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BA or Delta Better Economy?

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Fumanchewd 10 Jan 19, 21:17Post
I have a last minute JNB business trip for four weeks leaving next week. My two options for PHX -JNB are BA 747 PHX-LHR and 380 LHR to JNB or Delta PHX-ATL-JNB on a321 and a 777.

Three obvious considerations are that 1. Delta through Atlanta is about 5 hours faster and 2. I would like to fly on BAs 744s one last time (I typically fly to Europe on Lufthansa) I would like to try BAs 380, I flew the 380 once before on SQ and it was just another cramped airplane to me. 3. The Delta flight has a long domestic leg on a a321.

I'm just a low rung manager and my cheap company only gives me economy.

So, I've been under the impression that Deltas product was minimalist and cramped while BAs was superior. But the 747s are old and I don't believe these birds were the ones given the 2016 retrofit (?). Plus I hear complaints of recent BA service. So all other factors aside, is the service and cabin remarkably better for Delta or BA economy?
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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Zak (netAirspace FAA) 10 Jan 19, 22:02Post
DL being 5 hours faster would sell it to me, but I do understand the appeal of a 744+388 combination.

I think DL really improved a lot in recent years, to the point where I do prefer them over BA at the moment. As for crampedness, they certainly are better, albeit not by much.

I'm not sure how BA handles Y+, but I think they sell it as a separate fare class. With DL, you book a standard eco fare, and then get Y+ by paying a separate seat reservation fee for one of their "Comfort+" seats. Which usually is rather reasonable, and definitely worth the money on red-eye flights. Even if your company won't pay for it, you can still buy it yourself.

If you go BA, do get an exit row seat on the A380. BA has the same slave ship Y configuration as LH on the A380, which I find claustrophobic. On my only BA A380 flight (MIA-LHR), I had seat 80J (standard eco, uppder deck, exit row, aisle), and I think that is the best seat you can get in Y. Costs extra, though.

If you go DL, try to get row 29 on the 772. These are Comfort+ exit row seats. It's as close to business class as you can get without paying for it. If you don't want to pay for Comfort+, I can't really comment on the standard Y seats, as I've never been in one myself.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
ShanwickOceanic (netAirspace FAA) 10 Jan 19, 23:22Post
Never flown Delta. But ask cornish. {mischief}

I flew a BA 744 that was tired, sorry, and (at least as far as the interior was concerned) well overdue for the desert. And that was four years ago. So if the birds you're getting haven't had a refit, I dread to think what they look like now. I had many happy teenage memories of BA 747s from bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic as a teen, and they should have stayed as memories. If you haven't flown them in a while, be prepared for that one last time to make you glad it's the last.

Overall, I'd concur with Stefan. ATL's pretty much bang on the great-circle route! On the other hand, while 5 hours is a long time, it's far more so in Y than in the airport, so I'd think about how much of that extra time was being spent where. And oneworld owns my soul, so there's that.
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
For it is the number of a man; and its number is One hundred threescore and twelve.
Fumanchewd 12 Jan 19, 06:00Post
Ah, I went with Delta. The delays in LHR and extra (6 hours actually) is just too much for a 744 ride.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Fumanchewd 16 Jan 19, 03:28Post
It is interesting, that according to great circle, its only about 800 miles difference but results in 6 hours difference. Those winds up north must kill it.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
ShanwickOceanic (netAirspace FAA) 16 Jan 19, 09:38Post
That is interesting. I guess you'd have a screaming tailwind on the PHX-LHR, and you'll be battling a headwind on the southern end of the ATL-JNB.

What are the timings like on the return flights?
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
For it is the number of a man; and its number is One hundred threescore and twelve.
miamiair (netAirspace FAA) 16 Jan 19, 10:14Post
ShanwickOceanic wrote:What are the timings like on the return flights?


    Johannesburg (JNB) to Atlanta (ATL) — Thu, Jan 31

    Delta 201

    Dep: 8:55 pm

    Arr: 6:45 am

    16h 50m

    Boeing 777
And let's get one thing straight. There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician; the other is an artist in love with flight. — E. B. Jeppesen
Zak (netAirspace FAA) 16 Jan 19, 10:51Post
DL1470 PHX-ATL
DL200 ATL-JNB
Total travel time 21h23m (including 2h28m layover)

BA288 PHX-LHR
BA51 LHR-JNB (788, btw)
Total travel time 23h55m (including 2h45m layover)

So the difference in flying time is only 2 hours. Any additional difference should be the result of a longer layover.

There is an interesting option via JFK and DOH with QR, that involves a 359 or even 351, depending on the date. Seems to be even cheaper than BA and DL, though also somewhat longer (31h15m including both layovers).

But I guess suggesting a gulf carrier to you might be considered as flamebait. ;)
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
Fumanchewd 17 Jan 19, 07:12Post
Lol, sorry my bad on the layover mistake. Its funny, I would fly QR, but I would never fly EK. Although Qatar is not the pillar of freedom, I have worked with both and have seen how both countries and companies treat people- and will just leave it at that.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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