Heading to Asia via Europe today!

Just last week I finished my Airbus 380 “extravaganza” trip, though I’m still working on the trip report.

Anyway, while I usually try to redeem miles for international first class, today I’m starting my US Airways 90,000 mile business class award ticket to Asia via Europe.

I’m excited for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m excited to try longhaul business class on Austrian, Brussels, LOT, and Turkish for the first time. But more than that I’m actually excited to share my impressions on the difference between business class and first class on “premium” carriers, especially for you SkyTeam flyers. šŸ˜‰

I’ve been fortunate to fly just about every one of the best first class products out there, so I’m curious to see how business class is on premium carriers. I’m not sure whether I’ll feel like it’s merely comfortable transportation or still find the flights utterly enjoyable. We’ll see!

What am I looking forward to most? Austrian’s new business class, Austrian’s extensive iced coffee menu (though I have been overdosing on iced coffee the past couple of days for different reasons), visiting Turkish’s lounge in Istanbul (which many say is the best business class lounge out there), falling for the shoe shine scam in Istanbul, doing a direct turn in Tokyo to travel between two European cities, and most importantly finally getting to fly the 787 Dreamliner.

LOT has a brand new business class product on the 787, so not only will it be my first time on the 787, but I get to experience a new business class product as well. I’d never fly LOT on one of their ratty old 767s. Anyway, I’m ready to go, and nothing could possibly go wrong!

Be sure you’re following along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as I’ll be posting lots of pictures along the way.

Filed Under: Awards, Travel
  1. @ Lucky — that sounds amazing! I just flew on the JAL 787 yesterday, and while the seats left something to be desired the plane is beautiful. I can’t wait for your trip report!!! šŸ˜€

  2. Are you sure you will fly on the 787? As far as I know they are all grounded until Boeing figures out what is causing fire on those planes. Thus, better NOT to fly on those for now. Safe travels.

  3. I’m pretty sure Lucky knows what’s going on with the 787, thus the “Iā€™m ready to go, and nothing could possibly go wrong” line. I’m not sure how Chris rode a JAL 787 yesterday, though…

  4. @ Chris – did you fly the 787 yesterday? FlightAware shows NRT-BOS operating on 787s, but there’s this language on JAL’s website:

    As announced in the Apology and Notice: Regarding JALĀ“s Operations of the 787-8 Aircraft,
    JAL decided to cancel the operations of our 787-8 fleet from January 16 to February 17, 2013 to ensure complete safety.

    Source: https://www.jal.co.jp/cms/other/en/weather_info_int.html

  5. Until now I wasn’t aware you had canned posts. Disappointing. Clearly the 787 will not be flying anytime soon, and you will be flying on a LOT 763.

  6. I don’t know if you’ve ever flown AlItalia’s business class product, but it’s really nice. Think KLM will start with the new seats this year, so that they will have a nice hard-product as well. Air France is a lost case, you can have that one.

  7. You gotta be careful with them 787’s…all that smoke in the cabin? You could get bronchitis! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  8. wtf
    Im not sure if this is worse than a post shilling credit cards or not.
    Since the 787s have been grounded for weeks at this point, inexcusable.

  9. @Matt — Yup… definitely the 787 Dreamliner. In fact the crew was very apologetic for the inconvenience that we were not flying the aircraft as scheduled (nevermind the fact that it was the originally scheduled aircraft) – very Japanese of them. I found the entire situation to be rather entertaining.

  10. @Chris, if you did flew a 787 yesterday, then JAL is probably to lose it’s license to be a commercial airliner, as the Japan Transport Safety Board has grounded the 787’s, does not allow them to be flown in commercial services and it is a very serious offence to fly airplanes that are not allowed to do so.

  11. @Miguel — That’s highly unfortunate… on the brightside I got to fly a new plane.

    @Paul — totally agree.

    @Miguel — I’m sure it’s a Canadian -> English translation issue.

  12. This post is a fake. Too many things wrong, mentions of skyteam??? Also I don’t think any of the airlines referenced are ‘premium’ carriers. The 787 is grounded. Not to mention there is no way to experience those 4 airlines in longhaul on a single EU-Asia trip. I smell a rat

  13. If you are flying business class on an award ticket, will they let you into the business class lounges? I thought they only let you in for revenue tickets.

  14. “Iā€™ve been fortunate to fly just about every one of the best first class products out there”

    I don’t think you’ve even flown Korean yet? Hah!

    But I really want to see a report on Transaero’s Imperial Class. Thank you!

  15. On second thoughts perhaps this is like the guy at verizon who was outsourcing his work to China šŸ™‚

    If so the Quality check pre-publsihing has failed.

  16. Oh my…

    @ Jamison — Yep, spending a night in Vienna.

    @ tom — SkyTeam is mentioned because I’m only flying business class, and you can’t redeem Delta miles for international first class. So I figure SkyTeam flyers will feel right at home.

    @ Alan S — Doesn’t matter whether it’s an award or revenue ticket, you get lounge access.

    @ Gary — LOL, yes, Transaero I must do!

  17. you will loooove Brussels Airlines biz class. one of the best products out there, fm the min you step on board until you deplane. and their BRU lounge isn’t too shabby either. that’s one report i plan to scrutinize carefully. Pick a solo middle or window seat.

  18. I, too, doubt that Lucky will actually be flying on a LOT 787 on this trip. Lucky, please share with us why you think otherwise?

  19. ‘Anyway, Iā€™m ready to go, and nothing could possibly go wrong!’

    Ladies and Gentlemen, he got us….


    Remember Shanghai and the pearl market scam? How everyone was shocked and sad to hear he’d been conned….

    Lucky, may I recommend… ‘The Big Con’, David Maurer, for a bit of in-flight reading. Also the BBC’s ‘Hustle’ – best scam-show ever, way better than Scam City even…

    Have fun on Brussels. They’re really very good indeed.

  20. chances are the part about the LOT 787 are sarcasm given that Lucky tweeted a few days ago his horror that his flight was switched from a 787 to a 767

  21. Hey Ben,

    I hate to be the spelling police but did you know it’s actually labeled the Airbus A380? As per Airbus the A should always precede the 380, 320, 330, 340. A380 is a model number, Airbus A380 is an aircraft manufacturer and model number. Airbus 380 is an aircraft manufacturer and just a random number.

    Just a pet peeve of mine.

  22. @Tijn: AF has recently announced they’ll be using the Cirrus flat bed seat in J. This is a variant of the new CX seat/US Envoy seat/DL 744 new Business Elite seat. Rollout will likely be slower than molasses in January in Canada, but it’s supposed to happen.

  23. Safe travels! Looking forward to your trip report, especially on Austrian and Turkish. While you wait for takeoff, will Turkish remind you they’re globally yours?

  24. Won’t help them much I guess, don’t think it’s very likely that the habits of their crews will change just as they put new seats in the cabin.

  25. Other than a nice ground experience in IST, you’ll find the offerings on these carriers to be akin to SK J. Fine, better than US-flagged carriers, but far from remarkable.

  26. So Chris, what did you actually fly in? Must have been as good as Lucky’s B787 experience will be…Do people just make stuff up to sound experienced?

  27. @Tom – Yes you can indeed experience those four products on a 90K US N Asia reward. Do a little research…Hint: Lucky posted about the entire scenario a few weeks ago…No LOT B787 though due to the worldwide grounding.

  28. If you want to see the LOT 787, you need to include Chicago in your travels. Just saw it parked last week. Too funny.

  29. And the IHT says that LOT is pissed at Boeing and wants compensation. Maybe Boeing can send them a Skykit…..

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