Supersonic vs. long and leisurely: Which way would you rather fly to London?

Jun 4, 2021

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While no one likes sitting on a plane and getting hit with a flight delay, once you’re in the air sometimes you just don’t want the experience to be over — especially if you’ve cashed in your hard-earned points and miles to fly one of the swankiest products in the sky.

With the recent addition of JetBlue’s Mint product on the airline’s New York (JFK) to London (LHR) route, whose A321LR aircraft will feature JetBlue’s brand new Mint Suite and Mint Studio business class products, you may find yourself looking forward to having plenty of time to enjoy all the bells and whistles. Not to mention nearly seven hours to sit back and relax — whether that means bingeing on TV shows, catching up on emails, or taking in the view from 35,000 feet.

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United’s recent announcement that it has signed a deal with Boom Supersonic to purchase up to 50 of the company’s planned passenger jet could shake all that up. While we don’t know much about the hard or soft products just yet, we do know that the new aircraft would greatly reduce the window during which to enjoy said products.

So, we polled the TPG Lounge: Would you rather fly from NYC to London in three hours, or enjoy a business class experience for the full seven? A clear favorite emerged faster than Boom Supersonic thinks it can fly you across the pond. Here’s what the group had to say.

Supersonic (by a landslide)

For many, it was the shorter flight time that did it.

“I flew Concorde a few times, the speed beats everything.” — Carla P Blanco

Related: Going Boom: What it’s like to fly supersonic

“Definitely get me there quicker!” — Carol Bean

“Speed over business class any day.” — Brett Belair

“I fly to get where I’m going. Business-class for sure on a long-haul flight. But if that long-haul becomes short, I’m in.” — Bryan Nalette

“I would rather get there in three hours. Otherwise, I’m too comfortable to enjoy the service and sleep through the whole flight.” — Aasim Dewji

“The less time spent on a United flight in any class, the better…” — James Curtis

“Three hours. Gives them less time to lose my luggage.” — Dave Lewis

“Three hours is doable for me, seven hours is not with my sitting disability.” — Mary Shaw

Others chimed in with route preferences:

“I want quicker to Hawaii!” — Katie Scarlett Edwards

“Seattle to Tokyo in 4.5 hours. I am in!” — Jeff Cabbage

“When they start flying from JFK to SYD in eight hours sign me up! Even from LAX to SYD in eight hours would work for me.” — Justine GP

Related: United Airlines announces deal with Boom Supersonic for faster-than-sound commercial flights

For the AvGeeks, it’s all about the unique experience:

“I was too young to get an opportunity to fly Concorde so this could be the nearest thing I could get to that.” — Matthew Tasker

“Supersonic all the way!” — Gail Foust Winterfeld

“I’ll be on one in the first year for sure.” — Harvey Schinkal

Long and Leisurely

Still, a few TPG Loungers expressed the desire to take things slow if that means a better flight experience.

“I flew Concorde. It was like being in a tuna can. Squished. It was nice getting to Paris in just a few hours, but I don’t know that it was worth it.” — Stacy Raphael

(Photo by PA Images / Getty Images)

“We prefer the longer run. Nice to sleep on the overnight flights. Helps us bounce on arrival.” — Nivek Seyah

“I enjoy the travel. In our busy world, taking a few beats in a luxe lounge, napping or catching a movie mid-flight is an excellent on-ramp to a vacation, or a deep calming breath before hitting the ground on a business trip.” — Chris Lovejoy

“I really enjoy the business class experience… the lounges, food and comfort. I fly internationally a few times a year so my preference is to savor the travel experience. I would like to try supersonic travel, however, not gonna lie.” — Davia Weinberg Love

For some, it was less about leisure and more about the cost:

“I’m sure this will be cheap and available with points… umm nope!” — Matthew Finnegan

“This is going to be super expensive… meant for the execs traveling back and forth… out of my price range.” — Anthony Sigalas

A mix of both

Why have one when you can have both? A few savvy commenters are getting strategic with their choice.

“Depends on lie-flat vs. regular biz seat and time of day and urgency. If not in a hurry, I probably would prefer regular for the redeye to eastbound, and westbound a.m. during the day on supersonic.” — Ari Can Eryorulmaz

“Supersonic for biz, regular for vacations.” — Axel Lima

“I say the opposite. More time on my vacation and less time to work.” — Gavin DiazAxel Lima


And for some, neither option is enticing.

“4-6 hour flights tend to be the most unbearable for me. I actually prefer 14-16 hour flights. Not that it matters, as I am sure the airfare will be just as stratospheric as the plane.” — Tina Jay

“I’d still rather stay 12-14 hrs in a Polaris lie flat. You barely can sleep or watch a movie on 6 hr flights.” — Eric Yen

“The problem is it’s not seven hours though, is it? By the time you faffed about with meals, taxi, take-off and landing you can never get more than about four hours sleep.” — Alex Wood

It depends

Given how much we don’t know about these flights as of now, it’s no surprise some are in wait-and-see mode.

“I have flown Concorde and Subsonic F/J/C. Concorde was cramped but the service was superb. I would fly subsonic if the SST service was crappy. I must admit it’s easier on the body making a quick trip but the cost difference is steep. It will all depend on cost and service levels.” — David Meador

While a shorter flight time was the clear favorite, we’d be remiss not to include those who flat out don’t see supersonic happening anytime soon. “Vaporware,” as Paul Provost put it.

Image courtesy of Boom Supersonic

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