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lgp1
12-02-2005, 08:32 AM
Has anyone flown with Virgin and British Airways to Orlando?Could you please tell me which you prefer.I have flown with Virgin twice but tempted to try BA.
Thanks.

SammieG
12-02-2005, 08:38 AM
This topic brings about strong opinions in people.. so be warned!!

We always used to travel Virgin, but then my husband started to get business miles with BA, so we switched to BA.

Personally I prefer BA.. I find the seats more comfy etc.. and when we started travelling with them they had the sky seats which were great with a baby.
However, we were always using BA mile redeption to travel to Orlando, and I can assure you that its fantastic when its F R E E!

I think they are both probably really good airlines..
The BA flight from Gatwick gets in just before the virgin one, so its quicker to get through imigration.. thats always a bonus!!

Pootle
12-02-2005, 08:53 AM
This topic brings about strong opinions in people.. so be warned!! .......

Ain't that the truth. Obi Wan Kenobi (aka Mr Branson's number 1 fan) will be along any time now I don't doubt ;)

I've also used both many times and like SammieG have a husband who accumulates BA miles and so I don't travel economy with BA, so hardly any surprised I prefer them to Virgin ;)

In the interest of balance though, I do think that the DD check-in is such a great advantage that it might sway me Virgin's way all other things being equal :)

floridalol
12-02-2005, 09:17 AM
Virgin every time if only for the reason that I abhored the disgraceful tactics BA resorted to when they tried to drive Virgin out of business. Apart from that Virgin is better in every department IMHO.

Lol

carolfoy
12-02-2005, 09:32 AM
Like for Like I can't see a lot of difference but being in the travel agent I'd stay well clear of BA if theres another option! having said that tho' IF they were significantly cheaper for any reason, ie offers /redemption miles etc I'd go with them. But having used Virgins dowtown check in this year I'd agree thats a big bonus.

JohnnySharp2
12-02-2005, 10:24 AM
Have never flown BA so cannot really compare the 2 but have always been happy with Virgin.

BA do not fly direct from Manchester to MCO wheras Virgin do, the DTD check in is also a big advantage.

Downside high summer fly-drive prices for both airlines I would assume.

patdavies
12-02-2005, 10:33 AM
I would also point out that for summer travellers, BA have had massive flight disruptions for three years running

LeCras
12-02-2005, 10:42 AM
We have always been happy with Virgin. Having a Virgin credit card has also allowed us to collect enough miles to fly LGW-MCO PE and MCO-LGW UC this year on just points... :cheer2:

Charlotte

mikki.young
12-02-2005, 10:47 AM
I've used both on the London / MCO route.

A plus for BA in economy if you don't have kids - there are a lot less of them on BA than Virgin.

A plus for Virgin is the DD check-in - it's a great idea.

On economy the BA seats are marginally more comfortable in my view.

We tried the BA World Traveller plus last May and liked it a lot, especially the allowance of two items of hand luggage instead. These now use the old business class seats and are very comfy.

We are travelling with Virgin next month in premium Economy because their price was much cheaper with some car hire added. Not done their premium economy since the seats moved upstairs so it will be interesting to see what they are like.

angel659
12-02-2005, 11:34 AM
Ain't that the truth. Obi Wan Kenobi (aka Mr Branson's number 1 fan) will be along any time now I don't doubt ;)

I've also used both many times and like SammieG have a husband who accumulates BA miles and so I don't travel economy with BA, so hardly any surprised I prefer them to Virgin ;)

In the interest of balance though, I do think that the DD check-in is such a great advantage that it might sway me Virgin's way all other things being equal :)

Obi is on holiday as we speak. I read his we are there report. He will definately recommend them considering he lives next door to Mr Branson.

I flew with Virgin this yr and I was so impressed with thier service. Check in was fast and I would fly with them. I havent flown long haul with BA to be honest so cant really give you a proper idea. The only way I would fly with BA if they were cheaper.

Frances999
12-02-2005, 11:41 AM
I guess we are a little biased as we have to keep flying Virgin to keep our Flying Club Gold membership. However, I have travelled BA many times before and there is no comparison. The service, food and cleanliness have been better (consistently) on Virgin Atlantic. Remeber you have twilight check-in/online check-in for your outward flight and the wonderful DTD check-in for your inward flight.

If you are considering premium cabins, then Virgin are absoultely better in all respects, without any doubt. Their PE and UC services are far superior to the BA counterparts.

:wizard:

susan1
12-02-2005, 11:56 AM
hi
to be honest which ever comes up least expensive, there is not much difference!!

Lisash
12-02-2005, 12:11 PM
Has to be Virgin every time. Have flown several times with them to different USA destinations and can't fault them.

SimonV
12-02-2005, 12:21 PM
Comfort-wise, I don't think there is a lot of difference, but Virgin have the edge on service and extras, IMHO. As others have pointed out, the DD check-in is a real bonus, and Virgin's PE is great vfm. If there was a substantial price difference, I would still go with BA (it is only a 9-hour flight after all) but, if prices are similar, I'd choose Virgin.

mark&sue
12-02-2005, 01:18 PM
I find the DD check in seems to take forever. It seemed like a good idea the first few times but to just stand in the heat and hardly move has put me off.

I could not get the flight I wanted with Virgin so had to settle with BA anyway. I find them very similar as as someone mentioned it seemed like there was a few less screaming kids. I believe B.A. do a night before check in at Gatwick.


Susan

Pootle
12-02-2005, 01:33 PM
Obi is on holiday as we speak. I read his we are there report. He will definately recommend them considering he lives next door to Mr Branson.

Yes, I did know he was away, I sort of expected him to 'sense' there was a thread going with some potential for negative comments about his beloved Virgin ;)

Remeber you have twilight check-in/online check-in for your outward flight ..........

BA has this too.

I honestly don't believe that for an economy flight there is much to choose, apart from the big plus of Virgin's DD check in.

AlanUK
12-02-2005, 01:36 PM
I'm another vote for Virgin :)

I have flown a few times with both and without exception the customer service on Virgin has outshone that of BA. It's not that BA are bad necessarily just that I find the staff on Virgin are more pleasant and much more willing than those I have encountered on BA.

Having said that price is really the deciding factor and if BA were significantly cheaper than Virgin I would fly with them instead and spend the extra $$ on enjoying myself whilst in Florida :teeth:

maggs
12-02-2005, 01:42 PM
I suppose we all base it on experience and my experience with BA was awful. Virgin on the other hand have never let me down.

Margaret

FizzyPop
12-02-2005, 02:14 PM
I have never flown with virgin but I have flown 1st class with BA and it was excellent. My DH has flown from miami on BA and then jumped straight back on a virgin flight back to Miami and he said he prefered the BA flight.

Miffy2003
12-02-2005, 05:26 PM
I have done both and I would fly with whichever was cheaper :)

I found the staff, seats and meals comparable on both and the kids' pack better last trip on BA than Virgin.

DTD check in is a huge bonus with Virgin, but what I really liked with BA last time was the fact that the flight leaves Gatwick earlier than both Virgin flights so you have arrived and got through immigration & customs before the Virgin planes let out - it seemed much quicker to get through MCO last time.

lgp1
12-03-2005, 11:45 AM
Thanks everyone I think i'll fly Virgin again.

sandshal
12-03-2005, 01:14 PM
Ah!!!!!!!!!!! So Mr Kenobi lives next door to Mr Branson does he !!!!!!! It's all falling into place now !!!!!!!!! Dark Side my foot !!!!!!! Obi, if you're watching please tell Mr B - myself (and about 300 others !!!!!!! at Brooke Marine) built his record breaking powerboat - so favour for a favour - when you're next weeding your borders ask him if my family can have 4 seats together on our 9 hour flight home instead of 3 one side of the plane and 1 the other !!!!

PS - I am guessing you were joking with the next door neighbour bit !!!!

Hilary
12-03-2005, 02:04 PM
ask him if my family can have 4 seats together on our 9 hour flight home instead of 3 one side of the plane and 1 the other !!!!
That's one of my reasons for giving my vote to BA - I get soooooo cross with Virgin when they confirm your pre-requested seats but then don't deliver them :( Also, I find the BA seats (economy) slightly more comfortable than Virgin's.

That being said, I would be quite happy to fly with Virgin, BA or Britannia (the three airlines we've used previously for Orlando trips) so, for me, the choice is always down to the best combination of convenience and price - and that has meant we've often ended up with Britannia from our regional airport :)


PS - I am guessing you were joking with the next door neighbour bit !!!!
Actually, I don't think it was a joke ..... :earseek:

Laurafoster
12-03-2005, 03:17 PM
[QUOTE=Hilary]That's one of my reasons for giving my vote to BA - I get soooooo cross with Virgin when they confirm your pre-requested seats but then don't deliver them :( Also, I find the BA seats (economy) slightly more comfortable than Virgin's.



I dont think that problem is specific to Virgin - we have had that problem with BA twice before and our friends also had this problem. They were a party of 3 so easy enought to seat together you would think....but BA sat 2 near the front of the plane and 1 near the back of the plane?!

My vote definately goes to virgin for 1 reason - their customer service. For the last 3 summers they have had endless problems and did not deal with them or the affected customers in a very good way. Some people ended up with a 5hours+delay on the flight to orlando and no hot food on the plane this year! Not ideal!

Hilary
12-04-2005, 07:26 AM
I dont think that problem is specific to Virgin - we have had that problem with BA twice before and our friends also had this problem. They were a party of 3 so easy enought to seat together you would think....but BA sat 2 near the front of the plane and 1 near the back of the plane?!

But did BA offer seats together as a pre-request and then allocate different ones, or were they allocated at check-in?

I'm certainly not saying BA (or any airline) is perfect, but I don't like being given the option to pre-request certain seats with Virgin, have them confirmed as requested, but then find they've been changed by the time we check-in. I have witnessed 'it's-the-squeaky-wheel-that-gets-the-grease' in action at Virgin check-in, with the couple in front of us making a fuss until the checkin staff agreed to give them someone else's pre-requested seats.

As I said before, I base my choice on many factors when booking flights but, in my experience, I haven't found Virgin to be mcuh better / worse than anyone else.

sandshal
12-04-2005, 07:40 AM
Hilary,

What a breath of fresh air to hear somebody actually question Virgin's service - personally if I could turn the clock back I would have booked with BA - unfortunately cancelling your flight, rebooking you onto an earlier flight where you are unable to pre-book 4 seats together 8 months in advance, is seen by Virgin as a "minor change" I for one will use them this time as I cannot change without losing our deposit, however, unless we receive better service than we have received so far - next time I shall try sunshine upper class for the same money or BA's Economy.

JohnnySharp2
12-04-2005, 08:00 AM
We have always flown Virgin and been happy with them, however, I do not feel the quality of service and attention to detail is as good as it used to be.

Would try BA but they do not fly direct from Manchester , which I have never understood why.

I just do not feel BA are fully geared up for Florida in general and VA are still our choice. You only have to see the Virgin brouchure to see how committed they are to Florida, the range of holidays/fly-drives/vacation homes/2 centre holidays is vast - I am not even sure BA have a dedicated brochure?

sandshal
12-04-2005, 08:14 AM
Yes Johnnysharp2 I agree totally, twilight check in and DD check in are very handy and Virgin are very geared for Orlando but are they worth another 600 over TCD? - I guess its not really fair to compare until Ive tried all options. I just feel IMHO Virgin havn't really earned their extra money so far this time.

I'd be interested to hear comments from anybody whos tried all three.

JohnnySharp2
12-04-2005, 09:03 AM
Yes Johnnysharp2 I agree totally, twilight check in and DD check in are very handy and Virgin are very geared for Orlando but are they worth another 600 over TCD? - I guess its not really fair to compare until Ive tried all options. I just feel IMHO Virgin havn't really earned their extra money so far this time.

I'd be interested to hear comments from anybody whos tried all three.

They are possibly not worth the extra no..it just that our son is Autistic and VA have always been pretty good with us over the years, it's just a safe bet for us especially as they fly direct to MCO.

899 for a fly-drive next August, what we are paying, is very high though, so if people prefer TCD then I can understand why.

Frances999
12-04-2005, 10:32 AM
...... is seen by Virgin as a "minor change"
I believe that Virgin's terms and conditions are in-line with the entire commercial airline industry. I expect other carriers would have viewed this scenario in exactly the same way.

PS - The fact that you cannot pre-request your seats together in no way implies you will not be able to sit together. As long as you arrive early at check-in (or do online check-in), then there is an extremely high probability there will be seats available (which are all together). Only a small % are allocated for pre-requests. Personally, I view what Virgin has done as a minor change - all they have done is changed you to an earlier flight (presumably on the same day?).

Laurafoster
12-04-2005, 10:52 AM
[QUOTE=Hilary]But did BA offer seats together as a pre-request and then allocate different ones, or were they allocated at check-in?
QUOTE]

Yes they had pre requested them and had it confirmed etc - the main problem was that they were travelling with their disabled daughter!! and they were still changed! Although to be fair im sure my friend didnt mind too much as it meant he got to sit on his own in peace and quiet while his wife sat with a 5yr old kid all excited about disney lol. :rotfl:

In my opinion i dont think there is much difference between Virgin and BA - ive had excellent experiences with both and bad experiences with both. The reason i always go with virgin is because ive always got a cheaper deal with them but if BA offered a cheaper one i wouldnt hesitate in going with them. :flower:

The only thing that puts me off slightly is the problems BA have had the last 3 summers.

Hilary
12-04-2005, 11:26 AM
The only thing that puts me off slightly is the problems BA have had the last 3 summers.
I wouldn't argue with that! We flew out with BA (to Vancouver, not to Orlando) the day after their strike action in 2003 - the uncertainty definitely took the shine off our holiday anticipation that year (although we encountered no problems at all, as it happened) and made me slightly more concerned about booking with them since then.

I still think it's worth weighing up all the airlines available to find the 'best fit' for your trip :)

Miffy2003
12-04-2005, 12:30 PM
I wouldn't argue with that! We flew out with BA (to Vancouver, not to Orlando) the day after their strike action in 2003 - the uncertainty definitely took the shine off our holiday anticipation that year (although we encountered no problems at all, as it happened) and made me slightly more concerned about booking with them since then.

I still think it's worth weighing up all the airlines available to find the 'best fit' for your trip :)

We were in Gatwick the night before when the Heathrow strike was in full swing - we had read (here actually) froom someone whose hubby worked in BA that Gatwick were definitely going out on strike too, the next day.

DH & I did not sleep at all that night with the worry - though no strike action did in fact impact us at all, the thought that it might was a concern to say the least (we live quite a way from Gatwick, did not have the car with us and it would have been challenging / expensive to get home and then back to Gatwick when the flights were sorted a few days later - not to mention missing some holiday).

I have to say, I am not sure it would deter me from booking again though.

Strommie
12-05-2005, 07:19 AM
I used to work for BA so still automatically look at their flights first :blush: however we have flown on Virgin as well as we prefer their direct Manchester service, and the DTD check in. In the future, I think we would look at the direct Virgin service first, but I still enjoy travelling with BA.