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Old 07-28-2015, 03:06 AM   #21
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B&B, you miss the point about Club Lounges. After a long leg, or even just a 7-8 hour one, there is nothing quite like a shower in a very nice facility before the next leg. When completed with a change of underwear the next leg is much easier to deal with.
Maybe different in Australia but in the US that's rarely the use made of them.

I also don't do multiple 8 hour legs, nor do the majority of travelers.
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:33 PM   #22
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The first/business lounges can be very nice depending on the airline. Most of the places we go for work involve multiple legs, often long ones. For example a year ago we had a shoot in Malaysia. I was trying to figure out how to get us there across the Pacific which we'd done on previous shoots in that country, but the flights we'd used were no longer operating. Finally I dumped it on our travel department and they came up with a solution I never would have thought of as it went the wrong way around the world: Seattle to Dubai (16 hours), Dubai to Kuala Lumpur (7 hours), and Kuala Lumpur to our destination (less than 1 hour). The layovers were just long enough to ensure that our equipment would be transferred from one plane to the next.

Most of our international travel has been like this. Very rarely are we able to go direct from here to where we want to be. Back in the 90s we used to use the lounges for taking showers and so forth but today we don't bother. We try to arrange our connections to be just long enough to make the next flight with a bit of time to spare.

Fortunately all our international travel is business class and we make an effort to select carriers noted for their service in business. We have a list that rates carriers by their maintenance and flight training so we know who to stay off of and who to use. Fortunately, the carriers we try to use the most--- Emirates, EVA, Singapore, Qantas, Alaska for examples-- are at or near the top of the list.

I don't mind long flights nor do I mind long flights that are back to back as in the Seattle-Malaysia example I gave above. I wouldn't want to do it in coach, although coach on Emirates is pretty nice depending on which plane one is on.

Actually the flights I hate the most are the ones in the 4 and 5 hour range. They're not short enough to be considered "short hops" but they're not long enough to let you get in the swing of being on a plane. Seattle to LA is like a quick bus ride. Seattle to London is great, as is Seattle to Dubai. But I hate Seattle to Washington, DC.

A rule we have is when we go international, say to Europe, is never, EVER make a plane change in the US. Making a plane change in the US for us means making it in Atlanta or JFK or somewhere else in the eastern part of the country. And air traffic is always so screwed up back there, generally due to weather, that the odds of missing a connection are extremely high.

If we're going to have a connection problem we want it to be on the other side of the ocean so we're already on the continent we want to be on. Then we have multiple options for dealing with the connection problem, including trains.

So if we're going east we always go from here to London, Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam first and then on to our destination. Going east if we can't go directly to our destination we'll go to Japan or Taipei first and then on.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:26 PM   #23
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Wait, "For safety during takeoff and landing" I can't have my laptop bag on the floor, my seat reclined .75" or my tray table down but they can put a whole person and their seat in my way? I actually look forward to the logic that will justify that.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:04 PM   #24
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Wait, "For safety during takeoff and landing" I can't have my laptop bag on the floor, my seat reclined .75" or my tray table down but they can put a whole person and their seat in my way? I actually look forward to the logic that will justify that.
You have to understand that these interior design concepts are being generated by the hundreds almost every day. For example, all of Boeing interiors starting with the Model 314 Clipper have been designed by Walter Darwin Teague (today just referred to as "Teague." They are constantly noodling with ideas and some of them are very far-fetched.

The illustration in the original post is a good example of this. It's one solution to getting more people into a plane, but it faces so many hurdles that it's doubtful it will every come to fruition. First of all, seats have to rated to withstand 16 (I think) Gs. They have to have armrests. They cannot block quick access to aisles or window exits. And those are just for starters. The seats and their arrangement in the illustration obviously comply with none of these things.

What happens in today's world of instant exposure of just about everything is someone puts an interior concept out on Facebook or YouTube or Instagram or whatever and the media gloms onto it and makes it as sensational a story as possible so they can point to better reader/viewer numbers and so charge more for ads.

There are interior concepts for short-haul carriers in Japan that have passengers standing holding onto overhead bars and straps and no seats at all, an idea lifted straight out of their subways and commuter trains.

Right now a big challenge is how to make passengers in a blended wing aircraft, which will have no windows at all, not feel claustrophobic. One idea has video screens where windows would be showing what's outside, or an illustration of what might be outside. But today's screens are heavy, so the interiors folks are looking into other ways of accomplishing the same thing.

British Airways has used the staggered seat direction for years in their business class cabins. The idea is based on the design of the human body, which is normally wider in the upper half than in the lower half. So if you stagger the direction people are facing you can reduce the distance between them. This works as well in business class with big lay-flat seats as it would in coach.

Where the rubber meets the road is when you start layering in the regulatory requirements like the ones I listed earlier as well as common sense. This dose of reality generally negates a lot of the ideas. But the value of concepts like the one we're talking about is that while it may not be at all practical it might lead to a concept that is.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:38 PM   #25
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The first/business lounges can be very nice depending on the airline. Most of the places we go for work involve multiple legs, often long ones. For example a year ago we had a shoot in Malaysia. I was trying to figure out how to get us there across the Pacific which we'd done on previous shoots in that country, but the flights we'd used were no longer operating. Finally I dumped it on our travel department and they came up with a solution I never would have thought of as it went the wrong way around the world: Seattle to Dubai (16 hours), Dubai to Kuala Lumpur (7 hours), and Kuala Lumpur to our destination (less than 1 hour). The layovers were just long enough to ensure that our equipment would be transferred from one plane to the next.

Most of our international travel has been like this. Very rarely are we able to go direct from here to where we want to be. Back in the 90s we used to use the lounges for taking showers and so forth but today we don't bother. We try to arrange our connections to be just long enough to make the next flight with a bit of time to spare.

Fortunately all our international travel is business class and we make an effort to select carriers noted for their service in business. We have a list that rates carriers by their maintenance and flight training so we know who to stay off of and who to use. Fortunately, the carriers we try to use the most--- Emirates, EVA, Singapore, Qantas, Alaska for examples-- are at or near the top of the list.

I don't mind long flights nor do I mind long flights that are back to back as in the Seattle-Malaysia example I gave above. I wouldn't want to do it in coach, although coach on Emirates is pretty nice depending on which plane one is on.

Actually the flights I hate the most are the ones in the 4 and 5 hour range. They're not short enough to be considered "short hops" but they're not long enough to let you get in the swing of being on a plane. Seattle to LA is like a quick bus ride. Seattle to London is great, as is Seattle to Dubai. But I hate Seattle to Washington, DC.

A rule we have is when we go international, say to Europe, is never, EVER make a plane change in the US. Making a plane change in the US for us means making it in Atlanta or JFK or somewhere else in the eastern part of the country. And air traffic is always so screwed up back there, generally due to weather, that the odds of missing a connection are extremely high.

If we're going to have a connection problem we want it to be on the other side of the ocean so we're already on the continent we want to be on. Then we have multiple options for dealing with the connection problem, including trains.

So if we're going east we always go from here to London, Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam first and then on to our destination. Going east if we can't go directly to our destination we'll go to Japan or Taipei first and then on.
Most of what you say I agree with 100%. But a few times I've just made tight connections (late arriving flights, outside the US) only to find at the destination that my luggage did not manage to make it. That's pretty annoying even if you had the mission-critical stuff with you as carry-on. In Europe the flights are frequent enough that you will get it delivered to the hotel later in the day, but I had one time where we were into a hire car on arrival and then soon many miles away. The luggage only caught up to us after a day. Even though it doesn't happen often, its enough of a hassle that I prefer a slightly longer than minimum layover if I know there'e a good lounge there. Some exercise, a shower, some emails and I'm good to go.
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:14 PM   #26
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But a few times I've just made tight connections (late arriving flights, outside the US) only to find at the destination that my luggage did not manage to make it.
We always set our flight schedules to allow at least an hour between flights and preferably 90 minutes to two hours. After many years of doing this that amount of time seems to ensure the successful transfer of our equipment. So to us, an hour layover is a pretty tight turn. We use the lounges but we don't often get much time in them. Just getting off the plane, through the terminal, back through security (even though we never went landside), and to the new gate can eat up a good portion of that layover.

In all these years and countless trips I can only remember one instance of a piece of our gear actually getting permanently lost, and we've only had stuff not make a plane change a couple of times. As we are always in business for these trips and given who our employer is (the cases are marked with the name) the airlines seem to make sure everything stays with us.

For personal travel we have taken a page from Rick Steves' book and now travel with carry-on only even if we're going to be gone for a month. We took a class of his about traveling light and while we were initially very skeptical, it really does work. So the risk of lost luggage on our own trips has become a thing of the past.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:27 PM   #27
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Australia to Europe is minimum 22 hours, and that`s on an airline with no change of plane, based at destination, which makes the one fast refuel stop turnaround somewhere in Asia. (Lauda used to be super fast to Vienna, and an early adopter of twin engine long haul, initially 767. Now it`s a Thai/Austrian combo to Vienna, with a wait in BKK.) Throw in a change of plane or airline, and the layover adds hours, so a nice lounge, with showers, etc, becomes important.
Sydney to US west coast, LA or SF, is around 13 hours non stop. (You can even fly Vancouver-Sydney non stop now.)That`s full on long haul for me. I would not do it coach/economy, but lots do. I figure Business gets me 2-3 more days out of my holiday by arriving rested, I tell myself it`s value for $.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:48 PM   #28
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Bruce, business is always preference for NA or EU trips, but unless you can find a discounted fare (or use miles) then its not a $ difference but rather $$$$$ by the time the family's tickets are included. And for holidays, with ski boots and gear the roll-on or gate check baggage option isn't practical.

Qantas allows two checked bags to the US, with no baggage charge on partner flights internally in the US. So during the course of my boat refit my second baggage items at times included things like 240 V microwave, coffee machine and breadmaker. All items checked in original manufacturer packing without any issues at all, but with webbing handles added to make it easier for the guys on the ground. Items arrived at destination without any bruising of cartons let alone damage to contents. I was impressed.

When I started consulting for a company where everyone travels a lot and everyone travels coach/economy then it was a case of get used to it or don't take the job. The people were great to work with, the jobs interesting and fun so I did it. Lots of sleep, minimal booze, stay hydrated, exercise after arrival and a long sleep first night away are key. Sleeping through the night on day 3 is a challenge, but not too disruptive. But having said that, I don't really miss the full-on road warrior days.
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