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View Full Version : Delta vs. Continental


Sandi
05-22-2003, 10:40 AM
We usually fly Northwest, United or US Air, so I am familiar with them and their hub airports. For our October, 2003 trip, we're finding that Delta, Continental, and Northwest are all coming up at about $272. It will be me and 9 year old DD flying down; DH is driving down earlier and will meet us there. We're flying from Lansing, Michigan to Orlando. We will have a plane change no matter what we fly (Detroit or Minneapolis for NWA; Cincinnati or Cleveland for the others).

All things being equal (price, general times, etc.), would you choose Delta or Continental and why?

Thanks for your help.

zulaya
05-22-2003, 10:46 AM
I think it's a crap shoot personally. You will find people on this board who like Delta and Continental and you will find people on this board who hate them.

I personally haven't flown Continental but my dad and my brother fly them all the time and like them a lot.

I do like booking with Delta because you can select your seats right when you are purchasing your ticket. I don't think you can do that with Continental, unless you are within 60 or 90 days of your flight.

I guess if you have to change planes no matter who you fly, pick your ideal times both ways and see who comes out best.

Beast fan
05-22-2003, 01:36 PM
My wife likes Northwest. However, she said she will never again drive to Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), to catch a Northwest flight. She got lost at the new Northwest Terminal and almost ended up on the tarmac! She says she will only use Northwest at DTW as a connection (if we leave out of FNT).

I tend to like Delta. I like the whole "airport experience" and don't mind their hubs (CVG and ATL would be the main ones for you). I especially love the Delta website, as you can choose your seating assignments after you purchase the tickets (necessary for us with DS5 and DS2.5).

Continental .... I haven't flown that airline since the late '80's, but my parents took a trip to Phoenix a couple of years ago and liked it.

I've had delays out of MCO with both Delta and Northwest (various reasons), but have been compensated to my satisfaction each time.

My choice, if the prices are equal, is Delta because of their website.

:Pinkbounc :bounce:

JOC
05-22-2003, 02:05 PM
I've flown both; we choose whichever happens to be cheaper at the time and has better flight times available. Continental also lets you choose your seats right away if you book online; you don't have to be 60 or 90 days out to this.

Miscrapper
05-22-2003, 02:55 PM
Hey Sandi! I am from Grand Rapids and also going in October. I wish airfares were lower. Last time we went to Disney we flew Delta for just over $200 a ticket. Now they are around $264 and up.

I would fly Delta because we have quite a few miles on their program (in fact DH and I have free Hawaii tickets on Delta for next March!) You might want to check each airlines frequent flyer programs and see how you can earn miles other ways (eating out, car rentals, telephone companies etc).

Delta apparently has most flights into Orlando
Good luck!

PugLover
05-22-2003, 06:01 PM
Loyal Delta fan here. IMO it is the best and easiest airline to rapidly earn FF miles on without actually flying (phone service, shopping, dining, hotel, rental car, AMEX and so on). Their website is hands down the best and most user friendly.

<knocking on wood> In the 5 years I have been a loyal Delta user I have never had a delay and almost always have landed earlier than scheduled. In five years DH and I have each earned two FF tickets (no blackout dates) and are on our way to a 3rd and we dont even have the Delta AMEX yet. On four different trips we were offered first class upgrades when checking in for just 15.00 each (cant beat that when flying from NY to CA)

DH and I got 186.00 round trip per person for our early Sept. trip to Disney (and I just booked on Monday) with really great times (leaving NY mid-morning and arriving mid-afternoon in Orlando... on the way home we leave Orlando late afternoon and arrive in NY early evening).

From my experience Delta releases the best fares early on Wed. morning. Monday & Tuesdays are the second best days to buy (ususally slightly cheaper online and you get 1000 miles each for bookig online in addition to the miles you travel). Never buy on a Friday or weekend.

My aunt is used to be a loyal Northwest flyer.. never again she says. One nightmare after another.

Jeanne434
05-23-2003, 11:36 AM
If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all so my lips are sealed! Kidding folks....;)

Luv2Roam
05-23-2003, 04:19 PM
If I had a choice between the two -- if everything was the same -- I would choose Continental.
We have flown both into MCO. Delta was okay. Continental was better. Just seemed more organized and flyer friendly.
Last time we flew NW and LOVED the flight times and layover. Hoping for a repeat flight in January.

prncess674
05-27-2003, 10:11 AM
I personally like Continental's service better. Continental lets you pick your seats online at time of booking. I don't like DL out of MCO. CO and NW are partner airlines and will usually have compareable costs on tickets. I flew back yesterday on Memorial Day and the counters were quiet and organized which I found suprising considering it was a holiday weekend. CO and NW allow online check in which is a nice timesaver.

Personally if price is equal on all three go with the airline that has the best times. I took NW back yesterday instead of CO because the NW flight left the latest and I wanted to maximize my time at the parks.

I also just looked at the CO flight schedules and I don't think CO actually operates any flights out of Lansing. All the flights I see are codeshares on NWA.

nuthut
05-27-2003, 11:20 AM
Both airlines are equal, however you mentioned you fly NWA, do you have a NWA frequent flier account? If so, the continental tickets can be credited to NWA account and maybe Delta will be doing the same. You are right that CO does not operate out of Lansing, MI. They left about two years ago.

Sandi
05-28-2003, 08:27 AM
Actually, Continental returned to Lansing. We have a new airport director and he's been working his tail off to attract new airlines (and get old ones back). The airport authority has done a pretty good job lately to increase ridership. (It's a nice little airport so unlike that behemoth in Detroit.) I don't know what a "code share" is, but Continental flights out of Lansing show up both on Continental's website and the multi sites (Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.).

The reason I would prefer to not fly Northwest is some of the flights would take us through Minneapolis (one even through Minneapolis and then to Detroit before going to Orlando). Even if it says it's only one stop in Detroit, I don't trust NWA enough to believe they won't change times and stop overs before the end of October.

I wasn't aware of Continental's connection to NWA and would love the NWA FF miles.

I'm finding flights for NWA, CO and Delta at about $272. My first choice (for times) on CO is $350. Arghhh.

Thanks for your help.

prncess674
05-28-2003, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by Sandi
Actually, Continental returned to Lansing. We have a new airport director and he's been working his tail off to attract new airlines (and get old ones back). The airport authority has done a pretty good job lately to increase ridership. (It's a nice little airport so unlike that behemoth in Detroit.) I don't know what a "code share" is, but Continental flights out of Lansing show up both on Continental's website and the multi sites (Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.).

yes continental will show up on all booking engines. but if you look carefully at the connection city, they will all say the connection city is either DTW or MSP.

A codeshare is when to airlines partner together and "share" routes so to speak. The flight can have two flight numbers such as CO1986 and NW234. Usually somewhere in the CO record it will say this flight is operated by Northwest Airlines.

CO does not operate any direct flights between Lansing and Clevenland. All flights will connect on NWA.

The reason I would prefer to not fly Northwest is some of the flights would take us through Minneapolis (one even through Minneapolis and then to Detroit before going to Orlando). Even if it says it's only one stop in Detroit, I don't trust NWA enough to believe they won't change times and stop overs before the end of October.

Like I said above if you look carefully you will be on NWA plane if you book through CO. I don't mind NWA. I actually just flew them this past weekend to MCO and the flight was great.

I wasn't aware of Continental's connection to NWA and would love the NWA FF miles.

I'm finding flights for NWA, CO and Delta at about $272. My first choice (for times) on CO is $350. Arghhh.

Thanks for your help.

Book your flight as you regularly do online for CO. After you have booked online call CO and have them add your NWA FF number to your account. NW and CO are very integrated so you will have no problems. The other good thing about codeshares is sometimes if I book a ticket on the NW website for a CO codeshare I can get the seat cheaper than if I had just booked the ticket through the CO website. Strange but true.

Sandi
05-28-2003, 09:02 AM
Princess: Help me understand, 'cuz I'm just not getting it. This is what the Continental website shows for a flight sequence that I'm looking at (it's two tickets):

Price $535 (2 tickets at $267.50)

Flight Number CO8755
Departs Fri., Oct. 24, 2003 LAN 7:35 a.m. Equip: BE1
Arrives CLE 8:40 a.m.
Flight Number CO1071 Equip: 733
Departs CLE 9:15 a.m.
Arrives MCO 11:43 a.m.

Connects in Cleveland, OH (CLE). Continental flight 8755 operated by CommutAir as Continental Connection.
Note: Continental flight 8755 is serviced by a non-jet equipment type. Boarding assistance for passengers with disabilities is not available on Continental flight 8755 due to the equipment type.

Flight Number CO1770
Departs Sat., Nov. 1, 2003 MCO 8:55 a.m. Equip: 733
Arrives CLE 11:26 a.m.
Flight Number CO8776 Equip: 733
Departs CLE 12:45 p.m.
Arrives LAN 1:50 p.m.


Connects in Cleveland, OH (CLE). Continental flight 8776 operated by CommutAir as Continental Connection.
Note: Continental flight 8776 is serviced by a non-jet equipment type. Boarding assistance for passengers with disabilities is not available on Continental flight 8776 due to the equipment type.


They seem to say that the connection is in Cleveland; not in Minneapolis or Detroit. Is it a secret thing that only TAs or others in the know are aware of? I don't want a surprise with a 7 hour flight versus 3 or 4 hours. (I'm traveling with a 9 yo DD.)

Thanks for your interest and your help.

prncess674
05-28-2003, 09:25 AM
Sorry for the confusion. I did a little research and found out that CO is starting service into Lansing on June 1 with it's partner CommutAir. Be aware that this is not Jet service. You will be on a very small twin engine turbo prop plane (Beech 1900) which can sometimes seem scary to small children. They are also delay prone due to the fact that they don't have as much advanced navigational equpment. I would just go with NWA because you would be online mainline jets the entire way. Connecting can sometimes be aggravating in large airports but it is also aggravating to be delayed. You also don't have alot of options if your little bitty plane is delayed.

Here is what the inside of your plane from LAN - CLE would look like

http://www.airbroker.se/images/propjet/b1900dex.jpg
http://www.airbroker.se/images/propjet/b1900d.jpg

Sandi
05-28-2003, 12:30 PM
Oh my, that is a tiny plane.

NWA is looking better . . .

CarolA
05-28-2003, 04:49 PM
Sandi,
Just a word of advice, if you read long enough you can get a horror story on ALL of the airlines. Basically there is no difference except for the people you get to deal with on the DAY you fly. Some airline employees are great and will bend over backwards for you, some should never be allowed out of the baggage hold. You pay your money, you take your chances.

My recommendation is to pick the flights and price you can live with and hope for the best. The days of "first class" service with most of the majors are long gone. I think that SW has the best crew members, but I would not call thier boarding "first class"! LOL!