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Which airline when flying First Class from Seattle to Edinburgh?

Hello. We're flying from Seattle to Edinburgh in September and spending 3 days there before renting a car and driving to the Highlands where we will visit friends. I'm driving myself crazy researching which airline is best to fly from Seattle to Edinburgh: Delta, British Airways, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, or Air France. British Airways has an amazing deal on First Class tickets right now via LHR. KLM goes through AMS and Air France through CDG. We haven't flown to Europe in 28 years and will be treating ourselves to First Class to celebrate my 60th. I need to be able to sleep and be comfortable on a flight due to chronic illness.
Thank you! Melody

(UPDATE: 3/14/18. We booked First Class on British Airways from Seattle to Edinburgh for $6200 per passenger. The other airlines had longer layovers in Edinburgh or Heathrow. I was looking for true First Class and not Business lie-flat; although that would be a good backup as mentioned by one commentator. In fact, Business was all that was offered on several airlines. Thank you everyone for the input. What a friendly bunch of travelers on this forum.)

Posted by
375 posts

On a related note, Delta has a new class of service that is between First Class and Comfort+. It's like a hybrid first class. We flew it last year out of Toronto and it was great! It's only offered on certain flights out of certain cities. So if you could get from Seattle to say, Boston or Atlanta (or other east coast cities), you might find that choice as a nice option...not as expensive as First, but way better than economy.

Enjoy!

Posted by
94 posts

I have have been lucky to fly first class with British Airways from San Francisco to London and it was amazing. The very comfortable seat became a fully flat bed. We were given tolietries and pajamas when we stepped onto the plane and the service as well as food throughout the flight was wonderful. Each seat was partitioned in such a manner that there was plenty of privacy for each individual. I would research the Airlines you are debating flying with and compare cost with amenities. I understand that some airlines have business class that can be pretty comparable to some airlines first class and there may be substantial cost savings. Have a great trip and what a way to celebrate your birthday! Have fun!

Posted by
2712 posts

Look at the flights you are considering and what aircraft you will be flying on. Then go to Seatguru.com where there are reviews of first class on all of these (as well as business class) and which seats are the best. Not all first class is the same, even on the same aircraft but a different airline. Might as well go for the best ride!

Posted by
24 posts

I have been on SeatGuru all day. What a find!!! I learned so much about what the planes and seat configurations are like. Thank you for answering. Melody

Posted by
24 posts

Cathy - Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It looks like we’re going with British Air. How exciting. Take care.

Posted by
312 posts

I used British Airways miles to book a flight on Aer Lingus with the going over portion in their business class section (only economy and business on Aer Lingus). The seat/bed didn't go completely flat in 2014, but I see they've done upgrades to business: https://www.aerlingus.com/experience-aer-lingus/flying-business/a-new-experience/

Picking a sample date in September, the BA price is a couple thousand more, so I'm just offering the Aer Lingus idea for anyone comparing prices. Dublin's Terminal 2 is very nice for transfers.

Whichever airline works best for you, have a Great time in Edinburgh (my favorite city!).

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you for the idea about Aer Lingus. I did check on them when I first started my search but I think that they still don’t have lie-flat beds. I’ll have to check. I may PM you about Edinburgh hotels, sights, etc. I know that I want to see the Botanical Garden and parks. We’ll drive to St. Andrews one day.

Posted by
312 posts

Hi Melody,
Whatever you find out about Aer Lingus, I'd be interested to see posted .. I'm looking at 55 soon, maybe I should be saving up :-)

For Edinburgh ideas, I suggest starting a new thread seeking input around your dates and preferences for things to do. There are some great experts about Edinburgh who post here on ricksteves.com, including folk who live in Edinburgh. I've visited 5x, but they are there every day, LOL. Cheers.

Posted by
24 posts

Good idea! Will start a new thread on Edinburgh visit.

Unfortunately Aer Lingus doesn’t have a First Class. Norwegian is flying to Gatwick at a great price as well. Take Care.

Posted by
672 posts

You need not fly first class if the airline also offers the less expensive business class, but as you have found out, make sure that it offers the lie flat seats. With that said, business class typically has the works -- priority boarding (and sometimes a priority line for passport checks, at least in Frankfurt, Germany on our last trip), lie flat seats, excellent meals served on linen with real utensils, wine and more wine, free amenities pack, great service, etc. Plus, you get access to the Business Class Lounges, so when you arrive 3 hours before your flight or are waiting for a connection, you can check in and then have something to eat and drink in a comfortable lounge before boarding your flight. My business class experience to date has been Lufthansa (3X) and United (1X). I really liked Lufthansa's business class.

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you for the Business Class idea if there are lie-flat seats. I’ll double check for any savings. Take care.

Posted by
1828 posts

We flew Virgin Atlantic several times when we lived in San Francisco, premium economy, and were very happy with their service.

They now fly from Seattle - since we live there now we will use them again for our next trip. I believe their Seattle plane is new. I also find the timing of their flights is more convenient than that of most other carriers. Of course, you will then have to find a connecting flight to Edinburgh. We usually go into London, then take the train to York or on to Edinburgh. That only takes a few more hours than flying and it is more relaxing.

Another airline you might want to check out is Iceland's. We have friends who really like their service.

Posted by
24 posts

Hi Cynthia -
Thank you for your suggestions. Friends recently flew to Spain on Virgin out of Seattle and said they weren’t impressed. I didn’t get into detail about the issues. We’re going to book British Airways and fly on to Edinburgh. I usually travel with a lot of luggage which might be cumbersome on a train. I have to watch the Rick Steves packing videos!! Take care.

Posted by
16726 posts

Congratulations on getting a great price in First Class on British Airways! We fly BA to Europe every trip, once a year, but in Business Class with miles. It is nice enough, but First is supposed to be really nice.

I do not know if SeaTac has a separate lounge for First Class passengers, but you can use the Concorde Room at Heathrow on your way back

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you, Lola. I'll check on the Concorde room at Heathrow. I'm glad to hear that BA has worked out well for you. Sets my mind at ease. Melody