British Airways vs American Airlines

Two leading members of Oneworld, British Airways and American connect travellers worldwide. Both carriers boast extensive networks and superior services, particularly for premium travellers. At the same time, there are some key differences between these two global airlines.


BA & AA Inflight services


British Airways tailors its cabins based on short-haul and long-haul destinations. In Europe, the airline offers Euro Traveller as its economy class product. Club Europe is British Airways’ business class service on short-haul flights. A buy-on-board service is available in economy, while spacious seating and complimentary meals are provided in business.


For intercontinental flights, the airline offers World Traveller with value fares and complimentary meals. Premium economy with spacious seats a dedicated cabin is available with World Traveller Plus. Club World and First are also available on long-haul flights. First provides superior comfort with fine dining and a private suite, while Club World has fully flat beds and luxurious meals.


American Airlines lets you fly in style with Flaship First. American’s first class has lie-flat seats and is available on most long-haul flights. There are personalized services and amenities plus fine dining. Flagship Business is also available on long-haul flights. Lie-flat seats, chef-inspired meals, and luxurious amenity kits are some of the perks offered. On flights within the United States, Business and First class are available but without lie-flat seats.


Economy is available with American’s Main Cabin service. While Basic Economy fares feature restrictive conditions, Main Cabin fares let you enjoy fewer and lower fees for changes. Main Cabin Extra is also available with some extra services like early boarding. A meal or snack is complimentary on all flights, although a buy-on-board service is also offered on most routes. Premium Economy is available with extra room and amenities on some long-haul flights.


American Airlines vs BA’s network


British Airways is one of a few airlines that offer flights to all inhabited continents. The airline has 191 destinations worldwide. The bulk of these destinations are within the United Kingdom, Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe. However, there are diverse destinations in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. With Iberia, British Airways is part of the International Airlines Group.


In terms of fleet size and number of passengers carried, American Airline is the world’s largest airline. The airline’s network covers nearly 350 destinations. Many of these destinations are in the Americas, particularly the United States and Latin America. Regional flights are available through its partner American Eagle.


British Airways and American Airlines are members of the Oneworld alliance. This offers both airlines hundreds of other destinations through codeshare flights with other partner airlines. It also means passengers can earn and redeem frequent flyer points with both airlines.


Industry recognition


British Airways is certified as a 4-Star Airline by Skytrax. Overall, the quality of the airline’s airport and inflight services is high. This includes a consistently excellent standard for amenities, food, seating, cleanliness, staff, and other features. British Airways is also undergoing extensive renewal of its services, particularly First Class and Club World.


American Airlines is certified as a 3-Star Airline by Skytrax. While the airline scores high for its First Class product, its business and economy class products are average. Airport services also have room for improvements, particularly staff assistance and transfer services for connecting passengers. At the same time, American offers good meal services and onboard comfort.


American Airlines or British Airways – The Verdict


American Airlines and British Airways offer travellers a global reach. While both airlines offer similar products, British Airways has an edge for service and comfort. Similarly, it has a stronger industry reputation.


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