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Sell me or talk me out of switch from DL to UA

Sell me or talk me out of switch from DL to UA

Old Dec 19, 18, 12:20 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: SkyMiles 2018 PM, 2019 PM, 2020 PM
Posts: 311
Sell me or talk me out of switch from DL to UA

I'm based in ATL.

I've enjoyed platinum status with Delta in 2018, but will only be gold with DL in 2019.

I'm considering being matched into Platinum with UA, and particularly the UA benefit experience in and out of ATL.

So I thought I would ask the experts.

Essentially I will go from low 30s on the F UG list to the 40s when I go from PM to GM, which means the UA situation just needs to meet or exceed the DL C+ experience.

But other thoughts I'm considering. On DL my most frequent travel (in the coming year) is ATL-LAX with a bus ride to BFL. On UA I can fly ATL-SFO-BFL or ATL-DEN-BFL.

On some flights in-out of BFL I'm not sure that flying is better than the bus, but ...

Advice appreciated in advance.

Last edited by Wimsta; Dec 19, 18 at 2:14 pm
Wimsta is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 12:29 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: Mileage Plus Premier 1K, SkyMiles Gold Medallion, AAdvantage Gold
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You will definitely be higher on the F UG list as an ATL based UA flyer instead of an ATL based DL flyer. UA also tends to have more E+ seats on its planes compared to DL, so you should be able to consistently secure an extra legroom seat. The one big downside is the lack of nonstop options compared to DL out of ATL. However, if BFL is your primary destination, UA probably would make more sense because ATL-DEN/SFO-BFL is a lot better than ATL-LAX + bus.
DA201 is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 12:39 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MBS/FNT/LAN
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Posts: 9,213
VERY reluctantly switching to UA from Delta -- what do I need to know?
jhayes_1780 is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 12:39 pm
  #4  
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I can't believe you're taking a bus from LAX to BFL for the sake of flying DL over anybody else.
GoSh4rks is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 12:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: PHL
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Gold, IHG Platinum, Raddison Gold
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As a UA FF out of a non-UA hub (PHL), I'll give some benefits I have. (I'm not sure if it is the same at ATL).
1. UA flies out of one terminal at my airport, if I fly the hub airline, I could be anywhere in the airport complex and returned to anywhere
2. I ASSUME I get more upgrades clear (CPU, RPU) because there is less competition in theory
3. It is easier to earn more PQM because you will connect more and can just connect further or take advantage of the 500 PQM minimum, maybe you can get to 1K
4. I think UA offers the most E+.
5. I think UA miles are more valuable, I've heard DL miles referred to as sky pesos
6. I believe UA has a better intl network
7. UA's polaris products (seat, lounge, etc) is probably better than DL currently

Cons:
1. Although you can earn more PQM, You have to connect more
2. I am near EWR, a UA hub, if I want to go direct somewhere far, for you, you don't have a UA hub near you so you dont have that option
3. If I recall, the UA checkin counter is quite far away
4. UA miles can expire, DL miles do not
5. Does DL have a million miler type of program? You'd be starting over on UA
6. Connections means your upgrades will be on shorter flights with worse service
7. You may end up on smaller planes with shorter routes
8. UA does not count bulk tickets towards PQD, I thought delta had a more generous policy
9. DL allows you to pre-order meals (if I recall), UA does not

Depends what is important to you
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eng3 is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 12:52 pm
  #6  
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You should switch, if only because even the Devil's Chariot is better than a bus. The most relevant contrast will be that DL C+ is a better product than UA E+, but as a UA Gold you can confirm E+ as booking instead of the lower chances on DL for Plat/Gold.
findark is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 1:16 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 35
i'm out of jax and it is spoke for every airline but has the most frequency to atlanta with delta compared to anywhere else, we even get a tiny skyclub but i fly united because of mileageplus being more valuable, i get upgraded even as gold, i usually have lounge access anyway, and i like flying to places in the pacific which star alliance is better at and star alliance is also the biggest alliance. if i dont like mileageplus award costs, i just use singapore to book the same flight for less points, especially for economy saver to hawaii, which united has the most frequency and availability. every time i try to use skypesos its almost useless and the best value is using them as cash for 1cent per point. i have a neighbor who is platinum on delta and sometimes he doesnt even get comfort plus, he has to wait for it while i get economy plus guaranteed at booking which is super impt for long haul like hawaii or international flying. and i almost always get an empty middle seat. i dont think i have ever been stuck in a regular economy seat since making united my primary and also being able to put all my friends in economy plus on fun trips is a big perk (can do up to 8 as ua plat). also whenever my neighbor tries to use skypesos theres never any saver availbility it seems and he is super flexible

i can understand maybe taking a train somehwere but i would never want to take a bus after a plane to get to my final destination, that just sounds like a terrible experience. and i just looked at it lax-bfl? 122mile bus trip after a flight? are you serious? jesus christ stop in denver and get a card with priority pass and eat there while you wait and fly directly into bfl. i see most flights only have a 1hr layover in den, id take that over a bus ride.
JAXFLY is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 1:17 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Rowley, MA / Edgartown, MA / Christiansted, St. Croix (USVI)
Programs: UA LT GS/4.96MM, Marriott LT Titanium, IHG Platinum, Global Entry, TSA Pre✓, Korea SeS, APEC
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You're flying on an airline that doesn't serve you primary destination? No offense but switch to a carrier that does. Is UA the best option, I'm not sure. I have always focused on schedule first and carrier second. UA has generally been a good match for my needs, locations and schedule. Beyond the perks of status I see little difference in the domestic carriers product, IMHO.
John Aldeborgh is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 1:27 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by GoSh4rks View Post
I can't believe you're taking a bus from LAX to BFL for the sake of flying DL over anybody else.
In 2017 I had flights canceled into or out of BFL 11 times. It was a real problem. I started using the airport bus so that I could avoid sleeping on the cold DEN floor, and so that I could be where I needed to be. Flying out of LAX may not be perfect, I really hate the airport sometimes, but I'm always able to arrive on at least the day I need to this way.

Plus I'm 6'4" and the tiny 1 x 2 planes that are common into and out of BFL are not more comfortable than a leisurely bus ride. I would usually take less convenient and more expensive flights via SFO to minimize the unpleasantness... this was a contributing factor to about half of my schedule changes. SFO does create weather challenges, though I think it is usually fog.

I teach at a University, and substitutes really aren't an option, flying out of BFL means booking a day shorter TH-M is more convenient than TH-Su...

I also really hated UA, hence the reason I switched to DL, but I can't really remember what I was so upset about.

I probably could have provided more clarity.

This coming year BFL will be my primary destination, as I'll be flying out to help my mother get her house ready for sale, and then subsequently moving her in with me.
I'm probably going out every third weekend or so.

Most of my travel in 2018 was to better places.
Because I'm a good son, however, I have routinely flown into LAX to join mom before making trips to Europe. ATL-LAX-AMS is a long day, but only a few buck more than ATL-AMS (sometimes cheaper). But that is another story, and after taking her to see her family (she is dutch) twice this year, we'll probably not go again until 2020.

Thanks for the reminder that C+ is better. On DL I can UG shortly after booking until the end of January (when PM status ends).

I do appreciate the incite. Is it really so incredible to hear I'd rather be on a bus than a 1 x 2?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 19, 18 at 2:44 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
Wimsta is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 1:43 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: 6 year GS, now 2MM Jeff-ugee, *wood LTPlt, SkyPeso PLT
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Originally Posted by Wimsta View Post

Essentially I will go from low 30s on the F UG list to the 40s when I go from PM to GM, which means the UA situation just needs to meet or exceed the DL C+ experience.

But other thoughts I'm considering. On DL my most frequent travel is ATL-LAX with a bus ride to BFL. On UA I can fly ATL-SFO-BFL or ATL-DEN-BFL.
If the vast bulk of your travel is to Kern County, they you are sort of dammed if you do, dammed if you don't. I would not trust the reliability of the UAX service ex-SFO, the flight is likely to be cut, and you have few and far between options ATL-SFO, which is only twice a day. The bus at least gets you there, but is ugly. If you were going somewhere where it was a mainline to mainline connection I might feel differently, but xxx-BFL on UAX is going to be ugly.

That said, if you are going in a day early (or don't need to be there if your flight is cancelled) I would (a) get a lounge membership (via AMEX if with DL, or club card if we UA) to have a place to hand during delays,and (b) connect vs taking a bus.

When I was still with UA, I used to fly into and out of ATL a lot, and it was always miserable. Lots of small planes, and I never found the upgrade situation to be that great either. It tended to be business people with UA status, and as such the upgrade list was bad at prime times. If you are going to connect in DEN you might get some upgrades, but I doubt you will get upgraded flying the SFO-ATL flights.

If BFL is the place, the real question is do you want to fly UA E+ or DL C+. Delta has more nice planes (A321/A320/391) all with IFE, than UA does (UA airbus have awful seats, and the Boeings are all tight, and UA lacks in seat IFE), and it gives drinks and snacks in C+. The other difference is that if you are booking last minute, you are probably more likely to find C+ full than E+. I would rather fly DL C+ than UA E+ any day.

I do think there is a slight advantage to UA miles vs. DL miles, but at this point the miles are all relatively useless. They are no longer a driver for me.
spin88 is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 1:52 pm
  #11  
 
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For me, the bus to Bakersfield instantly rules out DL.
sinoflyer is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 2:05 pm
  #12  
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Very helpful thread, thanks for posting it.
Wimsta is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 2:05 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NYC
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Shouldn't this be a question of AA vs. UA since they are the only two airlines serving BFL?
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764toHI is offline  
Old Dec 19, 18, 2:16 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: EWR
Programs: UA GS, 1MM; Marriott LTPP / Ambassador
Posts: 199
I have two colleagues who are DL 360, several UA GS, several who will make UA GS this year, and a couple more whatever the level is below DL 360.

From all the bar room debates, the conclusion that I have reached, at least at the 360 / GS level is that for service, DL is actually better, particularly for things like transfers and basic upgrades.

For a FFP however, UA seems to win hands down, particularly at the GS level.

I keep pondering going to DL, but frankly I believe that the FFP is better with UA. Other service type issues to me seem like arguing between a Bentley and a Rolls. Ok, maybe not a Bentley and Rolls, maybe a Ford and Chevy.....my reasons for sticking with UA are the FFP and that Mrs Limey gets my status and that UA are typically fairly nice to her.

Oh, and the GS skip the lines at security at various airports are the best.

Good luck, please let us know where you drop, and why!

G
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:23 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SEA, SFO, PRG
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
Delta has more nice planes (A321/A320/391) all with IFE, than UA does (UA airbus have awful seats, and the Boeings are all tight, and UA lacks in seat IFE), and it gives drinks and snacks in C+. The other difference is that if you are booking last minute, you are probably more likely to find C+ full than E+. I would rather fly DL C+ than UA E+ any day.
If he's 6'4, those 737NG Delta seats without adjustable head-rests are way worse than any UA Airbus or Boeing seats. Way worse.
If his connections are via CR2, I totally understand why it's a no-go for 6'4+ guys. Two hours in a bus are usually better.
danielSuper is offline  

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