What We Liked:
· Lie-flat seats. No almost lie-flat, angled sleeping here. The seat fully reclines and a footrest niche in the TV panel in front of you provides some additional stretching space. We slept more in this seat (and easily) than on the 11.5-hour leg earlier.
· Ginormous TV screens that make it so enjoyable to watch anything, whether it's the livemap or movies with captions or thrillers with lots of explosions and car chases. The screens are 15 inchers, a shocking step up from the nearly palm-size screens in Biz on the 777. · That little extra shelf underneath the TV, which makes it so much easier to get oneself organized before buckling in for takeoff.
· The configuration, with backwards-facing seat pairs. We had a backwards seat, which faces the tail of the plane, and it was fun! Taking off had a new feeling, and we got a millisecond of air upon touching down.
· The meals were lovely, far better than our choices from the USA and far tastier. Passionfruit cheesecake for the win!
· The flight attendant who catered most to us repeatedly referred to us by our name, and he was very good about returning to refill beverages and quickly clearing away plates during meal service.
· Despite being located directly next to the galley, aisle traffic was minimal.
· Working power plugs allowed us to juice up our iPhone both at the gate and in flight. Score.
What We Didn't Like:
· Not knowing whether or not we'd be facing forward or backward. Luckily we don't get motion sickness, but can imagine those prone to it would throw a fit over being seated backwards.
· Facing backwards means that everything must be secured during takeoff, and we mean everything. Do not leave a water bottle or a magazine or a book or anything sitting out when that plane leaves the runway; everything will go flying down the aisle and into coach, and they don't really need to be reminded of the cooler headphones and magazines and assorted accoutrements you get in Biz (and it's embarrassing to have to retrieve the stuff later).
Bottom Line: There's not a lot to say negatively about the 747 Biz Class. We almost loved it, but love is such a strong word for a first time with this seat. It particularly shines for those who love to sleep and/or watch TV, but people who only want to face forward should be careful to specifically request a preferred seat. It's always a good sign when 6.5 hours is made to feel like one, completely pleasant, hour.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]