Took United on a flight 1175 from Chicago to San Francisco. It is 4 ½ hour flight. Boarding the plane was rather unpleasant. No one greats you as you step in. The crew member at the door was busy with something else and apparently had no intention of greeting anyone. Getting to your seat is another challenge. Passengers were left alone to deal with their carry-on. By rule smaller items as backpacks and purses should go under the seat in front you to leave room for the larger roller boards in the limited space of the overhead bins , but of course, it seemed to me the crew did not care. People were trying to fit their luggage as best as they can often getting into personal arguments as bags and other personal items were shoved by passengers in attempt to fit their own luggage. So you can image the madness. On board the airplane did not offer entertainment nor wifi. Crappy airline food for purchase I have tried on United before, so no thank you. The crew had never smiled even once. Will I fly United again? Let me think about it.
The holiday travel with United that you don’t want to experience
This is had to be a very normal travel I had to take for the holidays and be with family and friends for the holidays. However, it turned to be a nightmare not only for me but for many other passengers. Here how the story goes.
I was taking a flight on United Airlines from San Francisco to Chicago O’Hare on UA698 departing SFO early afternoon on Dec. 18, 2016. From Chicago I had to board Lufthansa flight to Munich and then onto another eastern European final destination. As soon as I got to the SFO I got a text message from United that the UA698 flight was going to be delayed for about 30 min due to arriving aircraft delay. Well, it was nothing to worry about as I had exactly 1.45 h to change planes in Chicago. The 30 min delay became a 40 minutes when I boarded. While on the tarmac the captain apologized for the delay explaining that the aircraft was running late form previous destinations.
To the surprise of all passengers who were expecting on-time arrival in Chicago, including me to make connections, the captain said an onboard computer problem will have to delay us even more as technician is alerted and computer test were running. Wow, you must be kidding, I said to myself. At the end we departed 1.45 h later then schedule. It was clear to me that I was going to miss my connecting flight to Munich in Chicago, and so I did.
Arriving in Chicago around 9. 45 pm I ended up waiting on a customer service line for 2.15 hours. We were not offered refreshments or snacks. The apparently very tired customer service agent tried to rebook me on the next available flight and arrange accommodations to me. And here it gets even more interesting, or I should say worst.
The agent started explaining me that there were no available flights out of Chicago until 3 days later. I have strongly objected since it was hard for me to believe that at such a large airport hub as Chicago there were no flights for me to take on any airline sooner. The agent decided to look more, and she looked and she searched, and finally said she found me a flight on the 20th of Dec on another Lufthansa flight. I was released but not for long.
The agent explained that she had problems printing my new boarding passed and asked for my cell phone to take a picture of her screen with my new booking. I agreed. At the end she gave me three 10-dollar vouchers ($30 total) and hotel accommodation. At around 1 am on December 19th I thought I was all set.
As I got to my hotel I decided to look at my new booking picture to discover that I was arriving in Munich on December, 21st but my flight from Munich to my final destination was departing on December, 20th. Wow, I was stunned.
On the next day early morning I was back at the Chicago airport to try to fix the reservation. After waiting for about 2 hours I was in front of a United Airlines customer service agent. She told me that there were no available seats from Munich to my final destination. She offered me to fly on the same day (the 19th) on United airlines flight to Munich in order to make my connection on the 20th. I had no choice but to agree even though I paid cash upgrade to Lufthansa to fly on a premium seat on that international flight. Mentioning that the agent asked me to talk to Lufthansa for reimbursement for that upgrade as United couldn’t award me the same upgrade. How interesting! After all the misery you made me go though, I thought to myself.
Regarding the food vouchers of $30 I need to says that they were not enough had I have to stay till 21st. I was accommodated at a very luxury hotel near the airport. Nothing wrong with that but as one can expect the prices at the hotel were not reasonable. I ordered a sandwich which costed $25. So I was left with just $5. The rest of food due to my delay I paid out pocket for which I am thankful to United.
I have been a primer member of United Airlines for many years but in 2016 I decided I had enough of their onboard crevice which in many cased has become inferior to competitors and stopped flying with them. This entire experience proved just the same that I should try to avoid this airline whenever I can and as much I can.
So depressing a feeling from SFO to LAS VEGAS. and back. The energy is just NOT there The seats are made of plastic it felt like the 1950s. The crew attitude was so very indifferent towards their passengers"as if "I have to do it". I will not fly again with them and choose any other airline.
Had to take very early United Airlines flight on Christmas day from SFO do Washington DC. Checked in online the day before hoping to save time at the airport. Save your paper and ink! The boarding pass I printed out in advanced turned out to be useless as I was not given a seat assignment. I also was not able to choose a reserved seat in Economy class as I was checking in at home as the website would not give such option but only premium seating for purchase. At the airport checked in my baggage and another pass was printed but still no seat assignment offered or given. A seat was assigned to me at the gate. I asked the gate staff for my seat but was told on several occasions to wait and that my name would be called and a new boarding pass is issued to me. All passengers boarded the plane and just a handful of people left most of them as I found out stand by passengers. I asked one more time about my seat assignment and was finally given my boarding pass only to discover that my boarding group was 4 out 5 total groups and that I was seated at the very back of the plane in the middle isle in the middle seat. No wander they did not want to call my name earlier as I would probably object the seat. No I was left with no choice to quietly board the plane. Great Service United!
The onboard service was mediocre. I did not hear at least once time someone to wish us Merry Christmas. “Garbage, trash” were the most repeated words on the flight. I did not see the crew to smile at least once. Not to mention the long hair of one of the female crew was not properly tied up. Well people, you serve other people’s drinks and food...
I haven’t flown on United for the past few years, even though they were my preferred airline in one point in the past. They really haven’t change much their culture of service. They definitely need to step up their game if they are to stay competitive.
United Flight from Washington DC to Munich, Germany
(Updated: December 27, 2015)
For the past few years I haven’t had a chance to fly United on an international route. I felt the service on this flight to be nothing to be remembered. Even though I understand the flight crew first and foremost duty is the passengers’ safety, an extra smile and a little more personally in economy class would have made a bid difference on this Christmas Day flight. I felt as if all the on board service was done as if in a rush.
Speaking of the food, however, we have to get to an even colder note. The dinner roll part of the dinner service was served as if taken out of the fridge. I did not touch the breakfast croissant either as it was also quite cold. As an example, Lufthansa serves all of its breads wormed up, which makes the entire difference from a regular to an exceptional dinner in Economy class.
I hoped that leaving the plane on arrival I will be said goodbye as most airlines now do for a pleasant stay or what have you, but the 2 flight attendants in my cabin I men on the way out were having rather heated conversation and were totally engulfed in their own little world. Well, finally on my last step out of the plane by the first class exit, I was greeted by only one of crew members.
It is not about the service and the food but rather that personal touch and attention to details that it seems I always miss on these United Airlines flights.