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First Vs LCC / US Airways+Southwest LAX-LAS(PICS!)  
User currently offlineYLWbased From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 829 posts, RR: 4
Posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9902 times:

Background:

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/147357/

My 7 days West Coast trip start from YLW to LAX. As I was transiting through YYC, i found some amazing getaway deal ex LAX to LAS, book myself on US Airways First for $75 after tax and $55 on Southwest on the way back. same day return trip, just to fly around.

--------------------------------
FLIGHT ONE
--------------------------------
US Airways (US)
Flight #1748
Airbus 320
Date: March 25th, 2009
Scheduled Departure Time: 7:05am
Actual Departure Time: 9:05am
Air Time: 50mins
Seat: 3A
Class: F/First
Loading: F 50% / Y 90%
Depature: Los Angeles Int'l Airport (LAX/KLAX)
Arrival: Las Vegas McCarran Int'l AIrport (LAS/KLAS)
----------------------------------

Before I start, please let me give you guys a little advice on accomodation, Travelodge LAX SOUTH is a terrible place to stay. 6am on the 25th, not carrying much with me since I'm going on a day trip to LAS, walk out to the lobby hoping to catch an airport shuttle. The Hotel manager refuses to let me board the shuttle becoz we're only allow to use them to and from the hotel once. End up having to hire a taxi and pay the stupid $17 flag rate for a 5 mins cab ride. Arrived @ LAX 1.5 hr piror to departure, don't get me started at this airport. Having passed through this airport for so many times in the past 5 years, this place never cease to amaze me, from the extremely rude staffs, the worn down and dated terminals that needed attention years ago, to the stupidly arraged security lines and the slow TSA agents. add together one of the worse gateway to enter the United States. What an "excellent" airport they have to welcome the travellers from all over the world.

Never flew domestic out of LAX before, never knew that it's self-serve check-in even if the counter is staffed, and ofcoz again, no one bother to tell us neither. Stood in the First Class line waiting for the next agent, i stood in line for a good 20mins and it is 6.30am, I want to get the check-in done with asap coz there's a ridiculously long TSA line building up all the way out of the terminal as I can see. I approched one of the ground staff that just stands around an doing absolutly nothing, kindly asked her can I do self check-in. She look at me like i'm a total retard, and tell me to help myself, she than turns around and keep chatting with her boyfriend who happen to work right next to her. Got my boarding pass and head for the long TSA line which is all the way out of the terminal.



Looking at the line, I'm convinced that I'm not gonna make the flight if I line up for it, I head right to the front of the line and told the TSA agent that my flight will be deaprting soon, can he let me go first. He ask me to "go to the back, and line up, your flight will not depart without you." As I was walking to the back of the line, an airport annocement about all flights are being delayed due to security lines are made. The annoucment fron US Airways ensure no flights will depart until passengers boarded the flights. by the time I got through TSA, it was 8:25am.





** Pics of LAX Gate's are not taken on the same day **

With that huge line behide me, I'm surprised by how little passenger there actually are airside. The place is amazingly quiet. I ran to gate only to found out that they haven't started boarding yet coz half the pax are still trapped in TSA line. I took a seat and wait for the boarding annoucment. started boarding @ 8:45am.

The aircraft today is an A320, is wearing the old Black US Air livery, I've never flew US domestic first and have no idea what to expect onboard. But the first thought of the seats was "why on earth do they call this FIRST?". It's a bit wider, that's about it. I was greet by a very tired looking FA, I think she might've got a massive hangover or sth like that. She dropped a bottle of water and said nothing to me.





9:15am, finallying being pushed back. Seat back and relaxed a bit as I was tired as hell. I tried to push back my seat but it wouldn't recline. moved over the the seat right next to me, it reclined but wouldn't come back up. The tired looking FA comes over with snacks and drinks. And can someone please enlighten me why is the drink menu exactly the same as Y class? Couldn't care less and I quickly fall asleep, but the time i got up we're already beginning our final decend into LAS.







LAS is 10 times more orgainzed compare to LAX. Altough the terminal looks quite dated, but it is clean and tidy enough for me. The terminal is again pretty quiet, I guess cause is still early in the morning. Walk strict to the grey hound bus stop as i have no luggage to collect. And no, I'm not EVER flying again with US Airways.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Snapping @ Vegas
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------













--------------------------------
FLIGHT TWO
--------------------------------
Southwest Airlines (WN)
Flight #1486
Boeing 737-300
Date: March 25th, 2009
Scheduled Departure Time: 9:55pm
Actual Departure Time: 10:05pm
Air Time: 50mins
Seat: 20F
Class: Y/Economy
Loading: 40%
Depature: Las Vegas McCarran Int'l AIrport (LAS/KLAS)
Arrival: Los Angeles Int'l Airport (LAX/KLAX)
----------------------------------

For person that does not enjoy shopping and gambling at much, Las Vegas is a pretty boring place to be honest. I walk around, spend about $150 in a few casinos, snap some shots and had a fancy dinner. Now it is time to return to LAX. btw, i won $4500 from a slot machine  

I was tired as hell when i got to the airport, as I didn't rent a car at all, pratically was walking all day since 10am. Arrived @ LAS 1hr prior to departre, the airport is quiet. And my flight is the last southwest departure to LAX of the day. Checked in using the self-serve kiosk, no problem at all. Went strict to security where there were no lines at all. Quickly found my gate and start chatting on MSN (mobile).





I have to say, Southwest provide a much better customer service than US Airways. I was seated right next to the gate agent, pax arrive to him every 5 mins asking stupid questions but yet he was smiling and cheerful at all time. And makes me start to wonder who the hell would pay more to fly on F while WN could provide them a F+ service with a price tag of Y.

We boarded the plane on-time, but was 10 mins behide schedule for departure due to a couple connecting pax being late. The load was very light @ around 40%, i picked seat 20F and have to whole row to myself. Soon enough we were in the air and the FA comes around to take our drink order, quickly fall asleep after my glass of Diet Coke.

Comparing US First Class with WN's LCC class.

Seat Comfort: US Win
Customer Service: WN Win
Efficiency: WN Win
Frinedliness: WN Win
Price: WN Win
Overall: WN Win

Comparing WN with it's sister airline in Canada: Westjet (WS)

Seat Comfort: WS Win
Customer Service: On Par
Efficiency: WN Win
Frinedliness: WS Win
In Flight Entertainment: WS Win
Price: WN Win
Overall: On Par







Conclusion:

Aviod US at all cost. Legacy vs LCC on domestic? LCC wins.

YLWbased

[Edited 2009-05-14 00:53:13]

[Edited 2009-05-14 00:58:47]

[Edited 2009-05-14 01:05:55]


Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTDubJFK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8978 times:

Great report! Interesting to see a comparison between a "legacy" and a LCC. In my experience, travelling on LCCs is much more enjoyable. I've gotten much better service on the WNs, B6s, FLs than I've gotten on DL & US.

Love ur Las Vegas pics too!


User currently offlineAUSisAwesome From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 8620 times:



Quoting YLWbased (Thread starter):
Aviod US at all cost. Legacy vs LCC on domestic? LCC wins.

I definetly agree. The one time I flew US was because it was cheapest and it SUCKED! I have done much better customer service wise and class wise with WN and AA.


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8464 times:

Nice TR

Like the pics.

On such a short flight you cant expect too much from US just because you fly in F. But WN seems better anyway.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineTranstar From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8039 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Although US Airways is technically a legacy carrier, it really operates like a LCC with really bad service. They barely clean their planes at all and their staff is surly. I have flown on several absolutely filthy A319s/A320. I avoid them like poison.

I frequently travel to small towns in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee and have choices of US Airways through Charlotte, Delta through Atlanta, Continental through Houston, and Northwest (now Delta) through Memphis, and would always choose Continental or Delta/Northwest over US Airways, even if US Airways is cheaper.

The only flight I have enjoyed on US Airways was a US Airways Express roundtrip from Washington National to DFW and back. And that was principally because it was a brand-new ERJ-170 and because the flight was a lot less expensive then American Airlines, which controls DFW.

Continental and the other legacies would probably be a little friendlier and more business-like in First Class than US Airways on a short flight like LAX-LAS. On longer domestic routes, they would be better in First Class than Southwest.

Continental still gives snack-like food during mealtimes domestically in coach. I recently flew them from Houston to Washington National in coach and was offered a movie and a meal. Very pleasant service too.


User currently offlineEVAN767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7976 times:



Quoting Transtar (Reply 4):
Although US Airways is technically a legacy carrier, it really operates like a LCC with really bad service.

Actually, isn't US Airways technically a LCC?



The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineDlhFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7869 times:

Interesting. Vegas is such a cool city. The sights are enough to win someone over.


Duluth is a nice city, we even get 3 months without snow per year
User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5517 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 7813 times:



Quoting EVAN767 (Reply 5):
Actually, isn't US Airways technically a LCC?

No, but it may have acquired some LCC characteristics since it consumed America West.


User currently offlineCrjflyer35 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 668 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7447 times:



Quoting Continental (Reply 7):
Quoting EVAN767 (Reply 5):
Actually, isn't US Airways technically a LCC?

No, but it may have acquired some LCC characteristics since it consumed America West.

Oy, we're still stuck on this?? They merged!!!
Neither US or HP could have remained solvent if they had stayed independent.

Regardless, about the report, very great! Congrats on the big slot win! I never have that kind of luck.

I should point out though that if you were on an old livery black paint job, it was an East metal airplane, operated by an East crew. Try doing the same flight on an old America West craft with an America West crew. Yes, we may be "one" airline, but old habits have a tendency to die hard. On almost evey US flight I've been on, the "West" flights far surpass the "East."



Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
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