Tag Archives: Flying

United Airlines Update

I’ve talked about my experiences on United Airlines before. Most notably what it is like to fly Business Class on United.  With Jeff Smisek finally out, I decided to write a United Airlines update. I must say the food on United has recently gotten better.  Usually Jeff Smisek CEO puts on some B.S. intro video on how United has really focused on bettering something and we are forced to watch some cheesy video about how United cares so damn much. In reality though they managed to spin some lame idea that obviously is lowering their expenses to make more money and have us suffer but it is all with Gershwin playing in the background so it’s ok!  While I write this, which started off to be a positive post, I realized there are a few things I have to rant about.

At SFO, an extremely busy hub and arguably one of the most expensive cities in the world, the airport had only recently been redone.  They added on some new gates that are a bit further away and this area rocks.  It has a bunch of great food, cool local shops, bars that I would genuinely want to drink at and purified water fountains where they encourage being green and recycling. All of these are obviously positive.  Unfortunately, other than the United terminal and the International terminal, I haven’t been to some of the other terminals in years.

A United Airlines Update “improvement”  was at the check in area at SFO.

It used to be self-explanatory.  You were lumped into your class, economy, premier, silver, gold, platinum, first business, global and each one consisted of waiting in a line to eventually see a United representative.  The United representative would then proceed to check-you-in after you printed your boarding pass. The United representative would tag your bag and then put it on the belt where it would be violently whisked away onto the plane where about 97% of the time we would reunite at our final destination.  Recently, at least for several months now, they changed that “system” at SFO.  Now, they made it seem like everything is “high tech” by creating a series of computers that block you before you get to see the United poser.  Yes, they switched them up and now they are dressed like United representatives but they don’t actually help you nor do they want too.  Before you reach the United Poser you get to access these white computers that are not macs, but made to look like a mac since we all know macs rock and they are the cutest computers out there hands down.  Now instead of a United person printing that long baggage tag that they put on our bags for us before they sail off on their abusive journey, we now get to do that ourselves.  We have all seen this done plenty of times but it takes a few tries to get it perfect.  So at SFO, we are now graced with getting to learn how to tag our own bags after printing our boarding pass.

So you walk in, some United person yells at you to go to the screen first to do everything yourself.

Everything that comes out of their mouth is just delegating their previous jobs to us now and they boss us around instead in a condescending and unfriendly tone.  Following the rudeness, everyone around walks in a confused manner over to these screens where no one helps and we take care of our baggage.  Then with everything in tote, we get to wait in line to see a United poser (dressed in United attire) but alas, they can only take your bag from you after you have properly labeled it and put the sticker on correctly.  If everything is smooth then you are done here.  However, if you have one question to ask regarding flying United, your reservation, upgrades, etc you get to walk over to the right where there are the real United representatives alone with no one around.  So here is another line and everyone is busy not helping customers so you have to get one of their attention to see if they can “help” you.  I happened to get to the airport early since I am anal about being on time so I wanted to see if I could jump on an earlier flight.  After asking this question, she said “Well, did you try it on the computer”?  Um, no, I didn’t, can you check? She doesn’t really respond, just takes my ticket without saying anything to me but filled with a bunch of attitude since I disrupted her and then says, “You ARE on the next flight”.  I said ok, thanks for checking…. Again…. Crickets.  She did take my luggage tag and check my bag for me.

So yeah, that’s cool.  Now instead of having reps assist, we have a do it yourself check in area.

That is probably my second  biggest beef with them at the moment.  I did find the last video with Jeff (I am on a first name basis with him now since I have probably spent at least 100 hours hearing his voice, looking at his pictures and thinking about his visions to make United better but alas he stepped down!  Good news!   We shall see about the next guy, Oscar Munoz.

In the last few years, literally EVERYTHING on United has gotten worse.

I don’t really know Oscar yet but I hope he can do a better job.    If you are a sucker to stick with one of the worst rated airlines ever and finally make some status, they actually took most of the perks away.  Oscar, can you bring it back?

Instead of making our hard earned miles worthless, can you make them worth something? 

Can you make it beneficial to stick to United? 

Can you take away the exorbitant PQD Premeir Qualifying Dollars? 

I mean give us a break, if we manage to fly 100,000 miles with you, can you just please give us the status?  Really?  What do you lose, other than customers and loyal rewards members.  Start it this year, I promise you, none of us would mind.  We might actually stay and fly more with you if you do it this year.

Adopt the snickers slogan, Hungry – why wait?  Like why wait to start a new program to get customers all over again when you can start with keeping the ones you have?

Also, let us extend our status when flying maybe just one person on our miles.

That was taken away.  I actually only use my miles to fly my boyfriend so I can spend enough and fly enough to keep my status, but let me extend it to him.  I understand not being able to do this with anyone, but perhaps we can pick one “fly buddy” that can use our miles as us.

I know you guys are working on the food, thank you for that.

I really notice a difference and greatly appreciate it!  The food tastes a lot better and there are more options for people, so please keep it up.

United Business Class Shrimp
United Business Class Shrimp
United Airlines Update Business Class Breakfast
United Airlines Update Business Class Breakfast

The seats are newer but we have less room now and they are less comfortable. 

Also if you are going to take away the screens everywhere, please give us power to charge our devices.

Otherwise it seems like we are moving back in time, not forwards.

Oscar, from a loyal 1k member, please take my opinion into consideration.  I promise a lot of people stand with me.