Is United really that bad?Back to Forum
Anonymous20 Jan 2011
Surely it’s a case of no news is good news here? Every review you see nowadays on United is bad. I’ve got to fly them shortly to Washington and would really like to hear that there is something good about flying the friendly skies. Any takers?20 Jan 2011
United has upgraded their seating in the last year of so and if you are flying Business class on their new seats then it is perfectly acceptable. You have to look at them as a US carrier and without huge expectation then you are fine.
Their First class product is not worth the ticket price, a lot inferior to LH and like day and night compared to SQ.
I am afraid United has not used this fly the Friendly Sky slogan for a long time and you are not so likely to see one on board!!!
I hope I have not deterred you from travelling on them!!!20 Jan 2011
For a US airline United is ok but no more than that. Economy is awful – Business tolerable – First not in any way worth the money. Biggest gripe for me is always the attitude of the staff.20 Jan 2011
Well summed up! Even their Asian crew is not very Asian in attitude!!!!!
I try not to be harsh on US airlines. Otherwise they might just address me as the “Asian Prince”!!!20 Jan 2011
I flew transatlantic with them a few years ago now, in First and Id say:
1) The seat in their 777 was great
2) The service was by British and American cabin crew and was excellent and friendly
3) The food was awful (though they did serve vintage Pol Roger)
4) The lounges were poor
Overall it’s not an experience I’d particularly seek out, but likewise its not something I’d seek to avoid ether.20 Jan 2011
Thanks for the update guys, I have heard SOME good things about their J class product and am looking forward to trying. I’m a Gold TG FF so I’m sure the seating will be better than their J class! First time to the US for some time.20 Jan 2011
As a BA Gold and UA Gold/Global Services customer, I think that UA has gone up and BA has continued to decline. I just flew UA in First from LHR to IAD yesterday. It was a Boeing 767 with their new First seats. Let’s be clear, this is not SQ or CX, but the product is good (much better IFE than BA’s–which rarely works). The crew was London-based–older, yet professional. Food was pretty good. Seat is comfortable and very spacious, especially as a flat bed. Lots of storage space. One thing I’ve noticed abut UA these days is that they seem to get their flights out on time; BA has really slipped with this. So, overall, a good product and experience (they look after loyal customers very well, but if you’re just starting, you probably won’t see this). I have flown their new business, which is a bit tight but not bad and good flat bad–same IFE as UA First. Do NOT fly on a non-reconfigured 777, but many of those are now upgraded…but do check. Hope this helps.20 Jan 2011
i flew LHR to Denver with United recently, in economy. No better, no worse than any of the other US airlines I have travelled on. In the past 3 months I have been transatlantic with Continental, United and US Airways. I find its the poor attitude of the cabin crew in all cases that makes them seem much worse than flying with Thai, Virgin, BA etc etc. Even having said that, my last flight to the USA in December (Manchester to Philadelphia) with US Airways, (even though this time I was in Business), was pretty awful and again, its the couldn’t care less attitude of the cabin crew that makes me say this.
Outstanding American service clearly does not apply to the airlines!20 Jan 2011
UA is not that bad, just grab 25000 miles in their FF program and they will just give you W when you buy Y (Economy plus on UA is created to make thier loyals customer happy!!) UA F and J class is way better than their fellow ally Thai Airways (hooray my crappy flag carrier). Becuase if you unluckily get a last minute plane switch let’s say you are travelling from Narita to Bangkok where Thai operates those newer seat 777-300 ER baby leased from India and the way older seat on 777-200 and 747-400 compare to United which operate the 747 with thier latest seats aka flatbeds with a lot of storage space. Let’s say unfortunately your TG xxx flight to Bangkok in which you know in advance that will be those shiny 773ER birds is then changed into the way older seat 747(the one that Thai charge thier First class as business fare!) You had paid full fare F class ticket and end up miseberly on the old seat. If you go for UA the chance that if your 747 got sub by a 777 in old seat, you would still be in the lie-flat seat. Thai uses their decade-old uncomfortable seat on routes such as Bangkok to Europe! UA should be better now becuase they have Continetal Biz First to intergrate into their product (aka Continental’s entire long-haul fleet)
UA is not the best, but it is still better than their allies.
Verdict: UA is not that really bad, its getting better!
Rabbz_*A21 Jan 2011
If you get the London base ua crew on your flight, it’s simply perfect. Feels like another world and I always give online feedback to this as I don’t want them to close that base down anytime.
While they may not be up to par on everything, you cannot beat their ff program and their flat beds in business are excellent.21 Jan 2011
Well I can say that United is pretty damn good, to a point. The seats are great and whilst I’d say they’re “lay lumpy rather than lay flat” it’s possible to get a good night’s sleep. The crew I had for the trip were excellent (even the domestic legs). It was all going very well until we arrived at Dulles. All flights had been on time or actually early. Then a one and a quarter hour wait for bags. It’s always the last taste that remains the longest. Keep trying UA.25 Jan 2011
Glad you enjoyed your UA flight.
I was on a UA flight from IAD to EZE yesterday and I had a very attentive crew. UA new Business class seats are in fact quite lumpy as you said and I usually use a spare quilt to serve a mattress pad to shield me from the protrusion!25 Jan 2011
I flew quite a few US carriers transatlantic (CDG-USA) at the end of last year, all of them in J. My verdict :
US Airways (CDG-CLT / PHL-CDG). Seats are out-of-standards on their A333, but the new Envoy suites are the best seats and bed I ever had (even better than VS or BA, from my point of view). Catering and crew were standards, nothing fancy, but OK. Lounge OK. Overall an above average experience with a special encouragement, those guys at US have come a long way…
Continental (CDG-IAH). Old BF seats are great armchairs for a day flight, but I would not use them as a bed on a night flight. *A Gold lounge is way below average at CDG (is there anything above average at CDG ?), made me think of a clinic with poor F&B offerings. The only good thing about the lounge is the smoking terrace;) Catering and crew were exceptional ! Crew were as professional as on Asian carriers but with that little extra personality that makes them human, not clones. Catering was definitely the best I have had in J for a long time. Very consistent in quality and quantity, with a special bravo to the steak that was cooked rare like I love it. Overall an above average for a day flight.
Now let me tell you about United (ORD-CDG). Seat is good and that’s all. I hate to pay for a drinkable wine in a crowded lounge when I am flying on a 3000€ ticket. I hate not to be welcomed by the crew when entering the plane. Let’s keep going : shortage of menus (“make your choice with your neighbour!” was the FA’s answer), I asked for a quick meal service to have a good night’s sleep and was answered yes no problem before being served with the regular slow service (sorry, no speed service available was then the answer), ultra slow service with no special attention at all (worse than domestic F in US)… And the best part : 30 minutes before landing, the opposite aisle’s passengers were all served and almost done with their breakfast and none of us on our side had been served. I kept ringing the FA with no answer, decided to get up and go ask in the galley, she was chatting while drinking her coffee ! We finally got our breakfast but had to rush them in our stomach before cabin is prepared for landing. A very below average experience (even worse than AF, but maybe the UA FA was an ex AF). I will simply not fly United long-haul again !25 Jan 2011
As a footnote to the original post, my experiences with United on this trip were exceptional. I managed to have a good chat with one of the “grannies” LAX -SYD. She had been doing this trip for quite some time and originally started with Pan Am! They were very, very good. The food isn’t up to the same standard as the Asian carriers, but their wine list was better. Once you sort the seats out they’re great and I had 7 hours of uninterrupted slumber. All flights were completely full and the crew coped very well. The backward/forward seating takes a little getting used to, but it works. I’ll definitely be using them again.30 Jan 2011