As I live in the UK these days, I typically fly non-US airlines for most of my travel. My memories of US airlines were of the dark days post 9/11, when product was cut to the bone and snarly, paranoid frontline employees seemed to be the new normal across airlines.
So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to experience the complete opposite on my just-concluded trip to the US! I flew Delta in economy LHR-MSP-DFW-JFK-LHR, American JFK-LAX and SEA-JFK, and AS LAX-SEA. The AA and AS flights were in First Class.
On all of my flights across all three airlines, I came across cheerful, helpful, service-oriented staff both on the ground and in the air. A delay on Delta's MSP-DFW flight was handled superbly on-the-ground, with refreshments served at the gate, on in air with the bar thrown open to all inflight, etc. Internet conntectivity on all domestic flights that worked well. Decent meals in FC with baked-on-board warm cookies and milk service. AC power outlets. Modern AVOD equipment and new cabins on DL's refurbished 767-300ERs across the pond. Cheerful TSA staff, even at JFK! Pinch me, I must be dreaming, I thought!
But it was real, and I was impressed. Maybe I was just very lucky. Frankly I found the experience to be much more pleasant than what I typically experience in Europe. I guess it proves even more that the few bad apples on power trips really give the rest a bad rap. Hopefully those get weeded out and become rarer and rarer in the days ahead. And well done, Delta, American, and Alaska!