First time J class trans-atlantic not on BA

Old Feb 23, 17, 9:21 am
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First time J class trans-atlantic not on BA

I doubt any of you will remember but I posted on here early last month about my odyssey with AY & QR and my awakening with BA long haul product.

I've just return from a trip to ORD using AA. Outbound on AA's 787, I'm sure you are all familiar with the Zodiac seat so I want go into detail. IMHO It's a far superior product to CW, the IFE is decent and the seats layout offers a lot more privacy. only downside is I think the seats are 'linked'. I was in 1A and when 2A got up or was really fidgety (and this 2A liked to use to the toilet) you felt movement in your seat.

Being a daytime flight it didn't bother me too much but I can imagine the during the night it could be bothersome.

The food which was a chicken breast with a parsnip puree was some of the best I've ever had on a plane and I mean that seriously and who cant but not love the sundae!

Coming back was the older 767, which I quite liked, all aisle access, the window seats give you plenty of room and if you are tall like me you can put your feet up at all times and not just when you are allowed to put a footrest down. The tablet IFE isn't quite a good as 787, but it has less movies and it's taken away an hour before end of flight but with tablets and personal devices it could soon become an irrelevance anyway. Whilst the food wasn't quite as good as the 787, I would still rate it above BA, generally you get a lot more width for your money.

It was that unusual return daytime flight so for that the 767 is more than comfortable, but I can imagine that the high side table might restrict sleeping space.

Previous LH experience of american airlines in general was US airways in Y some years back and recently AA internal flights. Me and friends of mine have always referred to American cabin crew as Doris (if anyone has seen the Yorkshire Airlines skit by Hale and Pace then you'll know exactly what I mean)

In J they are a bit less Doris, but you can take the woman out of domestic Y but you cant take the domestic Y from the woman, just still a little bit fierce and you still get a sense that you are a bit of an inconvenience to them. They're not rude but it's very strange that a country that has huge amounts of sickly sweet service has never quite transcended to USA airlines (at least lot in my time of flying) So I would give BA the edge over AA when it came to staff. I've had some very unhelpful BA crew but it's not in the same way but I cant put it into words.

So as it stand it's 2-1 to AA when comparing hard product, food and crew.

Im not due to go back to the USA till June and I had a quick look at flights for then. As it stands BA are charging £1100 more for flights.

3-1, a total rout in my opinion. If they don't change so BA are going to be in trouble.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 9:53 am
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Mirrors my experiences. I rate AA J way ahead of BA CW. I will now only take BA TATL if coming from the NE coast and on a 747, specifically on the the UD either row 62 or 64. If that is not available, then it is AA. Reason for this is the UD product is not bad for sleep, and on short overnight TATLs like this, you do not need any food/service - just straight to sleep until gear down.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:12 am
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Flew last week with LATAM to GRU and onto EZE, the Premier Business Class product was far superior to the BA product. Although the seats were 2+2+2 and side by side the matters toppers, duvets and LATAM pyjamas made it feel more like a first class product. Oh and the seats were wider too!
I think that BA need to up there game in J.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by Leaping_Deere View Post

3-1, a total rout in my opinion. If they don't change so BA are going to be in trouble.
I'm sure by the end of the thread IB QR EK CX QF etc. etc. will have been added making it 23-1.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:15 am
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Where is the 1 coming from?

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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Leaping_Deere View Post
only downside is I think the seats are 'linked'. I was in 1A and when 2A got up or was really fidgety (and this 2A liked to use to the toilet) you felt movement in your seat.
This is one of my biggest bug-bears with the CW seat (after climbing over someone, staring at someone else and the annoying screen going up and down during service). The CW seats feel incredibly flimsy and you really do notice the movement not only of the person adjacent to you, but also in front and behind, courtesy of the footstools.

I thought AA was great - tried the different 777-3 and 777-2 seats recently and liked them both (I really didn't notice any movement from other seats). I would definitely choose AA over BA given the option.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by Leaping_Deere View Post
3-1, a total rout in my opinion. If they don't change so BA are going to be in trouble.
I prefer AA too, but don't forget that AA and BA do not compete. They share revenues and costs TATL.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by Leaping_Deere View Post
I've just return from a trip to ORD using AA. Outbound on AA's 787, I'm sure you are all familiar with the Zodiac seat so I want go into detail. IMHO It's a far superior product to CW, the IFE is decent and the seats layout offers a lot more privacy. only downside is I think the seats are 'linked'. I was in 1A and when 2A got up or was really fidgety (and this 2A liked to use to the toilet) you felt movement in your seat.
They are supposed to be working on a fix for this issue - it's a problem with the Zodiac seats used in the 787 and a good portion of the 777-200 (the newer replacement seats from Cirrus don't have this issue). Until the fix is out on all aircraft, there are only a few seats that don't have this issue. If you find yourself booked on these planes again, the AA board has pretty good threads outlining which seats are the best options on these planes.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by cosmo74 View Post
I thought AA was great - tried the different 777-3 and 777-2 seats recently and liked them both (I really didn't notice any movement from other seats). I would definitely choose AA over BA given the option.
The 773 doesn't have the movement issue at all. And the 772 only has it with the Zodiac seats (backwards/forward facing), not the Cirrus seats (all forward facing), and even with the Zodiac seats there are a few seats in the cabin that aren't connected to others so you might've lucked out.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:33 am
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Worth saying the problem only affects AA 787-8's. The 787-9s don't suffer from the same issue, and it's a very improved product (I really liked it).

Many posts praising AA, and Uncle T hasn't even popped in yet!

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Old Feb 23, 17, 10:37 am
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Even with the downsides (no direct aisle access, the awkward staring when the screen is down), I prefer BA's J to AA for an overnight flight... I find the foot rest on AA really tight and find the BA seat comfier for sleeping.

Daytime flights tho I quite like AA.

I've got a business trip later this year where I'm using an ex-EU to drop the price and get to try AY and IB J, then I can do a four way comparison
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Old Feb 23, 17, 1:23 pm
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The 763 J is probably AA's most controversial product. Some people dislike the fact that AA went through some silly cost-cutting by not including in seat IFE which is frankly ridiculous. But I personally like the 1-2-1 parallel design and the seats are actually some of the most spacious and comfortable around especially if you pick the right ones.

Food on AA J and F has improved significantly in the last 6-12 months and meals are often very good. On my last flight, a pan seared snapper was both enormous and delicious, and my partner's Korean short rib was too. On my outbound, I had a rack of lamb that was both better and much prettier (remarkably well French trimmed for those who have a good butcher's! ) and had the great advantage of not swimming in some silly sauce which is one of my main complaints about most airline food. My partner had a salmon with red thai curry and grilled king prawn, again excellent.

To be honest, if I am to take AA or BA, product-wise, I give the edge to AA on most planes in J, and to BA on most planes in F. I also choose by times, convenience, fare, and if all else is equal lounge, so that gives BA a benefit ex-JFK (JFK CCR is nicer than the renewed and improved Flagship, even though Flagship now has better décor, Champagne, San Pellegrino soft drinks) but AA an advantage ex-MIA where I prefer to use the Amex Centurion lounge. Indifferent ex-LAX where I can use the QF F lounge for both, so AA wins on the planes if in J. ex-LHR, BA used to have the edge thanks to the CCR in T5, but the CX F lounge in T3 is actually very nice and the forthcoming QF lounge may well be too.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 1:49 pm
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Old Feb 23, 17, 1:58 pm
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It is remarkable - if you had suggested this 10, let alone 15 years ago the men in white coats would have been on their way. It's more a story of AA improving than BA decline, but still remarkable.
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Old Feb 23, 17, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Swanhunter View Post
It is remarkable - if you had suggested this 10, let alone 15 years ago the men in white coats would have been on their way. It's more a story of AA improving than BA decline, but still remarkable.
Can't agree more. BA J has just been completely left behind. We basically only use it now when burning a 2-4-1, and accept that we're flying cheap in a tired, out-of-date, uncomfortable "Club Class Dormitory" (sleep optional).

('Uncle T', TATL and Caribbean in BA J since 2008)
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