Consumer Complaints and Reviews
TL;DR. United took two days to return our four checked bags to us after they misplaced them, generally had very poor baggage handling and customer service, and seemed less organized than I feel comfortable with for an airline. My boyfriend and I used United to fly back from Calgary, Canada with a layover in Houston, TX to reach Columbus, OH. He was in charge of our travels and forgot to check us in, so we didn't initially have confirmed seat assignments, which was an annoyance but not the airline's issue. (I mention it for later.)
We arrive at the airport in Calgary. United only had three kiosks that were working to print out boarding passes and prepare checked bags. They had no staff to help people understand this (that so many of their machines were down, that people needed to print their own bag tags before reaching the counter, etc.) so in a crammed area a bunch of people were trying to figure out what to do and the line was long as they only had three people working at the counter, two of whom were handling checked bags. This was stressful because it was an international flight area and they were providing zero customer service to help things run smoothly.
We figured out which kiosks worked and managed to get through security and customs quickly with no problem. Went to board the plane and the gate agents told us the overhead capacity was getting full so they encouraged us to gate-check our overhead carry-ons, which we did because it's nice to not have to worry about them and every airline I've flown on typically brings gate-checked bags back up for you to grab instead of sending them to baggage claim. We Sat for 30-45 minutes at the gate in Calgary for them to load more baggage and to de-ice the wings. Not too much of an issue because icy wings sounds like a terrible thing. The pilot made up the time in the air on our 4 hr or so flight so we arrived on time.
When we got to Houston a United plane at our gate was also running behind as it was still loading baggage. We had to sit right next to the runway in between the taxi area for over 30-45 minutes because the airport wouldn't assign us a new gate because other planes who were coming in later would need them, so instead of distributing the delay (i.e. moving us to a new gate and having the plane we might bump just go to our gate once it's free) we had to sit there.
Some people undoubtedly missed their flights who had tight connections. What was supposed to be an hour layover for us became a mad dash from one terminal to one, two terminals away as we had run to catch our connection because our plane was already boarding by the time we disembarked. During this the pilot kept us updated and seemed nice, but clearly frustrated with how the airport was handling our plane. Our flight attendants, who weren't cheery to begin with, exhibited rather poor customer service skills in answering people's questions. Unnecessarily rude to people who just wanted to understand what would happen if they missed their flight and if this situation had happened before.
As I was expecting our gate-checked carry-ons to be brought up from the plane for us to grab in the walkway, I was a little confused when they weren't so we walked up to the gate agent that was outside of our receiving gate to ask if they would just continue to our final destination or not. She was extremely rude and initially didn't listen to us, and told us if we wanted to know our connecting flight information to ask as this other woman. My boyfriend and I were annoyed so we waited for her to pay attention to us again and re-asked our question politely because we needed to know before moving on to our new gate if we needed to wait for our bags or not. She finally answered but was super rude in doing so that they would continue on. I should mention that she literally wasn't helping anyone else and there was no one waiting in line for her, so she wasn't that busy at the time.
Arrived at our plane about 5 minutes before the scheduled departure time and because my boyfriend hadn't checked in, they assigned us seats separate from each other. We had to wait about 10-15 minutes after our scheduled departure time for them to load more bags. My boyfriend asked if we could sit next to each other in one of the pairs of empty seats on the plane. The airline attendant told him not to move yet as more passengers might board. Right before we started taxiing, the same airline attendant asked two people near me to move up into the empty seats to help balance the plane even though we had just asked if we could sit together, which was annoying, but not the end of the world for a two hour flight.
Left and arrived in Columbus. United didn't have anyone scheduled to receive our scheduled flight apparently, so we had to wait almost 10-15 minutes to get baggage handlers and someone to connect the walkway to our plane. Went to baggage claim and waited 20 minutes for our flight to even show it had arrived and which baggage claim to stand at. A few bags came out and we figured more would come, so we waited 40 minutes from the time our plane arrived with about 15-20 other people. As it turns out, United left all four of our bags in Houston which was incredibly concerning as it contained our hiking gear, most of our clothes, souvenirs we just bought, etc. totaling in the thousands. They also misplaced the other 15-20 peoples' luggage as well.
The lady working the counter did not have good customer service either. She basically had the "shrug your shoulders" attitude and didn't really seem interested in trying to be reassuring to anyone who just lost their bags, didn't tell us what would happen if they didn't find their bags, couldn't give us an average turnaround time for how long it would take to get our bags from Houston, etc. She wasn't rude per se, but wasn't friendly either.
I should mention that inside and outside of their baggage claim service they had probably 50+ pieces of luggage sitting relatively unattended that looked like they had either wound up at the wrong airport or had been misplaced previously and needed to be driven out to people. The guy in front of us had apparently left his house key in his gate-checked or regular-checked bag by mistake, and the airline couldn't find his bag at all. They managed to get our bags to us two days after we arrived in Columbus intact, so that was good.
I purchased a $400 Roundtrip Ticket 1-1-17. I was NEVER informed the ticket was NON-refundable/NON-transferable. I told the UNITED Customer service agent I "Purchased the ticket as a gift" for a girlfriend I am no longer seeing. The agent said "The ticket does not belong to you, it belongs to your girlfriend." She also said "What kind of a person buys a girl a gift then takes it back?" WOW. I officially HATE United. I will never fly with them again. I now have a $400 Credit in my EX girlfriend's name. The agent then said..."Why don't you just get her to buy the ticket from you?"
Hey UNITED!!! I did not ask for relationship counseling. I will never be able to use this $400 Credit IT IS NOT IN MY NAME!!! UNITED sucks!!! They capitalize on people's misfortunes. I am out $400 and the seat I am sure will be sold to another paying customer. These are archaic practices. UNITED has effectively stolen my money. I spoke to 4 Different supervisors at UNITED. They were all extremely rude. They were sarcastic and belittling. Worst experience I have ever had.
Purchased a flight ticket but denied the right to check-in and board United Airlines UA3473 due to unfriendly and arrogant United Airlines staff at check-in counter. Mental agony, horrific time, financial loss and harassment suffered by my family traveling with an infant. We missed our connecting international flight. This complaint is regarding the atrocious experience my family, Sanghita ** (wife) and Mehan ** (my infant son) went through while traveling with United Airlines on Dec 1, 2016 which led us to miss our international connecting flight Emirates EK 204 JFK DXB and EK 528 DXB HYD.
The situation: Due to heavy traffic, we reached the XNA airport at 17:10, and subsequently reached the check-in counter at 17:15. The scheduled departure was 17:50. The United check-in counters at the airport: There were 2 check-in counters. There was only 1 passenger checking-in at that time. I approached the counter that was not serving any passenger. I was refused to be given boarding passes by the agent on duty on Dec 1, 2016 17:15 hours. The agent was extremely harsh and said, "People don't bother to reach the airport on time" and leave us in pickles and resumed to attend her colleague without attending to us.
Our pleading and request were turned down: When we pleaded for help and let her know that we had an international flight to connect she paid least attention and said she already mentioned that we cannot check in at 17:15. Supervisor unavailable: She mentioned that this case would need her supervisor's intervention. She went inside a room to call her supervisor and returned only after 25 minutes, not in uniform but in casual clothing as she was done with her shift. Upon asking about her supervisor she replied that her supervisor was not available in her room and could be at the gates. She asked us to book the next United flight to Newark/JFK or Chicago or try booking with other airlines.
Please note: At 17:40, the check-in agent was not in uniform and preparing to leave home. XNA website clearly states United operating hours, staff does not follow. She was calling it a day at 17:40 and as per the website, United Airlines operates during the hours 04:30 to 18:00. Flight arrival announcement at 17.40 hours: We could hear an announcement that the flight #3473 is yet to arrive and once it does they would clean and start with the boarding process and this was at 17:40. When we heard this, we ran to the check-in counters and requested them again to help us check-in but they mentioned that will not be able to help.
We rushed to other airlines at the airport to check flight availability. We ran to all other counters in the airport (Delta, American, Allegiant) but none had flights scheduled to New York that evening. American mentioned that they have a flight to New York with only 1 seat available. Mentally harassing and humiliating a helpless family with a VALID/PURCHASED FLIGHT TICKET and DENIED THE RIGHT TO BOARD A FLIGHT. Arrogant, horrific and discriminating customer service. We suffered severe mental agony and harassment although we had a valid ticket purchased and the denied the right to board a flight. We finally heard the last boarding call for the Flight #3473 and stood there helpless. To add to our misery, the agent said that one must be 2 hours early to the airport to board a flight.
I did not receive any check-in email from United Airlines for my journey from XNA to EWR. There was neither an email with a journey alert nor a check-in online email for my journey. UNITED AIRLINES CANCELLED MY RETURN JOURNEY flight from EWR to XNA WITHOUT ANY NOTICE I had booked a round trip journey. I was surprised to know that United canceled my return journey from EWR to XNA on January 2. I had to rebook my itinerary with a change fee of $400 plus an extra fare of $3.80. How could an airline cancel my flight journey without even informing me? If I wouldn't have checked in advance, I would have reached the airport to board the flight being sure that I have confirmed journey tickets, and upon check-in understand that I did not have a valid ticket. What could be more horrible than this while traveling with a family?
The below itinerary was canceled by United and I had to rebook my journey: Departure - (EWR) Newark, New York to (XNA) Bentonville. Booking Confirmation - **, United Airlines flight # 3436, Date: Jan 2, 2017, 08:04 EST. I rebooked my flight journey from EWR to XNA and for which I also received an email which says Check-in now for your flight to Bentonville/Fayetteville, AR, US (XNA), Confirmation **.
Consequences that we faced because of this: We missed our International flight (Emirates EK 204) New York to Dubai next day (Dec 2) 10:40. It was a harassment for us as we had to book our tickets again and modify the reservation with Emirates. We had to change 4 flights with an infant. My son was visiting India for the first time. We had booked a hotel in JFK which could not be canceled. United Airlines canceled my return journey from EWR to XNA on January 2 without any notice.
Another surprising fact is to note that I did not receive any such check-in email for my travel to Newark from XNA. What does it mean? What could be the reason for not checking us in? We could clearly understand later that the agent did not want to check us in, but we did not understand the reason for this. We were surprised to see her call it a day. Is this a reason to not check us in? Not apologetic at all: They were not even apologetic when they saw us helpless. This is the most insensitive and uncompassionate customer service I have experienced so far. This has caused me huge financial loss. My rebooking and rescheduling cost me $4524.89.
I have flown United on about 8 occasions in the last two years. Almost all of them were terrible beyond what US standards of a functioning business should be (I kept flying them because I was a student and couldn't afford a more reliable airline). Long terrible stories aside, fly some other airline that is responsible and accountable for its issues. After another unbelievable story (still on hold at over 1 hour), I cancelled my United miles credit card this morning. Since the economic crisis United reduced their standing from a reliable and top-notch airline to scrapping by giving cheaper flights than the rest and cutting costs everywhere. They have also been a part of many lawsuits for price fixing and other things. Look those up and see if you want to fly United.
Incredibly incompetent staff. Don't even know what their connecting flights are. They managed to delay our flight because of clogged drain and taking 30 minutes to de-ice. If you have the option to take a school bus full of sick children or fly United, take the school bus.
How do I know I can trust these reviews about United Airlines?
- 669,639 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
A few years ago, I was a Candidate Flight Attendant for Continental Airlines, now part of the United Airlines company. I always flew Continental whenever I needed to get somewhere in a hurry. I have no recent experience with using either a Continental or a United flight, but in the past I have been treated courteously, and never had a complaint.
I traveled from Tulsa to Cleveland the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. My flight had a layover in Chicago. Overall my experience was good. On the first leg of my flight I got as many snacks as I wanted, and my layover was only 40 minutes. With layovers in O'Hare the big question in my mind is whether the airline will have me land in one part of the airport and then have the connecting flight in another part of the airport. Luckily, United's connecting flight was in the same terminal so I didn't have to rush. I didn't end up canceling my flight, but I like that if you cancel your flight that you booked with miles you can get your miles back. I've been United Mileageplus member for awhile and almost always use United. I've had better experiences with them than other airlines, and I like that United flies internationally, as opposed to Southwest.
After helping out United Airlines (who overbooked their flight), I took a $500 voucher and agreed to get on the next available flight. When I tried to use the voucher, the website said it was "voided." I called customer service. A half hour later, nothing changed. There's nothing they can do. All that phone call directed me to do was fill out a form on a website where United won't get back to me for "5 to 7 days." I will never fly them again. The fact that this couldn't be resolved in a half hour phone call makes me sick.
Worst mileage program there is... Not based on miles flow based on how much you pay for a ticket. Then if you are not a premier mileage plan member you can not talk to anyone in the United States mileage plan department. If you are just a basic member you have to speak with someone in the Philippines. What a disgusting way to treat a customer. I will not fly on United nor will my family members again unless my life depends on it and I am totally desperate. United get a grip... You are an American airlines. Treat us better. I travel every week for business... not United again.
"Ma'am, these are the rules of United." I called United Airlines to get clarity on my unfortunate Hawaii trip cancellation. I don't fly a lot for vacation so I am not sure of all the rules and regulations. The representative was completely rude right out of the gate on the phone telling me, "Ma'am, these are the rules," I had to keep redirecting her what to do next, where all my money was going, and simply what the RULES of United Airlines are in my current situation. She was short and condescending. I know that must be a hard job, but I was very kind and considerate telling her I was sorry that I was not understanding the $200 penalty and the $50 dollar voucher (I'm still unclear). So now I'm out $553.00 with nothing to show for it except the feeling of being treated like a criminal for just asking what to do next. I will avoid United Airlines from this point forward and I fly for a living!!!
In the past, United has damaged my luggage three times and hasn't compensated me for it but once with a few points. It has lost my luggage. It has charged me extra for my luggage despite being a premier member. They did also add miles. It gave me a slight compensation (which I still can't figure out how to use it since there isn't anything on the reservation site which allows us to use the compensation) for being late and having to wait 4 hours on international flight from Tokyo. I almost missed my flight. Despite all of this, I've stuck with them because I'm able to accumulate miles for redemption for gifts or car rentals or hotel reservations. I just wished they'd acknowledge and treat their members better when flying.
Flying Economy Plus with the promise of food and beverages turned out to be a bait and switch con. Flying from LaGuardia to Chicago and then on to Vancouver. First flight too rough for drinks but crew were extremely nice. Flight 563 Chicago to Vancouver had a flight crew from hell. After requesting food and being refused and then requesting a soda for my 9 and 11 year old and been told they did not have enough to allow them one each. The crew were rude and uncaring. I requested the purser come and speak to me. He was even more abusive and uncaring. After fuming but sitting quietly I had to use the toilet. There were 8 people in First Class and over 120 in Economy and we both had one toilet. We were told no lineups were allowed. Being in the first row of Economy it was impossible to get back to the toilet without standing in a lineup which was announced as prohibited.
I noticed the other toilet was unoccupied and I committed the offense of preventing an accident and pain from my bladder and causing no harm or upset used the front toilet. You would be in less trouble for entering the White House. I exited the toilet and was attacked by a waiting purser. He demeaned me and embarrassed me as though I was a street urchin who had entered The Ritz. He ordered me back to my seat which was exactly where I was going before he stopped to admonish me for daring to have Economy pee in a First Class toilet. I harmed no one. I asked where else I would be going on an aircraft 36,000 feet in the air except to my seat? He simply yelled at me again to return to my seat in an authoritarian manner. I did so immediately. When the purser pulled the curtains back in front of me for landing I told him he was a very rude man.
On landing the pilot galloped out of his Sully perch to try and show the crew he was a hero preventing a terrorist act. His face was red and he ordered me to wait and talk to three security personnel for daring to ask for a second drink and then using the First Class toilet. They came and he ranted and raved with complete lies. I was then asked calmly by the security personnel what happened. I told them the truth and offered a million dollars if the pilot could provide one scintilla of evidence of any word or action I took against the crew. He could not. He then suggested I would never be able to fly United again. This man who is trusted with our lives was a ranting and raving lying lunatic. I did meet with the security personnel in arrivals hall after and they told me to ignore the irrational and crazy scene by the pilot. He was merely looking to avoid a complaint be made.
I am 64 years of age and my father was in the Air Force so I have been flying since 1967. I have flown thousands of flights and as a matter of fact 32 in the last six months. Never in my life have I encountered any problem with an air crew. The fact United Airlines crew are willing to actually lie to avoid any guilt is extremely worrying. They should not be trusted with our lives if they cannot be trusted with the truth. Stay away from United. Planes are old crews are tired and extremely agitated on most flights. JetBlue or Air Canada are wonderful. They should not be allowed to carry passengers. They are a danger in the skies.
I liked United. I live in Pensacola Florida so not so many direct flights to D.C. or New York. I flew many times commercial, student stand by and military. They got me there. For that I am grateful and they always were kind and helpful. They used to serve food. I liked that.
I booked a United flight for a trip to Vancouver, BC. Some wild storms came through on the day of our departure and many flights were diverted or delayed. My flight got delayed 3 times. If they delayed it one more time, I would've missed my connecting flight and therefore missed my transportation resulting in the whole trip being worthless. The gate agent was able to fit me on the next flight out and bumped me up to First Class for the remainder of my trip. They took such wonderful care of me and made me a loyal customer for life.
While searching for a flight, I saw an ad on United for Credit. It had the ticket price of $315.20-$50=$265.20. Before applying for the card, I called the # listed to find out if I could use the card right then. I was told yes, just follow the blue link. So, I applied, then got a message saying if approved, the card would come in 7-10 days. The site would NOT let me use the card right then, which is the only reason I applied for the card! I called Chase card again to find out if I could buy tickets with a different credit card and still get the perks of priority boarding and 1st luggage free, NO again! I then called United. They said I would be getting an email within 24 hours with my credit info. I asked her to hold the fare and price, which she did. I did NOT get an email w/i 24 hours. It was w/i 48 hours and it only had the last 4 digits of my new card.
I went into a Chase Bank. They were able to give me my CC #, but could not give me the 3 digit code on back, needed to reserve my tickets. By this time, the price of the tickets was going up from $265.20 (price with $50 credit savings) to $496.20! I wound up having to rearrange my entire trip, and using a search engine got tickets with a different credit card for $378.20, which was a difference of $113 (378.20-$265.20) plus not being able to get the luggage free or priority boarding. My new card finally arrived but way too late. I was not able to use it to purchase my tickets. So not only am I out $163 ($50 off ticket price, $25 luggage each way, and $63 extra for tickets, plus it was a very stressful situation). I'm also an extremely unhappy customer.
I submitted a question by email on 7/30/16. I received an answer on 8/20/16. They MADE it necessary that I speak to a booking agent, EXTRA CHARGE, ROUND TRIP TRAVELING ONE WAY WITH A PET, could not book myself. Their posted answers are vague and NON BINDING which means if you follow their advice and there is a screw up YOU PAY. They CHARGE you FOR EVERYTHING, ROUND TRIP TRAVELING ONE WAY WITH A PET, make you file a complaint, then they decide whether you are due a refund. You will not receive the refund in a timely manner but when THEY GET AROUND TO IT. They wanted me to book two separate tickets. A one way ticket cost the same as a round tip ticket. Why would I do that.
I had to cancel this flight for some personal issue and my ticket was refundable. I have been calling them since Nov 28th, 2016 and today it's Dec 27th, 2016. It's been 30 days that I am still waiting on my refund. I have called them 10 times in these 30 days and every time the agents put in on hold on the pretext of talking to the refund department for 30 min (YES!! 30 min each time) and then cut my call off.
I have asked them the a reference number or tracking number for my refund but they aren't giving me any. Why can't they give me a reference number from the refund department or why can't they give me refund department's number so that I can talk to them directly. They have close to $2000 with them and they aren't releasing it. There is a reason I couldn't make this trip because my wife is ill and now I need that money to pay the bills. What right do they have to hold my money? Worst airlines when it comes to discussing cancellation and money back even on refundable tickets.
I had a flight at 6 am from Atlanta UA224 on 12/27. Got there at a little before 4 am thinking it's just after Christmas and a busy airport that is allowing myself 1 1/2 hours before boarding to get through security. No line - great! Well 4:06 alerted that plane delayed 3 hours 15 min due to maintenance. I was flying into Newark - a busy airport as well not the back of beyond nowhere - why don't they have another aircraft or change things around? The flight might be delayed but by a couple of minutes. Then at 5:10 am told that the aircraft had low tire pressure. They don't have a spare so one is being flown in from Newark - leaving at 6:10. Seriously how poorly run is United and Atlanta that they don't have things like spare tires. Again flying from one busy airport to another they can't rearrange things to get their customers to their destination faster? They don't have important parts on hand? Are we in America or a 3rd world country?
Just missed Christmas Eve dinner with family, because United decided to just cancel a flight from O'Hare to Indy. No weather problems either. So we had to fly through Houston to get back home to Indy in order to be home for Christmas Day. Then they don't transfer our luggage. I was so upset with this airline that I began looking for a complaint blog and found this web site. After reading all the negative and recent complaints, I'd say this airline is dangerous to fly on. They are cancelling and delaying flights due to mechanical issues. So they say, themselves.
You would think that United staff would care about customers. Not the case. Our nightmare with United began in Seattle. We were going to my grandmother's funeral and was told that our plane was going to be 10 hours late. So that was the beginning of our nightmare. For our flight back (On Christmas Eve), we arrived at the kiosk for United and it said 50 minutes was too late to check bags. The went to one agent after another who each pointed at another agent to talk to. Then we were sent to the additional services line.
I finally had to walk up to an agent and ask her to please help us. She called down to the desk and was told they were waiting on 9 people and we weren't one of them. She then booked us for Christmas Day. My question is what is the point of 12-15 agents walking around and doing nothing but talking to each other? They are extremely rude and make customers feel unimportant. As I sit here typing this review, I know there is nothing that can be done about my flight, but a kiosk machine should not take the place of human decency. You have lost my family's business and I'm pretty sure more will follow.
Paid extra for the bulk head seat for more leg room. They are next to the bathrooms which smell like urine & only 2 or 3 restrooms in the middle of the cabin for the middle of the plane. 2 restrooms in the back of the plane. Too many people & too few bathrooms. This means people are standing & hanging around waiting to use the bathroom. There is no place to put your personal item because there are no seats in front of you to stow personal items. This means you have to find, do some space in the overhead compartment. You are not allowed to hold anything in your lap while taking-off or landing of the plane. Not worth the extra money. You have to pay to smell urine, have your feet trampled, or your purse ten rows back in the overhead compartment.
12:00 Noon Thursday, Kathmandu (Midnight Wednesday, US Central Time) November 30, 2016. Air India sent an email saying that there was a schedule change on my Kathmandu departure, changed to 4:05 p.m. The lines at Kathmandu can be terrible so I decided to head to the airport early. After thirty minutes of breathing the diesel which passes for air in Kathmandu I arrived at the airport. Passing through the first security check I made my way to the check-in desk and after much consternation the Air India agents told me that they could not “open” my ticket. Yes, they could see that there was a prepaid ticket, but they could not issue me a boarding pass.
After about thirty minutes of mulling and calling by the agents, I was sent to the back office where a number of guys sat around on flimsy chairs and old metal desks. They concluded that United Airlines had failed to provide Air India with a “flight control coupon” and that without the coupon they could not issue me a boarding pass.
Their attitude was that this was my problem and I was the one that had to fix it. (Silly me, I thought all I had to do was buy the ticket.) Not having an international phone I had to cross the terminal to the Nepal Telecom payphones and call United. United’s response was “we did everything we needed to do and there is no problem”. I explained the Air India issue once again and United went into third-grade mode. “We sent them all they need, there is no problem.” Back to Air India who responded that “yes there is a problem”. For three hours I was back and forth between two airlines acting like they were 9 or 10 year old humans. Finally, Air India adopted a Pontius Pilate attitude and gave me a boarding pass to Delhi, “there are more resources there and they can leverage United to do its job” they told me. They also checked my bag through to El Paso, somehow. I cleared another security check and departure clearance and was off to Delhi.
Arriving in Delhi I made it to the Air India service desk after clearing my fourth security check, this one between the Air India airplane and the International Lounge at the Delhi airport. Four hours later, Air India had made no progress in solving my problem. United was not cooperating and Air India would not budge. (Remember, that we are talking about a short numeric code here. All United had to do was provide Air India with that code - should take less than a minute.) Me - I was stuck in a large room with security on both sides and no water or bathroom. One of the security points would require a visa to enter India, which I did not have because I was an international transit passenger. The other would require a boarding pass - which seemed to be a problem. I was literally stuck with no place to go.
But United was adamant and they were third-graders after all, they were not going to do anything else. There was some general laughter along the counter because other United ticketed passengers were experiencing the same playground mentality. Air India customer service finally printed some boarding passes, I think just to get rid of me - Because of a rather inane oversight I had packed a battery in my checked luggage. A simpleton mistake, but I had had a premonition in the hotel in Kathmandu that things were not going to go well and I had packed hurriedly. In any case, two hours before departure time security took me down into the bowels of the terminal where they presented me with my bag, directed me to open it and find the battery (at first they kept insisting that I had a cigarette lighter in the bag). I found the battery, they confiscated it and sent me back to the waiting area. Clearing security for the fourth time at Delhi (seventh in total).
I boarded the plane. As I sat calmly in my seat I kept wondering if after seven hours of trying to get Air India and United to fix a simple problem, that they had created, the problem was solved. Nope, some guy shows up and says they can’t open my ticket. They take photographs of my ticketing information and were on their way. Two more times they returned each time taking photographs of more information, of my boarding pass from Kathmandu and my boarding passes for the rest of the trip. Fearing the worse, unable to motivate the two airlines to perform in a grown-up accountable fashion and not having an India visa, I informed the last guy that I was not getting off the plane.
Eventually, the plane took off. By this time I was wondering if they were going to recall the airplane in an effort to get United to give them the code. Not a rational thought, I realize, but given what I had been through not improbable. It is a sixteen hour flight from Delhi to Chicago and I had the privilege to sit near a screaming toddler who spent his time whaling, crying, or ** in his pants. Sixteen hours of that. (His parents and grandparents solved their problem with small bottle after small bottle of liquor.)
Arriving in Chicago I kept thinking of what was going to go wrong next courtesy of the Star Alliance and these two wonderful airlines (that is how their ads kept describing themselves). Now in most circumstances I would never have considered the possibility of a lost bag. After all, I had seen the bag in Delhi and all that had to happen was that the bag needed to be put on a plane and taken off of a plane. I cleared immigration and headed to baggage claim to transfer my bag. No bag. No record of my bag. My bag and the tripod, typical traveling items, clothing, and souvenirs seem to have simply vanished - without a record. Damn inconvenient that I had baggage claim checks.
Two more security checks in Chicago and I was boarded on a United flight to Houston. Texans are not noted for their spatial perceptions or their judgement. I was reminded of that fact once again as I watched Texans try to fit oversize bags into the overhead bins. I watched as they pushed, crammed, and squished their bags in a seemingly repetitive act of apparent insanity. Perhaps I was just overly sensitive at this point. As the plane was pushed away from the terminal a bolt on the “pushcart” broke and we sat for a good while in the middle of everything, eating up a bunch of time.
Arriving in Houston there was a chance that I would be able to make my scheduled flight to El Paso. The pilot noted that several people had close connections and asked that everyone remain seated until those people deplaned. Texans, showing their courtesy, immediately jumped into the aisle, no help for the weary from these clowns. So, I missed the connection in Houston. But United to their credit, put me on the next plane. Flying into El Paso I was wondering what was next, we hit turbulence and my only thought was “great, a crash”. Safely on the ground I had my second friendly encounter with United (the first being getting me on the next flight to El Paso). The lost bag employee for United was both courtesy and competent. My claim was filed and 46 hours after my flight started I arrived home. The following evening my bag arrived at the house (third friendly encounter with United).
When my first flight was delayed due to weather, I was impressed by how quickly and automatically they rebooked my connecting flight. I didn't have to do anything and ended up arriving at my final destination only an hour later than originally planned.
We have flown with United on many occasions from Calgary, AB to Florida. Our flights have been comfortable and the staff have been helpful and kind. Once, we almost missed our connection in Houston and they kindly held the plane for us. It wasn't long but we were the last to get on the plane. The seats are comfortable and the choices of television viewing were fine. We are not demanding travelers. We tend to take things as they come without making a fuss but cannot think of anything that happened that would have caused drama. Our flights have always been uneventful and safe. A direct flight would be so much better but I understand the rules about flying from Canada to the USA prevent that happening. Overall, United is a good airline to travel with.
The United Airlines' call center is a joke. I'm not trying to get any freebies, I just want to let the travelers know that God forbid they book with this operator and they need to change anything in the booking, because if that happens, then they're screwed. It was my first and last time I've used United Airlines! I don't think they realize how many customers they are losing by not having a good customer service department! It is sad that they don't know the basics about customer satisfaction, which is the key to success for any business!
I prefer United over most airlines. Their cancellation policy is great and their staff is awesome. I have had several horrible experiences on airlines such as Allegiant or SpiritAir. With United I am assured that I will have a good experience and if the experience is less than positive then I know they will make it right! Great peace of mind.
They screwed up my reservations and I've been put on hold for 30 minutes. Three times their agent comes on and then says, "I'll fix," and for me to hold. 15 minutes after they never come back and they simply disconnect me each time. Horrible service.
They intentionally and automatically hang up on you after about 10 minutes to cut down on labor expenses. This just happened to me. I was literally giving the agent my credit card number and I was hung up on. My signal was at full strength. This is how corporations like United Airlines save on labor costs while getting consumers to do the work ourselves. (Booking online).
Unites Airlines had nearly a week's notice to plan for the severe cold weatherfront that hit upper Midwest. Instead of planning appropriately so as to minimize cancelling flights and severe travel delays, the company choose to opt for a bit more short term, very marginal, income and wait until the last minute... This resulted in hundreds of passengers' flights being cancelled and passengers being stranded. I'm addition, United gave last minute flight cancellations even though they had plenty of advanced warning. The airline DOES NOT believe poor and selfish decisions and policies like this will significantly impact customer choice.They are wrong. As a president of a mid-sized company, I am barring our employees from using this airline for any future travel... indefinitely. They are a despicable airline.
This was the most horrible experience I've ever experienced with an airline. I flew United to Ireland this past August, with a stopover in Heathrow before taking United/Aer Lingus to Dublin. I was at the San Francisco airport for my departure, arriving in plenty of time to check in and relax a bit. While I was waiting in line to check-in, I received a text - from United! - stating that my flight would be delayed four hours. Unbelievable. When I arrived at Heathrow, lo and behold - another text saying that my United/Aer Lingus flight would be delayed for another four hours. When arriving in Dublin, they couldn't find my luggage. Since I was in Ireland to attend a wedding, I was a little worried because all of my nice clothes were in my bag. Several other passengers also had missing luggage, so we all lined up for approximately 45 minutes to file a claim with the agent. We were given reference numbers and a phone number to call to check the status of our bags.
I spent three days in Dublin in the same clothes and had to pay to wash and dry my clothes. Each day I called the number they provided, and each time they told me that my bag was still at Heathrow and would be arriving at any time; in fact, they twice gave me times when the bags would arrive, which meant I had to cancel some of the activities I'd had planned in order to wait for them. But, no bags. The day before the wedding, I had to scamper around buying a nice dress for the wedding and an outfit for the rehearsal dinner, undergarments, toiletries, shoes, pajamas, slippers, etc. I was furious!
The bag finally arrived the day AFTER the wedding. Going home, there was another four-hour delay with United getting out of Dublin. Another stop-over in New Jersey, another four-hour delay. After two hours into the delay, they let us board but we all had to sit in our seats for another two hours before takeoff. The flight attendants were rude and couldn't be bothered with any of us. THEN, they had the audacity to try and sell us one of their little packaged dinners for $8! Sorry for the rant, but I will never, ever fly United again! (And why isn't United's management doing something about all of these complaints?)
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.
United Airlines Company Profile
- Company Name:
- United Airlines
- Year Founded:
- 233 S. Wacker Dr.
- Postal Code:
- United States