British Airways or Air Canada?

Old Jul 30th, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #1  
DianeG
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British Airways or Air Canada?

I have a choice between flying with British Airways or Air Canada direct between Montreal and London. Both about the same times, same prices, both into LHR. How have you found your experiences with either of these two airlines? Is there a distinct advantage to flying into London with BA particulary (i.e. perks like a price break for the Heathrow Express or some such?). Thank you.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 01:56 PM
  #2  
jorge
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do you have freequent flyer miles with any of these airlines or partners

United airlines/ air canada

if not may'be consider if you ever fly again which would you choose...
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 01:58 PM
  #3  
carol
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AC has gone downhill since deregulation and 9/11.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 02:17 PM
  #4  
Dan
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Both are pretty mediocre. I'd say BA.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 03:57 PM
  #5  
Gavin
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I recall reading that for basic coach AC has a seat pitch of 32 inches while for BA it is 31 inches. So if leg room matters I would go AC. As Jorge said points count on long flights.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #6  
natasha
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Diane,
I just flew Montreal to London with BA. All of their 777s have personal televisions, even in coach. I don't think the same could be said for Air Canada.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 05:42 PM
  #7  
Leslie
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I just checked with Air Canada regarding inflight entertainment. The current fleet of planes that fly the long-haul flights do not have screens in the seatbacks.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 06:58 PM
  #8  
xxx
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I have flown with both airlines from Toronto to Heathrow many times. As previous poster mentioned:the seats in BA's coach are narrower then AC's. Food and service are more or less the same. From Heathrow the distance to
the departure gate for BA in Terminal 4 is much shorter than the gate for AC in terminal 3.There are more shops in terminal 4 than terminal 3. If you have to change flight in Getwick, BA provides coupon for the bus between two airports,AC doesn't.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 08:23 PM
  #9  
Carina
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I never cared for Air Canada mainly because of the flight attendants' attitudes. At least the ones on my flight were not welcoming. Of course this was many years ago and things may have changed in that respect or I just got an unfriendly crew.

I haven't flown Air Canada after that time so I cannot comment on the amenities on the airplane. I did fly BA last year from SFO to Heathrow. As reported by another poster, the seats felt much narrower than in the past. I wouldn't say BA was great-not in coach seating at least. The food was so-so also. I guess it was allright overall though. We reached our destination safely and our luggage didn't go astray so I suppose that's good.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 09:05 PM
  #10  
AA
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I flew Air Canada a few months ago and vowed never again to repeat the same mistake!!!
AA
 
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 04:17 AM
  #11  
DianeG
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Topping... to catch the daytime folks.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 04:48 AM
  #12  
cc
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Be a patriot and do something nice for your country's economy. If you're a canadian, fly AC; if you're a brit, fly BA. That's what I would do if I were you.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 04:57 AM
  #13  
DianeG
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Personally, patriotism does not come into play in this issue. AC is pretty much in a monopoly situation in Canada right now and the lack of competition certainly has resulted in, at best, an indifferent attitude towards their travelling public. Domestically, the compettion from regional discount airlines has resulted in AC launching its equally indifferent Tango service. In other purchasing decisions, I will tip the scales towards a Canadian company - but not in this case.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #14  
Jenny
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I have to say that, personally, I now fly anyone BUT BA, and I'm British. I have had such poor service from BA, long and short haul, that I only ever use them when they are either the only carriers for the route, or hugely less expensive.

I have found the flight attendants rude; I have lost luggage more often than I care to remember; I have been bumped from flights because they anticipated my connection would be late; have been double-booked; you name it...! Truly dreadful service, and not cheap!

 
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 08:52 AM
  #15  
DianeG
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Thanks for all the feedback to my question. This is not encouraging at all; it seems that both have the potential to really suck. However, since I'll be flying late Feb./early March, I'm stuck with these two if I insist on a direct flight. I really don't want to be stuck at a connecting airport should the weather not cooperate.

Just to illustrate how AC abuses its monopoly situation: they are the only choice for a direct flight from Ottawa. For this reason (and this reason only), tickets to London are a good $100. more than from Montreal, just down the road. This peeves me, which is why I'm (unhappily) probably going to opt for BA instead.
 
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 04:18 AM
  #16  
kate
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Since the two are similar in terms of comfort, here's another consideration (which for me would be tie-breaker). What are check-in procedures like? I know that at Toronto Pearson, check-in with Air Canada is a complete nightmare. Everyone for all European flights in one giant line - and it's often very disorganised (because they don't have it looping around far enough, so a lot of people cut into line near the front). If you're a BA executive club member, however, you should be able to check in by telephone, on-line or possibly self-service 24 hours in advance - and then you can hop into a very short queue for a quick bag drop. But you should investigate whether they offer this kind of quick check-in for members in Montreal before making your decision.

A secondary consideration: your frequent flyer miles. If you have some AC miles already (or collect them on a CIBC Visa), you can get some good deals quite quickly - a short-haul ticket to New York is only 15,000 points - and they've done away with blackouts (I'm using just 40,000 points to go home business class for Christmas).

A final consideration - do you have the funds to consider upgrading to World Traveller Plus on BA? It's much more comfortable, and BA sometimes has good sales on the tickets - about double an economy ticket but much less than business class. Rumour has it that Air Canada is introducing something similar, but I'm not sure if they have, and I'm not sure what their pricing would be.

If you're not flying for several months, I'd hold off on booking a ticket until at least October - because there's a good chance you'll see a seat sale.
 
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