American vs Delta vs United: Travel Experts Compare Business Class Cabins on Flights to NYC
They are America’s three largest airlines, and they all offer service between London and New York, the world’s largest money-guzzling airline corridor.
But how do American Airlines, Delta, and United bring in the big business-class cash for this route?
Travel experts at The Points Guy UK (TPG UK) find out by comparing each airline’s business class cabins on flights from London Heathrow to New York and New Jersey, a video survey that timing included how long it took for a glass of fizz was served after boarding.
Head of TPG UK Nicky Kelvin has put the chic Delta chair (above) to the test
Nicky paid £1,123 ($1,323) for seat 8D on a Boeing 767-400 to JFK Airport
TPG UK head Nicky Kelvin tested the chic Delta seat and paid £1,123 ($1,323) for seat 8D on a Boeing 767-400 to JFK Airport (including a business class flight from Paris to London and an economy return flight).
He was thrilled to be able to use codeshare partner Virgin Atlantic’s ‘exceptional’ clubhouse at Heathrow and described the check-in process at the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class wing which he could also use as ‘private and exclusive’, with ‘no on any standing in line at the moment’.
On board he said the food was ‘plentiful and delicious’ and the service ‘top’. The crew were “attentive, efficient and hilarious,” he revealed, and for the “Champagne Timer Challenge,” he delivered bubbles in just two minutes and 29 seconds.
Nicky said his seat ‘didn’t offer much room in the completely flat position’
Nicky described the food on his Delta flight (above) as “plentiful and delicious” and the service as “top notch”
About the seat, Nicky told MailOnline Travel: “This plane did not have Delta’s newest seat, the Delta One Suite, which was disappointing on this premium route. And it didn’t offer much room in the completely flat position. However, this would have been more of a problem on a night flight if I was trying to sleep.’
American Airlines’ luxury cabin was reviewed by Liam Spencer, who paid 65,000 AAdvantage miles plus £254.06 ($299) tax for seat 7A on a Boeing 777-200 to JFK Airport.
He said the food was a “real highlight” and told MailOnline Travel: “Fresh shrimp with an array of dipping sauces were the perfect appetizer, and the sundae was the best dessert I’ve ever had on a plane.”
American Airlines’ chic cabin has been reviewed by Liam Spencer (above)
Liam Spencer paid 65,000 AAdvantage miles plus £254.06 ($299) tax for seat 7A on a Boeing 777-200 to JFK Airport
He also liked his seat, describing it as “spacious and comfortable, with no lack of storage,” adding: “Even in a reclining position, I had plenty of room to spread out and stretch my legs without feeling cramped and the bedding and pillows were incredibly soft.’
However, it was not a perfect experience. Liam said the crew “could have been more friendly” and only managed to achieve a “so-so” Champagne delivery time of 21 minutes 25 seconds.
The chair, meanwhile, showed ‘some signs of aging, with the fabric on the headrest beginning to peel off from the seat, giving it a slightly tacky appearance’.
Liam loved his chair and described it as ‘spacious and comfortable, with no shortage of storage options’
Liam said the crew ‘could have been more friendly’ and only had a ‘so-so’ Champagne delivery time after boarding 21 minutes 25 seconds
The American Airlines seat ‘showed some signs of aging, with the fabric on the headrest starting to pull away, giving it a slightly tacky appearance’
The food on Liam’s American Airlines flight was a ‘real highlight’. He told MailOnline Travel: ‘Fresh shrimp with a range of dips made for the perfect starter, and the sundae (right) was the best dessert I’ve ever had on a plane’
He added that while the winged headrest “provided some privacy,” the suite lacked a sliding door, something that “would take the product to the next level.”
United’s premium product under scrutiny was Ben Smithson, who paid £2,109 ($2,485) – which included a business class flight from Brussels to London and a return economy flight – for seat 8L on a Boeing 767-300 from Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
United’s premium product under scrutiny was Ben Smithson (above)
Ben paid £2,109 ($2,485) – which includes a business class flight from Brussels to London and an economy return flight – for seat 8L on a Boeing 767-300 from Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport
He was very impressed with the ‘Polaris chair’, telling MailOnline Travel that it was ‘very well designed with quality materials and style choices’, adding that they ‘hold up well despite heavy use’.
Ben also loved Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, describing it as “one of the best in the business.” The sleeping pack comes with a ‘gel pillow’, which Ben said was ‘great for keeping cool while sleeping’.
The downside was an entertainment screen that didn’t tilt and “some bizarre food combinations” that Ben “wouldn’t want to eat again” – and “painfully slow drinks service that takes over an hour.”
Ben said he experienced “some bizarre food combinations” (above) during his flight
The United Polaris suite is ‘very well designed with quality materials and style choices’
He noted, however, that it was the first ever international flight for some of the crew due to shortages, which could explain the heavy use of drinks.
But when it came to betting bubbles, they upped their game by a time of five minutes and 17 seconds.
For more information on travel tips and tricks, sign up at The Points Guy UK. Click here to see the full video of the US airline’s business class battle.
Ben, Nicky and Liam give their verdict on their business class flights