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AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.  
User currently offlineGoAibusGo From Netherlands, joined Mar 2001, 279 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7143 times:

I am curious,

Which of these US "network" carriers is the better one these days, and why?
(Service, destinations, a/c type use, hub-cities operations, you name it)

I know about Southwest, jetBlue, airTran and other LCCs. Let's put these carriers aside for the moment and concentrate on these network carriers mentioned above.

Your comments, please


29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineTommy767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7093 times:

AA is the best IMO. They have a good fleet, good strategic hubs, and offer good service in flight. Everytime I get onto one of there planes I have nothing but good things to talk about. For the most part, there seats are new, and the a/c are relatively new. The worst about AA though is the lack of PTV's on Intl flights. I guess they do not have any money to do it.

User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7092 times:

Some might say you're only really talking about 3 networks here:


And my opinion is DL/NW/CO is "the better one" these days:

a) financially strongest
b) overall best frequent flier programs (really talking about NW/CO)
c) strongest network
d) NW always has been and continues to be technologically ahead of the pack
e) CO has great service, NW has improved significantly

An unexamined life isn't worth living.
User currently offlinePlugger From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7086 times:

United. 1) Their choice of Airbus 320/319 over 737 family 2) Star Alliance 3) O'hare hub, and sentimental reasons as well. My first jet flight was on a United 727 in 1966 from Denver to O'Hare. It was the most thrilling airborn experience (thus far) in my life. It felt like a rocket going to the moon compared to the Frontier DC3 I'd just spluttered into town in. United tends to have better inflight services (food etc) than does American, generally speaking these days. And I never was a big fan of the DC9 family (MD80s of AA).

User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7050 times:


1) Good fleet. Mostly new aircraft and a lot of Boeing.
2) MRTC.
3) IFE on most flights.
4) Good First Class.
5) Friendly employees.

User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7023 times:

AA hands-down.

Best planes, best network, and usually decent fares. I am satisfied with their IFE, but when I fly internationally I'm usually on a 777, so that is the reason -- I do think their 767s could use PTVs!

"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineKillerbabe From Netherlands, joined Aug 2003, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6955 times:

No question asked: NW, CO and DL.

great network, great planes, good services and good international partners..

User currently offlineSyncmaster From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 2082 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6892 times:
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My First Choice is NW/CO/DL (The entire network)

1.) Best FF's (CO/NW mostly)
2.) Good Aircraft
3.) Good Hubs

and the list goes on.

Second Choice: UA, I'd personally like to stay away from US, I hope that doesn't go much further.

User currently offlineFraT From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 1126 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6893 times:

Definitely CO.
Wait until you see the 3rd quarter results later that week. It'll say all. Probably the only network carrier in the black numbers.
Plus good hubs in EWR (new Terminal) and IAH (Latin America network).
Finally the best CEO. If you like him or not, the results prove he's right in most business decisions.

User currently offlineZona8 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6864 times:

I agree with TWFirst, it really is AA, UA/US, and DL/NW/CO.
DL/NW/CO is by far the best!
So many flights, CO and DL have such good planes, nice people.

More importantly why not AA or UAL/US-
AA b/c the service is really bad on a consistent basis and they have so many MD-80 which I am not that fond of and UAL/US because (this is just a personal thing) they have so few flights to AUS, where I live, but overall their not bad.

User currently offlineDanny From Poland, joined Apr 2002, 3535 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6855 times:

United - best comfort onboard. Second - Continental.

User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6684 times:

Do we have to choose one of those? OK, OK, I'll take the least of the evils: CO. Hubs, people, service, aircraft fleet, etc, etc.

Tom at MSY

"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6583 times:

Biased..but true. DL/CO/NW. When they finally get all linked up, SkyTeam will be going major league places. Plus, all have great a/c fleets, with very very good comanality between CO and DL...also, the 3 are poised to survive the econ storm...the other 3, not really.


User currently offlineLImamura From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6534 times:

I think United is the best!

I like United simply because of all its wide body airplanes that they have, such as B767, B744, B777. United is one of the few USA airlines that has B744 in its fleet making it possible to sit on the 2nd floor, which I think is thrilling! I also like their First Suites that they installed on their B777 & B744 International planes. Also, I like that United is in and one of the founders of the Star Alliance. But, most of all, I like United the best because of it's extensive routes in Asia and the USA.

User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6512 times:

US by default...I go to a lot of places that are only served by US and DL...and I can't STAND Delta...and when US doesn't serve someplace, I just fly United and get Dividend Miles anyway...

Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlineBCAInfoSys From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6496 times:

I prefer CO/NW/DL, but it can be kind of touch and go with NW. I really wish they would accelerate the replacement of their older aircraft. I really hate being stuck on an old DC-10 or DC-9. Their Buses aren't bad though, along with their 752's. (Haven't flown a 747 yet).

Just my 2 cents.

[Edited 2003-10-14 01:41:24]

User currently offlineUSAir330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 850 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6438 times:

In my opinion US is the better one these days. Great new fleet of aircraft and they have a very good CEO. US is a carrier that will one day be in the top 3 category. Also being from PHL helps in choosing US.

P.S That A330-300 is very quiet ! Big grin

User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2642 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6432 times:

CO/NW/DL as well for me. I have the most miles with this team and 2 of the airlines there are in the top 3 I always try to fly (CO/DL).

Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2691 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6415 times:

I prefer AA/DL/UA/NW/CO/US. I really seem to lean toward American and Delta because they fly mostly new and fuel-efficient aircraft, as well as some older ones. I really think their Boeing 777s are some of the most beautiful out there. However, since I've never flown on Delta, but am dying to, UA is the second best one I've flown on. And the United livery isn't so bad either (though I'm ready for a change).I really appreciated the service AA and UA offer on board, as well, as like Danny mentioned, lots of room. Give me a ticket on Continental, I won't be very enthusiastic, but AA, UA, or DL, and I'm ready for departure!

Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2767 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6401 times:

I agree with TWFirst the NW/CO/DL partnership and eventually SkyTeam integration will be the best option. But, if your airport is ORD, DFW, IAD, or others - this may not be the case.

I think it delivers the best global options - with SkyTeam.

B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineLadevale From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6407 times:

OK, you had to ask...

The better one is ... American Airlines

Network: Most comprehensive domestic network of any of the Big 6 - equally strong on the eastcoast as in the west. On the international side, it is the largest US carrier to Latin America, largest US carrier to the UK (LHR, Gatwick, Manchester, etc.), and third largest US carrier to Japan. Covers the rest of the world through codeshares with highly respected partners.

Regional Partner: American Eagle is the largest US regional carrier. AA and American Eagle operate seamlessly at all of AA's hubs and major focus cities. In terms of operational coordination, they are unmatched by any other regional airline/major airline relationship. (It certainly helps that AMR owns both Eagle and AA and that it runs Eagle as a single, unified operation).

Hubs and gateway cities: DFW and ORD are perfectly situated to support AA's strategic emphasis on east-west connecting traffic. As focus cities, LAX, JFK, Boston, and Miami, provide AA with the geographical leverage to dominate the non-stop transcon market. AA's balanced presence at Boston, LGA, DCA and LAX give AA access to the major sources of intra-regional traffic. AA's Miami hub is the premier Latin American gateway. AA has a major presence at more of the major international gateways than any other US carrier - ORD, JFK, Miami, and LAX.

International partners/alliances: Though smaller than Star, oneworld is unmatched in terms of the quality or reputation of its members. Within their respective regions, BA, Cathay, LanChile, Qantas lead the industry in quality and service reputation. AA also maintains strong bilateral relationships with JAL and TAM.

Aircraft: The 777's and 767-300's do the bulk of the international flying. All of the 777's are of the extended-range variety and sport RR engines. 737-800's tend to serve the major US business centers, mostly midcon, some transcon. The 737-800's were all acquired new over the last 6-7 years. MD-80's tend to serve the secondary US markets from major hubs or focus cities. All of the MD80's, except for some of the ex-TWA birds, have been refurbished over the last five years. The ex-TWA birds are scheduled to be rufurbished. The 757's are now being reassigned to leisure-type routes where AA competes with JetBlue and the like. The A300's are now relegated to high-density Carribean routes originating in the east coast. The F-100's well be fully retired by the middle of next year. Eagle is transitioning to an all ERJ fleet.

AA human resources excels at recruiting and training new employees. Traditionally, that has meant that AA's line personnel are very knowledgable and resourceful. Though the recent wage concessions have affected employee morale to some degree or another, it has done nothing to diminish the quality of the current roster of employees. Moreover, AA never had a period in its history like United, during the ESOP era, or Continental, pre- and post- bankruptcy, when it was forced to hire low quality personnel due to an uncompetitive wage structure. Moreover, AA has traditionally supported its employees by fostering a corporate culture that is very professional and highly ordered.

In the mid- to late-90's, AMR began upgrading and renovating its terminals at key gateway cities and hubs. As part of this effort, American Eagle was one of the first regionals with its own dedicated facilities (e.g., Concourse G at ORD). Mainline has new or upgraded facilites at DFW and LAX. By the middle of this decade, it will have new or upgraded facilities at JFK and Miami. A new international terminal will also open at its biggest hub, DFW, along with a new people mover system. In total, these facility improvements will give AA a better marketing profile than any of its competitors.

Customer Service Experience:

On the Ground: Most facilities are very modern and have been updated. Renovation projects are ongoing at major stations like DFW, JFK, and Miami. AA has installed self-service check-in kiosks at almost all of its major and minor stations.

In the Air: AA has MRTC on 85% of the fleet. Furthermore, the coach cabin of all fleet types, except perhaps the 757, sport new seats and interiors. That new interior scheme was introduced with the delivery of the first 777's and 737's in the late 90's. The premium cabins of all the fleet, except the 757's and 767-200's, sport new seats and interiors as well.

AA has arguably the best domestic first class product (seats + service) of any of the Big 6, specifically on midcons and transcons. It has the best premium class service on 3-class transcons. On the international side, it has arguably the best First class product of any of the Big 6, Flagship Suite and all.

Frequent Flyer Program:
The customer service experience of its elite frequent flyers is unmatched by any other program. It is quite easy to redeem miles for awards in the program. Miles can be redeemed for premium awards on some of the industry's premier carriers. AA's award chart is arguably the most comprehensive in the business. (Try getting to Easter Island on a Star award.) The AAdvantage Credit Card is the most widely held credit card of its type.

Strategy and Management:
Current management is focused on reducing costs and increasing revenue. Third quarter numbers will show how successful they have been at doing that. At the moment, they are leading the industry in unit revenue improvement. Though they will lose money this quarter, most Wall Street analysts predict that they are well-positioned to turn a net profit next year. They will do so by building on their core competencies and hubs. Current management has done a very good job of identifying those and concentrating assets there.

User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6237 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6393 times:
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AA for me because they have the most room for EVERYONE in coach...unless you're flying in an A300 or 757. They have the best set of partners in the Oneworld Alliance.

Just my opinion, of course.

User currently offlineAdam T. From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 957 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6352 times:

It really depends. As far as good service, AA wins in my opinion, their customer service agents, flight crews are all friendly each time I fly them.
If I had to judge by aircraft I would choose US Airways just because they operate the A319/320/321, my favorite jets  Smile, US has friendly and professional flight crews for the most part, but their customer service in my opinion is like a coin, you either get good service, or bad service.
Continental and United are also very good. I haven't flown Northwest or Delta recently so I can't comment on them.

User currently offlineCOEWRNJ From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1079 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6340 times:

Definitely CO. CO is the only airline that has their act together from check-in to baggage claim. Their ontime performance is great(has slacked a little lately) employees are always friendly, and their EWR hub is so easy to navigate. Haven't been to IAH or CLE though. Everytime I have had any significant delay with them they always find a way to compensate for it. For example my flight from EWR-PHX was delayed 2hrs for mechanical issues and we had to switch planes. When we reboarded they had customer care kits. They include Discount coupons which got me a great fare from TUS-EWR and free on board service coupon. With all that said I feel United is the worst out of all of them. Every time I have taken them there as been some sort of problem. Last time the reservation agent had me flying EWR-LAX-JFK. Didn't find that out until I got to the airport an t the airport agent brought it to my attention. JFK is 2hrs from my house.
Long story short CO #1, UA last.

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6291 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6286 times:

I have flown AA for years- dad used to work for them.
I am currently in the process of switching my frequent flier allegiance from AAdvantage to OnePass. Does that tell you what I think? I had a great experience on CO last year, and have decided to make them my airline of choice- in spite of living in Dallas.

One reason is that they fly out of Love Field- an airport I prefer. Though I live very close to DFW, Love Field is so much more... something... and less... something else... I think it's more friendly, and less crowded.

I like Continental's fleet. I like AA's too, as I am a huge fan of the Douglas stuff- MD-80s included. BUT- for now, Conti still flies a few MD-80s. And I love the 737NGs even more that I love the A320s. So... yeah, I like conti's fleet.


25 GoAibusGo : Thanks for all your reactions, folks I see that AA- American Airlines is most popular, followed by DL Delta (together with NW & CO as in their propose
26 Post contains images StevenUhl777 : UNITED AIRLINES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reasons: 1. Sentimental reasons...first flight was a DC8-62 in July 1973...SFO-ORD.
27 Cessna172RG : Tough choice...after flying on Singapore Air...not sure if I can really go back to US Majors unless Northwest introduces the A330 on the SEA-NRT fligh
28 Nwa747-400 : NW Cessna172RG: NW will be flying the A330-200 on the SEA-NRT route probably beginning next year. ---------------------------------------------- North
29 Post contains images Cessna172RG : Then I'll definitely give her a try!!!
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