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About philpedley

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    LB Lover
  • Birthday 04/07/1970

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  1. The way that I have looked at it is that Business is, obviously, a lot more expensive but that the benefits outweigh the cost. I think it is important to remember that there are different standards of business and that the cost of the ticket often depends on when you buy it and where you buy it from. I tend to go out for one week at a time and therefore the travelling is a significant part of the holiday. The London-Bangkok route is highly competitive and the price varies considerably and it is worth looking several months ahead to get the best deal. Generally the Middle East airlines compete amongst themselves and it is usually possible to pick up a flight for about 1600 Sterling. Mentally, I divide the flight into four sectors – costing 400 each. When you consider the possibility of spending two hours in a plush lounge, then being looked after for 6-7 hours with the option of sleeping or drinking, the cost then becomes far more reasonable. I also take the view that my holiday starts when I arrive at the airport and, given that I only go for a few days, it is nice to arrive in BKK feeling relaxed and refreshed rather than having had to sit next to a potentially unpleasant person for the past 12 hours. Having been making these trips for about 15 years it is also apparent that the ‘best’ airline can change depending on the aircraft they are using and the timing. My favourite has always been Qatar – partly because the lounge at Heathrow Airport is a joint business/first lounge and it is like being in a very smart hotel. I usually check in about three hours before the flight is due to leave to take maximum advantage. On the way back, however, Qatar uses the Thai business Lounge in Bangkok which is okay but not the best.
  2. Here is the Thai Airways announcement about the delay: A380 Delay for Thai Airways’ London-Bangkok fleet Thai Airways regrets to announce that due to important technical modifications, the A380 will not be able to commence its operation on the Heathrow- Bangkok route as planned from December 1, 2013. Tentative operational date has been set on 30 October 2014. When introduced, the A380, the world’s largest aircraft will operate the London-Bangkok day flight whilst the A346 will be re-introduced to the overnight flight. Until next winter and the introduction of the A380, Thai Airways will continue to use its B747 on the route, leading on to over 70 cities across 5 continents. THAI constantly has special promotions so check out the website for the latest deals. The introduction of the A380 will make flying between London and Bangkok an even more enjoyable and unforgettable experience and we can only apologise for the unforeseen delay. I have flown on the A380 several times and it was noticeable better than a 747!
  3. The point I was making was not that it was cheap compared to the lowest economy seat but that – for a while – it was £500 less than Eva Air and £800 less than Thai business. I can only manage a few days a time and so 20 STs or even 10 LTs would be pointless unless I was planning an orgy. I therefore prefer to spend the extra money to ensure that arrived relaxed and ready for action. I used to fly economy but often found that by the time I have recovered from the flight it was time to go back. BA is usually absurdly expensive and I normally use Qatar or Etihad. The quality of the lounges, drink, food, seats and service, as well as other extras, is, in my view, ample compensation for the extra cost.
  4. British Airways is currently offering up to 64 per cent discount on its First and Business flights on a range of departures from 21 July. The sale runs until 14 June. I have just booked Bangkok return for £1300 ($2000) – which is £500 cheaper than the nearest comparable business flight (£1800 with Eva Air). The advantage of the BA flight is that it gets into BKK mid-afternoon and leaves after midnight – so time for a last fling at NEP.
  5. I have flown to BKK and Singapore from London 16 times now and have tried most of the airlines. For direct economy flights I think Singapore Airlines is one of the best but if you’re planning to go business then I prefer a stopover in the Middle East. There are several reasons: 1. I find a 12/13 hour flight too long whereas two 6 hour flights with a break of far more relaxing. 2. The quality of the Middle East airlines is considerably better than some of the Far East airlines and a lot cheaper than British airways or Qantas. 3. Some of the Middle East lounges are as good as a decent hotel. The best is possibly the Qatar Airways premium lounge in Doha which has two restaurants, is very comfortable, champagne on tap and it is all free! 4. The Middle East-BKK flights rarely full in business. 5. One of the advantages of having a number of Arabs on the flight is that most of them do not drink alcohol and consequently I was fined that the cabin crew tend to be over diligent in filling up your wine or champagne glass. 6. Arab women are reluctant to sit next to men and so I often have a spare seat next to me. For me, these sporadic short trips to LOS are something that I look forward to and I do not want them ruined by a traumatic flight. The cost of going in business is not dramatically more than many economy flights when you factor in all the advantages that they offer. When I was younger I used to dread the late-night Thai Airways flight back from BKK because it was never a pleasurable experience. These days the thought of continuing my holiday all the way back to Heathrow means that I no longer dread the return trip. My preferred airline is now Qatar Airways. I realise that there is not much to choose between them and (say) Emirates and Etihad but a combination of cost, timing, service, comfort and cabin crew gives them the edge.
  6. I have stayed at several different Pattaya hotels and PBR remains my favourite because: 1. Completely LB friendly and there are always other BMs there, doing exactly the same thing, and so one does not feel isolated. 2. Easy walking distance to Stringfellows and La Bamba. 3. Very secure. 4. Free WiFi that works at a decent speed. 5. Good choice of rooms. 6. Great staff. 7. Efficient BKK pick-up.
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