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Is there much difference between flying to New York with Virgin or American Airlines (premium)?

(27 Posts)
Fairylea Mon 02-Dec-19 06:33:12

Just that really.

Been given quotes for both. I can’t see much difference online except an extra inch with Virgin but the virgin flights are significantly more expensive.

Anyone flown with both? Is one better than the other? Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
WingingWonder Mon 02-Dec-19 06:39:15

Yes they are not all even
Virgin codes shares with delta
Virgin has a couple of brand new planes on the JFK routes- those are worth trying to get
American and BA are both awful IME
Virgin has been consistently good in which ever class
I fly a lot and they would continue to be my preferred airline for USA routes

ArfArfBarf Mon 02-Dec-19 06:46:04

I think most airlines use their newish stock on London-JFK but I’ve been on other transatlantic routes with American and the planes have been too old to have seat back entertainment. I think Delta are similar. BA and Virgin have newer planes and I think virgin has the better service.

Ginfordinner Mon 02-Dec-19 06:47:01

Don't fly with American. They are awful.

Fairylea Mon 02-Dec-19 07:20:19

Thank you for the replies.

Why are American awful? Is it just the planes are older?

OP’s posts: |
MarleneandBoycie Mon 02-Dec-19 07:25:59

I hate American, but I hate Delta even more. (Always flew Virgin until they partnered with them) Have you looked at other airlines? I think that as it is a short flight it is worth looking at the no-frills airlines, although they all seem to have gone our of business now anyway. Both Virgin and BA have gone downhill rapidly, so not sure they are worth the extra cost.

Ginfordinner Mon 02-Dec-19 07:39:49

They messed OH around last time he flew with them. His flight was delayed then cancelled, then cancelled again. He was supposed to be flying business class, but was put in economy (he is 6'2" and finds economy very uncomfortable). They refused to refund the difference and offered £300 off his next flight. As if he would want to fly with them again.

In general they have a poor reputation for customer service. I have flown VA and thought it was excellent. DH has flown with VA several times and really rates them. IMO it's a no brainer.

tulips77 Mon 02-Dec-19 08:06:50

We flew to JFK recently with BA. It was pretty awful. They'd already messed us around, cancelling our Heathrow flight and putting us on a flight from Gatwick (of course we had to pay to get ourselves to Gatwick instead).
The plane itself was old and tatty - they'd squeezed an extra seat into the middle section so instead of a 3/3/3 configuration it was 3/4/3. Problem is, the leg room can't be increased of course so two seats share the legroom which is awkward unless you're family, and a squeeze.
(Maybe other airlines have done the same on their planes but we found this really uncomfortable.)

The food was poor - I'm a glutton and eat everything but it was dry and unappetising. No menu, option was chicken or vegetarian pasta.
Honestly, if easyJet flew across the Atlantic the experience would be better or certainly the same.
We flew virgin three years ago and it was great.

Also agree that American Airlines best avoided!

MrsElijahMikaelson1 Mon 02-Dec-19 08:10:34

American Airlines are awful-we were delayed over 8 hours and they offered us $100 of our next flight with them-nah!

Ginfordinner Mon 02-Dec-19 08:19:16

Was it a jumbo tulips? The seating configuration in a jumbo has always been 3 4 3 in my experience.

changeforprivacy Mon 02-Dec-19 08:20:49

Where are you flying from?

changeforprivacy Mon 02-Dec-19 08:22:55

they'd squeezed an extra seat into the middle section so instead of a 3/3/3 configuration it was 3/4/3.

They didn't squeeze and extra seat in. You had a change of aircraft.

Wasabiprawns Mon 02-Dec-19 08:24:10

Make sure it’s a virgin operated flight and not delta. Premium economy in delta is just a bit extra legroom and not much else.

Fairylea Mon 02-Dec-19 08:29:04

Wow think I’m definitely going to avoid AA then!!

We will be flying from Heathrow.

Part of the pull of flying premium is because we have a son who will be nearly 8 who has autism and we are hoping for a quieter cabin area. I know you just never know but we can but try!

Thanks for all your responses.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 02-Dec-19 10:27:48

I would also try to fly into Newark if possible rather than JFK. The airlines are all much of a muchness really and one is really not worse than the other in terms of service (it depends on the attitude of the crew). I have had both good and poor flights across the pond over the years with VA and BA.

You may also want to look at this link re your son's additional needs because assistance through Heathrow airport can be provided

tulips77 Mon 02-Dec-19 17:12:16


Not a jumbo, a 777. The 777 was originally 3/3/3 configuration. I'm not saying BA is the only airline to change that to 3/4/3 but the additional seats definitely make it more cramped and the legroom/ foot room in the middle row of seats is compromised (my feet were either side of the metal, if that makes sense).

zucchinicourgette Mon 02-Dec-19 17:21:15

Just to put forward an opposing view, I fly between NYC and London a lot and will never fly with virgin again after they cancelled our flight twice and took 4 months to refund our money. They probably do have a better overall flight experience if everything goes well. But if there is a cancellation BA and AA have a lot more flights so more opportunities to reschedule.

I’ve flown both BA and AA in premium recently and thought AA was better. But they probably are the most inconsistent carrier in terms of the quality of their fleet. I wouldn’t discount them as an option but try to check before you book that you are travelling on an up to date plane.

changeforprivacy Mon 02-Dec-19 18:00:13

I would aim for virgin simply because they are operating their A350 on the route.

handbagsatdawn33 Mon 02-Dec-19 19:04:36

AA are awful.
They lost our baggage, & trying to get compo for it was made very difficult.
The food was poor; the breakfast was additives disguised as cereal & yogurt, cawfee like mud, corked wine, & rude staff when I dared to ask for something I could actually eat - a cheese roll would have been OK, just not fat-free, sugar-free junk food.

WendyMoiraAngelaDarling Mon 02-Dec-19 19:14:50

I've flown both. I'd never fly AA again due to rude staff, grubby planes and very limited entertainment. I've flown virgin multiple times and they are my airline of choice. I'd always choose them unless prohibitively much more expensive than the alternative.

MrsMaiselsMuff Mon 02-Dec-19 19:22:09

What is the difference in cost? It is a short flight.

I've not flown AA for a long time, but I do like BA in PE. It's got the small cabin that you're looking for. I don't like VS at all, fur coat and no knickers.

xtinak Mon 02-Dec-19 19:39:46

Had very bad experience flying with Virgin when flight was actually operated by Delta. At the airport on return leg, Delta said we couldn't have all our bags anymore because it's Delta rules now. That's one of several issues. Book direct with Delta.

Fairylea Mon 02-Dec-19 20:12:12

Gosh some horror stories from all sides...! shock Eeek!

The price difference is about £1k. That may be due to flight times etc. I need to sit and play about with different options.

Thank you for the assistance pages link. Very helpful.

I’m shockgrin at people saying it’s a short flight .... 7.5 hours seems like a lifetime to me! blush

OP’s posts: |
Ginfordinner Mon 02-Dec-19 23:10:06

I don't think it is a short flight either.

ArfArfBarf Tue 03-Dec-19 14:04:32

Just make sure you check each leg to see who the actual airline is because they codeshare.

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