Let's hope Marriott does not head down the same path!!!
I have to say that after the last experience I had on a United flight, I chose to never fly United again, and I haven't since. Basically, I was sandwiched inbetween two burly Mark McGwire sized businessmen who both had their laptops out and they were working away. Both their elbows were hovering over my lap while they were typing, and it was a horrible feeling. Once the cabin door closed, we stayed parked for over an hour and the air conditioning was not on and it was hot in the cabin. The flight attendant was rude and unaccomodating (wouldn't even consider entertaining a solution for me to move, wouldn't give me more than 6 oz. water, and was none too pleasant about it.) That was enough for me. Could this scenario happen on another flight with another airline? Sure it could, but I hope it doesn't. Still, with other airlines to choose from, that experience was enough for me to say "Sayonara" to the big U, and I haven't looked back.
Sure, it could happen on any airline! I also have switched for the most part because I can't stand their boarding process. It delays the departure of every flight. Boarding should be from the back of the plane. I have written 2 letters to United, and have yet to receive a response.
And don't expect one.
Which airlines board from the back of the plane? I have not ever had the pleasure of flying with any airline that boards from the back of the plane, with maybe one exception where we physically entered the plane from an aft aircraft door (which was sweet). One time, while stuck in a long line (aboard the aircraft), I asked the flight attendant about it (why doesn't the airline board from the rear forward?, assuming that the airline had at least considered it.) She said that the airline had tried it and found that it didn't speed the boarding process. Interesting. The other thing is, all of the first class passengers are boarded and comfortably seated, but how comfortable can they truly be with a line of people standing over them (and staring at them) at close proximity, with bags and purses strung over shoulders and therefore in the 1st class passengers faces? As a first class passenger, I would just as soon board last as have to endure the stop and go cattle herding past me.
Most used to, now I don't know! United boards by frequent flyer status. American by group number. The rest, I haven'f flown on in a while, so am not sure. I go on American now, cuz after the elites board, i am next to board. Agree with your comments on the staring and so forth.
Most airlines board 'by zone' now. I would rather be seated early (whether flying in the front or the back of the bus) and done with the cattle call and have a space to put my bag because I never check a bag any more after the experience I related in an earlier post about lost luggage. I also only take ONE bag with me. I have actually Fed-Exed my golf clubs to avoid the bag check hassle!
Unfortunately, as in your seating situation, they'd rather throw you off the plane as an unruly passenger than find you a better seat if you complained loudly enough!
I would guess that if the First Class passengers boarded last that there would be NO bulkhead space left for their bags. Most flight attendants today don't pay any attention to folks dumping their bags in the first open space they find when getting on the plane. They're too busy!
Not me. The baggage storage situation is the ONLY thing that will cause me to continue to hop up the moment my zone is cleared for boarding. If not for that, I'd just as soon hang out in the airport lounge for as long as possible. 1st class or not, who wants to be on an airplane a minute longer than necessary? I do have one rule for myself that I'm pretty good about keeping, even for West Coast to Europe travel: No usie the airplane potty. Yuck.
I suppose that's one nice thing about some of the smaller aircrafts. One can gate check carry-ons (and even get away with larger sized luggage pieces).
If you find an airline that is significantly better in service, please let me know.
I fly mostly United, but also USAir, Delta and JetBlue on occaision.
I can't tell the difference from a service/experience perspective.
It's always tough when the plane is full.
I DO get to board sooner with United, but that is the only significant difference.
I do give a hat-tip to Taca Airlines. Great service on a newer plane, pleasantly surprised on a low fare trip to Belize.
I too, really like Alaska. Then again, I don't have near as much experience with all the other airlines that most other frequent fliers do. I really like that with their credit card, we get a $99 companion ticket every year on the account anniversary, and it is good for any class, and anywhere they fly. Last year we used it for a $99 first-class round-trip ticket to Puerto Vallarta. We don't usually go first-class, but with the voucher, the 2 of us flew for almost the same price that 2 coach tickets would have run without the voucher. It was an extremely nice trip that way, for the same price!
I'm a United1K flyer and was a loyal and devoted customer- UNTIL the merger which as far as I can see has only benefitted Continental flyers. Due to all the foul ups and most importantly poor customer service I just today contacted American Airlines, something I would have considered heresy a few months ago and inquired about a Status match. This was very well received and is in the works. Should be interesting to contrast the two....