Airline Experiences Compared

On my way from New York to Australia, I flew with three airlines: US Airways, United, and New Zealand Air.

It’s interesting to compare the airline experience for these three airlines:

US Airways:
I wonder if their flight attendants should be called salespeople now.  Gone are in-flight meals, gone are all free snacks, gone are all types of in-flight entertainment.  Instead, we have flight attendants hawking snacks ($3.49 for Chex Mix) and making a lengthy broadcast over the PA, for a “special offer” of the US Airways Visa card – now with 100,000 free miles and no fee for the first year!   Talk about a captive audience!

Like US Airways, but now all the advertising is automated!  Everyone gets a seat back direcTV display, albeit one that asks you to pay $6.99 for access to the 100some channels for a <2 hour flight.  And woe to those who refuse to pay up – they get bombarded with endless advertisements and more urging to pay for the service!

And the best part is, the off button is non-obvious – you have to hold down the lower contrast button for 10 seconds, to turn off the advertising.

Air New Zealand:
A breath of fresh air!  Interesting in-flight safety videos!  Individual seat back displays where you can watch movies & tv shows, listen to music, and play games!  For free!  I finally got around to watching Lincoln, Cloud Atlas, and Skyfall.

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