American carriers are not considered the best in the world compared to airlines like Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, and Singapore. The American lounges, the service, and the food are thought to be worse than their European, Middle Eastern, and Asian competitors. That said, they are a solid offering, and currently, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines have upped their game which means that the best airline out of United vs. Delta vs. American may have changed. We have outlined and compared 5 points below.
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1. Which Has The Best Business Class?
Delta, United, and American Airlines have all recently launched new Business Class suites or seats named Delta One, United Polaris, or American Super Diamond. These improved business class offerings include upgraded business class soft and hard products with improved seats, food, and service.
The question that I want to answer is, assuming your ticket price is comparable, which American airline offers the best new Business Class seat and overall experience? United, Delta, or American Airlines? My vote goes to American followed by Delta, followed by United, and you can see why in my more detailed reviews below.
Please note that for Domestic First Class, Delta comes top, so putting American in first position is only relevant to those flying in International Business Class.
United Airlines has launched its swish and rounded United Polaris Business Class Pods which are laid out in a staggered arrangement in the cabin. The walled compartments are not massively high but are probably the most stylish of the three-seat designs. You can read my latest reviews of the United Polaris on B777-300, United Polaris on B777-200 and United Polaris on the 787 Dreamliner. Sadly the reality of the product is not as good as it originally seemed. The planned rollout is very slow, with the new Boeing 777-300ERs being kitted out with the new seats, but United’s other planes only being retrofitted slowly. The Chicago Polaris lounge was great, but it is the only Polaris lounge that has opened. The new Saks Fifth Avenue bedding is in place for now, but the volume of pillows and blankets is diminishing, and other amenities are slowly disappearing too.
Deltas’ new Delta One Business Class is a walled cocoon which can be experienced on its Airbus A350. This new seat will also be rolled out on its Boeing 777. The low doors give a decent level of privacy, although their low height means you will still be able to see taller passengers as they walk past. You can read my latest trip report on Delta Airlines in Business Class.
American Airlines new Super Diamond Business Class seats incorporate a slightly less ground-breaking design of outward facing herringbone seats with the BE Aerospace Super Diamond seats, but again, these are a huge improvement on their older Business Class seats. You can read my review of the current American Airlines Business Class. You can read my latest trip reports of American Airlines Business Class, Super Diamond Business Class and American Airlines in First.
2. Which Has The Best Business Class Seats?
Given a choice, when choosing between American, United, and Delta in Business Class for long-haul flights, American is the best choice. However, Delta’s new Delta One suites, available on their A350 planes, will be a game-changer and make flying Delta in Business a great choice as long as you can snag a plane with these new seats. Find out which routes the Delta A350 flies.
3. Which Has The Best Business Class Food?
The food on US airlines is decent if slightly unexciting. United serves the most inspiring and tasty food overall, followed by American and then Delta. So if you are flying transatlantic or any long-haul trip, and your sole basis for choosing your flight is for the food, it is United you should choose.
They are all decent offerings, and although you are unlikely to be excited by the menus, you won’t go hungry either on any of these three airlines. This means I would choose the cheapest American airline for Business Class or the one with the best seats rather than differentiate between these three airlines by the food. Yes, United is best, but the other options aren’t half bad either (the Delta burger is very good!).
4. Which Has The Best Premium Economy?
If you do not want to spend a huge amount on your flight, the happy medium of Premium Economy may well be just the ticket. But which American Airline should you choose when flying to Asia, Europe, and beyond?
All three airlines offer similar seat width of 19 inches and pitch of 38 inches, which is spacious when compared to the Economy (coach) seats which are a cramped seat width of 17 inches and offer a pitch of 31 inches. This in itself makes premium economy worth the upgrade if you can afford it.
Delta offers a 7 inch recline compared to American’s 6 inches, so Delta is the one to pick if the price is the same.
On all three airlines, you will also get larger monitors with headphones, free drinks including alcohol, free food served on crockery instead of out of plastic boxes, and priority baggage and boarding.
If you have a preference for the Westin Heavenly blanket and pillow (Delta) vs. the Saks Fifth Avenue blanket (United) and pillow vs. Casper Bedding on AA, this may sway your decision, although, at the moment, it is not clear if American is honoring this upgraded blanket.
Bottom line; these 3 products are very comparable, so the biggest differentiator is the price. However, Delta offers 1 extra inch of recline, and with mixed reviews coming through about American’s “not so premium product” (same food and bedding as in Economy), if the two options are the same price, Delta is the one to go for. It will be interesting to see if the United product matches these two or better or worse.
5. Which Has The Best Internet?
American is rolling out the internet at a decent speed across its domestic fleet, similar to Delta. United has internet, but it rarely works, according to Gary View From The Wing. This means that, for 2019, American Airlines and Delta have the best domestic internet, with United falling behind.
6. Which Airline Has The Best Airport Lounges?
All three USA legacy carriers have an extensive network of lounges within the USA and across the globe. But the lounge experience in the USA does not come close to what is offered by Asian and Middle Eastern airlines.
When considering the US Airlines, we rank United’s new Polaris lounges in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and Newark as the best airline lounges on USA soil.
American’s new Business Class Flagship lounges (open in New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare, Miami, and Los Angeles) are not quite as nice as the United Polaris lounges but are better than Delta’s unimpressive Skyclubs lounges.
So United wins for the best lounge, and Delta comes out worst.
We have compared many of these aspects in more detail below. In our opinion, the most comfortable and spacious flatbeds are those on Delta’s A350 aircraft type, followed by American’s B777 aircraft and then United’s B777s with the Polaris seats. But don’t immediately book onto Delta as their product varies hugely depending on whether it is old or new.
Delta’s 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 either.
Delta, United, and American Airlines have all recently launched new Business Class suites or seats named Delta One, United Polaris, or American Super Diamond. These improved business class offerings include upgraded business class soft and hard products with improved seats,… Read More.
When choosing an airline to fly with, if you are paying for Business Class, you need to compare who has the best Business Class Seats; American Airlines vs. Delta vs. United? Read More.
The food on US airlines is decent if slightly unexciting. United serves the most inspiring and tasty food overall, followed by American and then Delta. So if you are flying transatlantic or any long-haul trip, and your sole basis for… Read More.
Which American airline Offers The Best Premium Economy class seats; United, Delta, or American Airlines? Read More.
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