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In your opinion: Best Domestic Airline?

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Mar 4th, 2012, 12:29 PM
  #1
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In your opinion: Best Domestic Airline?

My husband and I, with my parents, are very excited to be traveling to St. Louis to see the Cardinals baseball for Opening Day. We will also be traveling with a 9 month old. When booking a flight, I always go for the cheapest or the least amount of stops. This time around there are some flights that are very comparable, but are on different airlines. I am not found of US Airways because I never seem to have a good experience.

This search for some decent priced air tickets led me to the question:
What is the best airline in your opinion for domestic flights?
JnJSanDiego is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Honest;y, they tare pretty much all the same and none are what you'd call exceptional. They are all "flying busses". Reason, most passengers today as so concerned with getting the lowest price the airlines have cut out almost all the frills unless you are flying Business or First Class 9and even then Business/First Class on Domestic flights is somewhat akin to what Economy Class was 20 years ago.

Now, a lot of "frequent flyers" stick with one or two airlines because they earn miles and get "elite status)" on those airlines they patronize regularly and in other case they have a preferred airline because the closest airport happens to have a major hub for a particular airline. I take it you and your party are not "frequent flyers" so that's not part of the equation.

Pick the airline that gives you the best schedule (i.e. arrival and/or departure times and least amount of stops) at the price you are most comfortable paying. You won't be missing anything. When it comes to flying domestically in the US "the grass is not greener on the other airline".
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Mar 4th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Southwest.

On time, friendly, fewer fees then the others.

(And I am elite on Delta but... you asked!)
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Mar 4th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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I do think it is a crap shoot, but we just had great service from United (and I never thought I'd say that). We had two stops both ways. Our first flight was delayed, they tried to reroute us, but then when I said we were also are going to Reno, they laughed at me (I laughed first). They wished us luck, we made all of our connections along with our luggage. On the way back our second leg was delayed, but we still made our (very tight) connection and made it home with luggage (one piece being gate checked at the start of leg 2), on time. I had tried the previous night to prearrange a later flight home in case we missed our connection, but the line was insane. I just checked my e-mail and they had already booked us on a later flight (which we did not need). I have no status with United and truly thought our flights would be awful, but if your goal is to get from A to B, on time with luggage, I was very happy. Next time I will book my tickets well in advance.

I do try to avoid Chicago, when flying.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 04:15 AM
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southwest.com good SAN connexions best bang for the buck with their "wannagetaway" web fares more employee and customer
attentive. Only larger carrier that has NOT bankrupted shafting passengers and employess one or more times in business 20 yrs or more.Recently absorbed Airtran for more routes from ATL better prices.

Their slogan "think small get BIGGER:think big get SMALLER"

So they are my current fav on your route. airlinequality.com
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Mar 5th, 2012, 04:57 AM
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You're flying SAN-STL, right? Southwest provides the only non-stop on this route, though it departs SAN at 6:45a in the morning. In my opinion, it's worth getting up early to avoid the hassle of transferring.

The return non-stop is at 2:05p, so it's not an issue at all.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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For St. Louis, you really don't have many choices. In the past 10 years, I have seen a lot of contraction in airlines and service. Heck, they have a whole concourse they no longer use! Unless you have bad karma with Southwest, I would try them.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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What airlines are you comparing? That would help people answer.

My personal favorite is Hawaiian Air, but I doubt that's much help in your situation -haha!
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Mar 5th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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The best, I think, is jetblue (haven't been on Virgin America), but I don't think that will help you in this instance. Otherwise, there's not much difference between airlines.
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Mar 6th, 2012, 09:40 PM
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I also think that Southwest is the best domestic airline. I think the company takes the best care of their flight attendants and it show in the way those attendants take care of their customers.
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May 8th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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I know this thread is dated for the original poster, but I'll add my reply for those that come here from a search engine looking for advise on a good domestic airline.

Having flown internationally numerous times I can tell you this with confidence: there are NO good domestic airlines. The US companies really need to take a clue from Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong based) or EVA Airways (Taiwanese) if they want to improve customer relations. But, they don't have to, because most Americans never fly internationally and therefore don't have a clue how much better it can be! Business Class on the above mentioned airlines is like First Class on any domestic airline. But the American companies will not change because they know they don't have to. All they have to do is keep cramming more and more people in tighter spaces and make more and more profit. Don't believe any of them go out of business because they are losing money. They aren't losing money, they just aren't making ENOUGH money to suit the fat cats who won't accept less than elite salaries. "Flying buses" indeed! LOL

OK, end of the soap box.

In my experience there isn't big differences when flying domestically in economy class. Even First Class on domestic flights is a joke IMO. I have flown US Airways pretty regularly over the past several years and while I wouldn't say I had any exceptional experiences with them, they were always on-time (mostly), no significant delays, and no exceptionally rude flight attendants. However, on my most recent flight from DC to Phoenix a flight was cancelled due to bad weather and then I saw the really UGLY side of US Airways. I won't go into detail, I'll let you imagine but suffice it to say that I couldn't get a straight answer out of any of them as to what their policy was in a situation of a grounded flight due to bad weather.

I wasn't even expecting them to be sympathetic or friendly, just to answer my questions based on what their policies are in such a situation. You would have thought that I asked them something to which they were completely unprepared and for which their was no prior experience to draw from. Surely this wasn't the first flight in US Airways history to be grounded due to weather was it?! Luckily, I did make it out of DC and back to Phoenix, albeit after spending 15 hours (including a lovely overnight) at the DC airport.

I see a few people on the board recommended Southwest Airlines, which I find surprising because I flew them a few times between PHX and LAX and I don't think a single one of those flights left on time! Perhaps there is some variation in airlines routes - maybe a particular airline is better in a particular route - but my experience with Southwest was usually frustrating. Plus, I like to have my seat preference guaranteed before I get on the plane. I'm well over 6 feet tall, so legroom is an issue which necessitates an aisle seat. With Southwest, you aren't guaranteed a particular seat, you have to get on the plane and hope you get a good one. I like to plan ahead, look at the plane's seat map and choose my seat, can't do this with Southwest! Plus, on a flight to Austin once the flight attendant sang country songs and told sexist jokes about her husband and men over the speaker for about 15 minutes. Some of the passengers seemed to enjoy the show (!) but I prefer my airlines stick to air travel and not work on their comedy routines. What about those passengers that wanted to take a nap? Did she think about that? Probably not.

So to summarize, there are no good domestic airlines and you shouldn't expect to be treated well. If the destination is reasonable to rent a car and drive, do that. I don't fly between PHX and LAX anymore when I need to make that trip - I rent a car now. It's a 6-hour drive, but when you count in the time you must arrive to the airport before your flight, the potential for delay and late arrival, and the hassles of dealing with security and such I think I'd rather drive when possible. We have to send a message to the airlines that such policies and treatments are not acceptable.
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May 8th, 2012, 07:27 PM
  #12
 
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Southwest!
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May 13th, 2012, 02:19 PM
  #13
 
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They all suck for coach.
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May 13th, 2012, 07:35 PM
  #14
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I would say JetBlue, a little bit nicer than SWA.
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