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“Business Class Quality Has Dropped”
Review of United Airlines


Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

As a frequent flyer in economy and business class, I expect the main differentiators to be in the little details. In the past United (formerly Continental) was focused on these details. But on this most recent flight from AMS to IAH, there were many little things that added up to a very disappointing experience.

Firstly, the positives:

The business class welcome pack is nice. I also appreciate the extra blanket and memory foam pillow. Nice small touches.

Although getting old, the flat bed seats and space is still very good.

Here are some of the disappointments:

Firstly, I don’t know if one can fault United on the experience at the lounge, but if they do care about their passenger’s pre-boarding experience (like Singapore Air does) they should consider what they can do to improve their lounge, especially for long haul international destinations. For example, the United (but shared with others) airport lounge in AMS was really too busy. There was a long waiting line to get into the lounge, lines to use the bathroom, lines to get beverages, no places to sit. Bottom line it was just simply far too crowded - It was not a very restful experience. As a business-class paying passenger expecting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal to find a quiet place to settle, this is was an utmost disappointment. I was better off just finding a spot somewhere in the terminal or a restaurant to sit.

Secondly, courteous service on board was lacking. I got the impression the my purser was just annoyed with passengers. I heard and saw one of the attendants sternly telling a elderly gentleman (also in business class) to sit back down because the fasten seat belt light was still on. This, after almost 30 min after take off and he wanted to go the bathroom. Instead of politely and sympathetically dealing with it she came across as very annoyed and very not very respectful. Then 5 minutes later when she dropped off his drink he asked how long he’d have to wait to go to he bathroom, she said it was now ok to go. But the seat-belt sign was still on! So not consistent messages.

Thirdly, entertainment selection onboard was really lacking. In the not so distant past, United was known to have really recent and up to date movie offerings. Sometime movies still playing in theatres could be watched onboard. But the options on this flight were not great. Movies that have been out for almost a year were still listed as “new releases”.

Lastly, the 777-200 aircraft is also really showing its age from the seats to the bathrooms.

I have been flying Business Class on United for over 15 years. I also fly with other Star Alliance partners as well as Flying Blue (ie KLM) depending on where I am flying. The Asian airlines have always been superior all-round so that is typically my preference when flying especially to Asia. But when flying from AMS to IAH I’d usually prefer flying United due their better onboard entertainment and service compared to say other direct flight carriers like KLM. But based on this latest flight I am not sure I will be choosing United anymore.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
1  Thank achoix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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724 - 728 of 34,673 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were extremely disappointed in United when our flights were booked and paid for months before a holiday arriving at Vancouver airport told that we not only didn't have flights our travel agent didn't pay for our flights, this is untrue we even have records proving that we booked and paid for flights and was told to phone customer service who then kept me on hold for over 1 hour and then we had to pay for further tickets to fly the next day as well as book accommodation for the night and try to contact friends that were to pick us up, still trying to get my refund as we should not have had to pay for other flights and then when checking our next flights Reno to Washington told that our flights had been changed for our return trip back to Australia and were denied checking in I was held on the phone again for over 1 hour and then called back to another person to be told that there were no changes and that our boarding passes would be at check in for us. Customer service is terrible.

    • 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)
1  Thank spendinheritance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I had a bad day today and when I was flying out from EWR to MCO just when I thought my day would get worst Najee Johnson a Ramp Team Leader helped me on the flight when the gate agent didn’t want to. His communication was everything and very nice/ pleasant person. This young man represented UA airline in the best way possible. I just see a great future in that young man. My business trip was a success & hope to see him again and hope for the best for him with work at UA Airlines. Thank you UA to meet a great employee on a bad day I was having today. My day was turned around. Thank you UA airline and Najee Johnson for the great experience. Until next time.

Thank dooboi112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

United goes to prodigious efforts to make you feel small. There is a definite psychology at work here - They go to extreme measures to punish you for choosing economy class seats.

First they deny you the ability to check-in online before the flight if you're not checking baggage.

Second - they send you several terse emails which remind you to check-in, in person, with their representative because you're not paying them the extra $50 for any checked bags.

Third - you have to wait in line so they can come examine your carry-on bag before you can even get your boarding pass to make sure it is a carry-on after.

It is abundantly clear that United demonstrates pure malevolence when it comes to it's economy class passengers. This entire process made me feel like I was in prison and United was the warden.

    • 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)
5  Thank Pat C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The United flights were OK. Recently the Direct flight to Charleston, WV was changed to arriving after 10 PM. Previously it was earlier in the day. Options for ground transportation after 10 PM in Charleston are not as viable as day time options. So, I took a flight from Houston to Washington Dulles and a connecting flight to Charleston. There is not much time between flights at Dulles. IAD is a busy place. I barely made my flight.

I will say though the flight from Dulles to Charleston on United Express was quick and ahead of schedule. I prefer a direct flight but ,this was OK.

My luggage arrived safe and on time.

Using the United APP does save time especially with the boarding pass.

    • 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 davidfW9546PB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC