United or Virgin to London?

Sep 16th, 2002, 06:44 PM
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United or Virgin to London?

These 2 airlines have the lowest fares for when I want to go (it's a difference of about 9 bucks between them). I've always wanted to fly Virgin but then maybe I'm a victim of their slick marketing(?)

Sooo, which is better, in terms of service, rudeness of flight attendants, delays, and most importantly, seats/comfort. I'd be flying coach, not biz class, on either one.

Many thanks.
Sep 16th, 2002, 06:49 PM
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No rude flight attendants in the many times we have flown them to London.
Coach is comfortable enough.
Service is excellent.
Before 9/11 they were always on time, don't know about since.
The tv/movie screens are in the back of the seat in front of you, plenty of music stations too, they give you choices of food, serve gallons of tea, hand out sweets all the time, wake you up with coffee tea and hot towels.
And they give you little packets with earplugs, and socks, that I keep and love to wear around the house in the winter
Sep 16th, 2002, 07:06 PM
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I flew United return from London to LA (via various stop-overs) recently. Whilst the service was good I found the seats extremely cramped - and I've got short legs. Found American the best for comfort last year London to JFK. The one weird thing I found with United was that all the landings were the smoothest I had ever encountered!!! They must teach the pilots well.
Sep 16th, 2002, 07:21 PM
Andrew Charles
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I waw privileged to have flown with Virgin Atlantic to London, a few years ago. The service was excellent and I'm still impressed. They truly are the criterion for the airline industry. Only down side, is that you may become spoiled by the courteous service and pampering.

United Airlines does provide very good service, but owing to the similarity in the fares, Virgin Atlantic is clearly the better choice.
Sep 17th, 2002, 05:03 AM
sky queen
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I just flew United yesterday in the USA and found out that they don't give you clean (in plastic) earphones. The F/A's said that you just reuse what is in your seat-GROSS!
Sep 17th, 2002, 05:09 AM
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Virgin is one of the best airlines, it has got many raves.
Sep 17th, 2002, 05:12 AM
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Re: the earphones on UAL, years ago I heard that even if the earphones are put in plastic bags, they did not clean them anyway.
Sep 17th, 2002, 05:13 AM
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Under normal circumstances, I would say just fly the one with lowest fares as all the airlines used to provide almost the same service on inter continental routes....

But this is hardly normal times.

United could go belly up at any moment and then where will you be?

United has adopted many of the imbecilic restrictions the other airlines have put on non-refundable tickets. Virgin, which is a service oriented airline and in competition with BA, has not and probably won't.

UA being an American carrier might adopt the US Air and CO policy of charging for drinks in coach; VS is most unlikely to do so again because it considers its cmpetition to be with BA.

The seats in coach are cramped either way.

So the clear vote is most certainly Virgin.
Sep 17th, 2002, 08:04 AM
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I've flown United 8 times to London and Virgin 5 times, and I'd have to give the edge to United (that's without factoring in that horrific Virgin cola). That said, there's not a big difference between the two, so I'd simply go with whichever one was cheaper (even if it is only $9!).

You've chosen well, as United and Virgin are, in my opinion, the two best carriers to London. BA has become awful, BTW.
Sep 17th, 2002, 08:45 AM
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Virgin--especially if you're travelling with kids. I have flown United, BA, Continental, et al to London, and I'd pay more for Virgin any time.
Sep 17th, 2002, 08:56 AM
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I've never used United to London. Used BA twice and Virgin once. Virgin was the last in 2000. Must say they were the most cramped seats I've run across. My friend - his first time to Europe - is 6 ft. tall and had a really tough time. Otherwise, the flights were fine.

On BA in December, 1996, the person I was with and myself got to sit in the cockpit for a couple of hours during the flight. We had a lovely chat with the pilot and co-pilot. We got lucky...we weren't anybody "famous", etc.. Obviously, those days are over.
Sep 17th, 2002, 08:57 AM
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I just flew back and forth on Virgin. I couldn't believe how cramped the seats are. I was so uncomfortable for 12 hours. I flew to Hong Kong last year on United and was much more comfortable in their seats.
Sep 17th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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I have just flown Virgin in the summer, and one they back to US, the plane was equipped w/ their latest entertainment system! It was basically having your own personal VCR and radio. There were 40 films and dozens music stations to choose from. You can play whichever movie whenever you want, you can fastforward, rewind, pause... It's great for people who can't sleep! Also, I think the food is definitely better on Virgin than UA!
Sep 17th, 2002, 12:05 PM
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No question, Virgin. I'm a Brit and often fly to visit the family ..I always fly on Virgin even though I love those United miles. As most people have said above the service/food and entertainment is better. Plus they upgraded me last time. They even show movies I want to see, there's a choice of 5/6 and they don't edit them. Plus it is generally the cheapest...what more could you want.
Sep 17th, 2002, 11:47 PM
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I LOVEEEEE Virgin Atlantic!!

It is the only carrier I use to London!!

Food-good (for airline food)
TV in each chair back is FABULOUS!
AND those little black EYEPATCHES are a hoot!!
Sep 25th, 2002, 01:34 PM
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Definately United. Virgin's seats go to far back, can't get out if someone in front of you has it set back. More comfortable on United. (flew them both within the past 2 1/2 yrs).
Sep 26th, 2002, 06:49 AM
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I do have one bad thing to say about Virgin. The last time I flew them, I really didn't feel well on the flight (I was feeling sick to my stomach, and as I'm slightly claustrophobic, being in the plane makes it worse), and told the attendant that once we landed, I was hoping to get off of the plane as soon as possible, as I was so sick. I was seated directly next to the door, and she said that was fine, that I could just slip out first. Well, when the time came to deplane, she stood in front of me, physically barring me from the door, and wouldn't let me off until all of the Upper class passengers had gotten off. When I asked why she told me I could get off first, she simply smiled and ignored me. I wish I had thrown up on her shoes.

In the end, it's still 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

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