Shocked by American’s Flagship Service!

Hello from 38,000 feet aboard American’s Flagship Service to San Francisco (from New York). Having flown United’s Premium Service on this route many times, I have to say I’m shocked by American’s Flagship Service. Good or bad? You’ll just have to stay tuned….

Filed Under: American
  1. Give the DL 757’s a spin next time… easy upgrade on SOME of the weekend flights (JFK-SFO shouldn’t be so tough for a PM).

  2. You took a plane from New York to San Francisco?!? A true traveler would drive, or perhaps hire a native guide and hope to make it over Donner Pass before the winter sets in.

    (Hey Super80, am I doing this right?)

  3. If he makes ONE MORE vacuous reference to Diet Coke and hot nuts, and doesn’t truly “bond” with his fellow passengers and experience the true joy of travel for what it is, I’m going to lose it and…keep on reading. 🙂

  4. I’ll guess you received a mild electrocution from American’s in-seat power port.

  5. @Sco – Brilliant! You must be a hit when speed dating.

    @Cliff – Okkkkayyy, well, in response your previous post, I’m a chair of chemical research at a major research university, and regularly fly F/J for academic consultation projects worldwide. A hater who flies in the back of the bus? Hardly. I’ve flown more paid F/J than I’m guessing you have ever seen. The main difference is i’m not turned on by airline food and hot nuts. Im not simply making friends with airline employees. I have real relationships, friends, family – not just a temporary network because I run around the world and look for people to treat me well not because of who I am, but because I have some program status.

  6. Suoer80, thanks for sharing your occupation.
    You must feel very important.
    Let your doc know your meds need adjusted.

  7. Must…not…feed…irrelevant…trolls…

    Lucky, greatly looking forward to a compare-and-contrast between your service (can’t remember if it’s C or F) and p.s. C/F. Won’t ever take AFS due to UA loyalty and p.s. upgrade ease, so I’m curious. And how did the lounge compare to the T7 RCC?

    (that’s an academic-type question coming from a non-academic, unlike the thoughts coming from actual academics that are actually…incredibly shallow and pointless and add nothing to the discourse)

  8. I fly on both services regularly, and if I had to pick one as a favorite, it’d be AA – but not by much. Subjective factors such as in-flight service tend to sway me one way or the other. “Shocking” isn’t a term I would ever use because there simply isn’t enough differentiation in hard or soft product to use that adjective when doing a compare and contrast.

    UA has wider, more comfortable seating in J than AA. AA’s F seats are better than UA’s just for the fact that they are generally fully operational, but if you can get a UA F seat that works, nothing beats lie-flat, even if it’s angled for sl.

    As far as meals… AA’s breakfast service is better than UA. Lunch is a bit of a wash (UA tends of have better entree’s, but AA consistently has better salads). Dinner is a crapshoot. It used to be hot fudge sundaes on AA even in J, but I’ve heard they’ve made the switch to pre-made sundaes even during dinner (it used to be pre-made for lunch – the real thing for dinner). Again, it’s ice cream. How it’s presented and the importance of that presentation is up for debate.

    For IFE I give the edge to AA They offer up bose noise cancelling headsets and you get LCD TV’s for main screen IFE vs. the 1980’s CRT’s. Of course that doesn’t matter much in the premium cabins since they offer the same personal entertainment players as UA for on-demand viewing.

    As far as aircraft, a 2 aisle plane beats a single aisle plane any time, any day on longer flights. AA gets that edge. As far as crew – again, it’s a crapshoot. I’ve had some fabulous UA crews and some forgettable ones. Same with AA.

    Lounges? AA’s lounges at LAX and JFK are head and shoulders above the RCC. Having showers alone is a huge plus.

  9. You guys are all losers because you just spend all your time boasting about your silly little travels and how special you are with all your status and premium class travel! I look down on your pathetic existences!

    By the way, did I mention that my status is higher than yours, and that I fly more paid F/J than you, and that I have a better job than you (I’m sure), and that my relationships are with real people, and that I only frequent these silly little blogs of yours to show you how sad you are? Yes? Ok, just checking…

    Super81 (because I’m just that much better than Super80)

  10. Benjamin,

    It is now imperative that you comment one way or another on the nut bowl size between UA and AA. Apologies if you did and I missed it

    Next question is – how did you become one world Emerald. Did you match?

    My predition is that you enjoyed the FS service. I’m certain you enjoyed the lounge and overall terminal experience over T7 — how could you have not?

    Wait I just looked at your Tweetie-ing and you apparently did enjoy it !!!!
    My back and butt hurt after sitting in a domestic UA 767 seat all day and having some old dude decide to recline — into my laptop and break the screen (thank you very much United for the ‘extra room’ in your F cabin).

    Love & kisses,

  11. @Katie, just wondering if you complained to the FA regarding your computer screen. Perhaps I am naive, but shouldn’t UA be responsible for the breakage?

  12. Keep up the Internet relationships with a kid, folks. Not creepy or abnormal at all.

    You’re all winners here! Your parents might not understand your lifestyle, but your Internet friends do!

  13. I keep up my relationship with Ben because I appreciate his travel musings and his eagerness to try multiple in-flight products and locales – something I would do if time were at less of a premium for me.

    As for why others do – especially those that come here only to berate him – I can only imagine.

  14. Excuse me, but there are older readers of this blog that enjoy reading it. I do have a life on the ground; and, there’s nothing wrong with having some fun up in the air (you should pardon the expression). :>)

    I guess this goes to the type of person I am (you are). We can debate this all day, just as we can talk about some old dude (can be any age passenger) reclining their seat, which last I heard is withing the rules.

    @Yawn (cute name by the way), sorry to hear of your problem.

  15. Talk about “creepy and abnormal” – a haughty self-inflated gasbag continuing to visit a site and bash for no good reason, when he’s clearly so important in his field getting flown around the world in style. Where does one find the time? I bet your employer would be really impressed. Stay classy.

    I actually got some advice from Ben recently on traveling to Tampa, greatly appreciated it. You know, having a conversation and all that.


    Among other comp received, they will be replacing my three month old MacBook Pro. I had to go through a number of hoops to make this happen — ok more than just a small number — but is a done deal. Only took about ten calls to the good ole’ uni-tel 700- prefix (I have Glenn’s assistant on auto dial now). After a few clicks into ole’ Unimatic, my remittance is on its way to me.

    @MIKE – AA sucks. UA sucks. US & DL also suck. But in no specific order, AA sucks least of the rest.

    @Dan – Dan is a cute name too – so fun & sexy.


  17. Now what happened on AA Ben? I’m betting you found it to be somewhat better than UA because of the warmer nuts bowl with the perfect amount of salt. However before you compliment AA you have to realize that AA is the embodiment of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and a few others all rolled in to one.

    @Super80, did you ever look at yourself in the mirror in the morning one day and realize you’re just a dick?

  18. OK, Lets keep the comments civil and relatively on track. I’d hate for comments to be screened before posting and then we’ll never have a conversation.

    @Yawn, I thought the screen in the seatback broke not your personal PC. And you managed to convince United that they were responsible. Wow. Any tips for how I should follow-up with United on my return from New York City on Sunday. JFK flight delayedm 1 hr, no 2hrs, no 3hrs. No notice of a probable misconnect at IAD. Proactively called United. They confirmed the misconnect. They offered me a flight in the morning. I suggested another carrier at JFK. All seats sold. I’m not convinced but maybe they don’t interline with JetBlue. I suggested LaGuardia. They offered USAir via PHL. I suggested a USAir non-stop. They said oh there is a non-stop at the same time. Ended up with a turbo-prop.

    @Ben, odd United only posts min 500 on United flights. The USAir flight posted as actual miles. When USAir elite got United flights at 500 min. Have already requested miles for original flight itinerary.

    @Ben, we need the skinny. Don’t tell me you’re too busy enjoying vacation time with your brother to finish your post. We losers are waiting and judging from the comments patience is running low.

  19. @RDimperio – it would seem that a broken laptop and compensation for a delayed/missed flight are two slightly different matters. So sorry to hear you were stuck at the United/UsAirways/BA terminal at JFK. Such dreary hospitality !!!

    @Benjamin, where is description of the nutty nuts. Being a responsible journalist, you should appropriately respond to the known concerns of readership !


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