AA metal v BA metal for AA EXP?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Aktchi, Jan 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    My wife (Gold) and I (EXP) would be flying a US-UK-India-UK-US trip that will be mostly AA flight numbers but we have the choice of AA metal or BA metal on US-UK part.

    If I understand correctly, the BA metal/service is supposed to be better (not much personal experience, thanks to their YQ, and also because AA had ORD nonstop fpr a few years which trumped all other considerations). However, we are likely to have more privileges with seat selection etc on AA metal.

    So, my question to those EXPs among you who have the experienced both: How do these two balance out? Are you better off on BA which may be better on the average, or on AA which may be less good on the average but you have better picks among whatever exists?

    Speaking of that, what are an AA EXP and a companion's seat selection privileges on BA?
     
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  2. nldogbert

    nldogbert Silver Member

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    Not sure which class you are referring to specifically, but if economy (and to a certain extend in J), service-wise, BA is slightly better compared to AA. Especially from food and alcoholic drinks options point of view. Crew- can be a hit or miss just like AA (though I do think AA crews do get a higher vote - sometimes I think the BA crew are not so engaging).
    As for privileges, I do agree that you will get more help if something goes wrong or assistance is needed if you stick with AA.
    For seating privileges, I believe you get the same privilege as any Emerald members. I did not notice any special nor reduced privileges.
    The only plus with BA all the way is the hard-product. Real flat bed in J, and better cabin conditions back in coach.
    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!
     
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  3. chz2215

    chz2215 Silver Member

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    Do emerald members have to pay for premium economy or can you buy economy and get seats in premium for free?
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Facing this choice frequently I choose AA over BA unless in F, in which case access to the T5 Concorde room at LHR makes me take BA. IN J I prefer AA because of service and the abysmal seating Club World, even though it is a flat bed it is very uncomfortabler and impossible to extract yourself if you're in a window seat. AA is far easier to deal with. YMMV, as always.
     
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  5. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    And I thought I was the only one with that impression! We think a like!
     
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  6. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I'm curious if you're basing this feedback before or after experiencing AA's newly revamped catering service for premium cabins?

    AA will be adding fully flat J seats that will arguably be nicer than BA's current offering on routes from JFK, DFW, and LAX in the near future. Doesn't help from ORD, but this advantage will shrink or disappear depending on the route for some folks.

    Are you talking about on AA or on BA? On AA, the MCE (main cabin extra) seats are still considered economy seats and are offered free to EXP, PLT, OW Emerald/Sapphires, and until the end of 2013 for AA GLD/OW Ruby. On BA, World Traveller + is considered an entirely separate cabin and upgrades are only offered in exchange for cash, miles, or as op ups.
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    We do live in then same town, after all.
     
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  8. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    No, you're not alone. As far as economy, while BA's food can be better, it depends on what you like to eat. I've seen some options so pungent it stank up the cabin and the smell lurked for a while.

    :)
     
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  9. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    In the days when cabins used to have "Smoking" and "No Smoking" sections, one of the jokes about Korean Air was that their cabins should be divided into "Kimchee" and "No Kimchee" sections; a variant was that sitting and breathing the air in the Kimchee section provides "natural garlic healing". :) (The jokes came from Korean students, so I post them with good conscience.)
     
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  10. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    You may have posted this as a joke, but believe me, it is not a joke! My wife and I recently flew LAX-DFW in F on AA. The couple behind us broke out their kimchee almost immediately after the wheels left the ground... and everyone in F was able to enjoy their meal... well... at least through their nostrils! Now I understand every culture has their certain foods that they enjoy, but how about being conscientious about your fellow passengers? OK, I my rant is now down! :D

    Boy, that was off-topic, wasn't it!
     
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  11. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Could not agree more with this statement! I flew LAX-LHR last year on an AA issued ticket but on BA metal 747. While the food and service in J were comparable, the seats were terrible! I am truly looking forward to AA replacing the J seats for the TATL flights... hopefully they will be better than the wedgie seats they have now! :p
     
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  12. DestinationDavid
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    Having flown the seat AA will be using on on my recent CX flights, I can give you my assurance that they're a vast improvement. :)
     
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  13. nldogbert

    nldogbert Silver Member

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    My comparison is mainly based on service in coach. In premium cabin, having not yet having the opportunity to try out the new service, but looking at the pictures and description, AA does seem to be leaping forward ahead of what's still being served on BA. Going back to coach, food wise, I still think BA has the slight edge. From drink's point, you can still get hard liquor for free on BA compared to just wine and beer during meal service and that is it. Also for non-alcholic drinks, BA do have slightly more choices compared to AA. Even in premium cabin, AA has more tea offering compared to AA. So here BA wins hands down.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Whenever I have traveled to India on BA, my bags have not reached the same day. Not sure if this should affect your decision.
     
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  15. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I've only flown BA in Y a few times (LAX-LHR, LHR-IST-LHR), but I do prefer the BA food offerings from that limited experience. I'll be doing LHR-JNB-LHR in BA Y toward the end of May, so I can give more feedback at that time. It's been awhile since I've been in AA Y, especially internationally. I think my last AA Y flight across an ocean was BOS-LHR in 2011.

    I know you're not the only one who has had baggage issues with BA. Paging jbcarioca....!!!
     
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  16. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I know I am not the only one :). Most of my friends traveling on BA have faced similar problems.
     
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  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    3 lifetime flights on BA metal including 1 TATL E/B. BA lost our bags AMS-LHR on the return, they missed us at our next connection in MIA and took 3 more days to catch up with us in AUS. At one point they were apparently in SJU. :)

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  18. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Here I am concurring with your comments. BTW, full disclosure demands that I admit the BA loyalists insist there is no longer a problem of any sort at T5. I would not know because i no longer will transit LHR or any other London airport.
    The service and seating issues are ones of opinion and YMMV.
    However LHR is saturated with traffic so even the most trivial weather, union or otehr disruption has enormous follow-on consequences. BA handles irregular operations very poorly, even for elites.
    BTW, this cannot be resolved by using LGW, by far the highest volume single runway airport in the world. Anything at all, even a burst tire (tyre) can shut down all operations at LGW.
    LHR works pretty well as a destination but is horrible for connections if anything is irregular at all.
    The better solutions for OW into Europe from the US, in reliability terms, are AA anywhere but London, and IB and AB too, with much less potential disruption. AB still works well in Tegel despite the delay in opening Brandenberg.
     
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  19. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    OP here. This has been an eye opening discussion. Apparently, grass is not greener on the British side. :)

    I too love to avoid LHR connection, but for an AA person, there aren't that many options between US and India. IB, AB, don't fly to India. AY (Finn Air), RJ do but don't have the adequate capacity or schedule. Overnighting at HEL is common if you use AY.

    I am sure that QR (Qatar), MH (Malaysian), UL (Sri Lankan) joining OW will improve the situation, and I also keep hoping that AA itself will start serving India once again. However, that's in future. For our flights that are only a few weeks away, we shall be enjoying LHR connections. :)

    I decided to remain with AA on US-LHR-US flights. For LHR-DEL, BA was very expensive (who is surprised?) and after brooding over fares+schedules we ended up with AI. Of course, that means no lounge at LHR while waiting for the AI connection, but I'll put up with that inconvenience to save $1000 on our two tickets. Return DEL-LHR will be AA codeshare on BA metal.

    Will let you know how it went: how the AA, AI and BA compared in coach, and if our bags made the BA flight with us. :)
     
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  20. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I was in the same boat as you a few weeks ago, I opted for an EK connection to an AA flight. Atleast with EK I can earn AS EQMs

    I too have vowed not to transit through London. I go out of my way to avoid it. BTW, one of my friends recently traveled with BA (US to India) and her bag was delayed 2 days. So, I am not sure how much T5 has helped.
     
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