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Whats The Better Option? KL Or BA To MAD?  
User currently offlineWN738 From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 153 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4472 times:

So i have finally decided to take a trip to MAD, and for me at the moment there's only two options i am considering; a KL departure; LAX-AMS-MAD on a 747 combi then a 737 to MAD, or a BA departure on a 744 LAX-LHR-MAD...i have flown on KL but not for quite a while; have not been on BA (for all intents and purposes). I am completely unaware which airline would provide a more comfortable/fun experience, and just wanted to get some opinions, also i know AMS is an excellent place to connect in and i have a 3.5 hr lay over so that seems good, but the LHR connection is only 2hrs...from what i have been told LHR is a living nightmare to connect in under any circumstance, so not sure if i could make that connection....

This is all in Y class BTW

Any suggestions or opinions? I'm leaning toward BA, just because i have heard so much about their service.

Thanks

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4455 times:

For me no question KLM. I would much rather go through AMS than LHR, assuming price and schedule considerations are comparable.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25205 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4453 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 1):
For me no question KLM. I would much rather go through AMS than LHR, assuming price and schedule considerations are comparable.

Agree. Assuming you're flying Y class, the convenience of connecting at AMS would be my major reason for choosing KL. And there's little if any difference in inflight service, especially in Y class. LHR is also more prone to delays since it's almost always operating at close to 100% of capacity. In my experience, it's rare to arrive in LHR without spending up to half an hour or so going around in circles in a holding pattern. That's virtually unknown at AMS.

The only thing (leaving price aside) that would make me choose BA over KL in Y class would be if KL was using their cramped 10-abreast 777-300ERs on the transatlantic flights. Same would apply for any other 10-abreast 777 operators like AF or EK.


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4375 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
if KL was using their cramped 10-abreast 777-300ERs on the transatlantic flights.

No, as the OP stated the flight is operated by a B74M - which still gives a 10-abreast seating though.

Quoting WN738 (Thread starter):
from what i have been told LHR is a living nightmare to connect in under any circumstance, so not sure if i could make that connection....

While I have no own experience, many travelers have indicated that connecting at LHR's new Terminal 5, which is used by BA, has changed the connecting-experience totally (to much more positive).
Still, this does not positively affect any arrival and/or departure delays caused by LHR operating at 100%+ runway capacity most of the day.

AMS or LHR T5 ?
Surely a mixed bag.
While AMS has no problems with delays, even when winds are unfavorable, there are two things that put me off:
1. Flying LAX-AMS-MAD you will have to cross from AMS's non-Schengen hall into Schengen-hall. The resulting passport control is okay, but often intentionally understaffed, as immediately behind the booths the new security check will be performed, which can be more than busy at times. Especially in the morning with all the arrivals from the U.S. looong waiting times can occur. Not good of you have been sold a 50 minute connection or so, as it will be another 15 minute walk toyour gate if departing from B-gates.
With 3.5 hours to make the connection, there is plenty of time though.
2. Coming back MAD-AMS-LAX, you will change from Schengen hall into non-Schengen-hall, which initially will be a passport check only.
The real hassle will start when you arrive at your departure gate for LAX: A new security check will be performed at the gate's entrance, which causes looong queues frequently. If you choose to show up at the gate early you will die of boredome past the new security check - and starve as there is no way to get any food or drinks.
At the longhaul gates you will be lucky to have a toilet past security, but many gates in D-pier handing flights to european non-Schengen destinations lack any sort of toilet past the gate-security check. So, there also is no way to stock up on tap water past security there.

Those shorter flights I had been taken with KL (and KLM Cityhopper) recently were nothing to write home about. So, if you have no expectations, you will not get disappointed when choosing KL ...

I can't comment on BA's product, as they have been neglecting to serve my homebase for years now.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25205 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4356 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 3):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
if KL was using their cramped 10-abreast 777-300ERs on the transatlantic flights.

No, as the OP stated the flight is operated by a B74M - which still gives a 10-abreast seating though.

That's why I said "IF" KL was using the 77W, which they currently aren't. I have no problem with 10-abreast in the wider 747 cabin, although I would still choose a 2-3-2 767 any day over all other widebodies.


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4346 times:

Have flown on both BA and KL between LAX and their respective hub, and neither carrier offers better service than the other. Instead I would go with the carrier that offers the best schedule.


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 673 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4346 times:
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I lean towards BA. I've always liked their service and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in and out of T5 at LHR. Although some of my friends in the U.K. are more critical, I really have not found any criticism of BA and its service. Food is as good in Y as can be anticipated on anyone, and I always find the crew to be friendly and professional.
I doubt I would find fault with KL as well.....have not flown them TATL....and any ride on a 747 is OK by me so a bit of a hard call.
If down to fare comparison, go with the cheapest fare option....maybe consider buying up to WTPlus or EconomyComfort but otherwise be pleased you got a good deal money-wise and a trip to Europe with memories that last a lifetime...and not that the "mystery meat" on Brand X ruined your trip! If it tastes bad, just order another beer or wine.........



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 6):
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in and out of T5 at LHR

Yeah, but the MAD flights operate out of T3, which will complicate things further.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4313 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 7):
Yeah, but the MAD flights operate out of T3, which will complicate things further.

Oops. Now that, indeed, make things more complicated at LHR with a 2-hour connection.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4286 times:

Quoting WN738 (Thread starter):
.from what i have been told LHR is a living nightmare to connect in under any circumstance, so not sure if i could make that connection....

No its not! Years ago yea, but now that is not the case.

Quoting HT (Reply 8):
Oops. Now that, indeed, make things more complicated at LHR with a 2-hour connection.

Min connect from T5-T3 is 1:30 so 2 hours is plenty. The airside bus from T5-T3 is 10 minutes (And the drive across is really good) and the security point in T3 has just had a refresh and is very nice now.
BA/IB have plenty of flights of MAD flights and should the LAX be slightly late and you miss (13), the staff in T5 or T3 can rebook you there and then on the next flight.


User currently offlinerwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3094 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4267 times:

All things considered, I'd do KL through AMS. AMS is a better transfer experience, especially considering that you'd have to change terminals at LHR. Also a plus that you'd be able to go through immigration in AMS during your layover, rather than at MAD on arrival.

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3573 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4242 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 9):
BA/IB have plenty of flights of MAD flights and should the LAX be slightly late and you miss (13), the staff in T5 or T3 can rebook you there and then on the next flight.

Surely this has to be the most relevant point. any flight can be delayed be it BA KLM or whoever, which airline offers the best departure times from LAX to suit your needs, and which one provides the most connections to MAD ? Plus who offers the best connections on the way back.
As has already been said, once you check in its down to the airline, if they screw up, its their job to get you the connection, they can't do it though if they don't have the flights to start with.

BA have 3 flights per day LHR - LAX and flights at least every hour from LHR - MAD


User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1357 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4190 times:

That said KL can rebook you to AF/KL/AZ/DL in case of irregularities, too....

User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4186 times:

Quoting reifel (Reply 12):
AF/KL/AZ/DL

None would be direct other then the KL flight though


User currently offlineWN738 From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 153 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

Thanks all for your suggestions  

While BA really intrigues me, i will be going with KLM. Ill make sure to hit up BA next time though, when i visit London hopefully. For now it looks like ill be with KL for the out bound flight and AF for the return; guess i just could not avoid that nasty 77W  
But at least i got one of the 2 seats in the very back of the 77W. I look forward to going to LHR next time when I'm not on such a tight schedule...the horror stories were just too much for me   

If only i had enough time and money to visit MAD AND London....   


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4148 times:

Quoting WN738 (Reply 14):
the horror stories were just too much for me

Dont believe everything that you hear. LHR has changed 10 fold since those stories were first told. Its nothing like it used to be


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