What Do You Think About United?

Sat May 22, 1999 11:14 am

What is your opinion on United Airlines? A lot of people have been bashing them lately, and personally I think that United is a great airline. I've never had bad service, and their new planes such as the B747-400, B777, and A320 are very comfortable and spacious. They are one of a few U.S. airlines choosing the A320 over the B737, and I respect them for it. It is much roomier, and has overhead video monitors. I recently flew United from Chicago to Honolulu on a DC-10-30, and the crew was just awesome. The food was good, and the cobin was spacious. My point...if you ever fly Chicago to Honolulu, go with United...their Honolulu based crews (the ones that work the ORD-HNL flight) were rated the nicest in the airline. Come fly our rising, and still friendly, skies!
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sat May 22, 1999 11:37 am

I don't have a very high opinion of United, because of bad experiences with their Shuttle by United operation. Having a hub in SFO itself it a bad idea, as it has the highest number of weather-related delays in the country. Then when there are problems in SFO, the airline essentially grinds to a hault, and the passengers start piling up in the terminals. Shuttle's Terminal 8 at LAX is small and has extrememly limited seating, and can easily overcroud when this becomes a problem - though I've heard something about a rennovation that would improve it. Still won't help improve reliability at SFO, though.

It's hard to blame United for SFO's weather problems (aside from choosing SFO as a hub), but the handling of the situation was not especially good. The time I was stuck in Terminal 8, the terminal staff was ok but what exactly was happening was unclear, and then they were a bit terse when they needed people to clear a space for passengers when planes started coming in. It was partially a problem of where to put people, but then we can again trace the problem to United for not providing sufficient space.

I've also found the flight attendants to be indifferent, at best. Again, Shuttle may be different from the mainline, but it reflects badly on the company. You want United basing? Head over to and see why Rising may be little more than a marketing slogan. Don't worry, indifference isn't just a United phenomenon, I've seen the same attitude with American/American Eagle's ground staff (the Eagle flight attendants were ok).

Also note that United is eliminating their Honolulu crew base. Employees have to fly, on their own time, to another airport (SFO?) to work if they want to continue to live in Hawaii. Before that agreement was reached the situation was starting to get ugly in Honolulu.

My suggestion for those flying Chicago to Honolulu, is to fly your airline of choice to Los Angeles (Delta would be mine), then board a Hawaiian Airlines flight. And since we're spouting corporate marketing slogans, remember that Hawaii is Everywhere Hawaiian Flies.
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sat May 22, 1999 12:23 pm

I agree with Hawaiian717 that the most enjoyable way to get to Honolulu is to connect with a Hawaiian Airlines DC-10. Last year I tried to use a frequent flier award to get from RIC to HNL. None of the airlines on which I had sufficient mileage had seats to HNL for months. So I used mileage to get to LAX free and then I paid to fly the rest of the way on Hawaiian. They had a promotion going which allowed anyone to upgrade to first class at the gate for a very small charge. I did on my outbound flight and I found Hawaiian's first class service to be outstanding.
As for United, I have had some wonderful flights, such as my DC-10-10 flight on Christmas Day from IAD to LAX, but most United flights I have flown on lately have been somewhat lackluster.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sat May 22, 1999 2:28 pm

I personally love United.
I fly with them about half the time and with Alaska the other half.
Both are great airlines and United is a great choice to fly with.
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American 767
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sat May 22, 1999 7:24 pm

It's a good airline.
Stewardesses are pretty, aren't they? Some of them are very attractive.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
Ben Soriano

RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sat May 22, 1999 10:04 pm

Finally! Someone that likes United. One of our flight attendants on the ORD-HNL trip said that they decided not to dump that crew base.

On another note, why connect when flying to Honolulu when you can fly nonstop? The DC-10 isn't that bad of a plane. And, if you connect and stay with United, through LAX or SFO, you have a really good chance of going on a 747.

And, to American 767, please cease mentioning being attracted to stewardesses, as my mom is one! :)

Soon To Find Out

Sat May 22, 1999 11:53 pm

I will be flying United for my first time next saturday. I have ignored those bad remarks and comments about United. I have heard alot of good things about United, so I chose United over Northwest.

Colin Kumpunen
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sun May 23, 1999 1:32 am

I have flown the ORD-HNL flight on that DC-10 and thought it was a pretty good flight. I am a big guy at 6'5" and unfortunaetly had to fly coach. Not too bad though!!!!
While most of my traveling is on United I agree that at times they can irritate people with delayed flights and the like.
Overall, I like United and would definetly choose them over some other carriers.
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sun May 23, 1999 1:38 am

United#52....I'm with you. I love UA for all it's worth. I can agree with Hawaiian717 on the United Shuttle thing. I DESPISE SHUTTLE AND ALL IT BRINGS WITH IT. Shuttle has done the WORST damage UA could have imagined. On the plus side, all of my other UA experiences have been pretty good. The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic flights, as well as most other domestic flights have been with some of THE smiliest, friendliest FA's in the skies!


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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Sun May 23, 1999 5:21 pm

Hi United#52!

It looks like you're working with United, well I flew United last summer several times:

Albany/Chicago - B.727-200
Chicago/Denver - DC-10-10
Denver/Seattle - DC-10-10
Seattle/Los Angeles - B. 737-300
Los Angeles/NYC - B. 767-200

So has you can see it was quite some flights during one month. If you dont know I'm from Portugal and my opinion is that United is very good on schedules, attention, fleet and professionalism! But United ( has most of US airlines ) is far behind european airlines concerning food and meals during flights. The service is pretty basic and I give a small example of that.
I flew from Faro to London with BA and I had 2 gin tonics has an aperitif with peanuts, then a full hot meal with 2 bootles of red wine and finally I had 2 cognacs with my cofee, that was a 2:30 min. flight. I didn't get any closer to that on any United flight!
Well you might tell me that there's a heavy competion in american airlines, and I agree with that but... in europe is the same!
Besides that United looks ok and their network is by far the best in America you can go anywere with United and that we must give credit!!!
best regards and if you talk with the fellow encharged with the flight meals try to convince him to improve a little bit that too.
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Mon May 24, 1999 12:04 am

United's domestic flights excluding the transcon flights aren't the best. The international flights have great crews and the food is delisious. The seats have reading lamps, back massagers,and footrests. They are alot nicer than american airlines. The cabin layout is great with the exception of the 757-200 and the busines class cabin of the 767-300

RE: Hawaiian717

Mon May 24, 1999 5:24 am

About a hub at SFO:
I don't know what your rationale is for saying that a hub at SFOis stupid. SFO is my home airport. It is the 5th busiest airport in the U.S. and 7th busiest in the world. It is one of the best liked airports in the world. For UAL, which runs so many Shuttle flights on the West Coast, NOT to have SFO as a hub is stupid.

Second, when you make unsubstantiated claims about UAL, Inc., such as your statement that our "Rising" ad campaign is little more than a slogan, you insult and offend UAL employees such as myself. Every time I step into the cockpit, I do the very best I can. It is ridiculous for you to say that we, all 90,000 of us, don't do our very best to satisfy our customers. I don't mind if you use facts to criticize us, but don't say things that you can't back up.

Third, about Shuttle, passengers seem to forget that United Airlines and United Shuttle are two different entities under UAL, Inc. United Airlines is a full service worldwide carrier. Shuttle is a short-haul, no-frills West Coast carrier. I always get complaints from pax. that Shuttle doesn't serve meals, like United Airlines. If Shuttle served meals and used larger aircraft, tickets would be more expensive. Then Shuttle wouldn't be competitive with Southwest, RenoAir, and all the other no-frills carriers. Accept Shuttle for what it is.

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Re: United946

Mon May 24, 1999 7:03 am

First you do have to remember that my comments are based on the service provided by Shuttle, since it has been quite a while since I've flown United Airlines on a flight of any length (the last time was SNA-SFO on a 757, so that was really just a Shuttle-type flight). I wasn't aware of the status of United Shuttle as a separate entity under UAL, Inc.

As far as the SFO hub, the problem is really the airport's design. The runways are too close together to allow simultanious approaches under IFR conditions, which has the effect cutting the airport's runway capacity in half. Thus the delay problems. I know there is a plan to improve the airport, but this will take time to implement. Because United Airlines uses SFO as it's main west-coast hub, it makes perfect sense for Shuttle to also use it as a hub. And the population of the Bay Area makes it an attractive market to set up a hub, as United has done with SFO and American has attempted with SJC.

Regarding the "Rising" comment, I am sure that many United employees are doing their best day in and day out. But it was first and foremost a marketing slogan. If the corporate philosophy is such that it is also "Rising", then I applaud them.

Also recognize that almost every corporation will face criticism, and the larger the corporation, the more it will receive. A few years ago, after a series of problems with Hawaiian Airlines, I was not happy with them. But I've flown them several times since and have been happy with them. I'm sure that given the opportunity, United would be able to impress me, but on most of my recent flights Hawaiian has been less expensive. Considering that I can now earn SkyMiles (one of the two frequent flyer programs I have the most miles with, the other is Hawaiian's HawaiianMiles) for flying United, it is probably inevitable that I will. My comments were based on my limited experiences with Shuttle, and it seemed that during the delay at LAX, the ground crew did the best they could, but the situation really was quite bad.

I personally don't expect meals on short flights. The last time I flew the Shuttle, different flights had different snack packages, which is certainly more creative than the usual peanuts we'd get on Southwest. Also, one time I flew SAN-LAX on American Eagle, and on the 27 minute flight drinks were served. We were on final approach to LAX and the flight attendant was still serving the drinks. While I appreciate the gesture, it seems a little absurd to do so on a short flight. On subsequent flights i've flown Trans States, which has no service, and doesn't need it.

I'm sorry if you felt offended by my comments, and I hope you'll accept my apologies. I hope that my next flight on United, whenever it occurs, will change my mind about the company.

RE: Hawaiian717

Mon May 24, 1999 7:23 am

Apology accepted. I'm sure that next time you fly UAL, you'll find that the corporate makeover goes much deeper than just a new slogan or our updated livery.

As far as SFO goes, there is currently construction underway on a new international terminal, and you are right about the ILS approach restriction under IFR conditions. But in no more than two years, there should be additional runways, and the international terminal will be finished in about 15 months. The problem with SFO right now is that it is in a period of transition. When all this work is finished, SFO is expected to become our nation's 2nd or 3rd busiest airport.

And regarding your comments about Shuttle, FINALLY! Someone who agrees with me on Shuttle's purpose!
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RE: What Do You Think About United?

Mon May 24, 1999 10:32 am

I have to say that I also think "Rising" is quite a silly slogan, and I have never been impressed by United's service on a number of flights to the West Coast and Hawaii from London Heathrow. On the second meal service we got a chocolate bar and packet of crisps (chips). This was on a 10 and a half hour flight. The 777 was a nice aircraft and the crews were competent but the service was always very average and every aspect of the experience was lacklustre compared to any European airline on the same route, especially in terms of cabin service and catering. United's strength is probably more in operations and engineering, where their sheer size and volume of experience makes them worldwide industry leaders along with the likes of American, BA, Lufthansa and JAL and Qantas. But for service and a decent meal my choice would always be Virgin or Swissair.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Cedarjet

Mon May 24, 1999 8:59 pm

I agree with you Cedarjet! These guys can't never compete with european airlines, they say because its a lot of competition, but if you pay some extra bucks and if you have salmon, gin tonics, or a good cognac or champagne isn't it worth of it? I dont mind paying more if I have these type of things!!!
Take care!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
Posts: 8175
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: What Do You Think About United?

Mon May 24, 1999 9:00 pm

CV990 sure likes a drink! I'd need to be carried through customs on a strecher after that lot. Agree totally on the service / catering discussion though.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz

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