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LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

Sydney, Australia
posts: 7,162
reviews: 26
LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

I am looking for opinions about which class of travel to choose. I'm using AA points to pay for the flight (50K for Business, 62.5K for First).

I've never flown BA and only flown economy in AA. You would think F is better than J but reports I have read about BA and AA F services are not that great. Perhaps it's people's expectations?

I'll be flying during the day so sleeping comfort is not a big deal.

Thanks, mez.

UK
posts: 40,291
reviews: 84
1. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

I think you will find that BA First will cost a thousand dollars more than AA*, which I would say cannot possibly be worth the difference, given that AA First is extremely nice. (I haven't flown BA 1st to contrast it specifically but even so ....)

re Business, I am not as impressed with BA as some of our recent posters here and again, given a BA business class flight will cost you a great big chunk of chnage compared to AA, I personally dont see how anyone could justify the difference. Maybe if there was no AA availability but there was on BA you'd begrudgingly pay it, but not if you have a choice. IF you are flying as a couple, the Ying Yang arrangement of BA business is not to everyone's taste either.

*Due to fuel surcharges being added onto Avios flights. In contrast I flew AA from Hawaii to UK last year in Business and paid $3. And no I didnt miss any zeroes off that.

Edited: 5:29 am, March 08, 2013
Sydney, Australia
posts: 7,162
reviews: 26
2. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

Joe, I am using my AA points to pay for the flight.

The AA site is primarily giving me BA options to choose from.

Edited: 5:33 am, March 08, 2013
Sydney, Australia
posts: 7,162
reviews: 26
3. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

I've just done a dummy booking in F for both BA and AA and the taxes are about $250 cheaper with AA. Blasted taxes!

UK
posts: 40,291
reviews: 84
4. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

Only $250? I'm surprised its not much more. That $250 will almost certainly be BA's fuel surcharge, but again I'm really surprised it isn't more.

The rest of the charge on both AA/BA will be the Air Passenger Duty which is only for flights leaving the UK, were you flying the other way on AA (eg leaving NYC) you'd find it was back into the $3 range.

Also, thinking about this, its a very short flight, so another reason to pick the cheapest, whatever the nitpick difference are between the two, for a 6 hour flight I'd go with AA and spend the $250 elsewhere. Its not as if you are getting extra legroom or seat width where you can really notice the difference.

Perhaps if it was LON-LAX someone could come up with a reason why BA is worth $250, but LON-NYC? Have the pre-meal drinks, the meal, watch a film, you're there !

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,276
reviews: 265
5. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

Extra cost excluded, I'd go with no hesitation with BA (but I have to say I haven't flown AA long haul for several years now so don't know their new product). Then there is the extra cost. As Joe wrote, LON-NYC is a short flight. So I might be quite inclined to go for the cheapest.

London, UK
posts: 1,111
reviews: 112
6. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

BA is generally considered better than any of the US carriers, at least among the transatlantic business travellers I know. I've never flown AA, except domestically though so I can't personally compare. As far as business vs. first is concerned, if BA use a 747 on that route and you can get a business class seat on the upper deck, I would take that. 1st class is nicer, sure, especially new first, but the peace and quiet afforded by the upper deck reduces the difference between business class and 1st to not very much IMO, unless top quality drinks, better food, more doting service and a proper duvet & pillow are a big deal for you. The seats are not vastly different in terms of size or comfort. But if the tax makes AA cheaper, I'd go with that. One of my BA-loyal colleagues flew AA business to the US recently because the timing suited him better than the BA flights, and returned perfectly satisfied.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,725
reviews: 53
7. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

For $250 extra I'd certainly fly BA. Every little aspect of the BA experience is a little bit better, and for me that certainly is worth $250, in fact a lot more, but it's all personal choice and depends upon what you're looking for. If it's just some extra space over economy you'll be fine in business class.

Whilst upper deck Club World is very good on the space front you'd need to pay for that as seat assignments on BA aren't free unless you have oneworld Sapphire status or above.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 7,162
reviews: 26
8. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

Thanks, everyone.

9. Re: LON>NYC: First or business? BA or AA?

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