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American Airlines or BA

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Jan 20th, 2013, 09:44 AM
  #1
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American Airlines or BA

I have always used BA to fly return London to Miami but the prices are really high at the moment. A cheaper waywas is to use American Airlines, I know they are partners but how do they compare with BA.

Thanks
surich is offline  
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Jan 20th, 2013, 11:07 AM
  #2
 
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All of my experiences with AA have been poor to awful. They do not have any concept of customer service - even for people flying in business or first.

However, if the prices is really much better - and the flights are convenient - then you might want to take a chance.
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Jan 20th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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In economy AA's 777s have wider seats and more legroom than BA in World Traveller. Terminal 3 at LHR (AA) is not as nice as T5 (BA) but AA's facilities at Miami are much improved over previous years. In business class I'd give the nod to AA for service and food/bev; BA has lie-flat seats but the front/back configuration and narrowness of the pods takes away from their comfort IMO. (Many disagree.)

Service is variable on both airlines, depending on specific flights/crews. I certainly have had no problems with either, over numerous trips and many many thousands of miles in each airline in recent years.
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Jan 20th, 2013, 11:51 AM
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I have flown AA between Miami and London about 8 times, usually in Business class. Wonderful.

I have flown between Miami and London on BA twice in "Club Class". Would never do it again. The worst is that they lied to us. They put us on a plane that I actually overheard the mechanic coming off the plane and saying "I don't know why they are loading a plane that won't fly." When I mentioned that to an attendant she insisted that just wasn't true. When we got on board, they almost immediately said there would be a slight delay and they were going to serve lunch on the ground. Huh? So they did, but couldn't serve liquor or wine because we were on the ground. As soon as the meal was over which they rushed, they announced the flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems. Long story short -- about 9 hours later they managed to fly us out of London!

I can deal with almost anything except lying. I will avoid them at all costs. Oh, by the way, I found it less "luxurious" in their Club Class than on AA Business Class in all aspects anyway. And yes, I'd agree about the above mentioned lack of comfort on those odd BA lie flat seats.
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Jan 20th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Unfortunately I fly AA a lot - it's our corporate preferred airline. And I have found them overall to be worse than any other airline I have dealt with (this ranges from dozens to hundreds of flights per year).

I have had individual bad experiences on many airlines - but for overall lack of interest in the customer, refusal to help resolve problems at check in or on the flight, clearly deceiving passengers about flight status, telling stranded first-class travelers there are no hotels available so you may as well sleep on the floor and other incidents too numerous to mention - I will do anything I can to fly on any other first world airline.

(The time they told us to sleep on the floor overnight - in Chicago - we found hotels in the city through our corporate phone line in about 10 minutes - multiple hotels with rooms available. This was after they insisted our flight would take off and if we weren't on the plane we would be no-shows - only to get to the airport 20 minutes later to find the flights already cancelled.)
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Jan 20th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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Oh, and by the time we got to the airport they had closed most of their check-in desks - sent staff home so they wouldn't have to pay them - and left hundreds of passengers with only 3 desks open. Those poor people standing on line were probably there hours.
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Jan 20th, 2013, 04:07 PM
  #7
 
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nyt - That was then, this is now.

The OP was asking the difference between BA and AA, not your woes.

I'll take Gardyloo's advice any day of the week, followed closely by rkkwan.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 07:11 AM
  #8
 
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In business class, I'm sorry, it isn't close. Yes, the food does stink on BA. It is downright bad. And on-board service is perfunctory. But they have flat-beds. That is the end of the story for me and I think most travelers would agree. Besides, BA has much better ground facilities at LHR - the gulf is enormous.

For coach, neither one will set your world on fire. If you put a gun to my head, I would choose BA, but would take AA to save as little as $10.
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Jan 21st, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Why is it then versus now. I am still stuck flying AA - last time right before Christmas - and found customer service as useless as ever.

My experience with BA is limited so I can't comment on them. They may be as bad as AA. But nothing makes AA better.
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Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #10
 
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nytraveler, your stories are interesting, but my experiences which are many with American are totally the opposite. They have bent over backwards time and again when there was mechanical problem and they changed my flights and connections and actually got me to my final destination before I was originally supposed to.
They have been amazingly helpful so many times I can't begin to remember them all.
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Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:42 AM
  #11
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Thanks so much for your comments. At the end of the day it will probably be the better deal as I think both seem to have a long way to go on putting the customer first.

Many Thanks
surich is offline  
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Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:14 AM
  #12
 
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London flights:
The best flight I have ever had between the East Coast and London was on Virgin Atlantic. Also the best fare.

AA put me in a seat that wasn't attached to the frame and it slid around the entire flight. The velcro had lost its grip and I had nearly lost mine by the time we landed. Never again.

BA is fine; it's like an old Grandma airline; reliable but unexciting.
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Jan 23rd, 2013, 05:36 AM
  #13
 
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We just flew BA from Phoenix to London last night. We upgraded at airport to their version of economy extra. The flight was good; the service was just ok. Food was mediocre. They served drinks once, before dinner and that was it. Breakfast was a muffin, yogurt drink and raisins. I can't imagine what economy was like, and the flight was very light, capacity wise.
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Jan 23rd, 2013, 05:50 AM
  #14
 
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I think AA is improving their customer service

Recently after a slow time in US customs, upon exiting an AA rep called ahead to my gate and held the plane for us
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Jan 23rd, 2013, 11:57 AM
  #15
 
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I agree that AA generally sucks and its my home airline (DFW) so I almost have to fly it. That said, the business class seats are fine and the 777 160-degree reclines are more than comfortable enough to sleep in. The 777 economy class is no more awful than usual economy class, and a da-n sight better than AA's 767-300 international economy which sucks rocks on its best days (no personal monitor, narrow and tight seats).

BA has its own issues with truthfulness - AA seems to try to give accurate updates, BA hasn't really cared to IME and our worst BA experience included (1) lost bag going to the destination (never had that issue with AA, *knockknock*) and (2) delayed plane going home for non-weather related reason and BA not hustling to make up time by loading quickly or gaining time back in the air. Missed a connection and had to completely reconfigure our trip home.

And if you fly on FF miles (which you're not, right now), BA sucks far worse than AA because BA charges FF flyers for the "fuel" allocation for the seat, which AA does not. Basically, the $1000 flight on BA would include a $250 seat license, $400 fuel surcharge, $350 other including taxes and fees and the frequent flyer would have to pay for everything but the seat "license." AA doesn't do that.
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Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:20 PM
  #16
 
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BA also charges you if you want to select your seat in advance, otherwise you get assigned 24 hours in advance.
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