Star Alliance Carriers: Reviews and Comparisons

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by ande777emt, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    As mentioned we should have a thread for people to review and rank star alliance carriers and compare them to one another. Feel free to comment an compare carriers in general or break it up by carrier and class of service.

    Here's my reviews:

    First:


    SQ-F Food and services are probably the best I've had inflight. You can never go wrong with SQ hard product. I find SQ Skysuites (744 F) still to be quite comfortable. Catering is absolutely phenomenal and always includes a good selection of hot appetizers and meals end with some delicious desserts. The 77W F is nice and wide as well as having a large IFE screen; KrisWorld cannot be beat. The SQ Suite is a whole new realm of awesome. Although my flight was only ~6.25 hours, it is the nicest bed in the sky. I've found FA's to be exactly where you want them when you want them, but not too smothering.

    OZ Asiana- One of the best First products and most underrated First Class Products by far. Excellent food, service, and the F seat I slept fine on. Best steak I've had in the sky, and probably #4 or 5 steak ever. Bimibab (Korean Barbeque) best I've EVER had. Great lava cake and cheesecake desserts as well. AVOD equipped planes have a decent array of films. Great amenity kit and great Pajamas. Only airline I've flown that still gives a welcome gift. It was a duffelbag, but still nice and my niece likes when I bring home airline stuff for her, and she loves her OZ bag. Ok FC lounge at ICN, but very friendly staff.

    LX- Good seat, especially on new 333, I sleep very well on it. Great catering and very helpful friendly staff. Decent desserts. Good amenity kit and good pyjamas. Great liquor selection [​IMG]. They absolutely go out of their way for their F pax. Nice arrivals lounge at ZRH as well.


    TK-F Crews vary, but the catering by DO & CO is also among the best available and is a great balance of Western and Turkish fare. They also have excellent ground services at IST (shower in Prime Class lounge is the only thing they could improve on). JFK-IST, the crew was not as attentive as they could be but IST-JFK they were very cordial and seemed very interested in providing for pax and talking with them. The Suite on the 9W 77W is close to the SQ Suite and one of the top places to sleep in the sky. The control interface is also pretty cool giving you a 3D view of your seat. The IFE was great as it was turned on while on the ground and I was able to start a movie at pushback in JFK and IST. On my return on TK 1 (IST-JFK) flight was 3 hours late, but staff more than made up for this on the return leg.

    TG-F Unfortunately I was in BKK <50 minutes on my TG F leg so I was unable to assess the ground services. In the air my cabin was 7/8 but TG FA's did not seem overwhelmed and provided good attention, but still not SQ/OZ F. Food was pretty good (I had chicken entree) however a coworker complained about his fish entree. Good amenity kits as well. Seat would be a bit more private, I had one slightly hard spot in my seat so I was fortunately able to move 1 row back into the remaining opening seat. AVOD also has a good selection of European and Asian films.

    NH- Friendly and efficient crew. Seat was also good, however I feel their cabin gives me a sterile feeling with the Blues and stainless coloring. Good catering but desserts lacking, attentive and efficient staff-but not that personable, comfortable bed, and good arrivals lounge (for Asia) in NRT. Decent IFE. Very basic amenity kit, but it get's the job done. They reuse the PJ's though.

    LH- Seat needs some updating, but not bad. You can upgrade with UA SWU's [​IMG] which is always a plus. Food can be great or it can be alright, desserts are usually good though. Cheap liquor selection (come on, I don't drink Smirnoff at home, so don't pass it off as FC material). Very friendly and attentive staff. This staff also goes above and beyond. FCT at Frankfurt makes up for the seat though.

    UA- Food can be ok or it can get you sick. I also had an ice cream sundae where I had to let it sit for half a movie before I could get a spoon into it. Old F suites were revolutionary in 1998, but well behind the times today. Bland IFE, crappy amenity pack. New suites are decent for sleep, service is just basic. They're nice to me, then again I am a 1k, and I've seen them be more attentive to me than other pax. Old F seats require empower [​IMG].

    Business

    Asiana- Most planes have decent padding on the lie flat. The new Quadra Smartium seats are the best C seat in the sky. Fully powered (no need to manually fold flat a la SQ C) and great padding and gives you privacy without initiating claustrophobia. IFE can be good or slightly better than UA, but there's a few 772's with a broadcast loop still. Excellent food and service though and good amenity kit for C. Excellent desserts. Lounges are ok, decent showers and no complaints about using regular Biz lounge as arrival shower for day meetings. Good laptop power connections.

    SQ- Excellent seat on 77W, I also find the spacebed fairly comfortable. Excellent FA's just a bit smothering though. Excellent food and phenomenal liquor selection. Excellent desserts and they even had left ver cheesecake and let me have it for breakfast [​IMG]. I could drink SQ Slings and Silver Kris Slings all day. I've never left an SQ flight sober. Excellent IFE and laptop power connections.

    LX- Excellent new seat with lots of ample space. The only seat I know of where I can have my laptop out on one table while eating dinner. Good C catering and liquor and wine selection as well. Good desserts too. New IFE is also good. Great arrival lounge in ZRH. The old seat was hard and I'm glad they are ridding themselves of the 332.

    TG- Good amenity kit and I like the 9W herringbone. Very lush padding and I got 10 hours of sleep on BKK-CDG. The angled lie-flat on 772's had a steeper angle, but not as bad as the LH seat, and could've used some more padding. Excellent food ex-BKK and good IFE, but sometimes it seemed the service wasn't near SQ/OZ levels ex-CDG and I had to ask for refills in C. We had 2 people in F and used the center suites as a meeting venue in F and they were very accommodating in this request and constantly refilled drinks/snacks in F; C was a bit different and nowhere near as attentive, FA's stayed around the galley, not rounding on the cabin that often, however it was not the AF disappearing act. Good amenity kit. Lounge was great and I really liked my foot massage in BKK.

    NH-Good efficient service. Their old C seats are designed for the biz traveler in mind. Alright western entree, but 3/4 the time the Japanese meals are too seafood oriented. Dessert can be innovative or it can be average. Basic amenity kit. Seats are decent with not too much of a slope and I sleep okay on them. Good sake selections though.

    US Airways- They do a great job in Envoy on their new 332's. The suite is very comfortable, spacious and FA's seemed surprisingly attentive. I approached it as not sure what to think as it was US after all and the seat was cheap (relatively speaking for C) but FA's provided good attention and my glasses were never empty. Food was surprisingly good both ways (PHL-MUC-PHL). Envoy lounge was also great and is probably the best lounge in the US operated by a US airline; great selection of snacks, sandwiches, a soup and a wide variety of beers. They were definitely better than UA and I would probably rate them comparable, if not slightly better than LH and AC.

    LH- The seat has a bit steep slope, but sleeps ok once you figure it out. Comparable padding to the KLM seat. Catering can be good or it can be average, but others do it better, but it's still enjoyable and their desserts are usually pretty good. I'm a fan of the FRA welcome lounge though and the beer selection. They are efficient and extremely attentive though and don't seem to play the disappearing act that AF and KLM's do. FA's are also very personable. I've had some on the DUS-ORD run recognize me from being in F and from other ORD-Germany runs to:confused:verall though, although they are average for the *A biz list, I feel for TATL they are near the top. I'll gladly do LH over DL and UA on old seats.

    AC- The herringbone provides a good sleep and there's close power supply and a nice laptop spot. It is very private too, which is great when by yourself and sucks when your flying with someone. IFE is good, especially for a North American carrier. FA's are okay, same as UA, but a bit friendlier and a bit more attentive. The table is pretty big but it isn't nice and fold able, it's either out, or tucked in. I enjoy the food on AC, I've had good experiences with their beef and they have some good hearty desserts. The self serve bar on the 77W and 77L is one thing I do like. On TATL returns I love the cookies and ice cream! I have a horrible sweet tooth and they only exacerbate this. They have a good arrivals lounge at LHR as well.

    UA- New seats have good padding, the recliners sleep ok and have decent lumbar support, but suck because they require Empower. Service is great to GVA, but better ex-ORD than IAD to everywhere else. Food can be ok or it can be bland, I've had an bacon wrapped filet to GVA that wowed me, but that was a one time experience. Catering does seem to be improving though, I love cheesecake, so UA does Eli's cheesecake for 85% of its desserts, but I wouldn't mind variety. IFE can be improved, but the new seats on 744's and 763's do it better. Simply put UA will get you from point A to point B, and will do it better than DL. IFL is better than RCC, but it's where the RCC should be at as a baseline and it's hard to say that it is "first class" and is so easily put to shame by any non North American *A Carrier lounge.

    Econ- I've done LH once in Y. I didn't mind it. Good catering and frequent drink/liquor service. I took them due to an IRROP and the staff at JFK were phenomenal when CO (while still in Skyteam) screwed up and didn't confirm my grandma and I. Mr. Volker at JFK and his absolute determination to help a customer is still one reason why I would never hesitate to fly LH.

    CO- I did them while in skyteam, I was victim to IRROPS at EWR, they are horrible and were less than helpful. Fortunately now I have the 1K line and a PC membership for assistance. My return AMS-EWr wasn't too bad. This was 4 years ago, before I flew a lot, and I thought then the IFE was good, but now know it could use some work. Their catering seemed ok and FA's were attentive and came by 1-2x an hour for drinks. I didn't mind the Y seats then


    I have yet to do NZ, SK, CO, BD, MS, TK, TP, CA, LO, OS, or JJ in C on long haul.

    Shorthaul/Medium haul

    F/C

    AC- AC has great N. American catering, followed by great IFE and a decent seat. On trans-canada flights, their long haul product is readily available. Their seat is also decent, it's only too bad they serve most the US with Jazz. They also have great breakfasts! FA's same as UA, some go out of their way though.

    MS-I had one flight on a 738, other than the flight being dry, was pretty good for a 2hour 20 minute flight. There was IFE, which I didn't use, so I can't comment on that, but catering was very good for such a short flight. It was a multi-course meal with entrees that arrived on a plate. Very good halal beef and delicious cheesecake. Flight attendants seemed cheerful and attentive, with 2 FA's for 16 pax, constantly kept drinks topped off. Seats were 2-2 but more comfortable than typical US domestic F seats and had more legroom as well.

    UA- Warm nuts are a great way to start a flight. Domestic F catering isn't too bad, but sometimes the chicken stuff is a bit overdone, but I've never had it raw. I am sick of omelettes! They need to have a waffle or pancake option like AC does. At least they serve meals on all flights over a given length and don't cheap out like CO does with a snack tray. They make up for this with their seats. For domestic products, they have the best FC seat and one that is leather, however it does require an empower adapter. Their staff are typically helpful, but some a few I've had are god awful, but those ppl are available on every US mainline carrier. The IFE and music is ok. Channel 9 is awesome! You also get a pillow.

    CO- Barcalounger appearing seats look neat but aren't as comfy as UA seats. I like open bar for PDB though. Domestic catering is better than UA's, but UA won't cheap out with a snack plate on flights of a given length, simply because the flight is not at meal time. FA's in FC have been pretty good to me. Directv isn't bad, and an empower requirement on 739's for laptop access. CO does charge for some beverages whereas UA would never do such a thing. CO does not have pillows in FC though.

    US- The *A LCC. The seats are decent and more comfortable than CO, a pillow is also availible. FC seems understaffed; 1 FA for FC on a seats on a 321 w/ 16 seats as opposed to 2 on a UA 757 w/ 24 or CO 73X with 16-20 FC seats. Meals, when you get them are actually pretty good, but they're only served on flights 3.5 hours or more. No glassware though, all drinks in plastic cups. At least they won't charge for stirrings mixers though [​IMG]. No IFE though, no music, nada, so bring your own fun. Wifi is on the 321's though.

    Econ

    UA- E+ !!!!! Leather seats mainly, Channel 9! You don't pay for headphones and the headphones are real ones, not the stupid CO buds. Free IFE. For the most part staff do well for Y. FA's will treat you well when your UG doesnt clear. I've even had an FA bring me back a leftover meal from F and a bottle of champagne on a flight were I was in front row of E+. The guy across the aisle asked why I got special treatment and she gave him a whole spiel on me being one of the airline's most loyal customers flying >100,000 miles a year and someone whose UG should have cleared if it weren't for an AC change, then adding on "it's people like him that keep United in business and keep me employed."

    US- Better seats than CO, that's for sure. Staff are alright. No IFE, but using their seats doesn't require a trip to the chiropractor after a use.

    CO- Second Worst Y seats in the world on CO mainline (Skywest CRJ's are worse). CoEx seats aren't too bad, definitely better than mainline. Staff are alright, they don't do out of the ordinary things for elites like UA's will. Used to have decent Y snacks on board, but that stopped on 10/12/10.

    Euro Shorthaul

    I've done mainly biz on LX and LH. Both pretty good for Euro C and good meals on 1 hr flights. I've also done Y on SK and LH. They were better than Y on their US counterparts. Serve food but no IFE (but you really don't need it intra Europe).


    I feel Star Alliance out classes Skyteam any day of the week.
     
  2. Saracen
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    Saracen Silver Member

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    I'm a lowly Y-flyer. I've flown long haul on SQ and UA mostly. Also regional on TG, BD, LH and MS.

    SQ in Y: I actually enjoy flights on SQ in Y. The service, though perhaps not the warmest, is efficient and welcoming. The amenities are as good as you get. AVOD is excellent, and there are always a few good flicks to watch. Seats are good (assuming you're not overly large). Food is as good as it gets in Y. You get hot towels at the start and after waking. Drinks are brought around often. Planes tend to be a mix of families, business types, Aussies and locals. When things went belly-up due to the weather in Munich a few months back, we were treated to a half day transit in a 5-star hotel in Dubai. Things are very by the book, and don't ever expect an op-up or a special treat. Even exit row seats are chargeable. I don't think you'd regret flying with SQ. Oh and SIN is a great airport.
     
  3. Saracen
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    Saracen Silver Member

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    UA in Y: Economy Plus is a good benefit, and those 5 inches really do make a difference. You'll need to pay for it unless you're a UA elite member though. But… planes are generally pretty tired. The entertainment system is prehistoric, with no on-demand video. The staff tend to be ok, but not great, though I have had some good experiences. For some reason many Americans think it's okay to fly with the kitchen sink, so get in early to secure some luggage space. I have been op-upped though, so you could end up in C which is a *lot* better.
     
  4. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    I enjoy Swiss service in all cabins.
     
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  5. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    Co,nz,ac have great j products.
     
  6. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    I have only flown the North American carriers, but I have to go with the following ranking
    1. Air Canada
    2. United (I'm 6'5 so legroom beats entertainment)
    3. Continental
    4. US Airways
    I will also say that AC is surprisingly generous on upgrades for members of other Star Alliance programs, as I have received multiple upgrades from them even though I am a United 1P
     
  7. Peachy3
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    Peachy3 Silver Member

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    Another first class review/comparison, on the airlines flown before.

    LH F - We will always continue to fly LH F for one reason. Ground services. If for nothing else, the FCT, chaffeur drive and first class services are simply too good to pass up. In the air, service is variable but usually decent, and the food is not as good as LX but eatable depending on where the catering comes from.

    LX F - Solid airline which will always be our top choice out of these 4. LX F also means that we can use the FCT if connecting through FRA etc. The hard product on the 333 is simply amazing and I love it. Service is fabulous and the food is above average.

    TG F - Best thing going for TG F is the TG FCL and massage, and buggies etc. In the air, it is mediocre and customer service is VERY variable. The 340 flat bed is also rather strange. The head of the bed is slightly tilted up making for a very difficult sleep with a pillow. I don't use a pillow. The 747's are great and I haven't used the suites yet. Would always use LX over TG but if I have to pass through BKK, there is no passing up the massage and the lounge.

    OZ F - Out of the 4 airlines flown before, OZ has ridiculous service, but lacks the hard product. FA's are awaiting your every step, opening your toilet door, cleaning the toilet after you, kneeling to ask you questions etc. It's a little too much but a muchness that is not annoying. Wouldn't hesitate to fly them again.


    If I was to make an itinerary out of those 4 airlines:

    Fly through BKK and leave with TG F, on a 77W.
    Fly through FRA and arrive and leave with LH F for direct airplane pick up/drop off and FCT
    Fly LX F on the 333
     
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  8. ohianjo
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    ohianjo Silver Member

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    As an avid OZ flyer (DiamondPlus), I do love Asiana (Y,C and F) BUT, one does get tired of the non changing menu (bi bim bap is good but not every flight, especially as the western options are never overly enticing...) F seats are good, but certainly behind those of their Asian counterparts.

    New C class is great, as with the generous seat pitch in Y.
     
  9. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    I have only flown SQ, TG and NZ. Out of these three I found Sq to be the best, they are certainly the most consistent. TG was very up and down great one flight and very ordinary the next. NZ I would rate second, the premium business was a good product but I found the level of service was not up to that of Sq.
     
  10. JetSet
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    JetSet Silver Member

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    I am a SQ flyer girl, and I usually can't fault their service - in the sky. On the ground is another story altogether. Having said that, both my husband and I have noticed service is slipping. This past Friday on the redeye PER-SIN the crew completely disappeared from the cabin after the meal service, which I've never seen before. Always before there was someone there as soon as you looked as if you were stirring.
    The 'new' C seat was wonderful when it was first introduced - all that space was so decadent! Now, I feel it hasn't aged well, the seats are looking very beat up and I find the bed to be so uncomfortable. No padding means lots of pressure points, impossible to get a good sleep.
     
  11. SVJ
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    SVJ Silver Member

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    We have flown both TG and LH in F mutiple times.
    Overall slightly prefer TG in our experience. Great lounges BKK / HKG. Staff usually very friendly and accommodating. Like the first bed but preferred the "old" covers. Drink selection could improve especially if Dom is no longer welcome drink.
    LH staff very efficient and food good. Have no problem with old style bed. Of course the FCL's and limo are unequaled.
    AC J product used extensively. Relatively new equipment and well maintained (few exceptions).Seating very good for J international. Staff/service quality can vary a lot. Food generally very good. Still issues at times with IFE. NA J is a good product and AC has best lounges in NA. Like the overall product a lot, good improvement over past couple of years.
     
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  12. Art234
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    Art234 Milepoint Guide

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    FYI, US A 321's have only 16 F seats...
     
  13. jetsetter
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    jetsetter Silver Member

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    A few years ago I wouldn't have said this, but LX wins my heart now.
     
  14. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    Thanks for the correction. All my US 321 flying has been from row 2.
     
  15. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Still love my LH biz and first cabins........the trick is to speak some functional German.....pays nice dividends sometimes.


    AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT:

    US envoy to europe on the 332's (new pod configs) is a fantastic experience (PHL-MUC is the TATL I usually book if flying US), the envoy lounge in terminal A is among the best lounges in the US.
     
  16. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    New biz cabins are fantastic.
     
  17. Of the airlines I typically fly on Star Alliance, in order of trips and miles accumulated from each:
    1. United
    2. Thai
    3. Lufthansa
    4. ANA
    5. Singapore

    Order of preference, overall consider cabin class, lounge, consistency of check-in experience/personnel etc.:
    1. Singapore
    2. Thai
    3. Lufthansa
    4. ANA
    5. United (a far cry from the rest the above carriers)

    I wish US airlines could compete on quality service instead of as a commodity.
     

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