Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Best economy flight from LAX-London? British Airways? Virgin-Atlantic? United? Air New Zealand?

Best economy flight from LAX-London? British Airways? Virgin-Atlantic? United? Air New Zealand?

Feb 15th, 2004, 08:40 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Best economy flight from LAX-London? British Airways? Virgin-Atlantic? United? Air New Zealand?

Message: I would like to book a flight from LAX-London in the next day or two and I have my choice of flying on numerous possible carriers on a nonstop flight.

These carriers include Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, United and Air New Zealand.

I am a frequent flier member of only Virgin Atlantic but don't actually have any miles. Is there any way that I could buy a flight other than the very cheapest seat and possibly get an upgrade to business class for a low price at the gate, if available? If so, what class does the ticket need to be and what is the best way to approach the subject at the gate?

Thanks in advance.
Roccco is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 09:55 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,174
You might get answers here, but for another very experienced group, check out the appropriate forum at www.flyertalk.com .
WillTravel is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Let me understand - you just joined the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, have accumulated no miles, and expect to be able to upgrade. Not very likely.
janis is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:11 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
janis:

I don't "expect" to upgrade, but I figure that if I were to have any chance, whatsoever, that belonging to their FF club would give me a leg up on someone that didn't belong.

willtravel:

Thanks, I will check it out.
Roccco is offline  
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:32 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
Roccco,
the upgrade situation is difficult. Virgin and BA sometimes offer the possibility of paying a surcharge that will upgrade you to Premium Economy (Virgin) or World Traveller Plus (BA)...these offer wider seats without the other benefits of business class. BA sometimes offers this for $250 each way. It's worth asking the airline although I've generally seen this offered off season.

I've used all of these airlines on west coast routes and personally Virgin is my favorite in economy...perhaps because they're the only one to have upgraded me...with no reason given! I just prefer the food/staff/entertainment screens at every seat.

However despite prefering Virgin I now tend to fly United because of the mileage which does add up if you fly frequently to Europe.

A key factor to consider is the configuration of the planes...for example when travelling with my husband in economy my key concern is the seat layout...do they have the 2 by 5 by 2 seat configuration (rather than 3 by 4 by 3). I think even the cramped experience of economy is much better when there are just the two of you in two window/aisle seats.

You can check seatguru.com or ask the airline.

A key upgrade route is to buy a ticket and then upgrade with miles but in order to do this you need to buy a certain class of ticket which as you may know is often very much more expensive.

Hope that helps.

welltraveledbrit is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 04:54 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,144
United has Economy Plus with more legroom than Economy and with a higher price. Your chances of getting an upgrade on United are basically zero (as I expect is the case on the other airlines) since the upgrade seats go to people who:
a) pay for it with $.
b) pay for it with FF miles
c) are Premier 1K flyers (100,000 miles last year)
d) are Premier Exec flyers (50,000 miles last year)
e) are Premier flyers (25,000 miles last year)
f) pay for high $ coach tix
...
y) are FF program members
z) are not FF program members

Your United flight would probably be a Boeing 777 which would mean 2x5x2 seating with video in the seatback in front of you.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 09:55 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,174
I just glanced at an United email I got today. It said that if you are a Mileage Plus member (just sign up), and spend $1000 on flights that you fly before March 31, you can upgrade on another flight. I'm sure there are a million details and clauses to this.
WillTravel is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 11:17 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Thanks for all the responses.

I ended up choosing the cheapest flight, a $610 pp direct British Airways flight from LAX-London.

I could have booked Premier Economy on Virgin for about $1,200 pp, but an extra $600 for the ability to stretch just A LITTLE bit more for 11 hours didn't quite add up for me. If anybody wants to pay me $55 per hour to sit in a tight chair, I will take the position, anyday.

I would have liked the 2-5-2 configuration on another airline but didn't read that info until later. I can only hope that my wife and I will be able to have three seats for the two of us, allowing us to stretch out just a little bit more.
Roccco is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:51 PM.