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AA, UA, DL, Transatlantic Comparison  
User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5754 times:

I have had the privilege of flying the three largest US carriers across the Atlantic, specifically to FRA. This has allowed me to make several comparisons that I would like to share with you fellow readers. I have taken AA from ORD-FRA (763) and FRA-DFW (777). UA was from ORD-FRA (777) and FRA-IAD (747). DL was from JFK-FRA (763) and FRA-ATL (777). These trips have all been made in the past eight months, the trips over have been in coach, and back have been in business class.

(1) First off I want to say that the food service for all the airlines is the same. The coach, and business food was almost identical in taste and quality. The airlines had almost the exact same choices for both economy and business. This is not to say the food was bad, but if put to a blind taste test I could not tell the difference. In the business class all had metal cutlery, which I was glad to see.
(2) As for the F/A I want to say that these are all the same, each trip had a nice mix of good looking, happy, angry, it was like the snow white and the seven dwarfs. They were all professional and did their jobs as one would expect.
(3) The seats again I felt where all the same even in business class, my body was sore in all the same places regardless of class or airline.
(4) The inflight entertainment on the flights over on all the airlines where the same, United a little better with channel 9. On the way back UA, AA identical DL had the AVOD (very nice).
(5) Amenity kits on the airlines are standard, I am sorry but what ever happened to the combs. Eyeshades, and earplugs do me no good when my hair looks like it was blown dry by the engines.

Now for some differences:
DL: the free alcoholic beverage in coach is fantastic I love to have a bloody marry with my meal and then I can sleep much better. I also tried the new signature drinks (Big Apple Martini) I found it refreshing and very tasty (No martini glass but that just in the details). One thing that surprised me was amount of meals DL puts on their flight in business. I have no status and I am use to getting the last choice, but DL had 61 business class meals for 40 something passenger, WOW. The F/A uniforms I really like especially when you got a flight attendant that looked good in the red dress, my trip over on DL was when they could still were the healed boots, and man those looked fantastic. I liked the AVOD flight entertainment; it looks really cool, and is great expect it had to be reset once on each flight. Also on the games they have: inflight trivia, head-to-head chess and poker. I was really excited for the 777 I thought with 230 something people this will be cool, but no one played the chess or poker and the trivia only had two other players. What good is AVOD games if no one else wants to play.

AA/UA: For being the US two premier carriers the ones we want to go head to head against the flag carriers of other countries. I thought the service was on par or sub par with DL. I know that improvements are on the way and in the business class they are equal to DL. The F/A uniforms could use a little updating, I heard that DL hired a designer for their uniforms and that AA/UA had their uniforms made in-house. What ever happened to the glory days when a new uniform unveiling was meet with a great parties and designer competed for the chance to show their talent. They place they fall behind is in the economy class, the dinner/lunch service are great (for economy). The second meal breakfast/lunch are deplorable, but were they really lose out on is the no free drink, no snack trolley in the back (I have heard that this has changed),

In conclusion if your only choice in economy then try DL they really try to make you feel a little extra special for the money you pay. If you can only choose between UA/AA then it really does not matter. If you have the option of business class all three are neck and neck. In the end the airlines accomplished what they said they would; get me from point A to B safely and in a timely matter. All flights were on time and landed a little early what more could I ask for. I do belief though that the adventure is in the journey not the destination. Thank you for reading I would like to read you response and own thoughts/experiences. I apologize for not giving CO/NW/US any evaluation, as I have not flown them over the Atlantic. Also I have not flown any “overseas” carriers and therefore cannot compare AA/DL/UA to them.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5639 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5560 times:

Try CO next time, EWR-FRA. I am curious as to how they would compare with your other experiences, since they're my favorite. No AVOD though, can tell you that much. PTVs for now, avod on the way.

User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5438 times:

While your assessment is encouraging for DL, remember that DL had the forethought to start its service rework in BK, UA started it a year out of BK (and their aicrafts took a beating during the 3 year BK stint), and AA is investing because they were on the verge of having the most dated product despite having never been in BK.

Also, remember that US airlines have basically decided to spend relatively little on new aircraft and instead focus on refurbishing what they have and adding winglets etc. The US airlines can compete with global carriers if for no other reason because they move such a large amount of traffic through their huge networks and have such great connectivity through their hubs. Plus,, US airlines typically use smaller aircraft than their European counterparts so it is easier to fill the planes.


User currently offlineChgoflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5373 times:

Terrific observations. I like hearing what you actually experienced without all the political/Bankruptcy spin we hear about so often.


Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1422 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5304 times:

As a coach pax, I would choose whatever carrier had AVOD. Personally, I've never gotten a sore back from any business class seat?! I have had some coach seats that could've used some more padding...

Unfortunately, U.S. carriers will lag behind their Euro/Asian counterparts for the foreseeable future as far as IFE goes. U.S. carriers just can't afford to spend the money. People in this country don't care about quality, they care about cheap.



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5045 times:

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
Unfortunately, U.S. carriers will lag behind their Euro/Asian counterparts for the foreseeable future as far as IFE goes. U.S. carriers just can't afford to spend the money. People in this country don't care about quality, they care about cheap.

You are so very right although, AA and UA are upgrading the cabins on their fleets albeit they are concentrating on F & J class where the money is. UA start at the end of the year.

Flavio340, great observations, well done.


User currently offlineLH417AF025 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4872 times:

i fly UA all the time mostly in biz. to say that the meals in biz and in economy are hardly different is a little far fetched in my opinion.

User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4860 times:

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
Unfortunately, U.S. carriers will lag behind their Euro/Asian counterparts for the foreseeable future as far as IFE goes. U.S. carriers just can't afford to spend the money. People in this country don't care about quality, they care about cheap.

What about NW with all trans-atlantic flights in new A330's and all with AVOD?


User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4811 times:

Quoting LH417AF025 (Reply 6):

What I was saying is that UA economy and business class meals are the same as DL and AA. Not that the economy meals are the same as the business meals.


User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4714 times:

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 7):
What about NW with all trans-atlantic flights in new A330's and all with AVOD?

Good point, NW were way behind on fleet renewel compared to the likes of say UA and AA with there wide body 777's joining the fleet, in UA's case over 10 years ago!. Now one could argue that NW has raised the bar with IFE, but as sure as eggs in time they will be overtaken by AA, UA and the others when they update their products.


User currently offlineATLflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4708 times:

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
As a coach pax, I would choose whatever carrier had AVOD. Personally, I've never gotten a sore back from any business class seat?! I have had some coach seats that could've used some more padding...

Unfortunately, U.S. carriers will lag behind their Euro/Asian counterparts for the foreseeable future as far as IFE goes. U.S. carriers just can't afford to spend the money. People in this country don't care about quality, they care about cheap.

Delta, Northwest and Continental all have or are in the process of installing great AVOD systems. Also, Delta has said its Economy on its 777LRs will all have 9''+ PTVs...not lagging behind.


User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 926 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

I can't comment on UA or AA re business class, but in my experience, the wines served by DL up front are superior to AF or CO when flying internationally. ( As is the glassware, and for those prices, I expect the fine points) Would that we lived in a world where my choice of airlines for international (or heaven forbid, domestic) travel could be based on the wine selection... And speaking of booze, I haven't seen Glenmorangie single malt on DL in years. When the choice is Dewars, order the gingerale.


"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineDb373 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4589 times:

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
Unfortunately, U.S. carriers will lag behind their Euro/Asian counterparts for the foreseeable future as far as IFE goes. U.S. carriers just can't afford to spend the money. People in this country don't care about quality, they care about cheap.

That's a blanket statement that can be applied anywhere, not just here in the U.S. I believe our US carriers don't come close to RyanAir, and last time I checked, Ryanair was a Euro carrier....



Keep Delta My Delta
User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 4117 times:

I'd try the US 330 experience into FRA. Compare it to NW.

Hunter



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineVegas005 From Switzerland, joined Mar 2005, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 22 hours ago) and read 3948 times:

For the most part the AA flight attendants are tired, overweight, snots that should be sent back to flying domestic for a spin to remember what it is like. Flame me if you like, but I have been there 20+ times in the last 4 years on International flights and they suck!

User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1207 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 22 hours ago) and read 3759 times:

I've flown with CO, US, UA, AA, NW across the pond in recent times (in Y) and I have to say they are much of a muchness. If I am to ignore E+ on UA and compare the standard economy comfort, service, entertainment etc. of the 5 carriers I'd have to rank them and I do so based on their flagship int'l aircraft as comfort often differs between models.

1/ NW (A330)
2/ CO (777/767)
3/ UA (777/763ER)
4/ AA (777)
5/ US (A330)

NW A330s are very comfortable with good entertainment and the service (whilst not usually delivered with much of a smile) is generally pretty good.

CO is pretty good as well and I like flying their 767s but the seats on the widebodies are a little too hard for my liking and they don't have AVOD. However the service is very professional and the aircraft are always imaculately presented in terms of clenliness (and I love the smell of CO jets too).

I have flown UA more than any other airline (which as a Brit is quite strange) and I love Ch9 and the crews are generally very nice. However the video entertainment doesn't always work and is very old. Plus the aircraft are not in the best condition on the inside.

As for AA for some reason I just don't like them that much. What really annoys me about the 777 Y seats is having the handset on the top of the arm rest which means when the selfish person next to you decides to hog it they can often adjust the volume on your TV by accident (a big problem if they fall asleep). I also don't find the seats too comfortable for my back. Again service is standard. They score highly for the pizza snack but the IFE is simply lacking options on a long flight.

US aren't that bad and I think are much better than some people say. And whilst the entertainment is pretty good, although it is a crime they do not have an airshow, I think the service is lacking, and the A330 interior is beginning to look worn out. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that on recent Eastbound trips from PHL they have not served a breakfast snack as other carriers do just before landing.

Haven't flown DL over the pond yet as I couldn't bring myself to sit in one of their 763 aircraft for 8 hours having just about managed it from ATL to Florida and LAX a few times. However they seem to be getting their act together and I look forward to flying them TA once they have revamped the interiors of their TA fleet.



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 22 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

while it doesn't necessarily affect the service, the A333 is one of the lowest CASM aircraft out there for 4000-4500 mile flights. Given NW's focus on feeding traffic in high volumes to KLM at AMS, it is the perfect aircraft for NW.

User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8091 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 3341 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Our airlines are in catchup mode, they need refreshed airplanes or new planes. With 6 years of 9/11unprofitability the big three need to upgrade entertainment and fleets to be competitive.

User currently offlineFlavio340 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 4 hours ago) and read 3044 times:

ManchesterMAN Thank you for you review I find it very interesting about CO and US. I have to agree with you about AA I love that airline until I have to fly them. There is never one thing in particular I do not like about them or I can find to gripe about, but it just seems that moral is low and everyone just does the bare minimum of their job. I have experienced this on every carrier I have flown it just seems more noticeable on AA then the others.

In regards to Vegas005 comments I have to agree although I think an new uniform might change that a little, like the aircraft interiors the AA uniforms are due for a little updating. I think that would help out that airline a lot.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2757 posts, RR: 45
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 3 hours ago) and read 2969 times:

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
I am sorry but what ever happened to the combs. Eyeshades, and earplugs do me no good when my hair looks like it was blown dry by the engines.

If you know you are going to need one, maybe you could find room in your carry on for a comb...Just a thought!  Wink

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
What good is AVOD games if no one else wants to play.

This is a GREAT observation. Many many people, especially on business routes, do not care about IFE; I am not surprised by this showing, and it reveals why airlines in financial disarray have been slow to embrace expensive IFE. You may care about it, as do plenty of people on this board, but it doesn't enter the travel decisions of most people; for most people the movies are the only part of the IFE package that has any appeal to them.

Quoting Flavio340 (Thread starter):
In conclusion if your only choice in economy then try DL they really try to make you feel a little extra special for the money you pay. If you can only choose between UA/AA then it really does not matter. If you have the option of business class all three are neck and neck. In the end the airlines accomplished what they said they would; get me from point A to B safely and in a timely matter. All flights were on time and landed a little early what more could I ask for. I do belief though that the adventure is in the journey not the destination.

I thought you wrote a really interesting post. It was well reasoned, and I appreciated your analysis. Just next time, try to remember your comb!  bigthumbsup 

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
Unfortunately, U.S. carriers will lag behind their Euro/Asian counterparts for the foreseeable future as far as IFE goes. U.S. carriers just can't afford to spend the money.

It hasn't been a prudent investment in the past. Going forward, it is becoming the norm and you can expect further advances where it makes financial sense. Remember that what a multimillion dollar AVOD deal is done, that money is coming from somewhere, and that somewhere is your ticket price. In the past airlines have not been willing to spend on state of the art IFE because passengers wouldn't pay for it. The full potential of AVOD is still largely unappreciated by the average passenger. If you post on this board, you are not an average passenger.

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 4):
As a coach pax, I would choose whatever carrier had AVOD.

Like I said, this is not a thought that enters most passenger's minds when they purchase. You know more about the inflight product than the average passenger, and will adjust your flying schedule accordingly. Flavio340 made a great point about the relative lack of participation (especially on business routes) with these systems. I have no real stake in the argument (I'll take whatever flight suits my schedule best that is on a carrier I can tolerate) as I don't use the IFE onboard, but am glad when people do as it keeps them quiet around me. I think for the foreseeable future that the movies are the only major IFE function that will be used by the average traveler, certainly that's my perception from a lot of long range flying in all parts of the aircraft.


User currently offlineAviaction From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 256 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 1 hour ago) and read 2890 times:

I've passed the big pond many times. Mostly on Lufthansa, many flights on United, Delta, Condor - and only one return-trip on NWA (less than 2 months ago).

Aircraft-wise my winner is NWA. I really liked the 330. Perfect aircraft! Clean, comfortable, excellent IFE. Alas, I have never ever seen lazier, less caring crews on any my flights. They did everything possible to make the flight a comfy one - for themselves. Passengers obviously only were a nuisance. I was barked at by one of the elderly f/a's "Blind down. Now! The light annoys me!". And told off by the purser who was chatting to a fellow crew-member "Can't you see we are talking?!" when asking for a drink of water. And no, they were not talking shop, they were exchanging shopping recommendations.

On the return flight DTW-FRA not a single water round was made during the night flight. After serving dinner (or should I say throwing the trays at the passengers?), the crew disappeared, only to re-appear shortly before landing, leaving behind only a night watch in the galleys. As the economy cabin was 100 per cent full, 50 per cent of the passengers had to disturb their neighbours to get out into the aisle to get themselves a drink, as none was offered by the f/a's.

There were quite a number of people travelling with children: assistance offered by the crew to stow things, to give a helping hand: nil, nada, none at all. As I said, the laziest crews I've come across in more than 25 years of extensive flying.

Service-wise my winner is - surprise - United. Always cheerful, helpful and friendly crews.

But best overall performance is very clearly Lufthansa. Good, clean aircraft. Good meals. Good punctuality. Good crews. Not perfect. Just good.

Good flying to all of us.

Aviaction


Edited for typos

[Edited 2007-05-26 20:51:40]


German by nationality, European by heart!
User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (6 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2788 times:

i personaly have found the UA business class cheap in comparison to DL. Did a few trips domestic trips on AA last year, and i wouldn't to fly them over the pond the way i have experienced the FA's. Even though my dear cousin works as a
FA for AA.

cheers: DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineMop357 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

Really interesting topic.
SA)">AA service does not seem bad to me because thats all I know. Maybe if I flew on another carrier I would be blown away. Looking at pictures of some European and Asian carriers first class cabin does look like they blow away American carriers first class cabin. I think Emirate, Virgin, and SA just has so much more style. What is the real difference between economy and business anyway? Is it just a bigger seat and better food?


User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (6 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2592 times:

Quoting Mop357 (Reply 22):
Is it just a bigger seat and better food?

Yep......and a lot more money!!


User currently offlineMontanaflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2472 times:

I just took a transatlantic last week on DL and was blown away by their service, they were actually friendly, seemed as if they were enjoying their jobs and did a great job making the nine hour flight pass by quickly. The plane was spotless which surprised me being that it was an older 763.


not all who wander are lost
25 ATLflyer : I agree...I can remember Delta planes being filthy. Now they always seem to be spotless. I was also on an older 763 last week and I was shocked at ho
26 Cba : I've flown transatlantic on AF, VS, CO, KL and AA, and can give the following rankings (all for economy): 1. Virgin: Flew them three legs, IAD-LHR, LH
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