United has its groove back

Old Aug 5, 18, 8:10 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by adambrau View Post
I don't disagree with you mate! I haven't had the misfortune to travel on a 10-abreast 777 but it sounds pretty awful.

IMHO I think the aviation industry has declined because most passengers, looking to fly, purchase the least expensive ticket, and airlines have been in a race to the bottom to deliver that. Traveling only in Polaris or semi-Polaris class, things are going the other way. I don't think it's right, but it's clearly obvious.
Other than than the obsession over plastic and paper ice cream cups, I can't think of an obsession of this board more disproportionate to reality than the 10 across 777's.

I flew in one. Like just about any widebody in Y, if you have a middle seat it isn't great. But in an aisle seat it was fine. The seat is like a half of inch narrower than a 737's seat. Big deal.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 8:11 pm
  #47  
 
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This summer has not been good from the perspective of IRROPS. I don’t pin it all on UAL but the system is strained, across the board.

I am happy to see PE coming, because the economy class experience is worse than ever. Fuller planes, smaller seats, less pitch/recline (even in E+), worse padding, and said seats seem to be filled with passengers of declining civility (perhaps more of a social commentary, I guess). The Polaris rollout will never be fast enough. Meal service onboard isn’t very good, and the nickel-and-dime passenger experience cuts seem to roll along.

On the positive side, the tech features offered by United (especially self-service options) are industry-leading. Objectively, the operation IS better. Overall, more United passengers are getting to their destinations on time, with their bags, than ever before. That’s a good thing. The Polaris Lounges are the best such product United has ever offered.

There are more CRJs, but there is also more mainline flying than at any point since the merger. Employee morale seems to be improving. The company finally seems to be under competent leadership, despite some customer-unfriendly tendencies.

Are things perfect? Nope, not even close. The (grossly unprofitable) pre-consolidation industry sadly is never coming back, and the old United or Continental we used to know is long gone. So are the trappings of those various eras like 60% load factors, Chateaubriand carved seat-side and plentiful elite upgrades. Setting nostalgia aside, things are probably as good as they have been since the merger and the needle seems to be pointing ever-so-gently up.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:35 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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I only fly long hauls and mostly connect to SFO/EWR with UX or AC, so I'll only speak to UA mainline here.

The good:

- The Polaris seat, for me it's the most comfortable J seat compared to AC, NH, OZ, TG, SQ, & BR, everything from range of recline, firmness, storage, privacy and IFE just works perfectly for me. 14 hours literally fly by in an odd-numbered window seat for me. I actually prefer it to any non suite F products.

- The Polaris lounge - the hardware & the F&B selection are slightly ahead of AMEX Centurion and definitely better than anything offered in North America. It's up to the international standards and even slightly better than others' J lounges offerings..

- 1Kvoice - they always answer emails promptly and problems are fixed on the first email, often exceeding my expectation - I never have to follow up. When I call they pick up on the first ring and again, what needs to be fixed gets fixed. They're better than the AMEX Plat concierge in Canada.

The meh:

- On board service - wildly inconsistent even on the same routes. Some TPAC crews are great/happy to be there/happy to see you, and some are just plain robotic/like they hate their jobs. Even the J crews on AC are consistent, they're not great but I know where I stand and what to expect if I have to fly them.

The bad:

- The Polaris amenity kits, that cheap tin just bugs the piss out of me, bring back the SAKS bags!

- The Polaris F&B selection, the reds are undrinkable and the entree selection needs a refresh. Also no more decent hot mid-flight snacks is annoying.

- The upkeep of the Polaris showers in SFO & EWR, the cleaning crew are starting to halfass it and it takes forever to check in. The UC showers used to have excellent attendants no matter where you go.

The UGLY:

- The boarding process. J-heavy setup on the 77W plus 1Ks and Plats in Y = Gate licing ing BG1, every flight. Split this in 3, Polaris, 1Ks in Y and Plats in Y. There's no reason a 1K in J should have to gate lice behind 20 people in the back of the bus.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 2:15 am
  #49  
 
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Flew UA LAX-LHR and back frequently up to a few years ago. Just did LAX-MEL on UA’s 789 as a non-UA *G in Y and I feel like UA has upped their game since I’ve last flown them three years ago.

- priority check-in worked great

- United Club was decent as well

- zero gate lice in boarding group 2, line for group 1 was longer

- UA’s 789 interior is head and shoulders above ET and CA’s. The 15+ hours were actually okay in row 30something. Or maybe that was the muscle relaxant...

- food: I’ve had a few better, but many more worse meals on flights. The snack pack from the galley was neat

- crew in Y: can’t say they were cheerful rays of sunshine, but they were courteous, friendly and professional
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:47 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by aero0729 View Post
The United product is no better than Spirit:
- Paper thin seats designed to cause agony
- Food so disgusting in Polaris I would not feed it to my dog.
- Crappy old planes, usually dirty with a crappy Wifi interface that never works. I do not know if a plan of improving the crap United wifi run by gogo. Its expensive too.
- No build in IFE... anywhere in the US. DL wins there.
- United Club - not at all worth a dime, id much rather wander he terminal and get some walking in.

what food does your dog have? are you saying 150M UA customer a year is worth less than your dogs?

UA has one of the cleanest fleet out there, sure beats jetblue and southwest,. UA has large amount of new widebody coming online. the 767s after retrofit are the best 767 to fly in the world. the 777s after retrofit are basically like new.

UA IFE has one of the best selection out there in the U.S. nobody beats UA for the international film collection.
The private screening option is just icing on the cake. UA app is the best in the industry, i have not seen another app that is better in this world.

United club is in the renovation stage, after UA just launched the best J club out there in North America and it beats plenty of J clubs for oversea competitors.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 6, 18 at 11:02 am Reason: repaired quote; discuss the issue; Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 10:16 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC, FLL
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The staples for me, as a 1K:
- Good award availability, good *A partners, the ability to upgrade to or book LH F
- Free drink/snack for 1K in Economy
- Ability to SDC for free
- Ability cancel awards for free
- 1k Voice/phone line has solid agents
- Yellow luggage handle / valet delivery has been good

Going downhill:
- Polaris soft product. All that hype, confused FA's with the roll out, wine flights / mimosa carts launched and sort of taken away, disappointing food.
- Domestic FA's. You only have to go to Asia to see some real pride in their work, better attitudes, etc.
- Like others above, I get delayed quite a bit. Mix of weather and mechanical.
- VDB offers disappearing
- I'm finding it a bit harder to use GPU's (but I've had decent luck in the past). Could just be routing, a good economy, etc.
- I'm tired of E145's. Wish they'd be replaced with E175's. All of them.
- Boarding process needs some tweaks, as noted above. They really should board F first; Group 1 is getting massive.
- Poor inflight WiFi reliability.
- Slow rollout of Polaris Hard product; slow retrofit.

Recent pluses:
- UC EWR Term A refresh
- Saks amenities/bedding.
- 777ER Polaris Hard Product
- Return of the sundae bowl, I guess?
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Old Aug 6, 18, 1:21 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Last Friday, UA scheduled a flight where the on-time arrival of the inbound assigned aircraft was 1 minute after the on-time departure of the outbound. That's not being in a groove. That's being in the ditch.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 1:40 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Last Friday, UA scheduled a flight where the on-time arrival of the inbound assigned aircraft was 1 minute after the on-time departure of the outbound. That's not being in a groove. That's being in the ditch.
That happens when the originally schedule aircraft become unavailable, for some reason, and the best replacement they have is a later arrival.

In the app you only see the last thing that happened to cause the delay, i.e. "late inbound aircraft". You don't see the what happened before that which necessitated the swap to the late inbound aircraft.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 2:00 pm
  #54  
 
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Threads like these are so subjective. No one here has had enough flights (I assume) to be statistically significant. On top of that, what each person values will vary.

My last 6 flights have been on UA, LH, Croatia Airlines, and EI. Out of those 6 flights, the UA flight was the best overall experience. Over my next 6 flights it might be the worst.

UA is better than it was immediately post-merger, I can say that with conviction.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 3:16 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
That happens when the originally schedule aircraft become unavailable, for some reason, and the best replacement they have is a later arrival.

In the app you only see the last thing that happened to cause the delay, i.e. "late inbound aircraft". You don't see the what happened before that which necessitated the swap to the late inbound aircraft.
Since the flight was scheduled this way 10 hours in advance of the flight's departure, I'd say that only shows Ops isn't completely 'in a groove'.

I'm aware of what the app displays when the inbound has been delayed. I've seen it way too many times over the years. That wasn't the case here.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 3:55 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by amtrakusa View Post
United club is in the renovation stage, after UA just launched the best J club out there in North America and it beats plenty of J clubs for oversea competitors.
How do you reconcile this with the gutting of the GF lounge at SFO when it got converted to a UC after the Polaris opening? If United was in the process of improving the UC, surely they would have left it as it was when it got rebranded.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:05 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by amtrakusa View Post
United club is in the renovation stage, after UA just launched the best J club out there in North America and it beats plenty of J clubs for oversea competitors.
Do you find UA's Polaris Lounge better than AC's Signature Suite? Both get pretty solid reviews; I just thought AC's had the better reputation.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:31 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I've had more late and cancelled flights this year - most because of mechanical issues. Out of 12 round trips, 6 have landed me late by between 1 and 3 hours either outbound, return or both. I only had 3 late situations out of the first 12 trips last year.

The food in Polaris has become unappealing to me again after a period of being relatively decent after the Polaris launch. I pretty much never eat the food in domestic first because I find it unappealing. That's not really new this year. I fly through DEN a lot and the only option for many months was the infamous DENburger.

I will be dropping my United Club membership when it expires at the end of the month because of crowds and food that I pretty much never touch.

We fly to Hawaii once or twice a year, and had the displeasure of sitting in a 10 across 777 on one trip this year. That is not a good way to start a vacation.

I have seen more flights to home location - COS - served by CRJ200 and ERJ145 versus CRJ700 and ERJ175 this year compared to last.

I have had more trouble finding connections through IAH to the east southeast this year. This year I have connected entirely through DEN which limits my options.

Ticket prices are generally up compared to last year for like destinations and times of the year.

My upgrade rate is about the same as last year.

I can't think of anything that I would say has gone better for me this year compared to last.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 6:31 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
Do you find UA's Polaris Lounge better than AC's Signature Suite? Both get pretty solid reviews; I just thought AC's had the better reputation.
The Signature Suites require a paid business ticket (no upgrade or mileage tix)

*International Business Class customers travelling on an Air Canada-operated flight (to Europe, Asia and South America) originally booked and ticketed in the following booking classes will be eligible for access to the Air Canada Signature Suite: J, C, D, Z, P. All bookings in R (including, but not limited to, eUpgrades, Last-Minute Upgrades, AC Bid Upgrades) and I (including, but not limited to, Aeroplan® Fixed Mileage Flight Rewards® for travel on Air Canada flights or Star Alliance® member airlines, Star Alliance Upgrade Awards), as well as bookings made during irregular operations where the customer was not originally booked and confirmed in one of the eligible booking classes, will be excluded. Eligible customers may not invite guests. Access to the Air Canada Signature Suite is not available to customers travelling on promotional tickets or employees.
So the entry there is even more limited.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 6:45 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I don't understand the food gripes. I don't eat any airline food I don't care what airline. leave a hour earlier and have a great $50 or $100 meal in town. For the price of a Business ticket who cares.
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