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ARCHIVE: 2017 HELP DESK: General questions re aircraft equipment, fleet, seats, IFE,

ARCHIVE: 2017 HELP DESK: General questions re aircraft equipment, fleet, seats, IFE,

Old Jan 25, 17, 4:13 am
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Arrow ARCHIVE: 2017 HELP DESK: General questions re aircraft equipment, fleet, seats, IFE,


Hello, we are planning a trip to Paris/London/Spain this summer. I am thinking flying on American vs Air France or British Airways. My mileage plan is with Alaska and I am a MVP Gold is why I am considering AA even though they are pricier than the others in my searches.

Does anyone recommend what aircraft type to choose and if AA's fleet has been updated with larger movie screens, USB etc? Which aircraft type to avoid? Or is it better to fly Air France or British Airways?

Also how does Main Cabin Extra compare to other airlines seating?
Thanks

Last edited by JDiver; Dec 24, 18 at 10:50 am Reason: ... moderator note
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Old Jan 25, 17, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by foredogg View Post
Hello, we are planning a trip to Paris/London/Spain this summer. I am thinking flying on American vs Air France or British Airways. My mileage plan is with Alaska and I am a MVP Gold is why I am considering AA even though they are pricier than the others in my searches.

Does anyone recommend what aircraft type to choose and if AA's fleet has been updated with larger movie screens, USB etc? Which aircraft type to avoid? Or is it better to fly Air France or British Airways?

Also how does Main Cabin Extra compare to other airlines seating?
Thanks
Main Cabin Extra is simply extra legroom. If you're flying coach then go BA. If you're flying Business, go AA. I've never flown AF (recently) so i can't speak to that.

If you fly coach, then avoid AA 767s. Otherwise the 772/77W will have AVOD/IFE and USB/Wifi available at every seat. if you inform us where you're flying out of we may be able to come up with some better options.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 6:52 am
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Looks like OP is based in PDX.

That being said, Delta has direct flights to LHR if you don't want to transfer.

Once you're in Europe, flights are super cheap from city to city.

If you don't mind transferring you have some options.
You can fly BA via PHX (747). Not sure if that's a refurbished 747 one or not. I'm willing to bet not, with the older IFE.

You can fly BA via PHL(747). Also not sure if it's a refurbished 747.

You can fly AA through ORD (788). Avoid if you're flying in economy. These are the most uncomfortable economy seats I've ever sat in.

You can fly AA through DFW (77W). AA's best plane, esp. in business or even MCE.

If you choose to fly into CDG...

You can fly AA through PHL (A332). Never flown that plane, but I hear it's ok.
You can fly DL/AF through MSP (A343). Older plane. I'd probably avoid.
You can fly DL/AF through JFK (772 I believe). These are brand new refurbished with new lie flat business class seats.
Or you can fly AA through DFW. I believe this will be served with the new 789. Which might be worth a shot trying out.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by Col Ronson View Post
Main Cabin Extra is simply extra legroom. If you're flying coach then go BA. If you're flying Business, go AA. I've never flown AF (recently) so i can't speak to that.

If you fly coach, then avoid AA 767s. Otherwise the 772/77W will have AVOD/IFE and USB/Wifi available at every seat. if you inform us where you're flying out of we may be able to come up with some better options.
Pretty much agree with much of this.

For the summer rotation, there wouldn't be too many AA 763s transatlantic.
If you're flying into LHR on AA, you won't find a 763.
If you're flying into CDG from JFK, it is currently scheduled to be a 763 all summer.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 10:09 am
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Every major airline forum has threads pertaining to the types of aircraft used by that airline, as well as meals offered, etc. Here you can

determine which widebody aircraft are used on different routes using the AA cargo site here, and

look at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...s-ife-etc.html, find links to the aircraft and cabin in question for your preferred aircraft type.

All things being more or less equal (coach is coach) I'd suggest the shortest route, perhaps from PDX or after the short hop to SEA.

Then I'd recommend flying into the UK and starting with London, taking Eurostar to Paris (do not buy from raileurope.com, as it will not display sale or most discounted fares), to avoid flying back home from the U.K., which will incur both airport passenger fees and the onerous Air Passenger Duty. (You can even buy a mixed, open jaw ticket, e.g. DL or BA to LON, IB back from MAD via LAX, etc.)

Use Google Flights to run some scenarios.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 25, 17 at 10:17 am
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Old Jan 25, 17, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by Col Ronson View Post
Main Cabin Extra is simply extra legroom. If you're flying coach then go BA. If you're flying Business, go AA. I've never flown AF (recently) so i can't speak to that.

If you fly coach, then avoid AA 767s. Otherwise the 772/77W will have AVOD/IFE and USB/Wifi available at every seat. if you inform us where you're flying out of we may be able to come up with some better options.


Why would you choose a standard Coach seat on BA over an MCE seat on AA?
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post


Why would you choose a standard Coach seat on BA over an MCE seat on AA?
Col Ronson did not suggest that! The suggestion was if OP wished to fly coach to choose BA and if the OP wished to fly Business then choose AA.

Originally Posted by Col Ronson View Post
. . . If you're flying coach then go BA. If you're flying Business, go AA.
. . .
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by controller1 View Post
Col Ronson did not suggest that! The suggestion was if OP wished to fly coach to choose BA and if the OP wished to fly Business then choose AA.
MCE is a Coach seat with extra leg room, not a Business Class seat. As an Alaska MVP Gold member, the OP would get to choose a MCE seat on AA for no additional charge. If the OP chooses to travel in Coach, why would he choose a BA Coach seat over an AA MCE Coach seat?
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
...If the OP chooses to travel in Coach, why would he choose a BA Coach seat over an AA MCE Coach seat?
Can't imagine making that particular choice either.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:41 am
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How many are in the traveling party? If the answer is two, that might lead you to the 763 or the one version of the 772 that is still 2-5-2. (Not sure where these 772's are these days, how easy it is to find them, and how reliable the type information is 5-7 months in advance.)

I also like the MCI mini-cabin on the 763. If you don't move your feet too much you can kind of pretend you're in J.. (OK, not really...but it is a bit of a more private cabin.)

Last time I flew ORD-LHR, it was a 763.

All of that said, I'm not sure I'd book based on type since it seems to change so often.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by SiempreBCNJFK View Post
Looks like OP is based in PDX.

That being said, Delta has direct flights to LHR if you don't want to transfer.

Once you're in Europe, flights are super cheap from city to city.

If you don't mind transferring you have some options.
You can fly BA via PHX (747). Not sure if that's a refurbished 747 one or not. I'm willing to bet not, with the older IFE.

You can fly BA via PHL(747). Also not sure if it's a refurbished 747.

You can fly AA through ORD (788). Avoid if you're flying in economy. These are the most uncomfortable economy seats I've ever sat in.

You can fly AA through DFW (77W). AA's best plane, esp. in business or even MCE.

If you choose to fly into CDG...

You can fly AA through PHL (A332). Never flown that plane, but I hear it's ok.
You can fly DL/AF through MSP (A343). Older plane. I'd probably avoid.
You can fly DL/AF through JFK (772 I believe). These are brand new refurbished with new lie flat business class seats.
Or you can fly AA through DFW. I believe this will be served with the new 789. Which might be worth a shot trying out.

Yes I forgot to mention I am in PDX. I am flying coach because with a family of 4 (two teenagers) it will cost me a majority of the vacation budget to buy Biz class for all four.

I would love to fly the 788/9 dreamliner but are the coach seats that uncomfortable? What about Airbus 330-300? or 380? Yes I would agree to avoid the 763s, all of my business travel is domestic so I have not been on a wide body in a long time!

I've looked at BA and surprisingly the tickets are cheaper even though a majority of the flights are on AA, I don't get that I book on a partner airlines and get cheaper seats?
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by Col Ronson View Post
Main Cabin Extra is simply extra legroom. If you're flying coach then go BA. If you're flying Business, go AA. I've never flown AF (recently) so i can't speak to that.

If you fly coach, then avoid AA 767s. Otherwise the 772/77W will have AVOD/IFE and USB/Wifi available at every seat. if you inform us where you're flying out of we may be able to come up with some better options.
We are flying out of PDX. I've noticed ticket prices fluctuate for the same routes by day. I think I'll just have to roll the dice and book soon when I see a good price.

I've looked at RT flights to CDG or LHR, and have been finding RT to LHR is a little cheaper. However, our friends bought their tickets in early January for a nice price (about $3500 for 4) on AF. So I have been looking mainly at RT to CDG and take Vueling or EasyJet in Europe.

Delta right now was the cheapest at $3600 for 4 but I am trying to find other airlines since Alaska is cutting ties with them in April so I won't get my miles even though I book now. AA will give me free MCE and boarding status/free luggage but they were pricier at 5700-6500 depending on routes. BA is an option and I've noticed booking the same AA flights through BA is cheaper, go figure.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 1:33 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Every major airline forum has threads pertaining to the types of aircraft used by that airline, as well as meals offered, etc. Here you can

determine which widebody aircraft are used on different routes using the AA cargo site here, and

look at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...s-ife-etc.html, find links to the aircraft and cabin in question for your preferred aircraft type.

All things being more or less equal (coach is coach) I'd suggest the shortest route, perhaps from PDX or after the short hop to SEA.

Then I'd recommend flying into the UK and starting with London, taking Eurostar to Paris (do not buy from raileurope.com, as it will not display sale or most discounted fares), to avoid flying back home from the U.K., which will incur both airport passenger fees and the onerous Air Passenger Duty. (You can even buy a mixed, open jaw ticket, e.g. DL or BA to LON, IB back from MAD via LAX, etc.)

Use Google Flights to run some scenarios.

@JDiver thanks for links and tips. I've looked at flying into LHR first as it is cheaper, the only problem with that is our friends who bought tickets earlier are flying into CDG and doing that leg first and our kids may want to do that to hang with them. We are all meeting in Spain later so not a big deal to me to do LON first. Yes I'd agree the shorter the better, I looked at the SEA flight but I hate small planes so one leg I considered was PDX to AMS to CDG but it was on Delta first which I won't get miles after April when Alaska cuts the partner ties. Decisions decisions.
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Old Jan 26, 17, 5:05 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
MCE is a Coach seat with extra leg room, not a Business Class seat. As an Alaska MVP Gold member, the OP would get to choose a MCE seat on AA for no additional charge. If the OP chooses to travel in Coach, why would he choose a BA Coach seat over an AA MCE Coach seat?
i didn't realize he would get MCE for free. That being said i find the catering on BA coach to be slightly better. but then again that's just my opinion. If the OP can get MCE for free, then there is really no reason to fly BA then (unless he flies BA F).
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Old Jan 26, 17, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by foredogg View Post
@JDiver thanks for links and tips. I've looked at flying into LHR first as it is cheaper, the only problem with that is our friends who bought tickets earlier are flying into CDG and doing that leg first and our kids may want to do that to hang with them. We are all meeting in Spain later so not a big deal to me to do LON first. Yes I'd agree the shorter the better, I looked at the SEA flight but I hate small planes so one leg I considered was PDX to AMS to CDG but it was on Delta first which I won't get miles after April when Alaska cuts the partner ties. Decisions decisions.
Just to note: you're concerned about prices, but flying out of London to the US will add at leat $500 to your costs, with four people.

I do recommend reading the Economy threads for the specific aircraft linked to in the help desk thread; you will get more in depth information than you will here.

Perhaps it's time to even consider a different trip and using Norwegian or Icelandair (the latter offers a free stopover in Reykjavik as well), if you want to save. As for BA catering in Coach, I can't imagine a significant difference between AA and BA in Economy - though a quick read in the BAEC forum reveals that on some BA Economy flights you will now pay for even hot water. £2.80 comes to mind.
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