American Vs. United. A Midwest Showdown at 35,000ft

Recently I took a trip down south for a bit of spotting in Dallas. Although I had myself booked on AA and Frontier, I really wanted to give United a try. After changing a few of my plans, I was on an American A320 to Dallas, and a pair of United 737-800s on the way home through Chitown (that later changed)


This day started like any other GRR trip, a quick walk to check-in, security, and promptly into the Starbucks line for a large coffee to wake me up at 5 AM.

The Airport:
GRR is nice, it has enough food/snack services for what it needs, a Starbucks, a snack shop, a bar (because Beer City, USA :roll_eyes:), and a Michigan store, we take pride in our state. With 15 gates and 2 concourses, it’s super easy to manage, while also being super modern. The A concourse is currently undergoing construction to add 8 more gates and expand the concourse, it looks awesome!

The plane:
My ride down to Texas was a 1998 built A320 registered N661AW, it originally flew for America West before moving to US Airways, and eventually to American where it has been since the merger. The seat was nice, adequate legroom for 5’11" me. No IFE, and no working wifi, which was a bummer since it was a longer flight.

The service:
Two words: Southern. Hospitality. The F/As serving my flight were the kindest people known to the history of the earth. With a lot of "honey"s and "sweetheart"s, they really took pride in taking care of their passengers. My snack of choice was a can of Ginger ale, mini pretzels, and the biscoff cookies (my favorite), which were fulfilling enough to last me until lunch at Cane’s.

Notable Scores:
Services: 4.5/5
The only problem I had with service all day was the lady at the check-in counter being slightly condescending with my mom and I, but her mood flipped when my mom asked for a pass to go post-security with me

Seat: 4/5
Although legroom was pretty good, no IFE and no wifi was a little boring to sit through, we were cloudsurfing most of the flight, and I had schoolwork, so it wasn’t too big of a deal

Overall Score:
94/100 (A)

This flight receives a 94 because of the service, on time departure, seat comfort, and experience. This said, I would definitely recommend American Airline to most people (flying direct with little to no luggage, the obvious answer would be Southwest then :person_tipping_hand:)

Waking up at 6AM to 3 different alarms isn’t the best on Sundays, but the upcoming trip definitely made up for it!

A Texas morning is no good without Whataburger, the honey glazed chicken sandwich with hash brown fries and a Coke were to die for at 8AM. A few rides around in the sky train, and a visit to the DFW employee store with @Delta really was a great way to end off an even better trip!

DFW is huge. Like huge huge. It’s so astronomically huge. 5 terminals, countless gates, and American everywhere you look. Needless to say there is plenty of amenities in the airport to waste time and eat away. The bathrooms even have screens that say how many stalls are open. This airport is a marvel of efficiency and greatness!

The plane:
The ride up to ORD was a 2018 pre-grounding built 737 MAX 9 which switched the night before (Will can attest that I was really excited about this), registered N37508 which has flown for UA it’s whole life. Likewise to the 24 year old A320, legroom was pretty good, a little bit tighter, but the seat was way more comfortable with an adjustable headrest! Unfortunately, it wasn’t the new interior with IFEs, and the wifi seemed to be broken on this flight too :frowning:.

The service:
The service was pretty good, not AA southern hospitality good, but they didn’t drag me off the plane! The crew obviously cared and loved their jobs, and the Viet flight attendant serving my area was super super kind! Again, I opted for the same snack as American. Another round of Pretzels and Biscoffs, but this time a Coke.

The layover:
ORD is not a bad place to be, unless you have a tight connection, in that case, good luck, you’ll need it. Food wasn’t that great of an option either, a McDonald’s meal, an hour wait, or some $30 fettuccine near my gate. I went with the last which was…not good. As I sat down, I see my flight has been delayed an hour. Great! Not great, they swapped the aircraft from the on time Orlando flight, to the one arriving in from San Antonio. My scheduled departure was at 3:45CST, and that SAT was just over Lake Texoma by that time! Terrible planning on United. Although I didn’t have another flight to catch, I sat down at B12 and sadly did my history homework as the time past the departure clicked by. We finally boarded at 5:00, and headed out by 5:15.

The plane:
This time I was on a 738 hoping the puddle to Grand Rapids, another 1998 built aircraft, N34222 newly painted into the Evo Blue colors, and interior? I sat down in 29F and to my surprise, my knees were touching the seat in front of me! Keep in mind I’m almost 6ft. This aircraft did have IFE, but that wasn’t really necessary for the 23 min flight to GRR.

The service:
There was none, but the flight attendants were pretty nice and apologetic about the delay.

Notable Scores:
Seat 1 5/5:
Amazing, I absolutely love the design and comfort of United’s new seat, a lot better than Southwest’s MAX seats!

Seat 2 1/5:
Self explanatory, it was awful, terrible, + more synonyms for bad, tight. 1 point for IFE tho

Overall Score:
90/100 (A-)
Delays, tight seats, and poor UA planning dropped this score a little. But that didn’t stop them from continuing on with great service and attitude. I really liked United, they really fit my style of Airline, and I will definitely not hesitate to step foot in one of their aircraft in the future (probably not for a while though)

Who Wins?

Based on scores, American wins this battle! Although neither of these airlines are my go-to (Southwest), I was really impressed with great service and selection on my trip down to Texas this December! I am a heavy packer, so Southwest is my favorite by far, but now having flown on all of the big 4 US airlines, I’m glad to say American won’t be ranking last anymore.

thanks for making it this far, have a trophy :trophy:

Thanks y’all



Me personally I think you would have won with JetBlue


Maybe if they flew to GRR then I would’ve tried them

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Period GIF by ALLBLK (formerly known as UMC)


hawaiian should be there but whatever

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