Like many people in sales, I fly a
lot to visit current customers and potential customers. I generally fly United since it has a lot of
options on the routes I normally fly (and they are one of the few domestic
airlines that has many direct international flights from SFO). So a few observations on United:
– United has gotten a lot
better. They have a improved a lot over
the last few years. I've noticed a huge
improvement in customer service, friendliness, and care.
– I always buy economy class and
actually like the Economy class on United (especially with the 2 inches of
extra legroom in economy plus). But I
usually get upgraded (like 80% of the time) these days. Probably the reason for getting upgraded is
that no one is buying first class tickets and so the few people that buy
business class tickets are getting upgraded to first. And the routes I generally fly (like SFO to
JFK) have planes with tons of business class seats (unlike the SFO-BOS routes
which only have 8 business class seats and no first class seats).
– the plugs in business class can
power something small (like an ipod) but quickly shut down when one plugs a
laptop into them. They should change
– there is no internet on
united. And I like it that way.
– in business class, they offer
movie players since the seats are not outfitted with media centers. This is a good idea. Of course, I have never actually gotten a
media player as I find planes awesome for actually getting work done (no interruptions).
– the speakers on United are really
loud. They might want to lower the
volume a bit. When the captain talks,
he takes half my ear drum with him.
– the food (in business class) is
actually good. And they often serve
heated nuts as a snack (they are delicious).
– because I never buy business class
tickets, I never get upgraded to first.
But a business class ticket was bought for me on route from Tokyo to SFO and I got
upgraded to first class (my 1st time on united). Wow, first class was awesome. The bed was incredibly comfortable. Of course, I don't really remember most of
it because I was sound asleep.
– one thing united could do better:
when you check-in online or at the kiosks, they try to upsell you to buy
miles. And it is not a good deal … one
would have to be pretty stupid to buy the miles. And after the 40th time of not taking the
offer, you'd think they would wise up and realize I was getting annoyed with
the offer and just not show it anymore (or at least show a more appropriate
offer). I've tried to find the option to
stop getting these offers but could not figure out how to do it online (any
suggestions would be welcome).
– they send flight reminders a week
before the flight. That might be good
for people who fly every few months, but when you fly almost every week it can
be really confusing what flight they are reminding you of. They should have an easy way of turning those
reminders off without turning off the check-in reminder (I'm sure there is a
way to do it, but it is not user friendly).
– they should personalize the trip
more. Like "Mr. Hoffman, hope you
have a good flight to New York
today. And I saw that you went to Japan last
week. I love Tokyo.
How was your flight?"
– in the United P.S. business class
cabin, there is only one bathroom. And
there is 26 business class passengers and at least 2 flight crew using that
bathroom. So it is pretty much always
full (especially during busy times). I
don’t know what the solution to this is but the crew might want to recognize
this and selective escort people to use the first class bathroom when it is
– every once in a while, I like to
take a quick weekend vacation. It would
be helpful to get from United a list of all direct flights from SFO so I can
easily sort out where I'd like to go.
Maybe they publish this, but I have not been able to find it.
Overall — I'm a big fan of
United. I'm sure there are many other
ways they can improve but I think they are trying and I applaud them for