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Ansett767
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UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:40 am

WOW... I am pretty speechless.

I just got off a SFO-SYD J class flight and I could not believe the quality of the service.

I think I have had better and more personalised services in Y class on most airlines (LH, SQ, QF BA etc).

I was on a Round the world Star Alliance ticket, so taking J class in TG was the most amazing way to start the journey. Now I am not trying to compare UA wth the likes of SQ or TG. However, the next part of my trip was on LH over to Europe and then onto San Fran - what a pleasure. Nothing amazing, but great and friendly attentive flight attendants!

Getting onto the United flight was just the opposite though.

The purser didn't manage a smile, grunted something and said 'youre upstairs'. Well well well- welcome to United huh. Then no one to greet on the upper deck, even though both attendants were busy fussing around in the galley and didn't bother to turn around (I know they could see me and the 3 others in front from their peripheral vision as they were moving around in the galley a lot).

So I sat myself down, about 10 minutes later a drink was offered, no smiles, no nothing - just 'orange or champagne?'.

Bang. That was it until drinks service/meal service. The F/A's were 2 elderly ladies in their late 60's I would say - I really felt quite bad and thought that I should be serving them. Had some young ones rotate upstairs as well who were equally as unfriendly and non caring.

Extra pillow please? 'Ah none upstairs sir... sorry. You can go looking for one yourself on the downstairs cabin'.

Any chance of a new paper? 'We're all out I am afraid'. Even though half way through the flight I went down to the main cabin and saw a few lying around ...

Call button- what's that? no chance of an inflight drink. had to get up and stagger to the galley half asleep.

Now, I am not a demanding customer at all, if anything I don't usually ask for wine/beer/coffee/tea/anything extra on a flight usually (the odd pillow etc is the exception).

But I felt like 'Why am I paying all this extra money, for pretty much zero service, a whole deal of attitude and a seat that has been around for a decade or more?' (correct me if I am wrong though.... I understand with cost cutting and chapter 11 they haven't upgraded their products but an old cradle seat, no video on demand - 8 lousy channels! )

OK so I am sorry for going on and on but it was a real shock to me. I got a pretty good deal but how can United charge what Qantas and Air NZ are charging for such an inferior product and terrible service (worse than QF economy in my opinion).

Why? Everyone in the shops in the states is so friendly, greet you with smiles and cannot do enough for you (most of the time). why can't the UA flight attendants be like this?

Anyway, I am expecting a whole deal of discussion from UA fans out there - which I am encouraging as perhaps someone can help explain !  Smile

Have a good week everyone.
 
Evan767
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:55 am

I am recommending this to trip reports. In the meantime, you might want to add a little more information about your flight.
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
AEROFAN
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:56 am

the answer is simple really- they do not need to change since people will still frequent their business. no matter how bad the service gets.as long as there miles to be acquired, the hordes will still be there
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ~Harlan Ellison~
 
TonyBurr
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:07 am

The SYD flights are notorious for their "UnFriendly" more "senior" FA. I think that due to their seniority they can hold this route, and only due it like two or three times a month and fulfill their quota. I have often flown this route in F and had as bad an attitude from the FA's. And then of course I have had some WONDERFUL FA's. But you hear complaints about this route often.
 
planespotting
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:35 am

Sorry to hear about your crummy trip -- my experience on UA business has always been exemplary. Much like the previous posters have said, that route is known more for lousy service opposed to the great.
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:46 am

Welcome to US flagged carriers.

If your previous experience was on an Asian or European carrier, you have learned the appropriate lesson.

US Flagged carriers - on all levels - will not and cannot compare to the counterparts elsewhere, class regardless.

Those that are crew here, well - too bad you have to hear the truth. I think with over 2 million miles in the air I'm qualified to issue an opinion.

When I fly to Europe, it's BA or LH.

When I fly to Oz it's QF or CX, more likely CX.

I'm rather stuck domestically . . . and it USED to matter. Really. In the 1990s it mattered. CO and UA, couldn't beat 'em. Now, CO is about it. The balance . . . with the exception of the UA PS service, it's all about the wider seat and free booze. That's about it really. Welcome to the USA. Home of CattleCarAirlines, our National Carrier.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Avianca
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:52 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
US Flagged carriers - on all levels - will not and cannot compare to the counterparts elsewhere, class regardless.

why they can not ? I am sure they will not but they could if they want to
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
HT
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:03 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
Welcome to the USA. Home of CattleCarAirlines, our National Carrier.

Flying legacy carriers intra-european I have not found any noteable service in recent years. A drink and a cold roll or sandwich I do not regard as "service".
In real LCC's "service" needn't to be searched for.
Positive execption for me is (once again) AB - especially the new hot meals that they offer for purchase on flights 90min+ (I know, a deacde ago, a hot meal was included in the ticket ...) makes the flight more enjoyable. And usually it produces a smile onto the F/A's face when one orders such a meal and a Sparkling Wine.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
US Flagged carriers - on all levels - will not and cannot compare to the counterparts elsewhere, class regardless.

To my experience, DL's service in B/E on 3 sectors between CDG and ATL was minimum on par with what I had on KL last Thursday. Will check against LH again tomorrow and NW in 10 days ...
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
JAL777
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:55 am

It's a downward spiral - the US carriers fill up 1/2 their C and 3/4 of their F cabins with upgrades and award tickets, that means less money for actual service, which creates less demand, which leads to more freebies, and on and on. Nobody in their right mind would pay full fare for United domestic or international C/F - hence, they don't offer any meaningful service.
 
QANTAS077
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm

why on earth didn't you fly Air NZ via AKL? I've crossed the pacifin on UA in J class on a few occasions, pretty appalling to say the least! the food is even worse than the service.
 
HT
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:05 pm

Quoting JAL777 (Reply 8):
Nobody in their right mind would pay full fare for United domestic or international C/F - hence, they don't offer any meaningful service.

Even on discounted, but paid for Business Class tickets the airline should offer a noteable product. Like any other airline also UA should have a limit on the seats available for Award tickets in any class. If they cannot fill their Business Class to a suitable degree with fare paying customers they simply have overcapacity on a given route. Then indeed, they can either overbook Y and upgrade status members from Y to Business (and Business-paid for to First) or if the route is unprofitable its existance / frequency should be reviewed.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
N174UA
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 3):
The SYD flights are notorious for their "UnFriendly" more "senior" FA.

I'm sorry to hear that. While anecdotal evidence, my parents flew in Biz class on the upper deck on SYD-SFO non-rev in March 2003, and were treated like gold by the older FA's. Did that have to do with their NRSA status? Possibly. But they never waited long and the FA was very friendly, really knew what her passengers needed at all times.

But, perception is reality, and if UA is in fact delivering this kind of service consistently, then it will come back to bite them. That said, if most biz class pax are upgrades and are acting pushy/rude towards these FA's, then they deserve to be treatead poorly. Friendly service is a two way street...FA's shouldn't have to put with A-hole customers.
 
Ansett767
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:27 pm

N174UA: Agreed, but I was a fare paying customer and this, imho was pathetic. and on the contrary.... I was actually very polite and am not demanding compared to some other passengers ( I hope, anyway)

QANTAS077: As I was on a LH RTW fare its rules stated I had to take TG to Asia and UA from North america- hence me not having a choice  Smile

Otherwise I would definitely have picked NZ!
 
cx777fan
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:15 pm

A-767, your experience matches my few horrible flights on UA in Y. It sounds like the only difference in Biz is that the seats are a bit bigger and you have an ancient PTV.

The thing that never ceases to shock me about all the flights I took on UA (Intra-Asian 4-7 hour legs) is that upon boarding, not a single FA greets pax or even makes eye contact. More often than not there was no one at the door - rather a couple of FAs in the adjacent galley "looking busy". It creates a VERY poor first impression for those of us who are used to being greeted at the door of an a/c with a smile and (perhaps unnecessary, but appreciated) point down the aisle towards one's seat. To have read a trip report that points out that the servie in biz is no better is a real indictment on UA's awful "service".
 
CaptainTim
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:17 pm

what equipment were you on a 777? i'm not 100% sure what UA flies out of SFO-SYD...

but whenever i fly SFO/ORD-HKG on a 744 on Upper Deck i have to admit, service isnt' perfect; but as a frequent traveller on the Star Alliance Group you cant really compare UA with SQ or TG or the lot; Asian service is just perfected1

but UA upper deck service was pretty good hopefully if you have any chance try to get a Upper Deck seat you will definiltey have a different experience1
Gulfstream Planeview Cockpit: "why have hundreds of buttons when a CCD does the same thing and more?"
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:29 pm

Quoting N174UA (Reply 11):
if most biz class pax are upgrades and are acting pushy/rude towards these FA's, then they deserve to be treatead poorly.

Are you kidding me? Wow. Rule #1 The customer is always right, and if by chance the customer is wrong, refer back to rule #1. To even hint that it is ok for FA's to act rudely towards those who pay their paychecks is somewhat appalling. Those FA's have a job, which they are paid for, and that is to serve the customer with quality and respect. No ifs ands or buts. If the FA's don't like it, no one is forcing them to continue working.
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
Ansett767
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:00 pm

hey CaptainTim

I was on the upper deck of the 744.

I don't see though, how being on a 777 would have made a difference though. Anyway as I said I wasn't trying to compare to CX/SQ/TG- but more to LH, QF, other 'western' carriers but UA doesn't even come close! I've had MUCH better service, food and seating on SAA, SK, etc (not renowned for business class a la SQ/VS etc... but they were on a totally different level!)

CX777 fan - I flew LAX SYD in Y a few years ago and it was similar so yes the only difference is really the crappy PTV and the seat (more like premium economy seating on VS or BA!!!)
 
N178UA
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:22 pm

The SFO/LAX-SYD flight are timed to letting business passenger to rest and sleep ASAP after a quick, shortened simple dinner and breakfast service. Never exert an attitude to UA crew. Things are changing in UA with new F class roll out later half this year.

I just returned today on seat 15H (exit) and slept 11 hrs almost and have no complaints whatsoever. First Class were packed with 13/14 full rev pax so I can't even get an upgrade says UA have enough business and support.

On the other hand i was serisouly disappointed on a recent Qantas SYD-HKG-SYD flight with the low and simple food service they offer, does not justify the full J fare they charge over competitors (way more expensive than VS) I found the food/service on UA is on par to most Int'l carriers.
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Ansett767
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:16 pm

N178UA,

Were you on my flight from SFO to SYD? or on the LAX one?

I don't know how you can have no complaints if you were on the SFO one- the F/A's were the worst I've ever encountered.

The food very average and yes, express is the right word (granted, the choice between the express dinner and normal one) but the breakfast in J class was like a Y class breakfast - an omlette and a croissant.

No Yogurt, Fruit or Cereal choices for those who prefer a lighter breakfast!
 
pilatusguy
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:38 pm

I'm in the same position as ANCFlyer - doing everything possibly to avoid UA. Last year I was "forced" to two UA Int'l flights (ZRH-IAD, NRT-SIN) and both of them were absolutely horrible. (all in paid business class)

Probably the main reason is that the "old" FA's on these Transcon flights do not enjoy their work anymore but only do it for the money. Wouldn't it be easy for UA to change it's rules so that younger FA's would be allowed on the more interesting routes as well? A friendly FA could possibly compensate (at least partially) for their horrible product.

Anyway - I stick to LH/SQ... can't get any better in my opinion.

Cheers from sunny Switzerland
 
N178UA
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:15 pm

I was on LAX-SYD last night UA839 (21 April from LAX)

I believe we have the same menu (filet Mignon/Salmon/Pasta Trio for dinner and Omelete for breakfast) I do found the breakfast to be disappointing but the service was great. Heard a few passenger giving complements to the FA standing at exit row while vacating the plane. I have travelled over 100 airlines in all classes around the globe. I found UA knows what frequent business traveller like and want, maximize time for rest with no disturbance. PTV and meals are not of most concern to me.
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Ansett767
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:31 pm

OK ... fair enough N178UA.

This is what I wanted - some discussion as I am interested to hear everyone's views!

Ok so as a business traveller then you want comfort right? So How come you rate United so highly with those old style seats when you could have the suite style seats on Air NZ... or the very comfy flat beds on Qantas?
 
B707Stu
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:32 pm

Quoting N174UA (Reply 11):
But, perception is reality, and if UA is in fact delivering this kind of service consistently, then it will come back to bite them. That said, if most biz class pax are upgrades and are acting pushy/rude towards these FA's, then they deserve to be treatead poorly. Friendly service is a two way street...FA's shouldn't have to put with A-hole customers.



Quoting CX777Fan (Reply 13):
A-767, your experience matches my few horrible flights on UA in Y. It sounds like the only difference in Biz is that the seats are a bit bigger and you have an ancient PTV.

I've never understood the logic that says upgrades or people flying on miles in the premium cabins didn't pay for their tickets. They paid probably twice or more of the value of the trip if you look at the mileage requirements to get the upgrade. The way I see it? If you have a boarding pass for a cabin, whether it be full fare, mileage, non-rev or involuntary upgrade because of space issues, you should be treated well and provided excellent service.
 
VHVXB
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:54 pm

Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 21):
So How come you rate United so highly with those old style seats when you could have the suite style seats on Air NZ... or the very comfy flat beds on Qantas?

exactly add to that comparing UA seats to QF inflight meals
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:28 am

I did JFK-LAX in PS First last night, some comments.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 15):
Rule #1 The customer is always right

Sure, but comparing the clientele on this UA flight with pax I saw on this trip on SQ/TG/NH/AC - most UA pax were just plain rude to the F/As.

Quoting CX777Fan (Reply 13):
It creates a VERY poor first impression for those of us who are used to being greeted at the door of an a/c with a smile and (perhaps unnecessary, but appreciated) point down the aisle towards one's seat.

Agree with this, but sitting in 1A, i had the perfect opportunity to watch pax behaviour as well. Most hauling a crapload of oversized bags and shouting on their cell phones not bothering to say hi or even smile to the F/As.

Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 21):
rate United so highly with those old style seats

I also prefer the UA cradle seats with 60" pitch on the upper deck to the angled lie-flats, fully flat like BA is another matter.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
ghillier
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:01 am

Just a quick comment to agree with the sorry state of most Legacy carriers C class. I flew AA from ORD-SNN in Jan 07 on the same 767 that Abe Lincoln used to get to Gettysburg - or at least it seemed that old. The C Class seats were stained and broken down and the entire cabin stank of urine and dirt. Worse was the service provided by the FA's. The Purser dropped a wine bucket and then proceeded to take dinner orders only to forget them or to send another FA back to say "Sorry..no more beef." The bread was delivered AFTER the entree and was cold. The ice cream sundae was delivered warm - melted in fact. The Pax next to me was doused with a glass of ice water about two hours into the trip and was offered a curt "I'm Sorry" by the bumbling Purser who seemed destined for Rehab. Breakfast was served literally as we were getting ready to land in Dublin. I know this might sound petty, but let's face it: Business Class is'nt cheap and the Pax up front deserve better.
 
1stfl94
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:59 am

The problem with UA is that they have some staff who will bend over backwards for customers and way too many who don't give a s***. One flight I had with them was delayed only by about 20 minutes but the gate agent decided to have a quick talent contest among us to pass the time and when the plane came and we were boarding everyone was thanking her and a couple guys gave her hugs. Unfortunately the F/A's on the flight spent the entire time in the First Class galley (conviently for them so that they didn't have to come into contact with us economy passengers) and took about 15 minutes to answer a call bell. Ok bit of an extreme example but you see the point, some fantastic staff but a lot of crap people,
 
mrniji
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:24 am

Sorry for your bad experience. Intolerable on biz in my eyes.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
US Flagged carriers - on all levels - will not and cannot compare to the counterparts elsewhere, class regardless.

This is the interesting point. I agree, but only to some extent (can I agree with you, ANC, once at least for 100 %? Big grin ). I had exactly the same opinion until recently (AA being the bottom end). Now, recently, I realized that with US carriers, it depends on the crew. You can have good or bad luck. My girlfriend had the most amazing, hospitable and considerate FAs on DL you can imagine (in Y). Then, I hear that CO has been treating my family members in Y like in F. So even here you can have good luck.

Probably all a matter of statistics. The odds are against American carriers, but with the standard error in statistics, you can also make great experiences! In 2002, United in Y was far beyond LH. I have never flown them ever since.

Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your genuine writing style, it was very enjoyable to read!
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:03 am

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 24):
most UA pax were just plain rude to the F/As.

That may be, but if you are going to be a FA, or take a job in the customer service industry, you must expect that. For every rude customer, there are 100 nice ones. Some people are just assholes. I feel bad for the FA's who respectfully take it, I feel worse for those who drop down to the same level as the passenger.
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
N178UA
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:30 am

Ansett767,

I prefer the older cradle seats on UA/KLM over the lie flat sloppy seat, since I keep sliding during my sleep and hurting my back. On First Class, I definity prefer the suites than the pair seats. I seldomly watch TV so I can careless PTV. (apart from route map)

I also flown F in p.s. 2 nights ago coming JFK-LAX to connect SYD flight. Trust me, there aren't many better products offering out there than their p.s. in US domestic market. Most other first class flight you gets only peanuts and soda which makes no difference to economy. On my 850am departure JFK-LAX we got 2 meals. (One breakfast and one full refreshment salad)

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Ansett767
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:46 am

N178UA- well it sounds as though the meals and service you had on your PS service was better than the long haul!

As an aside, I also found it quite amusing that passengers in J class had to bring their own personal entertainment systems (i.e. laptops with DVDs) - I counted 8 in the upper deck alone.

How can a so-called world class airline offer PTVs with 8 channels and no video on demand? When its competitors are offering anywhere between 20 and 200 channels all on demand, with the same siz/ebigger PTV's in Economy!?
 
N178UA
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:53 am

The current UA offering is dated since 1997 so the F / C product is due for a complete overhaul. That explains no AVOD PTV or other amenity. Airlines such as Qantas cannot afford not to install the latest to compete with SQ/CX alike in the same competitive region. The main UA competitor and their benchmark is the other major US airline in their homeland. (Pacific is only a part of their network)

Remember, they were in bankruptcy a while ago so nothing moves. During the mid 90s when UA was the most profitable airline in the world, they did raise the bar and setting new standard (for example, bringing the first class suite just after BA and offer 49"-55" in Business which was rare in the 90s).
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
LH459
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:12 am

Your experience mirrors some of my worse experiences with UA, but as others have noted, it really comes down to the crew. I've flown UA domestic F several times over the past couple of years, and I've had some AMAZING crews who kept drinks topped up throughout the flight and were friendly and approachable. Then I've had others who did the bare minimum, were very cold, and spent most of their time in the galley. I wish there were another way to put it, but in my experience, the younger crews were the friendly and attentive ones while the "senior" crews were cold and not willing to go out of their way for any reason. On one flight, the senior purser told me "I'll take your tray when I get back" as she walked past, without waiting for my response. I hadn't finished eating, but true to her word, she took my unfinished tray shortly after. I was quite put out by being TOLD that my tray would be removed, though I clearly hadn't finished. Before anyone questions me, it wasn't immediately prior to descent or anything like that. So, UA remains a mixed bag. On a good day they're fantastic, but on a bad day...well, you've seen for yourself!
"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
 
cx777fan
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RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:49 pm

Quoting LH459 (Reply 32):
wish there were another way to put it, but in my experience, the younger crews were the friendly and attentive ones while the "senior" crews were cold and not willing to go out of their way for any reason

My experiences on UA (admittedly only in Y) are actually the opposite. The older, more senior crews seemed to be a *little* less surly than the young ones. The absolute worst I encountered was a gum-chewing 25-30 yo guy who was exceptionally rude to all the pax he "served" especially those from non-English speaking backgrounds. As this was a NRT-HKG flight, that meant more than half the pax.

I've always found UA's food (again only Y experience) to be awful too. So much so that on my most recent (and hopefully last) flight with them, I ordered a Hindu Veg meal. That meal (out of NRT) was absolutely fantastic - same quality as I had on AI and 9W. Pax nearby eating chewy macaroni & cheese were looking on in jealousy.

It really is UA's overall product and "culture" that falls well below Int'l standards; not just the lack of one aspect (e.g. entertainment or catering). I've flown on airlines that, say, don't have 300 AVOD channels, or menus designed by celeb-chefs but still manage to have crew that smile while pouring a glass of wine (MU, AI, OZ, KA).

QF is an example of an airline that can be hit and miss. I recently flew HKG-SYD on a shiny new(ish) A330 with great entertainment. The flight was full, dinner and breakfast nothing special and the service was a bit sloppy at times, but still crew were on the most part polite, responded to requests and managed somehow to create a pleasant ambiance in the cabin - certainly not hostile like UA. On the other hand I was very impressed with a recent QF hop from SYD-MEL. It was the last flight of the day 22:20. I overheard a FA saying their team was on the last flight of a 14 hour day. Still they had time to greet boarding pax (not just at the door, but each one I passed walking down the aisle to the back of the well worn 767), to chat to pax who were in the mood, do a bar and snack service on a one-hour domestic flight, offer top-ups, and smile and say goodbye at the end of the flight.
 
Halcyon
Posts: 1622
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:47 pm

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:42 pm

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 27):
You can have good or bad luck. My girlfriend had the most amazing, hospitable and considerate FAs on DL you can imagine (in Y).

Delta employees that the customer comes in direct contact are OK about 80% of the time in my opinion. Delta's upper management...not so great. Of course, I have a vendetta against them for not giving me the refund they promised me...still waiting since December. Call them every week, write letters, send emails and faxes...it all goes unanswered, and my letters just keep getting longer. I'm past 12 pages now, because they told me I have to also send them records of all my contacts...idiots.
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2952
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:25 am

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 28):
That may be, but if you are going to be a FA, or take a job in the customer service industry, you must expect that. For every rude customer, there are 100 nice ones. Some people are just assholes. I feel bad for the FA's who respectfully take it, I feel worse for those who drop down to the same level as the passenger.

True, but why do most of the Americans need to act like assholes in premium cabins? This applies also to the SQ SIN-NRT-LAX that arrived just an hour ago. A couple of guys (seated across the cabin) were shouting to each other all flight, very nice to your fellow pax.

UA people at JFK were beyond great, I went to the "paper tickets" counter, and some monkey who thought she was a big shot shouted from the "Economy self service with bags" line: "It's my turn now, that man doesn't think he needs to wait, he skipped MY line!". So the agent takes her, she brags about her US Airways status, wants a F upgrade on a 3-class flight with a non-upgradeable US coach fare and ends this "question" by telling the agent what a horrible airline UA is. Agent thanked me about 3 times for my patience, provided directions to the lounge etc. I frankly would have told that US big shot "here's the feedback form, I don't give a shit about your upgrade", but this UA agent kept her cool with this idiot as well.

Later, we were 2h delayed as the F/O was stuck in an accident on the expressway to JFK. Half of the F/C cabins bombarded the crew with moronic questions. What should UA do - send a helicopter to pick up the F/A?? Somehow my drink got topped up 4 times during the wait and I got my main course although most of the folks had UA status - a little bit of courtesy with the crew goes a long way.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 29):
I also flown F in p.s. 2 nights ago coming JFK-LAX to connect SYD flight. Trust me, there aren't many better products offering out there than their p.s. in US domestic market.

True, it was very good, I had the full dinner.

Quoting Ansett767 (Reply 30):
How can a so-called world class airline offer PTVs with 8 channels and no video on demand?

I don't think many F/C pax frankly care about it. As soon as I'm done with a meal in such cabins, all I want is to sleep.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1874
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:11 am

Lufthansa747" : True, but why do most of the Americans need to act like assholes in premium cabins? This applies also to the SQ SIN-NRT-LAX that arrived just an hour ago. A couple of guys (seated across the cabin) were shouting to each other all flight, very nice to your fellow pax....

We act like aholes in every other aspect of our lives. Why should being on an airline stop us from acting any different?
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ~Harlan Ellison~
 
QueenofDaSkies
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:25 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:54 am

Well, there are awesome crews and then there are bad ones. That happens at every airline, all the time. I really feel that at UA, the awesome crews are much more abundant then the bad ones. In this case, SYD goes VERY VERY senior hence the reason for the older F/As. The only way more junior people can get SYD is through reserve. Chances are, if you flew this route frequently, you'd fly with the SAME FAs because that's all they fly, all month. Then again, I've flown with really really senior ladies and gents that were THE NICEST people ever. Moral of the story, you can't base your whole perception of service from an airline by ONE bad experience.

[Edited 2007-04-24 21:54:57]
It's time to FLY!
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2952
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:46 am

Quoting Aerofan (Reply 36):
We act like aholes in every other aspect of our lives. Why should being on an airline stop us from acting any different?

Hope you didn't take any offence from my comment, I like the U.S., but I was simply said speechless how some of the pax behaved.

I don't like the Asian way of taking whatever you're offered without complaining, but it seemed to me plenty of the UA pax just had to find a reason to blame the crew for something.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 38):
Hope you didn't take any offence from my comment, I like the U.S., but I was simply said speechless how some of the pax behaved.

Hey Larry!

I know what you mean, but realized this phenomenon to exist between any nationality among a fair proportion of premium pax. The mentality "I paid so do what I say" somehow exists widely (but not exclusively) in J and F. See for instance AI with Indian pax, see any other airline where the mentality of premium pax reminds me of small children.. you know what I mean?  Wink
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Ansett767
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:33 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:00 pm

Quoting QueenofDaSkies (Reply 37):
Moral of the story, you can't base your whole perception of service from an airline by ONE bad experience.

Sure, but for me now it's 2 out of 2. Once in Economy once in Business, same route.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:10 pm

Funny - I try to take UA whenever I can (always in Y). They have, IMO, the best seats of any US major (NWs and COs are rock-hard, DL's headrests could use some work, and I haven't flown AA or US in a while). That's the extent of their product differentiation, but it's enough. And Channel 9 of course.

I took a trip MCO-DEN-SNA, and could find nothing to complain about (and the MCO-DEN routes were Ted).

Sorry you had a bad experience with them.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
N178UA
Posts: 1701
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:32 pm

For Economy Plus offering. It is hard to not fly UA knowing you get more leg room in coach. My body comfort is more important than any other service or TVs.
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Ansett767
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:33 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:29 pm

N178UA

Agreed 101% re United Plus on Inter American routes - its very luxurious for domestic economy!

however unlike you who likes the bucket seats in Business, I find them quite uncofmy to sleep in and dont give as much privacy as the flat bed capsules on other airlines - personal choice I guess, and now I will avoid UA in Business if I can - Economy is isn't too bad and pretty similar to most airlines (bar no PTV's and the lack of service).

Speaking of service on UA - I found their domestic routes much better and had good service on some routes I have done on UA domestic!
 
airnewzealand
Posts: 2310
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:44 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 31):
The current UA offering is dated since 1997 so the F / C product is due for a complete overhaul. That explains no AVOD PTV or other amenity. Airlines such as Qantas cannot afford not to install the latest to compete with SQ/CX alike in the same competitive region. The main UA competitor and their benchmark is the other major US airline in their homeland. (Pacific is only a part of their network)

Incorrect statement...

Airlines such as QANTAS...CAN afford to upgrade their products but choose to wait to see what other airlines offer to see what they can gain from their mistakes etc... It can be a good thing and also a bad thing...thus why QF enjoyed a fantastic JC product for a while... but has fallen behind SQ (and on certain aircrafts EK) because they wil release a new product once the new aircrafts arrive!

In regards to the statement QF, SQ, CX etc is better...it all falls down to preference! Some people prefer CX to SQ, or SQ to CX...same as QF to CX to SQ etc...

Cheers
 
fridgmus
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:28 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:55 am

Ansett767,

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with UA. I've only flown them once years ago and it was great. I've been flying EK now for three and a half years and when I get off the aircraft, it's all I can do to keep from hugging the entire crew! They are so much fun! I even stay in email contact with several of them! bigthumbsup  Maybe one day US Domestic Carriers will wake up, who knows. Thanks to your post and others, I think I'll stay away from UA! Flew LH last May on company business, upgraded myself and had a ball with the crew. Typical German efficiency. The purser was wonderful woman in her 50's, wonderfully competent and most definitely in charge!
 praise 

As for Americans acting like assholes, we have our bad apples as do other nationalities. Although it does seem like we have more than our fair share. We've had several employees thrown off the aircraft due to alcohol related behavior and missed their flights. Our company fired them!  thumbsup 

Thanks,

Marc
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1874
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:21 am

Hey Lufthansa747

Absolutely not. No offense taken. I've got much thicker skin. Don't worry about it  Smile


Quoting Aerofan (Reply 36):
We act like aholes in every other aspect of our lives. Why should being on an airline stop us from acting any different?

Lufthansa747" Hope you didn't take any offence from my comment, I like the U.S., but I was simply said speechless how some of the pax behaved.

I don't like the Asian way of taking whatever you're offered without complaining, but it seemed to me plenty of the UA pax just had to find a reason to blame the crew for something.
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ~Harlan Ellison~
 
User avatar
alaskaqantas
Posts: 856
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:12 pm

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:57 am

Quoting Aerofan (Reply 2):
the answer is simple really- they do not need to change since people will still frequent their business

I understand this, all the same, they are losing higher paying customers (First and business class) with their terrible customer service, from the phone lines to the air.

I have,unfortunately, never had a good experience with United. Plus I just went through a big ordeal with them, where they lied to me and had $7,500 of our money, in the end I showed them that they had actually lied to me and that no where in the agreement did it state what they were trying to do. So I said that if we didn't get our money back that we would be calling our credit card company to void the transaction. In the end they gave us back our money, but because of this "problem," that I had with them I don't plan on using them in the near future.

Hope you have better experiences on other US airlines, such as AS or CO!
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
 
airnewzealand
Posts: 2310
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:01 pm

OH nd one final remark..

QANTAS are enjoying a 98% excellent customer service mark in first class for the last 4 months...

Business is sitting +/- 2% at 89% and economy is sitting at +/- 5% at 80%...so they are doing something right to get these remarks.

And for all to know QANTAS conduct ratings on the aircraft and also by ringing passengers (yes you heard it right, they ring passengers at home at random - which crew have no idea about) and ask them how they would score QANTAS based on other carriers etc etc...

So for QANTAS to come off with 98%, 89% and 80% EXCELLENT customer marks is top notch.

Cheers
 
AY104
Posts: 501
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:35 am

RE: UA Business Class (intl) - What Was Wrong!?

Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:10 pm

You sound like a super-pleasant person who doesn't deserve such crappy service! Your posting almost sounded apologetic itself, and it sounds like you were being more than reasonable. It is a letdown to be treated like that when one does spend the extra bucks and rises to the occasion to make every effort to appreciate good service.
Had the same experience with United in Sydney, they do ground handling (or I believe used to) for Air Canada. I cannot remember the last time I had such shoddy ground service anywhere. As a matter of fact, it not only put Air Canada to shame (although they more than redeemed themselves on the excellent service and catering ex Sydney), it wasf the very opposite of the Australian hospitality which I experienced during my 3-week stay in Sydney. During the whole time I was in Australia, the ground handling of Air Canada by United at the Sydney airport was the only time I could complain about any aspect of Australian hospitality. So, I guess from that point of view it is no wonder you were disappointed on United. I am glad the rest of your journey, however, was so successful.
Cheers,
AY104
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service

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