United vs Alaska (formerly VX) transcon?

Old Mar 11, 18, 1:48 pm
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United vs Alaska (formerly VX) transcon?

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?
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Old Mar 11, 18, 1:55 pm
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Edit: Oops - answered the wrong question initially.

For Premium Economy, VX/AS Main Cabin Select beats UA by a bit because the in-flight entertainment is a bit better (since you can have pretty much as much as you want), and I think that the complementary food and alcohol is a bit better. Having said that, UA has much more schedule density so they'll have more opportunity to take care of you in IRROPS. VX/AS also only has Main Cabin Select in bulkheads and exit rows, which I generally try to avoid, so I generally prefer the Economy Plus seating locations on UA.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by elipisk123 View Post
....My company is paying for me to go on a flight from EWR to LAX, so I get no FF miles. ...
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).
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Old Mar 11, 18, 3:22 pm
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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).
My bad, typically I purchase UA E+ for myself. I have a new job that requires me to go to conferences a few times a year and this will be my first one so I didn't know that.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 3:29 pm
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I'd go with UA on this. Frequency, and a choice of equipment and configurations available to you. 777s, and 757s.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by SPLITTERZ View Post
I'd go with UA on this. Frequency, and a choice of equipment and configurations available to you. 777s, and 757s.
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.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 4:59 pm
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If it's a VX plane (a320/321), I'd book that, but UA definitely has the edge in terms of IRROPS.

I'd still give this one to VX/AS though. If I'm not in first, Row 3 on those VX planes is pretty great.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:00 pm
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Transcon E+ routes (EWR-LAX/SFO, BOS-SFO) on UA come with a hot meal as complementary.

Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
If it's a VX plane (a320/321), I'd book that, but UA definitely has the edge in terms of IRROPS.
Transcon routes are all Airbus fleet AFAIK, inherited by AS from VX.
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Last edited by Repooc17; Mar 11, 18 at 5:06 pm
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Transcon E+ routes (EWR-LAX/SFO, BOS-SFO) on UA come with a hot meal as complementary.



Transcon routes are all Airbus fleet AFAIK, inherited by AS from VX.
no, I am pretty sure AS had more transcons than VX.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Aliquot View Post
no, I am pretty sure AS had more transcons than VX.
I meant the transcon between EWR <-> LAX (thread topic). That's VX so all Airbuses.

For the entire transcon route network between AS/VX, with the exception of EWR-SEA route, the rest of AS routes are all 1x daily (for most of the year - PDX, SAN, SJC). On the other hand, VX transcon routes from EWR and JFK to SFO and LAX are at a min. of 2x daily (weekends) and up to 4x a given weekday, if I recall correctly.

Last edited by Repooc17; Mar 11, 18 at 5:46 pm
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Old Mar 11, 18, 8:28 pm
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Absent frequent flyer program considerations, I would go with VX for the better overall product. Though UA would win on IRROPs options.

Originally Posted by Aliquot View Post
no, I am pretty sure AS had more transcons than VX.
LAX-EWR is VX.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Sykes View Post
For Premium Economy, VX/AS Main Cabin Select beats UA by a bit because the in-flight entertainment is a bit better (since you can have pretty much as much as you want), and I think that the complementary food and alcohol is a bit better.
Been several reports of Virgin America IFE options changing since March 1. On my JFK-SFO this week, no longer able to watch any of the Dish Network news feed which I've become addicted to (CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News). I wouldn't count on those channels working.

I rather enjoy the bulkhead MCS seats in row 3 with a tray table that slides up and out of the bulkhead instead of the typical armrest configuration. 100% miles based on distance, plus the elite multiplier (125% in my case in economy), make it work.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Transcon E+ routes (EWR-LAX/SFO, BOS-SFO) on UA come with a hot meal as complementary.
In an MCS (main cabin select) seat on Virgin America, the typical offerings are deli sandwiches, a very good cheese/fruit plate, or some protein platters. I've seen some passengers order so much they must be taking some items home.
Here's a screen shot from a few months back, though the offerings have changed a little and won't perfectly match this screen. There's separate screens for snacks (brownie bits, nut mix, chips) and drinks.

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Old Mar 11, 18, 9:49 pm
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If you can avoid United, do. Despite all the claims above about "IRROPS" being better on United, keep in mind:

1) they're more likely to occur on United
2) you're more likely to encounter nasty, surly, and utterly unhelpful agents and employees on United when you try to fix it.
3) United is more likely to claim that a mechanical or other problem that was their fault, was actually due to circumstances beyond their control. So you the passenger are screwed.

Take it from a United GS member (just about the highest status you can have on United), I've often gotten lame treatment on United in "IRROPS," e.g. agents who didn't want to rebook on the best alternative because a cheaper fare class wasn't available.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
If you can avoid United, do. Despite all the claims above about "IRROPS" being better on United, keep in mind:

1) they're more likely to occur on United ...
for the past year, even past 2 years --- UA on-time arrival and cancellations have been better than VX. For most of 2017, VX was 12 of the 12 reported domestic airlines (even well below UX carriers like OO & EV). United bouncing around 2,3,4,5 of 12.

If on time is your objective, VX operations has not been a wise choice.

Source: BTS Air Travel Consumer Reports


Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 11, 18 at 10:55 pm Reason: attached bts report
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