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Best Airline LAX To Europe  
User currently offlineAirVB From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 268 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7436 times:

My family and I are tentatively discussing a trip to Europe next summer.

My question is: what airline would recommend to fly on from LAX in terms of seat pitch and comfort, entertainment, cabin service, etc.? Also, what airline would you recommend from a commercial aviation enthusiast's standpoint, and what would be the best airports to make connections in if needed?

We probably will go to LHR or LGW first, then go to different places in Europe thereafter. We don't necessarily need a nonstop flight.

Thanks for your help,

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTekelberry From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1459 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7416 times:

I would pick AA. They have MRTC (More Room Throughout Coach = more legroom) and have an extensive alliance network in LHR. AA also has winged headrests, comftorable seats, personal entertainment systems. Did I mention the extra legroom? Big grin

If your final destination is London, perfect. Non stop flight from LAX to LHR on AA. There may be other LAX-Europe flights on AA as well. If not and AA flys there, you can make convenient connections in DFW, ORD or JFK. If AA doesn't fly there, take AA to LHR and make a convenient oneworld connection to BA.

[Edited 2003-08-27 06:21:31]

User currently offlineOH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 7371 times:

I highly reccomend either United Airlines or British Airways, if you are travelling to London. Having flown with both of these airlines, their levels of service (in Economy) is excellent. My BA flights were a bit more recent than the UA one, so I may be comparing apples to oranges. BA has an excellent World Traveller seat with comfortable headrests, lumbar support, and 12-channel video PTV's, accompanied by 12 channels of audio, as well as AirShow. Meal services were delicious, and the Raid the Larder service in the galley between meals was an excellent touch as well.

United as well have PTV's in their 777's, as well as winged headrests. The meal service is good, and the staffing nowadays doesn't include as many "senior f/a's" as they used to. It's all up to timing, depending on what you want. If you feel like connecting, SFO has a noon-ish United departure which gets you into LHR first thing in the morning (like 6am), whilst the rest of the flights get you in later in the morning (starting about 11am)


Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3441 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 7351 times:

NZ has a great Y product on this route.

16 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2015
User currently offlineA330Fan1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 856 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 7324 times:

Hey, I've flown LAX-Europe quite a few times, all on different airlines:

LAX - AMS (KLM, 1994)
LAX - LHR (British Airways, 1999)
LAX - MUC (Lufthansa, 2001)
LAX - ZRH (Swiss Intl Air Lines, 2002)

...and I must say that the best one was probably the KLM flight, only b/c I was 8 years old and they gave me toys and such and actually PERSONALLY attended to me all the time, which was awesome...next was BA, which was a good flight...LH and Swiss were ok...take an aisle seat, I suggest...I understand that 2 very good airlines offer service to LHR from LAX:

1) Virgin Atlantic
2) Air New Zealand...you should try these out (I haven't), people I have spoken with who took these airlines on that route enjoyed it very much.

-Regards, A330Fan1

User currently offlineB-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7294 times:

I recommend Air New Zealand - great customer service and seat pitch (34 inches). Unfortunately the entertainment system is a bit outdated with no PTV (main screen programming instead).

User currently offlineTravellin'man From United States of America, joined May 2001, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7275 times:

I can suggest this:

Try flying non-stop to Europe, then change to where you want to end up, and yes, London is the cheapest destination with the cheapest onward connections (thank you Easyjet and Ryanair!). This is infinitely better than flying from LA to the East Coast, and then across the pond. Direct to Europe you leave in the afternoon, and arrive later in the day in Europe as well (can get to the hotel and go to sleep almost right away), but on a one stop through JFK or ATL, for example, you have to leave LA by 7-8 AM, change planes, and then fly overnight, and arrive super early the next morning, when you have to wait to be able to sleep! Such a hassle.

I've had good experiences on KLM, United and Lufthansa.

It is not enough to be rude; one must also be incorrect.
User currently offlineKillerbabe From Netherlands, joined Aug 2003, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 7246 times:

I have experience with KLM and UA are both okay, but I prefer KLM.Plane is bigger and staff is more open...

User currently offlineElal106 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 975 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7159 times:

depending on where in europe you want to go.....??

If you would like to fly into LHR/LGW i would recommend American Airlines with their 777s or Virgin Atlantic with their 744s or a340-300s. Both nonstop to London Heathrow via LAX. If you want better service in these days i'd go with virgin, they are excellent!!

Swiss is always great as well if you want to fly non-stop to Zurich from LAX.

Good Luck,

User currently offlineGoing64 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2002, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 7104 times:

If money doesn't matter than flying to London is ok. Fares from the US to London without a stop elsewehere in Europe are often quite expensive.
Amsterdam is well known as a transfer airport and several LCC's fly from there. Actually outside the UK it's the biggest hub of Easyjet.

User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1879 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 7004 times:

I am surpised noone mentions Air Tahiti Nui, from LAX to CDG
It is one of the favorites amongst the spotters.
And the trip reports I have seen in the forum are good.

Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineDC-10 Levo From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 3432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 6985 times:

Virgin Atlantic fly from LAX to LHR and LGW (I think it's both.)

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User currently offlineIloveek From Netherlands, joined May 2002, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 6925 times:

I recommend KL LAX-AMS-London. AMS is a good hub and KL might have cheaper fares then BA. If you definitely want to fly to London I recommend Virgin Atlantic!

User currently offlineMotorhussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3716 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 6911 times:


Air New Zealand (NZ) always wins the top awards for passenger service etc and they've got a great on-time and safety record, new and well maintained aircraft (744's on LAX - LHR), as well as nicely appointed and decorated cabins. Yep flown them a lot and would highly recommend them. Also, being part of the Star alliance, they link in with BMI, Lufthansa, Austrian, SAS etc for codeshares in Europe.

Downside - no personal IFE for coach passengers - no lie flat beds in business - no suites in first.

come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineGibberish From Switzerland, joined Sep 2000, 424 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 6822 times:

Fly Swiss International. As of November this year, they will be using the brand new A340-300 on the LAX - Zurich stretch. I'm assuming you're travelling coach, so here's what the A340 has to offer:


Connecting in Zurich is also great. The new Terminal will open in September this year. Practically the whole airport is refurbished (at least the Swiss Intl terminals) with loads of shopping. The good thing is, it's not huge and not crowded like the big hubs, but it nevertheless has great connecting oppurtunities to all major European airports.

If you are an AAdvantage member, you can collect miles on all of Swiss Intl's flights. Enjoy your flight!


User currently offlineShamrock104 From Ireland, joined Sep 2000, 524 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 6782 times:

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User currently offlineAirVB From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 268 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 6634 times:

Ok, thanks everyone for all your help. My dad is a UA Mileage Plus FF, but from what people say Air New Zealand sounds good (34 inch pitch for him). Can you accure UA Mileage Plus miles by flying on NZ?

I've always wanted to fly KLM, but I don't think it's going happen this time because of FFP, seat pitch, connecting (my dad likes nonstop, unfortunately). I've been on UA many times, but since he has final power, we might be on the United nonstop.

User currently offlineKAL744 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 6609 times:

I have best experiences on Air New Zealand and on KLM for this route.

User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1699 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (12 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 6575 times:

Only flown VS & BA on this route (both fly to LHR) - and therefore cannot comment on the American carriers or other European carriers.

if flying economy then VS wipes the floor with BA. Seat pitch is about the same, however in flight entertainment, food, and service is better.

The big problem with BA economy is that the TV remote is fixed on the top side of the arm rest. If you have a space greedy neighbor, then their elbow can keep getting in the way! VS don't have this problem, as the remote is detachable, and mounted on the side of the arm rest.

Also flown upper class on VS on this route (superb), but have not flown club world on BA so cannot compare.

if flying premium economy on VS, it is best to fly the 747 (VS7 / VS8) as their seats are more comfortable/modern than those on the A340 (VS23 / VS24) - and you get the chance to sit on the upper deck!

However I far prefer the standard economy (coach) on the A340 compared to the 747.

Hope this helps.

User currently offlineDtswi From Portugal, joined Aug 2001, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 3 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6496 times:


I would recommend you as well to fly on Swiss: brand new and state of the art comfort in all classes.(new 343 from LAX next year)!


User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 3 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6416 times:


I choosed SWISS flying from Portugal to LAX. They had an good service and the connections worked perfectly, at that time ( December 2002 ) they still used the MD11, so it was not the state of art airliner but it went great. If you plan to make a tour in Europe infact Switzerland is in the middle so you can get great connections via railways or by plane or car. Now SWISS is changing to the new A340-300 so you'll have the chance to fly a brand new airplane with PTV's ( the biggest in economy ) and with 36 channels, including games for kids!!!

User currently offlineKjet12 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 976 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (12 years 3 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6402 times:

I've never flown Air New Zealand, but I know a bunch of people who have, and said it was spectacular service.

From my experience, either UA or AA.


AA - Doing what we do best.
User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2047 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (12 years 3 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6367 times:

I would fly on Virgin Atlantic. They were a fabulous airline and they give you a goody bag when you get on. They had great food, PTV's, great flight attendants, and more. The seats were pretty comfortabe and the atmosphere in the plane was enjoyable.

My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
User currently offlineAndrewAir From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (12 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6335 times:

I have flown SFO-LHR on Virgin Atlantic 4 times and British Airways 5 times and I think BA is the best airline to fly to LHR.


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