Competitive pricing on nonstop London to America routes isn’t limited to economy class. Oneworld member British Airways and SkyTeam stalwart Delta Air Lines have a similiar battle going for business class tickets to Portland, Oregon. You can choose between British Airways nonstop flights at £1,365 (~€1,601) or Delta at €1,601 (~£1,365).
British Airways sends a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on its way to Portland. You can expect a rather narrow 2-3-2 seating pattern in business class, with some seats facing backwards. Delta utilizes a Boeing 767-400 on this route, with a 1-2-1 pattern. Some of these aircraft even feature the brand new Delta One Suites.
Search & Book
Both airlines issue a nearly identical set of fare rules. The sales period ends on January 30, 2020 with a travel period from June 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021. A minimum stay of one night from saturday to sunday applies, just as a maximum stay of one year. The fare is only valid for weekday departures in either direction. At time of writing, most possible departure dates are still available at the lowest price.
You can easiliy find availabilities on Google Flights (instructions). Since British Airways sells the cheapest tickets on their website, there is no reason not to buy them there. You might find Delta’s fares at a slightly discounted rate via online travel agencies, so a closer look at our flight search may pay off.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
British Airways flights are booking class I. You can credit them with various Oneworld members or in British Airways Executive Club. In this program, you’ll receive 280 tier points and 14,688 Avios for a roundtrip (without tier bonuses). These are your alternatives:
- 24,500 Award Miles + 14,700 Tier Miles on Alaska Mileage Plan
- 19,716 Points on Finnair Plus
- 14,700 Avios + 280 TP on British Airways Executive Club
- 14,700 Avios + 1,000 TP on Iberia Plus
- 14,700 Avios on Aer Lingus AerClub
- 12,250 Qmiles + 70 Qpoints on Qatar Privilege Club
- 12,250 Award Miles + 120 Tier Miles on Asia Miles
- 12,250 Award Miles + 19,600 EQMs on American AAdvantage
- 12,250 Miles on S7 Airlines Priority Club
- 12,250 Miles on Royal Jordanian Royal Club
- 12,250 Miles on SriLankan FlySmiles
- 12,250 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 12,250 Miles on Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- 12,250 Miles on Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
Delta issues tickets in booking class Z. You may accumulate the following mileage without tier bonuses:
- 23,658 Miles on China Eastern Eastern Miles
- 19,716 Miles on Aeromexico Club Premier
- 19,600 Miles on Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- 19,600 Miles on Czech Airlines OK Plus
- 15,772 Miles on China Southern Sky Pearl Club
- 14,700 Miles on Saudia Alfursan
- 14,700 Miles on Delta SkyMiles
- 14,700 Miles on Alitalia MileMiglia
- 12,250 Miles on Korean Air Skypass
- 12,250 Miles on Air Europa Club
- 12,250 Miles on Aeroflot Bonus
- 12,250 Miles on Virgin Australia Velocity
- 9,800 Miles on MEA Cedar Miles
- 9,800 Miles on Xiamen Airlines Egret Club
- 9,800 Miles on Vietnam Golden Lotus Plus
- 9,800 Miles on Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- 9,800 Miles on Aerolineas Argentinas Plus
- 9,800 Miles on China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- 9,800 Award Miles + 60 XP on FlyingBlue
Information & Tips for USA
The USA offers many sights, natural wonders and cultural significance. Thanks to numerous airlines offering flights across the Atlantic, it is always pretty inexpensive to get there. Alternatively, you can also cross the Atlantic by boat.
Immigration, ESTA & Visa Requirements
The USA has one of the strictest entry regulations in the world. Most EU citizens, among others, are lucky to be able to participate in the so-called Visa Waiver Program. If you get an electronic entry permit (ESTA) for about €12, you don’t need a visa for entry.
The Best Time to Visit
Due to its sheer size, the perfect time to visit the USA varies greatly from region to region. In winter, Florida is very popular due to the mild temperatures. In the summer the West and East Coasts are flooded by tourists which drives up the prices for hotels and flights and during the Indian Summer in late autumn New England is a very popular destination. The hurricane season between July and September can be dangerous in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida and the southern states are regularly struck by these tropical storms. Blizzards occur from the East Coast to the Midwest during the winter months and regularly put air traffic and public life on hold.
The US dollar is widely used throughout the world and accepted as a currency in most tourist hotspots worldwide. That being said, carrying cash isn’t necessary in the US, all you need is a credit card! These are very common in the USA and are accepted pretty much everywhere without any issues. If you already have a credit card in your wallet, you should make sure that it does not charge a foreign currency fee if possible. Carrying a few dollars in cash doesn’t hurt though. You might need cash e.g. for the bus ticket if you want to buy it directly from the driver. Most of the time you even have to give exact change.
→ All Dealz for USA