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Topic: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: factsonly
Posted 2013-05-21 07:45:58 and read 17320 times.

The Chicago Tribune recently published the article below, telling readers to fly foreign airlines as they regard the on-board service superior to US carriers.

Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ion-yiddish-books-flight-attendant

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: SonomaFlyer
Posted 2013-05-21 07:51:34 and read 17292 times.

Sadly, the U.S. airline industry has focused more on cost cutting than focusing on their international products. As a result, I fly on foreign carriers 80-90% of the time for my international trips. The prices are similar and the experience is almost always better.

The problem of course can be remedied and AA has a chance to reinvent itself with the merger. They have plenty of examples within OneWorld of outstanding customer service to emulate.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: WA707atMSP
Posted 2013-05-21 07:59:47 and read 17179 times.

Quoting factsonly (Thread starter):
The Chicago Tribune recently published the article below, telling readers to fly foreign airlines as they regard the on-board service superior to US carriers.

Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?

I think United Airlines should respond by telling their passengers to read The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times instead of the Chicago Tribune, because cost cutting by the Tribune's owners has resulted in the Tribune becoming inferior to newspapers from out of town publishers  

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-05-21 08:06:00 and read 17092 times.

Well I don't agree with the wording of this article, but if more people fly the apparently superior *** products of foreign airlines, maybe the US airlines will see this as a need to imrpove their competitiveness....

****I say "apparently," because I haven't flown any international airlines, other than AF.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: Spacepope
Posted 2013-05-21 08:39:41 and read 16871 times.

I make it a point to fly foreign airlines whenever I go international. The last 2 legs back from ICN I've been stuck with UA and DL. The service did not come close to comparing with the KE and OZ service going the other direction.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: cgnnrw
Posted 2013-05-21 08:46:28 and read 16800 times.

I generally go out of my way to fly foreign carriers (AF/KL) when I go to the US. Whereas up to a few years ago one could really see the difference in the onboard economy product, the foreign carriers were always above US carriers; the past few years the foreign carriers have started lowering their standards to those of US carriers.
- paying for bags
- cheapening their inflight meals
- use of plastic cutlery
- use of plastic cups

These small differences put the foreign carriers in another league. Now, there really isn't much difference except price.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: curiousflyer
Posted 2013-05-21 09:44:47 and read 16551 times.

AA and DL have upped their game in business class, they compete well with AF, KL and BA in my view, although for the same price I would still rather take AF, KL or BA because of:
- better food and drinks
- better lounges
- generally, a better style
Now, seat-wise, the newest seat of DL and AA beat AF, KL or BA... for now. But the new seats are not in all planes. Also the Americans are usually cheaper.

In coach, it is a completely different story, the Europeans beat the Americans flat out. Food, drinks, service, airport amenities, efficiency, there is just no comparison. The Americans can only compete on price.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: acabgd
Posted 2013-05-21 09:46:14 and read 16547 times.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 5):
These small differences put the foreign carriers in another league. Now, there really isn't much difference except price.

If you take only AF (and possibly KL) into account, then yes, your above statement might be true. However, there are other international carriers flying to the US with far superiour service which you didn't take into account.

For me, I always fly on international carriers except when really impossible.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: ORDBOSEWR
Posted 2013-05-21 10:36:05 and read 16249 times.

What is funny is that almost the single biggest factor for american consumers is price.

If the US airlines are competing on the one metric that their consumers care about then who is really winning. Hint, it is the customer.

But remember you get what you pay for. You can't have it both ways. You can't want Porsche-like service when buying a Yugo. If you do then you are sadly setting yourself up for failure.

I am not going to even go into the various reasons why, but the European legacies are actually in worse financial shape than most of US legacies. I would bet a post-backruptcy AA/US combo plus UA and DL are much more stable than AF/KL, LH and IAG.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-05-21 10:53:31 and read 16143 times.

If I were an employee of either UA or AA, I'd never again pick up another issue of CT. Whether there's merit in the article or not, you don't kick you neighbor in the face. CT should have had one of their affiliates in a town that's NOT a hub for the 2 largest airlines in the US publish this article. AA/UA employees should mount a protest.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: aklrno
Posted 2013-05-21 11:16:12 and read 16010 times.

I flew UA HKG to SFO a few days ago, my first US carrier international flight in years. I was pleasantly surprised. I could find nothing wrong with the experience except that the UA lie flat business class seat is not as comfortable as the ones on NZ. I'll be on UA LAX-LHR in a few weeks. If it is as good then my fear of UA international will be gone.

It's the domestic flights where I find US service to be far worse than most other countries, but as someone pointed out, if you demand the lowest price you can't expect the highest service. Still, some airlines (like WN) do a good job with minimal resources.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: scbriml
Posted 2013-05-21 11:20:04 and read 15973 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 9):
AA/UA employees should mount a protest.

Talk about shoot the messenger! How about they just improve their on-board product to match that of those "goddam forners"?   

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: rampbro
Posted 2013-05-21 11:22:19 and read 15945 times.

What a poor piece of writing. It seems like it was written by an 8 year old who had just been on their first flight. The reference to a domestic carrier at the end of the article is confusing and smacks of a cheap 'planted article'. Then this whopper:

'Other corners of the globe certainly have faced similarly lean economic times, but their airlines have remained civil for perhaps no reason other than cultural expectations.'

Yes, I'm sure it has nothing to do with, you know, labour laws or lack of union organization, or the fact that the boilerplate 'tough global economic times' actually hides the fact that some regions are serious decline while other are growing rapidly. Cultural expectations my rear-end. Thats like saying Coke brought the Original flavour back because they got 'nostalgic'.

The only people who ought to protest this article are subscribers to the Chicago Tribune, who have to read drivel like this.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: 777ord
Posted 2013-05-21 11:30:51 and read 15742 times.

Looks like an article by a guy who writes for the Tribute who just had a not stellar experience on a US Carrier.... As stated since the beginning of time- YOU get what YOU pay for. And, in our cost driven economy, we demand the silver platter, and whine when we get the Hefty paper plate and can't explain why.

That being said, I had to wait in line in security flying out of LAX last week (UA lax ord) and the guy in front of me was complaining to his wife how he should have drove to Boston because it was cheaper than the $560 he paid for he and his wife to fly... unexpectedly his wife goes, "please tell me honey how a 2,500 mile drive twice at 4.00/gallon is cheaper than this?" He ate that humble pie and loved it lol!

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: Doona
Posted 2013-05-21 11:44:49 and read 15419 times.

Quoting factsonly (Thread starter):
Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?

Hailing from Scandinavia, my legacy carrier doesn't offer much in the way of service not seen on its American counterparts. At least on most American carriers, they'll throw in a complimentary soda. On my last flight over the pond with SAS in Y, there wasn't even a meal choice (although the meal served was indeed very decent).

I supposed I've been lucky, I've always enjoyed good service on carriers from the US (UA, AA, DL, and even the old NW and TW), both on and off the ground. Back in the late 90's I traveled a lot as a UM between the US and Europe, mostly on US carriers, and was treated like a prince (at least in my mind). But I don't need to see F/As or ground staff smiling at me every second, I don't need to be pampered. All I require is to be treated politely and respectfully, and I'd say that in my experience, I've been just that. I'd also say that F/As on US carriers tend to be friendlier, at least to me.

The only bad experience on an American carrier that stood out was on a UAX flight, operated by Skywest, where the only F/A was tired and grumpy. But then again, I think his frustration was more directed at his own life than at us passengers.

Cheers
Mats

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-05-21 12:01:06 and read 15076 times.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 2):
I think United Airlines should respond by telling their passengers to read The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times instead of the Chicago Tribune, because cost cutting by the Tribune's owners has resulted in the Tribune becoming inferior to newspapers from out of town publishers

I read both the WSJ and the Chicago Tribune. While true that cost cutting at the Tribune means no local auto section editor and more outsourcing of articles for the Sunday Travel section, the local news section of the Tribune is still head and shoulders above most other major city papers.

By the same token, I've been hearing from friends who travel overseas that the major U.S. carriers don't compare to the likes of BA, Air France, or Lufthansa, but they are better than KLM and Iberia.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2013-05-21 12:03:55 and read 15037 times.

Quoting factsonly (Thread starter):

The Chicago Tribune recently published the article below, telling readers to fly foreign airlines as they regard the on-board service superior to US carriers.

Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?

For international flights, American-flagged carriers have been horrible for years, compared to most foreign airlines (well, at least european and far-east airlines). Flight attendants tend to be more rude and surly - like they really don't want to bother with you. Cleanliness is hit or miss - They seem to clean the plans once a week whether the plane needs it or not, and if you are lucky you board one that isn't too bad.

The only reason I ever fly them is that they generally have the cheapest fares. But if the price is similar, off I go.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2013-05-21 12:15:18 and read 14781 times.

I do feel for American carriers. They are criticized for "lousy service" yet, at least for most Americans, they only care about low price. So what are the airlines to do?

Though I can't take all the blame off US airlines, they caused a lot of their own woes

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: BA0197
Posted 2013-05-21 13:02:19 and read 13959 times.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):

I do feel for American carriers. They are criticized for "lousy service" yet, at least for most Americans, they only care about low price. So what are the airlines to do?

The problem is that people see the upfront cost and don't think about baggage charges/ seat assignment/ boarding card cost etc when they purchase their ticket. I would like to think that if some airline started an advertizing campaign that stated they were going to add the cost of one baggage, a snack/meal, free bar and newspaper that the public would take note and start to think about those benifits. (BA has a value calculator on its website showcasing how flying them may be cheaper than EZ or FR) But it appears that after you unbundle, you cannot rebundle (or it hasen't been done yet anyway).

Just imagine if we had an airline (al BA) here in the US. IAH-DFW with breakfast onboard, free booze, a free bag, choice of newspaper, assigned seats before the flight, and they don't charge you for every little thing you want onboard. I would be the first to buy a ticket on them.

But unforutnatly it seems consumers are more worried about cost than service. Shame.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: CitationJet
Posted 2013-05-21 13:11:58 and read 13782 times.

Quoting factsonly (Thread starter):
Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?

I have flown AA, UA, DL, LH, AF, SQ, SAS, and Austrian on overwater flights in the past few years. Based on my experience I would have to agree with them.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: blueflyer
Posted 2013-05-21 13:17:22 and read 13682 times.

In the premium cabins, I think US carriers, at least the ones I fly (AA, UA, US) have made significant improvements and have narrowed the gap, especially on the hard product. The quality of the soft product can be good, but it is too much of a lottery still.

What does hurt US carriers the most, in my opinion, is the poor quality of their premium domestic service. It doesn't matter much if you live at a hub, but if a significant amount of total travel time is spent getting to the hub, it does matter greatly. Why would I want to spend three hours from DFW flying to a US carrier's hub in domestic First when I can just as well take Lufthansa or Korean (for example) and enjoy greater comfort earlier, even in Business. I am aware intra-European Business class is little more than a slightly improved coach cabin, but distances are much shorter and, to me, it is an acceptable trade-off to spend much more time in greater comfort.

Of course, the best option for Europe remains Air Canada whenever available. Their North American Executive class is far better than any domestic First offering, and their Executive First class is as good as any over the Atlantic.

Bottom line, unless passengers live at a hub, US carriers will not be as good as foreign carriers until they significantly improve their domestic service, and since the majority of passengers seem to think they're entitled to free seats upfront, I see no improvement any time soon.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-05-21 13:35:18 and read 13289 times.

It really depends.

Honestly, there is such a high degree of granularity involved in these decisions when it comes to fulfilling customer expectations, balancing cost of goods added vs. derived value of services added, and all while trying to incorporate aspects that give off uniqueness representing the cultural standards of the country and the individual airline.

I would say that yes, on the whole European carriers TEND to be nicer than US ones across the pond, at least in Y. In F and C, the differences are probably a little more negligible, but it also depends on so many different aspects.

There are certain categories where international airlines will win, hands down. Politeness of FAs is definitely one of them. I don't think I would ever come across a rude FA on All Nippon flying Seattle to Narita, but on United, that is usually the norm (read my most recent TRs for more detail).

Whereas in other categories, things differ, and US carriers win. I personally have found United (legacy Continental's) IFE system to be revolutionary, with SO many options, and superior to BA, AF and ANA. Lufthansa and SWISS basically serve old lettuce for salads in Y, whereas Delta adds tomatoes and feta cheese.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2013-05-21 14:02:43 and read 12800 times.

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 18):
I would like to think that if some airline started an advertizing campaign that stated they were going to add the cost of one baggage, a snack/meal, free bar and newspaper that the public would take note and start to think about those benifits. (BA has a value calculator on its website showcasing how flying them may be cheaper than EZ or FR) But it appears that after you unbundle, you cannot rebundle (or it hasen't been done yet anyway).

You'd have the airlines doing the new pricing show up after the airlines using the current pricing on websites like expedia. You'd have to have an extremely wide reaching campaign that would be expensive and might not work. Plus, what about the tons of people that don't check bags? I never do, I always carry on. The one time I absolutely had to check a bag it got lost, go figure.

Don't get me wrong, I wish it was all more straight forward, I just don't think what you said would necessarily work

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: bastew
Posted 2013-05-21 14:05:45 and read 12780 times.

I totally disagree with the article.

From a J class POV anyway.

Having just flown four sectors on AA J class (two domestic First, two longhaul) I found on every sector the service was second to none, the food was amazing and I was made to feel a valued customer. The First Class domestic flights were way ahead of what you will experience on any short haul flight within europe. On the longhaul flights I have not had better food (in terms of quality or quantity) on any european carrier. AA's was far superior.

The only thing letting the whole thing down was AA's rubbish angled-flat seats on the longhaul flights and the pretty limited IFE (a walk down through coach revealed ceiling mounted monitors - no PTV). But both of these issues are being addressed with the newer aircraft.

I was not expecting much of the lounges at all, but was really impressed with the space and decor in the lounges. If they added in free food and drink, they would be comparable to the likes of BA's lounges.

The asian and middle eastern airlines may still be in a league of their own but tbh given the choice between AA and AF/KL/BA etc etc J I would choose AA hands down - provided I was on one of their newer aircraft.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: jayunited
Posted 2013-05-21 14:45:54 and read 12183 times.

I completely agree with this article. The last few international trips that I have taken I have actually bought tickets because I was traveling with a group of my friends and we did not fly UA. Instead we have flown on LH, LX, and BA in coach of course (I work for an airline I can't afford business class) But these airlines service is coach in some cases is better than the service I received flying standby in business class on UA. Their flight attendants are friendly the service is always with a smile and the food in coach on these carriers is better than the food on UA. Now if I am taking a trip by myself I'll fly standby on UA but when its a group of my friends and we all are taking an international trip 9 times out of 10 we are on a international carrier not a US carrier. US carriers have a long way to go to catch up to what their international counterparts are doing in terms of on board service, friendliness, and food and drink options.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: PRAirbus
Posted 2013-05-21 14:47:13 and read 12475 times.

BA, LH, LAN, TAM are most or all of the Asian carriers are far SUPERIOR!

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: AmricanShamrok
Posted 2013-05-21 15:02:28 and read 12277 times.

I regularly (once/twice a year) fly EI or UA across the pond in Economy and honestly I find little difference between the two in both soft and hard products. Both offer seat-back AVOD, complimentary soft drinks, snacks and a choice of main meal. The main difference for me is the aircraft I'm flying (A332 vs. B752).

Although EI are currently rolling out transatlantic Wi-Fi and it'll be a while before UA catches up in this regard. DL offers it though.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: airfrancejfk
Posted 2013-05-21 15:07:46 and read 12356 times.

This information is nothing new. The disparity in service on international sectors is appalling. Flew the JFK to LHR route several times with VS, BA and DL and the DL service is clearly substandard in every way possible. From JFK to the Caribbean, fly JM/BW compared to AA/DL and you will see the difference. No fees for a first or even a second bag and complimentary meals (not peanuts and certainly not food for sale) served on every flight.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2013-05-21 15:10:57 and read 12251 times.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
The problem of course can be remedied and AA has a chance to reinvent itself with the merger. They have plenty of examples within OneWorld of outstanding customer service to emulate.

How about Pan Am version 5 or wherever this next venture would be? I haven't read the article but is it inferring that foreign carriers should crack the comestic market in the USA? Does this also take into account flying Air Generic (Ryan Air) where they are contemplating charging you to poop at 35,000 feet and offering stand up flying?

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: bohica
Posted 2013-05-21 15:41:12 and read 11824 times.

Quoting factsonly (Thread starter):
The Chicago Tribune recently published the article below, telling readers to fly foreign airlines as they regard the on-board service superior to US carriers.

Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?

About a year ago, I downloaded the Chicago Tribune app for Android. It was so bad I deleted it after about a week. The Chicago Tribune needs to get their own act together before they can tell someone who to fly on.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-05-21 16:47:24 and read 11053 times.

I have flown DFW-AMS on KLM in World Business Class and also have flown AMS-IAH on United in Business First. Both airlines products were very good. Each product had it's own distinction but both were comparable.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: shufflemoomin
Posted 2013-05-21 16:50:41 and read 10966 times.

I prefer non-US airlines because most of their staff still remember that they're in the service industry and don't act like self-important, wanna-be law enforcement like some US airline staff.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: SPREE34
Posted 2013-05-21 17:13:33 and read 10644 times.

I agree with the writer. I compare BA, V Aus, Virgin Atlantic, DL, IB, and AA. The recent AA only because I had no choice of carrier at the time. I avoid AA.

Quoting curiousflyer (Reply 6):
I would still rather take AF, KL or BA because of:
- better food and drinks
- better lounges
- generally, a better style

All true. The Delta lounge at LAX is a sad joke. All it offers is a spot away from the noise in the terminal.

Quoting curiousflyer (Reply 6):
In coach... the Europeans beat the Americans flat out. Food, drinks, service, airport amenities, efficiency, there is just no comparison. The Americans can only compete on price

Agree. I avoid coach, yet recently rode BA coach class. It matched your observation.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 9):
If I were an employee of either UA or AA, I'd never again pick up another issue of CT.

Why. Because they printed the truth? Why not take the article to the next Board meeting and use it as a "to do" list of product improvement?

Quoting scbriml (Reply 11):
Talk about shoot the messenger! How about they just improve their on-board product to match that of those "goddam forners"?   

  

Quoting rampbro (Reply 12):
The only people who ought to protest this article are subscribers to the Chicago Tribune, who have to read drivel like this.

They don't "have to read" the alleged drivel, and are free to fly on the substandard product. Some people like their heads in the sand.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
Though I can't take all the blame off US airlines, they caused a lot of their own woes

Yup. When you don't like where you are, start in the mirror. The Legacies didn't adapt to the marketplace or derugulation in a reasonable way.

Quoting bastew (Reply 23):
If they added in free food and drink, they would be comparable to the likes of BA's lounges.

On a recent outbound BA flight, the AA Admirals Club was the lounge available to BA customers. They just don't compare. BA, Virgin, even Alaska's Board Room domestically beats DL and AA's lounges into the ground. BA has two lounges in T5 at LHR, plus the Concorde Room. The BA LHR and LGW lounges are among the best I've ever seen. Virgin at Sydney is awesome. The US carriers either know and don't care, or are truley incompetent.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: HOONS90
Posted 2013-05-21 17:24:54 and read 10507 times.

I just stepped off an AA 772 a few hours ago from a 13 hour flight and it was great. Couldn't ask for a better crew. Smiles everywhere and frequent drink runs.

Never had a bad experience with AA so far, but punctuality couls improve.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-05-21 17:36:53 and read 10304 times.

I agree with the article, but I think many here overstate the difference. Compared to my "normal" airline UA, my transpacs on NH and JL were superior service-wise in Y and in hard product, new 77Ws and 787 vs refurbed 772s and the AVOD-less 744s (what were they thinking!).

Across the Atlantic, my LH and BA experience is not that different from UA, but that's a sleeper flight anyway.

What makes me stick with UA is that a good percentage of the time I can get myself upgraded to J on UA, but it's much harder to manage that on NH and LH even though they are Star Alliance like UA. And comparing UA business class to economy on NH of LH, well there's really no comparison there.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: atsiang
Posted 2013-05-21 17:37:52 and read 10332 times.

Would have to agree with the article 100%. I frequently fly from SFO to HKG. There are three airlines which offers non-stop service between SFO and HKG: Singapore, Cathay and United. Among these three airlines, I would never fly UA, never never. For economy class, Singapore by far offers the best service and amenities. Cathay comes next. I've flown UA internationally from SFO to SYD on economy and it was an unpleasant experience with inadequate food portions and disinterested flight attendants and archaic entertainment system.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-05-21 17:46:53 and read 10221 times.

Rode Coach on BA last December from LHR-HAM. The service on the A320 was remarkable. We were served these little chicken taco like roll ups which were very good plus drinks and this was on a short flight. The crew was wonderful. It reminded me of the old days of flying in the US.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-05-21 18:32:36 and read 9683 times.

Quoting atsiang (Reply 35):
Would have to agree with the article 100%. I frequently fly from SFO to HKG. There are three airlines which offers non-stop service between SFO and HKG: Singapore, Cathay and United. Among these three airlines, I would never fly UA, never never. For economy class, Singapore by far offers the best service and amenities. Cathay comes next. I've flown UA internationally from SFO to SYD on economy and it was an unpleasant experience with inadequate food portions and disinterested flight attendants and archaic entertainment system.

I can see your point if all 3 carriers charge the same fare, but when I checked some random dates in June SFO-HKG-SFO for a 2-week stay, UA's lowest round trip Y class fare for a 2-week stay is a few hundred dollars lower than CX, and SQ's lowest fare is much higher than CX. Many passengers in Y class would rather save the money than pay hundreds of dollars for improved service.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: dfambro
Posted 2013-05-21 18:38:16 and read 9646 times.

Quoting atsiang (Reply 35):
I frequently fly from SFO to HKG.

UA flies the 744s on that route, without seatback screens. The product there is really behind the times. It's a bit better on their 772s.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: atsiang
Posted 2013-05-21 18:57:23 and read 9415 times.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 38):

Yes, I agree that UA charges a lower fare. However, in my experience of flying this route many times, the flights on SQ 001 are always nearly full. Passengers see the value that SQ and CX offers and are willing to pay a couple of hundreds more for better service, food, flight attendants who can speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. It's simply worth it.

[Edited 2013-05-21 18:58:20]

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: N62NA
Posted 2013-05-21 19:03:53 and read 9358 times.

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 33):
I just stepped off an AA 772 a few hours ago from a 13 hour flight and it was great. Couldn't ask for a better crew. Smiles everywhere and frequent drink runs.

Never had a bad experience with AA so far, but punctuality couls improve.

I've logged over 1 million miles with AA and agree with you 100%. My only complaint with AA is that we NEVER leave on time!

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-05-21 19:28:20 and read 9058 times.

Sure foreign carriers are generally better, but US carriers have had a 2+ decade head start on deregulation. When those Asian and EU carriers have 40 years of deregulation under their belt, then let's compare notes.

What's more interesting, is that a newspaper that is in bankruptcy, in a hyper union town, is telling people not to support the hometown carriers. People want quality journalism and great airline service, but have zero interest in paying for either. The irony would be so delicious if it weren't so sad. US pax (and readers) are getting exactly what they want to pay for.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: TomFoolery
Posted 2013-05-21 19:44:39 and read 8863 times.

I must say that I tend to avoid most US carriers due to the fact that my department only pays for Y (we do get to earn and keep our miles). I have found that DL has really improved their product, and is well on thier way to being nearly on-par with some of their international peers.

With that said, I have found that the US carriers treat their passengers right, provided they have the right level of status. Some carriers I avoid because I have no status. But, when one does have the right level of FF status, it is the US carriers who really go out of their way to help when things go wrong. I have not found this to be the case with any of the European majors (LH and AF). For example, if one finishes up a meeting early, and goes to the airport early, that little 'same day confirmed' perk will allow you to trade up to an earlier (or later) flight if seats are available at no charge.

Tom

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: SPREE34
Posted 2013-05-21 19:46:12 and read 8857 times.

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 31):

I prefer non-US airlines because most of their staff still remember that they're in the service industry and don't act like self-important, wanna-be law enforcement like some US airline staff.

Yes! The Air Nazi attitude sets a poor attitude among the PAX right off. I'll stop here before I rant.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: traindoc
Posted 2013-05-21 19:49:06 and read 8870 times.

Last month I flew 22,000 miles on UA, SAT-EWR-HKG-SIN-NRT-EWR-SAT. I was on both former CO and pre merger UA flights. The service was very good, with very little difference in on board product, except that the J seats on the former CO 777 are wider. UA is really getting its act together, and I applaud them.

As to flying foreign carriers, I just booked SAT-LIS, in Business on UA. They wanted $ 4800, while LH wanted $6500! Does LH give $1700 more service than UA for a 12,000 mile trip? Not hardly!

Lastly, the U.S. public wants Walmart airfares, but Nieman Marcus service. So the average passenger is getting what they are willing to pay for. By the way, has the CT writer priced inter European air fare? Our fares, by and large are much better for the same distance travelled, than those in Europe. (I am excluding EasyJet and Ryanair.)

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: ASA
Posted 2013-05-21 20:23:00 and read 8427 times.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 8):
You can't want Porsche-like service when buying a Yugo.

Poor YUGO ... still feeling the end of the stick after all these years 

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: christao17
Posted 2013-05-21 21:48:44 and read 7734 times.

Living in Bangkok and returning to the United States a few times a year, I will most of the time choose to fly TG, OZ, KE, or BR. The service (hard and soft products alike) is leagues better than on DL or UA for a similar and often lower price.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: flyhigh@tom
Posted 2013-05-21 21:52:11 and read 7670 times.

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 43):
Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 31):

I prefer non-US airlines because most of their staff still remember that they're in the service industry and don't act like self-important, wanna-be law enforcement like some US airline staff.

Yes! The Air Nazi attitude sets a poor attitude among the PAX right off. I'll stop here before I rant.

I second that!!!!!         

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: F9animal
Posted 2013-05-21 22:26:01 and read 7350 times.

I think it is time for those in denial to accept the truth. US airlines have gone downhill in terms of service. I don't see it as an insult, nor do I think the writer is trying to insult US airlines. Competition, economy, deregulation, and cuts have taken its toll on service, especially in coach. Foreign airlines have kept the bar high, while US airlines have lowered that bar to cut weight, remove lavs, and add seats to compete with counterparts.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: PassedV1
Posted 2013-05-21 22:40:21 and read 7186 times.

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 18):
Just imagine if we had an airline (al BA) here in the US. IAH-DFW with breakfast onboard, free booze, a free bag, choice of newspaper, assigned seats before the flight, and they don't charge you for every little thing you want onboard. I would be the first to buy a ticket on them.

That has been tried and failed. Look at all the Northeast US shuttle service improvement attempts that have been made and scaled back because not enough passengers are willing to pay a premium for the service.

But if you think about it, this makes sense. Do you pay an extra $20 for a selection of "FREE" newspapers you want or do you save $20 and stop by the newsstand on the way to the plane and pay an extra $5 for the newspaper you ACTUALLY want...and then for every person like you that are willing to pay to have a free selection of newspapers, there is another that woud rather save the money because they already subscribe to everything they read on their ipad (like me) or already have too much crap to read as it is and would just rather save the $20.

It is not fair to compare the service of US airlines to foreign carriers. Foreign carriers usually are guranteed at least a virtual monopoly, if not an actual monopoly on one end of the route map that allows them to get higher fares then they otherwise would. Korean Airlines doesn't have to compete with 3 or 4 other Korean Airlines once it gets it's passengers back to Seoul.

I won't even get into the state support of their flag carriers.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: infinit
Posted 2013-05-21 22:51:16 and read 7048 times.

This topic emerges in the forum ever so often.

I think many make an unfair comparison, comparing American carriers on domestic routes to Asian and European ones on international routes.

Having flown the now defunct NW as well as DL and UA internationally a few times I don't find their hard products too shabby.

Ultimately consumers will do their own research and choose products that match their needs, wants and aspirations. That's marketing cliche but I think it sums up this discussion.

I personally like SQ for their soft product and if their fares are competitive I would go with them. I may also be willing to pay more for them- to a limit. They do promotions in Y but never in J and F. I've flown SQ Y SIN-NRT-SIN all in for S$600 (US$500) on a promotional fare.

Quoting atsiang (Reply 39):
Yes, I agree that UA charges a lower fare. However, in my experience of flying this route many times, the flights on SQ 001 are always nearly full. Passengers see the value that SQ and CX offers and are willing to pay a couple of hundreds more for better service, food, flight attendants who can speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. It's simply worth it.

SQ may not always have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking attendants. Most young Singaporeans are only proficient in English but I believe they would try to staff Chinese routes with at least some that can speak Mandarin/Chinese dialects.
I hear they've also been recruiting attendants in China/Hong Kong recently

Doesn't UA have Mandarin speaking attendants on the route too? I heard an attendant speaking Mandarin on a UA flight SIN-HKG

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: sankaps
Posted 2013-05-22 01:24:53 and read 5855 times.

The article is poorly written, based almost wholly on on stereotypes and personal anecdotes. US airlines bottomed out in service, attitude, and product in the mid-2000s after 9/11. But in recent years some of them -- espcially Delta and now AA -- have invested a lot in hard and soft product and are actually quite good to fly, better than some European alterntives (especially AF/KL and LH).

Consistency of crew and service remains a challenge, but I could write many of the same positive anecdotes about DL based on my recent JFK-LHR flight in economy, as the author wrote about KL. Wonderful crew, excellent product, epecially for economy. And free booze too! This article has gone out if its way to emphasize the historical and perceived negatives of US airlines while exagerrating the positives of the European ones. It is what is called a "hatchet job".

And for those of you comparing US domestic to European carriers -- try intra-Europe "business" class and you'll never complain about US domestic business / first class again. And economy class is no better on intra-Europe than on US domestic. Lounges too... while BA and VS have nice lounges, KL and LH lounges are awful. And I say this based on personal experience of travelling both sets of carriers extensively, short and long haul, for the past many years.

[Edited 2013-05-22 01:58:47]

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: macsog6
Posted 2013-05-22 01:42:41 and read 5661 times.

Quoting BA0197 (Reply 18):
But unforutnatly it seems consumers are more worried about cost than service. Shame.

Adding to this is the policy of many companies that their employees - at least the rank and file type - have to fly the lowest priced airline. When you have to start explaining to your boss why you "wasted" $12 of the firm's money to get a decent amount of room on a long flight, you tend to shut up and learn to squeeze into smaller places.

Until the public - both commercial and private - realize that travel is not a fungible product, price will continue to dominate the decision making process.

Now as far as the Trib's article goes, I don't agree. There are some foreign carriers that are bloody awful - and I don't mean BA - and some domestic carriers that can be pretty good at times. I live in Singapore so I often fly SQ, but I have gotten just as good service on AA on NRT-DFW. But then the service on DFW-ORD did not match the prior AA experience. US based carriers need to have a consistently good product, not merely one that works on 4,000+ mile legs.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: AeroSafari
Posted 2013-05-22 01:52:57 and read 5585 times.

The choice is simple really. Want good looking flight attendants, exceptional service, and decent inflight meals?    ... Fly foreign.
Want    flight attendants that started just after WWII, have one beverage service on long hauls, and serve crusty overpriced TV dinners? ... Fly carriers from the United States      

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-05-22 02:19:43 and read 5376 times.

In the past I have flat out refused to fly US carriers long haul, and when going to the USA I always choose QF from Australia, and BA from Europe. (I've never flown Asia-USA, but once when I contemplated it I defaulted to CX, AA didn't even get considered).

Why? It's the small things.

AVOD is a big one on 14 hour flights, although the US carriers have caught up fast in this regard.

A meal that is edible (BA lags in this regard, although their food is still ahead of the "meat" (it might have been pigeon?) I was served UIO-MIA on AA).

Free alcohol, and lots of it (Big tick to QF for their wine service, even in Y they have at least 2 white and 2 red, and will ask you if you would prefer the Chardonnay or Riesling, and some FA's will even show you the two bottles, a really nice touch. Also BA are VERY generous with the hard liquor/spirits, and it's all free *gasp*)

But more importantly, it's RELIABILITY and CONSISTENCY. With QF I know precisely where I stand, and not just because I seem to spend half my life on their aircraft. It's because their product is consistent, and they run a reliable operation. In comparison, I find that on the US carriers it really depends on who you get, what mood they're in, and maybe what day of the week it is. This discourages me from giving them much of my money because I don't know whether I will get the UA I love, or the UA that is bashed mercilessly on here. They both exist, but you have no idea which one will turn up on the day!

(all this aside, I've decided I want to try UA TPAC and AA TATL just for the experience, and to see how far they have[not] come)

Quoting AeroSafari (Reply 53):
Want good looking flight attendants

Before someone lumps all the "anti-US" brigade together, this factor does not even cross my mind. As I've mentioned before, the three best FAs I've ever had the pleasure of being served by were all "senior" (QF, CO, US for the record).

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: BHMNONREV
Posted 2013-05-22 03:07:15 and read 4988 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 54):
In the past I have flat out refused to fly US carriers long haul, and when going to the USA I always choose QF from Australia

I would concur with this. In my short time here in Oz, I have had three PE trips to/from the US and service was stellar and marginally better than J on any US carrier.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 54):
But more importantly, it's RELIABILITY and CONSISTENCY. With QF I know precisely where I stand, and not just because I seem to spend half my life on their aircraft. It's because their product is consistent, and they run a reliable operation. In comparison, I find that on the US carriers it really depends on who you get, what mood they're in, and maybe what day of the week it is. This discourages me from giving them much of my money because I don't know whether I will get the UA I love, or the UA that is bashed mercilessly on here. They both exist, but you have no idea which one will turn up on the day!

Spot On!! Each of the QF flights I mentioned above had awesome cabin crews, mostly senior and for the most part male. Not a surly attitude to be found from any of the QF F/A's I have come across, domestic or long-haul.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 54):
(all this aside, I've decided I want to try UA TPAC and AA TATL just for the experience, and to see how far they have[not] come)

You'll see how far they have come when they ask you for your credit card when that first cocktail shows up at your seat..  

At the end of the day this is what choice is all about. The penny pinchers will get what they pay for, those who want to spend a few hundred more will see the difference.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: usdcaguy
Posted 2013-05-22 03:36:10 and read 4742 times.

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 49):
It is not fair to compare the service of US airlines to foreign carriers. Foreign carriers usually are guranteed at least a virtual monopoly

,

Those days are over. Even Korea has OZ now in addition to KE. I hate to say it, but I go out of my way to fly foreign carriers whenever I have the choice, and I work for a US airline. Being an airline person first and an employee second, I care immensely about the hard and soft products of a carrier, the style and courtesy of their staff, the newness of their planes and the variety of their inflight entertainment. That said, it is very difficult for me to warrant paying a lot more for those things when I'm paying my own way. When you think about how much you will have to spend on your hotel, ground transportation, dinners out and tourist attractions, you realize that an extra $100-$150 for a plane ticket on the "prettier" carrier is very questionable. Still, I will steer towards a foreign carrier if they are not much more than about $60 more than the US carriers since that is about the price of a nice meal.

In the meantime, the US carriers do not care, because they know that people will fly them as long as they're cheap. It is very expensive to buy new planes, new seats and offer free alcohol, and they probably realize they can make more money being cheap and offering an attractive price. That said, it's an embarrassment to our country, and all their efforts to install lie-flat seating and inflight entertainment will do nothing about the true age of their aircraft, their boring look and the dowdiness of their crews. Not to mention poor food offerings. The only way they can fix things is to replace most of their aircraft, interiors and crew and that will not happen.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: idlewildchild
Posted 2013-05-22 04:57:32 and read 4002 times.

If I'm traveling up front ona flat bed I'm ok with pretty much anyOne, if its a flatbed. In the back I fly non-us carriers but as a us carrier share code to get the premium miles.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: chiawei
Posted 2013-05-22 05:24:27 and read 3717 times.

Quoting aklrno (Reply 10):
I flew UA HKG to SFO a few days ago, my first US carrier international flight in years. I was pleasantly surprised. I could find nothing wrong with the experience except that the UA lie flat business class seat is not as comfortable as the ones on NZ. I'll be on UA LAX-LHR in a few weeks. If it is as good then my fear of UA international will be gone.

Next time go try SQ or CX on the same route. Usually cheaper and way better service and hardware.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: petera380
Posted 2013-05-22 05:40:46 and read 3553 times.

Recently flew ATL to ICN on Korean Air, how refreshing to be older than the flight attendants. I normally fly Delta where the flight attendants always seem older than me!

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: hohd
Posted 2013-05-22 06:18:52 and read 3102 times.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 8):
I am not going to even go into the various reasons why, but the European legacies are actually in worse financial shape than most of US legacies. I would bet a post-backruptcy AA/US combo plus UA and DL are much more stable than AF/KL, LH and IAG.

If Europe had similar bankruptcy laws where you can nullify all the labor contracts, I am sure they will be in better financial shape also. CO and US went through bankruptcies twice. If all US airlines had to pay atleast the principal of their past debts, they will be in much worse financial shape now.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: mcogator
Posted 2013-05-22 06:31:02 and read 2967 times.

DL has really improved their international soft and hard product. I do not see any difference between them and AF & KL, and I would actually prefer to fly DL over their SkyTeam European counterparts. The big difference is between DL and the Asian carriers. KE has as much pitch in Y as DL has in Y+. Their service is excellent, and the staff is always smiling. They are also much more efficient on the ground, as an A388 in ICN is loaded with pax faster than DL can load a 753 in MCO.

Topic: RE: US Newspaper Tells Public To Fly Foreign Airlines
Username: AA777
Posted 2013-05-22 06:36:48 and read 2895 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 9):
If I were an employee of either UA or AA, I'd never again pick up another issue of CT. Whether there's merit in the article or not, you don't kick you neighbor in the face. CT should have had one of their affiliates in a town that's NOT a hub for the 2 largest airlines in the US publish this article. AA/UA employees should mount a protest.

Perhaps its more about telling the obvious truth... what loyalty does the newspaper owe any of the airlines? None.


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