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BA vs Virgin to S Africa with 2 year old

(16 Posts)
pab5 Sun 14-Dec-08 18:34:15

Any advice welcome. We used British Airways last year when he was 1 to S Africa and it was all great. This year he has to have his own seat and Virgin have their own child seat while BA have nothing. The flights are about £40 more expensive each with Virgin, which is fine, but I don't trust them as much. Lots of people I know have had their luggage lost with them. But we have not been with BA since Terminal 5 opened so who knows! Also Virgin customer service seems to be in some call centre and BA have been more helpful.

The quandary is do we opt for the child seat which is supposed to be safer, when we have a child that will probably end up on our laps (terrible at going back to sleep on his own, that's another story), with an airline I feel less sure of then BA.

Any experiences or thoughts?

DoesntChristmasDragOn Sun 14-Dec-08 18:37:29

I've flown Virgin loads of times and never had a problem. I've also flown BA and never had a problem. Not a lot to choose between them TBH although IIRC BA have better sized seats/pitch. BabyDragon flew to Antigua this summer aged 2.6 and was fine in just the adult seat.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Sun 14-Dec-08 18:38:17

Both DSs have flown long haul in adult seats at that kind of age too and were fine comfort wise.

lil Sun 14-Dec-08 18:43:43

Have flown to the US with a sick kid (on recommendation) and they were fantastic. Friendly, helpful and genuine! Can't compare with BA though, maybe they are the same!

lil Sun 14-Dec-08 18:44:13

oops I mean I flew with Virgin to US!

redhotredhead Sun 14-Dec-08 18:52:50

Flew to South Africa with 4 year old twins with Virgin last Nov - they were great. No problems at all. Gave kids great little backpack with activities in and in flight entertainment was superb.

goldFAQinsenceandmyrrh Sun 14-Dec-08 18:56:03

we flew with Virgin to Zimbabwe (via SA) 2yrs ago with a 5yr old and 2yr old - they were fabulous and if I were to ever repeat the trip (unlikely given situation out there and my now marital status) I would definitely use them again.

SantaKLAWs Sun 14-Dec-08 18:59:33

my mother invariably has a problem with her luggage when travelling BA to Africa but still can't see a problem with BA. No experience of Virgin flights.

Personally had poor experience of domestic flights with BAA.

MadamDeathstarOverBethlehem Sun 14-Dec-08 19:10:10

I used to fly a lot and refused to fly BA. The cabin staff were unfriendly, in a couple of cases down-right nasty. I am always polite to airline staff, so they had no reason for their attitude. The airplanes were so cold I had condensation in my socks.

I have flown Virgin twice. All the people were extremely pleasant to deal with, the food was superior to any other airline I have flown with. I found the seats to be less comfortable than American Airlines though (which is who I normally fly with).

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Dec-08 08:16:40

If your child is now 2 they can have a seat of their own.

Having used both carriers I'd use BA (also their website is far more user friendly). In my experience of aircrew Virgin's seem to be far less professional; they seemed to be more interested in talking amongst themselves!.

T5 is okay to use these days; the initial problems they had their with the baggage system has been solved.

bluesky Mon 15-Dec-08 10:44:01

Just travelled with Virgin, 2 kids, not as young as yours, but they were very good, especially with children. Lots of "sweetheart" and "Darling", which BA's professional courtesy wouldn't allow! But the boys liked it.

No problems with booking, luggage or anything.

KT12 Mon 15-Dec-08 21:47:38

Have flown with both to SA. Luggage lost twice by BA and service staff dealing with this in Cape Town extremely bad!! Virgin, is more expensive. Service staff from UK side not great, from Cape Town side - fab. Found airline crew on Virgin a bit more friendly and helpful.

georgimama Mon 15-Dec-08 21:49:16

I've never flown to SA but I would chose Virgin over BA any day. Virgin give you lovely flight goodies, including a blanket even in economy and lots and lots of yummy nosh.

elsiepiddock Mon 15-Dec-08 21:50:48

I have flown long haul with both many times and prefer Virgin by a mile.

pinkkoala Tue 16-Dec-08 16:58:46

i have flown virgin to the US(new york & washington) a couple of times with my girlfriends, minus the children.

virgin are extremely professional, i have never lost any luggage. We had a very bad flight due to turbulence, where the cabin crew fell on top of the drinks cart, most of the passengers food ended up on the floor due to the little pull down tables lifting up and down when the plane dropped and alot were ill. Even with all that the staff remained calm and professional.

you get some really nice goodies, even in economy class.

definately fly virgin any day.

pab5 Tue 16-Dec-08 22:08:05

Thanks all
Have gone with BA, cheaper and not sure we need the child seat. Will let you know if it's a disaster.

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