RickB From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2336 times:
Yesterday I flew ORD - ATL in Uniteds first class and I have to say it was an absolute disgrace from start to finish.
Having flown MAN - ORD on BMI's A330 in business class (excellent in everyway) I suppose I was in for a fall !!
Check in at the first class section in terminal 1 (or should I say the bus station) took 50 minutes - I was only tenth in the queue but the three check in desks quickly became one as the agents just left leaving a queue of disgruntled people. Finally got to check in and was served by the only person working for united I spoke to all day who was polite !!
]The only 2 hour flight I have ever been on (with the exception of easyjet) where no food is served (even in 1st class !!). 1st class doesn't even get you lounge access in the airport.
The 733 was grim - everything was stained, the seats covered in sugar from the previous passenger and the supplied pillow stank of body odour.
Then the pursar and the dispatch agent had a major shouting match infront of everybody - very amusing !!
So my question is this - I paid around 10 times the amount I could of got an economy ticket for - what the hell for???? an extra 6 inches of leg room??? The flight cost nearly the same as the transatlantic leg on BMI !!!
Can anyone tell me why people put up with such poor service or did I just get a bad flight?
TR From UK - England, joined May 2001, 953 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2250 times:
I normally fly first class within the US but this is actually only due to the extra comfort. Service, food, etc. etc. is not much better than flying economy. Though I must say that I have never experienced anything like your story - not with United or any other carrier. But the price certainly never matches the product given!
Skystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2225 times:
Do you know how many people in the First Class cabin actually paid for first?
That might tell you why it's poor. Having said that, it shouldn't be that poor. Airline service worldwide is sliding all the time it seems. About the only airline increasing service in the world is Ansett.
Hoffa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 4 weeks ago) and read 2141 times:
Domestic first class does not entitle you to lounge access, that part is certainly true.
On the other hand, paid F is a waste of money. Simply get a United Mileage Plus account and start applying all your travel (even on BMI shorthaul) on it. Then you can achieve status fairly quickly and you can upgrade to F on a space available basis.
Bicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2118 times:
A two hour flight and you wanted First? I only upgrade on transcons and the service on United's transcons is excellent. On short hauls, I can deal with economy. I agree with you on shabbiness of some of United's planes. I was on a 767 from Dulles to San Francisco the other day, and it was ragged inside. Their 777s and Airbuses are newer and in better shape inside. I'm very forgiving these days on any airline I fly. They're desperately trying to stay in business and cutting costs where they need to.
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53 Reply 9, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2108 times:
I see you are British...airline service in the US, whether it be in First Class or in Economy class is a joke relative to those overseas...If your coming from a country like Britain or Australia (whose domestic flight service is excellent, and took me by total surprise), you shouldnt keep your expectations up for US airlines...you will be disappointed for the most part
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
RickB From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2093 times:
I wish it was fiction and I wasn't using it as an indictment of US airlines - I have flown with a number of US airlines and had excellent service - a United flight from LAX to HNL last year in economy was excellent (unlike the return journey). Just this is the first time I have flown in F class domestically in the US and based on that single experience it was a joke - hence the question about whether or not this was usual.
Regardless of lounge access, I would of expected a meal on the flight be it a cold sandwich or otherwise - not just a packet of salted peanuts and pretzels.
I suppose in fairness I could say my hold luggage was first off the flight !!
At the moment I have to say I have had better service onboard ATA !!
USAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53 Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2076 times:
I see where you are coming from, on a relative short haul like ORD-ATL first class isnt really worth the money, as most people say here, and I agree with them...its good for transcons, but for a short 2 hour flight like that, its not worth it really.
I fly PHL-FLL-PHL fairly frequently on US, its about a 2 hour flight and on occasion I do get upgraded, basically the upgrade entitles you to 4'' of legroom and some extra drinks, and being able to get on first and off first, thats it...prior to Sept 11 there would occasionally be a meal on the route in F but because of the cutbacks there isnt anymore.
So pretty much, your experience doesnt surprise me at all, its not an uncommon experience at all...
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
767-322ETOPS From United States of America, joined May 2001, 324 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2003 times:
The ORD/ATL route is mostly served by 733s and 735s of older vintage. As such, you get the older shabbier looking interior and no inflight entertainment.
My recommendations when flying UA domestic:
- Avoid the 737s at all costs. Shoot for A319s or A320s if possible. The main benefit of newer a/c is that the in flight entertainment (though lame at times) helps distract you from the cutbacks in service.
- Don't bother with premium class of service (whether paid or upgrade) unless doing transcon.
- Via full paid Y OR Premier/*A status OR begging at the gate - get an E+ seat - no matter what a/c you are flying. The E+ section provides much more room than regular E. On some a/c the E+ exit rows actually have more leg room than F.
UAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2134 posts, RR: 10 Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1990 times:
I've done my share flying in the front end of UA aircraft, I believe most of what RickB said. I always question myself on why people would pay $2000 for the mediocre service UA provides. I can't count how many times revenue F pax have been denied their meal choice...etc. It's little things like that that lose customers. I have flown AA in First quite a bit as well. It is many times better than UA's F service. AA caters for full flights in F to take Upgrades into account. UA usually caters exactly for the planned load, and many times runs out of food. AA's cabins are cleaner, paneling isn't falling off like some UA a/c, and overall the experience is just better. UA's F/As are curt more often than not which can be blamed on poor morale at UA due to lousy mangement. If you are planning on Upgrading or even buying an F ticket in the US, I'd recommend AA over UA. UA is cutting costs on the front line of service. They should trim management and their pay before taking stuff away from their passengers. I realize that I work for UA, but I am not going to lie and tell people they should take UA. Until UA gets its head out of its ass and shapes up, I cannot recommend an inferior product. Sorry.
L1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1619 posts, RR: 9 Reply 15, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1980 times:
I recently flew Economy Plus on a 747-400 from ORD to HKG, and I noticed very little difference. I was somewhat disappointed, because I was expecting about five inches of extra legroom, and it was only about two. It was very much like American's More Room Throughout Coach. I also flew United First on an A320 from ORD to RIC, and there was very little service. I got a cup of coffee in a styrofoam cup and snack mix, which is probably the same thing they got in coach. And my luggage was one of the last to arrive on the baggage carousel, even though it had a Priority tag on it.
Twa902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3078 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1974 times:
I flew United First Class this summer and I thought it was awesome. My flight was ORD-SLC, a morning flight (but it was in June, which is before September 11th...) I got awesome service. Check in took less than 2 minutes. The food was awesome as well. And even the old 727-200 seats were clean and comfortable. Overall it was probably my best flight ever (and only time in F) So I think you just got a bad flight.
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
Heavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1953 times:
* Every passenger jet in America is a proven favorite target of terrorists.
* The airline you chose had over a dozen employees murdered "at work" last September.
* Seems like every day we hear new and mind boggling reports of security breaches of one form or another.
* The prospect of bankruptcy and job loss has gone from abstract to tangible for these people.
And your panties are in a bind because two employees had a disagreement that had nothing to do with you, your seat didn't smell like Ralph Lauren and you didn't get a meal that you'd likely end up bitching about if you did?
I don't know why you paid the money you did, but perhaps it's best you stay up there.
767-322ETOPS From United States of America, joined May 2001, 324 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1929 times:
ATL/ORD is only 606 miles, so there will be no meal service.
Much has been said of UA going down the tubes, employees having bad attitudes etc. That had some element of truth when Jimmy the Goodwin was in charge, but since new management has taken over I have noticed a change in overall attitude for the better.
BTW, the ATL RCC is unmanned. Since you are flying F (are your *A Gold?) you can try to ask the gate agent for the 4 digit access code to get in.
Silverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1922 times:
Just my two penn'orth, but in the UK both on BMI and BA you get a full meal in cattle class on the LHR-EDI run and that is a 350mile 1hr flight. ( BA use 757 one class and BMI 737 two class.I agree with the header writer of this thread, pretzels in first class is not on. Sept 11 or no. That is just a lame excuse for bad customer service.
Heavymetal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1904 times:
I don't recall that it was a BMI or BA jetliner that vanished into the side of Big Ben before exploding and killing 3000 people. It is conceivable that the jaunty smiles might be a tad strained and the nerves a tad stretched if that were the case.
I agree the time will come when this event no longer merits mention in the cases of poor or unorganized service and attitude. I'll also agree with anyone who says that United 's service problems started before and continue irrespective of September 11th.
But , with images fresh in our mind and quite ominous economic headlines peering at us everyday, while I might consider a different airline, I'll cut the people this poster lambastes at least a little slack. Not permanent slack, nor without an urging to shape up...but a little.
SegmentKing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1895 times:
Welcome to the United States, where Southwest airlines and Southwest Airlines type service prevails. The middle class demanded it, and caused the rest of us to suffer with it. I wish we could go back to where only those who could afford to fly do, and everyone else took the train or drove...
I'm sick of seeing United's product SO downgraded... I remember flying when I was 5 years old (almost 18 years ago) and we were welcomed by name at the counter, getting on board, etc... even had a FULL meal including champagne from lil ole Kansas City to Chicago.
Now when I board United, even though i'm 22, I see First Class filled with people dressed in shorts and t shirts (pray you never get in an emergency and go down the slides!), and people in back who have a body odor so strong I smell it when I have to use the Lav in coach because some idiot can't read the curtain that says "First Class cabin" or hear the flight attendant say "The forward lav is for First Class passengers only" and comes up front to use the F lav...
At least back when I was 5, inflight service meant something, people actually smiled, the plane wasn't filled to the brim, and you could actually *COUNT* on the airlines.
Nowadays, I am ashamed to take friends into the United Red Carpet Clubrooms as most of the users are TOTAL SLOBS and refuse to throw waste in the trash cans (which are located EVERYWHERE) or can't at least keep their mess centralized.
I'm sorry you had such a horrible flight on United... I've had a number of disappointing trips on United when flying with friends.. some flights are wonderful, some I wish I never let my friends on. Good thing Alaska gave me MVP Gold.. now I can try them out instead of wondering if we'll be on a GREAT United flight, or a gawd aweful one.
I say bring back the CAB, let the airlines charge what the hell ever they want.. at least we may be able to get better service and more happy employees if the airlines weren't trying to stuff their planes with "Average Joes" and others who have never stepped a foot out of Hickville.....
Lowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1874 times:
I say meet halfway with deregulation and regulation. Have the flights price controlled, but allow the airlines to fly where they want(no just regionals, nationals, internationals, etc.).
Maybe have two fare buckets with one being 14 day advance purchase and an unrestricted fare. The price disparity would only be about 50% more for the higher one compared to the unrestricted being 5-6 times the price of the discount fare nowadays.
Airlines like Southwest and AirTran would use their low cost structure to be more competitive and offer higher levels of service than American or Delta.
UAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2134 posts, RR: 10 Reply 24, posted (11 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1862 times:
This is a little bit off topic, but it will give you an idea of the morale at UA before I got laid off. In my work area, the AMT's had a customized screensaver on their computer which read: "Management sux and UAL blows." I dunno the morale situation now since I'm no longer working there, but suffice it to say it was pretty damn low when I left...
25 Bicoastal: Ah, that explains UAL Bagmasher: Sour Grapes. Sorry you got laid off but don't pull a very good airline down with you. Good luck in your job search. S
26 UAL Bagsmasher: Ahhhh.....No. No sour grapes. On the contrary, I am taking this oppertunity to finish my eduacation and go for my A&P. When I started at UA back in 19
27 Hoffa: The middle class demanded it, and caused the rest of us to suffer with it. I wish we could go back to where only those who could afford to fly do, and
28 Hoffa: Maybe have two fare buckets with one being 14 day advance purchase and an unrestricted fare. The price disparity would only be about 50% more for the
29 Flashmeister: I wish we could go back to where only those who could afford to fly do, and everyone else took the train or drove... What garbage. The beauty of the a
30 Flightboy24: Guys, as an airline staff member, I often have the privelege of travelling business (no first in Australia) but we have standards on dress etc, so you
31 LoneStarMike: I say bring back the CAB, let the airlines charge what the hell ever they want.. at least we may be able to get better service and more happy employee