Timmy’s far Asian tour

Would appear to be on. Business class flight, reasonable per diem, not exactly looking forward to 12-18 hours on a plane each way but, you know, per diem.

Hmm. Vaccinations, eh? And health insurance. Plus, looking at the list of available airlines ….biman looks a little too exciting really, but anyone flown Turkish long distance? Etihad is of course just fine. Any other tips?

Only been doing short haul for the past couple of decades so which airlines to use and which to miss tips welcomed.

40 comments on “Timmy’s far Asian tour

  1. Haven’t done Turkish long-haul before but done a lot of short-haul and I would describe it as a competent product, without being special.

    If you are changing via Ataturk airport it is very very busy these days, over capacity in fact. Used to be lovely but is a bit of a crush now. The THY lounge is nice but busy.

  2. Emirates, Qatar, Cathay and Singapore are all good. It is always good to look on seatguru for seat configuration. You really want a 1-2-1 layout with full flat seats.

    Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Hong Kong is excellent.

    If you like bacon or pork sausages, steer clear of the Arab airlines.

  3. I’ve heard good reports about Turkish airlines, I recommended them for some relatives and they loved flying with them. Emirates are great. I quite like Cathay out to the far East.
    Forget Qantas. Appalling cabin crew.

  4. Turkish are reasonably good. Emirates are generally very good. Avoid Monarch at all costs for long haul.

  5. Just checked Turkish on seatguru, typically 2-2-2 configuration with angle flat beds, really outdated product so wouldn’t touch them if one of the big boys was available. My wife and I rather pay extra out of our own pockets to get a good product than rough it in a cabin a decade out of date.

  6. Staff from our U.K. office often use Turkish business class and have heard no complaints apart from when they are stuck at the airport because of a coup, bomb or whatever. But you’re ok airside.

    Obviously the big question is, where are you going? From your last post on it my money was on Bangladesh.

  7. For business class, EVA (depending on the seating), Austrian, and Swiss in that order. Matter of taste really.

  8. DocBud has said what I would.

    And 12 hours in business class is a piece of piss: sit back, get the headphone on, watch some films, eat some grub, help yourself to the spirit trolley.

  9. Avoid Turkish. They managed to fly a perfectly serviceable aircraft (in visual flight conditions) into the ground at Schiphol.

    Vaccinations for Asia. Let’s guess. Yellow fever?

  10. It’s not just the time on the plane. It’s the stopovers that can be a real pain, particularly depending on your body clock. A few hours in Dubai beats six hours in Calcutta.

  11. We use Skyscanner to look for and compare flight deals. First filters are airline, flight time and stopovers. If we see something of interest, we check which planes are used on the various legs and check the seat configurations.

  12. I found the best flights were those that meant I was sleeping my natural cycle on the plane going to Asia, daytime flights were a pain in the arse.

  13. Etihad Business Studio if you can get it – superb product. Flew to Sydney with them in Oct.

    If you fly Etihad Business they do free limo service in various places but REMEMBER to book in advance. I missed out.

    Unless you have status with another that will give you benefits.

  14. Asia – Yellow fever?
    Last year my wife went on a trip (professional) with me to an jungle area in SE Asia which my quack (yellow Asian who comes from a nearby area) regards as a disease ridden pesthole.

    I go there often so no need, she had 6 weeks of being used as a dartboard and I think yellow fever was about the only thing she didn’t get.

  15. More thoughts:

    Regarding travel insurance generally a rip off. I travel on company insurance for generally one person outside Australia at any one time. Cover for:
    Medical/Hospital USD 2M (after 1K)
    Medevac (to Aus) USD 5M

    Costs USD2K pa, no lost baggage, kid/grandma sick etc bullshit

  16. Only flew Turkish Airlines once to Istanbul on a DC-10 it crashed in Paris 10 days later, long time ago I know but pilot, not pilots reading a paper with feet up on chair all viewed through the open curtain, as then to the cockpit, did not inspire confidence and they never flew on time.

  17. Yellow fever, hep B, typhoid and a tetanus booster if you’re going anywhere jungly. There are very few vaccines for mosquito-borne diseases (yellow fever is a bit of an exception) so if you get malaria, dengue, zika or chikungunya then there’s not much you can do.

  18. Singapore or Qatar. Swiss is ok (economy is awful though) and lounges are good. Avoid Lufthansa.

    The advice to get on a 1-2-1 configuration plane is good. BA pack ’em in like sardines in business class.

  19. Just noticed that my local Indian takeaway ( which is probably Bengali because the staff joke they are not morning people ) is called by the same name as DAC airport ( i.e. Shahjalal )
    Can’t help with advice on whether Kuwait Air is better than Gulf Air or any of the others I’m afraid.

  20. If you are going to Bangladesh, I noticed you mentioned Biman, careful about using airlines through the gulf as I’ve heard the Gulf-Bangla leg and return are full of migrant workers and it can be a bit of a nightmare. Although in Business you’d probably be shielded from the worst of it.

  21. Lufthansa is a plague. Other Europeans are OK. East Asians generally better with Singapore at the top by a big margin.south or central Asian, not so much Arabs are a pretty good product. I don’t use them anymore cos I don’t like where the money goes.

    Key is the flight schedule as noted above. The more stops the worse it gets. This is probably more important than which specific airline provided you’re within the reasonable group.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica – “Yellow fever, hep B, typhoid and a tetanus booster if you’re going anywhere jungly.”

    Do we know where the conference is yet? Hepatitis B is good advice. But so is Hepatitis A. Hep B is mostly blood and sexy good time girls. But Hep A is spread through bad water, poorly cooked sea food, saliva and several other means as well as sexy good time girls. Some enormous percentage of South-East, East and South Asians have it.

    So get a shot. Both of them require months – Hep A and B both require, I think, three shots several months apart. So start now.

    You may also like to consider a rabies shot. It doesn’t actually prevent rabies, but if you are bitten or licked by a stray dog, it does give you a little bit longer to make it to a proper hospital.

  23. Bloke in Costa Rica – “There are very few vaccines for mosquito-borne diseases (yellow fever is a bit of an exception) so if you get malaria, dengue, zika or chikungunya then there’s not much you can do.”

    Again where said conference is will be important. There is little you can do to avoid these. Mosquitoes can and do breed everywhere. Even in nice neighbourhoods.

    My advice is not to stay out late. Wear long sleeves. Don’t be tempted by shorts. And the most effective mosquito spray I have ever found was a bargain I picked up at Tesco, in Edinburgh I think, oddly enough. Just make sure it has enough DEET to kill a horse – and remember bring it. Not in your carry-on.

  24. I’ve been flying Etihad from the UK back home to the far east for several years now (previously used Malaysian and Singapore Airlines) and I’ve never regretted choosing to fly with them.

    Wish I could afford to fly business class, but since its on my own dime… meh! 🙁

  25. The biggest rip off is premium economy. Three times the price of economy for a fractionally larger seat and leg room.

  26. The biggest rip off is premium economy. Three times the price of economy for a fractionally larger seat and leg room.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that “Premium Economy” is for those business travellers who have rules about when / if they can fly business class (e.g. only on flights over 4 hours, etc.), but are allowed to book “economy”.

    A seat costing three times the price is fine if somebody else is paying for it.

  27. A seat costing three times the price is fine if somebody else is paying for it.

    Yup that’s the only time I’ve ever used it. Absolutely no way I’d blow a grand or so extra of my own money for that ‘upgrade’…. when the company are paying mind…..

  28. A seat costing three times the price is fine if somebody else is paying for it.

    Yup that’s the only time I’ve ever used it. Absolutely no way I’d blow a grand or so extra of my own money for that ‘upgrade’…. when the company are paying mind…..

  29. I do a lot of long distance, paying my own way and I just go for the cheapest direct or near direct flight on a ‘reasonable’ airline. I’ve never really been impressed with better airlines to make them worth the premium they charge.

  30. Best mosquito protection is Avon Skin So Soft, my better half gets eaten alive by anything and everything except when she puts that on.
    The SAS use it as well.

  31. If you are going to Bangladesh, I noticed you mentioned Biman, careful about using airlines through the gulf as I’ve heard the Gulf-Bangla leg and return are full of migrant workers and it can be a bit of a nightmare. Although in Business you’d probably be shielded from the worst of it.

    All true.

    Other Europeans are OK.

    Air France is shit.

    The biggest rip off is premium economy. Three times the price of economy for a fractionally larger seat and leg room.

    Depends. Premium Economy on BA from Orly to New York was well worth it: much bigger seat. Other times the seat is identical. SeatGuru is your friend when it comes to Premium Economy.

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