We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Not to get all snobby...”
Review of United Airlines


Reviewed 28 August 2016

But I guess I will. I recently flew roundtrip SFO-Beijing in first class courtesy of my employer. The flights were on-time and service was efficient. It was my first time in first class in many years. I have flown recently in business class on Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific, and if United were to compete head-to-head with those 2 carriers (and probably Emirates and Etihad as well, from my experience), United would lose hands-down.

Here's what I mean:

-I wasn't greeted with a welcome drink (champagne for example), but rather I was asked if I would like a drink. I said yes, and it was served in a plastic wine glass. On the other carriers, a tray of drinks (champagne and juices typically) in crystal or at least proper glass were offered as soon as I was seated.
-The seat's electric reclining mechanism westbound didn't work. The flight attendants valiantly tried to fix it, but couldn't. So much for the flat bed. But I was given 15000 frequent flyer miles.
-On one of the flights the flight attendants were the oldest I've ever seen, easily in their 70's. That was confirmed when there was an announcement just before landing that one of the FA's was retiring after 49 years with United. Now, I'm not looking for cute stewardesses, but I do wonder if they would be up to the demands of a flight emergency. I credit the seniority system.
-The video entertainment choices were a fraction of what I've seen available on the foreign carriers. For example, there were 4 classic movies, and they were all Star Wars movies (don't get me wrong, I would consider Empire Strikes Back to be a classic, but a total of 4 classic movies? really?). Some of the TV series had multiple episodes, but maybe 2 or 3 max. I've seen entire seasons on other carriers).
-Food was good, but nothing outstanding. Sorry.
-The flight attendant didn't know what I meant when I asked for a single malt scotch. I had seen it on the outbound menu, so I knew it was offered. She went back to the galley and brought me the odd-sounding spirit (which was the right one).
-On the return flight, the menu was a photocopy of instructions to the flight crew (what to serve when, how to serve it). The flight attendant explained the menus were stuck in Chinese customs. That sure sounded odd. They've been flying this route daily for years.

Some of these sound pretty picky, but I would guess that people who fly first class are pretty demanding.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (33,736)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

24,263 - 24,267 of 33,736 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2016

I traveled United regularly for many years, especially on long flights to Asia. I used to enjoy their service and was a top Premier traveler for the last 15 years or more. Their frequent flyer perks for being a loyal traveler, especially when flying long international trips, were very good. Since joining with Continental, they've cut back the loyalty perks substantially, and in my mind, no longer warrant that loyalty. Though I still have many Frequent Flyer miles, I changed businesses and don't travel the same, so don't have the same air "status." The fact that I had been a long-time heavy user of their airline made little difference. And as such I found the treatment and seating terrible. Uncomfortable cramped seats, huge charges for overweight luggage a few pounds over ($150 on the way over and $100 on the way back) and other fees will keep me from flying them unless there's no other option. And while it may be nice to have a TV screen at each seat, not being able to turn it off, as in the one at my seat, was not at all appreciated.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
2  Thank irishmist1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2016

We always take United Airlines to Cozumel from Edmonton, Business class and are treated like royalty!!! The food has always been outstanding and the service is first class...

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank WayneS1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2016 via mobile

This was my first time flying with United airlines. Unfortunately the flight departing the UK was delayed by three hours due to two separate faults, luckily which has been highlighted before take off. However the plane did seem like it was a slightly older model and a bit tatty inside. We were not given any refreshments during this time as well which was a bit odd. Just left to make ourselves comfortable on our own. Staff didn't come round to visit during the flight for drinks service more than once. I wasn't very impressed.

The flight back to the U.K. Was the complete opposite of the flight we for out there. The plane looked newer, better quality seats, friendlier staff, tea, coffee and drinks twice.

United had a decent entertainment selection,and nice leg room. Food was a bit below average I would say. And you also have to pay for spirits, wines and beer are complimentary along with soft drink.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
Thank Hetal P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2016

The flight from Billings to Denver was fantastic. Denver to LAX not so great though it was OK, the seats were comfortable. Oddly .. none of the Flight Attendants wore uniforms ... when I boarded it seemed like "someone" was barking out orders ...In my opinion having worked travel and transportation ... that is not very professional ... they could use a little help in that area.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Douglas J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC