United Airlines
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.97/5
  • 5 stars
    28
  • 4 stars
    24
  • 3 stars
    14
  • 2 stars
    13
  • 1 star
    215
Based on 294 ratings submitted in the last year
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United Airlines

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Last updated: Nov. 12, 2017

2039 United Airlines Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 12, 2017
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Published on other site: http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/united-airlines/

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Now you not only have to pay for food but you also are provided with NO entertainment in a 4-hour flight. The worst part is You are forced to pay with credit card if you want to see OLD movies such as The lion king or Office Space through Direct TV. How can they rip you off that badly? They force to travel like sardines, they never have any empty seats so checking in and out of flights takes standing in long lines to make sure that when you get on board your carryon luggage will have space. They also keep asking us for our cooperation because they have a full flight. It''s like they are saying sorry that you have to travel like this but we have to keep making money. We don't care about your comfort. What do they do to make sure we an enjoyable flight? We have to pay for food if we want it, pay for entertainment and suffer through the entire flight with the extra tiny space that they have given us in, for example, in BOEING 737. Please lets all BOYCOTT UNITED. This NEEDS TO STOP. We, us customers, deserve a little better than this!!! You pay for checked bags, what are they going to charge us next? IT NEEDS TO STOP.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 12, 2017

Our first time to visit Texas. On our way back to CA, we had our WORST check in experience with United Air staff. Pls Check out one guy "in ponytail" VERY RUDE and not accommodating. Doesn't even smile.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 9, 2017

United Basic Economy Policy SUCKS - Can United find any other ways to screw its customers? I WAS a loyal United flyer until today, when this policy caused me to miss my flight because I could not check-in at the kiosk -- instead I had to wait in line to PROVE to United that I did not have a carry on bag. Nor could I electronically check in, as I always do -- again I had to SHOW THE TEACHER that I did not have a carry on bag or I would not be allowed to get a boarding pass of any kind. WTF United! The United gate personnel (nice people, really) stated "You should have known to show up super early to go through the no-bag-verification process."

And I missed my flight, along with a whole line of other people in the same situation. Honestly, it is time for us ALL to pick another airline. I can imagine the United Board of Directors gleefully voting for this "basic economy" policy to enrich their bottom lines, assuming the sheep will continue to fly United. Not me. I will vote with my feet and go elsewhere.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 6, 2017

I am a disabled senior and I would never fly United ever again! Every time I flew, a wheelchair was supposed to be waiting but it never happened. Then each time to get one, I was talked down to and embarrassed. Boarding I was told I could board early, never happened. I was pushed and shoved and if I could, would have gotten off and taken another airline. Think a UAL would help but every time they looked the other way or couldn't be found. This happened a while ago and I see nothing had changed for me to change my mind. Whatever happened to the old, old slogan "Fly the Friendly Skies of United"?

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 5, 2017

Having problem check in kiosks, search for nearby United Airline staff for help, not only being unhelpful but she also just walk away and left with only "I cannot help you" and leave me hanging. After trying to consult for her help again, she basically said I was rude and nasty!!! What an interesting CYA tactic to fend off people and justify why she does not know how to help customer. Take away... Just blame on other people and you are safe... What a great customer service tactics.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2017

Returning from Atlanta, my plane was canceled because of mechanical problems. I was then switched to American Airlines and rerouted from an Atlanta to Philadelphia to Albany. Originally the trip was to go from Atlanta to Newark and finally to Albany. I was scheduled to be home by mid-afternoon. But instead because the connection from Philadelphia to Albany was missed. I did not get home till after 10 pm. No provisions for a meal or any effort to lessen the burden of an over 7 hour delay to arrive home.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2017

I believe I've used United Airlines one time and that was more than enough to prevent me from using them by choice in the future. I had a terrible time flying United for an international trip only to have coworkers tell me later that I should have used a different carrier. Lesson learned.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 28, 2017

After a 2.5 hr delay on the SFO tarmac, missed the connecting flight to Amsterdam on Lufthansa, rerouted next morning on United to horrible Newark airport for United flight to Amsterdam, only to arrive at destination 48 hours later, with missed hotel reservation in Bordeaux.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 27, 2017

Premier access does not happen from local secondary airports. It is just a stampede to the seats (Santa Fe, NM). Flight to Munich, booked thru United (Lufthansa) does not provide early boarding. United takes your money, no refunds, no service. It is a scam, ripoff for suckers. Bad business.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 23, 2017

I booked a flight with my young daughter about a month ago with United Airlines given that it was the only nonstop flight that I could get 2 seats together for. I did not want to risk not being able to switch seats while traveling with a 4 year old. I called customer service and asked what it would take to change the flight. After being told my flight was non-refundable, I was told it would be a $200/person fee plus the difference in price for the new flight. WOAH! The new flight that I was trying to switch to was not available only 2 weeks before - had it been I absolutely would have chosen a much earlier flight. I asked to speak with a supervisor just to explain my frustration for being penalized as a customer for the company not disclosing all of the flights for the day. She was condescending and had no want to listen to me. She started our conversation with "So I hear you can't pay the change fee?"

After explaining my frustration, not my inability to pay, and asking what my other options were she rudely commented about my inability to understand policy and move on. I was simply asking for clarification, not special treatment. To which she finished our conversation with "Well that's just the way it is. And if that's how you feel, then thank you for flying United Airlines!" I hung up with pure frustration and confusion.

Today, I decided to call once again in hopes of finally being able to talk with someone who could actually talk me through ALL of my options. I spoke with Nick who said that I was misinformed; it was a flat $200 fee plus the difference in price. He insisted this was correct and even gave me a quote which was more than half the difference I was told when I called the first time! Obviously these agents have some pull and can accommodate customers when they want to. He then said I would be able to handle all of this online so that I could confirm the flight and seats that I wanted for my daughter and I. I thanked him for his time and immediately logged in online to start that process.

Right away I knew something was wrong - there was a $300 difference between the price Nick gave me and what my computer said! So I called United once again to double check everything. This next agent was finally helpful! She confirmed that all of the information Nick gave me was wrong (change fee and the possibility of contesting and being refunded for my flight).

I then continued to tell her about my other experiences with the other 3 reps that I previously spoke with and she clarified all of my options ($200 fee vs 24 same day change) and actually sympathized with the poor quality of service I received. I also explained that I chose United as a last resort since the Alaska Airlines flight I hoped for (perfect departure time, nonstop, and same price) didn't have 2 seats together and that their company policy would not charge me more than the price of my flight to switch if I chose to do so. Unfortunately, I still cannot have any sort of fee waived for United's sneaky way of not disclosing all flights ahead of time. If I have this poor of service way before I even get on the flight, I cannot imagine the way my daughter and I will be treated on our day of departure.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 23, 2017

I booked online a flight from Chicago to Dubai to Egypt and back to Chicago thru eDreams. Somehow, my name was entered as Alisa ** and my name is Alisa **. My flight was 10/25/17 and I noticed the error on 10/10/17 and started trying to get it resolved. I was told that this could be fixed and that there would be a $50.00 change fee. I had to call back 12 times over the course of two weeks only to be told 2 days before my flight that United/Lufthansa would not allow this simple name change and cancelled my flight that was non-refundable. I tried to explain this issue and still was simply told no.

This is completely heartless. I was not changing the flight or the person flying - just that my last name was entered twice. Not only did I lose ALL of my money for this flight - but because they gave me the runaround for almost two weeks - flights are now astronomical. They only offered another flight for 3 times what I paid for the first on. I have never been treated so poorly and with complete disregard like that in my entire life. To avoid missing my son's wedding - I had to book another flight - a flight I could not afford. This is so disheartening. Completely disappointed.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 22, 2017

Booked a round-trip flight for my wife and myself over a month ago. Paid in full. Checked my confirmation and found I was booked in their new "basic" economy class. So that meant we couldn't take a full sized carry on, we couldn't sit together, etc. (Essentially "steerage" class, oh and this is a "new" class they are trying apparently). I went online and found I couldn't upgrade my tickets that way and needed to call. And this is where the trouble really begins...

A very nice service rep told me I could upgrade the flights for $25 each... 2 persons, round trip = 4 tickets for a total of $100. Easy, right? Rep first confirms my confirmation and credit card numbers, then asks for all of my credit card info again, to run the $100. She then puts me on hold... For almost 15 minutes. She comes back on, asks me again about the upgrades I want and puts me back on hold... This time for over 40 minutes. Just to run my credit card.

Rep comes back on, apologizing over and over. Her computer was having problems and she had to call her tech department to fix it, leaving me on hold the entire time. She then tells me she's waived the upgrade fees because of the inconvenience. She then got us assigned seats and told me the seat numbers, confirmed we can bring full sized carry-ons, etc. I thought that was very helpful and appropriate considering the hour+ phone call. Later that afternoon I was going out shopping and checked my bank balance... I had been charged by United $380.80! The full price of our tickets, double charged. Not the $100 upgrade fee... Which had been waived! The full price of our tickets that we had paid over a month before... United was charging us twice for our tickets.

I call United back, explain what happened to the rep (a different one, obviously), she then tells me I'm wrong. Puts me on hold for 13 minutes. She says with my free upgrade, I'm being charged $100. Not the full price. Now I'm explaining to her that I've already been charged the full $380.80... The money has already been pulled from my account, it is gone!!! She says no it's not, they didn't charge me. Says she'll transfer me to her supervisor.

Supervisory comes on, I have to go through the entire explanation again, she tells me I'm wrong. Puts me on hold... 12 minutes later she comes back and tells me that my free upgrade was only for the outbound flights. So she is going to charge me $100 for the upgrade!!!???!!! Like what the hell is going on here??? I explained that first of all, those fees had already been waived. But even according to her, if only the outbound fees waived, I should still only be charged $50 for the two return flights. ($25 per ticket, remember). She tells me, "No, the total is actually $100." I did the math with her again, she put me on hold.

This time only 8 minutes and she's back telling me, the outbound flights I got the free upgrade for was to "economy plus" and those are $49. But I still have to pay for the first upgrade to "standard economy"... $100!!!??? At this point I have no idea what the hell she's talking about. She tells me the first rep I talked to charged me for the first upgrade "standard economy" and gave us a free upgrade, outbound only, to "economy plus". (That's 3 different different classes, BTW). I explained again that was not what I was told, and even still... I'm being charged the full price for my tickets twice!

So I have her recap for me... The double charge has been refunded, we have been upgraded to "standard economy" with the fees waived, our already free upgrade to "economy plus" was taken away (being punished I guess, haha). All I wanted to do was sit next to my wife. I was ready to pay the $100 upgrade fee, and called them and followed all their policies. Instead I ended up in this total nightmare of double charging and obfuscation. And 3 hours on hold. (It took 6 minutes to buy the tickets online). BUT NOW: This morning, I've been charged the full $380.80. They have STILL charged me double!

Now I'm left with the choice of doing this all over again, a second day in a row and somehow hoping or believing they might fix it... Waiting until tomorrow and having my bank do a charge back to United and hope that doesn't somehow cancel my tickets... Cancelling the damn tickets entirely and just driving... No matter what, trusting United isn't part of any of that.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 17, 2017

I paid an extra 80$ for what I assumed was a "cancel anytime". Turns out they won't refund my money. You have to pay $200 to use a travel voucher which is your "refund". I have yet to have a good experience with United and their customer service.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 16, 2017

Me and another passenger were refused Boarding 55 minutes prior to the flight. We had no luggage and I registered for the flight a day before, I just needed to confirm the passport. However the kiosk at the airport still did not work after I scanned the passport and asked to consult the representative. This is where I lost this 5 minutes and had to talk to the representative, what resulted in this ridiculous refusal. I would like to mention that the company representative Dana was defensive and rather rude with us. Michelle showed understanding and willingness to at least try to help. In any case I find this experience completely unsatisfying. I am not surprised seeing such rate. I will not recommend this airline to my friends, given the 0 flexibility shown towards our case. I will not choose this airline for my business or personal traveling engagements.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 13, 2017

My son travels several times per year from our hometown to university. He carries a small carry on case and a small backpack. He books his ticket on the least expensive flight available on Delta, American, United etc. On over 20 return flights none of the airlines has questioned his luggage or charged him extra for either his backpack or carry on case. Today, United decided to charge him $25.00 for the right to take his small carry on case with him.

On calling United to inquire why, I was told this is their new policy and I should be aware of this policy. We explained that when we booked this ticket via Expedia we were not aware of their new policy nor did we see any mention of this. "Bad luck" we were told, "You have to pay or leave the case at the airport. This is the very last time any of this family will fly on United Airlines... Their behavior is disgraceful. I have just cancelled all our future bookings on United. "Do not book with United Airlines." Delta & American are more reputable airlines to do business with... Stay away from United.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

Overall, United Airlines gives fair service. Frequent delays not weather related, are aggravating. The flight attendants are usually quite good and friendly, but do not receive the compensation that they deserve.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

It is a miss and hit experience with United Airlines... and the experience ranges from just horrible to just wonderful. Their internal processes are extremely poor leading to such an experience variation and customer focus in general is missing in the process... it is just that you are at mercy of the individual whims of the staff of the day!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 10, 2017

The agent was grumpy after kiosk failed. Plane was dirty and seats small. The overhead was full so I had to put briefcase under seat where feet go and felt like prison. But at least we lived and arrived on time.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

Despite hard press, our flight was fantastic. The staff was friendly and very helpful helping us get to where we needed to be. Service was completed in a timely manner and you could tell employees enjoyed their work.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

The flight went as well as expected. There were no problems with the crew or the jet plane itself. Everything went fine the entire flight and I will fly United again.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 8, 2017

I flew economy and had a window seat towards the back of the plane. It was an overseas flight in excess of 10 hours, therefore meals and drinks were offered, however by the time they reached the rear of the plane many options were no longer available. The number of passengers is not a secret and supplies should be calculated accordingly. This is not the first time it has happened to me.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 7, 2017

On the United Airlines Website (www.united.com) you can select "Book Award Travel" when you are attempting to make a reservation. There is a flight pair from Sydney Australia to Los Angeles connecting through Aukland on Air New Zealand, a United partner airline. These flights come up frequently as available, in Business Class from Aukland to Los Angeles (Coach from Sydney to Aukland) and the cost is 80,000 points and a small amount of fees and taxes. When you attempt to book these flights you can get all the way to the final page where you select "Purchase" and you get an error message with the phone number of their website support. I spent 2 hours on the phone with one of their agents and then a Supervisor. Ultimately they told me there was nothing they could do and to try back again in 48 hours.

I have tried back many times now, found the same flights, and keep getting the same error message. I have called and spoken with their Customer Service and written a lengthy letter explaining the issue. In my mind this is the definition of False Advertising if you offer a service and simply cannot provide it. I received a letter back from United Airlines where they admit that this is out of their control. Again, the definition of False Advertising to offer a Goods or Services that you simply cannot provide. It makes them look "Good" because 80,000 points is a good offer for this flight but it's a ruse. I have multiple screenshots that show the date and time, the flight pair, the mileage offer and the error code. I have attached one pair to this complaint. You can see the flight pair, the mileage cost and in the upper right-hand corner the day & time from my computer. The date was a few days ago.

I suggested to United that they could either offer me a "Raincheck" for these flights and then find out why the error code keeps coming up or, more logically, offer me a similar flight on a United flight which they absolutely have control over. They have daily non-stops from Sydney to Los Angeles and you can often find them in Business Class for 70,000 points, 10,000 points less than the offer they can't fulfill. They have repeatedly refused to follow this course of action either. The airlines have gained notoriety in the past decade for their business practices. One of those practices is to simply tell you there is nothing they can do. They leave people sitting on the tarmac for hours, kick them off of flights for no good reason, and I'm sure the list is much longer. The point being the "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do excuse" is simply not valid.

The Supervisor for website support told me she was going to report this error. That was a week ago and the flights are still showing up. Again, I received a letter from United where they admit they simply can't offer those flights reliably and, in fact, they don't seem to be able to offer them at all. I spoke with Air New Zealand, the partner airline that the flights would be on and they had no idea why United could not fulfill that offer.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 7, 2017

My last 6 flights I had 5 cancellations necessitating an overnight stay. Most caused by no flight crew. How can you not have a flight crew 4 out of 6 flights? United paid for hotel stays but would rather be home!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 7, 2017

Flying United is usually okay overall. I haven't yet to experience this personally, but I know one of my family members that flies united on a regular basis, always experiences delays in flights and that is pretty frustrating.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 6, 2017

Due to airline we missed a connecting flight & had to stay. We were given coupons only accepted @ airport or hotel for $7 per meal. As our flight from the connect was 30 hours after scheduled take off, we were given 3 coupons each. Moral: Take extra credit cards for meals.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

My bag was lost in Chicago. My travel purpose was a business meeting in Vilnius, (VNO) next day but I did not had any clothes. I filed a report and was told that my bag will be delivered next morning and they have tons of flights between Copenhagen and Vilnius, but I got it right before my flight back to USA. I am very disappointed with your service and I do not even know why I fly there if my meeting was ruined.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

I booked a UAL flight which I had to changed. The level of incompetence displayed by the agent was terrible, she split my wife and I reservation into two separate reservations, failed to assign seat and charged an additional 50k points on top of change fee. I spoke with a Supervisor. However, he appeared oblivious but did assign seats but failed to connect the reservations. I contacted UAL customer service, they apologized but failed to take any corrective action.

I am a Bi Weekly frequent Flyer with UAL and they do a good job at the gate, on the plane and at the counter. However, if you ever have an unusual situation and need to call their res center, plan for the worst. It appears the reservation agents are now "minimum wage contract employees" through a call center that don't take ownership. I recommended UAL raise base wages and skills sets for all contract staff in customer-facing functions. Otherwise service will continue to deteriorate to the level of Frontier and Spirit.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

I fly economy on day flights and short hops, economy-plus on long hauls and night flights. I have flown with several different airlines but generally use United in an attempt to earn air miles/loyalty points. What I like about flying can apply to any airline: when the food is decent, when the flight is smooth, when the cabin crew are pleasant and helpful.

On any airline you may have a rough ride, lousy food, a surly steward. Mostly it's a crap-shoot - no one airline has the corner on "best value" or "worst employees." That's just as true of banks, grocery stores, and post offices. What has annoyed me most recently about flying is specifically about the big jets and long flights: yes, all the airlines have made seats smaller so they can cram more passengers into economy. Not one of them has increased the number of bathrooms. And they all get ratty about "congregating in the aisles" and about sitting down when the fasten-seatbelts sign is on. That concerns me a lot more than whether or not I can bring a jar of peanut butter on board.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 4, 2017

I am a long time frequent flying of United and many of my trips have been overseas. I have found the flight attendants to be accommodating and friendly. The only delays I've had have been weather related and I've never had a lost bag nor difficulty storing a carry on. The few times I've flown other airlines, generally due to routes not covered by United, I've been appalled at the lack of courtesy from check-in to baggage claim.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 4, 2017

I have been with United for many years and I will continue to use them as the airline of my choice. Never had any problems and I have recommended United to family and friends.

United Airlines expert review by Erika Armstrong

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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Erika Armstrong

Airlines 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.

United Airlines Company Information

Company Name:
United Airlines
Year Founded:
1926
Address:
233 S. Wacker Dr.
City:
Chicago
State/Province:
IL
Postal Code:
60606
Country:
United States
Phone:
(800) 864-8331
Website:
www.united.com