jetblue777
Posts: 1197
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:21 pm

It puzzles me how most European airlines still manages to serve complimentary snacks on it's Intra-European flights, while here in the US, it's only DL who still serves a snack and a drink as others just serve complimentary beverages. I was reading trip reports about intra-European flights and they seem to offer decent snacks (LH, OS, BA, etc)

- So which European airline still follows this tradition?

However, most Euro carriers J class is just the same thing as Y class with the middle seat blocked, why? Most US airlines have bigger seats with more legroom.. I understand that some Euro Carriers has the same thing, but LH, BA and AF seem to follow this trend.

Overall, I want your opinion on which set of airlines is better in general. In terms of service, product, airport environment and etc. Also, which airline whether LCC or Legacy is the best.

You could also mention the service from Australian/Pacific, South/Latin American and African carriers based on your experience.

Asian Carriers..ehh. We all know that they are great. But you could also include the LCCs from South East Asia, Japan and China as well as India/Middle-East

For the US, IMO:

LCC: VX with B6 not far behind
Legacy: DL
It's a cultural thing.
 
Speedbird741
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:13 pm

RE: European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better

Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:42 am

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
DL who still serves a snack

Sorry JetBlue, a cookie with a DL logo does not qualify as a snack.

LCC: I am lucky enough to not have flown an LCC as of yet. However, I will say that I have a great impression of Easyjet.

Legacy: TAP and Lufthansa above all others because they seem to have the more vernal and joyful of cabin crews. BA are also very good in this particular sense as I have flown with some awesome crew members. On the other hand, I have also had one too many not so good experiences with them in order to rank them with TP and LH.

As far as food goes, I find most European legacies are (almost) on the same good level. With respect to cabin crews, I wish I could say more than I will, but my post would likely be removed. My greatest problem with US crews is that they seem to be poorly groomed compared to Europeans.

Speedbird741
Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18991
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better

Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:32 am

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
However, most Euro carriers J class is just the same thing as Y class with the middle seat blocked, why? Most US airlines have bigger seats with more legroom.. I understand that some Euro Carriers has the same thing, but LH, BA and AF seem to follow this trend.

That's been discussed many times in other threads. It's a different philosophy. Most flights in Europe are short and it's much more flexible to be able to adjust the business class cabin to widely varying demand by route, time of day, day of week, season etc. I was on two LX A319s a couple of days ago connecting at ZRH. One had about 8 rows assigned to business class and was close to full (over 25 passengers considering that the middle seats aren't sold). The next flight only had 2 rows in business class and I believe 2 passengers.

With a fixed US-style of first class cabin you have no flexibility to meet that type of widely varying demand patterns. I'm quite happy with the European style of business class. You also have to keep in mind that paying a business class fare in Europe gives you access to lounges, which is not the case in the US with rare exceptions. Passengers care more about amenities like that, and faster boarding/deplaning, better inflight service, increased baggage allowance, priority lanes at security checks at many airports, many more frequent flyer miles etc. etc. And it makes much more economic sense for the airlines to be able to sell as many Y class seats as possible when there is little or now premium demand.

The other big difference is that passengers in business class in Europe are paying to be there. Free upgrades for elite-level frequent flyers are virtually non-existent, unlike the US where a high percentage of passengers in F class cabins are not paying the published F fare.

[Edited 2011-03-29 19:34:00]
 
Eltomzo
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:45 pm

RE: European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better

Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:02 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
You also have to keep in mind that paying a business class fare in Europe gives you access to lounges, which is not the case in the US with rare exceptions.

Really? I had no idea about that! Who goes into US lounges then if business class customers can't?

I agree with most of what you say, but I don't think that the blocking off of middle seats suddenly makes a narrow economy seat somehow 'premium'.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18991
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better

Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:06 am

Quoting Eltomzo (Reply 3):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
You also have to keep in mind that paying a business class fare in Europe gives you access to lounges, which is not the case in the US with rare exceptions.

Really? I had no idea about that! Who goes into US lounges then if business class customers can't?

You normally have to pay a membership fee (or sometimes a per visit fee) to access most US carrier domestic lounges unless you're flying in F or J class on an international flight. For example, the annual fee for access to DL lounges varies from $300 to $450 (depends on your status in their frequent flyer program). You can also pay the fee using frequent flyer miles. Only the top (Diamond) level frequent flyers are entitled to free lounge access. They also have 3-year membership at a discount, and a $90 fee for a 30-day membership. One-day passes are also fairly common at many carriers with fees usually in the $30 to $50 range.

AC lounge access is free for J class passengers and their top-level frequent flyers. Otherwise there's a CA$459 annual fee. They also have various other options (day passes etc.)
 
yeogeo
Posts: 625
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:47 pm

RE: European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better

Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:34 am

Quoting JetBlue777 (Thread starter):
European Vs American Carriers, Which Is Better?  

Putting aside the incendiary title, I’d say you’ve about a half dozen threads worth of questions in your opening post, man!

But as to the “which is better” question, why does one system have to be better than another? They’ve just developed in and are reacting to very different markets.

What they do have in common is that the corporate types and the wealthy individuals in both the US and the countries of Europe are pretty well served. In both, the vast majority of travelers make do with somewhat less.

yeo
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts. Voltaire

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