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

June 04, 2021
6 min read
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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

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"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

Neither

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

Featured image by Image courtesy of Boom Supersonic
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
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The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
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Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
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TPG Exclusive Offer
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.