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Children in business class and transfer time at ICN

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May 30th, 2012, 06:25 PM
  #1
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Children in business class and transfer time at ICN

Hello,

We are using all of our airline miles accumulated over the years to fly business class to China. I have a bad back, so we're booking a year in advance to make sure we have the layflat seats. We're very excited for the trip.

On the way home we are on a 747 -- we'll have our 9.5 year old and almost 6-year old daughters with us. They're much better fliers than I am but none of us sleep very much, even on international flights. We always have a large activity bag so they'll probably be watching movies and doing crafts or schoolwork. But should we sit upstairs or down? When I've been upstairs on a 747 it's been business travelers trying to work or sleep, so seems like sitting downstairs would be better. What do you experienced fliers say? We'll be happy in either location and want to be considerate.

Second question, on the way home we're CAN (Guangzhou) to ICN (Seoul) on Asiana Airlines transferring to United Airlines at ICN, with 1.5 hours between flights at about 5 pm on a Sunday. We will have checked luggage. Is this enough time?

Thank you,
BMarieL
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May 30th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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On a 747 the business class for most airlines will be either the upper deck or lower deck and definitely not both decks. If you fly business then it's either upper or lower and you will not have a choice.

I believe Asiana does have an agreement with UA so when you check your luggage at CAN check them all the way to your destination. 1.5 hours in plenty unless you have to collect your luggage in Seoul and recheck them for the UA flight but this is not normal.
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May 30th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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Hanuman, on United in the 747, there are Biz seats on both the upper deck and the lower deck.

The upper deck is quieter but there is little storage space. You'll have a narrow bin next to the window, but regular carry-ons will have to be left in the area as you come up the stairs. For that reason you may prefer downstairs, as you can store carry-ons at your seat in the overhead bins, no need to disturb the flights attendants to get at your bags.
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May 30th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Oh I haven't flown UA in a long time so thank you Kathie for the correction!
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May 30th, 2012, 07:23 PM
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Sorry I was thinking of the the A380 so a lot of airlines does have business class on both decks!
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May 30th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Apart from Kathie's recommendation this might help you choose: http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni..._747-400_B.php
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May 30th, 2012, 08:28 PM
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We had United-Asiana connections at ICN last year--our connections (to/from Hanoi) were longer, but 1.5 hours would have been quite sufficient. You may have to transfer by train from the main terminal to the satellite terminal (where the UA flights arrived/departed), but even so that didn't take long.

I prefer the upper deck and wouldn't be concerned about booking seats up there with kids. But the middle section of the lower deck has four seats across, which might work well for a family of four--as opposed to the 2-2 configuration upstairs.
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May 31st, 2012, 12:34 AM
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What airline are you flying there? I see you've mentioned (and others have responded about) United/Asiana on the return flights.

A lot of the best places to sit (even in business) has greatly to do with the carrier and aircraft.
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May 31st, 2012, 06:37 AM
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We sat upstairs on the United 747 from SFO to Seoul, and except for the lack of storage space, loved it. I'd think 2-2 upstairs would be great for you. The seats and video systems are phenomenal. When we went (a year ago), we transferred to Asiana in Seoul for a flight to Hanoi. It was very fast. Even including checking in with the desk to make sure we got biz class seats on the Seoul-Hanoi portion, it was fast - we had plenty of time in the lounge. Also, our bags were definitely checked all the way through. FWIW, at that time, the seats on Asiana were regular old-style biz class seats. Still very nice, but not like the UA 747. That may because it's a short flight (4 hours) or may be that they hadn't upgraded them yet. I did absolutely hate the video system on the Asiana flight (a minor point - these days I take my iPad, which is my own private video system!!)
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May 31st, 2012, 12:11 PM
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Thank you all!

On the way over, we are on Flight UA889 SFO-PEK on a Boeing 747-400 non-stop to Beijing in first class so we have 4 seats grouped together in center/back of first class.

On the way home, CAN-ICN it's the Asiana on an Airbus A330-300, 1.5 hour connection in Seoul,and then ICN-SFO UA892, again on Boeing 747-400.

We don't have the Asiana seats yet and were told we'd need to do that directly with Asiana. (Which seems odd to me.)

I see that my husband reserved us seats upstairs, 2 and 2 facing one another. We will have 2 carry-on roll aboards (the kids' school rolling backpacks) that would fit UNDER a seat but not sure if they'd fit into those side cubbies that I've seen on the 747s upstairs, but that was years ago. With the kids we want constant access to those bags for everyone's sanity.

BMarieL
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May 31st, 2012, 12:45 PM
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Access to those bags may be the problem upstairs in the 747.
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May 31st, 2012, 12:56 PM
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There is no under-seat storage in any business or first class seat. You will be required to stow everything for take-off and landing. I agree that there might be problems with the bags upstairs on the 747. By the way, seats upstairs (or downstairs either, for that matter) do NOT face each other. They have partitions between them, so no communication.

I liked the idea I read earlier of the four middle seats, all facing same direction, downstairs on the 747. The overheads are bigger and your gear will be right there, after take-off.
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May 31st, 2012, 12:57 PM
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There's no floor storage allowed during take-off/landing in UA's business seats (they don't really have an "under-seat" area). Not really sure about first class, but it may be the same. There are overheads but not as large as the ones downstairs (my husband always put his backpack up there and it fits). I use the side cabinets for my stuff, including my usually terribly overstuffed computer bag (sometimes it's hard to get out at the end of the flight ).

Re: the seats "facing one another", there is a "wall" that's maybe about 5 feet high or so in between the two rows (where the entertainment screens are), so you won't be able to talk to the people on the other side or see from one pair to the other without standing up. We've flown in the upper deck a number of times as a family of three, and we usually pick 2 on one side and one across the aisle, so we can talk easily if needed.
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May 31st, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Hmmm.....considering my kids on one side of a wall and me with champagne and a movie on the other....
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May 31st, 2012, 03:02 PM
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lol... Maybe that's a good idea
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May 31st, 2012, 04:09 PM
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I like the champagne idea, but you'll get the same level of privacy downstairs and you'll have overhead bin storage by your seats rather than the FAs needing to get your carry-ons from the luggage storage area upstairs. I used to like to fly upstairs but now prefer downstairs because of the storage issue.
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May 31st, 2012, 09:17 PM
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4 in the middle is fine downstairs, or you can pick two along the windows and two in the middle. Because of the layout of the cabin with half the seats facing backwards, you can actually see each other easily:


http://www.airliners.net/photo/Unite...df192036b3dad4
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May 31st, 2012, 11:12 PM
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And if your kids are really loud, then consider row 9 and 10 on either side. No other C class seats nearby, though each pair or you can't see the other two persons.
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Jun 1st, 2012, 10:16 AM
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Hi,

Thanks again. We moved to seats downstairs. Love the photo! I will show that to our girls, they will be very excited with the set up. The little toiletry bag in business class typically entertains them for a good half hour. Did you know that the gooseneck lamp and the eye shade can be utilized to make a hammock for a small stuffed animal?

Not to worry, we will sit by them (and still have champagne). They are fabulous travelers, unlike their mother who is a white-knuckle flier!

BMarieL
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Jun 1st, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Glad you got it figured out. Your plan sounds great! Have fun on your trip.
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