Flyboy7974 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1540 posts, RR: 2 Posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3421 times:
Okay, well, I've been going through trip reports on here and other sites from the past year, read comments and made my own notes regarding what a.netters have written about, raved about, loved and not, wanted and didn't get, wished/hoped for vs. what others received, and now I have to put it out there. If you were buying a first class ticket for somebody, not work related or not that you didn't really give a rat's _s_, but family, somebody close to you, and flying them almost cross country in the U.S, PHL-PHX, what airline would you choose and loyally support by giving your money to hoping that the airline not only would safely transport, but maybe have that edge and lil bit of ummphh to impress the person flying so they'd know that they're simply appreciated, what airline would you all feel comfortable booking that person on?
I have what I finally think I've come to a decision on, but, as I've learned here when discussing and sharing and also learning from so many, there's always something I'm missing or didn't think about, and that's why I ask now, for those that'd like to take a few minutes and give this one a whirl, to help me out. Reason being, after losing both my parents three years ago and just four weeks apart from one another, my cousin who I consider much much closer and if could be, would be my sister, has been there through thick and thin, highs and lows, and through the past few years, has really been that backbone to me personally and also a great inspriation to continue in my commercial aviation career, and although not flying at the time, opened my eyes that other areas may interest me and keep me in the field so that I might return someday to the skies and eventually fly commercially. Well, it's my turn to return that to her, and I am planning a trip for her and her husband to this area, which they've visited before for my ERAU graduation, but they've always wanted to come back this way and I think I'm gonna do it, and I just want the whole trip to hit the mark, and that's why I'm asking for everybodys' help.
So, fire away, and instead of cool looking planes or hot flight attendants (a plus on a personal end but never req), being the foundation to your answers, I'm looking for a comparison of airlines regarding on board service a major major point and with that, inflight catering, but also connecting hubs if needed, aircraft utilized and thus also, in flight video/entertainment if offered, club access if F ticket purchased vs. me having to purchase day passes for them, I'm looking for an overall well-rounded conclusion to what airlines would some of you book this ticket on because although I think I've made up my mind, I might very easily miss small factors or points that afterwards, I don't want to look back and say darn it, we should've, or dang it, we could've, or I wish I.........., nope, I want to look back and have them say, wow, we really did it all and for them to know that they are simply appreciated by me. Their whole trip once here and around already pretty much planned, but, the air travel is the final catch to finsihing things up and I just don't want to miss something stupid because I wasn't thinking, or moreso, using all my available resources which are the opinions and knowledge of everybody here on the board who love to share and write about airline travel as if it were our first language. So, thanks to all, I look forward to anything/everything you all have to share and offer and reading everybodys' comments on this one.
ANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3401 times:
I'll stick with US or UA since I'm a Star Alliance Preferred member. I don't fly Y . . . I'll buy the F in each case. Sometimes it's a YUP fare - in other words, full fare Y but an F seat guaranteed - but I'm flying F. Airline loyalty - as far as accumulated miles - is what I pay attention to first. Yes, I know - without a doubt - the service is far superior on UA than on US . . . but when you've got a couple hundred thousand miles in the bank, one must consider that.
If you're looking for opinions on in-flight catering on US Flagged Carriers in Domestic F these days, it's simple: They ALL suck. Save perhaps UA's Premium Service between Cali and New York. Otherwise . . . no US Flagged Carrier - in domestic F - is worth a crap anymore . . . been that way for years.
DeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8902 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3388 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1): If you're looking for opinions on in-flight catering on US Flagged Carriers in Domestic F these days, it's simple: They ALL suck. Save perhaps UA's Premium Service between Cali and New York. Otherwise . . . no US Flagged Carrier - in domestic F - is worth a crap anymore . . . been that way for years.
Pretty much true.
As for experience, I'd avoid US - their F pitch is rather tight at 36" while pretty much every airline has 38". UA has a couple of options connecting but with RJs on either end - you could do PHL-LAX-PHX (backtrack on a CRJ though) or PHL-IAD-PHX and take a hop on an ERJ-145 down to IAD. UA F is one of the better ones out there.
DL F isn't too bad, especially if you are flying via JFK. If you go PHL-JFK-PHX, you do have to deal with the wonderful experience that is JFK but a F ticket on JFK-PHX gets you Crown Room Club access at all three airports (although PHX's lounge is closing soon) and I'm pretty sure JFK-PHX gets PTVs. DL's meal on this route is the standard chicken breast - not horrible, but not great.
PITIngres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1144 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3384 times:
Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 2): DL F isn't too bad, especially if you are flying via JFK. If you go PHL-JFK-PHX, you do have to deal with the wonderful experience that is JFK...
PHL and JFK in the same day. And again on return. I can feel my life-force ebbing away just typing it...
I'll echo the "doesn't much matter" camp. US is mediocre when everything's working right, and worse when it's not. To be perfectly honest, if I were doing it I'd probably just use a Southwest nonstop and get it over with. Their Y really isn't going to be all that very much worse than the others' F.
Have you considered something out of the ordinary, like a private charter of some sort? $$$, sure, but that might be the best way to get them a special experience.
Carfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3356 times:
I have thought about this question:
The only nonstop option is on US Airways, as we know, it is really not that stellar up front. Meals are really limited.
United is okay in terms of premium service, but you cannot avoid the TED segment from DEN to PHX, and from other stations, you may get TED or RJ. Not sure if it is worth it.
Northwest is cheapest, but NW F is pretty much a premium economy product, and the seats are not spectacular and there is no IFE, but the new improved meals are pretty nice.
American is American - MD-80 and a mix of Boeing 757s... not really great... those first class seats on the 757 (which are heavily used on the PHX routes) are really tired looking.
Continental seems to be the best option... $1100RT via Houston... and their seats are typical domestic first class, but the meals are nice and there is some form of main screen entertaining. The service is generally more consistent and the aircraft is newer, and the meals are creative. You can buy a guest pass easily for entry to President's Club, which is very nice at Houston... but unfortunately no lounge access at both Philadelphia and Phoenix. Not sure if it is that worthy to buy a pass for lounge.
Delta is also not a bad option... especially if you can find a PTV-equipped flight... meals are bland, but okay, except if they don't eat or like chicken. But that is going to take some work... Also they have lounges at PHL, PHX, and obviously ATL or SLC... the day pass will really have values if they get to use all these lounges at these cities.
If you ask me to pick:
1. Continental (better on board service)
2. Delta (hope for some PTV flights and lounge access)
Mauiman31 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3355 times:
Gosh, really kind of you to want to do this for your family, but . . .
Quoting PITIngres (Reply 3): if I were doing it I'd probably just use a Southwest nonstop and get it over with
I agree. . . I wouldn't buy a F ticket on this route. . . I only do domestic F if I can get an upgrade. . . except on vaca if it is a wide body long-haul - trans con or Hawaii. . . then I will part with some $$ if I have to.
Save the $$ and treat them to a really nice resort hotel in PHX.