Which inter US airlines do you recommend?

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Given that any major airline can have some of the same issues as United, I have trouble understanding, what I see as, this needless hate.
Yes any major airline can have the same issues, but United is the only one that I have experienced these issues with. Frankly, that’s a good enough reason for me to spend my money elsewhere regardless of anyone else’s understanding.
 
Given that any major airline can have some of the same issues as United, I have trouble understanding, what I see as, this needless hate.
Here's why ( my rant from June 2023):
Apologies for the following rant but I want to warn everyone on my lists about United Airlines. Here is my experience about getting to Phoenix from Cleveland Monday to Tuesday of this week:
"I was stuck in Houston International from Monday evening to Tuesday afternoon due to the incompetence uncaring and chaotic mismanagement of United Airlines. I have already commented to them about their monumental mismanagement of this crisis. I arrived in HOU from Cleveland at around 7pm( I initially left Pittsburgh at 9am to go to Cleveland and the R&R HOF). Staying at the gate, we were not told the flight was cancelled until around 2am. Indeed about every 20 - 30 minutes after the initial departure time we were given a new departure time. Amid nascent fist fights and the arrival of 3 Houston police, we were finally told around 2am that Chicago in their brilliance had decided to cancel the flight. That triggered the "what about my luggage" scramble that sent a plane load of people to baggage where we were given mis-information that it would be available at 6am. No it wasn't then about 6:45 the beleaguered baggage attendant announced that she wasn't accepting any "retrieve luggage". requests and even when they were accepted it would take 4-6 hours to retrieve the luggage. Out of desperation ( the flight was originally scheduled to Phoenix), I saw a staff member that appeared knowledgeable and asked her if "since my bag was going to Phoenix, might it have been sent on ahead." Yes she answered as I immediately booked a flight on Southwest for an additional $400+ and arrived in Phoenix at 6pm and, mirabile dictu, my luggage was waiting for me at Terminal 3. I. Will. Never. Fly. United. Again!"
 
Here's why ( my rant from June 2023):
Apologies for the following rant but I want to warn everyone on my lists about United Airlines. Here is my experience about getting to Phoenix from Cleveland Monday to Tuesday of this week:
"I was stuck in Houston International from Monday evening to Tuesday afternoon due to the incompetence uncaring and chaotic mismanagement of United Airlines. I have already commented to them about their monumental mismanagement of this crisis. I arrived in HOU from Cleveland at around 7pm( I initially left Pittsburgh at 9am to go to Cleveland and the R&R HOF). Staying at the gate, we were not told the flight was cancelled until around 2am. Indeed about every 20 - 30 minutes after the initial departure time we were given a new departure time. Amid nascent fist fights and the arrival of 3 Houston police, we were finally told around 2am that Chicago in their brilliance had decided to cancel the flight. That triggered the "what about my luggage" scramble that sent a plane load of people to baggage where we were given mis-information that it would be available at 6am. No it wasn't then about 6:45 the beleaguered baggage attendant announced that she wasn't accepting any "retrieve luggage". requests and even when they were accepted it would take 4-6 hours to retrieve the luggage. Out of desperation ( the flight was originally scheduled to Phoenix), I saw a staff member that appeared knowledgeable and asked her if "since my bag was going to Phoenix, might it have been sent on ahead." Yes she answered as I immediately booked a flight on Southwest for an additional $400+ and arrived in Phoenix at 6pm and, mirabile dictu, my luggage was waiting for me at Terminal 3. I. Will. Never. Fly. United. Again!"
This sucks. Believe me, I'm sympathetic.

But this sort of situation isn’t exactly unique to United - it can happen with any airline.
 
This sucks. Believe me, I'm sympathetic.

But this sort of situation isn’t exactly unique to United - it can happen with any airline.
I've flown all legacy airlines, and multiple international airlines and while airline "misadventures" can occur on any carrier, I 've only encountered the lying and gross incompetence on United. In my opinion there are some carriers worse than others. And to get back to Amtrak, I have encountered multiple delays and "misadventures" on Amtrak but nothing to equal those I've experienced flying.
 
I've flown all legacy airlines, and multiple international airlines and while airline "misadventures" can occur on any carrier, I 've only encountered the lying and gross incompetence on United. In my opinion there are some carriers worse than others. And to get back to Amtrak, I have encountered multiple delays and "misadventures" on Amtrak but nothing to equal those I've experienced flying.
I’ve flown a fair number of airlines, and United has always been a cut above the rest, just in my own personal experience of course, in terms of consistent service (comparing to domestic airlines). That is to say, its hard to suggest one airline is better or worse than another, anecdotally.

Moreover, I’ve never had an issue with my violin on United. I have had issues with JetBlue and Southwest however.
 
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I am a Million Mile flyer on a major carrier, and a Select Amtrack traveler.

Over the years I have learned that every transportation company has its ups and its downs. They have good days and bad days. The have outstanding employees and duds. They have old equipment and new equipment, etc. Frequent travelers have learned to deal with the ups and downs of travel.

It seems that the occasional traveler sometimes has an outdated notion what travel is like in today's world - not just in the USA. Their expectations for seamless, well-oiled travel experiences are usually not met.

Besides, most occasional travelers obviously search for the lowest price from the most convenient airport/station. Sometimes they choose a no-frills budget carrier or sometimes a legacy carrier. Sometimes they try the train.

Making recommendations can be perilous. My advice is: recommend or seek recommendations if you want. But beware! Each traveler's experience will be different. Some will have a good experience. Others will not. Some will love the airline/train - some will hate it!
 
I have to agree with this. It is certainly one of those “YMMV”, depending on which carrier you may have had the worst personal experience on…🤷‍♂️
This. I had such a "memorably bad" experience on Delta one horrible Thanksgiving that for Christmas my sister sent me a little soft-stuffed Delta toy (perhaps a dog toy, I dunno) and a brand-new package of shiny straight pins. Since then I've had "memorably bad" experiences on British Air and American. Fly enough airlines and you'll have one such story to recite from each. But I've had only two memorably bad Amtrak trips, both on the Cap. One a delay that became a crew-timeout and one a bustitution where I had to get up front and direct the driver around downtown Pittsburgh.
 
A higher percentage of UA problems happen IMO where the majority of personnel came from Frank Lorenze's Continental Air lines.
I find that interesting since my experiences with Continental and its personnel were always positive and I was saddened when they merged and disappeared into United. United is a full step below the other legacies in terms of service and personnel in my experience ( flying since the late 1960's).
 
I find that interesting since my experiences with Continental and its personnel were always positive and I was saddened when they merged and disappeared into United. United is a full step below the other legacies in terms of service and personnel in my experience ( flying since the late 1960's).
I think @west point 's age is showing :) He seems to remember Lorenzo but not Gordon Bethune who followed Lorenzo and made Continental one of the best regarded airlines. Indeed it was Smisek who then started ruining Continental. Continental was still serving meals on all domestic flights which Smisek started chipping away, and finally the merger with United came up. At that time United had stopped serving meals on domestic flights, so of course Continental stopped to become aligned with the least common denominator in order to merge.

At that time I was a frequent flier both on United and Continental (that is how I have 2.5 Million Miles on United now with the Lifetime status that goes with such), so I have vivid recollection of what transpired. Just before the merger United's Customer Satisfaction index was second from bottom for US based airlines. Glen Tilton was not exactly the best CEO, and it showed in service quality deterioration.

Smisek's departure due to some hanky panky that he indulged in with PANYNJ and the then NJ Governor regarding Newark slot allocation and quid pro quo for running a flight on an otherwise untenable route to ingratiate.... etc. was actually a god sent. Oscar Munoz then started the painful job of digging United out of the combined hole that it had managed to dig itself into. It appears to have eventually settled into this weird place. Anyway personally I have not had a terrible experience with them in quite a while, and they are actually very good at handling IRROPs in my experience.

Anyhow, any differentiation between ex-United and ex-Continental crews is long gone as the whole thing has been merged for a while now., and there are lot of new hires who have nothing to do with old United or Continental anymore.

Given the routes that I need to fly most often and the lifetime status, I tend to fly United as I do have significant status advantage, though of late since I am flying exclusively First Class, the status probably matters less, except that I can get up[grades much more favorably.

Anyway my big one or two annual flights are not domestic but international, and United generally does quite OK on those, though their poor yield management algorithms are pushing me onto the likes of Emirates and Qatar and even Air India (much improved back under the Tatas) more and more.

As far as recommendation for domestic flying goes, my recommendation is to start with the route segments that you need and choose an airline based on which provides the service most suited for your needs on that route.
 
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A higher percentage of UA problems happen IMO where the majority of personnel came from Frank Lorenze's Continental Air lines.
Not fair or accurate. Most of the Lorenzo legacy was long gone by the mid 90's Once Gordon Bethune took over in 1994, things got better fairly quickly. Morale and productivity went up significantly. In his final year piloting the airline, Fortune magazine ranked Continental 2004's No. 1 Most Admired Global Airline, a title it earned again in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. While at Continental, Bethune created the Go-Forward plan to fix problems with the airline, which included employee morale and product quality. I had the pleasure of flying him many times. He was a fantastic leader.

UA is what changed the CO culture for the worst.... Frank Lorenzo was long forgotten, even by the old timers by the early 2000's.
 
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Long before I worked for AA, UAL was my airline of choice, especially when I lived in Colorado. I think UA was at its peak performance when “Pat” Patterson was in charge.
 
Long before I worked for AA, UAL was my airline of choice, especially when I lived in Colorado. I think UA was at its peak performance when “Pat” Patterson was in charge.
My wife works for AA and is a Captain on the 787. Sadly, the airline seriously lacks vision and leadership. I am constantly shocked when I compare their OPs to ours at UA. UA is imperfect, but AA is the laggard amongst the Big 3.
 
My wife works for AA and is a Captain on the 787. Sadly, the airline seriously lacks vision and leadership. I am constantly shocked when I compare their OPs to ours at UA. UA is imperfect, but AA is the laggard amongst the Big 3.
When looking at international routes on Flightrader, I usually notice AA having significantly less flights than United and Delted, especially outside of Europe.
 
It's hard to suggest one airline is better or worse than another, anecdotally.
Very true, especially for US domestic economy flights. It's pretty much the same experience in the back of the bus for major carriers. Southwest is just different because of their pricing and service model, but it's more or less the same.

It then comes to personal experience. I've sworn off American because of too many flights with bad in-flight service, both domestically and on trans-Atlantic flights. United is my default because of airline alliances and that it's just far more convenient for me to use out of SAN to places I need to go. I think Delta's service is a bit better at the moment, and Alaska usually does a good job. Southwest does the job and they tend to be competitively priced. I haven't had an opportunity to use a lower-cost carrier in a while but I try to avoid them because of potential issues around service recovery. I also try to avoid airlines that have had significant mergers for at least a couple of years; I find the service usually drops off a cliff post-merger as they try to integrate the operation and get everything sorted out.

I think there's still a huge gap in service going across an ocean, at least between European carriers and US carriers. I had probably the best flight ever in economy on Lufthansa, but I've also heard horror stories about Swiss and Austrian. I get to try BA for the first time later this year and I'm both excited and worried about it.
 
My two pennies worth... United member for 10yrs.
I live in New Zealand so I've mostly taken United on international flights. To or from the US (12hrs) or from US to the UK. Air NZ will always be my first choice but I've had no complaints about United Airlines. I just have trouble spending my points, I think it's because I downloaded the app at home, not the US so the location is wrong. Not sure what Lifetime points are either 🤔...
 
Very true, especially for US domestic economy flights. It's pretty much the same experience in the back of the bus for major carriers. Southwest is just different because of their pricing and service model, but it's more or less the same.

It then comes to personal experience. I've sworn off American because of too many flights with bad in-flight service, both domestically and on trans-Atlantic flights. United is my default because of airline alliances and that it's just far more convenient for me to use out of SAN to places I need to go. I think Delta's service is a bit better at the moment, and Alaska usually does a good job. Southwest does the job and they tend to be competitively priced. I haven't had an opportunity to use a lower-cost carrier in a while but I try to avoid them because of potential issues around service recovery. I also try to avoid airlines that have had significant mergers for at least a couple of years; I find the service usually drops off a cliff post-merger as they try to integrate the operation and get everything sorted out.

I think there's still a huge gap in service going across an ocean, at least between European carriers and US carriers. I had probably the best flight ever in economy on Lufthansa, but I've also heard horror stories about Swiss and Austrian. I get to try BA for the first time later this year and I'm both excited and worried about it.
Interesting you’ve heard that regarding Swiss.

Due to work, I go to Germany about once a year. My experience with economy Lufthansa has been ok, and just that. It’s consistent, and the seats aren’t bad, but overall nothing special, especially considering the food is bad. That might be a Boston problem more than a Lufthansa problem.

When I flew Swiss for the first time however, I was mildly blown away - definitely the best European economy I’d experienced at that point. Good seat, great food and drink, and wonderful service.

I’ve only flown American internationally a handful of times. It wasn’t memorable - though I’ve recently tried to fly them more often to take advantage of the alliance to build my Cathay Pacific status and make life a little cheaper.
 
My two pennies worth... United member for 10yrs.
I live in New Zealand so I've mostly taken United on international flights. To or from the US (12hrs) or from US to the UK. Air NZ will always be my first choice but I've had no complaints about United Airlines. I just have trouble spending my points, I think it's because I downloaded the app at home, not the US so the location is wrong. Not sure what Lifetime points are either 🤔...
You might try subscribing to a VPN, then you could set your server to be US and make the app think you are in the US and it might work. Just a thought,.
 
When looking at international routes on Flightrader, I usually notice AA having significantly less flights than United and Delted, especially outside of Europe.
We (UA) have significantly more flights to Europe from the East Coast than AA. This is more of a capacity issue for them than a demand issue. They retired the 757/767 and the A330 when Covid hit and have only been getting a trickle of the 787's they have on order (30 more).
 
I've mostly flown America and Delta with a few trips on Southwest and United. I've had pretty good experiences on all of them - nothing terrible other than AA doesn't seem to properly staff at my home airport... they can only handle one plane at a time so if planes get off schedule (which always happens) they get backed up and make passengers sit for an hour or more after landing, it's happened to me twice.

I do enjoy the seat-back TV's on Delta - definitely makes the trip more enjoyable.
 

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