SFO-YYZ: UA vs AC in coach

Old Sep 26, 19, 8:29 am
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SFO-YYZ: UA vs AC in coach

I am looking to fly my husband (no UA or AC status) red-eye SFO-YYZ in coach. UA has a 737, while AC has a 787; departure times are similar.

Any preference? I am leaning toward AC given the aircraft type, but I havenít flown AC much, so donít really know what the experience would be like.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 8:33 am
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AC all the way.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 8:57 am
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In Y they will both suck, with narrow seat (17.3 inches) and 30-31 inches of pitch.

I would spring for E+ on UA.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 9:20 am
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AC is a superior airline in general. Go for AC.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 9:28 am
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I'm curious why people think AC will be superior on a t-con redeye in economy given that the hard product is basically the same. Is that a preference for the widebody?

And anyone who's flown Y on AC Rouge or AC's HD aircraft will probably have some issues with the bald assertion that "AC is a better airline."

I haven't flown AC in a number of years, but I never particularly enjoyed it. IME their FAs have the same tendency towards petty dictatorialism that you will sometimes encounter on UA.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
In Y they will both suck, with narrow seat (17.3 inches) and 30-31 inches of pitch.

I would spring for E+ on UA.
This. If you can't pay for a premium cabin then just take whatever is cheaper or better timed, and grin and bear it.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I'm curious why people think AC will be superior on a t-con redeye in economy given that the hard product is basically the same. Is that a preference for the widebody?
The hard product is not the same. Dreamliner vs. 737 - there is a big difference despite similar seat size.

IME, the soft product is slightly better on AC than UA.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
The hard product is not the same. Dreamliner vs. 737 - there is a big difference despite similar seat size.

IME, the soft product is slightly better on AC than UA.
You'll never get a whole can of soda out of an AC flight attendant in Y. On UA, you stand a chance if you ask nicely....
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Old Sep 26, 19, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
The hard product is not the same. Dreamliner vs. 737 - there is a big difference despite similar seat size.

IME, the soft product is slightly better on AC than UA.
What soft product? There is nothing on AC except one drink service (and dont even try asking for the whole can) on these flights With United, you ll get a snack.

AC 787s are extremely uncomfortable in regular Y with tight pitch and even tighter shoulder space. And more importantly, without status, you can select seats until check in on low fares - so you ll almost guaranteed to end up in the middle - or as a couple - sitting separately.

Originally Posted by leonidas View Post
AC is a superior airline in general. Go for AC.

Maybe 10 years ago. AC Y, without status, is one of the worst Y experiences in the world.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 11:00 am
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Its barely a 5 hour flight.... In Y.

The experience should be about the same on both (equally underwhelming) yet will manage to get him from point A to B
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Old Sep 26, 19, 11:03 am
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I don't know if it qualifies as soft product, but some safety regulations in Canada (e.g., pilot rest periods) still lag behind the US. And if you don't think that such small differences matter, read this thread:

Air Canada SFO near miss thread
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Old Sep 26, 19, 11:22 am
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Having flown both AC and UA recently in Y on this route, I would definitely go for UA if the price were the same.




UA Pros:
  • Friendlier and better service
  • Free advanced seat selection (for my itinerary)
  • Way better on-time performance for this route
  • Stroopwafels?
  • Reasonable upgrade pricing to J (800 CAD vs 250 USD IIRC)

Seats felt about the same. The only thing better on AC was the paid bistro service during my flight for hot meals.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 11:36 am
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Another vote for UA. AC used to be better but has declined rpidly. They are also likely to change the schedule every week or so until departure and if you are lucky they might even tell you.
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Old Sep 26, 19, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by Schweden View Post
Having flown both AC and UA recently in Y on this route, I would definitely go for UA if the price were the same.

UA Pros:
  • Friendlier and better service
  • Free advanced seat selection (for my itinerary)
  • Way better on-time performance for this route
  • Stroopwafels?
  • Reasonable upgrade pricing to J (800 CAD vs 250 USD IIRC)

Seats felt about the same. The only thing better on AC was the paid bistro service during my flight for hot meals.
Another canadian here that would prefer UA over AC (if I had no status).
Completely agree with all these points especially the lack free advance seat selection on AC (for cheaper fares).

In case of major disruptions, I guess OP would be able to call the 1K line (on behalf of husband) vs the AC call center:
Long call center wait times
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Old Sep 26, 19, 11:47 am
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you can *pay* for seat selection on AC on cheap fares.

If you want a middle ground you could see what AC's PE prices at, they do offer that (basically domestic F seats) on that aircraft.

I find AC's Y seats uncomfortable in general but extremely uncomfortable for sleeping in.
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