Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 1999 4:42 am

Good Transatlantic Services

Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:03 pm

I know this has probably been done a thousand times, forgive me, but being that the search is down...

Anyway, I have only done a transatlantic flight once. It was this past June, I went on tour with my orchestra from Philadelphia. We ended up flying AF JFK-CDG-VIE and later Prague-CDG-JFK. I was sorely disappointed with AF, as happy as I was do be on a 744, the flight lacked the splendor I thought it should have. I think some of the problem was the mundane paint scheme and the tight seat pitch in coach (AF A320's had more legroom). The 744s' ptvs were pretty cool, they had trivias, movies, games, cartoons, music...so much than any ptv I have ever seen.

I'm just curious to know what airlines are best for jumping the pond, my bassoon instructor always flys BA PHL-LHR (or sometimes Gatwick) and she loves the service. What are some other good ones?

RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:15 pm

Most recently, I've done American transatlantic to London/Gatwick and Paris/de Gaulle. All on B767-300, London in Business (two-class config) and Paris in coach. I thought all flights were excellent. The B767 does not have PTVs, but I wouldn't use them to watch the new release movies anyway, especially since I've seen the movies shown on those routes several times on other AA flights lately (such as transcon or to Caribbean from DFW). Exit row on the B767-300 in coach had excellent legroom. The meal was alright, but I'm not flying for the meal. I was more than happy with the audio selections.

Business Class on AA was excellent. Great dinner service with good food. Personal DVD players with a selection of about 20 movies were distributed for use with Bose Noise Reduction headphones. Movies ranged from new releases to older ones like a James Bond movie with Connery or Silence of the Lambs. Comfortable seats with good recline and great legroom.

I've also done London in coach on AA's B777. From what I recall, I didn't even use the PTV once. Legroom in the aisle of a center section was good and food was average.

Continental over the Atlantic.... Legroom was poor, food was okay (a single croissant for breakfast was poor). Flying a B757 transatlantic wasn't pleasant.

And TWA... nobody could compare.
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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:14 am


I've flew transatlantic flights a few times, mostly with BA, the last ones were PHL-LHR and JFK-LGW, one was in a 744 and another in a 763, both with BA. I have to say that the service was excelent, I flew both with my family in economy and BA did a great job. From PHL I flew a brand new 744 with PTV's and it was an excelent tool to pass time, you can see 2 movies and when you notice you're almost there. The food was good too and the F/A's took a good care of us. In the flight from JFK to LGW I enjoyed a lot the configuration of the 767-300, 2-3-2, so very convenient and the plane is excelent, so from the experience I have BA is indeed a great option.
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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:25 am

Virgin Atlantic are great. If you get v:port then the flight will go really quick

It has 15 games, 52 movies (cinema releases and more), up to 50 cds for the inflight jukebox on your PTV and a lot more. You'd be inspired Big grin

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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:42 am

I'll second Virgin Atlantic.

It is also the only airline since my Wardair-flying days that hands out sweets prior to landing so you have something to chew on and your ears pop less. To me, that's pretty much the best measure of their care about passengers. A nice, old fashioned airline that cares. Plus, great IFE, of course.


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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:29 am

I'll add my opinions to this thread. I've flown several airlines on transatlantic flights. All flights were in economy.

-I've flown Delta on five transatlantic flights (ATL-BRU MD-11, BRU-ATL MD-11, CDG-ATL 777, ATL-FCO 777, MXP-ATL 763), the most recent of which were the ATL-FCO and MXP-ATL flights which were about a month and a half ago. I found the MD-11s to not be the most comfortable aircraft to fly. The seat pitch wasn't great and the seat wasn't too comfortable. I found both of my 777 flights on Delta to be quite comfortable. The PTVs are nice too. On the ATL-FCO flight, I was in a bulkhead, which was wonderful. The 763 was fine. The seat pitch seemed average and the seat wasn't bad. As for the service, I have found Delta to be very hit or miss. The flight from CDG to ATL was the best flight I've ever been on. The service was really good. The ATL-FCO flight though had some mean wrinkly bag serving the row I was in. She seemed to be offended by the very presence of people on the airplane. The other flights were in between. Delta does a lot of drink services, but they don't give too much food.

-I've flown British Airways just once from ATL to LGW. The aircraft was a 777. The plane was marginally comfortable, but not great. The seat pitch was pretty tight. The seat was comfortable, but very thin, so every time the person behind touched it, I could feel it. That wasn't really a problem, just an observation. The service wasn't the amazing service that I'd heard about on BA. They were certainly kind, but it was not incredible. Maybe they were just having a bad day. I've only flown them once, so this could have just not been one of their better flights.

-Swissair is the other airline I've flown on transatlantic flights. The flights were ATL-ZRH and ZRH-ATL, both on A330-200s. These were really great flights, second only to the CDG to ATL flight on Delta! The seats were very comfortable, albeit a bit tight in pitch. I would describe the flight attendants on both flights as kind of "cold" but very profesional. They gave the best service I have ever seen in my life. I believe at the time Swissair was ranked number one in the world for their economy class. Sadly Swissair is gone, but if Swiss is anything like Swissair, they are a great choice for transatlantic travel.

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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:42 am

I'll second that. Fly Swiss, and you won't be disappointed. VS is a good chocie too, but fly Swiss if you can!
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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:47 am

In my experiences:

Virgin Atlantic
Swissair (before SWISS)

British Airways


Pan Am

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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:34 am

Out of the 4 airlines I've flown, here are my ratings:

1. Air France: IAH-CDG (1x 742, 1x 763, 2x A343)
Never had a bad flight since my first flight back in 1988. The 763 was cramped, but the service was excellent. Don't remember the 742 very well, I was only 3 at the time. The A340 was a pleasure to fly. Spacious, smooth ride, quiet. My only complaint was that the wall curved inward too quickly and encroached upon my headroom. Complimentary champagne in coach, excellent food. Very friendly f/a's. CDG ground staff is a diff. story though...
Overall: 95

2. Continental: IAH-CDG (1x 772)
Good service, good food, love the CO 777 fleet. Great planes. Great flight for a domestic airline. Service was only slighly below that of Air France.
Overall: 90

3. KLM IAH-AMS (1x 744)
Friendly service, so-so food, ample room. Showed 3 movies on each flight (all the other airlines I've flown to Europe on only show one). All in all, good flight, but nothing spectacular.
Overall: 85

4. American DFW-CDG (1x MD-11 1x 763)
Loved the MD-11, too bad they're gone now. The 763 was cramped. Service was average, food was average. Just an average flight. Nothing spectacular. Poor comfort on the 763 really was a factor, but this was before MRTC.
Overall: 75

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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:07 am

Ratings (of those I have flown long-haul):

#1 - CO (2x)

#2 - DL (7x)

#3 - AF (1x)

#4 - UA (2x)
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RE: Good Transatlantic Services

Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:49 am

I would take Virgin Atlantic or British Airways if I can afford Premium Economy or World Traveler Plus respectively. Otherwise, American's 777's have decent leg room and PTV's. Air New Zealand (which, as of July 2002 at least, passed out sweets before landing) also has a flight from LAX to LHR last time I heard, and their 747's have decent leg room but no PTV's, and very friendly service in general. I've also heard US Air's A330's have better than average leg room.

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