Some people are very happy to have a flight experience from one continent to another one. However, someone has no special feelings about it due to regular flights to various destinations. At the same time, even a long-haul travel can bring joy if you opt for a premium class cabin. Nowadays, a majority of airlines attempt to offer a business product different from the accustomed services rendered by competitors in the air. As you know, a competition gives rise to evolution. So, if you had a premium class experience a couple of years ago, you would be pleasantly surprised to the new features and peculiarities available on board.
The capital city of the United Kingdom offers six different airports to meet the needs of thousands of customers. However, only four of them operate flights from/to the US cities. The largest share of flights from the USA is covered by Heathrow and Gatwick airports. However, the passengers from New York can also land in the territory of London City, and those who fly from Orlando are welcomed at Stansted Airport.
A choice of air carriers is much bigger than the selection of airports. Various prominent air companies are ready to deliver you and your luggage to the UK capital city from LA, NY, Boston, Las Vegas and other US cities. So, choosing the best business class to London should not be a lottery. For this reason, a comparison of three leading airlines is introduced. Today, you will learn what features are offered by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Delta Airlines. In addition, we will try to answer whether these companies deserve the title of the best airlines to London.
Comparison of the main features offered to the premium class customers
|#||British Airways A380||Virgin Atlantic A340||Delta Airlines A330|
|Checked baggage||2 bags (70lbs/32kg)||3 bags (70lbs/32kg)||2 bags (70lbs/32kg)|
|Carry-on baggage:||1 bag (56x45x25cm/22x18x10in)||2 bags (56x36x23cm/22x14x9in)||1 bag (56x36x23cm/22x14x9in)|
|Lounge + staying fresh||Elemis Spa||Spa services + free facial||Showers and necessary toiletries|
|Seats||2-4-2. 97 seats with an option of conversion to a flat bed. Direct access to the aisle.|
Pitch – 72in
Width – 20in
|1-1-1. 45 open suites. A seat can be converted into a flat bed. Direct access to the aisle.|
Pitch – 79.5in
Width – 22’in
|1-2-1 (reverse herringbone). 34 seats that can be turned into flat beds. Direct access to the aisle.|
Pitch – 80in
Width – 21in
|Amenities||Amenity Kit by Elemis||Amenity Kit by Herschel||Amenity Kit by Malin + Goetz in the bag by Tumi.|
|In-flight entertainment||10.4in flat screen. A wide selection of content. On-demand service||11in display. A limited selection of the content.||18in high-resolution display. A wide selection of content.|
To make a fair review of these best airlines to London, we opted for business class products based on the Airbus models namely A380 for BA, A340 for VA, and A330 for DA. So, let’s start with the ground.
VA is the most generous business class airline to London in terms of luggage options. However, the total weight of your checked baggage is the same of all competitors. The same situation is observed for carry-on luggage. By the way, all companies allow another item (laptop or suitcase) in addition to your hand luggage.
Any air journey starts from the ground. A passenger has to accomplish certain procedures before boarding. All the airlines offer a privileged check-in opportunity followed by an accommodation in a lounge area. Here the most interesting begins.
The British Company has a special name for their lounge areas – Galleries. This is the place to have a rest before a flight and satisfy the inner man. Passengers are offered with buffet and made-to-order options to have a meal. Selections of various beverages and snacks is a usual thing for any BA lounge. A special recommendation is to relax at Elemis spa. A customer’s verdict on the BA ground services is outstanding.
Virgin Atlantic also prefers an elegant name of a lounge area – Clubhouse. Each Clubhouse is a spacious area offering multiple attractive features including a curving bar. The lounge interior is fascinating and can boast of designer outfit and leather. The passengers who are lucky to get discounted business class flights to London can enjoy a wide selection of snacks and cocktails at VA Clubhouse. Long-haul customers will be glad to attend spa services and relax in the shower or at other treatments.
Delta keeps to the trend of names and uses the title Delta Sky Club to call its lounge areas. In fact, DA makes effort to turn a regular lounge into a comfortable and luxurious place for customers to relax in a private bedroom or a shower. A major characteristic of Sky Club is spaciousness. At the same time, customers do not experience some restriction in dining options. However, premium wines and liquors are not charge-free.
Do you know that it is not necessary to be a billionaire to travel in the best business class to London? Indeed, all features offered by this luxury product are available at reduced cost at various websites. But let’s keep to the topic. Although each business class airline to London is represented by an Airbus aircraft, seat configurations are not the same.
BA has the largest number of seats located in the 2-4-2 scheme. However, a seat has the smallest dimensions among competitors. Actually, such configuration with the seats facing towards each other provides a lot of privacy. However, the middles row has two adjoined seats. Besides, all them are very narrow. If you need more space, it is better to opt for aisle seats.
VA provides the most spacious configuration since the board of A340 offers no separate first class cabin. There is an upper class, which is great. It total, 45 personal suites are available in the cabin in the herringbone array of 1-1-1. However, the overall spaciousness of the cabin does not provide the same effect for each seat separately. Actually, customers admit an insufficient space even despite considerable dimensions. If you are tall enough, you will feel uncomfortable.
DA has not given a surprise since a reverse herringbone scheme of 1-2-1 is the typical configuration for the most premium class products. However, this premium airline is considered the best solution in terms of convenience. It has the same seats convertible into bed and a direct aisle access but the customers’ feelings are quite different. Delta One is created for a pleasant trip in both vertical and horizontal position.
It is always difficult to review dining options since every person has own peculiar taste. Nevertheless, we should admit that all companies showed a great result related to gastronomical satisfaction.
The menu of the board of BA is like a book. A customer gets a detailed description of available wines and dishes. It is a good solution if someone is not a gourmet and has no idea about the meaning of a certain dish. By the way, a selection of spirits is impressive.
Regardless whether customers choose full-price or discounted business class flights to London, each DA flight starts with a serve of a glass of champagne. The rest dining experience resembles a visit to a restaurant. Actually, the DA menus for the premium class are created in collaboration with prominent dining establishments.
Elite customers of Virgin are also treated with champagne before take-off. The service is polished and fast. It is unlikely to find a complaint of VA passenger about the dining services. Everything is up to the mark. Besides, this company will be highly appreciated by those who are carried away by desserts.
Recently, an amenity kit became a special hallmark of a premium class product. For this reason, the famous air companies try to impress their customers with the branded and quality amenities. British Airways offers a kit by its partner – Elemis. Male customers have additional items for shaving while the basic content consists of a dentist set, eyeshades, cream and lip balm.
Hershel is the amenity kit vendor for VA flights. The Canadian brand provides creams for hands and face, toothpaste, toothbrush, eyeshades, lip balm, socks, pen, and earplugs.
Delta opts for Tumi brand offering a stylish clutch bag with toiletries. However, toiletries are made by Malin+Goetz while Tumi provides an eye mask and a pen.
IFE is an integral feature of any long-haul flight. You may have succeeded to find cheap business class airfares to London but it does not mean that your flight will last fewer than usual.
Delta is an absolute leader in terms of in-flight entertainment. This title is proved by the largest size of an IFE screen among competitors. Virgin and British are approximately at the same level. However, BA can boast of a great selection of content to entertain passengers during a long flight.
To make a proper verdict, it is not enough to weigh all pros and cons of premium class products. Some people manage to get cheap business class airfares to London but the majority pay a full cost and they are entitled to demand the highest level of services.
The mentioned airlines showed their ability to meet customers’ needs. They offer a great service and multiple important features for a comfortable experience both on the ground and in the air. At the same time, each competitor has something special to its passengers.
Customers appreciate Delta Airlines for a decent comfort in the sky; Virgin Atlantic makes emphasis on top servicing, and British Airways holds a balance of comfort before, during and after a flight experience. Hopefully, you will have only positive emotions when traveling with any of mentioned airlines.