Which Product Is Best For A Transatlantic Flight- American, British Airways or Delta?

by on July 21, 2013 · 17 comments

in American, British Airways, Delta, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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This week TPG follower @TravelChaz tweeted:

“Flying from US to London, which product is best – Delta, British Airways or American?”

Without considering frequent flyer miles or anything of that nature, the best product for a transatlantic flight in my opinion is the new American Airlines First Class, which I recently flew from JFK to Sao Paulo in April. I thought it was pretty similar to Cathay Pacific’s fully lie-flat seat, although on AA they are “open suites” that offer a little less privacy but were still very comfortable. In business class, the new American 777-300′s are pretty much the same as Cathay Pacific’s business class with a kind of reverse herringbone configuration where the side seats face outwards and the middle seats face each other, which makes them nice for couples traveling together. I flew that service back from Sao Paolo and also really enjoy it, though the seat was a tiny bit too short and narrow for me.

My first class seat on American's 777-300.

My first class seat on American’s 777-300.

In terms of the service and food on AA, it’s definitely not the best but if you’re just basing your decision on the seat, I recommend flying on their 777-300. This aircraft flies certain routes from JFK, Dallas and Los Angeles to London. Besides their 777-300, their other products – like the ones aboard their current 777-200 and 767 workhorses – are not nearly as good and would be put on the back of my list.

The seat in lie-flat position on Delta's 747-600.

The seat in lie-flat position on Delta’s 767-400.

My second choice would be Delta’s lie-flat business class product on their 767-400, which basically serves all of their London routes. I flew in the BusinessElite class of the 767-400 from JFK-Milan in May and had a really good experience, enjoying both the service of the flight attendants and the seat. Lying down, I thought the seat had a bit of a “coffin-like” feel to it, but I am also 6’7 so that may have had something to do with it.

This may surprise some people, but British Airways actually comes in as my third choice. BA has had their lie-flat Club World (business class) for several years now and while their lounges are good, their food can be hit or miss and there’s nothing really great about their product. On their 747, they have 8 seats across which really makes for cramped seating and very minimal privacy.

To put it simply, my short answer to this question would be American’s new 777, Delta BusinessElite, British Airways and then American’s old 777. Hopefully you can snag a seat on American’s 777-300 and get to experience their new First Class travel! It’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Sean

    A lot depends on where you’re departing from. The Boston to Heathrow flights on AA are terrible (old, noisey and poor service) as they still use the old domestic planes and not a transatlantic plane. This is my regular route and BA wins every time and is a good product in all classes of travel.

  • Grant Thomas

    Love the Geyser going off in the background. Very cool!

  • Adam

    What are your thoughts on Virgin Atlantic, as compared to the above mentioned three airlines? It’s always been my go to airline when flying from LAX to Heathrow.

  • Katrina Johnson

    I’m flying on Air Canada Business First to London through Toronto on a 777-200LR. comments?

  • FrequentFlyer

    I definitely prefer BA, which has an outstanding Biz product on *all* long haul flights. And the T5 lounge is so much better than the T3 lounges. AA, on the other hand, is a lucky dip, with *most* flights being extremely underwhelming. I flew the 777-300 to Sao Paulo in Biz and def agree the CX seats are a great improvement. But, the service on AA is routinely lazy and inattentive. For this reason, most overseas carriers will be better than U.S. carriers 80% of the time!

  • Another Boston Flyer

    Frequent Flyer has hit the nail on the head – BA offer a good transatlantic service in all cabins while AA have offered a declining poor service over the years. AA used to routinely fly translatlantic jets up to 3 – 4 years ago on all flights, but now they use the old tiny bone shaker jets (and yes, I have used them so I know how bad they are).

    AA and BA flights generally cost the same, so the key question is, why would you fly AA and take the chance you get lucky with a decent plane and service? You don’t! I don’t use Delta so they may be good, but it’s BA for me everytime until AA up their game, considerably.

  • Ed

    As I am a little over over 6’8″, I now have a whole new appreciation for your insight on travel. Much respect for anyone who has to deal with travelers under 6’3″ who insist that they “need” an emergency exit row seat.

  • Trajan81

    Being a fellow man of high stature, I agree. Makes me laugh to hear people a shade over 6 ft complain about being cramped in UA E+ when I do it at a shade under 7 ft without much issue. Also really do like hearing the perspectives on travel from other tall people.

  • Joe

    What about for those folks who fly just plain coach?

  • Scott Elowitz

    How about UA to London first class?

  • Flyer

    Fly BA and stay well clear of AA.

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  • MoreCrazyNews

    AA 767 are disgusting. And BA747 are very old too. The 777-300 or 767-400 are the newer planes. AAs 777 coach seats are the worst in the industry. Bus stations have better seats.

  • asdfasdf

    No, nobody cares

  • zach

    It’s a shame that Delta couldn’t manage to add just another 3 inches on their 763/764 layflat seat. I clock in at just under 6’7″ and i cannot place the seat fully flat and not get stuck. Their 777/747 J seats are so much better, however, they do not fly to LON.

    I agree with you on your ordering, especially in BA F and the CR. Absolutely miserable service in the CR and not only a cramped 14 seats in F, but onboard I had better service on AA.

  • adpage

    AA 777-300 is way better than the old BA product (ie 747) try to get the 777-300 or go BA

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