Why I Fly United

Old Jan 7, 17, 5:20 pm
  #1  
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Why I Fly United

I started flying United (and Continental) back in College. An airline that ferried me between my home base and my now ex-girlfriend's place on the other side of the country, became a fundamental part of my weekly routine and an entrusted brand. It has been several years since those days, but through the good and the bad... Smisek et. all, I stuck with United. Now I'm GS!

What's your United story?
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Old Jan 7, 17, 5:27 pm
  #2  
 
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I have a huge amount of faith in the professionalism of the United mainline pilots. Plus I live in a United hub. That's why.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 5:28 pm
  #3  
 
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I stopped flying UA 4 years ago because I got tired of their screw-ups. They messed up more often than NW, DL and AA combined. I was a Platinum and enjoyed the free upgrade to E+. I used the last of my UA miles flying to small airports in California on an EMB-120 from SFO or LAX connecting from somewhere else.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 5:57 pm
  #4  
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Interesting question. I just wrote about it on my blog last month.


CAUTION: link to my blog! A Love Affair With United Airlines

From the feedback I received, it seems that many had similar stories.

Basically, I started flying on United when I was 9 and have never looked back. Family trips, mileage runs, and memorable trips around the world. When I went to law school, United got me home to LA every weekend. When I courted my wife, it was long distance via Germany. Every other month I was on a UA flight to Frankfurt. Oh what great memories that fostered long-term loyalty.

Last edited by l etoile; Jan 8, 17 at 6:13 pm Reason: Add content
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:10 pm
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P fares.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:13 pm
  #6  
 
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In the early 2000's when I lived in SYD, one time my wife and kids took a RTW FC on Star A, starting on SYD -SFO at the that time the meal for kids up front was reheated cheeseburger which was the most disgusting looking thing you have ever seen.....my kids loved it and my wife found the UA crew more kid friendly that QF up front ...! so I caved into the pressure and switched out of the NZ program for StarA in early 2002 when I moved to the US I always maintained my QF flying though.As I did many transpac's I got to know the people on Syd routes very well and after 911 moved most of business to UA for moral support. I have been in GS since it started and can't complain how I have been helped when things go bad and got to know many of the great CS reps over the years .Since the merger I cut back significantly and UA are back as my number 2, Would be happy to give my business back but they will really have to lift the product quality certainly beyond what I have seen of Polaris so far

Last edited by wanderingkev; Jan 7, 17 at 6:18 pm
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:46 pm
  #7  
 
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Got a consulting job, live near SFO.

While that may be why I started flying them, I think United is somewhat better than AA and DL in some ways (not operational performance though).
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Old Jan 7, 17, 7:14 pm
  #8  
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I moved to LA in 1997, and I had been a loyal Delta flyer (as I was living in Cincinnati but hailed from Boston - both DL hubs at the times).

At the time I moved to LA, I flew mostly to Boston. While I had no problem with CVG connections, my husband preferred nonstops.

So I got a status match, and I've been with UA ever since.

Last edited by zrs70; Jan 7, 17 at 7:36 pm
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Old Jan 7, 17, 7:23 pm
  #9  
 
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Grew up in SFO and if you were flying anywhere outside of CA (in which case it was SW or PSA) United was really the hometown airline. As a kid, the Saul Bass livery always was eye catching. My dad flew a lot for work and would sometimes take me; we'd sit up front in those grey leather seats. I always wanted to be like the businessmen I saw around me as it seemed like they had something important to do and that "they'd all been there before." Anyone remember Connoisseur Class?

As my adult life would have it I've been based in both IAD and SFO so am a bit united captive. When I really started flying a lot was just before the Smisek days and I stuck with them through the thick of it. I'm GS now and at least initially, Oscar has vastly improved my opinion of the airline.

Many my age (I think I'm the oldest one can be and still be a Millennial - Reagan's first term) wonder why I don't like the "hipper" airlines; I guess I've always just been a United guy, and I don't see any reason to change that.

Last edited by HoyaSFOIAD; Jan 7, 17 at 7:30 pm
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Old Jan 7, 17, 7:26 pm
  #10  
 
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Great Thread Topic - thank you - assuming that people can stay on topic and not use it as another "Vent about UA" thread. We have plenty of threads on why people are leaving UA. Hopefully the mods will keep this one focused on stories behind why people became (and remain) devoted to UA.

Here's mine:

As an Aussie expat living in the MidWest back in 1994 or 1995 (I'm guessing), I was not a frequent flyer and definitely not a HVF but I flew UA often enough, along with many other airlines - whoever was cheapest.

Then my Dad had a heart attack and I needed to get back to Oz NOW. Back then it was a duopoly I think. I called QF, explained, and they said all of the right "understanding" words, but explained they could next get me out until 2 days time.

I then called United, told them exactly the same story. I will never forget the agent's response. "Well, we simply HAVE to get you out on tonight's flight. Let me see what I can do". Sure enough they got me on the flight that evening and upgraded me. This was even in the good old days of bereavement fares.

I have never forgotten those words and the comfort they gave me. And, although there have been times I have been highly critical of UA's decisions and handling of loyal flyers, I have remained that to them - loyal - for all except one year soon after the CO-UA merger when I gave my second 100k of the year to AA. That was one year only out of the last 21 or 22.

Difficult to calculate how many tens of thousands of dollars that phone agent garnered for United in that one call.

Thank you United.

Lurker

PS: My Dad did fine!!^
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Old Jan 7, 17, 7:52 pm
  #11  
 
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I started flying UA on a regular basis about 17 years ago. I met a lady during my travels who lived in the mid west USA and UA was the quickest way of getting there from Sydney to visit.
I liked the older crew and the general vibe. I esp liked the old 747 and still miss it.
That lady in now my partner and has been living here for 15 years and is an Australian citizen.
Our annual trip back to see her American family as well as getting around the country doing the tourist thing will always be with UA.
They have never really screwed us around and any blips have been quickly and efficiently fixed.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 7:59 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2016
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I live in Denver and can fly United nonstop to small places like Eugene and St George.

Left over loyalty from PMUA helping me with a couple of family health crises.

Kind of golden handcuffs with status and miles at the moment.

(But flew jetstar this morning because the price was right)
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Old Jan 7, 17, 8:07 pm
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I live in COS and can get great non-stops to various locations that I frequent. If I can't get direct, I can have a quick 45 minute layover in DEN to get almost anywhere. That is quicker than going through DEN security!
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Old Jan 7, 17, 8:29 pm
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I fly UA because the last airline my parents had set us up with loyalty accounts with before I shipped off to college was Continental (we had been NW and DL flyers at some point before that...never really flew AA that much). My first paid flight after college was on B6 (JFK-SFO), and it occurred to me (perhaps wrongly) that since B6 didn't fly internationally, I should probably sign up with one of the (what I viewed as) bigger US airlines that flew overseas. From what I recall, the Continental loyalty was residual from the past, but I also signed up for the Presidential Plus credit card around this time ($0 starting fee + free miles were a great incentive, and at the time, the lack of expiration on the FEQM did stand out). So...here I am! And despite some of the headaches over the years, I've generally had good experiences, with only a few bad / annoying things happen over the years.

Given that I live in Manhattan, I could fly whoever I want, but being close to Penn Station makes getting out to EWR pretty easy. And I will second that Oscar has been a breath of fresh air. Whenever I saw Smisek's face before the safety videos in the past, it was pretty easy to smell the BS through the seatback AVOD.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 8:33 pm
  #15  
 
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Granddad started as a DC3 pilot in 1953 and finished as a 747 captain and (one of many) Vice President in 1996
Lots of flights with him while growing up in late 80's and early 90's where he would pick me up for a trip and take me along for a week-3 of his schedule

Started flying on buddy passes and then flying on paid fares every vacation I got. 6 years ago I got a job involving some travel and have managed to keep everything with UA for the entire time.
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