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Old 02-01-2010, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Hi,
This is probably a silly question but I need to ask: for those of you who have flown BA to the UK during the Summer months (June, July, August) how horrendously packed were those flights? Does BA squish on more rows of seats to accommodate as many passengers as possible? Is it worth spending the extra to get a better seat in Premium than plain old Economy?

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:20 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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I flew BA to London last summer at least 3-4 times (from Denver). It varied. Sometimes it was very full, and other times I had the seat next to mine empty (rarely completely full). On average, it was more full going to London than coming back to Denver (one time the flight seemed only a third full).

Regardless, I didn't feel too cramped in regular BA Economy (it could be my imagination, but I felt United and American's coach seating to be tighter -- flew United coach to Zurich once last summer - never again).
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Thanks - maybe I'll just risk it. Premium is another $500! I'm more concerned about being comfortable enough to get a few hours sleep. Is Economy 3-4-3 or 2-4-2?
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:49 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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It's 3-4-3.

I should caveat that I travel a lot both domestically and internationally (to Europe and Asia), almost always traveling in regular economy. Plus I'm not a big guy. So I'm used to getting comfortable, relatively speaking, in the admittedly cramped seating.

It obviously helps if you can put your bags in the overhead compartment and keep your leg-space empty. On the BA flights between Denver-London, the overhead bins usually have a lot of space to spare.

Unlike domestic airlines, BA in Denver does check (visually) your carry-on bags (even if you check in online, you still have to check in at the desk/gate at the airport) to make sure they're the right size. I've seen them check people's roll-ons at the gate because they looked too big. My roll-on was j-u-s-t within their stated dimensions but it looks a lot bigger than it is -- so the gate agent said I couldn't carry it on. I firmly stated that it was within the allowed dimensions and they allowed it on without another word.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 6,241,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
Thanks - maybe I'll just risk it. Premium is another $500! I'm more concerned about being comfortable enough to get a few hours sleep. Is Economy 3-4-3 or 2-4-2?
BA does not modify their aircraft for summer routes. 2-4-2 layouts in Economy class are found only on Airbus widebody aircraft and BA flies Boeing metal on long haul routes. Boeing 747's are 3-4-3, 777's are 3-3-3
For a seat map, see: British Airways General Information - Customer Service Telephone Numbers, Airline Links, and Partner Airlines

Is the comfort worth the difference? Depends on your budget, of course, but Premium Economy often offers pretty good value, IMHO, for west coast/central US flights. I think it's less of a deal from Boston, where the flight to London is not very long.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:05 AM
 
Location: rain city
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The Brits complain about BA constantly, but I've had good experience with them.

Helluva lot better than any of the US based trans-Atlantic airlines.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:11 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,367 posts, read 39,702,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
The Brits complain about BA constantly, but I've had good experience with them.

Helluva lot better than any of the US based trans-Atlantic airlines.
Agree.
I've flown BA in the summer months out of Denver and everything was fine.
I always have enough room to sleep, but I am under 5'7".
The most crowded I ever saw it was a BA flight in March--we were on our way to London and the flight was packed with red-faced Brits who had been skiing in the Rockies.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
7,958 posts, read 12,379,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
The Brits complain about BA constantly, but I've had good experience with them.

Helluva lot better than any of the US based trans-Atlantic airlines.
Not me, I fly back and forth between the US and UK a lot but only flown on BA once and probably never will again. For starters, their entertainment system was inferior to US Airways - US Airways has an "on demand" system where you can choose to start watching something from the beginning whenever you want. BA had a system that just ran continuously in a loop so if you missed the beginning of a movie, you'd have to wait until it was over to catch the beginning again.

Secondly, there was something weird that happened with the meals. When they started bringing the meals out, they seemed to be giving them to select people, one of them was even the woman next to me. They did not seem to be special meals in anyway (like vegetarian or allergy free) so I couldn't understand why these people were getting their meals first. It was totally random - the woman next to me was served and as I sat there eagerly awaiting to be asked which meal I want, I was completely ignored as they carried on asking a few people in front of me what they wanted! They even collected the trash from their meals before everyone else was even offered a drink! It was just getting to the point when I was about to say something when they finally brought out the food for everyone else - more than an HOUR later!

It's been years since this flight and I'm still baffled by what happened. Never experienced anything like it and everyone I have told about it doesn't understand what the reason for it was either. The only thing I could think of was that either these people paid extra to get their meals early (but everyone I speak to says BA doesn't offer this kind of service) or maybe they somehow overbooked first/business class and asked some people to switch to economy, promising them their meals first to reduce complaints.

Whatever the reason, I realize it was probably a fluke and not likely to happen again... but still, given the inferior entertainment system, I'd much rather fly US Airways. The only airline worse than BA was Continental - they didn't even have individual screens on the backs of each seat - there was just a TV that hung down from the ceiling every few rows and you didn't get a choice of what to watch.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:03 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,367 posts, read 39,702,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
N The only airline worse than BA was Continental - they didn't even have individual screens on the backs of each seat - there was just a TV that hung down from the ceiling every few rows and you didn't get a choice of what to watch.
When did you last fly Continental?
We flew Continental last spring and it had the individual TVs on the seat backs.
The 767 did not have the ultra-cool touch screen AVOD system, but there was plenty of entertainment available.
A friend flew AMS>EWR on a Continental 757, and he did have the kewl AVOD system.

I've never had your bizarre meal experience, but I have a feeling that anyone who flies enough will have a goofy story from just about any airline.
This is why I have never shown a particular loyalty to any *one* airline.
I operate by convenience and price.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
7,958 posts, read 12,379,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
When did you last fly Continental?
We flew Continental last spring and it had the individual TVs on the seat backs.
The 767 did not have the ultra-cool touch screen AVOD system, but there was plenty of entertainment available.
A friend flew AMS>EWR on a Continental 757, and he did have the kewl AVOD system.
It was only a few years ago but I imagine not every plane/flight has the same entertainment system even within the same airline.

Quote:
I've never had your bizarre meal experience, but I have a feeling that anyone who flies enough will have a goofy story from just about any airline.
This is why I have never shown a particular loyalty to any *one* airline.
I operate by convenience and price.
Of course - I've had one bad experience with US Airways too but I still fly with them most frequently mainly because they usually wind up with the lowest fare for a direct flight to/from Philly/Manchester. But having flown with them frequently because of that, I know what I'm getting with them so if the fares for other airlines are around the same price, I'll always go with US Airways. I'll only go with another airline if they are significantly cheaper because no one airline is worth paying a lot more than necessary. But now that I have an iPhone I can play movies on, I'm not as particular about the entertainment system anymore so we'll see.
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