avek00
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United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:05 pm

A friend of mine recently took a trip with several longhaul segments on United and Cathay Pacific, and he reached the conclusion that United's BusinessFirst service is objectively better than Cathay's Business Class. US carriers are back, baby.

http://pointsplanesandpassports.com/?p=388

[Edited 2013-06-28 16:07:59]
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lutfi
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:20 pm

From that link

'6. When the crew is on its game, United BusinessFirst just may be better than Cathay Pacific Business Class

When a United crew is as its best, as it was on my DEN-SEA and SEA-NRT 787 flights, United BusinessFirst is hard to beat. The hard product is phenomenal, but the food and service really shined. My four flights on Cathay Pacific in business class were all fine. In fact, their international business seat cannot be beat.'

So, when UA crew are on their game, UA may just be better... and the CX int'l biz class seat cannot be beat.

Not sure how you get from that that UA is objectively better.

UA food though does look >> CX
 
mffoda
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:27 pm

Hell... The United Beef Tenderloin alone would put me on that flight vs CX
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KFly
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:48 pm

The OP is definitely the ultimate US airlines fanboy. Based on a single person's trip reports (a friend no less), it has been decided that UA J is better than CX J... Maybe for some aspects of the flights, that's true, I give you that. But objectively? I don't think so.

Seriously avek00, I admire your tenacious attempt to put US airlines in a good light, but your recent threads were based on selective quotes and personal opinions, not to mention your strong bias towards non-US based airlines. Sorry you have lost your credibility in this forum entirely in my books.
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MaverickM11
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:51 pm

sCO catering was really quite exceptional, and continues to be pretty good at UA. I think the sCO IFE was also pretty hard to beat--combined with a hard product that was pretty good (pre direct aisle access trend), and they were hard to beat. In fact I prefer the sCO BF seat to a lot of the 2-4-2 direct aisle access seats on DL/EY/EK/etc which trade personal space for access.
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thaiflyer
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:56 pm

So the best UA flight is at par with the standard CX flights.  
And then to say the US carriers are back.   We call that Wishful Thinking
 
avek00
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:05 am

Quoting Kfly (Reply 3):
Seriously avek00, I admire your tenacious attempt to put US airlines in a good light, but your recent threads were based on selective quotes and personal opinions, not to mention your strong bias towards non-US based airlines. Sorry you have lost your credibility in this forum entirely in my books.

Those who fail to realize that US airlines have changed greatly since the doldrums of the early 2000s -- especially in the longhaul premium cabins -- face the credibility gap. The investments in product and service are now paying off, with objective comparisons underscoring the fact that USA legacies can and do deliver as great a product and experience as anyone else. I'm sure a.net will come to recognize this before long, just as carriers that actualy compete with USA legacies have had to.
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AA94
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:15 am

Quoting avek00 (Reply 6):

I agree that US airlines are starting to come around, but it's still like comparing a Hyundai to a Bentley, IMO. You can buy a Hyundai with a navigation system and a nice engine, and maybe even alloy wheels. But the culture, the service, and the value are still vastly different. The crew is a huge wildcard, and if we're making a comparison solely based on that, then it definitely isn't objective.

But, I digress. Have a ball flying UA. More CX for me.   
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aklrno
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:15 am

I agree. I was on UA J last week and I still much prefer NZ SQ and CX. I think UA currently beats LH only because the LH seats are not up to current standards. I think UA is tied with BA but that is no compliment. (All these comments refer to long haul business)
 
AR385
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:17 am

Quoting avek00 (Reply 6):
The investments in product and service are now paying off, with objective comparisons underscoring the fact that USA legacies can and do deliver as great a product and experience as anyone else.

Can you provide a source or a link to a "study" that shows what you are saying is true? And no, I am not the source police but since you seem so sure and keep using the word "Objective" I´d like to know what is your basis for that. Aencdotes from a friend are not "Objective" no matter how you look at them.

And if we go from anecdotal evidence, judging from the trip reports here, your statements are way off the mark.
 
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Stitch
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:28 am

Some of my best long-haul flights have been on UA (SEA-NRT and FRA-SFO, especially) thanks to the ex-Pan Am pursers handling the service up front (First and Business).

They, at least, still remember when flying was an experience to be enjoyed, not just endured.
 
jpetekyxmd80
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:30 am

Quoting avek00 (Reply 6):

Those who fail to realize that US airlines have changed greatly since the doldrums of the early 2000s -- especially in the longhaul premium cabins -- face the credibility gap. The investments in product and service are now paying off, with objective comparisons underscoring the fact that USA legacies can and do deliver as great a product and experience as anyone else. I'm sure a.net will come to recognize this before long, just as carriers that actualy compete with USA legacies have had to.

I share similar experiences where i've been pretty impressed with US airlines J products vs. LH/CX, but I really disagree that is a result investment in service. Yes, J seats have gotten very competitive in the last 10 years, and US airlines do a good job of keeping up or leading the way in hard product. But soft product is more a result of a decline in foreign carriers standards than US airlines raising the game. Also playing into this equation is US airlines eliminating or only offering F class on only specific routes. The result is a slew of 'hybrid' enhanced business products. Foreign airlines typically have much more difference in soft product between F/J. There would be precious few examples of a US carrier F class outshining a foreign counterpart.

[Edited 2013-06-28 17:32:03]
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Motorhussy
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:33 am

Well regardless of whether UA is objectively better than CX, it sounds like UA have definitely lifted their game - which is great news. Been years since I've flown them as have deliberately tried to avoid them due to past experience. BTW, am predominantly a *alliance flier.
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LAXintl
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:34 am

I am a UA 1K, and unless there is some price or schedule benefit to UA, I would generally opt for CX. A much more polished longhaul product and service.

Amongst US majors (have yet to try AA's new 77W product) I find UA's IPTE product the best, but I would never say they are world leading in any shape.
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FWAERJ
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:34 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 7):
I agree that US airlines are starting to come around, but it's still like comparing a Hyundai to a Bentley, IMO. You can buy a Hyundai with a navigation system and a nice engine, and maybe even alloy wheels.

Well, Hyundai is selling their $65K Equus with features that are an awful lot like that $150K Bentley like a V8 engine, reclining rear seats with DVD player, and rear-wheel drive. Just like the Bentley dealer, the "Equus-certified" Hyundai dealer will pick up your car for maintenance and give you a similar loaner (plus it's free for 5 years). And the Equus is actually the most-shopped car in its class (the BMW 7-series and Mercedes S-Class are some direct competitors).

Times change. Products change. Perceptions are hard to change. And like the auto business, the airline industry is no exception. US global carriers are at the point today where Hyundai was in 2005 - and look at where Hyundai is now.
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toobz
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:50 am

Wow..lol. Well I would always choose CX over UA.. However I do kinda get what he is saying. When US airlines are on the ball and you have an awesome crew, they seem more chatty and outgoing then some intl airlines. That may be a perception of "better" to some. I still wouldn't consider any US airline better than CX.
 
roseflyer
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:25 am

I think that the US airlines with the flat seat products are competitive in business. They aren't the best, but are mid pack or so. The product is reasonably good in business class. Food is decent. The US airlines have arguably the best frequent flyer programs (those Asian carriers rarely give system wide upgrades for little to no cost). The flat seats are good for sleeping. Ground service isn't that great, especially departing the US.

Sure there are better airlines, but a.net tends to be very biased against US carriers. However in business who would choose the outdated seats on american, air France or Lufthansa compared to the flat product on united, delta or us airways. If you want hot flight attendants in skin tight outfits, then sure that isn't america, but overall I am a firm believer that US carriers are competitive although I struggle to see them as better than the best Asian airlines with the latest upgraded seats.
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SIA747Megatop
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:45 am

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 14):
Well, Hyundai is selling their $65K Equus with features that are an awful lot like that $150K Bentley

That doesn't make it a Bentley.

I have never been to a United lounge that compares to CX's Pier, Wing and Cabin lounges. I don't think I've been to ANY airport lounge that beats those. They are far superior to SQ's offerings in SIN except for the The Private Room.

I can't offer an in-depth comparison between UA and CX as I don't fly CX often enough to compare but there are several areas where UA is lacking.

He may have had a good seat on UA's 787 however the new Cathay Business seat gives SQ's a run for their money. I found this seat extremely comfortable and much better than UA's IPTE or Continental's BusinessFirst 777 product. Someone please enlighten me as to how a 1-2-1 product (on a 77W) with direct aisle access compares with a 2-2-2 product on the narrower 787. Furthermore, the IPTE's 2-4-2 is a shambolic attempt at a long haul premium product. The seats are so close together and the IFE screens badly located - on my last experience with this product I was trying to read a book and the glare from the neighbour's monitor made this harder than it needs to be.

To me it seems like this guy had 2 flights where he had a nice crew on United. That's great news but I don't think that makes UA better than CX in Business Class. UA serves pre-takeoff beverages in plastic cups and their sparkling wine is not very nice. In my experiences in United's premium cabins I've had condescending crews, sarcastic crews, lazy crews, overly chatty crews, unshaven and badly groomed crew - none of which I've had on CX or SQ where the worst case scenario is a robotic crew that does their job consistently well (bar Supefly's experience on SQ recently). Also, I wasn't addressed by name once on UA despite being *G. I have been addressed by name on CX (where I hold no status) and NH. I've had inconsistent service on UA with some crews willing to pop the sparkling wine prior to takeoff and others not.

I do agree that CX's premium cabin catering is below par but in my experiences, UA is not much better.

[Edited 2013-06-28 18:56:29]
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Stitch
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:03 am

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 11):
Also playing into this equation is US airlines eliminating or only offering F class on only specific routes. The result is a slew of 'hybrid' enhanced business products.

We should not forget that it was a European carrier - Virgin Atlantic - that started this trend when they introduced Upper Class.

[Edited 2013-06-28 19:04:25]
 
ldvaviation
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:13 am

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 17):
He may have had a good seat on UA's 787 however the new Cathay Business seat gives SQ's a run for their money. I found this seat extremely comfortable and much better than UA's IPTE or Continental's BusinessFirst 777 product. Someone please enlighten me as to how a 1-2-1 product (on a 77W) with direct aisle access compares with a 2-2-2 product on the narrower 787. Furthermore, the IPTE's 2-4-2 is a shambolic attempt at a long haul premium product. The seats are so close together and the IFE screens badly located - on my last experience with this product I was trying to read a book and the glare from the neighbour's monitor made this harder than it needs to be.

The competition pretty much begins and ends there.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:26 am

Quoting toobz (Reply 15):
When US airlines are on the ball and you have an awesome crew, they seem more chatty and outgoing then some intl airlines. That may be a perception of "better" to some. I still wouldn't consider any US airline better than CX.

This is well said, and to your point about "better," I'm reminded of the saying that all politics is local. Folks from the US are probably apt to like the type of service they receive from US flight attendants on US carriers more than the service they receive from folks from other parts of the world (or perhaps even Canadians on AC or Mexicans on AM). I expect Finns might feel more at home/better on AY than on BA. After living in Santiago for a while, I like the LA experience better than CM or AV, even though all are fine airlines.
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crownvic
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:28 am

I think it is all a matter of personal opinion. For me, if an Asian carrier were serving lousy food, had a mediocre seat, but had a beautiful hot flight attendant that was attentive, I would take that over a U.S. carriers F/A that maybe offering a better product. Again, that is just my opinion  
 
KFly
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:23 am

Quoting avek00 (Reply 6):

Have US airlines long haul products improved? Yes, of course, but so have the rest of the world. Have they improved to the point that surpassed the industry leaders? No, I don't think so. Neither do the various passenger surveys and industry awards. I struggle to find a US carrier winning top accolades in the past 10 years to date for any world wide airline awards.

There is no doubt US airlines are capable of delivering a good product and service, but don't come on here and declare they have suddenly become better than one of the top airlines in the world - CX in this case.

Oh... and claiming a friend's TR to be "objective" is really stretching it :P
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bgm
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:56 am

I have taken over 100 flights on UA and have experienced the best and worst. The problem with UA (and US carriers in general) is the inconsistency of their service levels. One of the best FAs I've ever come across was a senior lady on a domestic UA flight in F. She was absolutely brilliant.   On the flipside, on a recent flight in J to London, the FAs were downright awful. Rude, hostile and incredibly lazy. Those are 2 extreme examples, but most of my UA flights have been mediocre. Nothing awful, but nothing great either.
 
qf002
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RE: United BusinessFirst Better Than Cathay Biz

Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:15 am

It comes down to taste. US airlines target US travellers, so should have a product that appeals more to that market. If your friend was an Asian traveller eating the Asian meal options then I daresay that CX would have won by a mile.

Yes, US carriers are gradually improving (some are further along than others), but it's a bit of a sweeping statement to say that one person's experience represents a major shift in the industry.

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