United vs Alaska (formerly VX) transcon?

Old Mar 11, 18, 11:05 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by prometa View Post
777 is likely to be the high density 10-across Y cabin, though, which is a bummer.

If I were OP, I'd go with UA in E+, and hope for a $309 OW upgrade to P. Even if the upgrade isn't available, the UA flight would still be my choice. UA P on that route is much better than VX F, in my opinion.
OP, I want to emphasis this point. If you are going LAX-EWR in MCS on VX you will be on a A321/A320 with a seat that gives you 21.2" of effective width, and 36" pitch. You will also get in seat IFE and decent food delivered to you.

If you fly United, and are on the 777 (absent an unusual plane swap to an unretrofited international 772) you will get a seat that gives you effectively 19.4" of width, and you will spend the flight jammed in your seat (and oh, the aisles are narrow too), and if you are in the 4 middle seats, well they only have three spaces for feet, special. It is the worst ride you can get, period. Just awful. All E+ gives you is 34" of pitch, which does not fix the narrowness issue....

All other options UA will give you are going to be a 757, which is not horrible, but will give you 34" of pitch, and as others have said a cheap meal in E+.

The difference in service levels and seat comfort on UA and VX are rather stark. If you take a flight on both, you will do VX MCS moving forward...
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Old Mar 11, 18, 11:34 pm
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With the frequency of service, it would be rather easy to avoid 772 HD. Most TPS flights are flown with 752 (2 versions).

I am on these routes frequently (both VX and UA), and while I would give a slight edge to VX, AS is really doing a disservice to VX frequent flyer with recent changes.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 11:44 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
If on time is your objective, VX operations has not been a wise choice.
That has been my experience . . . 30 minute delays seem to be quite common on VX, though thankfully I've had nothing longer.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 2:10 am
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If loyalty and possibly being late doesn't matter, VX MCS row 3 all the way. Plus you can upgrade (space available) for a fixed amount at check-in.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 4:13 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
There is no fundamental reason you should not earn mileage credit unless your employer explicitly does something. Mileage credit goes to the flyer, not the purchaser (again unless your employer makes you "turn over" the mileage).
I've honestly never heard of that. Do some companies do that? Cuz "turning over" the mileage would require mileage transfers no? Those (almost) always come at a cost do they not? I can't imagine a company deciding to pay for mileage transfers to a pool just to save themselves from having to maybe buy some tickets later. Knowing what we all know about mileage ticket availability, it just doesn't seem prudent.

All that being said, to the OP, if the time of the flight doesn't matter, I'd take AS/VX without question. Just flew AS from SEA-RDU and it wasn't amazing, it was still an economy flight. But it's better than most of my flights in Y on UA. I feel like AA is ok if you can get a flight that isn't jam packed, and preferably on an Airbus. I never fly DL, so they could be the best option for all I know, but I'll leave that to you.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
OP, I want to emphasis this point. If you are going LAX-EWR in MCS on VX you will be on a A321/A320 with a seat that gives you 21.2" of effective width, and 36" pitch. You will also get in seat IFE and decent food delivered to you.

The difference in service levels and seat comfort on UA and VX are rather stark. If you take a flight on both, you will do VX MCS moving forward...
Yes, I should have clarified I'd pick UA E+ 752. Avoid the 777s.

I haven't flown VX in a while, but last I did MCS was priced more like premium economy, at a significant margin over a regular economy seat (if I recall, $200 or more O/W). Is that still true? Our work travel policy would let me pick UA E+, but not VX MCS if that were the case.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 10:25 am
  #22  
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Yes, you'll pay for those MCS VX seats without Alaska elite status. I looked at some LAX-EWR flights next week and some were pricing as low as $135 extra one way.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by prometa View Post
Yes, I should have clarified I'd pick UA E+ 752. Avoid the 777s.

I haven't flown VX in a while, but last I did MCS was priced more like premium economy, at a significant margin over a regular economy seat (if I recall, $200 or more O/W). Is that still true? Our work travel policy would let me pick UA E+, but not VX MCS if that were the case.
IMHE the upcharge for MCS is what UA would ask for E+ on a similar length of flight (and similar to how much extra DL will want for EconomyComfort). The only difference is that sometimes I see MSC at the same price as regular Y when you get into the upper-mid fare buckets.

Someone mentioned doing a "buy-up" on VX, while you see it offered on shorter routes, I don't recall ever being offered on SFO/LAX-NYC. VX sells out most of their front cabin seats.

My beef with VX is that often F on the TCON routes (SFO-NYC, SFO-WAS, SFO-BOS) costs more than DL or UA would be, including on lie flat equipment.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
Do some companies do that? Cuz "turning over" the mileage would require mileage transfers no?
Yes, some do. They may create an account for you, which you are required to use, and then they control how those miles are used. Or they can let you use your own account, but keep track of how many miles are "theirs" and make you use them for redemptions. No transfers involved.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 10:25 pm
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When is the trip? VX goes away on 4/24. Then it becomes AS service.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 10:45 pm
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Either choice and you will be fine.

I would tend to favor AS/VX slightly because their schedule is decent, FF program is better, and their product is standardized. UA has more flights so if you are picky to the minute for schedule, they are better. UA is not always worse but they do seem to have a few cranky employees.

One minor difference. UA is a terrorist target. ISIS never heard of AS, or if they did, lump them in the same category as Spirit and Frontier. I still fly AA and UA but do think that the risk is very small but not zero.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
My beef with VX is that often F on the TCON routes (SFO-NYC, SFO-WAS, SFO-BOS) costs more than DL or UA would be, including on lie flat equipment.
This. I have bought up on VX SFO-IAD, but even then it was more expensive then buying F outright on UA. It's a nice seat but not worth it at the prices they usually want.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
One minor difference. UA is a terrorist target. ISIS never heard of AS, or if they did, lump them in the same category as Spirit and Frontier. I still fly AA and UA but do think that the risk is very small but not zero.


Originally Posted by elipisk123 View Post
Hello all,

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. My company is paying for me to go on a flight from EWR to LAX, so I get no FF miles. I am going to be flying in premium class (AS) or E+ (UA). Which airline (AS or UA) is better on this route. Also, which airline has a better in-flight experience? I have tried to find reviews, but none are very helpful. Also, which one has better service in case of IRROPs? But, most importantly does the A320 or 752 have better seat arrangements?
I do the SFO-EWR shuttle every couple weeks and alternate between UA and VS. In-flight experience will depend on whether you are flying before 4/25, as this is when AS takes over the routes service-wise.

On the A320, as others state, row 3 is quite good, but can feel a bit dingy since the planes are getting a bit long in the tooth; same with the pmCO 752s. Personally I would go with UA for a superior schedule and IRROPs handling. E+ also gets a free meal and alcohol, and the pitch is quite generous on the 752s. Avoid the 777.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 6:54 pm
  #29  
 
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38" of economy plus pitch on the UA 757s that have 16 seats in business class - most comfortable transcon economy experience.

The other UA 757s with 28 seats in business have 34 inches of economy plus legroom. Okay but not nearly as different.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 9:32 pm
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NYC-LAX is my primary domestic route, so I can speak here.

I have tried all products, and my favorites are as follows, in 2018 in order of best to worse, in premium cabin for the business traveller. Terminal, airport, airplane, one board catering and service. This is independent of mileage program and awards.

Best

AA
DL/B6 ( toss up)
VX/AS ( what ever they call themselves these days.)
UA ( pmUA configuration). Also I would rate UA higher for the red eyes due to flat bed, but below DL/B6. Alaska is getting flat bed seats for their transcon routes so I heard, coming soon.
UA ( pmCO configuration)
Everything else, connecting.
-
Worst

I also monitor pricing on discounted Z, I, P inventory, ( discounted business class where seats can be had for 600 or so each way), incidentally, AA will sell out first, followed by DL and B6. The market speaks, quite literally. AA will usually only have discounted business seats on limited flights, UA will have more seats open. You will find the best product tends to fill up first on average, and AA can command higher prices on the JFK-LAX route.

Personally these days I will fly AA if I can get it for a good price, DL is my second choice. Wifi always works. AA flies practically new planes, A321, the DL will usually fly a 767-300/400, which is a nicer ride. These birds are also more reliable.

I might consider giving UA my business if they moved the 757s which are so old off that route, and improved on board service. DL has food catered by Danny Mayer for starters. Unless you live next to EWR, I don't see the point on flying UA 757s.

I do miss the ps service from JFK though. Smaller airport, 30 minute check in cut off, short walk to the gate/ lounge, that was a better airport experience. Incidentally I started to quit UA when that went away.

Last edited by OpenSky; Mar 14, 18 at 9:37 pm
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