UA-AA Comparison - LAX-ORD

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by genemk2, Jul 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Comparison of AA and UA (by a UA flier) LAX-ORD

    LAX: Check-in lobby is much more modern, with cleaner design than UA. High ceilings give the impression of greater space, whereas UA’s terminal seems far more dated. I did OLCI, which was similar to UA. I do like UA’s ability to automatically check you in on the return flight though.

    Security: Got to see Pre-Check in action – I’m not eligible for Pre-check, but everyone that attempted to use Pre-Check got it. Not a fan of the security layout at AA though. There appear to be three security stations, each accessed through a single door spaced along a corridor on the second level. You cannot tell, from the outside, which security line has the fewest children/old people/kettles, so if you had to choose, it would be quite the gamble. UA’s layout is much more spread out, with three separate security stations, one at each of terminals 6, 7, and 8. Probably just more used to UA’s layout and I know which lines are fastest and various times of the day. I like that AA has a dedicated Premier Access line, and that it doesn’t have a full-body scanner – this makes the line go much quicker.

    Terminal – I didn’t think I would miss the UA terminals, but UA’s terminal 7 is actually much larger and spacious than AA’s terminal 4. Both have Starbucks, but only UA has McDonalds. On the plus side, AA has Chili’s To-Go. Waiting areas along the terminal are relatively small, until you get to the end of terminal where the space is nicely laid out. AA has used chairs that form semi-circles as opposed to rows, which is great if you are travelling with people, but probably a bit strange if you’re travelling alone. No free-wifi, which is the same as UA.

    Boarding Process – Boarding process seemed smooth, no gate lice. First Class, then EXP, etc. No call for Concierge Key before First. Agent greeted you by name, which was nice (not regularly done on UA).

    On-Board. 737-800. Nice to see a polished metal plane up close for the first time. Wifi on board is a huge plus. First class seats appear less bulky than UA’s – seat cushion feels less comfortable, but also feels like there is more recline. They give out blankets!! Certainly not a bad seat. PDB handed out promptly. Nobody had to gate check their bags, even though it’s a full flight. Not sure if that’s because people abide by the carry-on rules on AA. Less barking from the FAs than on UA flights. Food was better than on UA - - had a very cheesy omelette and potatoes, which were more flavourful than UA’s offering. Coffee is weaker than on UA.

    IFE is comparable, but no Ch 9 L. There are two FAs working the F-cabin…I think it’s only 1 on UA flights? I wonder if that will change post-bankruptcy. The FAs came out a number of times to check on the cabin, which was appreciated. The Wi-Fi is great. I wish UA had invested in this a few years ago.

    Overall I had a very pleasant experience on AA. It’s marginally better than UA in service, and I wonder if that’s because the labour contracts haven’t yet been eviscerated. But it’s not enough to make up for a less than ideal route network.
     
    LAXtraveler, sobore, unavaca and 3 others like this.
  2. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Two F/As work the F cabin on 737-800/900s on the s-CO side. Since the a/c is configured for <150 seats, there are at least four flight attendants aboard all flights, and -900s get a fifth 'load' flight attendant in certain markets where the projected load factor is above (IIRC) 85%. On those aircraft, there is one galley F/A and an aisle F/A in FC, then once the service is cleared, the aisle F/A will go back to the Y cabin to assist with the service there. This is similar to the service flow on the s-UA domestic 757s.

    On the s-UA A319/320, there are only three flight attendants (same with s-CO 735/73G) and one attendant works the F cabin, both galley and aisle.
     
    rwoman, Flyer1976 and genemk2 like this.
  3. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    At the Admiral's Club in ORD H/K. This lounge appears to be larger than UA's lounges in ORD, but UA has more lounge locations in ORD.

    American have taken a different tack with the lounge design. Whereas UA's clubs are very much open affairs -- you can see from one end to the other, AA has designed the lounge so that there are lots of nooks to hide in. On the one hand it makes the lounge seem smaller, but on the other hand you get more privacy. I like the luggage/coat closets they have in each nook -- saves you from putting your stuff in a central area which you cannot see from your seat.

    Free Wi-Fi is nice. Bar is a real bar, and feels more lively than the UA bars. I like that you can order real food at the Club. I really wish UA would set that up, even if with the inflight food options.
     
  4. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Some (all?) UCs have food for order. I have done this at LAX in the past.
     
  5. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    The AA menu is quite extensive...and the majority of UCs that I've been to have no food to order. When did you do this at LAX? That's my home club, so I wish I knew about that perk.
     
  6. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Also noticed that the linens/hot towels on AA are much thinner than on UA, and the cutlery is not as hefty as on UA. Had a chicken quesadilla meal for dinner last night on the return flight. I'd hate to say it, but I think I would have preferred the chicken pasta salad on UA. The salad on AA was pretty good though -- some sort of corn/bean salad on lettuce, with garlic ranch dressing.
     
  7. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    It's been a few months now; pre-3/3.
     
  8. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I will check this Friday.
     
  9. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    That option went away many months ago when they consolidated the food/beverage offerings across both the former RCC and PC locations. There is no longer food available to order at the bar like there used to be at some RCC locations.
     
  10. bmg42000
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    bmg42000 Gold Member

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    But we now get Milanos everywhere
     
  11. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Thanks for the heads up.

    Also, weak. Can't bring in our own food and can't order in the club. How is club membership worth $450/yr again? :rolleyes:
     
  12. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    It is when you pay much less than that due to status and someone else reimburses you for it every year. I fall into that category, and I'm sure a large percentage of other members do as well.

    And, I'd argue the club is a better value now than in the PMUA days of paid Internet, paid drinks, skimpy snacks, and no access to US partner lounges without paying a higher price.
     
  13. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I'd agree on the drink part, but the snack offerings were definitely better than PMCO has ever offered. You've also been able to visit US clubs for years with a RCC membership.

    AA is actively ripping you off and I really don't like the Admirals Club concept at all. UA has name brand liquor while AA has stuff you haven't heard off. The Gin is undrinkable. And they charge 10.95 (!!!) for a friggin Tanqueray. That's absolutely outrageous. PMCO's premium stuff for a nominal fee is a great concept (for domestic US that is :p). I hope they will offer discounts with the UA credit cards again.

    There's no food at any time of the day at the Admirals Club, buying food is the only option. Again, they are ripping you off and the food served is often day old stuff. I have not had a good meal at the Admirals Club. The sandwiches suck, are overpriced and some times take forever to be made.

    So on the lounge front, UA now wins hands down.
     
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  14. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    I agree with you on snacks. They were better at PMUA clubs buy they were nothing special.

    I still think the overall value of what's included in the membership price today is somewhat better than it was a PMUA 6-7 years ago. I realize a lot has changed since then, but that wasn't terribly long ago.
     
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  15. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I bring my food in, just make sure it's not the smelly stuff.
     

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