EU schedule, LOT 787 to Warsaw followed by Embraer 190 to London. The 787 was good, as a solo traveller take one of the middle isle 2-2-2 but yes, the 190 had just the blocked seat next to me. The 787 uses the same seat as TK but without their 2-3-2 middle seat.

Everything went well, on time and comfortable. Slept well enough, not eating.
Glad airlines like LOT are flying to Singapore, especially with new equipment like the 787. I've not tried the Embraer 170/175/190 yet...those look fairly comfortable to fly in. Much more interesting than short hops in ubiquitous 737's or A320's.

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Honestly, the SQ seat was good but the bed, simply awful. I'm not a big person but leg space made it impossible to get a comfortable position.
Interesting, I've only flown the 77WN version of the SQ J seat, not the A359 equivalent. I found the 77WN version of the same seat to be quite impressive (I don't mind getting up to flip the bed). I believe the A359 version is marginally smaller. Trying to find some excuse to check out SQ A359 J but so far no opportunity to do so.

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Originally Posted by scooby5 View Post
Long story short, I think your friend should look into LX and TK.
My friend ended up flying SIN-MUC on LH A359 J and ZRH-SIN on LX 77W J. He raved about LH J (He is PPS and flies SQ J regularly so has a good reference for comparison), and he said he preferred LH A359 J to LX 77W J, especially the LH J catering.

He was less impressed with LX J in the air, but he was impressed with the LX and airport ground handling on his connection in ZRH. His inbound was late, and he only had a 15 min connection time, but still made it, with the help of the ZRH ground staff, who whisked him off in a car to make his connection.

Last edited by yflyer; 26th October 2019 at 12:01 PM..
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