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6ft 4 needing a decent carrier for cattle class

6ft 4 needing a decent carrier for cattle class

Aug 19th, 2008, 11:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 152
6ft 4 needing a decent carrier for cattle class


I am debating on which carrier to book my other half on, flying to the US from the UK the only carriers that go direct are American and BA. He's 6ft 4 and hasn't flown for many years, I want to make his trip as comfortable yet cost affective as possible.

AA has more room it doesn't appear to have on demand movies and for a 10 hr flight I think it's important.

Also I have flown on BA several times and find their service so so, there isn't much between the fares and I wondered what others would do.

Would phoning the airline and requesting a possible exit row seat help? though i think they don't assign these seats until the day of departure.

Oh if only he were 5ft 5 all seats would be like business class!!!

Any suggestions helpful except the one that starts pay for business!!!!
Charlene29 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
If you are going for comfort, and you think AA is most comfortable, why not get a portable DVD player and take it with if the movies are a concern?

For BA, I think it is more or less hopeless to get seat assignments, particularly for exit row, in advance, but I suppose you could always try. (This is based on what I've read, not personal experience.)

What city are you flying from?

For me personally, a seat with more space would be more important than on-demand movies.

Depending what city you are flying from, you might consider whether it's worth it to drive to a UA hub, and then take a UA plane with Economy Plus seating.

Good luck to your husband. I hope he gets a good seat.
WillTravel is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,414
The destination in the US is not mentioned, as a guess it could be DFW since you mention only BA & AA fly direct.
Some airlines charge extra for emergency exit seats so you could try booking these (eg Virgin) or you could upgrade to premium economy.
If there's a choice between BA & AA, it would always be BA for me (meal/drinks service better, entertainment better, online check in available, planes and FAs are younger). AA might have slightly better seat pitch than BA but the whole experience is rather shabby.
Odin is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 12:12 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 152
You're good Odin, He is flying from LHR to DFW.

I am leaning towards BA as I find their service all be it at times a little stuffy very good and you don't have to pay for absolutley everything as you do with a US carrier.

31" pitch 17.5 is not a very big seat when you're 6ft 4 and 225 lbs!!! still what's 10 hours out of life!

Charlene29 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 04:29 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
In general, I'd pick BA over AA. I don't know of any airline that lets you pick premuim seats (bulkhead, exit) in advance unless you've got top FF status - and BA won't let anyone, except 1st and gazillion-milers, pick any seat in advance. Most will free these up at 24 hr advance checkin, so that may be his best chance.

I'm assuming you/he definitely want non-stop. If not then other options could include premium economy on UA or Virgin as mentioned with a change en route.
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,086
Does your SO have elite status on AA? If he does, at least he can reserve an exit row seat, which has much more legroom.

AA flies 2 flights on 777 DFW-LHR in summer. The rest of the year, it flies 1 777 and 1 763.

The 777 has individual seatback entertainment in economy. It is not exactly on demand, but each movie starts every 20 minutes or so. Row 31 has unlimited leg room (exit row).

The 767 does not have individual entertainment; but if he can grab a seat on Row 21 either A/B/H/J, he will have lots of legroom (exit row).

But seriously, if I were you, I'd consider buying him the cheap economy ticket, then upgrade him to Business class ($350 + 25,000 miles each way). For such a long flight, I think it's worth it.
yk is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 07:49 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
<buy chaap economy seat, then upgrade to business>

Good idea, but check AAs policy. Many airlines won't let you upgrade for a couple $100 or so + 25K miles unless you buy a certain fare class, and often those tickets aren't cheap.
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Do BA offer their premium economy or whatever they call it on this flight? That should have more room, certainly wider seats. Otherwise you have to make sure you check in on line as soon as you can to get at least an aisle seat for him. My OH is 6ft 2 and had no problems on the BA jumbo to Phoenix. He always goes for an aisle seat.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,056
BA coach seating is about as uncomfortable as it gets. Both AA and BA use 777s on LHR-DFW; however AA has two seats on the sides vs. three for BA and each seat is around half an inch (or a bit more) wider, also an inch more legroom.

However, BA does offer World Traveller Plus, premium economy, on that route, so if the increased cost (probably around 30%) is acceptable, it's considerably more comfortable.

AA has full in-seat audio/video on their 777s.

Since the OP's SO "hasn't flown in many years," it's doubtful if he/she has the necessary miles to upgrade, nor to score an exit row seat on either airline, since those seats are quickly scarfed by elite members of the airlines' FF programs.

AA has recently raised the co-payment price to $300 + 30,000 miles each way to upgrade (but good on any base fare) but $600 plus 60,000 miles is getting very close to competitive with just buying a cheap business fare and earning, rather than burning, miles.
Gardyloo is online now  
Aug 20th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
I would reserve an isle seat, he will be able to stretch his legs at least for a while, when the food cart is not there.
FainaAgain is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,057
Premium economy is the way to solve this problem. From the BA site:

Premium Economy prem+

A quiet, separate economy cabin that offers an extra 7" leg room, greater seat recline and your own seatback video screen and in-seat laptop power. World Traveller Plus offers extra space at an economy price.
Gavin is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 69
I agree with the last message: World Traveller Plus (premium economy) on BA is the way to go, as its more-or-less similar to their old Business Class minus the gizmos. And for a 10-hour flight, its definitely worth the extra, even if that means flying separately from your companion.
bombayteddy is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Comfort on a flight overseas is always of maximum concern to me beacause I don't want to be wasted and sore when I arrive in my destination(I'm also very tall and most of my height is in my legs). I fly overseas about twice each year. I can guarantee a miserable flight over for your companion where comfort is concerned on BA unless you get lucky with the side bulkhead seats (which, as you said, can't be chosen in advance and, in my experience, forget about them making any exceptions -- they wouldn't even do that for my 6'7" brother). Nonetheless I have flown BA many times but only when the deal was too good to pass up i.e. their free nights in London hotel promotions. If your companion is stuck in a middle seat, it's torture far greater than waterboarding. The food may well be better and some of the perks nice, (always enjoy the "afternoon tea" on my flight home) but on a long haul flight I'd choose the leg room over any of those concerns ANY DAY. Should you decide on BA, they actually do now let you choose your seats in advance via the website, but only a certain number of days out from the flight, rather than at the time you purchase your ticket like American carriers (check their website for more details as I can't recall how far out exactly, but I think it was either 1 or 2 weeks prior to the flight). Don't count on it helping you much though. After getting all excited about being able to choose seats and literally arranging my schedule to be at a computer and able to go online and do it as soon as they became available (for best selection), the website seat selection function was not working properly and it was a total bust. When I called to see if they would help me over the phone because of those circumstances, they very politely said they couldn't help me and I would have to wait until arriving at the airport the day of our flight to get seats. Needless to say, by that time all that was left were the worst middle seats on the plane! The online check-in worked on the way back from Rome, but only for the first leg of the flight (to Heathrow). The second, and longest, leg had to be booked at the airport. Thankfully the counter person was lovely and after commenting on my height, she offered us a side 3 seat section where the middle seat was blocked because the seat wasn't working properly. That was a god-send! Their online seat selection is all but useless in my book. (I'd still try it if flying them. You never know when you might get lucky. Maybe they finally got some of the bugs out.) Also keep in mind that, unlike United, Northwest, and others, you can't change a seat once you've clicked on it. Make sure you've reviewed all available seats before you touch that mouse button. It "saves" the seat autmotically and immediately and you'll be stuck with any "accidental" clicks. By they way: You can always call AA re. the on demand movies to make sure. Sometimes omit perks from the flight listings on the website in my experience. Buon viaggio!!
BethAB is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 489
"check their website for more details as I can't recall how far out exactly, but I think it was either 1 or 2 weeks prior to the flight"

Alas, it's only 24 hours before the flight. It is my pet peeve with BA.
Paulchili is offline  
Aug 21st, 2008, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7
Why not consider putting him on an airline that is rated the best in North America and has the seat pitch that you require, 34" I believe [check www.seatguru.com]?

Air Canada via Toronto will be much more comfortable, and as an Elite member, I can tell you that AC is better in the back of the plane than either of BA or AA.

Sample itinerary:
1 AC 869N 12SEP LHRYYZ 0830 1110 * FR
2 AC1045N 12SEP YYZDFW 1400 1617 * FR
3 AC1046N 19SEP DFWYYZ 1135 1535 * FR
4 AC 856N 19SEP YYZLHR 1825 0625 +* FR/SA

If you can get their current seat sale with seats in N class, the fare could be as low as:
NUC190.10END ROE0.510239
FARE GBP 97.00 TAX 40.00GB TAX 19.65UB TAX 8.00SQ TAX 1.30AY
TAX 16.60US TAX 2.70XA TAX 2.40XF TAX 3.80XY TAX 3.00YC TAX
0.40XG TAX 223.00YQ TOT GBP 417.85

David Smith, Vancouver
thefareguru is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
go to www.seatguru.com and that will tell you about all seats on the plane....from your friendly travel agent!
joaniefork is offline  

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