American vs. Delta

Old May 30, 2018, 4:07 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick
I moved about 70% of my business from AA to DL+partners late in 2016, around the time the EQD priority for upgrades on AA was announced to be implemented in mid-2017.

What I've found is this:

- DL generally runs a more pleasant operation
- DL has better bulkhead seats in coach, they are half-bulkheads on the 319/320/739 so they have more legroom
- DL flies a lot more CRJ-900s. I happen to like them in F, and can tolerate 5B in coach. But others dislike them.
- DL has more non-bulkhead/exit MCE seats, but they are harder to get into for free unless you are Platinum or Diamond
- If I have to connect in a major United States hub, I pick Detroit.
- If you're fine with Premium Economy to get you to Europe, it's hard to argue with Virgin Atlantic.
- Both airlines do the rolling delay nonsense, but Delta isn't as egregious with it as American.

I still fly American a bit due to schedule as I still live in an American hub for another 18 months. And I haven't flown to Asia on either AA or DL.
Funny, your situation is very similar to mine. Having now experienced Delta Gold for almost a full year after having been AA Platinum (EXP for a few of those) for 12 years prior, my experience with Delta has been quite positive. In addition to what you note above, here are my additional thoughts on the switch.

DL - As an NYC based flier, I probably get upgraded to F about 50% of the time. I rarely fly throug ATL, so that clearly helps my hit rate. On AA even before the EQD change I was almost never upgraded unless on the most random flights at odd hours. Plus, still having to use stickers made me have to think about when I even wanted to make use of the upgrade.
DL - IFE on almost all flights
DL - Shockingly, Ive had better luck using my sky miles than my advantage miles. AA has been absurd with SAAver availability, pretty much an offensive joke for me.
DL - DL App is far superior and that all trickles through to the whole pre, in and post flight experience in my mind.
DL - Sky Club food is superior at all hours.
AA - Immediate access to MCE was big, only difference was the free drink on DL in comfort, which most of the time doesnt matter to me. Win for AA domestic.

For me the upgrades are the big differentiator here and DL at least gives me a decent shot, and often times I can just buy up for a reasonable price like $120 which would basically be my cost of buyer stickers on a 1,515 mile flight on AA. Also being an LGA flier, DL has the upper hand on non-stops and facilities, hands down. AA has really lost value for domestic NYC based fliers.

Though seems my loss is the gain for many others...as long as I have one horse im happy with, Ill take it.



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Old May 30, 2018, 7:06 pm
  #47  
 
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I dont have a lot to add to the above commentary except to say I switched from DL to US Air (which became AA after the merger in 2015) after 20+ years and over 2 million miles. I thought about it for a few years before I took the leap. In my experience, you have to try out a new airline and program to really know how well it will fit your personal and professional travel needs. In my case, with 90% international travel, AA is the best fit. Good Luck with your decision!
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Old May 30, 2018, 9:27 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by AALoyalNYC
DL - Shockingly, Ive had better luck using my sky miles than my advantage miles. AA has been absurd with SAAver availability, pretty much an offensive joke for me.
I find that DL has surprisingly good domestic availability for a small premium at some pretty busy times.

A couple of examples
- I got two Comfort Plus seats MIA-ATL-ORD the morning after Easter for 18k DL each, vs a minimum one-way price for regular coach of $275 on any airline.
- Looking at a redemption for Thanksgiving Tuesday. One way SAN-CHI. Every carrier wants at least $233 for Basic Economy. DL has F for 31k.
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Old May 30, 2018, 11:26 pm
  #49  
 
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I am thinking about status matching AA Gold over to DL Silver, because I won't have enough EQM this year to keep my Gold status in 2019 and I do have an international Skyteam J trip coming up that would be enough for the match. Given the existence of the thread I thought I would share my thoughts on why I'm thinking of jumping alliances.

One of my primary concerns with AA are the reports of the 737 densification and the micro-bathrooms and LCC amounts of pitch (who on FT called it the "Mad MAX"? That was hilarious). Also, I'm starting to fly F on longer domestic routes a little more frequently and I think for the money it's pathetic the LUS planes out of Phoenix don't even have power plugs, and the DL planes are more consistent with that an they also have IFE on more planes. AA does allow advance meal selection, I like that, and I'm not sure if DL has rolled that out domestically or not.

Oneworld definitely is not without (a)advantages, such as far superior J lounges (The Flagship Lounge in LAX was awesome, even the TBIT J lounge is nicer for OW than ST), and MCE is 50% off for Gold (and free for Plat, which beats the pants off the Delta 50k fliers who wait until 72hrs).

For business class, I preferred the AA 787 J to the DL A330 J (their best, until the new suites), but thought KLM was better than BA for inter-Europe travel. End of the day though, I'm going to buy the lowest price lay-flat I can if prices aren't within $100/ticket.

When it comes to miles and award flights, the rollover MQM is nice on Delta, but am concerned about actually achieving "reasonable" award flights on Delta compared to the published AA chart. I used my miles to Asia on AA and got a 3cpm redemption rate with saver tickets. To Europe though, with the high YQ on BA, those same rates are significantly offset. At least, with DL though, I can transfer miles from Amex if I'm short.
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Old Apr 10, 2019, 5:31 pm
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American or Delta

American normally has more reasonable fares and has more newer planes ....Delta in my opinion is over rated ....
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Old Apr 10, 2019, 6:26 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Marc Marconi
American normally has more reasonable fares and has more newer planes ....Delta in my opinion is over rated ....
Especially with Delta crews colluding to claim turbulence to not do their jobs and provide service in-flight.
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Old Apr 11, 2019, 1:16 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981


Especially with Delta crews colluding to claim turbulence to not do their jobs and provide service in-flight.
When did that happen?
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Old Apr 11, 2019, 1:30 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by AAdamE
When did that happen?
Check the Delta forum......lots of people reporting no in-flight service, even in FC, on Delta mainline flights (that are over 350 miles and should receive service) due to "turbulence" despite no bumps.
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 9:20 am
  #54  
 
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AA vs Delta

DL first class:
Greeted by name at boarding and on board, offered pre departure beverage + bottle of water, pillow and blanket, inflight entertainment, consistent gogo wifi.

AA first class:
No recogniztion of name, no pre departure drink, no bottle of water, no pillow and always worried about oasis with metal bar and no legroom, 3 different wifi systems which seems to have issues.

DL at investor meeting: we lead the pack and never stop working for our customers and shareholders.

AA at investor meeting: we have a premium revenue issue but, not sure how to resolve so if we act like Spirit who has a better operation people will pay more for first class

Wake up AA!.

Did I miss anything?
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 9:25 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by benolaa
Did I miss anything?
that this has been covered ad nauseum.
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 9:35 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by benolaa
DL first class:
Greeted by name at boarding and on board, offered pre departure beverage + bottle of water, pillow and blanket, inflight entertainment, consistent gogo wifi.

AA first class:
No recogniztion of name, no pre departure drink, no bottle of water, no pillow and always worried about oasis with metal bar and no legroom, 3 different wifi systems which seems to have issues.

DL at investor meeting: we lead the pack and never stop working for our customers and shareholders.

AA at investor meeting: we have a premium revenue issue but, not sure how to resolve so if we act like Spirit who has a better operation people will pay more for first class

Wake up AA!.

Did I miss anything?
Yes- AA has a significantly higher monthly debt payment per passenger flown than DL. AA has like labor costs as DL. Chairman Parker simply can't compete with DL with the cost structure he created with the merger of US Air and American.

All Chairman Parker can do at this time is hope PAX pick AA over DL (or any other airline) based on their schedule needs, while adding additional seats to existing aircraft, at the cost of PAX comfort..

AA can't provide a better product than DL on a MACRO level, simply not financially feasible. Chairman Parker has a huge debt payment every month, and if fuel costs continue to creep up- maybe a AA restructuring might not be to far behind. AA rolls the dice on fuel costs, it has paid off handsomely for Chairman Parker over the past two decades (pre merger and post merger). But at some point, a lucky gambler has a losing streak, and being the worlds largest airline with no fuel hedge could turn financially ugly overnight.

Hawking credit cards and frequent flyer miles are not enough to solve AAs debt problem. The credit card market is simply saturated.

Both DL and SW hedge their fuel exposure, both are more profitable than AA, and have significantly less debt than AA.

AA, with its significant debt, Chairman Parker pretty much has no choice but to become more Spirit like than Delta like. Expect less from AA is a realistic expectation. There is a reason Spirit Airlines now ranks higher than American in recent customer surveys. Something I would of never thought was possible.

Last edited by GunsOfNavarone; Apr 17, 2019 at 9:54 am
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 9:54 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Marc Marconi
American normally has more reasonable fares
This is especially true ex-PHX.
I switched to AA and their fares are always cheaper than DLAND most are nonstop which didnt make sense to me at first.
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 10:33 am
  #58  
 
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Not sure if it has been mentioned but I think DL mobile app, website, notifications etc. are superior to anything AA has for everything from day of flight notifications to booking online with cash or miles.

AA still feels antiquated on that front despite their efforts.

As far as priority lanes, at least here in the US, my thought is "who cares!". With TSA Pre check, priority lines at security seem meaningless to me.

Unless you fly enough to be top tier (AA EXP or DL Diamond), upgrade benefits are most likely non-existent or very hit or miss.

I don't chase status anymore and while I try to stick to OW, I happily fly DL whenever it makes sense. I even buy directly into First now with either airline when there is a good deal.
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 10:38 am
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by carlosdca
Not sure if it has been mentioned but I think DL mobile app, website, notifications etc. are superior to anything AA has for everything from day of flight notifications to booking online with cash or miles.
I have come to love how Delta allows me to proactively rebook during likely IRROPS from my phone- has saved me from a night in ATL a time or two already. It's a contrast to AA's tendency to not want to do anything until there's an actual misconnect.
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Old Apr 17, 2019, 1:00 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone
Yes- AA has a significantly higher monthly debt payment per passenger flown than DL. AA has like labor costs as DL. Chairman Parker simply can't compete with DL with the cost structure he created with the merger of US Air and American.

All Chairman Parker can do at this time is hope PAX pick AA over DL (or any other airline) based on their schedule needs, while adding additional seats to existing aircraft, at the cost of PAX comfort..

AA can't provide a better product than DL on a MACRO level, simply not financially feasible. Chairman Parker has a huge debt payment every month, and if fuel costs continue to creep up- maybe a AA restructuring might not be to far behind. AA rolls the dice on fuel costs, it has paid off handsomely for Chairman Parker over the past two decades (pre merger and post merger). But at some point, a lucky gambler has a losing streak, and being the worlds largest airline with no fuel hedge could turn financially ugly overnight.

Hawking credit cards and frequent flyer miles are not enough to solve AAs debt problem. The credit card market is simply saturated.

Both DL and SW hedge their fuel exposure, both are more profitable than AA, and have significantly less debt than AA.

AA, with its significant debt, Chairman Parker pretty much has no choice but to become more Spirit like than Delta like. Expect less from AA is a realistic expectation. There is a reason Spirit Airlines now ranks higher than American in recent customer surveys. Something I would of never thought was possible.
Good points - I think a lot of folks don't realize what AA is up against and how its easy to compare apples to oranges and not realize you're doing so.
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