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Good/Bad airlines

(27 Posts)
screamingsiblings Tue 18-Aug-09 00:13:39

Which are the good airlines to travel to LA with?? DC will be 5 and 8 when we go. Also, which to avoid please.

StillOverHere Tue 18-Aug-09 01:12:08

Worst airline in the world when traveling with children (in my opinion)is American Airlines. Best is probably Virgin Atlantic.

Mumup Tue 18-Aug-09 02:21:09

Have flown Virgin to LA quite a bit - and they're fine, but... They have unreasonably small seats! Very cramped. If you have some options, check them out on to see who will give you some much-needed extra inches of space. At 5 & 8, make sure whoever you pick has good seat-back entertainment (Virgin does).

Agree with StillOver that AA should be avoided at all costs!

EldonAve Tue 18-Aug-09 09:44:49

Virgin were okay
Continental were poor

PestoMonster Tue 18-Aug-09 10:18:37

Virgin = good

lisad123wantsherquoteinDM Tue 18-Aug-09 10:25:13

We flew with monach and thompson, both been fine.

brimfull Tue 18-Aug-09 10:43:39

if emirates go there I would recommend them

virgin also good

brimfull Tue 18-Aug-09 10:43:56

globespan are crap

squeaver Tue 18-Aug-09 10:46:04

Yes AA are crap but they (certainly used to) have slightly bigger seats with more legroom. Although they're so horrible, I don't know if that compensates.

Virgin for in-flight entertainment for the kids, I'd say.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 18-Aug-09 14:02:34

Would suggest either Virgin or BA as they are both British carriers. Avoid any American based carrier like United (they are Truly Awful to fly with), Continental and AA (also poor).

Both BA and Virgin can be hit or miss but having used both over the years have received a better service overall from BA. Virgin who were once truly innovative have certainly made cutbacks over the years and it shows in their overall quality of service. Other carriers now also have good inflight entertainment and films on demand. Also Virgin's goodie bag for children is practically empty!.

screamingsiblings Tue 18-Aug-09 14:38:50

that's interesting that Virgin is coming out well. I looked at a review site and virgin came out really badly. That's why I posted here to get some 'real life' opinions.
Basically then - I should avoid US airlines.
This is a big holiday for us and I'd like to get the most from it.
Any other relavant comments much appreciated!

moondog Tue 18-Aug-09 14:45:10

I used to think all airlinnes were the same but have been on Emirates a lot recently and they are head and shoulders above everyone else with a fantastic entertainment set up (I watched 4 films on last flight from Manchester to Dubai.)

Flew BA to the States recently and awful.
Other bad ones are Lufthansa, Turkish Air and Air France.

moondog Tue 18-Aug-09 14:46:28

Delta are nice.Used to fly to States a lot with them. Older homely cabin crew.

CMOTdibbler Tue 18-Aug-09 14:50:34

I was in LA 3 weeks ago. BA have now got video on demand on that route, which is great.

As a company, we are supposed to fly Virgin, but everyone thinks they have really gone downhill.

Generally, standards in economy have gone down across the board

PurlyQueen Tue 18-Aug-09 16:44:24

Service was OK but the economy seats are much narrower than they used to be on Virgin.

Hate flying with BA - the cabin crew are so rude unless you are lucky enough to fly Club World (only managed this through blagging an upgrade wink)

screamingsiblings Tue 18-Aug-09 19:18:53

PurlyQ - How do you blag an upgrade then??

snorkle Tue 18-Aug-09 19:54:38

They won't upgrade you with children screamingsiblings (unless you are pals with the pilot or something). You are most likely to get an upgrade if you are travelling alone & look smart - sometimes it helps if you ask too.

CMOTdibbler Tue 18-Aug-09 20:49:32

They also have an upgrade priority listing. For it to happen, they need to be overbooked in Economy/Economy plus (if its a flight with economy plus/premium you'll never get bumped up from economy to business). Then they go for people on their own, top level loyalty card holders who have paid full fare first, then work down.

They may bump you if something has gone horribly wrong with your booking/experience.

But in my experience (and I do a lot of long haul)it's much rarer than it was

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 19-Aug-09 08:48:36

To follow on from CMOTdibbler's comments:-

The only way I have managed to get an upgrade on BA from World Traveller or World Traveller Plus is to pay for it at the check in desk. It is also very much dependent on the route taken along with the time of year and day of flight.

It can also help to be a member of BA's Executive Club particularly if you manage to get Silver or Gold Membership but you need to travel a lot to get either of those.

My brother has managed to get a low cost upgrade on Virgin but this is because he travels alone and looks smart. Also the route he took was not full and the day of travel was a weekday rather than the weekend.

I must have been lucky but every time I've flown with BA the aircrews have been okay. Not so with Virgin though; they seem much younger and more patronising towards the self loading freight (i.e the pax).

screamingsiblings Wed 19-Aug-09 12:19:30

ok. Thanks for all that.
If you were taking 2 adults, a 5yr old (hyper)grin and an 8yr old to LA for the first time, who would YOU book with. Has to be economy class though!

PurlyQueen Wed 19-Aug-09 16:09:58

Must have been my lucky day.

I was quite smartly dressed - and I think the check-in staff took pity on me as I was pregnant at the time.

I couldn't take advantage of the free champagne. I was most impressed by the flat bed with a duvet ALL TO MYSELF!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 19-Aug-09 17:40:22


Having used both on that route I'd use BA as they can work out less than Virgin price wise as well. It is certainly worth checking both websites carefully though. BA's is far easier to navigate around in my view.

Virgin's economy class seats are truly not for the faint of heart. They have a mean seat pitch and narrow seat and if you're tall its not good at all. Am only 5 foot 2 but there was about an inch of room in front particularly when the bod in front put their seat back. Not just to mention their almost empty bags for the children and their crappy airline meals both for the adults and children (my personal rule here is to take your own foodstuffs for the children and do not rely on the airline to provide on that front).

Sam100 Wed 19-Aug-09 17:50:27

Other people seem to have had problems with AA - I can only comment on my own experiences with them. We have flown 3-4 times to the states with varying numbers of dcs and have not had any problem with them at all. They have allowed us to take car seats onto the plane for DC 3 (aged 2) to sit in - have allowed buggies up to the entrance of the plane. Food is crap - but that's airline food for you. Depends on the plane you get as to facilities - some have seat back tvs, some don't - can get both types of plane on the same route. AA allow families with small children to board first. We use them because they are the only direct route to where we go to visit relatives - so don't really have a choice. But I would say they are no better/worse than BA, Virgin etc.

Kiwinyc Fri 21-Aug-09 14:14:05

With a baby - BA definitely, have had excellent time long haul from London to LAX on BA. Worst airline with a baby - Virgin. The staff look at you and your baby like you're aliens, didn't bother feeding child meals until after all the adults were served and generally couldn't be arsed. (London-Cape Town experience)

With older children, on a routing of London-LAX, I'd go Air New Zealand or BA.

We will never, ever fly Virgin again.

screamingsiblings Fri 21-Aug-09 14:35:13

Ooh, Air New Zealand. I haven't checked that one out yet - sounds posh.....

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