Flying to England

Old Feb 24th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Flying to England

We are planning a week in London in October. The last time that we flew to England, in 2000, we were on Virgin Atlantic, and I was absolutely miserable in coach. It was the smallest amount of leg room I've ever experienced, and when the guy ahead of me put his seat back.... Fortunately, they were able to move us to a row in the middle of the plane that was empty, but I doubt that we're going to be so lucky in 2007 when planes are packed to the gills. We don't have miles to use for upgrades, and we also don't want to spend the entire travel budget on airfare. Does anyone have any suggestions for the best airline to fly to London where we won't be totally squished? We can fly out of Washington Dulles or Baltimore-Washington airport.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Check out British Airways Economy Plus.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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As far as I can see Virgin have a 32 inch pitch on their economy seats. This is actually on the generous side.
You could pay more for either Virgin's Premium Economy 38"pitch or for BA's economy plus which offers the same pitch.
Cheaper than Business class but still quite a bit more than standard economy.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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For $349 for a year you can buy an "Economy Plus" package on United that gives you and a companion access to UA's E+ section. Depending on the plane, it gives you anywhere from 3" to 5" more legroom than regular coach. Everything else is standard economy stuff (seat, food etc.) - just more knee space. This will also be way, way cheaper than using the premium economy seats on Virgin or BA.

In addition, I would strongly suggest taking United's morning departure from IAD to LHR - leaves around 9:30 AM, gets in at around 10 PM (5 PM to you). By the time you get to a hotel, it's midnight in London, 7 PM for you, so hit the hay and you're good to go the next morning. In our experience it really minimizes jetlag, and it's so much better sleeping in a bed than in a coach airline seat.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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W/o going the Economy Plus route (different names for the product on different airlines) you really can't get better leg room and can definitely get less. Gardyloo's suggestion is probably the most economical way to do it . . . . .
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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In 2000, VS was using a lot of 5th hand 747-200s that have 30" pitch and worn seats. I have first hand experience of what you described.

But the current fleet is all bought new, with standardized, reasonable pitch.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 02:04 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. It sounds like the economy plus option is the way to go.
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