When you wake up from a red-eye flight in first class, you think you might have breakfast – not on the US Airways from Anchorage to Phoenix

Have you ever flown first class or business class on a non-domestic airline overseas? Amazing service, amazing food, comfortable seats, and entertainment while you travel.

Contrast that with the first class cabin from  Anchorage to Phoenix, and the return Phoenix to Anchorage on US Airways.

Great staff, friendly, mostly – perhaps not schooled in the fine Four Season’s approach to service, but not bad.

No movie. In response to this post US Airways did direct me to a site where I found movies are available on flights to/from Hawaii, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. So  let us just compare non-domestic airlines to destinations: there is Emirates Airlines to the Middle East. In world travel they came in third in class – known for clean cabins, comfort, and service, or if you are going to Israel take El Al, or other middle east airlines that rank highly include Turkish Airlines, and Qatar.  All rank consistently  higher than US Airways. Why? Well, when you don’t take care of the customers at home it is a signal.

Five hour flight – sometimes six hours- start at about 8 pm. Sometimes you get a meal, sometimes not (and often when you get it, you will find it is better to have had dinner before the flight).  This is about as long as flights between NY and London. The cost of the First Class Cabin to Alaska is often the same as the cost of the first class cabin from NY to London.

US Airways say they offer, in first class, “premium wines and spirits,” – apparently the definition of premium is not one commonly used by any consumer who would go to a grocery store or liquor store. I took the “premium liquor” list to a liquor store, and asked if these were considered premium. Their answer, “are you comparing this to moonshine, because this isn’t premium, it isn’t the least expensive, but it isn’t premium.”

Then the flight from Anchorage to Phoenix  — leaves before 2 a.m. — miserable time, red-eye. Can’t help that time- it just is- and we prefer that time as it allows us to sleep and not have to travel the next day.

One hour before landing in Phoenix US Airways will wake you up. Breakfast in first class? No. Ever fly from Phoenix to Heathrow? If you do then British Airways leaves in the evening, offering you breakfast in the morning that consists of more than a stale roll and orange juice. In fact, the service we had on British Airways was lovely.

The coffee US Airways serves – well, it isn’t Starbuck’s, it isn’t Peet’s, it is something that is placed on their plane by some company, and not freshly ground – in fact, ours was probably ground and placed in a bomb shelter in the 1950’s.

When going to China this year we had wonderful choices of Delta, Singapore, Cathay, Korean Air, all of which have outstanding international service. More flight attendants, more meals, and better service than US Airways. By the way- US Airways was also the highest priced carrier to China for the times we checked – by five times the amount.

But domestically,  compare US Airways to Alaska Airlines; on the Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Seattle you will get a movie player, a hot meal, and will charge you less for the interrupted internet (because you go over Canada, the internet is interrupted, Alaska charges 5 bucks for the flight, and US Airways charges 6 bucks an hour or $12.95 for the flight).

Delta Airlines, to their first class passengers also offers hot meals, pillows, blankets, a drink on take-off (something Alaska Airlines abandoned in order to “facilitate passenger for an on-time take-off.”)

US Airways wants you to fly them overseas — but if you put up with the cattle car and pay for flying first class domestically- then don’t bother flying them anywhere overseas. They can’t do food domestically – imagine what they do when they fly across a pond.  They can’t serve you for a six hour domestic flight, then don’t expect over the Atlantic when you pay several times as much that they will do better.

People look to the de-regulated airlines as an example of cheap airfare – well, here is the truth:

Most of the domestic airlines have all re-organized under bankruptcy- which means they got to pay their creditors less by law. They do the same to their customers.