UAL:why So Bad?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 5:58 pm

Ok guys, I hear so much bad versus good about UAL, what's the deal? Is it so much worse than the other U.S. major carriers? If so, what is the worst part of it and what's going on within?

RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 7:40 pm

The problem is that United got a really, really bad rap during the Summer of Hell (2000), and the employees took major action against the company to ensure than the United/USAirways merger wouldn't go through.

But, all of that is over now. The merger has been cancelled, and the employees are no longer pissed off, at least, no more than employees of other carriers. Morale has gone way up, service is getting better, United is rolling out a new interior for the planes, retiring older planes in favor of A320s & 767s & 777s.

Every airline has a rocky period, and 2000-2001 was the rocky period for United. But, in the past couple months, United has started a major turnaround, and will be at the head of the pack soon.

U N I T E D is coming back...come fly our new friendly skies.
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:12 am

Pending merger or not, the flight attendants at United are typically surlier than most, even on a good day. The airline in general, though, gets a bad wrap. People just like to pick on the big guys.
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:17 am

I flew recently with United and they are much better than before. I was patient with UAL flew last year the service was fine for me. United is coming back 100% friendly skies right now.


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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:26 am

United has had their bad period. United Airlines is the airline that everyone loves to hate. No matter what they do, it always seems to be wrong. United looses bags, but so does Delta. United can seem to do no right, although that is the exact opposite.

Right now, aside from teh summer from hell, United's employee groups are with out a contract, and labor negotiations can be a long continious process. That explains why a lot of the labor groups are upset. Right now the mechanics are awaiting a new contract, and the flight attendants want one.

United's upper managment is not well looked apon form the rest of the company. With constant service cut backs so Goodwin has enough $$ to buy his beloved Airline, and the lack of advertising, United certainly isnt going to do all that well.

Aside from all of that, I still belive that United is an awsome carrier. Its the little difference's that make some people like United. Those include free movies on all flights, and audio on all fleet types with the exception of the 732. United has the largest 777 fleet in the world, and getting to ride one on a domestic flight is not that hard. United has good meals in all cabins, and they feed you on flights longer than 90 mins.

For all of those people that hate United, I recamend that you try UA again. Avoid Shuttle if you can, but a mainline flight on United is great...even in coach.

I L U V 7 6 7
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:44 am

I don't know why UAL f/a's get such a bad rep. I fly United quite a bit, and I have never - and I can honestly say this - never have had an experience where a f/a was "surly" or rude to me. In fact, it's usually the opposite. I was on a flight in April 2000, and I ordered a beer because I had some coupons for free drinks. When I went to give the coupon to the f/a, he just waved it off and said don't worry about it. He basically just comped me for it. He could have been a hardass and insisted that he take the coupon so I couldn't use it again, but he didn't. I know that's just a little thing, but it's usually the little things that add up.

People also tend to blame airlines for things that they can't control - like the weather. If heavy snow shuts down ORD it's United's fault, or if fog shuts down SFO and you have to turn around and fly back to Orange County (happened to me), it's United's fault. People shouldn't judge an airline on things it can't control, but on how it responds to those things. In the first case, I was flying from CLT to LAS for the holidays, but ice and snow shut down ORD. What did United do? They got me on TWA to LAS via St. Louis, arrivng only about an hour later than I was scheduled to arrive had I flown UAL. Granted, most airlines will try to do that, but their supposedly "surly" counter agents could have said,"sorry, we can't route you through Denver because we don't fly there from Charlotte, I guess you'll have to try again tomorrow." In the second case, when we turned around and headed back to Orange County, they captain lifted the ban on inflight cell phone calls, so the passengers could call and make other plans. The supposedly "surly" flight crew could have said, "sorry, you have to pay an arm and a leg to use the Airfone."

But I will offer one criticism of UAL and it's this: they need to really get it together with their pilots and mechanics unions, and stop the shenanigans, like pilots calling in sick, and aircraft suddenly developing "maintenance problems."

Example: I was flying from ORD to LAS in November and I was supposed to fly that leg on a 767. When I get there, a 757 is rolling up to the gate. The pilot later explained that the 767 we were supposed to fly on got held up in Honolulu due to "maintenance problems." This was around the time that UAL and the mechanics were having it out. They need to sit down with both unions and work something out and cut the crap because it makes the airline look bad.  Pissed

Other than that, United's a great airline, and as KonaB777 said, they're coming back.  Big thumbs up
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:47 am

Oh, yeah, and as ILUV767 said, the food's usually good, too.  Smokin cool
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:54 am

I just flew YYC-DEN-MIA-GIG and return in "Economy Plus" last month and was pleasantly surprised by the attitudes of the air/ground staff and amazed by the quality of the product compared to other airlines that I have flown aboard.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with UA at all.


What airline do you work for ?
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:59 am

I flew JFK-LAX and back on United last month. The cabin crew were exceptionally pleasant and polite.
The service was attentive and the flights were
very good. On time. Clean aircraft. Felt as though
I could have been on Continental.

I think United got a bum rap the summer of 2000
and people still think it is struggling with customer
service issues. It is not. United is a good airline.

You want to experience a truly miserable US
airline? Fly America West.

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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 1:39 am

I think a primary reason why people are going so far as to say that in recent months, customer service has been "exceptionally pleasant", &c, is that their expectations of United have been shot by a variety of events. First and foremost, SOH 2000 tarnised the reputation of the airline like no other event in history.

The apocalyptic pilot's strike of 1987 did not receive as much bad press because in the decade after deregulation, rocky airline labor relations were the norm. Second of all, United is no longer the world's largest airline. Without this title, people no longer have as much of a chip on their shoulders to criticize the airline.

In reality, this is how service at UA has always been (in peaceful times). It's just gotten back to business as usual at UA, and THAT, given the shenanigans of the past year and a half-- seems unusual to most people.

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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 1:59 am

United is no worse, no better than its U.S. competitors IMO. There seems to be more than the typical amount of acrimony directed at UA lately because memories of "the summer from hell" (2000) are still fairly fresh in many minds, followed by the millions of $$$ that were reportedly squandered in the failed attempt to acquire USAirways. The person who is blamed (rightly or wrongly) for both debacles, James Goodwin, remains at the helm -- itself a reason for negative feeling toward UA for many.

When it comes to my somewhat limited though recent experiences of flying with UA, both mainline and Shuttle, it appears to me that their service is comparable to the two other U.S. full-service major airlines I've flown with frequently over the past two years, one of which claims to be rated "the world's best domestic airline."

When ranking the U.S. full-service majors (the 'Big Six' plus TW, HP and AS) for their overall service, the only meaningful measure of "who's best and who's worst" seems to come down to one's own experiences. In the final analysis, the service given by the full-service U.S. majors, including UA, is only as good as their competitors force it to be and as poor as the same competitors allow.

RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 2:17 am

I like United. Their planes are clean. IFE/Audio is on all jets except 732's. Food Service is good. Crews are pleasant. Just stay off of United Express, a whole different story.

RE: Carioca Canuck, UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 2:17 am

I work for Delta. I've flown all of the majors a few times and can say that the only time I really noticed any difference in service from one U.S. carrier was I can only speak for my experience in their economy cabin, but it made the others, including Delta's economy... seem like business class!
One particularly poor service example was when there was one f/a working economy on a dc9 and someone was calling a f/a with the call one came...then kept calling for a few minutes...still nothing...and when I turned around in my seat...the f/a was sitting in a revenue economy seat in the last row reading a newspaper! The curtain was left open between first and economy..this was a 2.5 hour flight, too....and I didn't see the f/a's service that cabin much either....a bad day perhaps? I just couldn't wait to get off! Otherwise they have all seemed the same to me...just a few little differences here and there, including livery!  Wink/being sarcastic Thanks for your responses!
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 2:27 am

I just flew United about 10 times this summer going back and fourth to the east coast. I had pretty good experiences actually. The only bad experiences were in atlanta, when the freeway was closed down, and my uncle was driving me back to the airport. My plane was gonna leave 10 minutes after I finally got to the airport, and the ticketcounter lady was a b*$%#. I asked her if I could go to the gate, "it was RIGHT there!!," she said in a VERY rude voice, no its closed, you cant go, I was all-like, the screen says it boarding, it just started boarding like 15 minutes ago, she kept saying "NO sir, you cant, sir, you cant," I was all like, fine. In a pissed off manner I left the area, got into the car, called united, had to pay 100 bucks to get on a new flight, and came back to the airport. The new flight had "mechanical problems." So it was delayed. Actually, the flight eventually became cancelled, but before that happened, the ticketing agent put me on a non-stop delta flight. (I was going to DTW, and UAL has no non-stops, so i was supposed to stop in DC). I haven't flown delta in years, and I found them very nice. It was a very pleasant flight back to DTW, partly because it was a 767, and only about 20 people on the plane! I asked the F/A if I could move up, she said sure, anywhere you'd like. I went up front to a nice window seat  Smile.

Anyways, last week I was coming back to SNA from ORD, and the F/A's were very nice, one of them in particular was very nice. I had ordered a special meal after the 24 hour in advance thing, so he said to let him know at anytime if I wanted some extra food or salad, because he'll make sure I get some. I said its ok, I'll just eat the normal meal. So I was impressed. (I wanted the seafood meal, becaue UAL has the best seafood meals around!). So, those are my recent experiences. The only bad experiences I have are with Northwest.


RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 2:28 am

How is it at Delta? In terms of Service, Compliments, Working Conditions, Planes, Meals, etc. I am going to give Delta a try. I have only flown Comair. Also, when I mentioned stay off UEX, I was referring to AirWis, who cancels one too many flights. ACA is good, never tried SkyWest.
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 3:49 am

Like MDL_777 said,when I flew ORD-FLL in June , I was seated in the bulkhead seat,so I was the last to be served. When I ordered a Jack Daniels,the nice f/a said 'don't worry about it,since you're the last one' I really appreciated that. I didn't care about saving the $4,I just liked that the comped me! Also,when flying LAS-ORD on a 763,the f/a gave me 2 snack mixes instead of one.Maybe they noted my ff status. I've only encountered one surly f/a and that was on a flight to LIH,but hey-everybody has thier moods!
I think that UA is doing better,and hope they will once again claim 'United Rising'
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 3:52 am

I also want to compare AA vs UA. I've flown them both ORD-LAS. On AA,you don't get audio or a movie I don't think you got a meal,either. And you get a cramped MD-80. On UA we got a 763,a movie,descent breakfast,audio and 'channel #9'
Just my observation....
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 3:57 am

My last flight on UAL was PHX-SFO-SYD-SFO-PHX in june and it was great! now I non rev on UAL all the time because of family with the airline but I do notice if things could be better on flights and on the SFO-SYD flight UAL was flawless. We were seated on the upper deck and the attention to detail was perfect! every time we were low on water right away without asking you had a new bottle, meals were delivered fast and right as I finished it was taken away! dont you all hate having your meal sit in front of you for 30 minutes afterwards? then we were diverted to brisbane due to weather in Sydney. There were alot of people who had a final destination in BNE and they were permitted to leave the aircraft and stay instead of missing their connection in SYD. I thought that was a nice touch! All in all I feel United really shines with its International 747-400 flights! just a great flying experience!

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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 4:39 am

I only flew with UAL twice, and I thought the flights were good. FA's were nice, meals tasted good and planes were clean.
Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.

RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 5:28 am

I must say that I am NO stranger to witnessing some rudeness on the part of UA. Every airine has it's "sweet" and "sour." I enjoyed and U.S. carriers seem so harsh to work for. Maybe it is just because the U.S. doesn't offer as good of benefits than the ones many Europeans enjoy. Seems like working for a U.S. carrier would be like working in a sweatshop or for the mob...ok that's a little far, but you get my point..just MHO Big grin
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RE: UAL:why So Bad?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 10:58 am

Until a couple months ago, I flew about 6-8 times a month for business and I used pretty much all of the major carriers. I can say from personal experience that UA beat all the others. UA was by far the most generous with meals/snacks. I even compared their timetable to other airlines, and I confirmed that you are more likely to get a meal on United than DL, NW, US, AA, TW, and CO. I've also never had to sit in a knee-breaker seat on United. I wish I could say the same for DL, US, and AW. I've also had no delay problems or flight cancellation problems with United. I might just have been lucky, but it just goes to show you that a lot of UA's flights leave and arrive on time.

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