Alternative to American Eagle?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Homer, Sep 25, 2006.

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  1. Homer

    Homer Established Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    My wife, 8-month old daughter and I are spending a few weeks on the US east coast, travelling from JFK to BOS, BOS to DCA and then back to JFK.

    My travel agent has booked all of these US domestic flights on AA though they are operated by American Eagle. They are all-economy services and while they are short sectors we are concerned about these American Eagle flights being the low point of our vacation...

    Apparently United flys these routes with at least a 2-class configuration. However by using United we would not receive QFF points.

    Should we be too concerned about our experience on American Eagle or is it really not that bad? If it is that bad, is Amtrak a viable alternative given a tight schedule?

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    Given they are all short flights and there would be little difference between first and economy anyway I wouldn't bother switching (are you sure UA's flights are 2-class? I know they also have 1-class flights in that area).
  3. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox Established Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    I have recently been travelling across the USA and from New York to Washington DC, I would 100% recommend Amtrak instead of flying. Reasons being -

    1. Amtrak you get wide seats and the ability to walk around - super comfortable.

    2. You can arrive at Pennington Station in downtown NY (great if you are staying at Times Sq like I was) about 15mins prior to your train departing and get on.

    3. Train trip to Washington was only 3.5hrs.

    In addition, my travel agent got me cheap tickets (once I paid some joining fee - approx $40) for the train. It was approx $208 AUD (inc joining fee) for 2 people via train to go NY to Washington one way. It was cheaper than their website once you had converted.

    Also, don't buy the Express Train tickets since they cost almost double and are only 20 mins faster.

    Whenever I catch domestic flights in the US I allow 2hrs for check-in so by the time you factor that in with the flights and getting to & from the airports the train takes about the same time.

    American Eagle flights are OK but the planes are cramped since they use small twin prop aircraft.

    From a person who loves to fly - try the train as you won't be disappointed. :D
  4. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Are you planning to purchase a 1st class ticket? If so, then just go with UA. If you are travelling in economy class, then there is no reason not to fly on Eagle; there is nothing wrong with them , they just use smaller aeroplanes.

  5. Homer

    Homer Established Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm not sure whether United always has a 2-class service in these areas, however my travel agent thought that they did. However we weren't thinking of buying a First class ticket anyway - it was just that the idea of those smaller American Eagle flights worried us compared with other airlines' coach products. The consensus seems to be that Eagle isn't too bad so we'll either do that or look at the train option which may actually work out better for us.

    Thank you for your help.
  6. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    Think of American Eagle like the QantasLinbk of the AA family. They operate smaller aircraft on tyhe feeder/regional routes. Generally the service is a little more personal and friendly than the big brother AA. I would not hessitate to use AE on such routes.
  7. garyjohn951

    garyjohn951 Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Flew Reagan to JFK back in May on Eagle. Small plane, great view along the coast. 2,1 configuration. In hindsight was the best of 8 flights we had in US and Carribean.
  8. vt01

    vt01 Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    I had a couple of AE flights recently in the US. Both were on regional jets in the 2-1 configuration. They were great. Yes they are smaller and barely any room for in overhead lockers for carryon - small backpack only. It still cruised at 37000 feet and even in the bad weather on landing was fine.
  9. snufl

    snufl Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    Sorry to get OT but this thread reminded me of my first trip to the U.S.
    I booked through a TA and asked if she recommended any particular airline for internal flights. She looked at me very seriously and said "No, they all crash sometimes".
  10. vt01

    vt01 Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    hahaha.. I like that one.. Wouldn't go down to well with a few people I imagine...
  11. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    I've flown Eagle a few times intra-California. They're ok, it's only a short flight. You still get the minimum 500 miles, so why not?
  12. UAL hub from IAD, and most of these flights are United Express affiliates (Mesa or Trans States), with one-class cabins. UA flies IAD/LGA with 2-class 757s a few times a day. If you want to fly from DCA (much more convenient that IAD), choose USAir with their 2-class A319s, into LGA. When flying into NYC on short domestic hops I prefer to use LGA rather than JFK or EWR.

    Having said that, the train trip really is very comfortable, and I also recommend it. It's a very relaxing trip compared to departing IAD and arriving at JFK... !
  13. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    I have flown American Eagle a few times and found them to be quite OK, with friendly and polite cabin crew. In fact, what I originally thought was cheesiness turned out to be genuine, friendly service from the FA's. An accurate analogy would be like small town hospitality.

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