THE BEST LONGHAUL ECONOMY CLASS?
We do not think it either worthwhile or possible to decide which airline is best for longhaul Economy. All airlines are selling their seats by price, which means budgets are watched and trimmed at every level of the operation. However, some airlines do offer small bonuses, which might make them stand out if you were interested in that particular feature. For example:
Baggage: Emirates and Gulf Air offer an exceptionally generous baggage allowance of 30 kilos per person. Many other airlines have followed BA in offering 23 kilos but there are still some, including Qatar, who only offer 20 kilos. The extra three kilos can make the difference between a full suitcase and one that has to have a few items removed to make the weight, whereas the very large allowance with Emirates and Gulf could save some people a great deal of money in excess baggage charges.
Seat Pitch: It is easy to get a little hung-up on this question. Most airlines offer a fairly standard 31 inches, with a handful advertising 32 inches or even 34 inches (on a few older aircraft). Some Airbus aircraft can be a little more spacious than Boeings, but you need to check the specific seat plan for the aircraft and airline you are going to use. Some airlines are good on one type of aircraft and bad on another, so it is difficult to recommend them (Emirates is well known for this). Be particularly careful with Boeing 777s: Emirates and many others have a 3ž4ž3 configuration, whereas BA has a more civilised 3ž3ž3.
Entertainment: If games are your thing, then Virgin (but only on the Heathrow fleet and new A330s at Gatwick and Manchester) and Emirates are best. For more mainstream film and television entertainment, BA probably has the best range. Some European airlines have a fairly limited selection of entertainment in English and some major airlines still have part of their longhaul fleet without private seat-back entertainment systems.
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