IB J or AA F?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by smsando, Aug 3, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. smsando

    smsando Active Member

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    Using AAdvantage miles to fly ORD to MAD in September. Currently booked in J on IB nonstop, but now seeing availability in AA F going ORD-LHR-MAD. Is the difference between AA F and IB J worth dealing with LHR?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Welcome to MP smsando!

    It's hard to say and really depends on what you value when you travel. The 12.5K miles difference between J and F is pretty small, so overall the cost difference isn't too bad.

    Both carriers offer full flat products in their F (AA) and J (IB) cabin respectively, so the comfort for sleep isn't too large of an issue. Obviously the AA Flagship suite will have more space for you to utilize with a desk and more sleeping/dining/relaxing room. Food in AA F is not that much different than what is served in AA J but the presentation might be nicer. IB's catering is rather mediocre from what I've heard, though I cannot say I have personal experience with it. Both IB and AA use AA's Admirals Club in ORD. If you are an OW Emerald in IB class or have an AA F seat, you can use the Flagship lounge. Otherwise you will be relegated to the standard AC offering in ORD which is rather lack luster when compared to many other lounge offerings around the world.

    It's late and I'll admit I'm rather scattered right now, so I'm going to miss some details regarding the differences in the two products. Overall, I think the 12.5K might be worth it, but others would see the same scenario and tell you to save it for another trip since AA's F product isn't nearly as nice as some other airlines offer.

    One side note: Are you absolutely certain your seat from ORD-LHR would be on AA metal? AA metal in F and J has been much harder to secure recently, and most people find that their flights to Europe that route through LHR are actually on BA. If it is on BA, the F experience will be much nicer than AA F or IB J, however, you'll be paying heavy YQ and if you are looking for a free ticket, you'd be looking at some very expensive fees.
     
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  3. smsando

    smsando Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply! It's AA metal (and I was pretty surprised to see it myself).
     
  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Put it on hold, before it disappears. ;)
    Based on David's comments, I would pick AA in F. The surcharges going east are not bad. For a westward journey I would rather avoid LHR due to higher surcharges and inconvenient schedules.
     
  5. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I would stick with IB J.

    A few reasons....
    1-Nonstop travel is always ideal
    2-Your connection from lhr would be in euro regional j, more like E+ in the US (though with better service)
    3-European carriers are generally nicer than US carriers. I'd take BA j over AA f easily, if that were the comparison and both flights were nonstop
    4-AA's international premium product is pretty weak. Here is my experience earlier this yr. I think mine was worse than average, but is indicative of what is possible. http://upgrd.com/sitinfirst/tokyo-a...7-purportedly-first-class-narita-express.html
     
  6. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Are taxes always higher going east than west?

    If we're talking about APD, that doesn't apply to connecting itineraries ...
     
  7. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Goint west TATL usually takes higher surcharges. I'm not sure about all gateways, but LHR def has a departure tax. I don't think it applies to connecting flights in Europe, but perhaps someone can expand or correct us on that.
     
  8. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    APD does not apply if your connecting flight leaves within 24 hours.
     
  9. firstglobal

    firstglobal Silver Member

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    I flew IB J recently for the first time and really liked it - it's not AA F, but for your itinerary I would personally prefer it. You'd be trading 12.5k miles and significantly more travel time for a bit more room, a bit more formal catering, and access to the LHR lounges (which I know are quite popular with the crowd on here).
     
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  10. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    I'd go with AA F in a heartbeat! Much nicer experience. In addition to everything DD said, I'll add that AA gives you PJs (90% polyester but people like them) and the lav-to-pax ratio is much better (2:16). Plus Bose noise-cancelling headsets and made-to-order ice cream sundaes.
     

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