BA vs AA in Y

Old Jun 24, 19, 9:06 am
  #1  
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BA vs AA in Y

I'm burning some Avios to head over to LAX for a few days in September, and sadly only Y is available both ways (despite trying to get creative with routes). I can pick BA or AA flights, and wondered if I should have a preference one way or the other? I'm only a lowly Blue these days - my globetrotting-in-J expat days are behind me (for now) so haven't been on AA for ages. Any thoughts on which I should plump for in terms of food, service and sleepability in Y (minimal I know...)?
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:10 am
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Wow - what's the difference in price with Y on Avios and Y cash ticket ? You can buy cash for £325 and then reduce the price somewhat with Avios :

https://www.google.com/flights/#flt=...02*2.GBP.33502
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:11 am
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Slight detour from your point, but when BA flights are available from £330 inc tax, wondering what advantage you have in using Avios on a Y flight of this distance? Aren't the Fees & Surcharges in excess of this amount?
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:20 am
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For me...
(1) Aircraft type is a big factor, especially if the BA A380 () is an option. However, IFE varies more between BA aircraft types.
(2) Do you drink a lot while flying? I believe AA only provides beer and wine, so you'll want BA if you require inclusive spirits..
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:28 am
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For me:

AA - access to CX lounge (assuming status), MCE (with status - but now just a few seats as opposed to a mini-cabin in the past), fairly slow WiFI (forget about streaming), OK IFE selection.
BA - BA lounge (unexciting), less legroom, fast WiFI or no WiFi at all, IFE - depends on a/c.

I'd probably go AA.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:32 am
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Lounges & MCE irrelevant for a Blue on Y ! I'd go A380 UD
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:45 am
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No status means paying for early seat selection on BA but not on AA if that’s important to you.

In your position I would go west on AA and back on BA for the EU delay protection.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:49 am
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BA for true gate to gate IFE without the endless annoying AA interruptions

AA if there is any danger you’ll be on a non refurbed BA plane
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Old Jun 24, 19, 10:48 am
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BA 777s except for some from Gatwick are 3-3-3 in economy (for now). AA have unfortunately converted all their 777s to 3-4-3. MCE doesn’t mean much anymore transatlantic as far as I can see. Where the MCE 3-3-3 mini-cabin used to be, they’re now selling 2-4-2 premium economy which looks like a nice hard product (akin to domestic first) but it’s a significant price jump, like BA’s WTP.

AA transatlantic service is surly and unpleasant: cabin crew are there “primarily for your safety”. Note this thread I posted recently and specifically this post by someone else.

BA cabin crew are courteous, hard working, often come round with extra drinks, never complain if you go to the galley to ask for something specific, and are unfailingly polite. IFE is decent especially the newer equipment although the old planes don’t have many films available. Avoid the underseat equipment boxes which restrict your legroom. Otherwise legroom is good on the 777.

As a longtime AA flyer and FF loyalist I now feel I will try to avoid them transatlantic in favor of BA. The comparison is that unfavorable for AA.
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Last edited by salut0; Jun 24, 19 at 3:35 pm
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Old Jun 24, 19, 11:04 am
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Go by schedule if you are in Y and with no status. Meals and drinks will be better on BA but only slightly; and while BA charges for all advance seat assignments AA only releases a few aisle/window seats for free so the 'free seat selection' is very likely to be a middle seat at the back of the plane. The good MCE seats have long been gone from AA planes, and you may score WTP at a special airport upgrade prices on BA for what you'll pay for what is now MCE on AA.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 11:26 am
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I prefer BA. For LAX you’ll most likely be looking at an A380 or super-hi J 747, both of which have good IFE and are more comfortable than AA’s 777s.

AA economy seats are not only narrower that BA ones on these aircraft types, they also barely have any headrest, only a very slim one which doesn’t make any difference for me (I’m 6”2). BA, on the other hand, have bigger and more adjustable headrests.

I agree that BA’s crews are typically friendlier and more approachable, which does make a difference on such a long flight. On my most recent LAX trip I woke up seven hours into the flight and went to the galley to ask if I could have a cup of tea. Two lovely crew members responded with a warm “of course”, a couple of biscuits and a long chat.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
and while BA charges for all advance seat assignments AA only releases a few aisle/window seats for free so the 'free seat selection' is very likely to be a middle seat at the back of the plane.
I just cheked the first 20 days of September using my non status wife's log in and every single AA LHR-LAX flight had a choice of both window and aisle seats available for free selection (at which point I stoppped checking). That lead me to conclude that the situation isn't quite as you describe.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
Meals and drinks will be better on BA but only slightly.
Disagree — meals and drinks are infinitely better on BA. I just had an Asian Vegetarian meal on BA which rivaled a really decent restaurant Indian meal: a small chapati, Rice, lentil and spinach dal and a cauliflower and vegetable curry. It was pleasantly spicy and served with a delicious lime pickle and raita.

On a recent flight they even served FeverTree tonic water (which is better than Schweppes) with my G&T
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:27 pm
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I would Pick BA. I have recently flown Longhaul Y on both.Food is slightly better on BA (but honestly not much better they are both somewhat flavorless mush), but honestly you are more likely to get better seats on BA. Especially if you get stuck on one of AA 3-4-3 777 (which are horrible).
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:32 pm
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Avoid the 10-across 777 on AA. Other than that, I suppose you need reasonable connection times for domestic-international.
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