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Best US Transcon Airline?

Best US Transcon Airline?

Old Nov 14, 21, 1:44 pm
  #1  
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Best US Transcon Airline?

Mods, feel free to move wherever appropriate.

I'm looking to cross off a bucket list item in 2022 and fly in a premium transcontinental cabin. I'd be looking at late Summer/early Fall, and given I'm MSP based, I am open to beginning my trek on either coast.

Currently I'm evaluating Alaska (Cheating a bit considering MSP-SEA, but seeing how they don't have a true transcon product, this feels close enough), American (As I have some flight credits accumulated with them over the past couple years), Delta (For obvious reasons being MSP based but I'm having difficulties trying to find Delta One flights), and United (Flew shorthaul First with them earlier this year and was fairly impressed despite cutbacks).

JetBlue's out given how I'd have to book two tickets as they won't book me MSP-BOS/JFK-XXX-MSP on one ticket and looping in Mint on an AA ticket is cost prohibitive.
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Old Nov 14, 21, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by mnflyer11 View Post
JetBlue's out given how I'd have to book two tickets as they won't book me MSP-BOS/JFK-XXX-MSP on one ticket and looping in Mint on an AA ticket is cost prohibitive.
Not sure why the LAX/SFO-MSP flight has to be on the same ticket as the rest. But if it does, couldn't a travel agent put all flights on one ticket?
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Old Nov 14, 21, 2:11 pm
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I did not think about looping in a travel agent!
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Old Nov 15, 21, 7:10 am
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The DL forum here on FT has information about what flights are genuine D1. IIRC MSP-HNL is one of them, on a wide body aircraft with flat beds and 1-2-1 seating (100% direct aisle access) so this could be an easy premium cabin flight to arrange. Others are clearly JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO (but watch out for narrow body aircraft with flat beds in a 2-2 configuration). There might be a couple other routes with D1 "service" and yet others use D1 equipment but do NOT have D1 service. Note, however, that DL service is still limited by COVID-19, so set your expectations accordingly. Note also that a D1 ticket entitles you to use lounges (SkyClubs) and the AmEx Plat card gets you into Centurion lounges (JFK, for example) and Escape lounges (MSP if it reopens in time for your trip) with its associated Priority Pass being good for entry and IIRC $15 worth of F&B at the PGA lounge at MSP. If you collect DL miles, note that the accelerator bonus promo runs through the end of the year (with award tickets continuing to earn through 2022).

AA and IIRC UA have some longer flights with both business class and first class. AA FC should be good if the flight goes as scheduled, but you might not like being in business class on an aircraft that offers a FC cabin with somewhat different service. UA has different types (polaris, etc.) of premium cabins so make sure that you understand what you're buying. The respective fora here can give you lots of detailed information.

AFAIK AS doesn't have any aircraft with flat beds, so you would miss that part of the experience.
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Old Nov 16, 21, 4:19 pm
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IMO JetBlue Mint (original product throne seat) & UA true Polaris on a widebody plane are the best transcons. DL on their 764 or A330 are ok. AA F is good too but the price is often far beyond UA & B6 business making it less appealing for the product. AA J is ok too but 2x2 on their A321 isn't as nice as the other options. AA wins on lounge access though whereas JetBlue doesn't have lounges while UA only provides access to the UA Clubs and not Polaris which would be inline for the Flagship lounges.
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Old Nov 18, 21, 12:29 am
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Originally Posted by mnflyer11 View Post
Best US Transcon Airline?
At least start with the one that you think is most affordable. You can try all of them if so desired.

David
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