Richard Quest Samples New York To London Market

I’m a huge fan of CNN’s Richard Quest. The guy is absolutely nuts, but unlike Akbar Al Baker, in a good way (in my opinion). Not only does he do a great job covering finance, but I find he’s one of the few travel reporters that actually knows his stuff and delivers it in a way that’s fun to watch.

I really enjoy his show CNN Business Traveller, which is the only mainstream travel show that I consistently watch.

Anyway, I found this month’s episode of CNN Business Traveller to be especially interesting, as he examines the market between New York and London. He flies the five “major” airlines serving the market (not sure why Kuwait Airways didn’t qualify) ;) :

  • British Airways Club World
  • American Business Class
  • United BusinessFirst
  • Delta BusinessElite
  • Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

In part one he flies British Airways’ Club World London City service from London City Airport to New York JFK, and then directly turns around to fly American’s 777-300ER service back to London Heathrow.

British-Airways-Club-World
British Airways Club World London City

American-Business-Class
American Business Class

In part two he checks out United’s service to Newark, as well as the new Terminal 2 at London Heathrow.

In part three he flies Delta BusinessElite from London Heathrow to New York JFK, and then turns around to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from New York JFK to London Hethrow.

Delta-BusinessElite
Delta BusinessElite

Virgin-Atlantic-Upper-Class
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

Very fun to watch, and in many ways I feel he was being quite objective. For example, he noted how disappointing the Admirals Club at JFK was. At the same time he’s a bit too easy to please with airplane beds, in my opinion. All five products pass the “Quest Bed Test,” and there’s no way those five seats are created equal for sleep.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth the watch.

What’s your favorite product flying between New York and London?

Comments

  1. PakiFan says

    Is that show available to view on the U.S. Version of CNN. I couldn’t find it after DirecTV dropped CNN International

  2. lucky says

    @ PakiFan — I believe it’s only on CNN International, but you can always watch it online.

  3. Adi_t says

    god- that voice of his is grating!

    Fun piece. but there’s a bit of apples-vs-oranges comparison- as they’re comparing the London City A318 service on BA, versus 767s on UA and Delta, vs the newest 777-300ER on American. I suppose it’s a valid comparison since that’s what the airlines fly on those route.

  4. lucky says

    @ Adi_t — Agree maybe the British Airways product isn’t representative, but as you mention, the others are the standard products on the route.

  5. Abs says

    I know you’ve done plenty of JKF-LHR…BUT I think you should do something similar and fly the major players back to back, including the regular BA and the LCY BA, would be interesting to see what your opinion is. I think the BA LCY is best, landing as a domestic passenger is just so worth it.

  6. A. S. says

    I would take anything Quest says with a grain of salt. I do agree that he can be fun to watch and when he first started I was actually a fan as well. But over the years it’s become glaringly obvious to me that his “knowledge” of the subject of travel is actually very superficial. He pretty much just rehashes everything you’ll see and read in travel magazines, without adding any value or inside knowledge. For example, you said that he was “too easy to please” when it came to the bed quality and I think that’s part of it. He is much less refined than he makes it seem (I think it’s just the accent) and much less actually travelled (on the personal side, I mean) than one imagines. Mostly, he just does business trips for CNN and so his outlook is a very median business travel outlook and so are his expectations. That’s not a bad thing if you’re a novice or a similarly-minded traveller, but I myself find my needs and desires and experience more sophisticated than his (humility aside) and therefore gain very little from his show. Obviously, I stopped watching.

  7. JMR says

    Awesome! Richard Quest is great, I turn on the TV for him. But honestly, this wasn’t his best show ever. He was more talking about the lounges than the flights and didn’t give his opinion. Could have been way better.

  8. Siggi says

    After he reviews BA and American, the video ends. What abouth the other 3? Can’t find then anywhere

  9. Mike says

    If you have Global Entry there’s no point to arriving as a domestic passenger (unless you have a connection, but you probably won’t have one from JFK T7 in any case).

  10. Jonas says

    Loved the part when he nicks the American Airlines mug from the lounge! I’m sure many airline memorabilia aficinados including myself would’ve done the same ;)

  11. Imperator says

    I have never seen Mr. Quest’s shows on CNN International, but I have seen him deliver commentary on plain old CNN. I find his knowledge of the airline industry to be extensive and right on the mark. And his contributions to CNN’s coverage of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy has been exemplary. This business class comparison program sounds like it was produced as a fluff piece, though I should reserve judgment until I see it.

    And speaking of a fluff piece…

    Lucky, have you seen the August issue of Travel & Leisure? There’s an article about the writer’s misadventures in commercial air travel. He has a brief review of his flight on Kuwait Airways! It was actually funny.

  12. lucky says

    @ Siggi — Below the video you should see parts two and three — it’s a three part episode.

  13. Corey says

    The LCY-JFK A319 could easily use LaGuardia, and since they do border pre-clearance at Shannon, no need for customs/immigration on the NYC side. Transatlantic service from LGA would be huge, I’d think.

  14. Jonas says

    @ Corey: that was proposed first, but sadly LaGuardia has a range restriction which prevented them from landing there.

  15. Charles says

    My favorite product between NYC and London is one that doesn’t land at LHR, but bypasses it for ANY other airport in Europe, especially if connecting.

    Richard Quest? I liked that guy better when he was strung out on meth and having kinky liaisons in public parks. He does a decent job in travel reporting though.

  16. Liason says

    Isn’t Quest the guy who was arrested in Central Park with meth, a dildo, and a piece of rope tied to his balls?

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