Topic Author
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AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:06 am

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

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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:14 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:14 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:17 am

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).
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:20 am


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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:24 am

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!!!!
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:35 am

No question asked: NW, CO and DL.

great network, great planes, good services and good international partners..
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:50 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:50 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:55 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:57 am

United - best comfort onboard. Second - Continental.
Tom in NO
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:58 am

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
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:50 am

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.

"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:30 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:36 am

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!
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:40 am

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]
Militant Agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:59 am

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
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:02 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:07 am

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
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:10 am

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

RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:11 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:12 am

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.
Adam T.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:04 am

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.

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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:13 am

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.
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:32 am

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.

Topic Author
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:42 pm

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 proposed alliance).

As for me (looking in from the outside, because I only flew AA recently), I like CO. Continental gives me the idea that it is a good airline, as to what I read about it and my feeling toward it. And I think they have a good fleet.

But will keep a watch on AA, because of all these positive post on it. And most of these post are from American users. They should know best.

J.J.V (GoAibusGo)
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:05 pm

UNITED AIRLINES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Smile  Smile  Smile  Smile  Smile

1. Sentimental reasons...first flight was a DC8-62 in July 1973...SFO-ORD. Also, my Grandfather was a painter in SFO for 20 years and my Dad started there and just retired after 35 years as a mechanic in PDX.
2. Route selection...you can go pretty much anywhere you want on United without even needing the Star Alliance!
3. Favorite hub of all time: IAD  Smile
4. O'Hare Terminal 1
5. I was one of the first people to see/walk around a UA 777 in May 1995 before it joined the fleet...the first one was delivered to UA in PDX on 5/15/95...the day after I graduated from college!!! It was parked at E5. It left PAE, went up to YVR or Victoria for a mail run, then on to PDX where UA "picked up the keys". I believe they chose PDX because Oregon doesn't have a sales tax, but there may be another more technical reason. What a plane. Ironically, my first flight on a 777 won't take place until next July!
6. DC-10s !!!!!!!!

Having said all that, I will say that I WILL FLY ON ANY NETWORK CARRIER any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, before I fly on an LCC. I will go out of my way to avoid the likes of WN, F9, B6, Airtran, etc. You get what you pay for, and I'm willing to pay more! It's been a while, but I had great service on my 1987/88 flights on AA. I would like to try Delta for the first time, heard good things about them. Not sure on CO or NW.

And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:10 pm

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 flight.
Save the whales...for dinner!!!
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:55 pm


Cessna172RG: NW will be flying the A330-200 on the SEA-NRT route probably beginning next year.

Northwest Airlines. NOW YOU'RE FLYING SMART
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RE: AA,UA,DL,NW,CO,US. Choose Your Pick.

Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:58 pm

Then I'll definitely give her a try!!!  Smile
Save the whales...for dinner!!!