LHR to SEA, DL versus VS?

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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:29 am
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LHR to SEA, DL versus VS?

I have a flight booked from LHR to SEA on VS in Upper Class on the 787. Because of a schedule change I have the option of flying instead from LHR to SEA on the DL flight in D1 on the 767-300. The DL flight leaves 3 hours later which would be slightly more convenient. However, I've never flown D1 on the 767-300 and I seem to recall seeing negative reviews.

I have flown on VS on the 787 before and I generally like the product (although the seats seem a big snug and the turndown process is a little weird). Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks
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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by travel_dreamer View Post
I have a flight booked from LHR to SEA on VS in Upper Class on the 787. Because of a schedule change I have the option of flying instead from LHR to SEA on the DL flight in D1 on the 767-300. The DL flight leaves 3 hours later which would be slightly more convenient. However, I've never flown D1 on the 767-300 and I seem to recall seeing negative reviews.

I have flown on VS on the 787 before and I generally like the product (although the seats seem a big snug and the turndown process is a little weird). Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks
Can't say for certain about the comparison, but the 767 D1 seats are pretty snug, too.
And if by 'turndown' process, you mean VS putting the foam pads down, if it at all like VA, it does make for a more comfortable flight, in my view. How early is the VA flight vs DL?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:43 am
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Thanks for the input. Yes, I was referring to the foam pad process. ...

The VS flight leaves at 9:25 am and the DL is at 12:30 pm.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:54 am
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I actually prefer DL to VS for a number of reasons:

- Seats are more comfortable for sleeping. The VS seats are rock hard when converted to a bed - unlike VA, which supplies a substantial mattress pad, VS just uses a thin duvet thatís barely more than a blanket. VS also places it on the hard back of the seat, ignoring all the cushioning of the seat itself. And window seats have a weird bar under your head, causing a miserable crook in your neck if youíre tall. The bedding is out of proportion, too - the pillow is so comically large Iíve started asking for one from premium economy instead when I board.
- The bar is obnoxious. It gets disruptive enough to sleep that I wonít book a VS flight if there isnít a seat available in a row <= 5 or so.
- Separately from the sleeping issue, the seat design is pretty boneheaded for daytime use too. The drinks tray is uselessly positioned to ensure you will whack it at least once an hour with your elbow, for example, and the light is entirely useless.
- The meal service is weirdly fussy, and offers less variety than other carriers. You have to choose soup or salad rather than both, for example. And while you can select as many breakfast items as you like, theyíre all huge and youíll end up with a ton of waste if you pick more than one or two... and because youíre asked to decide at the beginning of the flight what you want, itís likely your appetite will have shifted.

Delta skips most of these issues. The meal service is more traditional, and while the 767 seats are Deltaís worst product, they are still much more comfortable than Virgin for both day and night usage. And at least thereís a little storage at your side for juggling a book or beverage while you work or dine.

Virgin definitely wins on booze, pajamas and 787 cabin pressure. And I can and do put up with the above issues for the ďbook premium economy, spend miles, fly businessĒ ability that comes with a VS flight. But sleep is the #1 priority on a TATL for me, and they simply donít deliver on that.

All in all, I wish I could trade back the SEA flight for a DL operated one...

Note that if SEA is your final destination, the benefits of a direct flight may outweigh differences in service and amenities.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 11:55 am
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VS is a preferable product all things being equal

But convenience has its value too

Which do you value more? DL is not a terrible product, but not as comfortable or refined as VS in my opinion.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 12:00 pm
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Are the VS 787's impacted by the Rolls-Royce engine issue? If so, there is no guarantee that is the equipment you will be on. I have not been on VS, so can't really advise you there, but I would avoid the DL 767 as they are very snug. If you have to be on the 767, take row 1. Not knowing the details of the schedule change, but assuming you qualify for a free change, you can pretty much pick any flights you want. I would look through the schedule and find an A330 (even if it means an extra stop somewhere).
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Old Jun 13, 18, 12:04 pm
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Yes, the VS 787s are impacted by the RR engine issue. My understanding is they have obtained four A330s that are ex-AirBerlin to take up the lost capacity. Rumor is that the A330s will mostly be based out of Manchester, freeing up the remaining 787s to operate the London schedule. So itís probably a non factor for bookings going forward as the issue is now understood and baked into the schedule/plan.

I agree the A330 is better all around, but I donít think Delta operates it to London, so it would involve an AF/KL connection in CDG/AMS to score one.

Edit: I stand corrected, and the A330 is now operating some LHR flights for DL to certain markets.

Last edited by BenA; Jun 13, 18 at 1:06 pm
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Old Jun 13, 18, 12:58 pm
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For the daylight flight I definitely prefer DL to VS. As was mentioned above, DL serves a more substantial meal, and the 767 seats are excellent for working (each seat has a large side table allowing you to have a laptop open plus a plate of food/beverage, or a laptop plus a notebook etc). The VS bed is definitely wider, but recline functionality is limited (due to the seat needing to be flipped to turn into a bed, it only reclines a certain amount into "lounge" mode before it can't recline anymore).

Note that you will find the aforementioned Delta A330s on all flights from LHR-JFK now (and I believe ATL as well). IMO The 767 seat isn't as bad as some here make it out to be (I've flown it plenty) but definitely look for an odd-numbered A or D seat, with 1A and 1D having the largest footwells.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 2:26 pm
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Are both VS and DL now flying LHR-SEA? I thought the route changed hands and now only VS operate?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
Are both VS and DL now flying LHR-SEA? I thought the route changed hands and now only VS operate?
No, only VS flies LHR-SEA now. It sounds to me like the OP is considering changing to a connecting flight. LHR is all A330 except for MSP/SLC/PDX (the PDX flight leaves at 12:30 so it sound like this is the one the OP is looking at) why not change to LHR-JFK/DTW-SEA instead and get the much better A330?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 5:29 pm
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I thought had been the case too that VS was just servicing the LHR to SEA market but for my flight in question for October, DL 8807 operates non stop from LHR to SEA. So, I actually have two non stop options, either the VS flight or the DL flight.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by travel_dreamer View Post
I thought had been the case too that VS was just servicing the LHR to SEA market but for my flight in question for October, DL 8807 operates non stop from LHR to SEA. So, I actually have two non stop options, either the VS flight or the DL flight.
A quick trawl through all of October using Google Flights only offered me DL8807 for Oct 10 or 15. Between that and the flight number, I suspect it's a supplemental frequency for some very specific event.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 5:46 pm
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Old Jun 13, 18, 5:49 pm
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That makes sense and in fact that is why I will be in London on October 14th and flying back to SEA on the 15th!
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Old Jun 13, 18, 8:55 pm
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I have flown both VS (330 and 787 in PE and 787 in J) and DL (767 in J and C+) between SEA and LHR. Despite minor issues with VS seat as mentioned above, I would never take DL if VS if available for similar price / schedule. VS onboard experience just feels much more premium with better food, service, ambiance and entertainment. And if you are on a 787, the jet lag recovery is quicker (at least for me).

The only real bummer with VS flight is early departure from LHR at 9:25am. I do not understand why flight sits for 3 hours in SEA before turning back to LHR -- they could easily depart at 11am from LHR instead of 9:25am and return at the same time, but I guess LHR gates are more expensive than SEA gates.

Also keep in mind there maybe a higher risk of IRROPS with supplemental flights such as DL12/DL8807 in October, because there is more logistics involved with bringing additional aircraft, crews etc.

Also consider saving miles /$ by booking VS PE instead of J for daytime flight if you are paying with your own money (unless you plan to sleep). VS PE is wonderful on both 787 and 330 and one of the best in the world for premium economy.

Another consideration is that 767 is slower than 787, which is more noticeable on westbound direction with headwinds. Looking at scheduled flight time LHR-SEA, it is 9:40hrs on VS vs 11hrs on DL. I think DL flight has additional padding, but it will still take at least 40-45 minutes more on a 767.

Last edited by AntonS; Jun 13, 18 at 11:10 pm
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