The 11 Most Overrated/Underrated Things in Travel

Underrated doesn’t mean something is the best, just that it’s better than commonly appreciated. Overrated doesn’t mean it’s not good — or even great — just that it isn’t as good as people in general seem to think.

Overrated or underrated is about lowering or raising the status of things. It’s about whether you think people in general regard it too highly, or not highly enough, relative to its actual worth.

Here are five things I think are the most underrated.

  1. The Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat. Alongside the Southwest Airlines companion pass, the Alaska Airlines $99 credit card companion ticket, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club redemptions on ANA, this is arguably one of the very best deals in travel. Pre-pandemic Spirit Airlines had improved its reliability and joined up with PreCheck, and then finally layered on inflight internet. Their recent operational problems aside, the airline just isn’t as bad as it used to be (indeed, they aren’t as bad as they used to want you to think they were!).

    They sell what you might think of as first class seats for a pittance above coach, often less than $40 although often for more than they used to. And what you’re getting is exactly what they’re selling – a Big Front Seat – without extra benefits besides earlier boarding. It’s first class on an increasingly decent airline for less than you imagine. I actually wish JetBlue was not in the process of trying to close a deal to acquire Spirit.


    Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo

  2. Uber. Their reputation went through the ringer, then they spent a lot of time trying to be seen as nice. They aren’t the underdog anymore fighting politicians in the pockets of taxi bosses for the right to operate. Now they’re the ones blocking competitors. And they seem to have scaled back their entrepreneurial ambitions.

    But it’s hard to imagine I only started covering Uber nine years ago. Getting around unfamiliar cities is so much easier summoning a ride on my phone with the touch of a button and knowing exactly where the car is on its way to pick me up. There’s not even a physical financial transaction at the end of the ride. When I do use a taxi I have to remind myself I need to pay before getting out and walking away.

    Thanks in large measure to Uber and competitors my wife and I share a car, I simply don’t drive very much, and I don’t even rent cars on most of my trips either.

  3. World of Hyatt. There were no real changes to the points-earning and redemption program at all when they changed the Gold Passport name to World of Hyatt. Their top elite tier is still the most rewarding for anyone that can make the chain’s 1000 or so hotel footprint work. No one else does confirmed suites at booking the same way, let alone opportunities for premium suite redemptions. No one else does full (not continental) breakfast.

    The second elite tier that isn’t competitive with Marriott or Hilton, and telling folks who used to qualify on 25 stays they weren’t as important as they used to think caused a backlash. They got rid of check-in amenities too in exchange for expiring free nights. They added suite upgrades for top elites if available at check-in and a dedicated representative to work with all things Hyatt on though execution of the My Hyatt Concierge program should be better.

    Hyatt still needs a bigger hotel footprint, though they’ve added brands and alliance partner hotels. They also allow points transfers at no cost between members, and redemptions out of a top tier elite account gift that status to the recipient for their stay. It’s a real shame they haven’t aggressively courted dissatisfied Marriott members through status challenges, preferring to recruit American Airlines flyers instead.


    Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

  4. American Airlines Business Class. It’s the best international business class product of any US airline. Lounges are better than Delta at least until Delta rolls out their new premium lounge product, and the bedding is somewhat improved too. They don’t offer doors like Delta, but the seat is spacious and they don’t fly inferior 767s like Delta does. Cabin crew are a mixed bag, to be sure, but where they aren’t competing against the likes of Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and ANA how much better are their competitors really?


    American B/E Aerospace Super Diamond Seat

    And that’s all before introducing a new business class suite with doors that is supposed to be accompanied by a new business class soft product and in the process substantially increasing the number of business class seats offered.


    Credit: American Airlines

  5. Awards for British Airways business and first class with fuel surcharges. The old product is generations behind their competitors, but catching up with their new seats and they’ve finally made progress on inflight internet. The business class seats are packed in like sardines. First class is dense, less spacious than American’s first class. And spending miles for this subpar product you get charged a big cash premium — surcharges — to boot.

    The new direct aisle access business class seats with doors are a vast improvement. But award redemption on BA can mean a cash co-pay of $1000 or more in addition to the miles you’re redeeming for a subpar product.


    British Airways A350 Business Class Suite

    However they’re so beat up over quality and price that it’s easy to forget there’s still good award availability and redeeming miles you’re still getting value, especially in my view first class using American Airlines or Alaska miles when nothing else in a premium cabin is available. Think of surcharges on a first class award as buying a coach ticket and spending miles for a confirmed triple upgrade.


    British Airways First Class

Here are the 5 things I think are the most are overrated:

  1. Delta’s reliability Delta is known for not cancelling flights, and for operating a more on time airline than all except Hawaiian (not much bad weather in Hawaii) and Alaska. Delta’s comparative advantage has been in part their TechOps, which manages to get planes ready to fly despite working with an older fleet than competitors.

    And their reliability created a halo over the product, customers wanted to fly them. People have been willing to give up value in a frequent flyer program. And they’ve willing to gloss over deficiencies in the product (they went to 36 inch pitch in first class long before American did).

    But that vaunted reliability has taken a huge hit with numerous meltdowns and far more cancellations – the operation has come closer to that of its competitors, and the halo is wearing off. They shouldn’t get as much of a pass on the rest of their product any longer.


    Delta check-in, Austin

  2. United Polaris. It’s taken years to actually have new seats on planes, United announced the product six years ago but marketed it heavily confusing customers. For months passengers would email me insisting they were going to have the new seats because United’s website listed their reservation as ‘Polaris’ when that was really just United’s new brand name for long haul business.

    United has the best business class bedding in the sky, but even the new seats are just “keeping up with the Joneses” in the words of their CEO at best. It’s a lie flat direct aisle access seat that gives each passenger less space than competitors. It’s a way of getting away from the old six and eight across seats on Boeing 777s without taking up more space in the aircraft.

    It’s an improvement, to be sure, it’s a reason not to avoid flying United. But even without all the cuts to the soft product it isn’t one of the better business classes in the world, and isn’t even one of the better business seats offered by a U.S. airline. And don’t even get me started on those soft product cutbacks, the reduction of a flight attendant serving the cabin, and what’s happened to the food on board.


    United Polaris Business Seat

  3. American Express Centurion lounges I’ve called these lounges so crowded nobody goes there anymore. They were lauded when they first opened because they were genuinely better than airline lounges in the U.S. — more stylish, better drinks, and good hot food offerings. Some have showers and spas. But good lounges attract passengers, who spend more time more frequently in the lounge than you ever expect and they’re crowded. The food investment also seems scaled back compared with earlier years as they try to handle the cost that comes with the volume. Still, they are nice which is why so many people go and they get crowded. And they aren’t all, always crowded.


    Centurion Lounge, Philadelphia

  4. Hilton Diamond It’s a top tier status but doesn’t offer the same benefits as competitors. Even IHG has confirmed suite upgrades now! If a hotel has standard suites available, and they do not give it to a Diamond member, they haven’t violated any rule of the program. Hotels do not even have to honor late check-out! Even breakfast is no longer promised in the U.S., with a food and beverage credit that often doesn’t come close to the cost of breakfast taking its place.

    At the same time, for those who get the status just by acquiring a credit card the program is of course fairly rated.

  5. Emirates business class. People generally think that Emirates offers a quality product, but their Boeing 777 business class (the aircraft which remains the backbone of their fleet) is subpar in the extreme. Seven-abreast seating at this point is absurd, and even its replacement is six-across. Even their Airbus A380, which has a bar at the back of business class and lie flat seats, doesn’t offer as much space per passenger and many competitors.

    Emirates gets away with this because of the flourishes of their service and because of a first class that’s so over the top. Their new first, on a limited number of 777s, is probably best in the world. And their Airbus A380 first class is known for the showers. Plus their first class food and beverage program is amazing and deep, even down to Château d’Yquem as a dessert wine.

  6. Airbnb It makes sense to rent a house or multi-bedroom condo when traveling with the whole family, or large groups. And it makes sense to rent private residences in places where there just aren’t hotel options.

    However Airbnb is a lot more expensive than you expect when searching, and much more expensive than it used to be. The fees are out of control – to the company itself, from both the traveler and host – along with those imposed at the property level. Cleaning fees are ridiculous not just because the lists of chores have gotten out of control yet you’re still asked to pay, but because they aren’t included in the cost of the listing when you’re searching and comparing. And there are too many scams on Airbnb, properties that aren’t anything like the ad or that do not even exist. When you get stuck by a property like this, or a last minute cancellation, you’re mostly out in the cold.

    Hotels, of course, are doing their darndest to erode their competitive edge against Airbnb by cutting back on the services they offer like housekeeping and food and beverage options on property.

What about the Goldilocks approach, what’s rated just right? I had a harder time coming up with things that are fairly rated:

  • Street food in Southeast Asia. Street food in Bangkok, in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and food stalls in Singapore are widely regarded the world over. I’m tempted to say that even so they’re still underrated because they’re so darned good. But I think it’s fairer to say that they simply live up to the hype.


    Singapore Hawker Stalls

What do you think is overrated, underrated, or fairly rated?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I would agree on Hilton Diamond and add one other letdown…best of luck finding a Hiltn than actually has an Executive Lounge in the U.S. Hilton touts this as a major benefit to being a Diamond. Well, I’ve been Diamond for four years now and have yet to see an Executive Lounge. It’s literally a specious benefit.

  2. My humble submissions:
    IHG Rewards: underrated
    European airlines: overrated
    Hilton in general: overrated

  3. I’d like to add that southwest wanna get away fares are not underrated, but under-appreciated. Only airline left without bs economy fares, no bags, no fees, and a 31-33 in seat. Southwest by not doing anything is the only premium carrier left in the US.

  4. AA the best business class of US carriers?? You do have a shot at standup comedy Gary, I’ll give you that!

  5. Totally agree with you on Hilton Diamond, Emirates J, Airbnb and Centurion Lounges. I’m still waiting for the story about IHG’s rewards program overtaking Hilton, and possibly Marriott. I think Priority Pass is underrated. I use it about 50 times a year, mostly outside the USA, and considering it’s an inclusion on lots of credit cards, it’s a steal. I’d add American Express Platinum to the overrated group as the bonus categories with Amex Gold are better.

  6. I think these are spot on.

    I would personally add:

    Underrated: IHG rewards, especially in combo with 4th night free CC benefit. APEC card (with Global Entry) to cut long immigration lines in Mexico and many Asian airports with notoriously slow immigration (Bangkok)

    Overrated: Clear (many days), and doors on business class.

  7. Overated:
    1) Masks on airplanes or anywhere for that mattet
    2) Flight attendants- are they even really necessary at this point? Just put 1 security guard on the flight
    3) New York City and San Francisco

    Underated:
    1) Road trips
    2) Europe in winter
    3) Flying economy with an open middle seat

  8. Hilton Diamond It’s a top tier status but doesn’t offer the same benefits as competitors. Even IHG has confirmed suite upgrades now! If a hotel has standard suites available, and they do not give it to a Diamond member, they haven’t violated any rule of the program. Hotels do not even have to honor late check-out! Even breakfast is no longer promised in the U.S., with a food and beverage credit that often doesn’t come close to the cost of breakfast taking its place.

    The most dishonest claims in the history of travel blogosphere by one who purports to be the “thought leader in travel” but has been spewing the same demonstrably bogus claims for years, even after being provided clear evidence that his claims are utterly mindless. Here we go again.

    No “confirmable” room upgrades:

    With space-available upgrades being one of our program’s most important perks, we launched this benefit enhancement to celebrate our Gold and Diamond members. Hilton Honors elite members are eligible to receive a complimentary upgrade based on a mix of criteria, including their membership status, room inventory at the hotel and length of stay, to name a few. These factors help us award upgrades to make elite members’ stays more meaningful. Gold, Diamond and Lifetime Diamond members are eligible to receive a guaranteed room upgrade 72 hours prior to their arrival based on hotel availability, and member status/tier is the first criteria considered.

    Hotels cannot opt out of providing this benefit, which is currently available at the Hilton brands where space-available complimentary upgrades are currently offered as a Hilton Honors member benefit.”

    As far as I know, Hilton Honors is the only program that has ever used the word guaranteed in conjunction with room upgrades. Also, note that hotels cannot opt out

    No promises of suite upgrades:

    Space-available room upgrades
    If we have a better room available, it’s yours – up to a 1-bedroom suite.

    Boom! That is the sound a tactical “nuke” that obliterates the mindless claims going 😉

    Free breakfast is alive and well and a royal feast overseas and has returned to hotels with exec lounges in the US.
    Late checkout – only program that approves checkout requests for as late as 6pm (perhaps even later, though I have not tested it)

    Hyatt Globalist: Greatly overvalued status. Does not get the 4th or 5th award night free, the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty that competitors offer. Despite that shortcoming, it’s toughest status to attain because of Hyatt’s tiny footprint. Etc, etc, etc… Gotta be insane to struggle to attain a status that offers to little!

    Actually, I am beginning to detect a pattern in these stupid posts that purport to rank various loyalty programs. They are click-baits that pop up whenever the site has not generated much traffic…

    What’s the best way to generate traffic than to put out blatant falsehoods that are sure to be challenged?! That is why this is the very last time I am going to debunk bogus claims on this site because the point of the posts is not to provide factually information. It is to generate traffic by spewing demonstrably bogus claims that are challenged.

    Bye bye!

  9. Botched HTML formatting. Try ahaom/

    Hilton Diamond It’s a top tier status but doesn’t offer the same benefits as competitors. Even IHG has confirmed suite upgrades now! If a hotel has standard suites available, and they do not give it to a Diamond member, they haven’t violated any rule of the program. Hotels do not even have to honor late check-out! Even breakfast is no longer promised in the U.S., with a food and beverage credit that often doesn’t come close to the cost of breakfast taking its place.

    The most dishonest claims in the history of travel blogosphere by one who purports to be the “thought leader in travel” but has been spewing the same demonstrably bogus claims for years, even after being provided clear evidence that his claims are utterly mindless. Here we go again.

    No “confirmable” room upgrades:

    With space-available upgrades being one of our program’s most important perks, we launched this benefit enhancement to celebrate our Gold and Diamond members. Hilton Honors elite members are eligible to receive a complimentary upgrade based on a mix of criteria, including their membership status, room inventory at the hotel and length of stay, to name a few. These factors help us award upgrades to make elite members’ stays more meaningful. Gold, Diamond and Lifetime Diamond members are eligible to receive a guaranteed room upgrade 72 hours prior to their arrival based on hotel availability, and member status/tier is the first criteria considered.

    Hotels cannot opt out of providing this benefit, which is currently available at the Hilton brands where space-available complimentary upgrades are currently offered as a Hilton Honors member benefit.”

    As far as I know, Hilton Honors is the only program that has ever used the word guaranteed in conjunction with room upgrades. Also, note that hotels cannot opt out

    No promises of suite upgrades:

    Space-available room upgrades
    If we have a better room available, it’s yours – up to a 1-bedroom suite.

    Boom! That is the sound a tactical “nuke” that obliterates the mindless claims going 😉

    Free breakfast is alive and well and a royal feast overseas and has returned to hotels with exec lounges in the US.
    Late checkout – only program that approves checkout requests for as late as 6pm (perhaps even later, though I have not tested it)

    Hyatt Globalist: Greatly overvalued status. Does not get the 4th or 5th award night free, the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty that competitors offer. Despite that shortcoming, it’s toughest status to attain because of Hyatt’s tiny footprint. Etc, etc, etc… Gotta be insane to struggle to attain a status that offers to little!

    Actually, I am beginning to detect a pattern in these stupid posts that purport to rank various loyalty programs. They are click-baits that pop up whenever the site has not generated much traffic…

    What’s the best way to generate traffic than to put out blatant falsehoods that are sure to be challenged?! That is why this is the very last time I am going to debunk bogus claims on this site because the point of the posts is not to provide factually information. It is to generate traffic by spewing demonstrably bogus claims that are challenged.

    Bye bye!

  10. Overrated :

    * Aeroplan – Great program in theory, but availability for some partners is literally non-existant. And telephone hold times are horrendous.
    * Hyatt – Do they even have a dozen hotels on the entire continent of Africa?
    * Chase Sapphire Reserve – shredded its value for everyone other than big city dwellers
    * Emirates – in general, style over substance

    Underrated :

    * Star Alliance Gold status – the widest reach in alliance partners and valuable benefits with pretty universal recognition
    * United Mileage Plus – it still remains the easiest Star Alliance program to redeem with online, and the elimination of change and redeposit fees worldwide makes it even more valuable
    * Hilton Gold status – best mid-level status and available for a $95 credit card annual fee

  11. Let’s not forget the #1 underrated thing in travel: GPS !!!!!!

    God bless American military spending and continued US taxpayer funding of this system.

    Also – Agree re: Uber.

    Going to Thailand, multiple trips to China…

    Phone, app, ride. Done.

    No struggle with language or directions. Truly close to a miracle. (Pity that it is no longer in china.)

    Travel wish: to make the following reality;

    * AA business class product
    + PLUS simpler upgrades for EP’s
    + And BA’s FA’s working those AA Biz class flights (and their catering, too).

    That’s all I need. And this lamp.

  12. @DCS – that is disingenuous in the extreme. You can convert a standard room booking to a suite for no extra cost at time of booking with Hyatt out of revenue inventory. You can do this within 14 days of travel with IHG.

    If a Hilton hotel has a standard suite for sale they are not required to offer that suite as an upgrade. An upgrade CAN be to a suite, but a hotel is not required to upgrade to a suite. Hotels have total discretion with upgrades.

    Hilton Honors does not guarantee late check-out. Marriott and Hyatt both guarantee it (excluding resorts and conference hotels, where it’s subject to availability).

    Hilton Honors promises the least of any of the major loyalty programs to its guests. If you travel predominantly in Asia, sure you’ll be treated well as a Diamond member (as you would as a similar elite in any of the major programs). And you may be able to throw down your status and play the DYKWIA card and get benefits. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

  13. Destination edition of ‘over / under’:

    Overrated:

    *London – bleak, cold, expensive, horrible food. Once had “charm” – long gone now.
    *L.A – boring place with many people that give a vibe of being very fake
    *Dubai / Abu Dhabi / Doha – concrete jungles in the middle of the desert, no authenticity whatsoever

    Underrated:

    *Chile – beautiful country, great food, lovely people
    *Athens – people focus on the Greek isles (which are great!), but Athens has a lot to offer too

    Fairly rated:

    *Japan – it’s perceived as an amazing destination and it totally is!

  14. @Gary – To call me “disingenuous” is the proverbial kettle calling the pot black.I am done repeating myself. I will no longer keep debunking your mindless falsehoods, which you probably believe to be true. Who needs facts when you are the “thought leader”? You just make them up as you go along to support your claims no matter how bogus, and then you repeat them ad nauseam until weaker minds pick them up and they become established dogma. The result is what is known as the ‘paradox of propaganda’ , of which Josef Goebbels is the most prominent manifestation and refers to the fact that when one sets out to brainwash others, one ends up brainwashing oneself. In short, our “thought leader” actually believes his own “fact-free clickbait”, which is why once he’s pushed a bogus claim, he’ll keep pushing it no matter how often it’s debunked

    When was the last time to stayed at a Hilton Hotel as a Diamond, Gary? You are totally clueless about the program, but instead of informing yourself, you keep repeating bogus claims that you have been making for years, even though the program has greatly changed.

    I have provided chapter and verse debunking the bogus claims again and again (even here up-thread), but nothing seems to sink in. You have your biases and no facts will get in the way.

    You do not know the first thing about Hilton, much less about loyalty in general, as is evident in your countless claims that I have debunked, from the Hyatt point “being the single most valuable points currency” to Hilton offering the lowest “rebate” of any program, while the opposite is actually true when one includes the incredible Aspire card.

    I am done entertaining your falsehoods whose only purpose is to generate traffic.

    Bye bye.

  15. Dear Jerry.
    Since flight attendants are so over-rated, please don’t ring your call light if your heart ever stops beating during a flight.

  16. I will no longer keep debunking, then bloviates for another round of crap.

    @Gary, put him in the overrated category and don’t let him junk up the comments further.

  17. @Nicholas. Yes, god forbid there would be no flight attendants to ask if there is a medical professional on board, lol. I think we got this…go back to the galley and play games on your phone.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving, Gary! Enjoyed the post. I’ll add my $0.02 for kicks:

    Underrated:
    AA Flight Attendants – I fly AA on several round trips per month, and cabin crew is great ~85-90% of the time. Let the debate reignite!
    Any lie-flat seat – So much focus in the blogosphere on the minute intricacies, pros and cons of every imaginable long-haul J seating configuration. Give me a horizontal surface, an eye mask, noise-canceling earbuds and the magic Lunesta pill, and I am gone for the duration. I finally sat in a seat with a door a couple of months ago and didn’t bother figuring out how to close it.

    Overrated:
    LifeMiles – Wonky availability, phantom space and worthless customer service. Considering how much value you and Lucky seem to get out of the program, I guess I’m just doing something wrong.
    Amex Platinum customer service – Maybe not so highly thought-of anymore, but used to be great. Now just the same offshore script-readers as everyone else.

  19. @DCS Dear god, you are truly a Hilton zealot. I swear you might even proclaim your allegiance to the god Hilton and run down the street waving your useless Diamond card and free bottle of water screaming, “Redemption!!!”

    Seriously, dude, chill. Hilton is crap. You are the only one left in the world who thinks otherwise. We all know it from experience so stop touting your odd religious fanaticism and grab some Hyatt status to calm your butt down.

  20. This is incredibly accurate with great insights.
    First, everyone that talks craps about spirit ignores that they literally have a first class seat at a fraction of the cost of even economy of other airliens.

    Second, those BA seats with doors were amazing and the food/service is above all other European airliens. They provide a mostly luxurious experience that feels private and special.

  21. Weird list –
    Uber is underrated? Their rideshare is massive and us people with Amex plat are stuck with their credits monthly anyways.
    Hyatt program is underrated? It’s the most raved about hotel program in the blogosphere – how could it possibly be underrated?
    BA premium seat availability is often around because few people are interested in paying $1k fees one way for an award ticket. How is paying $2k RT plus points to go to London comfortably underrated?

  22. DCS knows more about Hilton than the rest of us because he works for Hilton. Hilton would be better off canceling their loyalty program than continuing to insult their best customers.

    Overrated

    Most hotel loyalty programs, especially Marriot and Hilton.

    Most Frequent Flyer programs, especially domestic airlines.

    Amex Platinum, CSR and Venture X. Low rewards rate and poor customer service.

    Underrated

    Wyndham Business Earners

    Citi Premier 3x on most spending

    US Bank Altitude Reserve 4.5% digital wallet spend

    Wells Fargo Autograph 3% on most spending with no annual fee

  23. Gary – With respect to Hyatt, you wrote, “No one else does full (not continental) breakfast.” That’s not true. IHG’s breakfast benefit for diamonds is as good or better than Hyatt since Hyatt with a club lounge is a compliant breakfast whereas IHG properties can’t get away with offering a lounge breakfast instead of a restaurant breakfast.

  24. Better still, what is right on and neither overrated or underrated…perhaps the most important category. That is, quietly delivers year in and year out without a lot of blogger noise or hoopla.

    1. Aeroplan..Still the absolute best redemption and transfer platform.
    2. Four Seasons. Quietly delivers value for luxury and even during the worst of the Pandemic worked hard to deliver a great product.
    3. Etihad. Perhaps more underrated but still, quietly without the bling of Qatar and EK still delivers a super consistent product without a lot of fanfare.
    4. Austrian Catering. Being at the heart of Do&CO in Vienna they have the best J meals between Europe and the U.S. A surprise every time.
    5. ANA and JAL. For all the attention paid to ME and SE Asian carriers there is no level of service that compares to these two.
    6. DoorDash…my godsend during the pandemic when at hotels. Rarely any glitches and they always made right what went wrong.
    7. Hyatt…not sure why Gary has it as underrated. I think it’s quite well known and displays great consistency for its top customers. Been that way since the demise of Starwood. Hyatt rocks and everyone who knows anything understands.
    8. Mandarin Oriental….even its base membership club (though without points accrual) is more than generous. It’s Elite level is even better. Weak in U.S. properties but everywhere else consistently delivers. I guess more underrated.
    9. National Car Rental…because they have their clients arrested less?
    10. Melatonin. For years has been a game changer for international travelers and saved my life.

  25. Overrated: Doha airport. It’s massive for no reason (look at their space between gates), very mediocre looking, and it’s ridiculous that it was built partially as a vanity project but still has on-tarmac deplaning.

  26. Overrated – anything that involves Soviet-style queuing, standing for hours in long shuffling lines. eg Disneyland, restaurants that wont take bookings, Southwest, recently also Delta Skyclubs and Schiphol security. And dont mention US immigration.

    Underrated – airports where you can get on a long-distance-train to anywhere in the country and further afield: Frankfurt and most German airports, London, Birmingham (UK), all Scandinavian airports.

  27. Agree on AA biz class. Flew JFK-DOH recently and biz class included Casper mattress cover. It was one of my most comfortable sleeps. Food/service great too.

    Overrated: Qatar biz class. Prob fly 12 legs every year in Q suites. When it’s on, it’s great but it’s really inconsistent. And def starting to show its age on many aircrafts

  28. So BA is a poor quality, expensive product but good availability.

    Did you hear the one about the woman who asked the butcher….?

  29. @zebraitis -“That’s all I need. And this lamp.” Best. Comment. Here.

    Overrated – Status on AA. With spend now counting, everyone has status. And if everyone has status, no one has status.

    Underrated (or underappreciated) – DFW Airport. I still think it’s one of the best airports in the country…for either local or connecting traffic. The TRIP modifications made a huge difference (and finally coming to “C”) and the SkyTrain is super-efficient. Gate-to-gate anywhere in the airport (except E Satellite) in 20 mins.

  30. Underrated, AA Web Specials. Hardest currency to earn (for me) and can be the most rewarding of the big 3 domestic carriers.

  31. Most underrated: 5x TYP Citi Custom Cash transferred x2 to Choice for Preferred Hotel bookings!

    Most overrated: DCS’ opinion of Hilton Diamond. I still have it thru the Aspire, but mostly all I get from Hilton these days is an email prior to arrival to upgrade for a high FEE. And the $15 f&b credit for 2 ppl is a joke.

    Hilton’s are everywhere so I keep status. The number/value of points typically required for a redemption on any level property, however, is the absolute worst of any program out there so I rarely use them!

  32. Why do you hate delta so much? What did they do to you? Do you work for AA? Idk but gurl…take a breath, and breathe deep knowing delta is killing the game.

  33. Overrated- new BA business class seats. Seat was very uncomfortable, the door when closed made me feel like I was in a coffin, meal was so-so, inflight entetainment was hard to use. Marriott Bonvoy is a joke. I won’t stay at a Marriott unless it’s the only hotel within 20 miles.

  34. Honestly I’m underwhelmed b’y Admiral Clubs (Recently MIA and DFW). To me Delta Sky Club are far better in terms of food and drink. Also even a basic drink (Bloody Mary) at AA clubs incurs a hefty charge of roughly $10 each.

    I’ve never paid at DL clubs for a drink like this. Yes I understand the upcharge and have paid it before for Grey Goose and the like but not for well brands.

  35. @Michael Karpiel- I believe drinks are free at Admirals Clubs unless you want a premium brand. So a Bloody Mary with house vodka should be complimentary.

  36. Lots of interesting comments here – thanks to (most) everyone for sharing!

    Underrated:
    1) Has anyone besides me flown Fiji Biz class on their A350? Flew LAX-NAN last Feb and it was luxurious. Well appointed seats, with storage, a cool tray table, a moveable screen, comfy linens, etc. The service was delightful. My only comparisons in Biz are on QF (2020), AA and LH.
    2) Inflight is the biggest employee sector in the airline industry. You are gonna have some good ones and not-so-good/indifferent ones. The work they do to deal with so many inconsiderate, hateful, mean passengers (not all, but too many of them) is more than I can imagine. I had a nice convo with an Alaska 2MM – after receiving his nice chocolate bar to recognize his status, here’s what he said: “I don’t care as much about this type of stuff – their role is to ensure my safety, and I hate when the DYKWIA people continue to ring their service buzzer”.

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