Foreign Airline always better than AA - Not true

 
Old Oct 8, 14, 7:39 am
  #1  
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Foreign Airline always better than AA - Not true

This is my first post in a long time. Time and again I have read assessments of cabin crews, seats and operations with the theme, take business or first on ANY foreign airline and you will be so pleased. Yes it is expensive, but it is SO worth it.
My recent experiences in a TATL round trip on British in Business (Club) class really made AA look good by comparison.
My spouse and I took a flight on BA from Chicago to London, then on to Venice. And attempted a return. But ended up stuck at Heathrow and returned in AA business.
On the way over, the seats were some kind of "lie flat" contraption, but were so narrow that I kept waking up hitting my elbows on the walls. I am 5'8" and 145 pounds, so god help the six foot tall 200 pounders.
But what really got my goat and that of my spouse was the need to beg for service. I literally had to physically block the aisle to get my spouse her meal because she had her eyes closed as the FA charged by. The menu was deceptive offering a dessert choice of a cheese plate, but it was never offered and when my wife asked for one, grudgingly produced. If there was a light breakfast, I never saw it. One guy did ask for and get a cup of coffee.
Finally the legal connection policy of allowing one-hour connections in Terminal 5 is downright bone-headed. Upon entry to Heathrow Terminal 5 all pax have to be re-screened by security (on that day a 45 minute process), so although we made our connection, there was no lounge time for us.
On the return, there was fog in London several hours earlier and Terminal 5 was a zoo, but we could have made the connection had we not spent 45 minutes on the tarmac while gate and ground staff dithered (first gate was blocked waiting for the departing flight to get a tow, second gate was mechanically defective).
By then we missed our connection--last flight out of the day.
BA did give us a hotel room and rebooked us on business on AA.
On AA he service was excellent. The food was standard, but good. The seats were not lie-flat, but that beats having to sleep in a narrow coffin with high walls on each side. And the FA's were friendly. I know, it doesn't always happen this way, but next time somebody posts about the wonders of travelling on BA, send them to me.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 8:07 am
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In my experience, 6'2 220, I found club world plenty wide and never slept better. Of course my only comparison is NGBC. As an aside MH basically domestic 1 hour 50 minutes but technically international J was amazing this week. Great food, service, and a similar domestic F seat as AA with more recline and an optional foot rest if you are 5'2" or so.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer View Post
Finally the legal connection policy of allowing one-hour connections in Terminal 5 is downright bone-headed. Upon entry to Heathrow Terminal 5 all pax have to be re-screened by security (on that day a 45 minute process), so although we made our connection, there was no lounge time for us.
I 100% agree with this (although I don't think it's fair to blame BA specifically). My minimum connection time is 1:30 (assuming you are going from T5 to another terminal and have to take the bus). I usually add in 30 minutes on top of that to deal with the frequent fog delays.

I think where AA really shines in in the domestic service. I've found that BA club Europe is vastly inferior to AA domestic first and in some cases even inferior to Main Cabin Extra.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 9:27 am
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T5 to T5. It's way much faster to go out (Exit) and then re-enter.

But, tell, me... 1 hour connection ??? You expected to have lounge time ?
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Old Oct 8, 14, 10:34 am
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I did DFW-LHR in J on the BA 747 Upper Deck and LHR-DFW on the AA 77W in J (seat 3A) last month.

AA hard product was better and FA Service was about the same. Not bad but not exceptionally get either.

Just my opinion.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by 0335th View Post
I did DFW-LHR in J on the BA 747 Upper Deck and LHR-DFW on the AA 77W in J (seat 3A) last month.

AA hard product was better and FA Service was about the same. Not bad but not exceptionally get either.

Just my opinion.
I have made many trips in many aircraft on both airlines in J. The problem with both is how hit-or-miss they are. I've had absolutely wonderful soft product experiences on both BA and AA longhaul J, and have had really disappointing soft product experiences on both. Food wise, both seem to be the same.

AA 77W J hard product is tops in my book. But then you have aircraft like the old 763 aircraft doing some longhaul for AA that are atrocious, and BA beats anything hands down.

If I can get an AA 77W, I will take it over anything BA offers. Otherwise, I tend to prefer BA.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer View Post
Finally the legal connection policy of allowing one-hour connections in Terminal 5 is downright bone-headed. Upon entry to Heathrow Terminal 5 all pax have to be re-screened by security (on that day a 45 minute process), so although we made our connection, there was no lounge time for us.
I don't really understand this part of your complaint. The legal connection time is a minimum, not a maximum. Do you think they should increase the MCT so that everyone will have extra time to spend in lounges (whether they want to or not)? Many people just want to make their connections as quickly as possible. Others are free to book longer connections if they wish.

Last edited by Ready2Go; Oct 8, 14 at 4:40 pm
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Old Oct 8, 14, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer View Post
This is my first post in a long time. Time and again I have read assessments of cabin crews, seats and operations with the theme, take business or first on ANY foreign airline and you will be so pleased. Yes it is expensive, but it is SO worth it.
My recent experiences in a TATL round trip on British in Business (Club) class really made AA look good by comparison.
My spouse and I took a flight on BA from Chicago to London, then on to Venice. And attempted a return. But ended up stuck at Heathrow and returned in AA business.
On the way over, the seats were some kind of "lie flat" contraption, but were so narrow that I kept waking up hitting my elbows on the walls. I am 5'8" and 145 pounds, so god help the six foot tall 200 pounders.
But what really got my goat and that of my spouse was the need to beg for service. I literally had to physically block the aisle to get my spouse her meal because she had her eyes closed as the FA charged by. The menu was deceptive offering a dessert choice of a cheese plate, but it was never offered and when my wife asked for one, grudgingly produced. If there was a light breakfast, I never saw it. One guy did ask for and get a cup of coffee.
Finally the legal connection policy of allowing one-hour connections in Terminal 5 is downright bone-headed. Upon entry to Heathrow Terminal 5 all pax have to be re-screened by security (on that day a 45 minute process), so although we made our connection, there was no lounge time for us.
On the return, there was fog in London several hours earlier and Terminal 5 was a zoo, but we could have made the connection had we not spent 45 minutes on the tarmac while gate and ground staff dithered (first gate was blocked waiting for the departing flight to get a tow, second gate was mechanically defective).
By then we missed our connection--last flight out of the day.
BA did give us a hotel room and rebooked us on business on AA.
On AA he service was excellent. The food was standard, but good. The seats were not lie-flat, but that beats having to sleep in a narrow coffin with high walls on each side. And the FA's were friendly. I know, it doesn't always happen this way, but next time somebody posts about the wonders of travelling on BA, send them to me.
Hnmmm it's relative. Kuwait Airways is far worse than any network U.S. airline for instance.

It has also been my experience that AA's new 77W in J easily beats BA J.

However, as other flyers already commented, AA's J in 752, 763, or 772 (standard 3-class version, not the new configuration with full flat beds in J) is atrocious.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer View Post
Finally the legal connection policy of allowing one-hour connections in Terminal 5 is downright bone-headed. Upon entry to Heathrow Terminal 5 all pax have to be re-screened by security (on that day a 45 minute process), so although we made our connection, there was no lounge time for us.
I am completely lost by this complaint. You had a 1 hour connection time and you successfully were able to make the connection ; what is the issue?

The complaint about fog causing issues is sonething that would happen to any airlne. Comparing BA in UK vs AA in US; BA in UK provided a hotel due to the missed connection due to weather; in US, AA would have basically just said that it sucks to be you and would not have paid for a hotel.

I do not believe that you literally had to stand in the aisle blocking it in order to get service
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Old Oct 8, 14, 12:26 pm
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I do not believe anyone has stated that ALL foreign airlines business or first are better than AA. That would be extremely foolish.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 12:43 pm
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My 2 cents

Having recently done on AY J JFK-HEL & HEL-HKG, CX J HKG-NRT & NRT-HKG & HKG-LAX(all on a spiffy USAir 90K redemption!) and AA F JFK-LAX & ORD-LHR in J I can say there is typically superior service on both CX and AY. Not to be dismissive of the 1-1 seats on the A321T(or the FA-PAX ratio of 1-1) FAs, F&B, etc. receives just a little more attention on "foreign carriers."
Running short of time so that is only my 1 cent...
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Old Oct 8, 14, 1:01 pm
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Among the things about this post that make no sense is the title. You had one bad experience on BA, which happens to be foreign, and a good experience on AA. How does that generalize into your ... title?

Last edited by JDiver; Oct 9, 14 at 11:23 pm Reason: redacted overpersonalized wording
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Old Oct 8, 14, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by VickiSoCal View Post
I do not believe anyone has stated that ALL foreign airlines business or first are better than AA. That would be extremely foolish.
Hm. I'm sure there are foolish statements on FlyerTalk here and there. To assume there never are any would in itself seem somewhat foolish to me.

More seriously, this thread is about the judgement of what's better being YMMV, and thus not about whether AA is always better than BA, or BA always better than AA, but whether one person is going to judge an airline the same as the next person. And I see a lot "foolish" statements on FT which assume that what one person feels is best for them is "the best" (without qualifying that it's just the best for them, or why).

For example, a wide but short person may judge the same seat very differently than a tall but narrow person. As another example, a person who wants to be left alone may judge onboard service very differently than a person who wants constant attention. Etc.

Last edited by sdsearch; Oct 8, 14 at 1:14 pm
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Old Oct 8, 14, 3:51 pm
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As someone who has flown TATL fairly regularly over the last 10 years, I believe the statement was true before, but not now.

Ten years ago, it was clear that one would pick BA over AA on a TATL flight. It was clear to AA as well because you couldn't earn Aadvantage miles if you flew BA metal. It was also the case that generally F and J on AA metal was substantially cheaper than BA in those pre-NGBC days where there wasn't even a powered seat ajustment in J. Since then, my experience is that I would take AA if it is NGBC or better (or if I can upgrade with miles or a SWU to F). (which is another point, as an AA frequent flyer, I appreciate the ability to upgrade to F). I have flown twice this year in F on the new 3 class plane, and it is a product that is truly superior. (Also the addition of the soup course has been fantastic). The service has also been fantastic.
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Old Oct 8, 14, 4:39 pm
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On the same route, there will be another foreign carrier that will always be better than AA - true. You just picked the wrong carrier.

You should've picked Virgin Atlantic on ORD-LHR. VS J is far more enjoyable than AA and BA J.
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