Best airline to fly to London?

Dec 17th, 2002, 11:42 AM
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If you have a choice of airlines to fly to London take a look at each airline's seating chart before you book your flight.
You'll be able to compare the width of the seats as well as the 'pitch' of the seats . It is the 'pitch' dimension that determines legroom.
Dec 17th, 2002, 12:57 PM
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While I prefer AA , the seats on BA's new planes also offer additional room and even fold down foot rests! I'm pretty sure it was a 777.
Mostly I go for cost!
Dec 17th, 2002, 09:51 PM
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To all AMERICAN supporters--there was an announcement on the news tonite that if you are FLYING AMERICAN over the holidays that they CHANGED their weight restriction from 70 lb DOWN to 50 lbs and are NOW charging for OVERAGE....
SO BEWARE-- before you tout American....

Personally, I vote BA or Virgin Atlantic. Have flown Coach and Business on Virgin Atlantic- I suspect that the advanced searching of luggage is messing up most airlines that fly internationally= I have flown VA for the past 5 years and never had a mechanical encounter etc as you have posted- but I truely believe what you say--- I guess any other airline could have also reacted similarly in the same type of circumstances....

As for allowing enough time for a check=in-- even if the rule states 2 hr check-in, ADD 1 more hour anyway for International flights...Heathrow is one of the SAFEST airports in the world= theur security is so intense...Always add an extra hour at that airport....
Dec 18th, 2002, 04:11 AM
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Lea - rather than trolling for individual and anectdotal experiences and preferences, I suggest you go to a site that scientifically surveys and compiles the experiences of thousands of travelers, such as "". This site ranks not only quality of service, but also lists seating charts and distance between seats. As I am 6'4" this is the most important factor for me. AA has 34" between seats, USAir 33, Delta 32, BA and Virgin have 31 inches in economy as posted on their site.
Dec 18th, 2002, 05:26 AM
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Sean, I disagree. British Airways had very cramped seating and lousy food in comparison to previous years. Quality in general has declined. I haven't flown on American Airlines but judging from others the service/quality sounds likea a better choice than British Airways.
Dec 18th, 2002, 05:31 AM
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Re: British Airways specifically we were in coach. So maybe the people who say that BA was comfortable flew in upgraded sections and not coach?
Dec 18th, 2002, 06:28 AM
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Nope, We were in coach last month on BA and there was a definite improvement in the seating. I even asked the steward and he said it was because of the newer type plane. But it still wasn't as good as AA but from where I live BA flies direct and with AA I have to change planes
Dec 18th, 2002, 08:31 AM
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I've flown American and Virgin several times on transatlantic routes. AA service is great - and if you're in coach the extra legroom sure is nice. It's definitely the best of the American carriers.

But I have always liked the extras that Virgin throws in (namely the amenity packs and eye candy they call flight attendants).

I've also been lucky enough to fly Upper Class on Virgin a couple times and that has given me significant bias towards VA, in addition to spoiling me for the rest of my life.

First time I ever flew VA was because our AA flight had to make an emergency landing at Heathrow and we got rebooked on VA. They made a terrific first impression and it's lasted to this day.
Dec 18th, 2002, 09:13 AM
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The new weight restrictions on AMERICAN AIRLINES apply ONLY to wholly domestic tickets.And the new regulations are PERMANENT, not just for the Holidays.If you are travelling domestically in connection with an international itinerary,the international regulations apply.The new rules call for a charge of $25 per piece of luggage checked weighing between 50 and 70 lbs.,within the allotted 2 piece allowance.
Dec 19th, 2002, 07:04 PM
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For business class - which is better British Air or American? The commercials for BA talk about seats that lay completely flat in business class ... anyone been on it yet? Both are non-stop & same price.
Dec 19th, 2002, 07:22 PM
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Sandy- GO for BA- their first class DOES fold down flat like a bed and you acutally have sepration screens between seats---BUT this is in FIRST CLASS-
Call the airlines and ask them specifically if the plane you are on has those seats for Business class- because Business class on BA was like First Class on US DOMESTIC carrriers-wonderful barcaloungers with foot rests that flip out.....

to DAVE- YES- Virgin Air does have THE most gorgeous ( and NICE) flight attendants I have ever seen in my life..definitely handpicked-- BRANSON has good taste!!!
Dec 19th, 2002, 10:39 PM
Nigel Doran
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The BA business class 'beds' are good, but they only stretch out flat to 6'. I am 6'4''+ so even without stretching my feet out, I had to bend my knees somewhat to fit in. Nevertheless, it is better than a reclining chair type of business class seat. In BA business class, seats are configured 2-4-2 in a 747. One seat faces forwards, the other backwards in every set of two. There are dividing screens. Service is great. (They give you lots of booze!) Mind you, that is the case with BA in economy.
Dec 20th, 2002, 12:01 PM
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I used to like BA many years ago but flew them twice within the last year and think they are one of the worst airlines I've ever flown. I flew coach and the seats were the smallest I've ever been in, and I never fly anything but coach. As someone quoted above, their seats are at the smallest end of the industry (pitch), except for local shortterm flights (I think Ryanair etc are a bit worse), and the seat width is also the smallest in the industry (17", I think).

I deliberately flew out of BWI airport instead of Dulles last time on BA because they use diff. planes from there, and there is a slight diff. of one inch or so (I think their 767s have one inch more than their 777s/747s). Other than that, flight was pretty typical, I guess, as was the food. Nothing I'd call "nice" as Sean did, just tolerable. They are very strict with the baggage, also.

I think Virgin and BA have about the same seat specs.
Dec 20th, 2002, 12:30 PM
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I always say, there are good and bad FLIGHTS. Not good and bad airlines.

And although the second claim may seem general (of course, there are some BAD airlines) --- the above conflicting messages are my proof...

What IS different --- is AIRCRAFT.

I definitely would rather fly transAtlantic on a 747 then on any smaller plane... It's quieter, roomier, less clastrophobic.
Dec 20th, 2002, 05:46 PM
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I have flown Virgin several times to London, and although the service was good, I felt terribly cramped next to the window. I felt less claustrophobic in the aisle seat, and the trip was great when I had no one next to me!
Now I always fly American, and much prefer it because of the leg room, (and the frequent flyer miles!).
Sep 2nd, 2003, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Because I am flying with a terrified passenger, does anyone know what the alcohol situation is on American? He isn't a drinker, but I want to know what it might cost a desperate wife in coach to get husband liquored up for the flight?
Luv2Travel is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:13 PM
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Unless you're flying Continental, the drinks are free on translantic flights--even in coach!

Good luck!
MelJ is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 07:42 PM
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We flew US Air to Paris last year, and the drinks were not free. Also, American Airlines to Mexico in Feb and those were not free, either. Both flights were in coach.
SusanP is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 02:34 PM
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Best is American but go on the 777 with individual tv screens and several choices of movies! Good food on our last flight, even a delicious hot pizza!
travelnut1065 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 03:55 PM
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Drinks are not free on Delta either. I think they're free on European carriers.
BethGL is offline  

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