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flying to oz with v elderly parent

posts: 2
flying to oz with v elderly parent

Am taking my mother to Oz in the new year to visit family and want the experience to be as comfortable and hassle free as poss. Prepared to splash out on business, or even first class. Which airline would travellers recommend? We live near Manchester and so Emirates would appear the obvious choice. Reviews for them, and Etihad, seem to be very mixed.

All advice very welcome.

Tamworth, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 9,090
reviews: 8
1. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

I've not flown Etihad only Emirates and there's nothing wrong with them. Bearing in mind that she's elderly and you have a very long journey, if you can afford to upgrade then go for it.

posts: 45,327
reviews: 89
2. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

There's no need to splash out on first class and pretty much any business class will be great for her assuming she has previously been accustomed to economy.

I beleive Qatar fly to / from Manchester so that may be another option and I hear and read good things about their service.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
posts: 23,445
reviews: 44
3. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

I have a friend who flies Etihad business class to Oz every year. She thinks they're really good.

Tamworth, United...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
posts: 9,090
reviews: 8
4. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

If you have an option for Qatar then that would be first on my list.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
Destination Expert
for Poland
posts: 4,023
reviews: 42
5. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

You've not said how capable your mum would be of the gymnastics some of the seat patterns call for. For example, I find BA business very comfortable, but I once had window and the lady who I had to pass to get to the aisle put her seat flat and "slept" from the moment the seatbelt sign went out, meaning I had to climb over her each time! (Actually, after the first couple of times, I kicked her in passing, but I can be nasty like that sometimes!). So that pattern can create issues whether you're sitting on the aisle or not. Virgin upper class is OK, and you can essentially lower yourself backwards into the main seat area. But facing away from the wlndow is a bit odd - odder than flying backwards in BA. I've flown to India a number of times on Emirates and like their service plus, business being lie-flat forward facing in twos or threes the only thing limiting getting to the aisle is pitch. If you fly with mum, take the window seat and let her have the very easy access aisle!

Watch times in Dubai, and be aware that at breakfast time the business lounge can be VERY busy ... as in no seats.

Edited: 1:58 pm, November 30, 2012
Sydney, Australia
posts: 3,803
reviews: 7
6. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

I've only recenlty returned to Oz from a wonderful trip to the UK, flying with Etihad, mostly in first but one leg in business (Abu Dhabi to Manchester) because they don't have a first class cabin on flights to/from Manchester. First was bloody fantastic, to put it mildly and business was good, but it suffered enormously by comparison to first ;-( It was the 'older' cabin in our business leg and we did see the new business when boarding one of our return flights, which did look much nicer (a bit roomier maybe?). We found the business seat a bit cramped but, as I've said, we had just come off a 14 hour flight in first, so anything would have seemed cramped after that.

When we bought our tickets, they were on sale and we paid $8,500 each. I've done a dummy booking, in first all the way (via Heathrow) for August next year and it was only $2000 more (each). I'll happily pay their full price to fly with them again in First.

The service, food, lounges etc were wonderful (wonderful is too tame a word though) in both classes, but if you can consider flying via Heathrow and going in first the whole way, you'll not regret it.

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 37
7. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

Singapore Airlines fly from MAN to australia via munich and singapore.

their first class (and business) is hard to beat. or so i hear about 1st. never had the pleasure.

Llandudno North...
posts: 2,583
reviews: 17
8. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

I 2nd Singapore best airline out there in my opinion!


London, England
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 7,607
reviews: 23
9. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

If you have the time, I found breaking my journey for 4 days in Singapore on the way to Oz made the trip much more bearable.

The massages, reflexology as well as the time to get over jet lag (at least partly) improved the trip no end.

posts: 2
10. Re: flying to oz with v elderly parent

My thanks to all who have replied so far, with lots of helpful information and advice.

Am very grateful, Anne T