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Best Business Class airline JFK-MXP

Best Business Class airline JFK-MXP

Old May 20, 19, 11:58 am
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Best Business Class airline JFK-MXP

We plan to fly JFK-MXP in J and have the choice of the following airlines. Which should we choose, given that the hard product is our primary concern?

AA 777
DL A330
AZ A330
EK A380 (a bit more expensive)

I'd asked a similar question in the past, but with different non-AA choices.

ETA: I'm travelling with my wife and we like sitting next to each other.

Last edited by richarddd; May 21, 19 at 4:02 am
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Old May 20, 19, 12:26 pm
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Flying J transatlantic probably means getting a little more sleep, so I would pick EK who has the latest departure time. IIRC, the AA flight leaves late afternoon and arrives just when you get a little sleepy.
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Old May 20, 19, 12:31 pm
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I've chosen EK for my flight to Milan this summer. AZ's hard product is pretty dated, and I've found the variability of DL's A330s to be pretty high (some are very old and showing their age) but otherwise DL's fairly close to the seat on AA's 772s.
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Old May 20, 19, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by shd9 View Post
Flying J transatlantic probably means getting a little more sleep, so I would pick EK who has the latest departure time. IIRC, the AA flight leaves late afternoon and arrives just when you get a little sleepy.
Do you see any significant difference in seat quality or other non-schedule attributes among these flights?

We may (or may not) be taking a train to Florence soon after landing, so the time we'd arrive there would factor into our decision on scheduling. Otherwise, the EK flight would be the best for sleep and arrival time (and traffic to JFK).
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Old May 20, 19, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Do you see any significant difference in seat quality or other non-schedule attributes among these flights?

We may (or may not) be taking a train to Florence soon after landing, so the time we'd arrive there would factor into our decision on scheduling. Otherwise, the EK flight would be the best for sleep and arrival time (and traffic to JFK).
EK sometimes offer a chauffeur drive to and from the airports for revenue J pax, so it is worth to check. Both EK and AA have flat beds, EK has a golden cabin and everything seems extra luxurious, while AA's cabin is more "refined" and polished if you will. EK's catering is probably way better than AA, but I find the AA bedding/duvet to be quite comfortable. Plus, 772 is quite an old plane (we are looking at 20 years old) while A380 is going to be considerably newer, so it is probably smoother and more comfortable.

That being said, if I don't have AA membership and I am paying cash, I am probably going to fly on EK.

**disclaimer** I have never flown EK on this route, but I have been on the EK A380 J several times from HKG to BKK
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Old May 20, 19, 7:53 pm
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I don't know whether the OP's "we" implies a couple, but I think the DL 1-2-1 configuration with 100% direct aisle access is a big plus. Before suites were introduced (on the DL A350s and now some 777s) the A330 business class seat was widely viewed as the best in the fleet. BTW, you now can preorder your main course meal in D1.

AZ is financially unstable and has labor problems, so I would think twice about booking AZ very far in the future despite its reputedly;y excellent hard and soft product.
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Old May 21, 19, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I don't know whether the OP's "we" implies a couple
It does. I'll edit the OP to clarify.
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Old May 21, 19, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I don't know whether the OP's "we" implies a couple, but I think the DL 1-2-1 configuration with 100% direct aisle access is a big plus. Before suites were introduced (on the DL A350s and now some 777s) the A330 business class seat was widely viewed as the best in the fleet. BTW, you now can preorder your main course meal in D1.

AZ is financially unstable and has labor problems, so I would think twice about booking AZ very far in the future despite its reputedly;y excellent hard and soft product.
AA has 1-2-1 all aisle access on its wide body aircraft as well.
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Old May 31, 19, 5:44 pm
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Reviving this, is there any significant difference between the AA and DL seats?

At the moment, the DL flight is scheduled to land about 15 minutes earlier, which if it doesn't change, would be advantageous for catching a train. The last time we flew to MXP, we missed a train by less than 5 minutes and had to wait hours for the next. I realize schedules changes and flights can be delayed. The EK flight is better for sleep, but not for other timing.
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Old May 31, 19, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Reviving this, is there any significant difference between the AA and DL seats?

At the moment, the DL flight is scheduled to land about 15 minutes earlier, which if it doesn't change, would be advantageous for catching a train. The last time we flew to MXP, we missed a train by less than 5 minutes and had to wait hours for the next. I realize schedules changes and flights can be delayed. The EK flight is better for sleep, but not for other timing.
One person's opinion...frankly not a huge difference, especially if you're asleep the whole time, they're both reverse herringbone configurations. I think there's a slight edge to AA, but it's not huge. DL flies its A330s, which I think are kind of dated but are functional. AA flies 772s (and I think the flight to MXP doesn't have the older alternating Zodiac seats, which definitely have their issues...if it were the Zodiac seats on the AA 772 I'd say it's a total wash). The newer 772s have better storage at the seat, better tray tables, and larger IFE screens, and I think just feel like a nicer hard product than DL. But they're both reverse herringbone 1-2-1, and when it comes down to it not different enough for me to merit AA over DL if you're worried about timing.
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Old May 31, 19, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Reviving this, is there any significant difference between the AA and DL seats?

At the moment, the DL flight is scheduled to land about 15 minutes earlier, which if it doesn't change, would be advantageous for catching a train. The last time we flew to MXP, we missed a train by less than 5 minutes and had to wait hours for the next. I realize schedules changes and flights can be delayed. The EK flight is better for sleep, but not for other timing.
One relevant piece of the puzzle I’ve not seen answered is “when is this proposed trip?”

AA has 24 737 MAX aircraft down causing schedule issues and a number of knock on changes, has a serious labor relations hassle with the mechanics’ unions that doesn’t appear to have a short term solution and to be causing a number of delays, AA is experiencing pretty bad operational problems to boot.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 3:36 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
One relevant piece of the puzzle I’ve not seen answered is “when is this proposed trip?”

AA has 24 737 MAX aircraft down causing schedule issues and a number of knock on changes, has a serious labor relations hassle with the mechanics’ unions that doesn’t appear to have a short term solution and to be causing a number of delays, AA is experiencing pretty bad operational problems to boot.
Mid to late November. DL certainly has a better operational record.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by wjbesh View Post
One person's opinion...frankly not a huge difference, especially if you're asleep the whole time, they're both reverse herringbone configurations. I think there's a slight edge to AA, but it's not huge. DL flies its A330s, which I think are kind of dated but are functional. AA flies 772s (and I think the flight to MXP doesn't have the older alternating Zodiac seats, which definitely have their issues...if it were the Zodiac seats on the AA 772 I'd say it's a total wash). The newer 772s have better storage at the seat, better tray tables, and larger IFE screens, and I think just feel like a nicer hard product than DL. But they're both reverse herringbone 1-2-1, and when it comes down to it not different enough for me to merit AA over DL if you're worried about timing.
Agree with this entirely. AA is slightly better from a hard product perspective (assuming B/E not Zodiac) and you get Flagship Lounge access vs. SC for DL (which is same for D1 or Y) but DL wins on the rest of the factors (better food, better on-time record though YMMV of course on an individual day in time, better FAs IMO).

The latter factors outweight the slight benefits of the AA hard product.

Plus, I doubt AZ will ever truly go bankrupt so if IRROPs do happen, you should have more options flying DL since they can push you over to the AZ flights
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