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AAFrequentFlyer May 8th, 2008 11:22 AM

I believe <b>Gardyloo</b> said that Iberia is better than Swiss, not AA.

I prefer AA new business class seat and the service. I was never very impressed with Iberia's business class product. Adequate at best.

BA has the best OneWorld business class product IMHO.

Unfortunately you can't use AA miles to upgrade on BA nor can you use AA miles for an award on BA between US-UK. But if you are willing to connect through Canada then it's possible to take out a business class award on BA using AA miles. For example:

JFK-YUL (AA)
YUL-LHR (BA)
LHR-CDG (BA)

Not sure if it's worth the hassle but if you don't mind connections and longer flight day, then that would be the best use of AA miles for an award.


111op May 8th, 2008 11:30 AM

You're right. He didn't claim that Iberia was better than AA.

I think that I must have had an old AA plane. Even my tray was not level. It was sort of ridiculous.

I guess you can't tell this from these pics:

http://tinyurl.com/2gvfl2

But at least these pics from Iberia look nicer:

http://tinyurl.com/4hxfoc

Maybe the whole thing about this exercise was to look for an excuse that Economy is fine. :-) Then I can buy ticktets and not feel guilty.

Is there someone who is for paying to fly Swiss business?


yk May 8th, 2008 11:31 AM

The OP has mentioned more than once,

&lt;&lt; flying to <b>London</b> is not an option. &gt;&gt;

I take that the OP meant including connections via LHR.

WillTravel May 8th, 2008 11:57 AM

Would it be okay to get economy seats if you paid for the middle seat to be empty? You'd have to be very sure what you were doing, of course, and enlist the airline's help.

I may be kidding myself, but when I am lucky enough to have the middle seat free, or even better, the whole row, I tend to think that business class really would not be all that much better - certainly not worth the thousands-of-dollars premium.

Another option - book the three seats for you and your parents together. Then, when boarding, tell the attendant you want a different seat anywhere at all, leaving the middle free. (Of course, your parents would probably tell you they preferred to sit next to you rather than have the seat free.)

yk May 8th, 2008 12:11 PM

On my most recent flight on AA flying LHR-BOS, I have 3 seats to myself in economy on a 767. To me, it's still rather uncomfortable. The main issue is the small amt of space between me and the seat in front of me and the minimal seat recline. So even they have an empty middle seat, it doesn't make it more comfortable - it makes it more &quot;bearable.&quot;

I even tried lying horizontal across the 3 seats (I'm short enough to fit), and the shape of the seats gave me backache within 30 minutes. It's not something comfortable to be able to get good sleep.

AAFrequentFlyer May 8th, 2008 12:22 PM

Take a look at the new business class seats:

http://www.howwillyourtimefly.com/

111op May 8th, 2008 12:45 PM

Yeah, I don't really want to connect in LHR. It's probably ok though, but I really don't see how it'll be helpful.

I can't go to London on this trip. Actually if I can, I'd have chosen that route already. I'd just claim 2 first class seats for my parents and be done with this.

I think that business class is better than having the middle seat empty. To me it's not worth paying a full fare of $8000. But when it's $3000 and Economy is $1500 I think the result is not so clear.

When you think about cost differential vs. hours of comfort, it's an interesting calculation. Say you've 15 hours of comfort and you pay $1500. That's $100 per hour. It's like going to 15 massages. Plus it's more comfortable when you land and you can recover more quickly.

$1500 is also close to what you're looking at for an AA upgrade both ways when you're paying 25000 miles + $300 (x2) if you value 25000 miles as $250.

Hm.... Maybe I'm thinking I should buy Swissair. :-)

AAFrequentFlyer May 8th, 2008 01:09 PM

Don't take the following the wrong way but....

You're way overthinking this. After all it's a 8-10 hour flight. It's not like you're buying something that has to last for few years.

Pick the best price, best schedule and go with it.

We can all debate here forever what is the best business class product, but unless you will be flying it every couple of weeks, then ultimately it's not that much of a difference for once a year trip.

You have to look at it this way. Regardless if you get the best business class product or not, it's one trip. It's many notches above any economy class product so don't overthink it.

Good luck with your decision!

travelgourmet May 8th, 2008 01:10 PM

<i>Out of curiosity, travel, where does AA fall in this spectrum?</i>

Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to fly them in biz in a while - I try to stick with BA or SkyTeam carriers across the Atlantic, for FF mileage reasons.

Gardyloo May 8th, 2008 01:25 PM

I agree with AAFF - it's a plane ride, not a marriage.

For the record, though, I think IB's longhaul business class product is equal to, sometimes better than, AA's, although I must admit I have not been in one of AA's new J seats yet (I've been lucky to sit in F on my last few AA longhauls.)

My experience with Swiss longhaul J has been on A340s; however on those flights I felt the overall product was inferior to IB's - seat <i>and</i> service. A lot of people have commented negatively on the comfort of Swiss' A330 J seats; if they're worse than those on the A340 they must be pretty bad.

But this is all a bit of angels on pinheads. Any J seat is better than almost any Y seat and no mistake. Only you can decide if the benefit/cost breakdown is favorable to you.

travelgourmet May 8th, 2008 01:45 PM

<i>Any J seat is better than almost any Y seat and no mistake.</i>

This sort of logic is what keeps gullible people flying somebody like Icelandair in business.

When I fly J, I'm already in for so much money, that I am not going to take a noticeably inferior product to save a $200.

Gardyloo May 8th, 2008 01:58 PM

<i>This sort of logic is what keeps gullible people flying somebody like Icelandair in business.</i>

Missed my next sentence, did we?

111op May 8th, 2008 05:17 PM

Thanks. As you can see I definitely do overanalyze. :-)

I guess the problem is exactly that it seems so wasteful. A few thousand gone -- just like that! And it's not even lasting.

Maybe it's like what they say: If you have to ask, you can't afford it. Analogously if I'm thinking this hard, maybe it's not for me.

111op May 8th, 2008 06:10 PM

Well I guess the overanalysis was good in the end -- as it turned out I now have to rule out Switzerland completely. Most likely I'll also stick to Economy on some airline yet to be determined, but thanks for the discussion.


travelgourmet May 9th, 2008 12:17 AM

gardyloo: I don't think I missed it, I was just too caught up on &quot;no mistake.&quot; Spending anything approaching J money on Icelandair is most certainly a mistake.

That being said, I would think we basically agree on the bigger picture.

111op May 9th, 2008 04:57 AM

In case anyone cares, I just booked tickets on Delta JFK-CDG, FCO-JFK. So I'm going to work on hotels next. Thanks again everyone! Ticket was slightly over $1000 per person. I'm leaving on a Wed. and coming back on a Mon., so that's why it's a little cheaper.

travelgourmet May 9th, 2008 05:11 AM

Glad to hear you settled on something. Too bad you couldn't get in under the Double MQM promo (had to buy by April 30), or you might have gotten a nice, shiny Delta elite card to add to your AA Gold.


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