Delta Vs United Vs American Airlines: Why Delta Is Best


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This week, Delta’s Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer showcased how customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend results directly in increased revenue. Delta’s customers seem increasingly keen to recommend Delta over American and United, which means their revenues are going up.

I have already compared Delta vs. American vs. United long-haul. Below is a short domestic comparison.

Why Is Delta Better?

Delta flights are currently the most likely to leave on time. United and American are more likely to be delayed (although United is improving). This is partially due to a number of policies. For example, if a Delta flight attendant delays a flight, it’s coded as a flight attendant delay, and they get a call from their Manager before the plane lands to find out why there is a delay. This efficiency is also due to their plane maintenance, which is carried out by a comparatively happy workforce even though the planes are older. The result; Delta rarely cancels flights.

Customers that get to their destination on time are more likely to be happy and to recommend the airline.

This means that Delta doesn’t need to spend as much marketing or their SkyMiles loyalty program to attract customers. Consequently, Delta makes more money and provides more return to shareholders.

Their superb operational performance has encouraged many customers to choose Delta credit cards to earn mileage over its competitors even though the miles they can earn with these cards are less than the value which you can earn from American Airlines and United cards.

Delta also wins because, as a general rule, Delta’s flight attendants have the reputation of being more amenable and polite (although this is not always the case).

The Bad And The Ugly

Of course, all is not perfect in Delta’s world. Like United and American, they also run with ultra densified planes, helping profitability, but squashing customers into unbelievably tight seats. American copied Delta, increasing density from 150 seats on a Boeing 737 to 172 seats. Their new cabin has less legroom (even in first class), less recline, no seat-back video, and smaller lavatories. At least Delta has kept their seat-back video.

Delta’s older planes do have disadvantages. They have the reputation of being tatty and dirtier than United and American. Delta also has the worst elite program, poor credit card offering (outlined above), and the worst upgrades.

Their old long-haul Business Class seats are uncomfortable. Their long-haul Business Class catering is not great. Their new staff uniforms are drab, and their Skyclub airport lounges can also be tatty, messy, and overcrowded, so it is not all win with Delta.

On the positive side, the competition between these airlines means that when Delta started offering Biscoff cookies and United countered with Stroopwafels. Yum and yum. We have taken a number of flights with all 3 airlines and have reviewed our experiences below.

American Airlines vs. Delta vs. United

American Airlines Long Haul Business Class Flight Reviews

In "Reviews"

American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta are the three main North American airlines and all three have all recently launched a new, upgraded business class soft and hard product, with improved seats, food and service. We’ve discussed in more detail… Read More.

United Airlines Long Haul Business Class Flight Reviews

In "Reviews"

United Airlines has recently launched a new, upgraded business class soft and hard product, with improved seats, food and service. In my opinion, the United Polaris Business Class Pod cabins are probably the best looking of the seats in this… Read More.

Delta Airlines Long Haul Business Class Flight Reviews

In "Reviews"

I have reviewed Delta One which is Delta’s new long-haul Business Class product along with Delta Airlines Premium Select which is their new Premium Economy offering. Read More.

Note: All benefits & upgrades subject to availability & Terms & Conditions, enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.