10 Things I Like About British Airways

Filed Under: British Airways

I have written quite a bit about living in London, and British Airways especially. A number of readers have noted that I am ‘yet another BA basher.’ While they are far from a perfect airline (and certainly not my favourite airline to fly), I am a proud Executive Club Silver (Oneworld Sapphire) member, and fly British Airways often.

There are plenty of things I like about them, so to show I’m not a ‘BA basher,’ here are 10 things I like about them:

1. Incredible route network

This is my favourite thing about them as an airline. They have a huge fleet and can connect you from and to places I might struggle to even locate on a map.

Budapest to Baltimore

Seychelles to Santiago

Montreal to Male

Tenerife to Tampa

(all via London of course!)

It’s fantastic to have an airline that flies to all major European cities as well as some  exotic destinations like the Caribbean.

2. 4,000 Avios redemptions

This is my favourite thing about Executive Club. Off-peak economy redemptions up to 600 miles (which is most places in Western Europe), are only 4,000 Avios off-peak.

If you’re flying to a major European city, you can often choose to depart from either Heathrow or London City airport. This is one of the best deals of any frequent flyer program in my opinion, and I’m actually amazed they haven’t devalued this yet.

3. Good premium availability on certain routes

I don’t expect to see two first award class seats available to Sydney leaving in a month. I’m realistic that they do actually sell plenty of premium seats without having to basically ‘give them away’ as awards.

But there are certain routes where I regularly see premium seats available year round.

The Middle East is probably the best example of this. They face heavy competition from the ME3 carriers, and their often superior products (to be honest I don’t know why they even bother to operate the DOH route at all).

If you want to fly British Airways in a premium cabin, there are certain routes you’ll have no trouble finding availability on.

4. Easy tier points status earn on partner airlines

I reached oneworld Sapphire last year with basically one trip on Qatar Airways. I found a cheap ex-EU business class fare to Asia and credited the flights to Executive Club. They have a very generous earning tier point award chart where you only need 600 tier points to reach Executive Club Silver (oneworld Sapphire), and the location of the Middle East means that almost all Qatar European flights earn 140 tier points to Doha and another 140 to Asia.

A return trip therefore nets 560 tier points, almost enough for Silver status.

You need to also fly four British Airways or Iberia segments, but this will also earn at least 40 tier points, adding up to your 600. Many oneworld programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer actually penalise you for flying partner airlines rather than the airline operating the program by offering lower status/tier point/credits, even if the airline operating the program doesn’t fly to the destination the partner does.

I would argue Executive Club is one of the most generous oneworld programs for earning status through crediting minimal premium flights operated by partner airlines.

5. Excellent last minute award availability

British Airways reliably releases last minute unsold revenue seats as awards. I cannot tell you the number of times this has saved me from requiring last minute, expensive revenue fares.

I went to Berlin for a ‘celebratory weekend’ and foolishly booked a cheap easyJet fare home on the Sunday evening. By the time the clock had struck midnight on Saturday night, I quickly realised the last thing I wanted to be doing on Sunday evening was boarding a flight home, so a quick check of ba.com revealed multiple 4,000 Avios flights on the Monday.

Problem solved.

6. They are the biggest operator at my favourite airport

No, it’s not Heathrow.

I’m not crazy.

I’m talking about little London City Airport, which is such a joy to use. When I lived in East London it was an 18 minute ride on the DLR, and I could be walking through my front door less than 30 minutes after the plane touched down.

It’s a great little airport. 20 minute check-in deadlines, quick security lines, easy boarding. I’m constantly impressed by the range of destinations British Airways flies to from London City.

7. Decent search functionality

You’ll often see Ben post oneworld award availability on a range of different airlines, and he will usually show a screenshot from BA.com showing either British Airways, or partner availability. This is because British Airways has one of the better search and display functions for oneworld airlines, and allows plenty of searching and booking online.

8. New T5 First Wing

Unfortunately my lowly Silver status does not allow entry to the new First Wing at Heathrow Terminal 5. Each time I’ve walked past it as I join the normal security line I look at it longingly, and wonder if I should reach for oneworld emerald status.

Ben reviewed the First Wing recently and found it to be a fantastic experience. While Cathay Pacific and Qantas have excellent first class lounges at their hub airports they do not provide a check-in experience for oneworld emeralds that is much better than economy passengers receive.

9. First Class on most longhaul routes

While several airlines like Singapore Airlines, United and Lufthansa are reducing or removing their first class cabins, British Airways continues to offer first class on most longhaul routes. While Ben has described it as ‘the world’s best business class,’ I’m sure he is glad they at least operate it. It allows you to fly first class to dozens of destinations.

10. 2-4-1 companion voucher

I’ll be discussing some UK credit card options in future posts, but anyone UK-based is probably aware of the British Airways American Express Plus Card, which provides a companion voucher each year when you spend £10,000. This companion voucher means that where you book two people return award seats on any British Airways direct return flight, departing London, in any class, you will only pay the Avios required for one person.

Unfortunately both passengers are still required to pay fees and taxes (including the UK APD and Britih Airways’ frustrating fuel surcharges), but it’s still a great benefit and can save people hundred of thousands of Avios, or thousands of pounds.

Bottom line

British Airways is far from perfect.

If Qatar Airways launched a similar route network from London, I would probably never fly BA again. But there are still lots of benefits in flying this airline, and being a member of the Executive Club loyalty program.

What do you like about British Airways?

Comments
  1. If one lives in the UK, BA is unavoidable, so one might as well appreciate it. If one does not live in London, there is no reason to fly BA, ever. The listed reasons are trivial.

  2. I like your posts, but do think that you need to brush up your knowledge of how airlines actually work. They dont just exist to provide premium products and best one another. This thought is revealed in your comment about why would BA even serve Doha, given that other products are better. Airlines serve markets due to demand and due to network connectivity, not just to best each other from a product perspective. Doha is in the BA network for two reasons 1) it’s a large local market from the London area. Despite BA not having as great a product as QR, there are still people who will choose BA for their flights, whether it’s because of loyalty program, convenience of flight times, or because of a corporate contract their employer has with BA. If it’s still in the network, it is because there is this local market; 2) network connectivity. AS you point out, BA has quite the network at LHR. This network not only provides for local traffic from London, it also allows connectivity. Plenty of markets can connect BA to BA flight, or even DOH – LHR – another city.
    These reasons are why, generally, BA has Doha in its network. If it werent worthwhile, BA would drop it, as it has others. Which means, Doha probably earns its keep from a profitability perspective, or else BA would drop it and utilize its slot pairs at Heathrow as well as its aircraft in another market.

  3. I haven’t flown business class on BA since 2014 so I don’t know if the 777-200ER product is different. I do like the rear facing window seats that feel like a private cabin even though there are no doors.

  4. In September, I’ll be having my first BA premium cabin experience, when I fly in F to JFK. I went for BA as I really want to try the First Wing, and I also want to travel in the nose of a 747 before it gets too late. Also, I used Virgin Upper to JFK two years ago, while I loved the Clubhouse I hated the seat, and I didn’t get the fuss about the Upper Wing, as you just funnel back into the main security queue, and still have to trudge through duty-free.

    I’ve used BA before, both for short and long haul (and always in economy), and I’ve never been impressed.

    My last premium cabin experience was SQ J, so it’ll be an interesting comparison.

  5. Most cities should airports like that. One smaller for the locals and one larger and further away for the transiting long hauls.

    Chicago, London, Tokyo all have it. Then there are other US cities that don’t because Americans take shit from their governments.

    They should stipulate that if you want slots at the main airport the ticket prices from the smaller airport cannot be more than from the larger airport.

  6. @Chuck pretty much nails it on the head. If you’re in/near London then BA is a good option. Elsewhere & you may as well choose the other, often better, options.

    LCY however is a hellhole of a dump. Far too small for the number of pax now using it. Security screening drags on forever, a rambunctious check-in hall, dreadfully overwhelmed F&B airside and no airline lounge unless you’re on the BA001, which even then gets busy.

  7. Also people that value privacy you can always get blinders/ blinkers. You won’t get an privacy but feel you have a lot of it. That’s what most of you are going for anyways.

    Privacy in a public space hahaha!

  8. C’mon now! For a family of 4, we can never find ANY redemptions on BA, let alone 4K Avios redemption!

    Well, unless you want to assist us finding seats SNA-YVR – AA and AS showing availability but not BA’s quirky search engine!

  9. Well, I like BA because it has a loyalty program through which I can sometimes get good deals on given partner airlines. The rapacious “carrier imposed surcharges” on award tickets mean I’ll never actually fly BA on other than perhaps a short haul route.

  10. @ Jason – my comment on the DOH route was more regarding the fact that Qatar Airways own 20% of British Airways parent company IAG, so BA and QR are hardly rivals, not to mention they are both oneworld members. This means there’s little difference to BA loyalty program members whether they fly on BA or QR, and QR have far more convenient flight schedules on that route (six flights per day vs BA’s one).

  11. @James – regardless of minority ownership stake in a parent company, alliance membership, or loyalty program, BA still finds it worthwhile to keep the Doha route. If not, it would go away.

  12. @Debit Chicago’s isn’t quite set up that way. It’s basically exclusively Southwest at Midway (including longhauls such as LAX, plus Delta and a few other randos like Volaris), everything else at O’Hare.

    Most major cities in the US aren’t set up like London/Tokyo/Paris where the main airport is an hour’s drive from downtown. Philly is 15 minutes, Boston is 15 minutes, all three of the NYC ones depend on traffic and where you’re coming from, Los Angeles has 5 options like London, etc.

  13. Quick security lines at LCY? Not in my experience: no fast track, peak times are horrendous and further complicated by people running late seeking to get to the front of the line, it’s the only airport I know that requires the liquids bag to be sealed ( rather than just stuffed), bizarre secondary screening around a corner with no indication that it’s needed, or signage to it.
    Yes, otherwise a great little airport, extremely convenient; but better for arrivals than departures.

  14. @ Paolo – I agree LCY is better for arrivals than departures. I’ve flown out of there on Friday evenings many times and never waited more than five minutes for security

  15. “If Qatar Airways launched a similar route network from London, I would probably never fly BA again. ” ^ I agree! How does everyone fly to London? I would take VS, for better service and all aisle access, but I hate herringbone seats. Any suggestions?

  16. I was getting in the mood for a bit of ranting, but I made to the finish line and:

    “If Qatar Airways launched a similar route network from London, I would probably never fly BA again”

    So you are on Santa’s good boy list again 🙂

  17. @ Jason – amusing you’ve tried to correct James, as I’m afraid you don’t really know what you’re talking about regarding BA and DOH.

    Most of your points are perfectly valid on other routes, but BA is very much keeping DOH alive for other reasons than because passenger demand is there – almost all of the former BA traffic to DOH has now switched to QR who will shortly be running 8 widebody flights at day LON-DOH vs. BA’s maximum of one. There probably is still quite a bit of cargo demand on the route (which is usually speculated as the reason the flight is still going), but even that isn’t enough lately – BA has lately been cancelling LHR-DOH for months at a time and the next scheduled BA flight to DOH is now in July. On days the flight does run, it’s not uncommon to hear reports of J and F having a handful of passengers in them. BA and QR have quite a complex relationship as James alludes to above, with BA now codesharing on many routes with QR as well as the sizeable shareholding.

  18. @james the 4 BA segments may only get you 20 tier points on the shortest economy routes. But I agree, my strategy these days is to take 1 Qatar airways ex-eu flight every two years for almost perpetual silver status (my tier year ends in July so if I take my Qatar flights in the autumn and collect my 40 tier points/4 segments in the summer) I’ll briefly drop to bronze/ruby until the Qatar flights credit)

  19. @ Aaron – VS has a very different route network to BA. I don’t mind VS Upper Class but I certainly don’t love it.

    Where are you flying from?

  20. @ Jason

    +1..you do not need to justify your
    comment it so understandable!

    Do I love BA? No!..Do I like BA premium cabins?..Certainly not!..Do I like Executive Club? Yes..What exactly? The easiest way to get Oneworld Emerald..Is there anything else which is mentionable or likeable in Executive Club? No!
    Would you recommend BA? No!

    So there you have it..No lies! No faking of answers!..pure and honest evaluation of BA..it is a great mileage bank and in which you can easily achieve OW status

  21. Don’t forget that Executive Club is going revenue-based at the end of the year, meaning the ability to ‘easily’ earn OneWorld is probably going to change!

  22. The last minute first class award availability is a real boon.

    Two of us were going to fly LHR-HKG-NRT last year on CX J, but at the last minute two seats on LHR-NRT in BA F became available. A quick call to the AA desk was able to cancel the CX tickets and rebook on BA. Of course it was a few more miles, but the direct flight was well worth it.

  23. James, when you mention about Qantas FF penalising those who don’t fly with Qantas it only applies to those routes they serve. So flying MEL-HKG and CX earns half of what a QF code does, yet flying HKG-PEK will still net you the same as it would (distance based) with Qantas.

    Also, when you talk about how QF doesn’t offer a premium first check in then you would be wrong again. Qantas have a first class check in room at both SYD & MEL which does lead into the terminal but makes check in very private.

  24. Thanks James. I am a proud BA Gold and while there is much that irks me, on a whole for my 7 odd years of flying them since moving to London I’ve generally had good experiences. For me, what I love most about BA: the crew. Flight deck and cabin. I have flown them A LOT and despite their rather ageing fleet, I feel very safe in their pilots’ hands (have had a serious incident to back that up) and 90% of the time the cabin staff have been excellent – the most personable, practical and relatable crew I’ve come across (having flown QF, AA, CX, EK, EY, AF, SQ long haul).

    Yes, flying is all about the experience – comfort, seat, food, lounge etc especially in premium cabins, but for me, and this may not be very cool to say so as most travel bloggers and commenters don’t seem to say much about it, safety is my no. 1 concern and I know with BA I’m in good hands.

  25. @ Aaron

    I had the same issue, and ended up going for BA F. I really hate that Virgin Upper seat. Sadly flying London to the US involves either BA or VS, unless you fly one of the US3, or EI via Dublin (which I considered).

  26. Hi James,
    Any comments on what’s happening with the issue of booking AA flights using BA Avios? It seems like there are well known problems and British Airways is aware of those problems, however, they keep saying that they are working on it. For more than three weeks I can not see any AA flights available, regardless of the destination or class of services. It is frustrating

  27. Agree fully with @Chuck Lesker. So many better ways to get around if you’re not stuck in London.

  28. One of the best uses of Avios has to be actually domestic flights in Japan or short/mid-haul on Cathay around Asia. Taxes are very low or non-existant. For HND-FUK for 4500 avios and £1.9 in taxes.

  29. ”They are the biggest operator at my favourite airport”

    The problem is that they are also almost not even an operator at my nearest airport, making my way down to Heathrow (or Gatwick… or City…) from the Midlands is a pain in the a*** most of the time and down right impossible without a night at the T4 Hilton otherwise. They are called London Airways for a reason. Although I thoroughly agree with the rest.

  30. @Julian

    That’s a UK problem in general sadly, everything is centered around London. Thankfully if you’re heading to Asia BHX and MAN run 380s from emirates but I do feel sorry for those based in Scotland.

  31. @Rain You do know that EY (for now), EK & QR operate eastwards from EDI & GLA right?
    And AY do the Scandi-Shuffle for a faster route to some Far Eastern destinations?
    Then there’s VS, DL, UA & AA heading westwards, or you can easily hook up via DUB using EI.
    Plus AC & the other Canadian operators, plus DY + MT.

    Don’t really think those living in Central & Southern Scotland need your sorrow.

  32. One of the insane things that frustrates me about business class travel from the UK is the extreme disparity in fares versus travelling from, say Amsterdam.

    Yesterday I booked a return BA business class flight from AMS to BKK, via LHR for £1224. This was on BA’s own website, not via an agent. The same flight starting from LHR was over £2500.

    So ok I’ve got to position to AMS before the flight but that will cost me £47 and a few hours. For a saving of over £1200 I don’t mind to do that.

    Does any one know why there is such a huge difference in fares when it actually costs BA more due to the connecting flights between LHR and AMS. Both in Club Europe for what it’s worth.

  33. @Steven Quick version – people/companies are willing to pay the higher price for a non-stop flight. Did you look to compare it with what KL charge for their non-stop from AMS? That will then give you the starting point from which BA have to compete ie: undercut

  34. James. I tend to agree with most of your points regarding BA. At the end of the day for all their faults they are consistent. My real issue is the lack of destinations in Europe and Asia. They do a terrible job of serving much of the former Soviet republics and communist countries. I would prefer not to fly on Qatar Airways. Just not a fan and an international transit on S7 through Moscow is always risky. BA and OneWorld are forcing me to choose Star and Sky.

  35. @meta
    Another great use for avios is for domestic flights within Australia on Qantas. Loads of availability and low taxes (e.g. Brisbane to Sydney for 4,500 avios plus £12.10 in taxes).

  36. @James,

    Thanks for your post, I think some of the positive points you raise here are very often overlooked on this blog, particularly the amazing value on London to Western Europe redemptions with Avios. This of course applies to London-area residents more than anyone else, but the fact is, I can earn enough miles for a free trip to Europe with virtually every longhaul round trip I take.

    The first wing is a fantastic experience too, for those of us that use Heathrow a lot. That alone (along with access to AA flagship lounges and QF first in the States, is a pretty powerful motovation for leeping gold with BA.

    It is quite far from the perfect airline but offers a consistency, network and some sweet spots in the FF program that are still attractive, and not deserving of all the (sometimes quite excessive) hate they get on here generally.

  37. @Stevek
    British Midlands used to fly to quite a few CIS cities (Baku, Almaty, Yerevan, Tbilisi…) but after BA bought BMI, they were soon discontinued

    I’m currently based in London, and I often fly both Eastward (Asia) and the USA
    When it comes to their North American network, BA’s terrific.
    They fly to more destinations in America than any other non-North American airlines. Combined with frequency, it’s just easier to fly BA non-stop.

    What other European fsc serve FLL other than BA? none
    (I am not a big fan of a long drive before flight… so driving over an hour to MIA is a deal-breaker)
    I’m assuming have BA kept 757s, they would be flying to more medium-sized cities

    But looking Eastward, BA’s barely existent.
    Only five cities in East Asia gets BA service: Tokyo (HND and NRT), Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai and HK
    There’s no Osaka, Nagoya, Taipei, Chongqing on their map.

    BA’s not really bright when it comes to serving non-English speaking, non-Commonwealth part of the world I guess…

  38. At one point in time I would’ve always flown British Airways. I still remember travelling on Concorde and I have my boarding pass for that flight framed in my living room. It is genuinely sad that BA has fallen from grace to become the butt of jokes and an open goal for complaints. I wish that BA would return to their former glory but alas it is not going to happen. I agree with many of your points on BA. I find their first class to be good but not great and Club World to be acceptable but not outstanding.

    I just wanted to say how refreshing it is to read an article that isn’t just complaining about BA and I have really enjoyed reading your posts James.

  39. If you get companion certificate via Chase BA Visa, is that certificate valid on one way award flights or only on round trip?

  40. You may not be a British Airways basher but I am. They deleted 115,000 Avios of mine even though I had used one of their partners (Hyatt) and showed them the receipt. So I sued them and after they sent an attorney from another city to court, BA offered to pay all court fees and to restore the points by a time certain. They didn’t restore the points they’d agreed to so I sued them again, this time asking for the cash equivalent to what they would charge me to buy the points.

    They defaulted on their appearance and I was awarded a financial judgement plus 11% interest. BA appealed and sent the same attorney (six hour round trip by car both times) who lost the case again. I asked him if he were afraid to fly but he didn’t respond. I’m sure they paid him far more for his travel time and two court appearances than what they owed me but were arrogant from the first day I informed them of the deletion of my points. They have flaunted US law by not paying the judgement which is still active. The only good thing about BA’s arrogance is the clock continues to tick at 11% interest. I’ll be taking them to court again soon. Don’t trust British Airways.

  41. @ Jeff – for a European airline, their East Asia route network is pretty decent. I can’t think of many European airlines that fly to Nagoya or Chongqin!

  42. @ Luke – I’m currently drafting a ‘best uses of Qantas points’ article that touches on this very subject : )

  43. @ Stevek – are there European airlines that serve ‘much of the former Soviet republics and communist countries’ though? That’s what you will be comparing BA to.

  44. @ Steven, @ mkcol -I think one of the guest writers may have touched on the reasons BA can charge a premium for non-stop flights from London ; )

  45. Last week I was able to purchase a BA Codeshare flight on the AA site and used the 2 x $100 BoA Premium Rewards Travel Incidental AA Gift Cards I bought and received credit for (one last December and another on January). My destination is always Krakow and I fly out of IAD so this will be a nice change as I haven’t been back to the UK since 1996 when I last flew BA.

    Sure it’s only economy but for me the destination is the main reason I travel and for a complete price of $718 I’m not complaining.

  46. @ James

    As one of the commenters who accused you after your first post of being a BA basher, it was good to read this nicely balanced view.

    One thing you wrote really struck home with me:
    “If Qatar Airways launched a similar route network from London, I would probably never fly BA again.”

    QR has already taken pretty much all my long-haul business when flying east out of London. Flying west there is little significant competition (VS is a party airline, not for old farts like me; and, as I keep quoting, the US3 fly non-stop from LHR to just 8 destinations between them. BA flies non-stop to 23. Pause for a moment in wonder at that statistic).

    Someone complained about the low number of BA’s eastern European destinations, which British Midland used to fly. Much as I loved BMid, they were going bust. Cause and effect?

    London is a problematic hub for the UK, tucked away in the bottom right hand corner. LHR slots are so valuable that the number of domestic flights is far lower than you’d otherwise expect. For me it’s usually easier on short haul to fly from my local airport to AMS and transit there to a direct flight (KLM’s European network is good for me).

    Finally, another shout out for the First Wing. LHR is usually my originating airport for longhaul and the First Wing transforms the quality of the experience. I understand BA is looking to replicate it at T3 (which, I was staggered to learn, is now used by 20% of their LHR flights. So much for LHR’s “strategy” of one terminal per airline alliance – T5 is too full to take all BA flights, let alone those of most partners. Though LHR has always been a shambles, a living proponent of the British philosophy of “make do and mend”.

    Like many on here, I’m really enjoying your posts, James.

  47. @The nice Paul

    That is an incredible statistic about BA now using T3 for 20% of their LHR flights.

    Does anyone know why IAG continues to use T5 for Iberia as well, when BA has to run so many flighhts out of T3? It wouldn’t make a huge dent in that 20pct but at least would be more consistent to have T5 solely for BA use as it originally was and run Iberia flights out of T3 with the rest of OW?

  48. @Kerry T5 isn’t big enough to accommodate all of BA’s operations & I don’t think it ever was going to be. So the split over to T3 will remain for a long time.
    They’ve chosen the flights to remain there based on connections not just between BA but within Oneworld.

  49. @James

    While their route network to Russia itself has been cut back Lufthansa in combination with Austrian flies to many former Soviet countries.

    Since you struggle to find fairly common BA destinations on a map, can you find Ashgabat? And Ashgabat International Airport.

    Sure I’m being an asshole, but you asked for with that list of the BA’s incredible route network.

    Outside the Baltic nations BA only operates to Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg of the former USSR states. LH and OS in combination operates to 4 cities in the Ukraine alone, not to mention to 7 former USSR countries that get no BA service.

    Might I suggest that you fire up google flights and do the following?
    Pick a city in western Europe with service for both BA, LH and OS
    On airlines select either BA or LH/OS only
    Pick 2 stops or shorter
    And then compare the difference in the number of blue dots in Europe, especially in eastern Europe.

    It’s not strange really, BA is slots constrained in all of their hubs. So it makes sense that they go for the more juicy targets rather than secondary cites.

  50. @James

    You are right not many EU airlines at all.

    Nagoya
    Lufthansa and Finnair

    Chongqing
    Finnair

  51. @James

    AF-KL and Lufthansa flies to a lot of obscure cities in East Asia
    AF-KL together flies to places like Xiamen, Guangzhou (though not a second tier) Wuhan, Hangzhou etc…
    LH alone flies to Qingdao Nanjing and Shenyang

    Japanese air travel market’s been stagnant for past decade (there are less Japanese going abroad, but foreign tourist visiting Japan (mostly from neighbouring countries) has been booming ever since) so 2nd tier Japanese cities has been getting less love…

    Being a devout Oneworld flier, getting to second tier Asian cities mean connecting through Helsinki. But I love Finland and Finnair so I’m never unhappy with a brief stop in Helsinki

  52. BA needs to start a mini-hub operation in Manchester with 787s to cities like Dallas, New York and LA.

    We won’t see a new runway at Heathrow within next decade. So for BA to expand their operation, I think a bit of love for Manchester and other UK cities won’t hurt.

  53. There is also the consistency of CW.
    The seat is far behind the best offerings from many airlines, but it’s flat and the seats with worst access are better than the worst seats in the worst ‘planes in the fleets of EK, QR, TK, AA, UA etc.
    I can guarantee a good night’s sleep in CW, but not always on those other airlines.
    Credit to EY for their worst ‘planes/seats at a higher standard.

  54. @ Bagoly – I can’t seriously write anything positive about the Club World seat. It should have been replaced years ago.

  55. The issue with airlines heavily discounting fares commencing in a 3rd country, eg, the BA AMS-BKK via LHR, is fairly common. Thai Airways does it routinely for flights ex KUL, SGN, MNL to Australia ( often 30-40% lower than direct). Isn’t it an attempt to take market share away from the ‘home’ airline in that city ? So, in the BA example it’s KLM, for TG it’s VIetnam, Malaysia etc.
    Traveling at lesisure, I like to take advantage of these “deals” but it must be a PITA for people with families/those on tight schedules, needing to pay a premium.
    It’s a pity that KLM rarely responds with anything cheap out of London, nor does Air France.

  56. Great article James. I think your posts are great and are considerably more representative of the European (British) traveller. This blog has long been so focussed towards American credit cards and American travellers but I think it is great that someone has spoken up about all the great things that BA offers. From someone who travells alot out of London BA is unavoidable but considering the zero competition in the UK for frequent flyer status and points they offer a great product.
    Also, London City is a fantastic airport. If you want to “relax” in the airport for a few hours before your flight then this is not for you but if you want to make the most of your day in all the awesome things that London has to offer and then arrive 45 min (on reliable public transport) prior to your flight then it is awesome!

  57. James, welcome. Whatever you write will be dissected by a few. The majority of responses are just to add information. We welcome them.

    I like the crew on BA vs AA. Free drinks in moderation of course. Food is equal.

    May I ask how I can redeem my AAdvantage miles as a Platinum. Business from Mow-Lax. Never available other than 2-4 days before leaving. AA will likely show BA business mow-Lhr and economy on AA in economy Lhr -lax. A very poor redemption of miles. I prefer AA flights for 1-2-1 seating vs BA

    Should I book on BA for a better chance?

    Again welcome.

  58. BA was my airline of choice, will never forget that I got to fly on their Concorde, the REAL BA001 flight. They had fully flat first class seats in the 90s when most other airlines first class cabins wouldn’t even be a good business class product today (and their biz class products would pass for economy+ today lol).
    But other airlines did improve and innovate much faster than BA did.

  59. @ Bob Moscow — That’s unfortunately normal on the LAX route, as that space is very difficult to come by. I’d look at connecting in Dallas, Chicago, etc., as you can always streamline the itinerary later on for no fee.

  60. @P.S. you can use your 2 for 1 certificate on any one way trip. It doesn’t have to be round trip. The only kink is that the trip has to start from US.

  61. BA would cancel the Doha route if it can, but it’s joint venture with Qatar and Qatar owning a percentage of IAG are making this impossible as they don’t want it cancelled. They are however cancelling the flights for months at a time, and from July it’s been downgraded to a 787 which is only 216 seats to fill a day. It will be interesting to see who ends up winning, BA or Qatar.

  62. Nice article.

    One small edit: The card you refer to at the end of the article is actually the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card…

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *