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Domestic F Class In The USA - Best Airline?  
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2358 posts, RR: 21
Posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 9132 times:

I have a number of domestic flights to do in the US. Other than two flights on DL last year (which I found unimpressive but not horrific either) I haven't flown domestically in the US since years, so I think a lot has changed. Presumably for the worse.

All my flights will be in (domestic) F class, three trans-cons, all the others in the 2-4 hour range. I have highest tier status with Skyteam and Star Alliance airlines, but no status at all with oneworld (i.e. American).

So, whenever I have a choice, which airline is the best in terms of

- efficiency at departure (well functioning web CKI, no or short lines)
- airport lounges
- cabin service (food, amenities especially pillows, IFE, etc.)

Which airlines or airports should I avoid?

From my research here and on Flyertalk, my guess from the distance would be:

Best: Continental
Worst: US Airways
Unimpressive, but not terrible: Delta, Northwest, American
Unimpressive, not terrible yet, but getting there: United

Is this assessment right? Can anyone give me more details on what to expect with the different airlines?


11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 9111 times:

I would say United is out of place. I would say:

1. CO (depending on route)
1. UA (depending on route)
3. AA
4. DL
5. NW
6. US

"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineMTSUATC From United States of America, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8936 times:

I have heard nothing but good things about CO. My choice would be UA, lots of domestic widebodies, and 3 class service between hubs. If your flying on regional jets the 700's, and E170's have first class. Granted it's not amazing service but for a regional flight its pretty good service.

User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 9016 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8928 times:

For JFK-LAX, consider AA or UA in their premium products. Both are supposedly quite decent.

The rest, I'd say Continental is probably your best bet. UA offers a strong First Class too - it's been cut back a bit over the years, but it's still a real solid product. AA I'd say is next, followed by NW/DL.

Last, and I'd avoid them at all costs, is US Airways. Unless you happen to enjoy getting your beverages served in plastic, having deteriorating seats, no IFE, pretty tight pitch for First, no closets, etc. It's basically glorified coach and not worth spending a penny on.

User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3262 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8908 times:

AA should be pretty high up there. They'll serve hot meals in First on flights about an hour and a half.... I don't think any other airline does this.

User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7865 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8889 times:

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 4):
AA should be pretty high up there. They'll serve hot meals in First on flights about an hour and a half.... I don't think any other airline does this.

NW is pretty close, I got a hot meal both ways MSP-DFW-MSP none the less on RJ's. NW serves a "cold snack" which is the size of a lunch anyway on flights like MSP-DEN and stuff during those times.

User currently offlineTullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1791 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8880 times:

Virgin America is apparently a great product though only operating on a limited route structure. UA's premium service between JFK and LAX and SFO is outstanding. Unfortunately the remainder of their domestic first class product is very ordinary.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 10915 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8841 times:

Virgin America is best in my book. Huge pitch with legrests and great service. Too bad they are rather limited in destinations.

US Airways is worst. After flying two 3 hour flights back to back and not being fed at all in First Class, I knew I wouldn't pay again. I would think STL-PHX-SEA is an itinerary that should warrant meals during meal times.

If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 883 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8825 times:

Regarding seats and IFE, you also might want to take into account the type of plane scheduled to fly your flight. Some planes on UA (international 767 and 777), US (A330), DL (some 757, some 738s, all international 763 and 777), AA (777), and CO (all 757s, 767s, and 777s, and possibly some newer 737s) offer PTVs with either LiveTV or a selection of movies (AVOD or on a loop). In addition, the seating style/amount of seat pitch and width on the planes vary, even within airlines; AA's 757s have brown leather seats, while their 738s have new blue seats with headrests. Internationally-configured planes would have international-seat setup, apart from AA 762s which is in a "flagship" layout.

If you are planning on doing work/using a computer or device with limited battery, you may also want to check whether your plane has powerports, and if it does, whether you'll need an adapter. www.seatguru.com is a good resources, as well as most airline websites.

Domestically, the only airline I've flown FC on is AA, and on those flights (757) I've had wonderful service and found the seat to be comfortable.

Soxfan  Smile

Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently onlineAA1818 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Feb 2006, 3544 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8785 times:

AA's domestic first class is great on aiircraft that have had their interiors updated and new seats installed. The 757 and A300 domestically are dissappointing mainly due to the seats, btu the rest of their fleet is great. Further the 757s are getting a facelift and the A300s are leaving, so overall, while I don't know who the best is, I can certainly say that AA's product is very good. Warm meals, good FAs, good IFE, great seats.


“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 33653 posts, RR: 85
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8754 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I find UA to be consistently good. I have good experiences on UA, as well, but CO overall seems better.

User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8667 times:

CO is outstanding no matter what the route, and yes even in the 500's.

Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
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