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UA vs DL....share your perspectives [ARCHIVE]

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UA vs DL....share your perspectives [ARCHIVE]

Old Mar 21, 2012, 5:38 am
  #1  
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UA vs DL....share your perspectives [ARCHIVE]

EWR-MSP-LGA - outbound "business class" on United Express return "first" on DL...

UA:
- Terminal A - the worst TSA process on the planet
- No food on the plane, not even a peanut
- No beer, wine or other premium beverage
- surely FA
- departure 1 hour late (although UA was not alone in this Tuesday night at EWR)

DL
- Provided TSA pre-approved security screen at MSP
- Pillow and a blanket on the seat
- Bottle of water sitting on armrest at boarding


- Beer, wine, etc.
- Real food - opted for the roast beef sandwich, which came with fruit, chips, and a brownie
- Variety of nuts
- Delightful FA's...although they did give me some good humored grief about the UA GS tag on my bag
- Slight departure delay


Finally price - this isn't in yet as changed original ticket from UA to DL as fit schedule better, although a quick check this morning on service tomorrow shows DL $400 less than UA - and all their flights have a business class cabin (Note: UA out of EWR, DL LGA - to me that is not a factor)
On my next trip to MSP who am I flying with? Not even close...
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Old Mar 21, 2012, 5:59 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by rwsteelers
EWR-MSP-LGA - outbound "business class" on United Express return "first" on DL...

UA:
- Terminal A - the worst TSA process on the planet
Sure, but this has really nothing to do with UA specifically
- No food on the plane, not even a peanut
- No beer, wine or other premium beverage
No good at all, but this is primarily because you flew an RJ
- surely FA
YMMV. There are surly f/a's all over
- departure 1 hour late (although UA was not alone in this Tuesday night at EWR)
As you write, not a UA issue

DL
- Provided TSA pre-approved security screen at MSP
- Pillow and a blanket on the seat
- Bottle of water sitting on armrest at boarding


- Beer, wine, etc.
- Real food - opted for the roast beef sandwich, which came with fruit, chips, and a brownie
- Variety of nuts
- Delightful FA's...although they did give me some good humored grief about the UA GS tag on my bag
- Slight departure delay
You flew DL mainline from one of their hubs, so it's no surprise service was more elaborate than a UA RJ.


Finally price - this isn't in yet as changed original ticket from UA to DL as fit schedule better, although a quick check this morning on service tomorrow shows DL $400 less than UA - and all their flights have a business class cabin (Note: UA out of EWR, DL LGA - to me that is not a factor)
On my next trip to MSP who am I flying with? Not even close...
If the price is better on DL and the service, too, then it's pretty much a no-brainer.

I'm NYC-based and have been flying mostly DL. Overall, I'm very happy with it, but I think the comparison has to be put in perspective.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:04 pm
  #3  
 
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Posting from 30000 feet, a story of a 1k trying Delta with no status

I think we all know that United is in the midst of a bit of a backslide. Systems problems are plaguing the airline and causing huge morale problems with the ground staff. The staff in the air seem to be just as haggard. Delays, Mechanicals, all seem to be getting worse. Or maybe I am wrong.

So, for this little trip I decided to fly like a lowly no-status Delta Passenger.

I am typing this from 30000 Feet via the GOGO Wifi I paid $4.95 for.

I am in an odd seat at the back exit of an MD88 but that doesn't matter, its a seat.

The most striking thing that I have noticed is the attitude here. The ground staff all communicate very well, the TA's call the GA's to let them know late pax are coming, or strollers, they radio around and call each-other as much as I have ever seen. Onboard everyone seems happy to be doing his/her job and though the quality of the onboard product is the same, a smile sure does make it better.

Another huge thing is the technology at Delta. When you board a flight you are hit with WiFi signs. Guess what, they have WiFi onboard. As you deplane at a hub you might be looking for that bank of departure screens for your connection. Well, as the plane arrives the Gate display screens switch to show the connections that apply to the arriving flight. Imagine that, right data to the right people at the right time. And.... there is a gate agent asking you if you need assistance with connections. Crazy, I know.

Today I had a boarding pass with no seat assignment. I watched the "cleared list" and it showed me my seat assignment and notified me what boarding group I was in. I then used my boarding pass with no seat assignment at the boarding station and it printed a neat little tag with my seat number. Nice way to save paper I think as the tag is the size of a small receipt.

All in all, the technology and attitude over here are almost selling me on giving them 200k of my business next year. I don't know if you can use reward miles or how upgrades work but it seems they actually want me to be here and are happy I am.

If you are wondering about other airlines, that is what has been most striking to me about this one.

I am back to flying United to AMS in a few weeks and I need to book a 30k trip around Asia. Now I am stuck, status challenge and book the trip or just keep plugging along and hope it gets better.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:15 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by Akulashark
I think we all know that United is in the midst of a bit of a backslide. Systems problems are plaguing the airline and causing huge morale problems with the ground staff. The staff in the air seem to be just as haggard. Delays, Mechanicals, all seem to be getting worse. Or maybe I am wrong.

So, for this little trip I decided to fly like a lowly no-status Delta Passenger.

I am typing this from 30000 Feet via the GOGO Wifi I paid $4.95 for.

I am in an odd seat at the back exit of an MD88 but that doesn't matter, its a seat.

The most striking thing that I have noticed is the attitude here. The ground staff all communicate very well, the TA's call the GA's to let them know late pax are coming, or strollers, they radio around and call each-other as much as I have ever seen. Onboard everyone seems happy to be doing his/her job and though the quality of the onboard product is the same, a smile sure does make it better.

Another huge thing is the technology at Delta. When you board a flight you are hit with WiFi signs. Guess what, they have WiFi onboard. As you deplane at a hub you might be looking for that bank of departure screens for your connection. Well, as the plane arrives the Gate display screens switch to show the connections that apply to the arriving flight. Imagine that, right data to the right people at the right time. And.... there is a gate agent asking you if you need assistance with connections. Crazy, I know.

Today I had a boarding pass with no seat assignment. I watched the "cleared list" and it showed me my seat assignment and notified me what boarding group I was in. I then used my boarding pass with no seat assignment at the boarding station and it printed a neat little tag with my seat number. Nice way to save paper I think as the tag is the size of a small receipt.

All in all, the technology and attitude over here are almost selling me on giving them 200k of my business next year. I don't know if you can use reward miles or how upgrades work but it seems they actually want me to be here and are happy I am.

If you are wondering about other airlines, that is what has been most striking to me about this one.

I am back to flying United to AMS in a few weeks and I need to book a 30k trip around Asia. Now I am stuck, status challenge and book the trip or just keep plugging along and hope it gets better.
i switched from Delta to United last year. I guess overall it depends what your preferences are. Yes, Delta's services are better in general and my domestic upgrade success rate is really high for just a Gold Medallion. Also I fly a lot TPAC, so their individual IFE on the routes I take are vastly superior over United. However, since I mostly sleep in the flights, what is most important to me is the availability to redeem award miles. I had 200,000 miles that I couldnt use because I couldnt find a date that was available that could work for me. United, on the other hand, with star alliance, almost always has award availability.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:30 pm
  #5  
 
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Since my domestic flying is limited, I will stick w UA (as much as it pains me to) since Sy Team has nothing for me. The other members are mostly sub par airlines. Another important thing to consider is maybe few of us fly in full international F, but many of us at least enjoy the awards. With Sky Team my choices w full F are very very limited and as far as awards, there are none.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:41 pm
  #6  
 
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I bought an F ticket on Delta a few weeks ago. Granted, it was a short flight on a CR9, so it's a snapshot.
Plane was nice and clean, there was wifi and service was good.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:42 pm
  #7  
 
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I left DL some time ago. It is nearly impossible to burn miles with them. Let me correct this, one can burn miles with them but rarely at Saver levels and usually not on dates that one wants. It's easy to accumulate miles, though.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:49 pm
  #8  
 
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This is great news. I recently bought two domestic F tickets on DL. Will be the first time I fly them in 20 years and now I'm getting curious/excited/hopeful. I'll post my experiences from the front of the plane when I fly.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:51 pm
  #9  
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I used to fly on DL quite frequently because it is a partner of AS. I switched most of my flying to UA last summer.

You are correct that the onboard technology (WiFi and IFE) are superior. However, the website is not good and is difficult to use. The UA website is just a little better.

Complimentary upgrades are easier on DL than on UA. Delta has recently added Economy Comfort, and I don't know how it compares to E+.

You have taken one flight on DL, and I'm glad you had a good experience. I do not think that the in-flight or ground experience is that much different on the two airlines. You will interact with many good employees, a few great ones, and a few terrible ones, just as on UA.

The DL hub at DTW is spacious and pleasant, but ATL, MSP, and SLC are no better than UA's hubs. The DL lounges are a little better than the UCs - more of them are renovated.

Look at the Skymiles elite qualification rules - the tiers are 25k, 50k, 75k, and 125k. If you surpass the minimum for a particular tier, they will let you roll over miles to the next year.

Skymiles is a terrible program for redemptions. I credited most of my flights to AS, but I have DL miles and find them hard to use except at exorbitant rates, and the ST route network is not as good as the *A network.

If you're thinking of making the switch, try DL for a few months during your status challenge. It's hard to make a decision based on a single flight.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 7:56 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by EXLEFTSEAT
I left DL some time ago. It is nearly impossible to burn miles with them. Let me correct this, one can burn miles with them but rarely at Saver levels and usually not on dates that one wants. It's easy to accumulate miles, though.
Yes, redemption is better with UA. But, for how long? $mi$ek and his regime have destroyed every competitive advantage that UA used to have, day by day, step by step. It may be only a matter of time until they kill the redemption benefits along with all the other benefits they've killed.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 8:01 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by EnvoyBoy
This is great news. I recently bought two domestic F tickets on DL. Will be the first time I fly them in 20 years and now I'm getting curious/excited/hopeful. I'll post my experiences from the front of the plane when I fly.
You'll enjoy the trip - have had to fly DL 3 times this summer due to UA IRROPS and each trip has been pleasant. Sucky FF program of course, but great, friendly flying experiences.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 8:04 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr
Since my domestic flying is limited, I will stick w UA (as much as it pains me to) since Sy Team has nothing for me.
This is one of the reasons I am staying away from Delta. Skyteam looks like the Big Lots of airline alliances.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 8:59 pm
  #13  
 
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Here is my 2 cents...

I'm a 2.5 MM GS member who flew on DL for the first time earlier this year and I have to say for a domestic carrier I have been pleasantly surprised and have flown them enough to earn Diamond and even already have ~20K roll over miles.

-Every single flight has Wifi, including the flight I'm on now. United??
-A/P Fares are MUCH cheaper than United's, often 40-50%, and normally the flights are all mainline or a RJ w/ F.
-I received a real meal on a longer CR9 flight I had a few weeks ago.... sure beat a snack box.
-I'm thanked for my business more than once on all of my DL trips, aside from an occasional thank you from GS, does United even understand what Thank you means?
-Delta has been ontime or nearly ontime on all but 2 flights this year, one was WX other was mech, united, not so much. In July and Aug, I had 4 out of 5 trips where at least one direction I was offlined to DL, and on 2 of the trips UA gave me the pleasure of sitting on DL both ways since they couldn't get the planes there ontime.


-You are right about DL miles being nearly worthless, but I fly mostly for work and it is most important for me to get from point A to B on time, in first and safely.
-NO GS on Delta.... now a week ago I would have told you it really doesn't matter but after getting thru GS meet, greet and assist on a very delayed INT flight, I forgot how nice it was. But all in all, if I don't get GS next year I won't really care (I've already flown over 150K BIS paid A/C/Z tickets this year on UA so I should be renewed) but since DL is going to be my #1 for the foreseeable future.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 9:41 pm
  #14  
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Lately, UA has had a bad record of delays and cancellations, but I suspect (hope) they will solve that issue soon. Otherwise, many of us will head to other carriers.

DL does have its bright spots (esp the availability of WiFi, where UA is behind many other carriers), but remember that the grass is always greener. I have had many MX/WX delays and occasional poor service. You won't know how it works out until you actually fly the airline for a few months.

One other issue is that DL requires a relatively expensive coach fare for international upgrades. I don't remember the details, but I'm sure others can fill us in.
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Old Sep 7, 2012, 10:08 pm
  #15  
 
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There's really nothing to compare.

If award redemption and GPU are important, fly UA. Otherwise, fly DL. The end.
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