Airlines to US - American (on a BA tkt) or US Airways?(12 Posts)
Hi, I'm hoping the combined wisdom can give me some advice here.
We are looking at a late booking for Orlando for this summer, and the options are a BA tkt on Americans flts (Dub-ORD-Orlando) with a long stop in Chicago (6 hours on way out, 5 on return, so considering a stopover 1 way).
Or to go US Airways (Dub-Charlotte-Orlando) with just over 2 hours outbound stop and 65 minutes on return.
US Airways is looking a LOT more appealing to us for that reason alone. (And we'd arrive Orlando 4pm rather than 10.25pm and depart 3.30pm rather than 10am). Almost no difference in costs.
What are your experiences of both airlines (American and US) please?
DH and I have travelled a fair amount (DH does BA longhaul every 2 weeks, I have in the past done a fair amount (BA, Aer Lingus, Air France, KLM) , and as a family, we went Delta to Boston via JFK 2 years ago).
DD is 7, and copes ok with travel but has aspergers/adhd so the less hanging around we do, and the more we can entertain her, the better.
And while she will eat reasonably, she didn't eat the kiddie meals last time (ate my dinner twice, and missed brekkie so only had a banana). So bringing snacks for her would be helpful - but what is the food like generally?
If faced with such a choice, I would also be preferring the US airways option of flying into Charlotte rather than do the AA flying option. Infact to me that the American airlines option is a non starter anyway given as well your DDs additional needs. American airports generally speaking are somewhat lacking in facilities particularly when it comes to airside.
BTW can you clear US immigration in Dublin; if so I would certainly be wanting to clear US immigration there as it would save a lot of time upon arrival into the US.
With regards to food, take along what she likes to eat for those hours on the plane and do not ever rely on the airline to fully provide re childrens meals. Childrens' meals generally on airlines can be both of poor quality and unappetising.
Thanks Attila. Yes, we'd clear US immigration in Dublin on both options so that is a definite plus!!
If I got food airside in Dublin, would I be ok still having some on landing in US? (Say, keeping a snack for layover and 2nd flt)? I seem to recall they can be sticky about food.
I must look into Charlotte airport's website and see what info I can get on facilities. (Next job between work phonecalls).
DH has taken to bringing his Bobble bottle empty through security, and filling it with water airside. DD has a small one too, but I might even get a large one for me and allow her to use that as well.
US immigration at Dublin is a definite plus re onward connecting flights within the US .
re your comments:-
"I got food airside in Dublin, would I be ok still having some on landing in US? (Say, keeping a snack for layover and 2nd flt)? I seem to recall they can be sticky about food".
Buying food airside at Dublin for taking on the aircraft is fine. You can take foodstuffs through the security checkpoint as long as its not bottles of water (buy that airside instead) or liquid based like yogurt.
Foodstuffs for example a chocolate bar and plain biscuits are okay but any fruit, vegetables, dairy produce or meat is definitely not. Leave any uneaten fruit or meat/cheese based sandwiches behind on the aircraft. Hopefully Charlotte airport will have somewhere nice landside where you can eat or buy some food before the second flight.
"I must look into Charlotte airport's website and see what info I can get on facilities. (Next job between work phonecalls)".
"DH has taken to bringing his Bobble bottle empty through security, and filling it with water airside. DD has a small one too, but I might even get a large one for me and allow her to use that as well".
Good idea also.
We've always flown US Airways to Orlando and they've been great. Douglas Airport in Charlotte is really nice and very easy to transit through. Flights always been on time, nice entertainment on board and really good value.
Although I'd usually avoid US Airways longhaul, I'd go for them on that routing, and especially having cleared immigration as I used to have long waits at Charlotte. Which is a lovely airport
Definitely the US Airways option, IME. I hate the Chicago airport (although, one of the terminals does have a children's indoor play area). I usually try to stick to smaller airports whenever possible. As for the airlines, I think they are hit or miss based on how new or old the actual airplane is and what features it may have.
We just flew American back to the US for Easter break (we usually go on United) and I thought it was awful. Our outbound flight (London-Chicago) was on an old plane, so no individual screens on backs of seats and other modern touches. Flight back (from NYC-Jfk) was on a more modern aircraft, but still not impressed.
Fwiw American doesn't offer any special touches for kids...no kids meals, for example.
When we go back next year, it won't be on an American flight.
I've had loads of bad experiences on USAir domestic flights (never done a transatlantic with them before) so I wouldn't recommend either.
I'm not planning to use American again either, if I can help it. The London-Chicago plane is indeed old, and you can't see the screens if you're sitting in the window seat. It looks like AA will not be upgrading the planes on this route for quite some time. The seating in economy was also very cramped - my husband is over 6' and was miserable the entire flight. Not sure if the plane on the Dublin route would be any different. Seat Guru might say.
I would also not recommend changing planes at Chicago. It took my husband 95 minutes to be processed when we flew to the USA for Christmas. The airport had only two border guards trying to process something like 300 foreign passengers. We missed our connecting flight, as did several other passengers, and had to spend the night at a hotel in Chicago, which we had to pay for - at a reduced rate, but we could have done without the expense and delay in getting to our destination. Again, I suppose that's a non-issue if you're doing US immigration in Dublin anyway, but AA has a big thumbs down from me. I have used them on and off for years, and they are consistently my least favorite longhaul airline.
We ended up booking with the US Airways option but having to change dates marginally so now are going through Charlotte on way out and returning via Philadelphia. Just under 2 hours for transfer in Charlotte and 1hr26 in Philly. But pre-clearing here in Dublin so that should help.
So my next job is to research both Philly and Charlotte for food options in the airport and other facilities there.
And make my list of what to bring to entertain everyone (as they are not the most modern of airlines in that respect).
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