LHR vs FRA and biz vs first

We’re doing ESW in July. The Tauck air was way too high so we’re booking flights ourselves. The best flights from our small southwest Colorado town are on United/Lufthansa, changing in Denver and Frankfurt, or American/BA, changing in DFW and LHR. I know many of you try to avoid Heathrow. Is Frankfurt any better? I haven’t been through either in quite a few years.

We want to go business class, however in looking at the BA flight from Dallas, first class is only $1,000 more per person round trip than business. On other routes/airlines it is several thousand more. The aircraft is the A380. Anyone have thoughts about that?
Seems it might be worth the cost difference.


  • edited December 2021

    Dottie D,

    Although not a fan of either Heathrow or Frankfurt, I do frequently fly the Airbus 380. It is my favorite aircraft for long-haul flights. Very comfortable business class and first class sections. I can't speak for the British Airways A380, but I do love Air France's A380, especially their La Premiere (First) Class service, extraordinary! Paying only $1,000 more per person is a bargain. I would snatch that up right away! Good luck.

  • Greetings from another Coloradan, Dottie.

    I MUCH prefer FRA to LHR. However, if London is your destination, and you don't have to hassle with the intra-terminal bus transfer bedlam at LHR, I'd do the non-stop from DEN to LHR.

    I've never flown First on flights that offer both Biz and First, but I recall looking at descriptions and reviews comparing the two, and I didn't think it was worth the money.

  • Dottie D,

    BKMD brings forth a valid point insofar as flights offering both first and business class service. I recommend viewing British Airway's website to ascertain the differences. You can then decide if paying $1,000 extra is worth it. Again, if it was Air France's service difference on their A380, I would definitely snatch up that bargain!

  • Dottie,

    Not sure if this will help with the First Class vs Business Class issue, but you may find something helpful by going on seatguru.com with the flight info.

  • I’m not sure why you would fly past London to Frankfurt and then back to London, it doesn’t make sense to me and Frankfurt airport is huge and busy. Not sure whether Frankfurt would require a Covid test even if you are staying airside, I think they did earlier in the year. Never flown first class. For a relatively short flight, it doesn’t seem worth $1000 extra, especially when most of the time you will hope to be asleep going over.

  • Colorado to Europe is a short flight?

  • Compared to many I’ve taken, yes.

  • ESW begins in Edinburgh so we have to transfer in either London or Frankfurt.

    I’ve been doing a little more reading. The Points Guy gave a good review of the BA A380 first class product, I guess whether it’s worth the cost difference is a matter of priorities. While not like going to Australia, I do consider 9 hours to be a long flight. The lounge access for first class seems to be much better, at least at LHR for the return. Guess I’ll sleep on it and worry about it again tomorrow.

  • edited December 2021

    Ah, Edinburgh! I’m a big fan of Manchester airport, quite large but very efficient. We used to fly there all the time from the US, it’s fantastic compared to London. The landing fees are also a lot less than Heathrow, which is known for its high fees. Have you explored that option? I flew back from Edinburgh to Philadelphia about four years ago. It would have been on American. I haven’t flown to Edinburgh from the US.
    Do you have an American Express Platinum card? If you do, we always find their travel air services excellent. They will find you the best deals. For example, they suggest airlines you might not have thought of, example, they found LATAM AIR for us when we took the Patagonia tour, great business class. They were the first to suggest Qatar to us and it’s now our favorites airline. We even used them for an entire trip to London when they booked the Savoy hotel for us at an excellently rate. You can call them with where you want to go, they will research and call you back.

  • British
    Compared to many I’ve taken, yes.

    PHL to Mars? :)

    Dottie - I forgot the trip starts in Edinburgh. Now that you mention it, when I was looking for flights, before my trip was cancelled, I recall finding a flight directly to Edinburgh from, I believe, Chicago. So it would involve arranging the prior leg on your own, rather than having it all on one ticket. I don't know if this flight still exists as this was prior to the start of Covid.

  • edited December 2021

    It was a looong time ago, but Tauck routed us via our local feeder to ATL - AMS - EDI.

    A quick look on Delta for random dates in July shows they have one outbound flight DEN - JFK - EDI, all others have on additional stop (in the US), but all utilizing the same JFK to EDI direct flight on the last leg. To avoid LHR and Euro Business seats on the outbound flight, that is the way I would go.

    Delta has quite a few options for a one stop return flight LHR - JFK (or ATL, SEA, DTW, etc.) - DEN. You would still need to get from your feeder to Denver and back again if Delta doesn't provide service there.

    Granted I have never flow the A380, but have avoided it and BA business class at all costs for two reasons- LHR and BA's awkward seat arrangement that interweaves forward and reverse facing seats- almost everyone must step over somebody else's legs. We try to fly aircraft where everyone in business has direct aisle access.

  • Thanks for the great suggestions.

    British, I couldn’t find anything to Manchester that didn’t have to go through London first. I do have the Amex platinum. Called them this morning and they couldn’t find anything better than the United/Lufthansa FRA routing I had found on their website. Of course I had reached a very inexperienced agent who asked what state Frankfurt was in.

    BKMD, I did find the ORD-EDI flight but it was quite a bit more expensive.

    Alan, the Delta flights were a little more expensive and we would have had to get ourselves to Denver.

    I was very tempted to try out the A380 first class at what appeared to be a bargain price. However, the return was terrible (5 hour layover in DFW). So we ended up with United/Lufthansa through Frankfurt. Booked it on Amex Travel to get about $200 discount each through their partner program, 5X points, and they are running that 12 months no interest program. I think we got a decent deal and I understand United Polaris is supposed to be pretty good.

  • Taking Lufthansa from Ft. Myers, FL direct to Frankfurt, then to Amsterdam with appropriate layover time, For Holland and Belgium in Spring, business class for as cheap as I've seen a flight to Europe. The entire flight time was significantly less than going through Atlanta, or Washington, or Newark, or New York, or Chicago or Toronto.

  • Does your tour start in Edinburgh? If so, you can fly non-stop from Boston to Edinburgh on Delta. You would probably have to book a separate ticket from Denver to Boston - maybe on American Air. I'm going on the Week in Scotland trip in July and I'm flying Boston to Edinburgh, even though my tour starts in Glasgow, I'm flying to Edinburgh non-stop and have arranged for a driver to take me to Glasgow. I'm trying to avoid stopovers in Amsterdam or London. My tour ends in Edinburgh so returning home from there.

  • Thanks Cathy B. We were tying to avoid having to have two separate bookings. Our last experience with that didn’t go so well. We actually decided, sort of last minute, to fly into Glasgow early as we are wait-listed on A Week in Scotland prior to ESW. If the wait list doesn’t clear, our plan is to tour Scotland on our own. I’ll be back to the forum seeking advice if that’s the case.

  • We are scheduled for ESW tour in August 2022. We are flying from Florida to Boston, Boston directly to Edinburgh. Only one plane change. Less chance for lost luggage. Flying home London to Atlanta, Atlanta to Florida. Flying Delta.

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