Is US Airways First Class Underrated?

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Almost half of our close extended family just got off a US Airways First Class flight. For some, it was their first, First Class flight (Baby Weekly Flyer), for others, it was their first US Airways First Class flight (Toddler Weekly Flyer). For me, it was a long over due return to US Airways First Class.

US Airways First Class Underrated

We were able to book 5 awards at the low level on US Airways with American Airlines miles after finding amazing First Class availability. This allowed us to travel across country as a family, in First Class, before the most recent award chart changes.

We selected our US Airways seats online with our American Airlines reservation. The last row of First Class made most sense to us on an A321 to minimize potential disruption to the rest of the passengers. We also packed a full back for Toddler Weekly Flyer to keep the kid entertained when not looking out the window at the sky above and the ground passing by below.

US Airways First Class Underrated

We’ll have a more detailed trip report in the very near future with some observations and musings. But before we share them, we thought we’d get your thoughts on US Airways First Class.

US Airways First Class Underrated

Is US Airways Domestic First Class underrated, overrated? Does anything really stand out about the domestic US Airways First Class product or service, or about time to fold into American Airlines without taking anything from the old US Airways service?

Leave your thoughts below, even if you haven’t flown US Airways in a while, or ever.

US Airways First Class Underrated

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. The best thing about US Air’s first class is its upgrade availability. As a US Air Gold (50k mile tier), I get upgrades over 50% of the time. Even in my days as US Air Silver (25k tier), I’d say I got upgraded over 25% of the time.

    As far as the quality of the product itself, I will break it down:
    Boarding: US Air is always a disaster when it comes to boarding, even when in first class.
    Seats: The seats are a great size and the leather makes a difference. However, they are poorly maintained. The fact that the airline has exactly zero domestic first class seats with power outlets is inexcusable.
    Food: I thought the quality was great pre-merger. However, it has gone downhill since then. The entrees used to be quite good, but are now TV dinner quality. I did appreciate the cheesecake they used to offer, but we’ve been since downgraded to the AA ice cream party.
    Drink: It used to be lower-shelf, but adequate booze (i.e. Finlandia vodka), but the quality has upgraded since the merger (i.e. it’s now Tito’s vodka). The tradeoff is that the FA’s now seem more stingy with quantity.
    Service: In my opinion, US Air has the most friendly FA’s of any major US airline. I attribute this to being a smaller airline and expect this to go downhill after it is absorbed by AA’s notorious “FU” culture.
    Baggage: Due to the boarding chaos, getting overhead space in the first class cabin is not guaranteed. On the plus side, US Air is one of the few airlines where the “priority” checked bags actually come off the belt first.

  2. As an annual Gold/Plat on AA, I generally upgrade less than 25% of the time. This year, since the reciprocal elite benefits went into effect, I have been upgrading more frequently on US. To be honest, I don’t feel that US domestic first is either over- or underrated. I found their overhead lamps to be very bright and industrial fluorescent…which was harsh, to be honest. The no power outlets is a major negative – especially since they don’t even offer overhead TV’s. And on the 4 hour flight from PHX-EWR, I was nervous to see if my iPad would stay charged through 2 movies (it did…barely). The food service was also identical to the new AA, with the cheaper looking plastic trays and paper “place mat”. Food was decent enough, but they seriously need to do something about only offering Merlot!

    I guess, now looking back on what I wrote, that the experience was less than my higher AA expectations. But really, who can complain about a free upgrade (and not having to use 500-mile stickers), hot meal, and a few drinks?? I’ve actually enjoyed all my US flights so far. Front of the cabin, or in back.


  3. US Airways flight attendants are far more polite and accommodating than American flight attendants. American flight attendants lean toward the rude side and I find that quite appalling considering the cost of the first class ticket. I really enjoy the service on US Airways and have had a few bad experiences on American.

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