I am trying to decide which airline to use between UA or Lufthansa for a flight from Munich to Chicago. Which has newer planes, offers better in-flight entertainment, better meals etc? Do you have any advice?

Assuming you are traveling in economy class, I think the Lufthansa A340 that serves this route holds a a slight advantage over the UA 777, for the following reasons:

Advantage to Lufthansa

  1. The Lufthansa A340 coach cabin is configured in 2-4-2, with pairs of seats along the side. Most passengers prefer these pairs along the fuselage, since there is no middle seat.
  2. There should be an AVOD IFE (Audio Video On Demand In-Flight Entertainment) system installed at every seat on Lufthansa.
  3. Lufthansa might still serve free alcoholic drinks on trans-atlantic flights, though I am not absolutely sure about this so please check with LH to confirm.
  4. Lufthansa allows two piece of free checked luggage, up to 50 pounds.

Advantage to United

  1. United’s Mileage Plus frequent flyer program is better than Lufthansa’s Miles and More program, especially if you have status.
  2. United has no enforced weight limit for cabin luggage, while Lufthansa often enforces an 18 pound limit, even for first or business class passengers.
  3. United offers an economy plus section, where seats have about 3-5 additional inches of legroom. There is an additional charge for this section, but if the plane is full and UA has no other seats in standard economy class, you could get to enjoy this section for free.
  4. We feel that the service on United is overall slightly better than on Lufthansa. Keep in mind that each flight and each flight attendant is different from one day to the next; either airline could be very bad, but we have had proportionally more good flights on UA than on Lufthansa

If you are flying a round trip, perhaps you can try each airline in one direction. Lufthansa and United have marketing agreements for trans-atlantic flights, so you should be able to buy a ticket for mixed flights from both airlines.

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