When I made a decision to proceed to Sweden, I switched airlines. Normally, I’m a loyal American Airlines traveler and person in the Oneworld alliance. I love American Airlines and their Oneworld partners (except Finnair – that airline sucks!). However, the primary airline in Sweden, SAS, is section of the Star Alliance network. Not attempting to lose my elite flier benefits, this season I switched to United Airlines (the primary US Star Alliance member) to be able to earn elite status. That way, when I flew SAS, I possibly could get lounge access and potential upgrades.
I had never flown with United ahead of their merger with Continental. I can’t really say how their service comes even close to what it used to be, but after 15 flights with them this season, I could say that their current service is absolute shit. After all, it really is so awful that I’d rather walk than fly United.
The idea of needing to fly United for another few months of the entire year as a way to reach the top-tier service makes me depressed. (Once I hit top tier, I’ll get yourself a status match from another airline therefore i could be top tier on the network.)
I want to count why I believe you must never fly United Airlines when you have the decision:
1. They lose children.
2. They kick service dogs.
3. They break guitars.
4. United is indeed bad, pilots will still let you know they’re a Continental crew. It’s their not-so-subtle method of letting you know they aren’t part of the mess.
5. United doesn’t react to customer support requests on Twitter.
6. When you do call customer support, you get some good guy in India who does not have any idea what you’re discussing. Now, I’m something of the global age, and I don’t care in which a call center is situated. Hell, the Mars rover could possibly be answering my customer support request. Doesn’t matter. What I value is that the client service representative speaks my language and knows what I’m discussing. It took 20 minutes for the rep to determine I needed a round-the-world ticket, not really a round-trip ticket. Then, upon telling me that wasn’t his department, he transferred me to another person who had no idea why I was calling and who also passed me off to some other department. And another time when I needed help, the representative just hung through to me.
7. Their planes are old and ugly.
8. They have the worst on-time status of all major airlines.
9. They lose the most bags.
10. Their on-board meals certainly are a joke. I am aware that economy meals should never be good, however when I’m paying $10 USD for something, I’d enjoy it to be at least mildly edible. Their snack boxes aren’t. At least I could get yourself a sandwich on other airlines. The bad (and free) cheese sandwich I acquired from Croatia Airlines was much better than everything you get fed on United.
11. There are no upgrades, even though you offer money. On my flight to Sweden, business class only had three people in it. I asked if there have been any elite upgrades so when they said no, I asked easily could purchase an upgrade, having heard the guy before me ask and get an affirmative response. I was told, “No, there’s no space.” That plane flew with a half-empty high grade and a mostly empty business class. Way to encourage customer loyalty among your elite fliers, United!
12. Their in-flight service sucks, and the flight attendants are pretty sour. (My guess? It’s a manifestation of the crappy corporate culture post-merger.)
13. Their flights cost a lot more than their competitors…but with crappier service!
14. They’ll drag you off planes.
15. They are CUTTING in-flight entertainment systems.
16. They are reducing seat space.
17. And many people are just mean. Every interaction just helps it be seem like nobody really wants to be there. Many people are just mean. I fly Delta a whole lot and many people are all smiles there. They make you would like to fly them! United? Not really much.
Words cannot express the dislike I’ve for United. They make my blood boil. US Airways used to be my most hated airline in the us, but now I believe United is far worse. At least US Airways is cheap! This video sums out everything I’d tell United:
Not really a day that goes on that I don’t hear people complain about United. The news headlines is full of reports of their customer-service problems, and frequent fliers actively stay away from United. When American Airlines wanted to match the elite status of United’s most typical fliers earlier this season, a lot of people tried to change that American stopped the offer early.
Among the reasons I really like the Star Alliance is that this is a large airline network with a lot more members than Oneworld, including Air New Zealand, ANA, and Singapore Airlines – all top-class airlines. But if being truly a Star Alliance member means I must fly United when I travel around America…no thanks. I’ll pass.
If you’re looking for an airline, please choose anyone besides United.
Update : Here’s the story of when my United flight had to create an emergency landing whenever we lost cabin pressure and dropped 20,000 feet.