I have flown numerous airlines over the years but just recently started flying first class and noticed some pretty striking differences. American Airlines seems to have a place inside the airport called the executives lounge you access free with first class as with Continental they want you to throw over several hundred regardless of your expensive seats. American serves up a delicious lunch and dinner normally with a wine glass and a nice dessert. The Continental Airlines meal came but without a wine glass, warm-fresh nuts, and without the tasty dessert that American gives you. I always had the impression that Continental had newer planes but I also was disappointed when they had no satellite radio service you get with the low-cost carriers Air Tran or Jet Blue.
Continental OnePass Miles vs. AAdvantage
One advantage that Continental One Pass had over AAdvantage is the fact you can get your bags before everyone else. This is when they place a priority sticker on your bags so they make sure you are ahead of the people waiting at the baggage claim. Another great feature of the Continental OnePass program is the fact that you can redeem for gifts or hotel stays instead of being limited to only airline flights. I believe both programs offer the same amount of miles to redeem for first class and domestic flights.