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Transatlantic Airlines - who's the best/worst

(21 Posts)
GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 25-May-11 12:26:49

Due to crazy fares this year, I'm having to abandon my usual carriers and would like to canvass opinion on alternatives, particularly Continental, United and American.
What are you favourite/ least favourite airlines and any other info which may be helpful.

Kiwinyc Wed 25-May-11 16:48:54

I would choose American and choose flights that are run by BA. Did this recently - saved myself £170 in fuel surcharge fees and ended up on BA 747's instead of American 757's).

CMOTdibbler Wed 25-May-11 16:51:17

I'd go American. United and Continental are pretty grim ime. But my top tip is that if you like curry, order the Asian vegetarian meal option when booking - the curries are lovely, vs dire fatty food

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 25-May-11 17:55:53

Thanks Ladies. I have also been told that Continental's service is comparable to Delta (who I generally avoid if poss). Interesting fact about avoiding fuel surcharge,Kiwinyc

EldonAve Wed 25-May-11 17:58:09

Continental awful - charge for drinks, keep the seatbelt sign on all the time, rude staff

expatinscotland Wed 25-May-11 17:58:15

I prefer European airlines like KLM, Lufthansa and Air France myself.

We're going KLM again.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 25-May-11 18:13:50

How do you find KLM expat? Their prices not too dissimilar to Continental

expatinscotland Wed 25-May-11 18:17:41

I find the seats a bit larger and the airline on the whole very child-friendly. If you get stuck in Amsterdam and it's their fault, their vouchers are very generous and the airport child-friendly and well-sign posted.

I really like them. Free wine, too! I also like the food.

Kiwinyc Wed 25-May-11 18:21:41

Oh i flew Continental to NYC in April and was pleasantly surprised - it was a small plane (757) but the seats had touch screen ondemand entertainment with decent programming and the food was fine! I don't remember about paying for drinks but i don't drink alcohol so i don't care about that. And the staff were fine also, i had worse service on Virgin. btw Continental and United are one single airline now. Their planes are kind of confusing, the liverys have Continental on the tailfin but United on the body!

Oh and mybad - American flies 767's (bigger than 757's) across the pond, without seatback screens, (ime) very basic! Definitely avoid their planes if you can and make sure your flights are BA ones.

Kiwinyc Wed 25-May-11 18:22:43

PS the problem with flying the European airlines is that they all stop in their hubs in Europe - yuk, who wants that additional hassle and time added to your flight?

expatinscotland Wed 25-May-11 18:25:44

Well, being in Scotland, unless you have very deep pockets, you're generally going to have to change planes somewhere. I'd rather stop in Europe than London any day. I hate London-area airports.

needanewname Wed 25-May-11 18:26:21

Am interested in this as I'll be going to Chicago in November and have had a brief look but its all so expensive now. Will def keep an eye on this for other tips

expatinscotland Wed 25-May-11 18:27:02

Or we'd have to change over in Neward or Dulles. No, thanks. I'll take any European airport over that any day.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 25-May-11 18:33:12

My BIL is in Ireland and they are going to join me in the US. He's looking at 2400 euros for 4 of them on Aer Lingus, which certainly beats my cheapest fare so far of £759. May be worth investigating going to Ireland first. I can see how KLM makes sense for you expat. I am in the East midlands, so I have to travel at least a couple of hours to get to any airport with transatlantic flights, so find I don't mind connections so much either. I think it's more important to have a reasonably comfortable flight if I'm going to be on a plane for 9 hours

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 25-May-11 19:15:10

I would use American out of the three that you list and see if the flight in question is a code share with BA.

geordieminx Wed 25-May-11 20:02:01

Dh and I few with continental to Newark last year and it was fine, no probs at all. The added bonus for us was that we could fly direct from Edinburgh, so meant we didn't waste 4+ hours sitting in LGW or LHR.

Entertainment was great, food was fine (not a fan of any airline food), flight was on time and staff were pleasant.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Thu 26-May-11 14:11:24

Had a result - the fares on BA have come down to £800 (from £1046) so now comparable to Continental et al and they're direct! Joy of joys! Such a shame we have to go during summer hols though - they come down to £500 in Oct

Kiwinyc Thu 26-May-11 22:42:41

NB: 'Direct' is not the same as 'Non-stop'. 'Direct' can still contain stops. But do compares prices with American - when i went to the US in Mar this yr, i bought the exact same ticket and routing on the American Airlines site, as i could have on the BA - but saved myself £170 in fuel surcharges, as i said. So its worth checking that.

GetOrfMoiCase Thu 26-May-11 22:46:14

Anything anything other than Continental. United is OK, have never flown American.

I pray I will never again fly Delta or North West <shudders>

Portofino Fri 27-May-11 08:51:34

Never ever fly Delta!! Bastards the lot of them!

ManicMother7777 Fri 27-May-11 18:53:13

I flew Continental recently and it was fine. The seatback entertainment was great, food quite nice, and staff were good.

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