UA 77W vs DL A350 in Business

Old Oct 31, 17, 3:37 am
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UA 77W vs DL A350 in Business

I flew the inaugural Delta A350 DTW-NRT, then turned around on UA NRT-SFO on the 77W. Both in business. Rather than a trip report, Iím simply listing what I believe to be the pros of each.

Let me begin by saying it was great being on DLís brand new plane. But overall, I like the hard product on UAís 77W more. That said, both versions are pretty tight in Business. While they have lots of personal space, neither has great community space. This is to say the the aisles are narrow. If you arenít by a window, itís impossible to look outside. Older versions of wide-bodies had such a spacious feel.

DL pros:
Amenity kit. The TUMI kit is sturdy and well done.
Screen size. Very large!
Espresso. I like that they have the machines.
Privacy. The suites can be enclosed.
Announcements: Short and sweet. (Somehow, the UA announcements in Japanese seem to be five times as long as the English. This didnít happen on DL).

UA pros:
Seat comfort for sleeping. I felt the DL one to be lumpy.
Ottoman for lounging. On UA, you can put your feet up without having to be in the sleep/ bed mode. DL doesnít have this.
Arm rest. The DL one is at an uncomfortable height.
Luggage compartments. More plentiful on UA. DLís 350 does NOT have compartments over the center.
Wifi. DL touted faster wifi that enabled streaming. But it didnít work most of the flight, and when it did, it was at a snailís pace.
Better variety of entertainment. This is a personal preference, but UA seems to have more good classic films.
Access to bathrooms. On DL, there is barely room to maneuver.

Tie:
Food
Service

Special for each flight:
Because the DL was an inaugural, there was some nice swag: a pin, a TUMI wallet, some lotions, and a few other things.
On United, we got the special 747 amenity kit.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 4:18 am
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I just flew the SQ A359 in C, and was floored by how spacious the aircraft felt. The ceiling height felt like 11' and with the 1-2-1 layout, the aisles were pretty wide. I caught myself looking across from my window seat to the other side of the cabin and thinking that it was wider than the A380, which I flew my outbound on (of course it isn't).

I won't get into commentary about the soft product, but the hard product on the 359 was outstanding. Compared to the UA 77W, not close, of course. If I were to think just about the airframe, however, the 359 has the Boeing beat. I think the lack of center luggage overheads adds to the feel.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 4:54 am
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Originally Posted by jcg20
I won't get into commentary about the soft product, but the hard product on the 359 was outstanding. Compared to the UA 77W, not close, of course. If I were to think just about the airframe, however, the 359 has the Boeing beat. I think the lack of center luggage overheads adds to the feel.
How the lack of overhead storage a good thing?
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Old Oct 31, 17, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by halls120
How the lack of overhead storage a good thing?
Yeah, that's one of the nice things about this aircraft. We flew RT last month and took some friends. When they didn't get upgraded on my instruments on the return I was still able to get one of their rollaboards into the bin over my seat with my roller and a garment bag since they got on later and the overhead in the back was taken (wife and I were in 5 D/G).
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Old Oct 31, 17, 6:54 am
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I have yet to actually fly on a real "Polaris" seating arrangement. All my routes seem to be on PMCO equipment.

I have to admit, the Delta Suites concept has taken ALL of my excitement about the Polaris seats away. I feel that the "suites" concept make all of the seats equally good...whereas on the United config, I know I'd be anxiously trying to snag the single seat that is closest to the window (vs the one where you sit dangling into the aisle)
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Old Oct 31, 17, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by halls120
How the lack of overhead storage a good thing?
On the long-haul routes the 359 will fly, the "everyone has a roll-aboard" experience we have on most UA routes doesn't happen. The window-side bins were large enough for all the bags, no one seemed to be searching for space (the bin above me only had my bag in it), and boarding was pretty smooth. It helped that you could have your small carry on under the leg extension, which you can't do in the current UA products.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by jcg20
On the long-haul routes the 359 will fly, the "everyone has a roll-aboard" experience we have on most UA routes doesn't happen. The window-side bins were large enough for all the bags, no one seemed to be searching for space (the bin above me only had my bag in it), and boarding was pretty smooth. It helped that you could have your small carry on under the leg extension, which you can't do in the current UA products.
Iím pretty sure the space under the ottoman on the Polaris seats is certified to allow a small carry-on during taxi, take-off, and landing.

This could certainly allow for the center overheads to go away on the Polaris-equipped UA birds. Plenty of room for a single roll-aboard for every J passenger in just the side bins.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by FlyHighInTheSky
I’m pretty sure the space under the ottoman on the Polaris seats is certified to allow a small carry-on during taxi, take-off, and landing.

This could certainly allow for the center overheads to go away on the Polaris-equipped UA birds. Plenty of room for a single roll-aboard for every J passenger in just the side bins.
The space under the Polaris ottoman is indeed certified for stowage during taxi/takeoff/landing. It's almost essential as there is very little stowage space elsewhere in the seat.

I am OK with centerline bins on the UAL aircraft. The Polaris cabin (indeed, most business class configurations) is fairly dense, plus UA uses overheads to stow lots of the ancillary crap, like gel pillows, mattress pads, extra amenity kits, PJs, etc. I also put my bedding in an overhead until I need it.

On other carriers without overheads in F/J, the cabin feel is nice, but after a few minutes, I hardly notice at all. Given the choice, I'd rather have the extra stowage if needed.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by jcg20
I just flew the SQ A359 in C, and was floored by how spacious the aircraft felt. The ceiling height felt like 11' and with the 1-2-1 layout, the aisles were pretty wide. I caught myself looking across from my window seat to the other side of the cabin and thinking that it was wider than the A380, which I flew my outbound on (of course it isn't).

I won't get into commentary about the soft product, but the hard product on the 359 was outstanding. Compared to the UA 77W, not close, of course. If I were to think just about the airframe, however, the 359 has the Boeing beat. I think the lack of center luggage overheads adds to the feel.
Interesting to hear your positive view of the SQ 359 hard product. Over on the SQ boards itís not well liked. There are photos showing how much more narrow The seat/footwell is.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 8:19 am
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I'm surprised to hear a tie between DL and UA service. This is one area where DL has UA beat by a mile IME.

Originally Posted by jmanirish
Interesting to hear your positive view of the SQ 359 hard product. Over on the SQ boards itís not well liked. There are photos showing how much more narrow The seat/footwell is.
Yes, harshly criticized, especially by taller pax. Footwell isn't just narrow, it's off to the side, so you can't lie straight out. It's also got the awkward seat that has to be flipped for lie-flat, and really has no in between mode.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 8:36 am
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zrs70 The DL seat may be more private with the door closed, but how do you feel about them both when the door was open? I've sat in the new Polaris seat but not the new DL and felt it was a bit of a phone booth.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 9:03 am
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The DL's "suite" door doesn't close all the way from the videos I've seen. FAA reg
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Old Oct 31, 17, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by tuolumne
The DL's "suite" door doesn't close all the way from the videos I've seen. FAA reg
But what about JetBlue Mint suites (Row 2 & 4)? I've flown that and the doors seem to close more significantly than the DL A350 ones.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by jmanirish
Interesting to hear your positive view of the SQ 359 hard product. Over on the SQ boards itís not well liked. There are photos showing how much more narrow The seat/footwell is.
If I flew SQ C/F all the time instead of UA for the last 20 years, I might be tempted to complain about it. The seat itself is so wide that I (a 6'1", 210# guy) could comfortably sleep at an angle or on my side. It's far, far better than the cramped foot-bin on UA. Of course it had better be in 1-2-1, and seats in the first row (much like UA), are unbesmirched by the smaller footwell.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by FoxFlyer
But what about JetBlue Mint suites (Row 2 & 4)? I've flown that and the doors seem to close more significantly than the DL A350 ones.
Also, the OZ 380 F suites have doors that fully close. I believe SQ, EK, EY, QR, and other airlines also have suites that close off completely.
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