Total newbie needing help on LHR - NYC

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Old Apr 17, 18, 3:21 am
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Question Total newbie needing help on LHR - NYC

I am planning a trip to NYC on 30 Nov - 5 Dec. I have flown BA previously (2016) and was happy with Economy.

Obviously I am checking prices for BA and for Virgin trying to get the best economy price for two adults and have been tracking the prices through Google. I have a couple of probably daft questions before I decide which one to go for..
  • firstly are the prices going to go down in the near future, and/or are there any promo codes I could use? (i have both loyalty programs but don't fly enough to make them particularly worthwhile eg not enough avois points)
  • My preference is BA after the last journey (we were looked after in economy) However - it looks like for a similar price £918 (for two) I can get economy classic in Virgin with a booked seat for free.
  • It looks like BA charge for the seats? and Virgin don't charge if you upgrade from Economy Lite to Economy Classic. Is this right?
  • Also - what is the better airline to fly with out of the two of them - we want to go first thing in the morning and come back over night on 5/6th Dec.
Thank you - apologies if these are daft questions or I have broken protocols at all.

Thanks

Last edited by michieluc; Apr 17, 18 at 6:10 am
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Old Apr 17, 18, 3:39 am
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Originally Posted by michieluc View Post
I am planning a trip to NYC on 30 Nov - 5 Dec. I have flown BA previously (2016) and was happy with Economy.

Obviously I am checking prices for BA and for Virgin trying to get the best economy price for two adults and have been tracking the prices through Google. I have a couple of probably daft questions before I decide which one to go for..
  • firstly are the prices going to go down in the near future, and/or are there any promo codes I could use? (i have both loyalty programs but don't fly enough to make them particularly worthwhile eg not enough avois points)
  • My preference is BA after the last journey (we were looked after in economy) However - it looks like for a similar price £918 I can get economy classic in Virgin with a booked seat for free.
  • It looks like BA charge for the seats? and Virgin don't charge if you upgrade from Economy Lite to Economy Classic. Is this right?
  • Also - what is the better airline to fly with out of the two of them - we want to go first thing in the morning and come back over night on 5/6th Dec.
Thank you - apologies if these are daft questions or I have broken protocols at all.

Thanks
Hi welcome to FT, the officials will be along to welcome you properly!

This is a route I take and enjoy. BA have and are really upping their game on this route, with refurbed 747s, so new IFE, (some with WiFi), new seat covers, new food in Economy and new lounges possibly by November in JFK (status permitted). Do you have status with BA?

I you don't have status (i.e Bronze, Silver or Gold) with BA, then it becomes a bit more of a level playing amongst competitors, like Virgin, Norwegian etc. BA do charge for seats if no status. BA have also recently introduced Hand Baggage only (HBO) fares but not on the JFK route yet, It may happen sooner, therefore could be worth waiting for and looking at the fare difference.

Prices vary and there is no sign of a sale (YET) but it maybe worth waiting for the pre-summer sale, although it is not guaranteed.

If you are considering paying £900 for an economy fare, then I wouldn't. That is very expensive for that fare here on FT, especially booking well in advance . However if you are prepared to take a slightly different starting point from the UK or EU you could save a considerable amount of money. These are called Ex-EU fares. Inverness is a good starting point for cheaper fares at the moment. So INV - LHR - JFK return.

Others may have interesting advice.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 4:01 am
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Is that £918 per person, or for both adults ? £918 seems quite high.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 4:16 am
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If £918 is per person - that is expensive! In 2016 we flew Business class DUB-JFK-LHR-DUB on a January Sale ticket for £801 each (a nice wee 4 hour delay out way out and EU261 ). There is a post just now on FT of someone mentioning a Premium Economy non-marketed promo deal with NYC for around £750 pp. Try putting in some dummy times out of Inverness and you'll see a big difference compared with Edinburgh. Easyjet and BA fly to Inverness for positioning.

One big plus for Dublin being pre-clearance for the US Customs and Border - you then arrive in the US as a domestic passenger. We flew to Boston in 2104 and had a 90 mins wait to get through US Customs. One to think about.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by chris1922Mk2 View Post
Is that £918 per person, or for both adults ? £918 seems quite high.
The £918 is the price for two.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 4:52 am
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I agree that £900 seems expensive. You may find you get better value booking your hotel and flights together on the BA website.

I haven't been in Virgin Economy for some time, so don't really feel I can compare the two products. One watch out would be aircraft choice with BA, if you are looking at Economy to Newark, then there is a good chance of being on a Dreamliner (Boeing 787) which is configured in a very tight 9 abreast setup in economy and certainly not recommended by many on here (Virgin also have this on their 787s). One other thought is that Virgin Airbus A330's and A340's have pairs of seats along the full length of the cabin which are nice for couples in economy.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 4:52 am
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Let me also greet you to Flyertalk and welcome you to the BA forum michieluc. It's great to see you here, I hope you continue to participate. The incentive for that is that if you keep an eye on this forum you should be able to fly further forward up the aircraft for less money, at least in theory. Many FTers have this experience!

That fare seems high for one person, the cheapest NYC fare is currently around £368 . Fares will be slightly cheaper tomorrow, due to the rise in Sterling, since the US taxes will become cheaper in Sterling terms, but that's only a small amount. In this post, the fare has gone down by 40 pence over the last 5 days purely due to that.
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29628570-post104.html
The rest of the thread may also give you some insights into the current fare wars too, click on Thread link on the top right. As you can see that seems a high fare if one person. By all means give the exact dates, and limitations on your travel dates, if you want an expert to see if they can find a cheaper option.

As a general point, if you see a fare which is good value then nab it, and stop looking after 23 hours. Why? Because after 24 hours there are likely to be large change fees, but none before. Trying to second guess airline fares is something that even experts here can't easily do, so if it is affordable, buy it, then stop looking and start planning.

Personally I think that if travelling in economy then by definition you want the best fare. So unless you are very tall or something I would save your money and use it more enjoyably in the States, it's a fairly short flight and you'll be there very quickly. That's just my personal view. But yes, BA charges for seats, and if you are minded to do that you best do it at the point of purchase, the cost goes up if you do it later.
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Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Apr 17, 18 at 6:11 am
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Old Apr 17, 18, 5:43 am
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I’ve just booked 2 x economy tickets on American for £838 (I think as I had a $ travel voucher that was applied to make it around £750) - this was last week for September.
American do have ‘some’ free seating but my guess it will be towards the back in the middle.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:09 am
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Yes for two
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:18 am
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Where are you getting that price from? I can see LGW - JFK for £370pp and LHR - JFK/EWR for £388 on those dates.

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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:31 am
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STN-EWR £261pp return on Primera for those dates
LHR-JFK £311pp return on VS

https://www.google.co.uk/flights/#fl...P;e:1;sd:1;t:f
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:32 am
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Flight timings - we want to go in the morning and come back overnight - the earlier flights are more expensive on their websites
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by michieluc View Post
Flight timings - we want to go in the morning and come back overnight - the earlier flights are more expensive on their websites
To have a look at this, I've priced BA117 at 0825 outbound, and BA172 at 2040 inbound. This is showing me a price of £458.51 which matches the figure that you've given for the BA flights, so I suspect that I'm looking at the same outbound flight that you are, particularly as it's the choice of outbound flight that has most effect on the pricing for the trip. The exact inbound flight doesn't matter because there are so many on that day that are at the same price.

On the assumption that you want an outbound flight this early (the flight at 1120 is cheaper but is still "morning"), I had a go at guessing what it would have cost if you had bought this in the big post-Christmas sale (which is an annual event) and the same booking classes had had to be used (technically, Q class outbound and O class inbound). Although it's impossible to be sure about exactly which fares would have been used, my guess is that you could have paid £57 less in that sale.

That gives you a very rough guide as to what might potentially happen to fares if you were to wait until the next sale, provided that availability in the relevant booking classes remains static. But there are risks of waiting: (a) the fares in the next sale may be disappointingly high compared to the last post-Christmas sale; (b) the fare rules of the sale fares may exclude the flights that you want, so you can't use the sale fares anyway; (c) the booking classes that are currently being used may sell out so that you'd have to buy a more expensive fare in a higher booking class.

If, for your preferred timings, Virgin has cheaper fares and you will save more money by not paying for some things that you'd have to pay for on BA, then you'll have to factor all of that in to your value equation when deciding whether it's worth paying more now for BA, or worth gambling on what might happen during the next few weeks for pricing on BA, or worth saving some cash and buying the Virgin tickets. Ultimately, of course, only you can make that judgement call.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:19 am
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Thanks everyone, you are all being so helpful - is it best to book direct or go through someone like Net Flights or LycaFly?
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Old Apr 17, 18, 7:28 am
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One great tip for LON NYC flights is to always include a Saturday night in your stay - otherwise the fares go up massively because you're seen as a business traveler (e.g Monday to Friday)

Use The BA Source website to see aircraft used by flight number. Although since you're planning December, it is a bit useless as aircraft may change between now and then for that flight.

Generally, fares in the £400-500 for economy return is pretty good. Norwegian and Primera are cheaper, but you have to add on food, drinks, luggage, etc. But free wifi on Norwegian!

Overall, I find the AA planes easier to sleep in compared to BA or Virgin.
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