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Airline differences

Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:05 PM
  #1  
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Airline differences

I mainly fly AA and UA and JetBlue coast to coast. Occasionally SWA, NWA. Flying in this US is generally pretty uncomfortable these days. Do US Air, America West, Continental have anything better to offer? Safety, in your opinion? I'm just trying to get my summer plans in place. thanks!
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:34 PM
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America West and US Airways are now one. They are in the process of merging their operations. As for differences of the major domestic airlines, one is as good as the other. Except Southwest. It sucks!
8-)
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 01:40 AM
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In my oipinion shop price and convenience. Unless you can pay or get an upgrade, coach is virutally the same on any airline.

Safety - there were no deaths in 2005 on any US airline related to safety.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 02:53 AM
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Continental still offers meals during meal time for free--I believe. They also have newer planes which have television monitors.

I know what you are saying, cabovacation, I would like to go to Hawaii, but with the coach seating so uneventful today, I probably will fly to Europe on either Virgin or British Airways.

Yesterday, on the European site, a flight attendant wrote that she would rather fly on British Airways (or was it Virgin) in coach class instead of American in First Class because of the better video. A couple good meals (not a snack pack) and a couple good movies and one is there. And free wine with dinner is always nice.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 04:19 AM
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No, Continental doesn't have a competitive product for transcon flights, in terms of comfort and amenities. They are almost always narrowbodies, and upgrades are rare. They are a very safe and reliable airline, however.

I'd stick with what you have. Probably stick with AA or UA (but not both) only and get "elite" status with them so you can get upgrades.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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Actually, that's not true at all rkkwan. Continental offers free upgrades for its elite members unlike AA and UA which require certs. If you're flying in coach, they do have, as wally34949 noted, meals for free. They may not fly widebodies, but not many people do anymore. If you want a widebody, you're either flying AA between LAX/SFO and JFK or you're flying between hubs.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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bhsnyder - If you've read my posts in this forum, you'll know that I'm quite a fan of CO. But the fact is that their transcon product has little to brag about. Yes, meals at meal-time is probably the only thing that stands out.

Automatic upgrades on the transcons are rare even for the gold and platinum elites. A silver really shouldn't expect any upgrade. And sitting in a narrowbody 737/757 with no personal video screen is not a lot of fun.

AA still runs 767s on its JFK-SFO/LAX routes. UA has E+ in all its planes with extra legroom.

Now, if the OP is NYC-based, and also travel on other routes, then CO becomes a lot more attractive. But if he/she's California-based, then I wouldn't recommend CO.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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You might want to read today's NY Times regarding airlines and loyalty programs

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/26/bu...leonhardt.html

Basically, AA started AAdvantage as a rip-off idea of S&H stamps (green stamps). The article states that airline loyalty programs will soon go the way of green stamps (i.e. dissappear). Air travel is a commodity and price is the most important factor to most travellers.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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hsnyder,

unfortunately CO only has ~8 F seats in front, which makes it very difficult for everybody but top status to get the free upgrade. AA has free upgrades for top status, no certs required and they still offer at least 16 seats in F on any mainline plane, so the mid and low status holders at least have a shot of an upgrade, although it will cost them $30 per 500 miles. It is also possible to upgrade from any fare on AA, not sure if it's true for CO.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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BTW, I have not been in the back of the AA bus since mid-2004 and I always fly on the cheapest possible economy fares. These free upgrades are just a beautiful thing.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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RBCal, I read that article and think the writer is seriously wet.

Item: On most legacy airlines' assets sheets, the FFP is a principal asset; on the income statements they are major net income generators. The airlines sell the seats to the credit card companies (hotels, etc.) and because of undervalued redemptions (coach seats, mainly) and unredeemed balances ("orphan" miles) and sheer float, make a ton of dough on the plans.

Item: Last year or the year before, Air Canada (just exiting bankruptcy) floated its Aeroplan program(me) on the stock market. The market value of the plan is now greater than that of Air Canada.

Item: The merchandise sales (golf clubs, etc.) are aimed at getting people to redeem their miles so that the airlines don't have to carry the contingent liability on their books. Most of the redemption levels for non-travel "rewards" are bad deals from a consumer's point of view. As airfares go up, a 25,000 mile redemption using miles that cost the customer 1.5 cents per mile becomes less profitable to an airline that can fill that seat with someone paying 10 cents per mile, while still selling more miles to a bank or to its flying customer at 0.8 cents. So better the mile holders buy Cuisinarts with them (hopefully charging the tax to their airline credit card) and get the miles out of circulation, or replace them with more expensive (to the consumer) new miles.

Price is indeed the most important factor, but as travelers become increasingly familiar with how to "game" the system, more perks and promos like mileage plans are entering the marketplace, not leaving. Southwest is growing its plan, and even the startup "all-business class" airlines like Eos and Maxjet are creating FFPs, not discontinuing them.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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CO mostly use the 738s for transcon. They have either 14 or 18 FC seats, and two more will be added later to each type this year. They also use the 752 (16 BusinessFirst or 24 FC, and all converting to 16BF) or the 753 (12 or 24 FC seats, and all converting to 24).

So, numberwise, they aren't that bad. But the reality is that they do sell a lot of the FCs, and upgrades are based on elite levels.

CO doesn't sell cash upgrades to coach, but does offer mileage upgrades (which is again rare).
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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rkkwan Thanks for the correction. I'm not sure what domestic airline I was thinking of, but now I know it's not CO.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 07:51 PM
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rkkwan,

looking at www.seatguru.com I see the following:

733 - 8 F seats
735 - 4 F seats (in process or already done, conversion to 8 seats)
737-700(73G) - 12 seats

That's what I remembered. I realize these don't fly transcon, but I'm sure they do fly mid-con.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 08:03 PM
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AAFF - All 735s are now 8 seats. They went down from 10. [And during the conversion, 6 seats.]

The 73Gs should also get two more FC seats later this year, like the 738s.

BTW, since the OP mentioned Jetblue. Just want to say that B6 announced they will sell 2-5 of their A320s, delay deliveries of new Airbuses and cut back on flights to the west coast to concentrate on the East.

Notice that transcon is a tough market. America West tried that for a few months and then quickly cut back.
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Gardyloo, the article doesn't state that the programs will disappear just that the value of them is being reduced to almost nil.

"If you believe the popular idea that a mile is worth about a cent, the 14 trillion unredeemed miles that travelers hold are more valuable than all of the United States currency in circulation, as The Economist magazine has noted."

Anyone who has attempted to redeem a ticket to popular destinations can attest to the difficulty of this. I personally cashed in 80,000 miles but had to call the first day the flights were available and even then had to change my dates of travel a bit.
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Really?

then tell me how I always get sooo lucky.

Just got back flying all over South America with 3 different airlines in first and business class over a 1 month period. Cost = ~$100 plus miles.

Last year about the same time. Another month long trip, this time using 2 airlines, flying in first and business all over South Pacific and Asia. Total cost ~$100 plus miles.

Before that. About a 3 week trip to Africa and Asia, flying 2 different airlines in first only. Cost ~$60 plus miles.

With the exception of few date adjustments never had a problem getting the exact ticket I wanted.

BTW, just booked a first class ticket to Argentina and Peru in early August. No date adjustments required this time.

I guess I'm just very lucky.
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Try booking a ticket to Hawaii in December or January and let's us know what happens.
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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Your wish is my command


AMERICAN AIRLINES
2043 TPA Tampa 01/10/2007 08:27 AM DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 01/10/2007 10:15 AM S80


AMERICAN AIRLINES
123 DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 01/10/2007 11:45 AM HNL Honolulu/ Oahu 01/10/2007 04:21 PM 763


AMERICAN AIRLINES
8 HNL Honolulu/ Oahu 01/17/2007 05:55 PM DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 01/18/2007 05:11 AM 763


AMERICAN AIRLINES
1128 DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 01/18/2007 06:47 AM TPA Tampa 01/18/2007 10:03 AM S80





Your Price
Number of Passengers Miles per Ticket Miles Taxes and Fees per Ticket Price
1 Passenger(s)
35000
35000
10.00 USD
10.00 USD

Total Miles Used: 35000 Total Price 10.00 USD
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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And if you are talking about Christmas or new Years then you are being somewhat unreasonable. The ticket is available but it's at the AAnytime award level, but so are the fares at that time. Everybody and their grandma wants to be in Hawaii at that time.

Still it is available, only at the higher rate.

AND it doesn't mean that somewhere down the road it won't be available for the lower rate.


AMERICAN AIRLINES
2043 TPA Tampa 12/20/2006 08:27 AM DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 12/20/2006 10:15 AM S80


AMERICAN AIRLINES
123 DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 12/20/2006 11:45 AM HNL Honolulu/ Oahu 12/20/2006 04:21 PM 763


AMERICAN AIRLINES
8 HNL Honolulu/ Oahu 12/27/2006 05:55 PM DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 12/28/2006 05:11 AM 763


AMERICAN AIRLINES
1128 DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth 12/28/2006 06:47 AM TPA Tampa 12/28/2006 10:03 AM S80





Your Price
Number of Passengers Miles per Ticket Miles Taxes and Fees per Ticket Price
1 Passenger(s)
70000
70000
10.00 USD
10.00 USD

Total Miles Used: 70000 Total Price 10.00 USD
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