Chicago to London in Business Class - AA or oneworld?

 
Old Apr 30, 14, 9:15 am
  #1  
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Chicago to London in Business Class - AA or oneworld?

Looks like AA flies only older planes from Chicago to London and I gather the business class experience is just not up to current standards as newer planes or other airlines.

Question - is it worth spending the extra 3+/- hours of travel time to fly on Iberia through Madrid for instance on Airbus A330-300 or perhaps British Airways on its newer planes (maybe through Toronto for instance)? Or, could fly the newer planes on AA through JFK with a much longer layover.

I hate to spend the extra time when a direct flight at the same cost is available and deal with layovers, but I would also hate to end up cramped or uncomfortable (particularly on the overnight flight to London) if the layover is worth it.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

As a side note, the only reason I am sticking with AA or oneworld is that I want the miles to hit a target to keep my Platinum for the rest of the year and it would be hard for me to otherwise hit the target by the end of May.....otherwise, all things being equal I would just fly Virgin since the ticket is the same price.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 9:56 am
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Some folks aren't a fan of the BA J class, but if you can snag a window seat, I think it's one of the best products out there for an overnight flight.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 9:57 am
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It is definitely NOT worth it to connect unnecessarily when a nonstop is available. But remember, British Airways also flies ORD-LHR.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by trvlr70 View Post
It is definitely NOT worth it to connect unnecessarily when a nonstop is available. But remember, British Airways also flies ORD-LHR.
+1.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:12 am
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Put me in the camp of BA J being nothing special and not worth paying a premium over AA and certainly not worth spending any sort of their surcharges to fly with them on an award. Their window seats face backwards and you still have to crawl over someone or have someone crawl over you if you are on the aisle. Also, if inflight dining is important, the later BA flight out of ORD is their "sleeper service" meaning you get a light snack after takeoff and nothing else till b-fast. The idea is you have your dinner in the lounge before the flight, which would be a nice idea if the lounge dining options were actually decent like the JFK/LHR lounges (IMHO the only two lounge locations in BAs systems worth visiting).

IB J's is alright, but still not worth it to me to connect vs. flying AA direct, assuming the price is the same. I have not flown AB J so I can't comment on them. I also would not take VS J over AA, but only for the fact that I want the AA EQM and EQP. If those aren't important, take VS, however, if my only options were taking BA or VS, I would take VS and forego any points on AA.

Also, if you are willing to connect, why not fly ORD-DFW-LHR or ORD-MIA-LHR to connect to the 77W. The 77W J beats BA/IB IMHO and you'll have a longer flight to sleep and earn more miles.

Last edited by umaa83; Apr 30, 14 at 10:21 am
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:37 am
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If AA J and BA J are the same price for a direct ORD-LHR and either works time wise then I would absolutely choose BA, it's a much nicer seat.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:41 am
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Thanks for the comments so far!! Since the direct flight and 1-stop flights are the same price, sounds like nobody yet is suggesting taking the 1-stop on better equipment over the ease of a nonstop on AA.

I can check DFW and MIA to see if the layovers are shorter than JFK but.....does flying on the 77W change anyone's view of taking the 1-stop vs. a direct on the AA 777?

My other alternative for the same price is to fly Virgin and waste a bit of time/money making up the extra 4,500 miles that I need on AA by May 31. Just seems like flying AA and dealing with the older business class setup and easily getting the miles is a better trade-off than having to do some mileage runs.

So, how bad is AA on the 777 anyway? Some reviews/comments seem to pan the seats and they seem close together with the need for the middle seat or window seat to "climb" over the aisle to get out - which is crazy nowadays for business class (at least in my opinion).... Does sitting bulkhead help or avoid the climb over issue?

Are the seats at least better than domestic first class on 2-class planes?

Last edited by Family Traveler; Apr 30, 14 at 10:51 am
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
If AA J and BA J are the same price for a direct ORD-LHR and either works time wise then I would absolutely choose BA, it's a much nicer seat.
Unfortunately, just checked and it looks like the BA flights are $3,500 more for some reason and so that is a no go. Only direct would be AA 777s in either direction.

Last edited by Family Traveler; Apr 30, 14 at 11:15 am
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by Family Traveler View Post
Thanks for the comments so far!! Since the direct flight and 1-stop flights are the same price, sounds like nobody yet is suggesting taking the 1-stop on better equipment over the ease of a nonstop on AA.

I can check DFW and MIA to see if the layovers are shorter than JFK but.....does flying on the 77W change anyone's view of taking the 1-stop vs. a direct on the AA 777?

My other alternative for the same price is to fly Virgin and waste a bit of time/money making up the extra 4,500 miles that I need on AA by May 31. Just seems like flying AA and dealing with the older business class setup and easily getting the miles is a better trade-off than having to do some mileage runs.

So, how bad is AA on the 777 anyway? Some reviews/comments seem to pan the seats and they seem close together with the need for the middle seat or window seat to "climb" over the aisle to get out - which is crazy nowadays for business class (at least in my opinion)....
I fly out of DTW so I need to connect anyways on AA. Since I have to connect, I go out of my way to connect in DFW/MIA instead of ORD to fly on the 77W because the J cabin is nicer and you have aisle access from every seat. I don't like the idea of having to crawl over someone or someone over me. That being said, IMHO there is nothing wrong with the J on the AA 772. The seats are angled flat instead of completely flat, but that's not important to me. If you have flown the 763 upfront in the past either domestically or internationally, it's the same seat (772 might be slightly wider).

BAs seats are completely flat, but you still need to crawl over someone so that defeats the purpose for me. If you value a completely flat seat (I personally do not), take BA, but keep in mind, the on board service on the late ORD flight is completely different from the earlier flight. If you don't value the completely flat seat, I'd take AA.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 10:57 am
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I might take the opportunity to fly the 77W for the experience, but I would make that decision independently of figuring out your "best" option. Backtracking to DFW or MIA adds a minimum of 5 hours to your journey, and adding a connection always increases the odds of IRROPs somewhere along the way, so I would weigh that against the convenience of a non-stop.

Avoid the middle seat on the 772, or take a 763 (2-2-2 config) if you want to fly AA, and you should be fine. Flight is short enough that you'll only get a few hours sleep regardless of what equipment you're flying.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 11:09 am
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I have found the BA lounge dinner at ORD quite adequate, though it sounds as if the pricing is out of line for your dates. You could also take the late AA flight and do your own pre-flight dining. The only problem is the disturbance of a full meal service going on around you but if you don't eat on the plane and can manage to sleep then you can get a decent amount of sleep. In both cases you can shower and eat breakfast in the arrivals lounge.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 11:18 am
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I hadn't considered it because it is a strange time and it requires another night in a hotel but I could do the morning flight leaving 9am and getting in at 11pm on a 763 with a 2-2-2 configuration which might be better perhaps. Probably better than getting stuck in a middle on the 777

Sounds like JFK is the best connection for the 77W but it adds about 4hrs each way.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 12:25 pm
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The other issue with JFK-LHR is the flight time (often way too short to get proper night rest).



Safe Travels

Last edited by SafeFlyer; Apr 30, 14 at 12:25 pm
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Old Apr 30, 14, 1:27 pm
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I fly DFW-LHR a few times per year on AA.

You are right the planes are the 763 and 777-200 on the ORD-LHR route but AA has 3 flights per day from both ORD and DFW.

On the DFW-LHR flight 50 is a 777-300ER with the new seats.

Maybe its me but I do not find the B-Class seat that bad. The seats in the -300 are nicer.

But the fact that you have a choice of 3 flights per day and no connection is a major reason to fly AA.
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Old Apr 30, 14, 1:59 pm
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Thanks to all for the additional comments - much appreciated. I'm starting to think that I should just count myself lucky that I can go direct on this trip and that the seats should be decent enough.

Probably looking at the day trip on the 763 on the way out and the 777 on the way back. Both seem to have decent seats available.

Should I avoid the bulkhead on these planes? I know that some business class sections have a bit of reduced legroom for the bulkheads, but it seems on the 777 the 9B seat may have a lot of empty room in front of it.
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