Getting There

Which airline will get you from home to London with style and ease? The Duchess and The Heiress share their favorite airlines for international travel with London in mind.

Virgin Atlantic by The Heiress

As soon as I read Jerramy Fine’s affinity for Virgin airlines in her book Regal Rules for Girls, I had been dying to try it. Luckily, an LA-NYC flight proved to be the perfect opportunity.

The check-in counter at LAX is its own little area, blasting Coldplay and Kanye, heavy on the bass. The decor is modern, almost club like, and the lines move quickly and easily. No one is angry at Virgin. Despite the hip atmosphere, the service is impeccable. Everything seems so much more luxurious.

I don’t know if you’ve ever flown at great length in coach, but let me tell you – it is misery. Imagine the entirety of Target mashed into a small room. Yeah, welcome to coach. So, while my mind was in first class, my college girl budget was in row 32C.

Virgin Airways puts all of these conceptions to shame. The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of leg room. The snacks are healthy and posh (think Pop Chips, not Herr’s), the flight attendants are young and bubbly, and – get this – everyone has a personal media screen. Enjoy new movies, your favorite TV shows on-demand, a couple of TV stations in addition to internet, texting, and e-mail capability. Are you in love yet? I sure was. If you are lucky enough to get into first class, you’ll enjoy mini suites, lush amenities and a bar…with ACTUAL bar stools!

The prices for coach are comparable for the market, and sometimes they have INCREDIBLE flight deals. First Class will cost a little more, but it is well worth the cost. And, it needs to be said, I haven’t flown another airline since!

British Airways by The Duchess

The reason that flying overseas has a bad reputation is certainly not courtesy of British Airways.

I flew First-Class with British Airways from Vancouver, BC to Hong Kong while just about 5 months pregnant and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. From the minute I walked into the airport and was whisked into a VIP First-Class line (I secretly love bypassing lines because of my “importance”) and then told my bags would be unloaded first when we arrived to Hong Kong, to the VIP Guest Lounge with more food than I could eat and more alcohol than I could shake a stick at, to the luxurious on-board accommodations which ensured me to fall asleep in comfort and wake up without a single ounce of jet lag. Did I mention the heated towels when you board the plane to wipe off the dirty airport air when you arrive? The champagne when you reach your seat? The menu for your dining selection?

Was it expensive? Oh yes. Was it worth it? Oh yes. If you’re travelling for a short period of time, jet lag can be your worst nightmare. It can easily take a day or two off your trip when you arrive and can’t stay awake – but the luxurious full beds that come with first class make it easy as pie to set your watch to your destination’s time and make like you’re already there. The staff were courteous, friendly and super appreciative of my business- a rare treat on airlines nowadays.

Overall, I’d fly with BA again in a heartbeat… In first class, no doubt.