Delta Airlines Beats US Airways, Hands Down – Do You Agree?

Several weeks ago, we wrote about sportswriter Peter King’s awful experience flying on US Airways, just prior to its integration with American Airlines.  Peter King describes multiple negative customer service and airline experiences during his 4 segments on US Airways, ranging from flight delays to an airplane that smelled like mothballs.


In this week’s version of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column for Sports Illustrated, he goes out of his way to commend Delta Airlines for his recent flights.  In the article, he notes:

This happened on a JFK-to-Phoenix flight (actually 13 days ago, not this week) on Delta. Packed flight. I had a middle seat in coach. Couldn’t move it. Only good thing was it had a few inches of extra leg room, and I’ll take whatever I can get on a five-hour-plus flight. This should have been six hours of misery, including the boarding and the waiting and the taxiing and the flying and the taxiing. But it wasn’t. While it wasn’t pleasant, it was the anti-coach treatment, at least from my airline experiences of the past few years. On this flight, there were five offers of drinks (two Starbucks coffees, three waters/no ice for me), and two passes of the basket of stuff (banana the first time, Nature’s Bakery Stone Ground Whole Wheat Fig Bar the second). There was no restriction on using either the first-class or coach restrooms. The wifi was balky, but overall, that’s an experience in coach that should have been awful but was tolerable. I used to be at war with Delta, but this airline, at least for me, has changed very much for the better.

So, Delta > US Airways for Peter King.  This is the kind of positive media attention that Delta should be capitalizing on.  (Though it is unfortunate that US Airways isn’t around to defend itself…)

Does someone in Delta’s PR department know that they have a fan?

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  1. Seems like a person like this would have high enough elite status to avoid middle seats. Its also hard to compare two flights out of millions.

    • DaninMCI –

      You would think so right?

      And while I tend to agree with the issue of small sample size, I also do not think that Peter King is on an island here in having issues with US Airways.

  2. Saying Delta is better than US Airways isn’t news, it’s obvious. Anyone who has flown US Airways over the past 10 years knows their entire strategy was to behave like a LCC but be considered on par with the other US airlines. They cheapened their on board amenities, flew beat up and dirty planes, had surly and unhelpful employees, had a website that was buggy and user unfriendly, and lastly, redeeming miles was nearly impossible due to their idiotic and totally bizarre redemption calculations. I was happy when the announcement was made AA and US Airways was merging because at least AA took pride in their planes, on board experience, and the AAdvantage program was arguably the best of all US carriers. While AA might be dragged down some by the US Airways corporate culture in place now, it sure beats the path it was on for many years.

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