Business Class: NW vs UA

 
Old Jan 10, 05, 6:22 pm
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Business Class: NW vs UA

Although I traveled on NW's (Classic) WBC about a dozen of times over the years, I never had a chance to experience UA's biz class to Asia, due to my former company's contract with NW. Now it looks like I may be able to fly to China with UA or NW. Given UA has more frequencies to China now, can any FTer shed some light as to how UA's biz class compared to NW's? Thanks!
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Old Jan 11, 05, 6:13 pm
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although i'm particularly fond of nw's 330 (flew ex-pdx last month), i would still go with ua because:

-you can upgrade to f
-easy to upgrade to c when stuck in y (this is true with both pek and pvg now because of the recently added capacity)
-slightly better food imo
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Old Jan 11, 05, 7:03 pm
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Thx. Moondog.

I learned from this site - It's easier to upgrade to UA's biz class.

Since my tkt will be paid by my firm, I was thinking more along the line of comfort/fun factors comparing NW vs. UA's b-class, i.e., seat, video system, food, FA service, etc...
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Old Jan 11, 05, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by PVGMSP
Since my tkt will be paid by my firm, I was thinking more along the line of comfort/fun factors comparing NW vs. UA's b-class, i.e., seat, video system, food, FA service, etc...
UA has more comfortable seats than NW vintage WBC. i've never flown in 330 WBC, but i would guess it's a matter of opinion (330 WBC will have 'lie flat' seats, but at a tilt, and with less padding than UA).

video systems are pretty comparable for UA and NW vintage WBC. not sure about 330 WBC, but i suspect it might be more impressive.

i think UA has better food these days.

service is variable.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Cap'n Adventure
UA has more comfortable seats than NW vintage WBC. i've never flown in 330 WBC, but i would guess it's a matter of opinion (330 WBC will have 'lie flat' seats, but at a tilt, and with less padding than UA).
I'd beg to differ on that point... NW 330's are tilta-flat, and the old 747 seats go almost back that far... I've had good luck on both WBC products. One peave ... trying to get the footrest up on UA's seats are a pain...

video systems are pretty comparable for UA and NW vintage WBC. not sure about 330 WBC, but i suspect it might be more impressive.
AVOD wins hands down!

i think UA has better food these days.

service is variable.
All depends... I just hated listening to the matrons b!tching about Tilton on my last 2 UA TATL and Transpac flights. Plus it's "either" cheese or dessert...not both on UA. (They might have not loaded enuff) to be that stingy on loading biz class says alot... I've always got both on NW without a word...

IMHO, the RCC at NRT is a shame for a flagship club. The showers are nice, but lacking in most other amenities. The RCC at LHR is rather quite nice, but they need new computers that arent running Win95!

Last edited by thezipper; Jan 11, 05 at 7:35 pm
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Old Jan 11, 05, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by PVGMSP
Although I traveled on NW's (Classic) WBC about a dozen of times over the years, I never had a chance to experience UA's biz class to Asia, due to my former company's contract with NW. Now it looks like I may be able to fly to China with UA or NW. Given UA has more frequencies to China now, can any FTer shed some light as to how UA's biz class compared to NW's? Thanks!
When you say you can now book UA, does that mean UA metal or UA flight numbers? UA has some nice Asia-based codeshare partners on some transpac routes (e.g., NH and SQ).
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Old Jan 12, 05, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by thezipper
... but they need new computers that arent running Win95!
Heck the A330's run (I kid you now) Windows for Workgroups (and Trumpet Winsock) to power the main console for IFE control. (although the seats themselves run Linux).



Steve
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Old Jan 12, 05, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by channa
When you say you can now book UA, does that mean UA metal or UA flight numbers? UA has some nice Asia-based codeshare partners on some transpac routes (e.g., NH and SQ).
That's a good idea. The only problem is to fly any of these UA partners from my home base, MSP, I need at least 2 connections, e.g. MSP-DEN-SFO-HKG on UA/SQ, or even MSP-ORD-LAX-NRT-PVG on UA/NH ( )...
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Old Jan 12, 05, 9:26 am
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I recently flew SQ in J class -- and I would go incredibly far out of my way to do so again. It was unbelievable. Everything you've ever heard is true -- and exceeded. Seats, food and drink, entertainment... and most of all the FAs...

Hard to believe the other airlines are even in the same business.
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Old Jan 12, 05, 9:56 am
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I prefer UA seats but NW IFE. The food and service were quite comparable, in my opinion. In all honesty, I expected UA to be far better than NW, but it wasn't.
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Old Jan 12, 05, 10:19 am
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Sq Blah!

Originally Posted by Alpha Golf
I recently flew SQ in J class -- and I would go incredibly far out of my way to do so again. It was unbelievable. Everything you've ever heard is true -- and exceeded. Seats, food and drink, entertainment... and most of all the FAs...

Hard to believe the other airlines are even in the same business.
What are you talking about? I don't even like SQ J class seat at all. I couldn't find a comfortable sleeping position. It slides down. I take NW's classic J seat over SQ's. But over all, Yes, SQ has the best meals and IFE (IFE is a top notch with 60 movies to choose from and they're AVODs).

UA's J seat is better than NW's new lie-flat. I have the same problems with NW's seat being at an angle like that just like when I flew on SQ. However, NW's classic is the best of the 3, seatwise!

Food wise, come on, it's US carrier. No US carriers beat any Asian carriers. Even compared to GA's or TG's J meals.

IFE on NW's new J service is better than UA's IFE system. On UA's IFE, I just hate waiting for the movie to recycle from one to another and have to wait for at least 2 hrs before you get to see one if you missed one.

Another thing that bugs me about UA's seat is that the power port needs special plug instead of the typical 110V like NW has in their new J seats.
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Old Jan 12, 05, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by vatraveler
I prefer UA seats but NW IFE. The food and service were quite comparable, in my opinion. In all honesty, I expected UA to be far better than NW, but it wasn't.
Just curious. - Why you expect UA to be far better than NW?
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Old Jan 12, 05, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by PVGMSP
Just curious. - Why you expect UA to be far better than NW?
Just from word of mouth and secondhand reports about UA business class being far superior. I found that not to be the case.
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Old Jan 12, 05, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by PVGMSP
Just curious. - Why you expect UA to be far better than NW?
Keep in mind that UA was the top U.S. carrier in terms of service, just a few years ago. It takes a long time to overcome perceptions as things change. UA has deteriorated quite a bit, yet the false perception of UA being superior still exists.

Just like NW often has a false perception of poor customer service among non-regular NW flyers (thanks to the infamous DTW snowstorm response), despite their efforts. And some still unfairly avoid CO thinking they're a third-class airline with massive on-time performance issues (thanks to their CS and operational issues 10 years ago).
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Old Jan 12, 05, 12:00 pm
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don't forget about the ff programs

i shouldn't even need to bring this point up, in light of the audience, but it's worth pointing out that you should evaluate mp and wp with respect to your redemption patterns. i like to redeem miles for international f tickets and with mp, i can get to asia for 120k miles or europe for 100k miles. however, with nw, the same mileage only gets me business class, subject to availability, of course.

availability is certainly a problem with ua, however, because ua's ratio of f+c : y is much better than nw's, the overall odds are better on ua.

as an aside, you also need to consider the merrits of sfo v. nrt as stopover cities.
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