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AndFinally Apr 3rd 2016 3:02 pm

United Airlines
 
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a captive to MileagePlus/Star Alliance and United but recently I've started to really question the condition of their aircraft.

The newer 737s and Airbuses are nice but the 757/767s are typically a mess, especially the ones in transatlantic service. They are dirty, beat up, old and have that unique "mature plane" smell. I've flown Delta back to the UK on several occasions and it's the same story. Even Virgin's product is looking a little dated now.

Who flies what here?

tom169 Apr 3rd 2016 3:18 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
My transatlantic flights are normally an American operated flight. Man, those plans are like bare metal decrepit shells. Sitting in economy is a pretty crappy experience.

However, I've flown so many times with them that I've been accumulating a good amount of miles and so I'm ready for a first class return. Although the first class doesn't look anything good.

In May I'll be trying out Virgin from Manchester, GB to Atlanta. We'll see how that goes.

With that said, I once did a United domestic flight and it was awesome. I had live direct TV and watched baseball for the couple hour flight. :)

Pulaski Apr 3rd 2016 3:20 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
Usually American (previously US Airways), because everything else means at least one change, and the planes have always been modern and clean.

I flew around trip once with Virgin and United, and the plane was cramped and obviously far from new/ not recently refitted. I would not willingly choose to fly with either airline again.

Growth in the business in recent years has led to some aircraft being retained in service longer and some airlines buying used aircraft, even from overseas. Delta, for example, has bought a bunch of MD-80's in recent years that had been used in Europe and Turkey since the 1990's.

Pulaski Apr 3rd 2016 3:22 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 11912472)
My transatlantic flights are normally an American operated flight. Man, those plans are like bare metal decrepit shells. Sitting in economy is a pretty crappy experience.

However, I've flown so many times with them that I've been accumulating a good amount of miles and so I'm ready for a first class return. Although the first class doesn't look anything good.

In May I'll be trying out Virgin from Manchester, GB to Atlanta. We'll see how that goes. ....

Don't do it :scaredhair: - American is luxury by comparison, especially if you have legs.

tom169 Apr 3rd 2016 3:24 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11912476)
Don't do it :scaredhair: - American is luxury by comparison, especially if you have legs.

It was in an effort to save cash with a wedding on the horizon. :(

6ft+ in economy isn't fun.

Pulaski Apr 3rd 2016 3:31 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 11912478)
It was in an effort to save cash with a wedding on the horizon. :(

6ft+ in economy isn't fun.

My "+" is 5", so I understand, but have never found American to be too bad, but much of that is a mindset. Virgin/United was just blöödy uncomfortable. :(

AndFinally Apr 3rd 2016 3:38 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 11912472)
My transatlantic flights are normally an American operated flight. Man, those plans are like bare metal decrepit shells. Sitting in economy is a pretty crappy experience.

However, I've flown so many times with them that I've been accumulating a good amount of miles and so I'm ready for a first class return. Although the first class doesn't look anything good.

In May I'll be trying out Virgin from Manchester, GB to Atlanta. We'll see how that goes.

With that said, I once did a United domestic flight and it was awesome. I had live direct TV and watched baseball for the couple hour flight. :)

Just be careful that you don't end up flying on Delta metal! I did that a few Christmases ago, I booked with Virgin as United had no availability but ended up going on a 767 that was made while Frankie Goes to Hollywood was number 1!

tom169 Apr 3rd 2016 3:41 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by AndFinally (Post 11912491)
Just be careful that you don't end up flying on Delta metal! I did that a few Christmases ago, I booked with Virgin as United had no availability but ended up going on a 767 that was made while Frankie Goes to Hollywood was number 1!

Oh dear! That made me revisit the receipt to discover the leg back to UK is Delta :(

AndFinally Apr 3rd 2016 3:56 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 11912494)
Oh dear! That made me revisit the receipt to discover the leg back to UK is Delta :(

I feel for you.

The very few cool things about Delta. One is that you get access to the Virgin Clubhouses if you have status. The second is the little authentic Tumi amenity kit you get in Business. I'm not sure Delta even has Wifi transatlantic, which is one of the saving graces of United. (When it works that is)

This is starting to sound like a Flyertalk thread!

lansbury Apr 3rd 2016 4:01 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 11912494)
Oh dear! That made me revisit the receipt to discover the leg back to UK is Delta :(

Are you sure it is not a Delta codeshare with Virgin. Delta stopped flying the ATL-MAN route last year.

tom169 Apr 3rd 2016 4:05 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by lansbury (Post 11912510)
Are you sure it is not a Delta codeshare with Virgin. Delta stopped flying the ATL-MAN route last year.

Googling the code (DL4355) did show a codeshare with Virgin... Just not sure who's actually operating.

lansbury Apr 3rd 2016 4:07 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
When I worked at LHR we always flew United.

Last few years we have been flying with Delta TATL and Alaska domestically. United went to hell in a hand basket when they merged with Continental especially as far as time keeping and cancellations went, and then reduced connections into Manchester. Delta have a good time keeping record and their IROPS handling is excellent, as well as a couple of good one stop connections from PDX to Manchester.

lansbury Apr 3rd 2016 4:07 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 11912514)
Googling the code (DL4355) did show a codeshare with Virgin... Just not sure who's actually operating.

DL4355 is operated by Virgin.

tom169 Apr 3rd 2016 4:08 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by lansbury (Post 11912516)
DL4355 is operated by Virgin.

Well that's relieving after these horror stories. :)

username.exe Apr 4th 2016 1:49 am

Re: United Airlines
 
I flew Phoenix to Newark last year, and the aircraft had received a 'refit'.

The legroom was absolutely SHOCKING. I'm 5'11 and was having rouble keeping my knees in my 'area'.
One the return leg the poor chap next to me had the misfortune of being somewhat tall. He had nowhere to put his legs, to the point where he had to store one in each of his neighbours areas. I couldn't even be mad, there was nothing the poor chap could do about it.

I noticed that once United had seated the flight, the attendants announced that some premium seats were available for an additional charge. There was a mad scramble as people desperately jockeyed for positions. Without doubt the most miserable flight I've taken and I've sworn off of united since.

Boiler Apr 4th 2016 6:33 am

Re: United Airlines
 
I flew in a Comet, there was a bucket in the isle to catch the drips.

I have a friend who is a pilot for Frontier, the stories....

lansbury Apr 4th 2016 7:05 am

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 11912935)
I flew in a Comet, there was a bucket in the isle to catch the drips.

I have a friend who is a pilot for Frontier, the stories....

A Dan Air Comet was it?

tonrob Apr 4th 2016 10:41 am

Re: United Airlines
 
I make around a dozen or so trans-Atlantic round-trips each year, about 75% on BA and 25% on Virgin Atlantic. I fly mostly premium economy with occasional upgrades to business.

Most BA flights are on 4-class 777s, most of which now have refitted interiors in economy/premium economy, and the general condition of these aircraft is good. BA's 747s are a different matter, with outdated IFE and crusty seats - generally these planes are held together with cellotape and bits of string. I'll avoid where I can unless flying business in which case I'll forgive al these shortcomings for a seat upstairs. I'm looking forward to the introduction of 787-9s on the Boston run in October.

Most Virgin Atlantic planes are in a similar condition to BA's 747s, although I was lucky enough to enjoy a few 787 flights while they were on the Boston run briefly about a year ago. Virgin's smaller fleet and fewer flights means an increased risk from disruption to operations in my experience.

I generally prefer Virgin's service and catering to BA, prefer BA's lounges (and T5) over Virgin's (and Terminal 3) at LHR but prefer Virgin's lounges at BOS and JFK.

So swings and roundabouts, really.

AndFinally Apr 4th 2016 1:20 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 11913051)
I make around a dozen or so trans-Atlantic round-trips each year, about 75% on BA and 25% on Virgin Atlantic. I fly mostly premium economy with occasional upgrades to business.

Most BA flights are on 4-class 777s, most of which now have refitted interiors in economy/premium economy, and the general condition of these aircraft is good. BA's 747s are a different matter, with outdated IFE and crusty seats - generally these planes are held together with cellotape and bits of string. I'll avoid where I can unless flying business in which case I'll forgive al these shortcomings for a seat upstairs. I'm looking forward to the introduction of 787-9s on the Boston run in October.

Most Virgin Atlantic planes are in a similar condition to BA's 747s, although I was lucky enough to enjoy a few 787 flights while they were on the Boston run briefly about a year ago. Virgin's smaller fleet and fewer flights means an increased risk from disruption to operations in my experience.

I generally prefer Virgin's service and catering to BA, prefer BA's lounges (and T5) over Virgin's (and Terminal 3) at LHR but prefer Virgin's lounges at BOS and JFK.

So swings and roundabouts, really.

I've often wondered about BA, the last long haul I did with them was LHR->SIN and it was pretty good. That said, I have zero status with them and that scares the crap out of me.

Boiler Apr 4th 2016 2:11 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by lansbury (Post 11912944)
A Dan Air Comet was it?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...G-APZM-jpg.jpg

rpjs Apr 4th 2016 3:24 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
Right now I fly exclusively BA TATL and AA domestic as I did so much TATL flying over the last year (dying family member sadly) that I achieved BA Gold status. I do tend to prefer BA over the other options for daytime UK flights from New York (Virgin, United) as on balance I think their service is better. I've also got the BA Chase card which gets me 10% off all bookings that are wholly on BA metal, plus 3 Avios per dollar spent with BA.

The IFE on their un-refurbed 747s is pretty dreadful, but the four-class 777s that usually share the JFK run have decent IFE, and the newly refurbed "super-hi J" 747s (with 86 business class seats) which frequently appear on that run now have the best IFE of all.

markonline1 Apr 4th 2016 3:42 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
Speaking to one of the engineers before flying United once, I can confirm the UA 767's are extremely old and beat up.

I still have lots of contacts with the airline, so when I fly home, it's always BA. Looking forward to the San Jose route starting next month with the Dreamliner.

Owen778 Apr 4th 2016 3:51 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
Before I moved to the US, I flew United from London to Houston often enough for work to reach platinum status, and I still have over 300,000 lifetime miles in my United frequent flyer account. These days, though, I generally only fly with them if they provide the only direct flight. I will fly domestic returns with them twice this year, which won't be anywhere near enough to get silver status.

We're flying BA when we go to the UK for two weeks of family vacation in August. Looks like they are currently running one 777 and one 787 on the route right now, which should be OK.

lansbury Apr 4th 2016 4:10 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 11913238)

Those were the days. Flew on those and British Eagle Britannia's.

http://www.airteamimages.com/pics/181/181399_800.jpg

Boiler Apr 4th 2016 4:26 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by lansbury (Post 11913373)
Those were the days. Flew on those and British Eagle Britannia's.

http://www.airteamimages.com/pics/181/181399_800.jpg

They were noisy, think I went to Venice on one.

lansbury Apr 4th 2016 4:35 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
First aircraft I flew on a Hermes. Prefer an old 767 over a Hermes longhaul.
http://www.airteamimages.com/pics/165/165401_800.jpg

Boiler Apr 4th 2016 4:58 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
I think my first flight was the one to Venice, can not think of a prior one.

http://cdn1.airplane-pictures.net/im.../5/5/14488.jpg

Oldest type I have been in.

ChocolateBabz Apr 4th 2016 5:53 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
We got 2 of our Hawaii flights paid for with our United Points so they are in my good graces just now, plus we were able to buy points to top up for the third flight which saved us a few hundred buckaroos. We were just going to upgrade 'The Dude' to economy plus as he is 6’4" now and our last flights were no fun for him as he is all leg, but threw caution to the wind an upgraded the lot!

Our last flight we had a 'large' woman in front of the dude who rocked back and forth the whole bloody flight. Son was miserable, hubby was mad and was desperate to say something but I figured she had something wrong with her and she couldn't help it so did the stiff upper lip bit, luckily it was the shorter LA - Houston leg.

tonrob Apr 4th 2016 5:57 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by AndFinally (Post 11913184)
I've often wondered about BA, the last long haul I did with them was LHR->SIN and it was pretty good. That said, I have zero status with them and that scares the crap out of me.

What cabin do you normally travel in? Premium economy is really the minimum in order to obtain status in a reasonable number of flights: 5 round trips would push you past silver, which gets you business lounge access and a few other perks.

If you can swing flying domestically in AA F then this is a great way to rack up a disproportionately large number of BA tier points (which are the things that determine status).

rpjs Apr 4th 2016 9:09 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 11913493)
What cabin do you normally travel in? Premium economy is really the minimum in order to obtain status in a reasonable number of flights: 5 round trips would push you past silver, which gets you business lounge access and a few other perks.

If you can swing flying domestically in AA F then this is a great way to rack up a disproportionately large number of BA tier points (which are the things that determine status).

^^ This. I did about ten TATL roundtrips mostly in PE, some economy and one biz class, which got me through BA Silver and a recent AA first-class segment from JFK to Las Vegas got me to BA Gold.

But now I have no need or reason to do all the TATLs anymore and my wife is flying phobic, so as it stands right now, the only time I'll get to use the status is an upcoming jaunt to Bermuda (outbound only - there's no AA lounge at BDA) at Memorial Day. :(

Owen778 Apr 4th 2016 11:51 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by rpjs (Post 11913694)
^^ This. I did about ten TATL roundtrips mostly in PE, some economy and one biz class, which got me through BA Silver and a recent AA first-class segment from JFK to Las Vegas got me to BA Gold.

But now I have no need or reason to do all the TATLs anymore and my wife is flying phobic, so as it stands right now, the only time I'll get to use the status is an upcoming jaunt to Bermuda (outbound only - there's no AA lounge at BDA) at Memorial Day. :(

Um, OK.

The first hit on google:

Tatl (チャット, Chatto?) is a character from The Legend of Zelda...
Tatl - Zeldapedia - Wikia

lansbury Apr 5th 2016 4:27 am

Re: United Airlines
 
TATL - transatlantic

Ash UK/US Apr 5th 2016 7:43 am

Re: United Airlines
 
The first 4 visits I made back home after I moved here were with BMI from Chicago, whist the actual economy seats were not the same as the wide/bed 1st class style seats on domestic airlines the rest of the service would rival anything on the domestic carriers... It was sad when they discontinued the Chicago route.

Now I fly Delta, the actual trans Atlantic portion of the flight is not too bad, the planes used for connections to local airport have a lot to be desired!

dc koop Apr 5th 2016 4:21 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
United Airlines flight attendant suffers complete burn out. Activates emergency exit chute and bails out. Item on this morning's news

dc koop Apr 5th 2016 4:21 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
United Airl;ines attendant suffers complete burn out

Owen778 Apr 5th 2016 4:32 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by lansbury (Post 11913993)
TATL - transatlantic

OK, thanks.

I'm not sure this is the right venue for flyertalk levels of jargon, though.

tonrob Apr 5th 2016 5:20 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by Owen778 (Post 11914522)
OK, thanks.

I'm not sure this is the right venue for flyertalk levels of jargon, though.

Will you let us know once you've decided?

g1ant Apr 5th 2016 5:48 pm

Re: United Airlines
 
I flew LHR-AUS on the British Airways direct flight on the 787-9 in first class last month. No complaints.
Well, actually they did cremate my Angus steak. BA gave me 4,500 Avios for that.

lansbury Apr 5th 2016 6:05 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by Owen778 (Post 11914522)
OK, thanks.

I'm not sure this is the right venue for flyertalk levels of jargon, though.

Yes true, problem is having worked at an airport for quite a long time I tend to use staff jargon without even realizing I'm doing it.

Owen778 Apr 5th 2016 6:28 pm

Re: United Airlines
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 11914555)
Will you let us know once you've decided?

Yes.


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