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schweizair
Topic Author
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:54 pm

British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:39 am

Has anybody flown both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways several times? Who delivers better service, on-time performance and seat comfort? I will eventually be flying to Europe quite a bit over the next several years and would like some input from other frequent fliers. Please, no bashing or personal attacks on either carrier.
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:45 am

They are pretty much the same. Its more down to the route and a/c type...
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 5317
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:46 am

If you're going to be flying them both quite a bit over the next several years, I'd recommend flying Virgin once, then BA once and making the decision yourself based on those flights as ultimately you're the only one who can make the decision.

What might be right for you might not be right for everyone else - and vice versa.

Cheers,

Trent.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10199
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:11 pm

If you are going to flying a lot over the next few years then the issue might end up being frequent flyer programs. That was my situation when I started flying to Australia on business in 95. Learning to play the FF game kept me in oneworld - which means AA for you if you use AA's FF program - but some great free upgrades at top tier.

After you determine the FF program it is a matter of looking at other benefits, like credit card providing miles, etc.

Benefits from loyalty over a period of time can be significant. I'm almost at 3 million miles lifetime to date, which keeps me pretty loyal!
 
COTXDFW777AA
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:36 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:12 pm

If you are in a FFP program here that could influence your decision.
If you are w/ CO Virgin then. With AA you will not receive much or anything for BA across the pond. Both airlines have a premium economy and IFE (Virgin's is probably a little better).

-COTXDFW777AA
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:09 pm

I used to prefer VS, although that was a few years ago. I'm still not fond of BA since I've never had a decent flight with them, except LHR-GLA once (the return made up for it when my carefully wrapped and tagged "fragile" baggage turned up less fragile (ie it was by that time useless after being dropped from the plane)).

CO miles [on Virgin] seem far more user friendly than BA miles, where you only get 25% of the miles flown unless you pay full fare. CO you get the lot no matter what fare you paid.

Geoff M.
 
Shamrock_747
Posts: 1499
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 3:25 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:21 pm

I'd happily fly accross the pond on either airline. Both have 31" seat pitch in Economy/Traveller and good IFE, though the newer Virgin Odyssey and v:port systems are better than BA Omnia. I've found the service and food to be equally good on both airlines. If you're going to be flying to European cities other than London, BA's Euro Traveller service is excellent - leather seats, complementary bar service and meals/All Day Deli snacks.

 
Horus
Posts: 5131
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:04 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:22 pm

I've flown with BA most recently on BA902 LHR-FRA with a 763. The flight only had like 30 passengers, so the attention given to passengers was very good. They kept going around giving extra portions for breakfast. We managed to depart and land on time. I was expecting some form of IFE on the almost 2hr flight, but there was nothing.

I also flew with them on their LHR-CAI-LHR route with a 744. The flight was absolutely full yet again service was amazing, the meals were nice (though a bit small) and the IFE was fantastic. We were delayed for around one hour at Heathrow but managed to land in Cairo only 10 minutes late.

Overall, BA is a really good airline but since I haven't flown with VS iI can't compare the two.
 
Businessboy
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:24 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:27 pm

Id go with virgin, seats are better in their Airbus aircraft, still Ba has some good seats but not on all of the aircraft types.........

 Smile
 
tjr16698
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:06 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:50 pm

I'd agree with a few of the other posters. Both airlines are excellent in terms of service, although they offer a different "feel" which will lead to some people preferring one over the other. BA goes for the old-school of solidity, reliability and courtesy, whereas Virgin tries to create a younger, less formal feel with the emphasis on very friendly cabin crew.
ClassicLover's suggestion of trying them both once to see which you prefer is a good one.
My personal preference is for Virgin, due to the fact that it's relatively easy to get to Silver status in the Flying Club. This allows you to check in at the far less crowded Premium Economy desks, even when flying cattle class. I'm also one of those people who likes the relaxed friendly feel over more solid formality.
I've never really got on too well with BA tier points, they seem to continually remove them from my account when I'm not expecting it, so I've more or less given up. Having said that I'm using some miles to fly LGW - PSA with them on Wednesday.
One final point, not to be forgotten, is that both still offer free "refreshments" on their flights.
Hope this helps!
cheers
TJR
 
richardw
Posts: 3168
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:47 am

On overnight flights do you get a freshen up complimentary kit in economy on both airlines?
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20868
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:52 am

Horus: The 767s are a bit too old for IFE in the wrapper. Also, since the BA ones are not used much for long haul, there really is no point installing it.

I think it's a bit unrealistic to expect IFE on a 2 hour leg, but it sure would be nice!
 
tjr16698
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:06 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:05 am

Richardw wrote:
"On overnight flights do you get a freshen up complimentary kit in economy on both airlines? "

Well you definitely do on Virgin and I'm pretty sure you do on BA as well, I seem to remember getting one coming back from BOS just before Christmas. Not as good as the bag of stuff you get on the outbound leg on VS though!cheers
TJR
 
Horus
Posts: 5131
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:04 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 2:37 am

Starlionblue

I wasn't expecting PTVs or anything like that, but I was expecting to watch something on their overhead screens like Only Fools and Horses or Black Adder rather than have a blank screen.
 
DABZF
Posts: 1063
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:25 pm

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:09 am

Both are good - I think. Good and friendly service. I still prefer Virgin. Maybe because of the bit more relaxed athmosphere. Also their FF program seems to be much better.

Oh, and I love the colorful scheme in the cabin/seats - some might think it's bit tacky though.

I have never flown Virgin in "monkey class" so don't know about that!
 
amhilde
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:01 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:28 am


Im in the AA FF program and am silver in VS and I have to say that I almost ALWAYS book with airlines in the VS program. Here in the US i have an excellent selection of CO, DL, F9, and HP that will all feed into my VS account with minimal fuss and with 100% miles credited. I even get VS tier points for Y flights over 2000 miles. You also get mileage through BMI, SAS, and Austrian in Europe, and Singapore, ANA, Malaysian, Gulf and ANZ for the rest of the world. Frankly thats more than enough for me- the terms are liberal, the transfers apparently easy, and everything is explained in black and white for the VS FF club.

Now last fall i thought about taking a super cheap BA flight from LAX and wanted to know if it would feed into my AA or vice versa. Well cripes, it took me AGES to plow through all the information and i realized just what a crap deal for miles and how long it took to get free tickets and everything on AA, as compared to virgin. And you only get so many miles from BA from over in Europe credited and it seemed like a crazy mess.
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:53 am

Hah, BA, tell me about it. I'm still attempting to get my Emirates mileage added to my BA Executive Club total. That was in November and I'm still waiting...

Geoff M.
 
by738
Posts: 3183
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2000 7:59 am

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:10 am

Didnt know you got BA points when flying Emirates...they're not part of Oneworld are they ?
 
b741
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:09 pm

RE: British Or Virgin?

Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:07 am

I have never flown VS but a friend who has says they are the best. BA and VS are probably roughly the same.

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