Friday, June 27, 2014

American vs United




After flying first class on United Transcontinental flight 1735 Newark-LAX on a 757 and American Airlines transcontinental flight 118 LAX-JFK on the new Airbus A321T, both in June 2014, I have a few comments that may help you planning your next trip.

Check-in: the first class check-in at LAX was a breeze with American. We were invited to the first class lounge where we had breakfast and then escorted to our seats on the plane. A real VIP feeling throughout the process.


United, on the other hand, was a nightmare, with long and disorganized lines, rude personnel, computer glitches, and if you are on first class, but not flying international, you are not welcome to the lounge. Great job, United, for making me feel so special for buying your first class product... for the last time!


Onboard:  American bought new planes for this route and they have a three classes configuration, therefore the first class is a 10 sitter cabin with a 1-1 configuration. A lot of space and first class service, with a menu for food options, large pillow and extra large blanket, toiletries bag and friendly flight attendants. Wifi during the flight.

United fly the old Continental 757, with updated first class seats. Cramped feeling since the seats are too large for the small space on a 2-2 configuration. No pillow, no blanket, no menu, no wifi. A tray with tasteless eggs and fruits. The flight attendant laugh when I asked for other food options and herbal tea, and she added: "Wrong airline". You can say that again, lady!


Both offer the same kind of Entertainment options. Movies, TV shows, games and music. I tried to connect my ipad to the system but in neither airline it worked.

Without a doubt, American has the best product for transcontinental flights today. Virgin America is my second option, since it started the trend that now every airline tries to emulate. United was a disappointment in every category, and with all the competition out there, it's no longer an option for me.  

Safe travels!

15 comments:

  1. United has become the worst airline in the industry for customer service.

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    1. Remember the employees can only work with the tools they've been given. Unfortunately at United many of the tools have been taken away. They are not bad people nor do they want to give poor service. Most of them really do care. They have mentally been beaten up everyday for months now and they are exhausted. Please don't blame United's shortcomings on poor customer service. Blame those at the top that are only interested in lining their pockets. They don't care about the customer, the employees or running a smart operation.

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    2. I'm so tired of hearing employees complain that their crappy attitudes are because of "management". I'm sorry, but you closed all three flight attendants behind a curtain for two hours and read magazines because of the tools you have been given?

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    3. You see that on the Continnetal side all the time. Those flight attendants just don't care most are young and have no pride. Fly on a real United flight with United flight attendants and they are always in the aisle doing water services and offering help. Very rarely sitting and reading. And a curtain on the United side would never happen. I fly weekly and when asked United flight attendants why they don't close the curtain and read like the other side. I am told they like to be available to help as this is not a hard job.

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  2. Jeff Smisek is trying to cut his way to success and his approach is failing miserably. Employees at subsidiary United were soooo hopeful that the new United was going to regain its place at the top as the worldwide carrier of choice. What a disappointment that the UAL BOD chose to keep Jeff on board. He's ruining the airline as well as the lives of the hard working employees who have already given up so much to keep the airline afloat. Very, very sad...

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  3. Why didn't you fly UA from JFK on it's PS service to have a true "apples to spokes" comparison? EWR doesn't have a "premium" transcontinental product offering from ANY airline! This is a skewed/bias/ unfair/inaccurate comparison! Any road warrior flyer knows this.

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  4. The average passenger doesn't know where United is offering "the better product", if there is one. American advertise the new planes on this route, and the perks in each class of service. So you know what you are buying.

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  5. It's fairly obvious that you just don't like UA. So why don't you just say that? Instead, you want to rant, comparing apples to oranges. UA advertises their PS flights all over the place. So how you can say no one knows where they're offering "the better product" is just wrong. Had you flown a PS flight, you would've been in the lounge with a business first ticket. Instead, you fly a route that offers no special amenities, and then want to compare it to a completely different product. Completely lame article and opinion.

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  6. Your picture displays a United A380? Does not exist and never will. Seems like you have no idea what your taking about to. Newark is in New Jersey not JKF. Next time take a LAX-JKF on both to compare.

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  7. why did you fly EWR-LAX on UA and try to compare that with LAX-JFK on AA? totally different route. Your saying that the average person doesnt know where UA is offering the "better product"? have u been living under a rock or just dont like UA period. UA has advertised their PS LAX-JFK or SFO-JFK service EVEN BEFORE THE MERGER! so your comparison between both products is no longer valid.

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  8. How is that a a completely different route?

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  9. Echoing what everyone else is saying, not a fair comparison. If you fly AA's old 757s on a transcon route, I guarantee you will be equally unimpressed.

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  10. Besides the aircraft, the costumer service level between these two airlines is completely different. I can fly a brand new plane on United, with the same crew that I had on this flight, and the experience would had been disastrous. As it was said in many comments, there is something going on with the United crew and all I can say is that it shows.

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  11. I am equally unimpressed by American Airlines and now recently flew US Airways who apparently took on the AA model of customer service - not a good idea! AA has no customer service skills. THe last time I had an issue with AA I had to email someone and wait for a reply, then would have to to resubmit the same email to the site again if my question was not answered correctly, I could just reply to the person that sent me the email. Now when US airways decided to put my bags on a plane that wasn't mine and I had to wait for 3 hours to get them, the response from the baggage clerk was "Oh well, nothing I can do." Tried to contact US Airways and apparently we have to play the same email game to get in touch with anyone. They both say, it makes customer service better - that is bullshit AA and US Air should just say "we don't really care." Two airlines in the industry just merged to makes the worlds WORST airline.

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  12. American Airlines was established in 1930 and is the principal aircraft to offer electronic ticketing. American Airlines is additionally the primary aircraft to offer a long standing customer program. https://customercaretoll.com/listings/american-airlines-customer-support-service-toll-free-phone-number

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