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Anyone Fly United Lately?


EZEtoGRU
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The merger between United and Continental was finalized in March. Based on reports, things have been anything but smooth......frankly its been a mess. There is now a full scale revolt underway by United's best customers: Mileage Plus Global Service and 1K frequent flyers. They are openly bashing the new larger carrier and flocking to other airlines. Smelling blood, American Airlines announced yesterday they will comp any UA elite frequent flyer with equivalent AA status. It appears AA has been overwhelmed with the response. You can follow all the developments on the Flyertalk website in the United forum.

 

I have only been on AA this year but I have

my first UA flights next week. Has anyone been on United in the last few months? If so, how was it?

 

 

Ps. Remember, if you are an unhappy UA frequent flyer, AA will now match your frequent flyer status.

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AA made the same offer when CO merged, perhaps only selectively so but status for status nonetheless. Does anyone know of a more cut throat business? Unfortunately, in some ways it is becoming less so with fewer and fewer options, a prophesy made when the airlines were first deregulated.

 

Although I have friends who work for UA it isn't my first choice (unless comped). Tell us how it went.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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AA made the same offer when CO merged, perhaps only selectively so but status for status nonetheless. Does anyone know of a more cut throat business?

 

Best regards,

KMEM

 

Perhaps they did offer that on a targeted basis before and maybe with a "challenge" element attached. The new offer is a flat out matching. It's created a virtual feeding frenzy by former UA and CO flyers who are moving over to the AA side. The intensity of the anger expressed by this group of flyers is like I've never seen before. My impression is that UA will need to take some swift action to nip the in the bud. In addition to getting the operational and customer interface issues resolved, I think they must hold Jeff Smisek accountable and replace him. The UA flying community need to see that the board recognizes that things have gone very poorly so far and they want to see that the buck stops at the top.

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I think things are quite fine. Big drama in your post but does not comport with anything I've seen.

 

Really??

 

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileageplus-consolidated/1340221-american-airlines-doing-free-status-matches-ua-elite-members.html

 

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileageplus-consolidated/1339603-goodbye-united.html

 

Seems like a lot of angry people to me. As I mentioned above, in all my time on Flyertalk (the principal frequent flyer website community), I have never seen such anger.....towards an airline or towards the top dog....Smisek. Sure not everyone is upset. Old CO hubs seem to be functioning better than old UA and previous CO flyers are not as upset as previous UA flyers.

 

My take is they have a real mess on their hands and they need to take some drastic action to stop the flow of their best customers to other airlines. I will be surprised if Smisek survives the next 6 months.

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I flew to LV from EWR on United about a week ago. It was one of the most disappointing trips I have every experienced! First, on both flights I was told I would be denied boarding unless I gate checked my carry on bag! The gate staff were unprofessional. Soon after takeoff an announcement was made on the west bound flight that they would not be selling snacks, food, or alcohol because their card reader could not get a signal! The flights were completely full and late taking off and arriving. The guy sitting next me swiped his credit card on the return flight to access their entertainment system only to find that the sound did not work in his seat. The flight attendant told him there was nothing she could do and he'd have to check the website on how to get a refund. BTW, they charge about $8 for their inflight entertainment which other airlines, like JetBlue, provide for free. And finally, then my carry on bag came out at baggage claim in LV, someone had opened the bag and rifled through it. It was 2AM and the guy at baggage claim could have cared less. I will never, ever again fly United!

 

There are better alternatives out there.

 

ED

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Big drama in those threads, but it does not comport with what I observe each week at ORD, EWR, LGA, and internationally. I've just not seen it. I also regularly fly AA.

 

Not that its much different at AA, but they're still saddled with those old MD-80's. Try sitting in the back near the lav and an engine. I did that recently from LGA/STL/ORD.

 

I wasn't meaning YOU had the drama, I meant the concept, while full of drama, just doesn't match with what I see when I fly, which is at a minimum twice a week. Customers don't seem to be upset, everything to me appears the way it was before the merger.

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I fly UA almost exclusively and have had several trips in and out of O'Hare in the past couple of months. I am flying at least once a week somewhere, and sometimes twice a week. A couple of the flights were former Continental routes with their former staff and planes. Excellent service, a great meal in FC and friendly pilots too. My flights on UA, including UA express are about the same as before the merger. The biggest problem is still related to some of the issues relating to service for elite travelers on the phone lines, etc. I have also been on several UA flights internationally, but not since the merger. I used to fly AA frequently, but had very bad experiences with them, so have gone back to UA. I have had global services status in the past, also frequently a 1K and now have a permanent gold status, as I have nearly 2M miles on UA.

 

For several years in a row, I flew over 150,000 miles a year, and have done several "around the world" trips on UA with their Star Alliance affiliations. All of those flights were exceptionally well done, although all were in Business Class or First Class. Nothing can compare to the service available internationally through the Star Alliance network, which includes Singapore, Lufthansa, etc.

 

However, flying is not nearly as much fun as it once was. Ever since 9-11 service has deteriorated, fuel costs have exacerbated cutbacks of all kinds, etc.

 

I am looking forward to flying the new "Dreamliner" from Boeing, and UA will be the first domestic airline to use it domestically as well as on International Routes.

 

DD

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Just for the record, I am not just a casual observer on the topic of airlines. I am currently a UA 1K member and an AA Executive Platinum having flown 100k miles on both carriers in 2011. I did probably 10 international trips last year (and I'm not counting Canada or Mexico as "international") as well as a boatload of trips within North America. I'm looking forward to my first UA travel for the year next week. Frankly I'm interested to see what all the fuss is about. The thread from flyertalk I attached (which has to be one of the more prolific in their history....more than 350 posts in less than 48 hours) has the UA 1K and GS fliers complaining the most. They (we) are UA's most profitable customers....and if large numbers of them aren't happy, something ain't right at UA.

 

Meanwhile, it seems AA has pulled their promotion of comping UA status for 1K and GS flyers. I think it was a combination of AA being overwhelmed with interest from UA flyers and also AA elites fuming over AA giving away the status for nothing.

 

Anyway, I will report back after my flights to/from MIA next week. So far in this thread we have two happy UA fliers and one unhappy. Anyone else?

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I flew United transatlantic for ten years LHR to LAX - then they cut the service to one direct flight a day - wanted me to fly to Washington - change planes - pay for my food second leg and Premium Economy is same as economy (apart from price) and 5 extra inches leg room. Fortunately discovered Air NewZealand - still only one flight a day but Pacific Premium Economy is almost a good a business, pod type seat with good recline and leg room, full dining service, complimentary drinks all ordered via touch pad screen - plus LAX Lounge offers full lunch service! Added bonus the stewards are cute too! Patrick

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Just for the record, I am not just a casual observer on the topic of airlines. I am currently a UA 1K member and an AA Executive Platinum having flown 100k miles on both carriers in 2011. I did probably 10 international trips last year (and I'm not counting Canada or Mexico as "international") as well as a boatload of trips within North America. I'm looking forward to my first UA travel for the year next week. Frankly I'm interested to see what all the fuss is about. The thread from flyertalk I attached (which has to be one of the more prolific in their history....more than 350 posts in less than 48 hours) has the UA 1K and GS fliers complaining the most. They (we) are UA's most profitable customers....and if large numbers of them aren't happy, something ain't right at UA.

 

Meanwhile, it seems AA has pulled their promotion of comping UA status for 1K and GS flyers. I think it was a combination of AA being overwhelmed with interest from UA flyers and also AA elites fuming over AA giving away the status for nothing.

 

Anyway, I will report back after my flights to/from MIA next week. So far in this thread we have two happy UA fliers and one unhappy. Anyone else?

 

We flew UA to South America recently as GS members and due to an aircraft maintenance problem the flight was delayed a day and GS put us up in the Hilton (even though we live in Chicago) and re-routed us early the next AM.

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I've flown United, not exclusively, for over 30 years, and was 1K probably between 2001 and 2010. Like most airlines the service has detriorated, but since the real merger in March things went downhill fast. The former United 1Ks and GS guys are particularly upset about the lack of upgrades and phone support. A friend(still 1K) flew on the "merger Monday", agreed not a particularly smart thing to do, but she bought the ticket before she knew the actual merger date. The major gripe of the 1Ks on that flight was that their status didn't come through for the United people, whereas it seemed to for the Continental people so all the United 1Ks were relegated to coach while 2nd tier Continental golds got upgraded. Since I'm no longer 1K, I've got lifetime gold status too, my upgrades are much less freguent, but on those routes I still fly, whereas I used to be 7 or 8 on the upgrade list, since the merger I'm now 23 or 25. When I went into the United club in LA last week, they didn't have my number as a member, so had to dig out my membership card to get access-always before I could just waltz in with my boarding pass. Also, the new United website is more like Continentals than United - so when I went in to try and upgrade using a sytemwide upgrade, I couldn't find a way to do it, whereas on the old site it was very easy. It wasn't a particularly long flight so no big issue, just upgrade was expiring at the end of March and wanted to use it if possible, but wasn't willing to hang on the phone forever to ask either.

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i have flown the merged airline twice since the merger including this week and have not see any extra-ordinary problems. The most annoying thing has been that UA has been changing the flight numbers of the CO flights but I have not had any problems flying. I will say it was nice to upgrade to first class on UA for a reasonable fee. I hope they continue that.

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We flew UA to South America recently as GS members and due to an aircraft maintenance problem the flight was delayed a day and GS put us up in the Hilton (even though we live in Chicago) and re-routed us early the next AM.

 

And?? What's your point?

 

I was on a CO flight 2-3 years ago from GRU to IAH which had to divert to GYE due to a maintenance issue and we had to spend the night there. They put us up at the Hilton in Ecuador free of charge...well at least those of us in Business Class. This is SOP for high revenue flyers. All the airlines do this for their best customers.

 

Sorry, I don't get your point.

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The merger between United and Continental was finalized in March. Based on reports, things have been anything but smooth......frankly its been a mess. There is now a full scale revolt underway by United's best customers: Mileage Plus Global Service and 1K frequent flyers. They are openly bashing the new larger carrier and flocking to other airlines. Smelling blood, American Airlines announced yesterday they will comp any UA elite frequent flyer with equivalent AA status. It appears AA has been overwhelmed with the response. You can follow all the developments on the Flyertalk website in the United forum.

 

I have only been on AA this year but I have

my first UA flights next week. Has anyone been on United in the last few months? If so, how was it?

 

 

Ps. Remember, if you are an unhappy UA frequent flyer, AA will now match your frequent flyer status.

 

Hey EZE...out of curiosity, what do you think of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America. I have been using them for about a year now and I can only say great things so far. Never a late flight. Lost luggage is not an issue as I never check my bags. But all in all the service has been two thumbs up....

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And?? What's your point?

 

I was on a CO flight 2-3 years ago from GRU to IAH which had to divert to GYE due to a maintenance issue and we had to spend the night there. They put us up at the Hilton in Ecuador free of charge...well at least those of us in Business Class. This is SOP for high revenue flyers. All the airlines do this for their best customers.

 

Sorry, I don't get your point.

 

That's my point. The new UA treated us like the old CO.

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Hey EZE...out of curiosity, what do you think of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America. I have been using them for about a year now and I can only say great things so far. Never a late flight. Lost luggage is not an issue as I never check my bags. But all in all the service has been two thumbs up....

Hey BVB,

I have not been on either. I'm pretty loyal to the carriers I focus on.

 

Having said that, I hear great things about Virgin America. In all the airline surveys for the last two years, Virgin America always places in the top 3 North American carriers along with JetBlue, Alaska, and Hawaiian. The downside of them is that they have a very limited route network. I think Virgin America works for folks that are mostly coast to coast travelers. Their service in the middle of the country is very limited.

 

Virgin Atlantic gets mixed reviews lately. People who fly Upper Class and Premium Economy like them. Folks that fly them in coach are much less complimentary. I have not been on them so I have no firsthand impressions.

 

Happy flying!!

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When flying United into LAX earlier this year from Tokyo, we had to go through customs and then were sent out of the terminal to transfer to a new flight on United. There was no transit opportunity that would have allowed you to avid going through security. So I had to go to a different terminal where the security lines were blocks long. There were no United personnel around to assist and my flight was boarding. TSA did not care if I missed my connection. Thankfully someone let me cut the line and I made my connection, but where was United?

Plus, my new Exsplorer card that allows a free checked bag is not good on code share flights. Well, that's about all there is out of Palm Springs- flights on United Express. It's not part of United for the free bag, but is for just about everything else.

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Hey BVB,

I have not been on either. I'm pretty loyal to the carriers I focus on.

 

Having said that, I hear great things about Virgin America. In all the airline surveys for the last two years, Virgin America always places in the top 3 North American carriers along with JetBlue, Alaska, and Hawaiian. The downside of them is that they have a very limited route network. I think Virgin America works for folks that are mostly coast to coast travelers. Their service in the middle of the country is very limited.

 

Virgin Atlantic gets mixed reviews lately. People who fly Upper Class and Premium Economy like them. Folks that fly them in coach are much less complimentary. I have not been on them so I have no firsthand impressions.

 

Happy flying!!

 

Yes interesting...all my Virgin America travels has been coast to coast.... and on Virgin Atlantic, I was upgraded to first, compliments of a cousin the first time and a friend the second time. All in all I hate flying because of the time it takes to get anywhere, I go stir crazy. "drives me nuts"

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When flying United into LAX earlier this year from Tokyo, we had to go through customs and then were sent out of the terminal to transfer to a new flight on United. There was no transit opportunity that would have allowed you to avid going through security.

else.

 

Lucky,

There is no "transit" option in the US that allows someone arriving from an international flight (other than Canada)to

catch a connection to another destination without clearing security again. This has nothing to do with United, LAX, or the TSA. Did you really think you could be "in transit" in the US nowadays? I'm not being difficult, just asking the question.

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Lucky,

There is no "transit" option in the US that allows someone arriving from an international flight (other than Canada)to

catch a connection to another destination without clearing security again. This has nothing to do with United, LAX, or the TSA. Did you really think you could be "in transit" in the US nowadays? I'm not being difficult, just asking the question.

 

I think it has "everything" to do with TSA and silly US "rules". I understand completely what Lucky has to say. When I came back from NZ to LAX on UA we were parked in the middle of nowhere and subjected to silly customs and immigration "actitivities" and then had to walk to a far away terminal for any connection or even to go to ground transport in LA.

 

I do not know about "now" but the last time I connected in Europe for international continuing flight, we were allowed to walk from one gate to another without going through customs, etc. and go to our final destination where we did have to go through the "formalities".

 

Bottom line: Yes, we should be allowed to be "in transit" in the US.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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KMEM,

Being "in transit" where you don't have to clear immigration or security has not existed in the US since 9/11. Even before 9/11, the "in transit" capabilities in the US never matched the efficiency or comfort of that offered in many European airports.

 

Flash forward to today. The in transit capability in Europe still exists but is not as streamlined as before in some cases.

Earlier this year I did a MAD-LHR-DFW flight combination with a connection at Heathrow. Whilst I did not have to clear immigration, I was obliged to do the whole security check again even though I had just done it in Madrid 4 hours before. I can't speak to what happens today in other Euro airports like FRA and CDG as I have not been lately.

 

Change continents to South America. I know from recent first hand experience that if you make an international connection in Brazil or Argentina, you avoid clearing immigration there but still must pass through a complete security check.

 

I don't disagree with you that transit capabilities should exist in the US inasmuch as avoiding immigration procedures when making an international connection. Having said that, you're never going to get away with not having to clear security again. Ain't gonna happen....and shouldn't IMHO.

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I don't think I understand why one should have to clear "security" several times. If you are not a threat once, why should you be at another time on the same "flight schedule"? Or, any time thereafter? Personally, I have undergone a background check that goes several years into the past. I have been approved to "escort" passengers at an international airport from the FBO to the aircraft we are going to use for transport. Why should I or anyone who has undergone a similar background check be submitted to "any" further "security" checks?

 

This whole concept is "silly" to say the least.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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Lucky,

There is no "transit" option in the US that allows someone arriving from an international flight (other than Canada)to

catch a connection to another destination without clearing security again. This has nothing to do with United, LAX, or the TSA. Did you really think you could be "in transit" in the US nowadays? I'm not being difficult, just asking the question.

 

My memory may be failing me, but I thought in Miami that we did not leave the secured area after customs so did not have to be re-screened. And, for that matter, it seemed to be that way in Dallas too.

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