United Airlines

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Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Since the merger with Continental, customer service is poorer and the airline nickels and dimes customers with fees and less amenities. In addition, flight time options are not always convenient.

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I only fly once and it was a very short trip one way so everything was great especially my first flight. I flight from Detroit Michigan to Chicago and I would like to fly more and will as soon as my finances let me.

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I have flown numerous times and have had no problems, the flights have been great and service is exceptional. The flight crew was courteous and friendly too.

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United is, hands down, the WORST airline that I have ever dealt with. I was scheduled to fly out of TPA on September 13th 2017. But I have just, narrowly survived, one of the worst hurricanes in Florida's history. There is only spotty power and cell service, very little gas to be found, most roads are impassable, and the ones that are, are bumper to bumper for days. I cannot leave my island right now. I have a business to rebuild, and a home to set right. United Airlines told me that my flight has not been "officially" cancelled. And that they "expect" TPA to be open tomorrow. So I am not eligible for a refund, nor even a deferred ticket. Yes, it was a cheap flight. They can keep my money. I'm just so disgusted with that corporation's lack of compassion! Not a shred of... Give **. NEVER again will I consider this airline for travel. NEVER!

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My girlfriend & I flew to Maui on United. We were treated with great respect. At that time, I was claustrophobic & afraid going from Chicago to Maui... how would I handle to rest room. The flight attendant, a veteran who was not a young woman, (I think it is GREAT that you allow older females continue to work!!) she hear me, and told me that they always had a key to the restroom, so if I got scared she told me to just press the button, and she would unlock the door. I had worried about this for over 30 yrs. Finally, a wonderful lady took away my fear. Also, my girlfriend and I dressed in casual business like outfits. She thanked us for dressing appropriately. I remember the days when our family always took vacations dress up in dresses/heels, etc. Now people look like they just cleaned out their garages. To me it is wrong!!! When we left the plane, she gave us 2 small bottles of champagne. That attendant made the trip for me. She was amazing! Thanks.

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I have flown with United for many years. Over the past year, their service has improved greatly especially the inflight Polaris service. While the seats and cabin have had little change, the service and attitudes have really been a great change.

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We had no issues with our flights to and from the US. Staff were friendly, no delays to the flights, only an hour delay when we left Melbourne, but the previous flight arrived late. The meals were OK, but it's airline food, so you don't expect too much.

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I had no problems whatsoever. Everything went smoothly. I had to cancel my son's seat right before we left. I did have travel insurance. I would definitely use them again.

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My last flight with United was June 2016 to Las Vegas and back. The going was good, the return was horrible. When we got on the flight we had to wait for 30 minutes to take off because something was wrong with the plane. After take off I get a email stating that our flight had been cancelled so when we get to Chicago our layover area all flights were grounded due to the storm then we had to be put on a waiting list for flights for the next morning with no guarantee that 2 out of the 5 would get on the flight. Then we had to sleep in the cold airport with 100s of other passengers overnight. This was the worst flight ever and United didn't offer no compensation for the inconvenience to anyone. They were more worried about going home than the people stranded.

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It was good until our flight back. Terrible. We had a layover until Sunday. Terrible lines, kept changing our flight until finally cancelled it. Then we wouldn't arrive until Sunday and this Friday. It was a nightmare. Will not fly United again.

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My first flight was very scary but everyone made me very comfortable and made the flight very safe. From the time I entered the building until I got on the plane, everyone was very pleasant. I really enjoy the shops and little places to eat or have coffee. The staff was very helpful to me being that it was my very first time flying. Once on the plane I was afraid but the ladies were very soft spoken and very calming. The pilot also introduced himself and periodically lets everyone know how the flight is going and when we would be arriving to our destination.

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We got tickets for Seattle. We left Milwaukee and had a layover in Texas and another in Denver. The price of the tickets were higher but it was a last minute emergency flight and we needed to be in Seattle the next day. We got to Dallas and our layover was longer than expected because of a problem with a pilot not showing for work. We even told the desk people in Dallas that we needed to be in Seattle the next morning and to please notify the Denver that we would be maybe a couple minutes late for our flight out of Denver. Dallas people assured us they did that.

When we got to Denver... They let us off the plane first, ran to our next flight area and when we got to the loading area we were told they gave our seats to someone else. We actually got to the boarding area 15 minutes before the flight was scheduled to take off. They refused to do anything about it even though we paid a higher price for the tickets, it was the pilot's fault in Texas that we were not earlier than 15 minutes before Denver's scheduled take off, that Texas was supposed to notify Denver flight people that we were on our & hold our seats and we were actually NOT late.

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First and foremost, this was last November, but at baggage drop off the agent noticed my cane and difficulties and immediately offered wheelchair assistance to the TSA check point and then to our gate if needed. At each gate I was given prior assistance in boarding due to handicap. My wife and I were treated with great dignity and care our needs.

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Everyone was so helpful and accommodating with all we need. Being an older customer, I found myself having a hard time walking to and from the terminal and though I did, they offered me assistance.

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I have had to fly more frequently in the past 2 years due to family issues. United has been my choice due to direct flight from Shreveport, LA to Denver, CO. Also have their mileage credit card and can fly on points.

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I think my experience flying United has been normal, no unpleasant experiences. The attendants are always helpful and happy and always greeted when boarding the plane.

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United has a text option that not only keeps you updated on flight times, but also reminded to download the inflight entertainment application for my iPhone.

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Had a great flight LA to Tokyo. No problems whatsoever. There was no fighting for seats or anything else. Last time I flew, we were delayed getting to the airport due to an accident. They booked us on the next flight, so we still made the rest of our schedule on time! I don't have any complaints!!

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I've only flown four times in my life... at least commercially. Two round trips to Maui between 5/'04 and 8/'08. (Other times were single engine and glider many years ago.) During takeoff, the 'rush' was tremendous, the remainder of the trip was relatively uneventful, there's not much scenery out over an open ocean. The meals were not particularly noteworthy. My flights all took place before TSA began vigorous searches and I will not fly anymore because of them.

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I can reserve my seat, they have decent enough prices and the fleet is in pretty good shape. United also has the best schedules for where I go and United employee are generally personable enough. Also, I would fly southwest except I can't reserve my seat or chose my boarding order.

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Overall in all the years that I traveled, over 1 million miles, with United they have treated me well. I don't fly as much today but during my career I felt strongly that United cared about comfort and safety. Recently I flew with United and still hold my believe that they care about their passenger's comfort and safety. The biggest challenge I think United faces is training their agents towards "Customer is King" in attitude and service. Otherwise they will continue to hold the "Just Another Airline" position. Continuing to attempt to just meeting customer expectations is no longer an achievement or even an accomplishment.

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I would like to share the recent travel experience I had when I traveled to Costa Rica with my husband and two kids ages 10 and 4. I traveled from Washington, D.C. to Liberia, Costa Rica on Tuesday, August 22nd with a scheduled return for Sunday, August 28th. As I arrived to the Liberia Airport on Sunday, August 28th, I was approached by a woman that works for United Airlines who informed me that all the flights out to Houston, Texas had been cancelled as a result of Hurricane Harvey. I was very surprised because I had not received an email notifying me of the cancellation. Mind you, I had already checked out of the resort and just paid a shuttle fee of $65 from Riu Guanacaste to the airport with plans on returning home.

I explained to UA staff that my 10 year old son, is under care of a physician and prescribed a controlled substance that he was almost out of and needed to return home as soon as possible to avoid any health problems. Of course, that didn't seem to phase them one bit, in fact, I was told I could get medication from any local pharmacy without a doctor's prescription. When I asked what my options were I was told that Is the ONLY option I had was to reschedule my flight for Friday, September 1st, a total of 6 nights more. I asked if I could be placed on the next flight with a different carrier and I was told they had checked for other customers and that the likelihood of me finding a flight with one of the other carriers was slim to none.

I asked if I could take a flight connecting from a different area and I was told UA only travels to Houston, Texas from Liberia, Costa Rica. I asked if it was possible to have United Airlines pay for lodging until we left on Friday and I was told they couldn't. I asked if I could fly out from San Jose, Costa Rica International Airport and I was told that I couldn't. Bottom line was that United Airlines couldn't accommodate me, my husband, and two young children in anyway, shape, or form.

United Airline staff advised me to contact their customer's service center but warned me I would likely experience a long waiting time to speak with a representative and that they had customers who had been on hold for hours only to find out there was nothing UA could do for them except put them on the next available flight. We spent nearly four hours trying to find a way to return home. United Airlines staff was not helpful in anyway and when I asked to use their phone to make a local call to the resort I had stayed to check if they had any rooms available I was told they were closing in 5 minutes and I couldn't use their phone. I pleaded to use their phone and one gentleman finally came around the corner and told the inconsiderate colleague of his to allow me to use the phone.

I was able to contact someone at the resort who told me they had one room available and that I was welcomed back. At this point I had no other option but to pay another transportation fee of $65 for another shuttle to transport my family and I from Liberia, Costa Rica to Riu Guanacaste. As I waited for my shuttle to return to the resort I noticed a large group of people were gathering to leave on a charter bus and was asked if I was a Southwest customer because Southwest Airline was providing a shuttle to San Jose, Costa Rica for all the customers who lost their flight and place them on the first flights out to their final destination. I was shocked to see that Southwest could provide some sort of accommodation and UA wasn't but it's probably because they care about their customers.

Now I understand natural disasters happen and that's not under anyone's control but considering my circumstances I would think United Airlines would have been willing to assist In one way or another. Keep in mind I am trying to get all this done with two young children who were very irritable because they had been waiting for hours to find out what we were going to do. We get back to the resort to find that we would have to pay $230 per night and remember my rescheduled flight wasn't leaving until Friday so that was a total of 6 nights. Not to mention I was also told by United Airlines staff that I was not guaranteed that I would be leaving Friday as they couldn't confirm what Houston's airport status would be. Ultimately, I ended up paying for two additional nights at the resort I originally checked out from and paid a total of $445.00.

Let's just say I was no longer in a vacation mood but instead a survival mode because I felt alone with no help from UA and began searching for flights. I contacted United Airlines customer service center and waited for nearly 45 minutes before a representative got on the phone with me. I explained my situation and they told me they could not put me on another flight. They did however tell me that in certain cases United Airlines loyalty members get first preference on flights; I was speechless. I couldn't believe what I was being told. I desperately began to search for flights and after hours of searching I was able to find tickets for us to return home with two different carriers.

I ended up paying $3,113,36 for flights from San Jose to Washington, D.C... And that was the cheapest flights I could find because all the other flights were costing us much more. Although the ticket prices were very high, I knew it would help avoid health complications for my son. Again, I paid an additional $65 to get my family and I from Hotel Riu to the transportation center. However, the problem was that San Jose is about four to five hours in car from Liberia and not knowing my way in the country I had no other choice but to seek public transportation. I managed to find a local transportation agency that bussed people from Liberia to San Jose and risked taking myself, my husband and my two young kids on a public bus for five hours in a country we all were unfamiliar with. And paid a total of $32.00 for all four of us.

My family and I were scared but had faith we would get there safely, and we did only to find ourselves at a final stop that had us walking for about 10 minutes in the middle of a rainstorm. We managed to get to the San Jose Airport but now we had to find a place to stay because our flights were scheduled for the following morning. There goes another unexpected lodging fee of $129.95. We wake up the following morning to find ourselves with a few different United Airline customers who also experienced flight cancellations, however, they informed my husband and I that UA paid for their flights but flying out from San Jose because their original departure airport was Liberia. I was astounded because I was told this wasn't an option but come to find out that UA does do it but only for certain customers.

Needless to say we managed to find transportation from Liberia to San Jose, book flights with other carriers, and got ourselves home before the Friday flight UA rescheduled us to leave on, which of course, was also cancelled. And even though it cost us a fortune to return home earlier than UA expected, it prevented my son from experience any health complications. In fact, I was curious to see if in fact the flight we were scheduled to leave on was still scheduled to leave and discover that It was still canceled. So United Airlines expected me and my family to pay for lodging for an additional 6 nights and wait until Friday, September 1st to find out our flight was still cancelled? This is absurd! I would think with United Airlines being such a large company they would have had a backup plan for their customers in cases like this. Let's just say this was certainly not the level of customer service I expected to receive.

This was not just an awful experience, but it also put my family and I at risk in a country we were all unfamiliar with. I spent a lot more money than I intended to all because United Airlines was irresponsible and unwilling to help accommodate us. I kindly ask that you please review and take into account all of the additional expenses I had to incur as a result of this incident. I hope that UA takes responsibility and compensates me for the expenses I had to make to get my family and I back home safely to the United States. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Expenses. Shuttle Transportation: Hotel to Airport (Sun., August 27, 2017) $65. Shuttle Transportation: Airport to Shuttle (Sun., August 27, 2017) $65. Shuttle Transportation: Hotel to Transportation Center (Mon., August 28, 2017) $65. Shuttle Transportation: Transportation Center to San Jose (Mon., August 28, 2017) $32. Lodging: 2 Nights at Riu Guanacaste (Sun. 8/27 & Mon. 8/28) $445.00. Lodging: 1 Night at Holiday Inn in San Jose (Mon. 8/29) $129.95. Lodging: 1 Night at Courtyard Marriott in Miami Florida (Tues. 8/30) $59.41. Airfare Tickets from San Jose, Costa Rica to Miami, Florida $2,307.24. Airfare Tickets from Miami, Florida to Washington, D.C. $806.12

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The airline did everything that they could to help us out and accommodate him. They had a wheelchair available and allowed us to load first. We didn't have to wait in line to go thru customs.

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United has always done well by me. There have been a few irritating instances, but nothing critical. I feel that their cancellation policy should be tweaked and the overbooking should be cut down or out, but overall they have been better to work with than other airlines I have flown.

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If you fly coach now you don't have much movement and when you're disabled it's a bugger. Anyone with a disability has a more difficult time getting where you need to be and with the equipment you need. I need my scooter but you can't put it in luggage without getting airport transportation/golf cart and then when you're dropped off you have no way to get to the bathroom. It goes on.

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So I use United frequently for business travel until of course Frontier Airlines came to Colorado Springs. What a joy to use a nonsense airline. So I'm booking a flight to Phoenix AZ, and it's a split flight, Frontier going and United returning. So Frontier has low cost of $78.20 for the flight plus a $57.00 rewards cost that is wonderful as it covers checked bag, carry on, and a seat of your selection.

United, sells me this expensive seat, "$449.32" but because it's a bargain flight, no seats. Even though my selection has "aisle" in my history, I'll get a seat assigned at the gate-maybe. So if it's not in the middle of two rather large framed people, it will be in the rear guarding the bathroom door. United - wake up. Let those with bargain fares purchase a decent seat of their choice. UNITED - you are the scum of the airlines and this will be the last time I use you and will let everyone in my business connection to also follow suit.

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When we arrived at our destination, we found out our baggage was on another flight the next day. Two pieces arrived the following morning and two others late the following night. One luggage was completely torn into and several items stolen, including a laptop with critical personal info. The airline did not offer to reimburse for delays, damages, loss, etc.

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In 2016 I was traveling from Houston Texas to Newark NJ - this was a 2 leg flight. On my connection I was running a bit late and I was dressed in jeans, boots, carrying a cowboy hat and carry-on luggage. FYI: I work in corporate and I wear a suit daily, just to give you an insight as to where this is going - this issue was about my appearance. This was a business trip coming from a week stay on a business ranch. When I arrived on the plane I spotted my seat and asked the male flight attendant if he could help me with my luggage to place in the overhead compartment. The flight attendant said, “Wish I could but I have a bad back. Ask one of the other passengers.” I walked over to my seat in FIRST CLASS and the tune changed to - “Oh, can I help you with that?” I reminded him of his bad back and he said - “Oh, yeah, I'll just roll your luggage into our private closet”. Really?? This is horrible customer service.

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I understand that I did not buy travel insurance when booking my flight. But I was not trying to cancel my flight. I was simply trying to change my flight to an early morning next day flight. I don't understand how they can charge $200+ for simply switching my flight to the next available flight since my initial flight was 11:20 pm, which is less than the flight they price the next flight at. I will never waste my time with United again. I have always flown with United and never had I ever had a problem until now. You lost a loyal customer.

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I have a flight from Bend Oregon to SF -- a simple one way $182 ticket. I planned to drive up, say a week and fly back. I cannot go as the quality to the EPA website is extremely hazardous due to a dozen wildfires in the area. They are asking people to stay indoors and closing all pools etc. due the extremely dangerous air quality. I have respiratory issues and cannot go to Oregon until the air quality is better in a week or two. When I called United and asked to change the booking for 2-3 weeks out, they said no and told me that would be a $200 change fee. HUH? The ticket was just $182. I would be happy to pay a $25-$50 change fee but to charge me $200 is ridiculous.

When I explained the health issue and the extremely bad air in Bend Oregon, they said they know; it is all over the news. They want to go to my doctor and to get a doctor's note (on letterhead) to refund my ticket. That is crazy. I have to take time off work to go get a doctor's note -- why do they not just allow me re-book at a later date, ideally no fee, but if a fee a reasonable one? I need to take time off work to get dr note? I hate United. They are the worst, worst, airline. They just do not care about customers or customer service at all.

Expert Review

Erika ArmstrongAirlines Contributing Editor

From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Mentor, General Aviation News and Business Insider.    More about Erika→

With 723 aircraft in their mainline fleet and an additional 510 aircraft operated regionally, United Airlines has one of the largest passenger fleets in the world.

  • Easy rewards: United Airlines has one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use rewards programs out there.
  • Tiered seating: Business-class, first-class and business-first-class seating is available to let travelers relax and stretch out during a flight.
  • Free checked bag services: Business- and first-class passengers fly with no additional fees for a checked bag, barring oversized luggage.
  • International travel: In addition to offering domestic flights, United Airlines travels to 57 different countries and offers services such quick checks on visa issues related to travel.
  • Flight info on the go: United Airlines has an app that lets users book flights, check in, follow flight status info, see seat maps and more.
  • Best for International vacationers, business travelers and frequent fliers who want more travel options and upgraded service.

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United Airlines Company Profile

Company Name:
United Airlines
Year Founded:
1926
Address:
233 S. Wacker Dr.
City:
Chicago
State/Province:
IL
Postal Code:
60606
Country:
United States
Website:
http://www.united.com/