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VC10er
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Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:25 pm

This is sort of a crazy question...but this thought popped into my head yesterday...

I believe it's safe to say that the vast, vast majority of people on A.net will agree that many (not all, but many) international airlines outside the United States are far better airlines than the top 3 US international airlines, eg: American, Delta & United.

Airlines such as Singapore, Cathay, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin, Air France, Swiss, New Zealand, Korean, Qantas, Thai to name a handful, far exceed the service, comfort and style of AA, DL & UA. That said, many of these airlines are in alliances with one of the big 3 US airlines, and international fliers may have flown and then converted to happy and loyal fliers of either AA, DL or UA, even to the degree where they would rather fly one of the 3 US majors over their home country's, well reputed airline.

The question is, the thing I am wondering, are there any German's or Swiss who actually really like and prefer United over Lufthansa Swiss? Or a Brit who likes and prefers AA over BA or Frenchman like and prefer Delta over AF or KLM? Are there any people on A.net from a country other than the USA and yet prefer a US international carrier over their home country airline, and willing to admit it? If so why?

I am old enough to remember many people of the world loving PanAm even if they were not American and felt flying PanAm was the best!

This seems like a crazy question since we often, so strongly bash the 3 US majors, (Delta less so) and so passionately herald their international counterparts. But, I'm curious to find out if there is a German out there who would say "I prefer flying United over Lufthansa!" or a British subject who would say "I prefer AA over BA any day"-- strange as that may sound to many.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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mercure1
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:10 pm

I hold the general opinion that air travel on U.S airlines is a poor experience. There are exceptions like Virgin America, JetBlue or Southwest for internal services, but given choice I would not select U.S carrier as method for longhaul travel.
There simply are so many positive global airlines experiences, one does not need to select the US3.
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aloges
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:17 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
The question is, the thing I am wondering, are there any German's or Swiss who actually really like and prefer United over Lufthansa Swiss?

I've got a very soft spot for United and I've had some wonderful experiences with them. I have a lot of respect for them and I think they're much better than many here on A.net say they are. However, I'm always happy when my employer books me on LH rather than UA.
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:42 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 2):

See! That is interesting and an answer I was seeking. It is difficult to understand given the differences between the 3 US majors. I too have warm feelings for United, but they are mostly from old feelings of United 25 years ago

Although I am looking forward to my first Lufthansa 747-8 ride very much!

Danka
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IPFreely
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 01, 2016 12:39 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Airlines such as Singapore, Cathay, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin, Air France, Swiss, New Zealand, Korean, Qantas, Thai to name a handful, far exceed the service, comfort and style of AA, DL & UA.

I haven't flown them all. But I think it's a typical liberal American response to assume that non-US carriers are better than US carriers. I've had good and bad experiences with UA, AA, DL, and BA -- frankly, all about the same. I've flown only a handful of flights on Air France and one trip on Swiss but I would put those two equal to the US carriers at best. Maybe not even as good. I have never flow Singapore, Cathay, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Virgin, New Zealand, Qantas, or Thai. If one of the bunch I have flown stands out, it's LH -- their business class seats and service between MUC/FRA and the US are great. But you have to weigh that against the fact that their employees periodically decide they're disgruntled about something and stop working for a day or two. For this reason I do not go out of my way to use LH even though I prefer their product.
 
jetwet1
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 01, 2016 8:05 am

Interesting topic.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 4):
But I think it's a typical liberal American response to assume that non-US carriers are better than US carriers.

Are you saying that Republicans don't feel this way ? If so, you're wrong.

Anyways.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 4):
I've flown only a handful of flights on Air France and one trip on Swiss but I would put those two equal to the US carriers at best.

I agree, I flew in Swiss J last month SFO-ZRH-SFO and honestly, I wasn't impressed.

I've flown British Airways, Virgin, Swiss and Air New Zealand out of the list, I would say that NZ was the best in J, followed by VS, then BA, then LX. Of late the only US airline I have flown longhaul is DL and honestly, I would slot them between NZ and VS, the seat, food, IFE and service were excellent.

BTW, you did miss one airline that absolutely beats the pants off everyone, that's Turkish, i've only done one long haul with them, but it was excellent.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 1):
I hold the general opinion that air travel on U.S airlines is a poor experience.

It depends, comparing the US first class against the majors in Europe, it's a slaughter, the American airlines are in a whole different league, that's not even counting the trans con products.

In coach, they are all about the same, with the exception of the ULCC's, though I do find legroom to be tight on UA's 737's.

Where WN and B6 really shine is on the ground, both airlines have gone above and beyond for me when things have gone pear shaped.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
I am old enough to remember many people of the world loving PanAm even if they were not American and felt flying PanAm was the best!

I think part of that is just fond memories, flying BA or TWA back in the 70's it was much the same as PA, of course, except for the seat the whole experience back then IMHO was far superior.
 
mict
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 01, 2016 8:11 am

I am not a big fan of the US3 but DL is my favorite one out of the three for sure. I travel mostly on UA because of my *A status but my occasional DL trips always feel a lot better than my UA ones.
 
jumpjets
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 01, 2016 12:02 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Or a Brit who likes and prefers AA over BA

If you can keep the thread open until the end of June I will let you know. I am flying AA to ORD [no choice as I needed to get the first morning flight to make a connection in ORD] and returning with BA so should have a direct comparison to offer.
 
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LH748
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 01, 2016 6:39 pm

I've made pretty positive experiences with UA, DL, and AA. It always depends what you consider as pleasant. One aspect that I've learned to appreciate are their experienced crews. I've read repeatedly that "older" crews got criticized and I could not disagree more. For me personally, DL crews were the best crews I've had so far, and also UA and AA made a good impression on me.
Not that I don't appreciate a good-looking (male   ) flight attendant, but looks are not everything and US crews offer lots of heart and every now and then also good looks.
I certainly don't mind flying with the US3.
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DesertAir
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Mon May 02, 2016 12:28 am

1.I am a fan of Interjet of Mexico. I take then yearly from Tijuana to Mexico, City and have always had a positive experience. Comfortable seats, free snacks and drinks including beer and usually onetime.
2. AA is my choice from international flying to Latin American destinations. I have traveled on AA to all Central American countries, 2 Caribbean destinations and one Souther American country.
3. Volaris is my third choice for travel to and in Mexico. I do not like their pricing strategy but once understood they offer reasonable fares.
 
IPFreely
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Mon May 02, 2016 12:39 am

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 5):
Are you saying that Republicans don't feel this way ? If so, you're wrong.

It's not a political thing, it's an elitism thing. There are more than a few wealthy Americans who, when shopping for a car, limit their decision to Mercedes vs. BMW vs. Lexus, automatically assuming they are better than any American product. Many people have the same attitude toward airlines. But anyone who flies enough to get a representative sample and can give an unbiased opinion will be hard pressed to find a difference between UA, AA, DL, LH, BA, and KL/AF. Like I posted earlier, if one stands out -- slightly -- it's LH. But their employees cancel any advantage out by periodically deciding to not show up for work
 
aloges
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Mon May 02, 2016 9:33 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 10):
if one stands out -- slightly -- it's LH. But their employees cancel any advantage out by periodically deciding to not show up for work

If the management at a US airline pulled the stunts that LH management has got away with, they'd be dangling from their golden parachutes in a matter of days.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
LGAviation
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 04, 2016 11:02 am

As a good German, I'd always prefer LH over anything else  But putting that aside, I've had lots of great flights on American carriers and would absolutely choose AA or UA above AF for instance. I think that American crews usually have a great sense of humor and can be a far better experience than those generic ME3 crews. Besides, their service and amenities are not always better. Having flown QR 10 abreast on FRA-DOH in both Y and J recently, I'd say that I would've preferred a classic UA or AA 767 over the experience in QR Y.
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 04, 2016 12:59 pm

I have family in HKG, and if my needs can not be satisfied non-stop by AC or CX, I always fly to HKG on UA or DL. (I would fly AA as well, but the connections don't work as well).

Knowing internally the way airlines work, I know that on UA or DL, the flight will be flown safely by well experienced professionals who have crossed the Pacific for longer than most on here have been using a toilet! Some may choose an airline based on Economy menus, seat colours or F/A uniforms ... I choose otherwise. I have always had a comfortable flight.

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 9):
I am a fan of Interjet of Mexico. I take then yearly from Tijuana to Mexico, City and have always had a positive experience. Comfortable seats, free snacks and drinks including beer and usually onetime.

I recently flew on Interjet, IAH-MEX-IAH, just to fly on a SSJ-100. What a great airline!
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reffado
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 04, 2016 1:35 pm

As a foreigner, I tend to use AA for all my internal traveling needs in the U.S. But this is solely because they are in oneworld and because my credit cards give me AA miles. Whenever I go to South America, LAN/TAM always get my business because I like their product better. Mainly the food in Y (though this seems to be an AA issue, both domestically and on international).

I have family in LHR, and they tend to fly AA across the pond every time. Granted this is a decision they make more on the money side than personal preference, as I know they'd rather fly BA.

To me, U.S. carriers are not as good as most european ones or even LATAM, but they're not as bad as some make it sound.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Let me start by saying, you should never expect how an airline is rated to reflect how good they actually are. I rate Air Zimbabwe above Qatar for example. I find that product wise, Y Class is Y class and there is little to differentiate between most carriers.

Longhaul I have thus far avoided flying on the US3 although I have flown UA internationally. The main difference is not seats/IFE or even product offering, it is cabin crew.

A friend of mine with over 6500 flights in his personal flight log was told on a transatlantic on UA within the last couple of years "Are you deaf?, I said there was just water, no sparkling water" when he queried whether there was sparkling water onboard. He said to me in his experience that UA is almost always useless, American mostly useless and that Delta average but improving. That said for a comparable price he would fly the EU/ME/Asian carriers first.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
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cougar15
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Quoting mict (Reply 6):
I am not a big fan of the US3 but DL is my favorite one out of the three for sure. I travel mostly on UA because of my *A status but my occasional DL trips always feel a lot better than my UA ones.

I will second that definetly! But to answer the thread title question, rather than argue about the ins & Outs of each carrier...NO - I dont think US carriers have a fanbase, certainly not in Europe or Asia! Things are improving, I do see some solid changes, both hard & soft but a bit more water will have to flow down the river again before post 911 reputations (perceptions??) are killed for the non US based consumer
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
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inflightVideo
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 04, 2016 7:54 pm

As a Brit I've flown a fair bit with AA over the last few months. On all but 2 flights I've been very impressed with them. Their 777-300s are really nice, even their A321s and 738s are clean and comfortable, crew always friendly and decent service. These flights far surpassed many flights I've taken in Europe - although perhaps not quite at LH/KL standards.

However the two occasions I've had where they were bad - they were bottom of the barrel awful. Interestingly these were both ex-US routes through PHL. DUB-PHL-DUB on the oldest, rattiest 757s I've ever flown on, cramped, falling to pieces, uncomfortable, and truly awful attitudes from the crews who on both flights all seemed to have collective chips on their shoulder, being incredibly rude to some passengers. The food on these flights was awful too, we ended up leaving our meals and buying food in PHL as it was so bad. We were delayed 3 hours on the way out due to the aircraft going tech and having to return to stand.

We stepped off the return flight onto a Ryanair 737, and in all honesty, I'd have taken one of those over the 757s we had - they are far more comfortable and at least the crew smiled at you!
 
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reffado
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Thu May 05, 2016 12:49 am

Quoting inflightvideo (Reply 17):
Interestingly these were both ex-US routes through PHL.

I'll second that. I flew PBI-PHL-DUB and back last year, and it was the only time I've had a bad experience with AA. While the crews were ok, counter service at PHL was awful, and on the return leg, when our PHL-PBI flight was delayed 5 times (we were in the aircraft and asked to deplane), for a total of almost 6 hours, they were rude and provided no explanations. It took a lot of me ranting for them to switch me into the next flight to FLL, on which I flew Y despite having an F ticket (not an upgrade - fully paid for).

I eventually got a refund for the difference, but my experience was such that I will be avoiding dealing with PHL on AA as much as I can.
 
jetwet1
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Thu May 05, 2016 5:18 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 10):

Okay, now I understand where you are coming from, I wouldn't say it's an elitist thing either, until a couple of years ago I would say that the US were certainly way behind the EU and most Asian carriers, no ptv, no free ,booze meals that were pretty awful, it's only of late that they have been able to invest in their product.

Frankly, if given the choice even 5 years ago I would have picked VS, BA or NZ for LAX-LHR flights, the hard product was just so much better, now IMHO DL and AL have caught up, UA still has a ways to go. Call that elitist if you want, but in my mind, I'm spending my hard earned money, I want the best bang for the buck. Now I would happily add DL to the list.
 
mdavies06
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat May 07, 2016 3:24 am

US carriers are generally very good in terms of wifi and the professional attitude of their staffs. It is impressive that each of them having several hundreds of planes with wifi for passengers whilst many large non-US carriers having zero planes with wifi. I fly with US3 but mostly only domestic US, as often I have to choose CX because they have more flights throughout the day.

[Edited 2016-05-06 20:28:10]
 
rta
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat May 07, 2016 7:06 am

I do think some foreign partners (BA, LH, NH, JL, CX..) have better service, but the experience on the US3 isn't bad. I'd take the US3 if the price/connections/schedules were better. There are probably some other good reasons to take the US3 as well, such as wanting WiFi or upgrades via status. And domestically, the offerings are pretty fair too.

I think at the end of the day, it really boils down to the attitude that you have when you board the plane. And to recognize that delays/cancellations/misconnects happen. It sucks when it happens, but there's no point getting overly worked up about it.

Quoting Reffado (Reply 14):
I have family in LHR, and they tend to fly AA across the pond every time. Granted this is a decision they make more on the money side than personal preference, as I know they'd rather fly BA.

In my experience, they tend to price out the same ... and I generally prefer taking BA when that happens.

Edit: AA's tea is a disaster; bring your own teabags.

[Edited 2016-05-07 00:09:13]
 
S75752
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat May 07, 2016 1:49 pm

Though not myself, I do have a friend from the UK whom travels to the US frequently, always on UA, and hasn't really ever had anything negative to say of them. I think that he particularly likes UA's 752 service to his home airport, instead of having to connect via LHR or somewhere else in Europe. As such, he has picked up quite some hefty status with them as well, and I don't recall him ever flying DL or AA or even any of the other European airlines to the US, so things must be pretty good between him and them.
 
AAIL86
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sat May 07, 2016 4:35 pm

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 5):
I've flown British Airways, Virgin, Swiss and Air New Zealand out of the list, I would say that NZ was the best in J, followed by VS, then BA, then LX. Of late the only US airline I have flown longhaul is DL and honestly, I would slot them between NZ and VS, the seat, food, IFE and service were excellent.
Quoting LH748 (Reply 8):

I've made pretty positive experiences with UA, DL, and AA. It always depends what you consider as pleasant. One aspect that I've learned to appreciate are their experienced crews. I've read repeatedly that "older" crews got criticized and I could not disagree more. For me personally, DL crews were the best crews I've had so far, and also UA and AA made a good impression on me.

I agree with the general sentiments here about European and Asian carriers being better in general then the US3. But there also can be exceptions. In February I flew IAH-LHR, outbound on BA in club and return on United in J. Going over was a tired BA 772 with clearly disinterested FAs. I've always had good experiences on BA, from Y, Y+ and up to J (upper deck on the 744 particularly) but this was easily the worst of them. Food was particularly lacking this flight - served cold and service nonexistent - couldn't even get a coffee refil at breakfast.
Coming back on UA on the 788 - brand new plane and fantastic crew. Granted - this is best experience UA have to offer at the moment, but this was easliy the best flight I've had for a while. The FA was fantastic - always smiling and was by every 20-30 minutes checking to see if I needed anything.

Going over again next month, out on AF 77W and back on KL, interested to see if AF have upped their game with the new cabin.
" Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness ... Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ” - Mark Twain, 1869
 
VC10er
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Mon May 09, 2016 9:33 pm

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 4):

"typical liberal American response"? What a really bizarre thing to write? How did this post go political?

I never said one way or another that the US3 were less good or not, I merely stated a fact that the perception is that US airlines are often "not always" less good.

I am an American and I love America (especially my home NYC) and I am proud to be one...that said if I personally think Singapore Airlines is better than Delta Airlines, that does not mean I should be reported to Sen McCarty & J. Edgar!

Aside, I love all the other posts. Thanks so much. Great reading.

I just flew UA, BF, on 2 international long legs. One a 767-300 and another 777-200. From the 1k desk when booking, the FA's, the food, clean, comfy seat and watched 3 Star Wars movies in a row, on-time - all-in-all it was almost a flawless experience. When there are "new" BF seats, and if they are equally as good but with all aisle access, (add a new EWR UA club) it would be about as good a flying experience one could get. (IMHO)...although UA does lack some sense of style.

So, if it were not for perception, I couldn't agree with the notion that even United was so much less good than some of it's prestigious international counterparts...however, consistency will be the key.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
sierra3tango
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Fri May 13, 2016 12:56 pm

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 5):
think part of that is just fond memories, flying BA or TWA back in the 70's it was much the same as PA, of course, except for the seat the whole experience back then IMHO was far superior.

Agreed

In those days PA, BA (latterly TW) flew around the world, 5th freedom rights to loads of destinations (admittedly there
were less airlines/ frequencies to chose from). So you flew US airlines to/from destinations a continent away without touching the US.
In those days they were good.

Nowadays there's vast areas of the world with barely a flight on any US carrier and where there is one its going to the
US. If you don't travel to the US there's almost no opportunity or reason to use a US carrier.

Personally have taken maybe (on average) one return long haul (6+ hrs) a month for the last 20 years with only one trip to
the US (choose BRS/EWR on UA for convenience). Can't remember a US airline even appearing as an option for
travel between Europe and Asia/Africa/ME/India/Australia in well over a decade.

The mantra of passing off their pax onto partner airlines, shrinking their horizons, avoiding the 'difficult stuff' has resulted
in the emasculation of their (once great) standards
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Fri May 13, 2016 1:32 pm

I have a soft spot for United. Don't get me wrong, Qantas is a significantly better airline in every sense but I have nonetheless flown United on my last four Trans-Pacific flights and will gladly continue flying them. There are certain things that I really do appreciate about United, such as they only serve the second meal 75 minutes before landing. That extra 45 minutes sleep is invaluable. They aren't perfect but I feel very 'comfortable' flying United.

In contrast I detest American Airlines and am not keen on Delta. American is atrocious, I don't want to know what part of what animal they served me, whereas the arrogance of Delta really grates on me. They carry on like they believe that they rival SQ and QR while delivering a sub-par product. United is so much more down to earth, at least you know where you stand with them.
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KGRB
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 15, 2016 2:25 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 26):
the arrogance of Delta really grates on me. They carry on like they believe that they rival SQ and QR while delivering a sub-par product

Could you explain what you mean by "Delta's arrogance?" Do you have any examples to share? I'm not trying to start an argument, but I would just like to understand what you mean, since I don't find them to be an arrogant company.
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Polot
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Sun May 15, 2016 3:01 pm

Quoting KGRB (Reply 27):
Could you explain what you mean by "Delta's arrogance?" Do you have any examples to share? I'm not trying to start an argument, but I would just like to understand what you mean, since I don't find them to be an arrogant company.

I don't actually think DL is an arrogant company, but many of their fanboys/employees here for the past 9 years since their bankruptcy can be very arrogant which taints my overall impression of the company (even though they are my favorite of the US3 and I fly them more than any other airline).
 
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RRTrent
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RE: Fans Of The US 3 Major Airlines Outside USA?

Wed May 18, 2016 12:53 pm

Quoting LGAviation (Reply 12):
I'd say that I would've preferred a classic UA or AA 767 over the experience in QR Y.

A year ago almost to the day I flew to ORD with AA and have to be honest and say it was the best flight I've had in a long time. I especially liked the fact that it was an old 90's cabin with soft comfy seats and no TV squashed in my face.

Long haul I've always had a fondness for EI, but the flag on my profile will explain that. But in terms of Y, there is not really a huge difference between all the big hitters, BA probably shade it for me, but only just.

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