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British Airways VS Virgin for long journey, any advice?

(11 Posts)
LDNmummy Thu 28-Jul-11 01:08:15

Hi there, I don't use this forum often so not sure if this has been asked before.

Was just wondering if anyone had experience of flying with both these airlines and could give me an idea of which to go for.

I am planning a trip in advance for next year and the flights are very pricey so don't want to waste money on the lesser airline, especially as I would be flying with a 9 month old and the journey will be roughly 8 hours.

Does anyone have any handy tips on which to go for? The price of the flights is exactly the same on both so that is not a deciding factor. Would just like to know which is more comfortable, has better customer service and things of that nature.

TIA!! smile

Himalaya Thu 28-Jul-11 01:45:12

Virgin is somewhat funkier in style, more relaxed, BA is more old school. I don't think there is much in it in economy class. Virgin I think are marginally more likely to get things wrong than BA, but both are much better than US airlines.

Check in online and choose a bulkhead seat (where the fold out cots are) for a little more legroom and no one in front of you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Jul-11 07:43:10

Where are you flying to?. Sometimes that will itself decide the airline as BA have more routes than Virgin.

Having used both I think that BA has the slight edge these days whereas when VA first started 25 years ago they were truly innovative. Have seen too many Virgin aircrews take too little notice of their passengers in recent times and cutbacks in service are clearly evident across the board. Would agree that both these British based carriers are better than many US based carriers.

If the price is the same then I would have a look at the departure time and the number of flights per day.

Fares are v expensive due also to fuel costs and Air Passenger Duty for each passenger (tax on fares imposed by govt).

EldonAve Thu 28-Jul-11 08:04:04

I've not flown BA for ages. I'd check that you are actually getting a BA flight and not a codeshare one operated by another airline eg American

I think BA are better if things go wrong. Other family members got stuck overseas due to flight cancellation and Virgin really didn't care or help. BA pax were all assisted asap

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 28-Jul-11 08:10:11

If I had a choice between the two I would vouch for BA - but it is a bit like asking someone choose between syphilis or gonorrhoea.

You have to ask for a lot of help if you are travelling with children, the cabins are always cramped and BA has a new wheeze of you having to pay to select a seat/have preference as to where you sit. They don't let children sit alone but do not guarantee that families can sit together on the flights. (£20 per seat per leg - so family of 4 can be charged £160 return to sit together if flights are busy)

gregssausageroll Thu 28-Jul-11 11:15:20

BA everytime. My 2 virgin flights have been utterly dreadful so NEVER again.

I agree to check that with BA you are on a BA flight and not codeshare - for example flights to Australia/Singapore quite often are shown as BA but they are Qantas.

I have just checked 6 family members in for their flight to Australia tomorrow. All 6 are sat together, well 2 rows of 3. Wasn't asked to pay anything extra.

LDNmummy Thu 28-Jul-11 11:28:54

Thanks everyone, I guess it is BA then as the vote seems to swing in their favour.

Its definitely not a codeshare flight and I will double check about the sitting together issue.

BA have more flights going but I would have not minded compromising that if Virgin were more comfortable in other areas.

Thanks also for the tip on getting a bulkhead seating arrangement, will need the extra space with the LO.


Kiwinyc Tue 02-Aug-11 11:19:57

BA gets my vote. Terminal 5 at LHR is awesome and the staff are just nicer. HAve flown both long haul this yr (BA to Dallas/Fort Worth, Virgin to NYC) and I would choose BA all the time if they weren't consistently more expensive.

Rocky12 Thu 11-Aug-11 18:09:03

Dont like Virgin, they have very young cabin crew with a bit of an attitude. Just want to get to the fun place where they have a few days off, and I certainly wouldnt trust them in the event of an emergency. Young and inexpereinced and would be out of the emergency exit first IMHO

mumofsussex Fri 12-Aug-11 07:57:51

Another vote for BA now they have stopped all the threats of strikes wink
I don't think it is correct that they charge you to choose seats when you have young children, I think they automatically allocate you seats together. This is what happened on our last BA flight last month although perhaps they have changed their system since then? Also, as you have an infant, you need to book an infant seat (skycot/bassinet) which will be in the bulkhead row. You need to request this at the time of booking and also worth checking again a few weeks before departure and at check in.

Parasaurolophus Fri 12-Aug-11 16:36:58

BA. When we flew virgin with young kids they wouldn't let us bring our own car seat on and made us use a terrible one of theirs. Our little one wasn't comfortable at all, and couldn't sleep during the 12 hour flight. Then they make you listen to really loud commercials on landing - which was beyond irritating - again after a 12 hour flight I don't want to have to listen to adverts for Virgin credit cards.

Virgin staff don't seem to like kids. But -- the television options are great.

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