Best U.S. airline?

Old Dec 12th, 2001, 04:48 AM
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Best U.S. airline?

I've been reading some of the comments in another post about Delta and was a little surprised to see so many negatives--I always thought Delta was considered one of the better airlines for customer service.

Given this, I'm curious who folks might vote for as the best U.S.-based airline? There are a number of foreign carriers that people seem to like, but what about options here in the states? Assuming the biggies are all about the same on safety issues, which airline do you think provides the best service (i.e. edible food, willing to work with you when there are problems, friendly desk agents, etc., etc.) and does the best job getting you where you want to go with a minimum of hassle? Or would you say they're all pretty much the same?
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 05:52 AM
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American is my favorite. More room in coach than other airlines. Great frequent flier program that requires fewer miles than most other airlines for most destinations. Plus, they will hold a reservation for you even if you don't have enough miles yet. My second favorite is USAirways.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 06:04 AM
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If you have time to spare go US Air------ Just kidding, my vote is US Air - if you would have asked me last year, I would not have voted for them,, but they were nice and the CEO himself replaced a lost voucher for me last year. It was too bad that we had to go to the top, but he was very accommodating. My second choice is Jet Blue.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 06:21 AM
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This one's a no brainer, frequent flier.
Midwest Express wins the top quality award and top ranking every year.
The entire plane is first class seating, with double wide leather seats, 2 to a side, front to back.
And the fares are about the same as coach.

The food is served on china.
The alcohol is free, including champaign.
Warm cookies are served part way through the flight.
The staff attitude, ground and air staff, is just like in the 1960's (a good thing).

Among the major carriers, there is so little difference any more, you won't find a consensus about who's best. Everyone seems to have their carriers that they strongly dislike.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 06:29 AM
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Best U.S. airline, now THAT is an oxymoron!
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 08:07 AM
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I second Midwest Express. I lived in Milwaukee for several years and became spoiled rotten. If you live in the North Suburbs of Chicago, this airline would be worth looking into. The good is excellent, everyone gets first-class treatment and they go way beyond the level of service of other airlines. Once, they even let me board one of their flights with a Delta boarding pass when my flight was canceled(there was no time to change tickets...they were about to shut the door). They said they would work it out on the ground after we left. It proves that the airlines can do whatever they are WILLING to do.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 08:22 AM
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Ditto Midwest!!!
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 09:02 AM
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Agree about Midwest Express--but what about those of us who aren't lucky enough to live in or near Chicago??
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 10:20 AM
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If you can't fly Midwest Express, there's always Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, and Air New Zealand.
All are far superior to ANY major US carrier.
Elsewhere in the US, there is genuinely no clearcut winner in the race for mediocrity among United, American, Delta, etc.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 12:34 PM
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I like Southwest. Cheap, friendly, easy to get free tix. A winning combination in my book.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 12:52 PM
P. Giannini
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I would have to say that American Airlines is the best U.S. airline because they have the most legroom in coach of any carrier and also in terms of their service. In addition, their frequent flier program has the most airline, hotel, and rental car partners with which you can earn additional miles.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 01:43 PM
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There's a reason Continental keeps winning awards. While the other domestic airlines run gimmicks and PR programs to grab market share, CO does its homework to identify just what people want from an airline, then devise ways to met those expectations. Example: inflight meals. Most of us know that (especially with discount fares) there's no way to get real gourmet grub aloft. So CO turned instead to fresh snacks in place of imitation food. Sure, they had nowhere to go but up in the early 90's - it truly was a horrible fate to have to fly CO in those days- but they continue to deliver consistently good service and value. They also pay attention to the airport facilities at their hubs, and have made tremendous improvements there. Maybe best of all their staff is actually service oriented and not afraid to say "I'm not sure, let me find out" when most other airline agents just deliver attitude or a flat "no" in response to anything slightly out of the ordinary. And talk about FF programs - their OnePass is terrific!
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 01:55 PM
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Midwest-Express, no question about that, the problems is that being a small co. they have very few flights. I never seen champaign being served, all they have is white and red wine with your dinner even if your flight is less than 2 hours. This is one classy Airline!
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 01:56 PM
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They no longer serve champaign. They have substituted Urbana.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 03:48 PM
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Well, I've never had the pleasure of flying MidWest Express, so here's the best of the rest, IMO.

Best food (relatively speaking): Delta or United

Most comfortable: American or United (love United's new full-fare coach section)

Most reliable: Southwest (but I hate, hate, hate their stupid festival seating)

Service: Frankly, they all seem pretty much the same to me

Extra Credit: Brownie points to United for their free in-flight movies. I can't believe airlines actually expect you to shell out $5 or more for a movie on top of what you've already paid for the ticket.

Can't comment on frequent flier programs since the majority of my travel is business-related and gov't employees aren't allowed to keep them.
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 05:32 PM
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Mimi: they do indeed serve champaign on Midwest Express.
In fact, here's a copy of their menu from the website:

Breakfast (served with complimentary champagne)
Sour cream and cherry pancakes; yogurt granola coquette; coffee, tea, juice, soda

Lunch (served with our baked-onboard chocolate chip cookies)
Chilled Chateaubriand marinated in sherry, garlic, peppercorns and shallots, served with green and white linguini pasta; salad, tomato and hard-boiled egg wedges, mustard dill dressing; roll and butter

Dinner (served with complimentary red or white wine)
Crisp romaine and iceberg lettuce salad with shredded carrot, red cabbage, blue cheese crumbles and pepper cream dressing

Wild rice and mushroom-stuffed chicken breast served with sauteed spinach, corn pudding, and roasted onion cup filled with Marsala cream sauce


Crab claw and shrimp cold plate with lemon angel hair pasta and fresh vegetables

Champagne cake with strawberry sauce

Old Dec 13th, 2001, 06:07 AM
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Rob, Rob, Rob--it was a pun. Even I got it who doesn't live in Illinois.
And Continental is indeed based on service by their personnel. Daughter is a (furloughed, unfortunately) flight attendant and their camaraderie and belief in the company is really something. Gordon Bethune is the reason.
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 01:00 PM
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Hahahaha, I loved that...

Serving Urbana instead of Champaign (common misspelling of Champagne).

That one inerrupted my REM nap.
Old Dec 13th, 2001, 02:09 PM
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Actually YOU'RE the one who needs to read more carefully.
"Mimi" said she'd never seen champagne served on Midwest Express.
"xyz" inserted the joke.
My comments, as I stated, were directed to Mimi.

And believe me, the joke wasn't lost on me.
I went to the good ol' U of I for 7 years (3 degrees), my sister was born in Champagne (Burnham Hospital I believe), and both my parents went to school there.
I don't, however, make any great effort to retain my memories of C-U. It's a fine school, but living in central Illinois got old in a hurry (for offense to other Illinoisans).

Old Dec 13th, 2001, 05:02 PM
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Mimi didn't say she's never seen champagne being served, she said, "I never seen champaign being served."

If your sister was born in Burnham hospital in Champagne, that would be big news to the people of Champaign.

Oh, never mind...

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