United has its groove back

Old Aug 6, 18, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by radiowell View Post
The Signature Suites require a paid business ticket (no upgrade or mileage tix)
Correct, but the statement was that UA has the best J club in North America. I was genuinely asking if AC's facilities are better (I haven't been to the Sig Suites).
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Old Aug 6, 18, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by seanp7 View Post
Correct, but the statement was that UA has the best J club in North America. I was genuinely asking if AC's facilities are better (I haven't been to the Sig Suites).
I would have actually wanted to answer your original question myself, but I didn't have the chance to visit the Signature Suite Lounge neither (my award tix was good enough for the Polaris Lounge, but not the SSL at YYZ when flying INTL AC metal)

All things being equal, I would prefer the Polaris Lounge for their more liberal entry policy (of course, some will grumble that it has lead to overcrowding).
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by 1fan View Post
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.
It would be nice if that were always possible. I'm usually trying to maximize work at my office or meetings, so never have time for "a great $50 or $100 meal in town."

Add me to the list of people who disagree with the fundamental premise of this thread. I've had to cancel or reschedule multiple meetings in the last couple of months because of mechanical or other operational issues within the control of UA resulting in extended delays.

To add insult to injury, UA used to send me emails offering compensation for their failures. I haven't seen one of those since 2017.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 10:11 pm
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UA recently demonstrated their BEST to me. Before they changed the aircraft (both 737's) my family had three E+ seats and after we had three E+ seats: 11D, 11E,.10F. When I called to complain about being split up I get read the terms of contract about no seat assignment is guaranteed, but no mention of why they can move my seats but not other people's, like the person in 11F for example..

In the email I got from UA alerting me to the seat changes, they said, "We have done our best..." So by UA's own admission, (not mine or anybody else's) their best is 2 out of 3.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by 1fan View Post
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.
Just to clarify, are you saying you refuse to eat airline food, but you don't understand why people complain about the food?

Part of what I am paying for when I buy that business ticket is the food and beverages. On some airlines the food and beverages in business or first are pretty good - not so often on United.

Also, your solution doesn't work as well on those 12, 14 hour flights. Even if I do eat before, I tend to eventually get a little hungry somewhere along the way.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by boat9781 View Post
Over the past several months, Iíve noticed United is getting its groove back. The operation is running smooth, planes are pushing back on time. Padding the schedules has been reduced. Connectivity at the hubs has increased. Even the companies financials are showing improvement (though as a customer I care less about that, but worth noting).

Itís amazing to see how going back to the basics of running a great operation spills into other facets of the company.

Is anyone else seeing an improvement and, for as much as we give the airline a hard time, anything commendable youíve seen that youíd like to share?
The good
1. Polaris lounge food is good.

The bad
1. The international business class meal is just bad. Had 3 cup chicken out of EWR- one bite is all I can take. Just bad food.

2. Cold long face flight attendant.

Other than lounge- I really sees and feels no improvement.
Originally Posted by YYCowboy View Post
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.
I totally disagree with this.

i came back on 7/4 from PEK to SFO on 77W (5A)The seat were too narrow and way too tight.

All of the above J class seats are significantly better than UA Polaris seat.

As much as I dislike the new SQ business class in their A380. The 77W/A359 are much more comfortable then anything UA has.

I am already flying in a tin can. There is no need to have cramp seat in J.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 7, 18 at 8:33 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 7, 18, 6:14 am
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When the OP says that UA "has its groove back" I wonder what's the point of comparison. I look back to my days of flying NWA/CO in the early aughts when planes were half full, I was upgraded on every flight, a missed connection was no big deal (because there was always room on the next flight in first), we had meals in coach, the meals in first were actually good, NWA gave out miles like candy any time you had a late departure or missed connection, regional jets were rare (and when you did have a RJ it was a wonderful Avro), etc., etc. I'll allow that the hard product in business class is better these days, but NWA's barcaloungers in business were super comfortable if you didn't want to sleep. The modern UA is absolutely terrible in comparison. This isn't an NWA/CO vs. UA thing; I assume UA was pretty reasonable back then as well (I just didn't fly them). The whole US airline flying experience (especially domestic) has gone downhill so far since 9/11---for reasons I understand---that feeling good about flying these days seems a bit insane, unless you haven't been flying long enough to remember the good times.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by 1fan View Post
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.
Not everybody has the luxury of being able to have a "great $50 or $100 meal in town" before heading back to the airport
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Old Aug 7, 18, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by cjermain View Post
When the OP says that UA "has its groove back" I wonder what's the point of comparison. I look back to my days of flying NWA/CO in the early aughts when planes were half full, I was upgraded on every flight, a missed connection was no big deal (because there was always room on the next flight in first), we had meals in coach, the meals in first were actually good, NWA gave out miles like candy any time you had a late departure or missed connection, regional jets were rare (and when you did have a RJ it was a wonderful Avro), etc., etc. I'll allow that the hard product in business class is better these days, but NWA's barcaloungers in business were super comfortable if you didn't want to sleep. The modern UA is absolutely terrible in comparison. This isn't an NWA/CO vs. UA thing; I assume UA was pretty reasonable back then as well (I just didn't fly them). The whole US airline flying experience (especially domestic) has gone downhill so far since 9/11---for reasons I understand---that feeling good about flying these days seems a bit insane, unless you haven't been flying long enough to remember the good times.

This. I remember the old True First Class Intl seats of the 90s. They were practically twice the width of the "Polaris" seats -- and for that matter, all the other current UA Biz class seats. I'm fairly thin -- 155lbs -- but I find the Polaris seats uncomfortably narrow. And that damn ridge is right where my elbows go.

Can you sleep better in the Polaris seats? That's arguable. I sleep a lot better after a good dose of Caviar and Dom Perignon, which United no longer serves.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 8:50 am
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If you had asked me prior to the middle of July, I would have agreed with the OP, but the last few flights have included delays, Captains overly cautious of turbulence with instructions for the FA's to remain seated for the flight, inop wifi, issues with DirecTV and IFE. I'll give them kudos though, my luggage has made some pretty tight connections.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by cjermain View Post
When the OP says that UA "has its groove back" I wonder what's the point of comparison. I look back to my days of flying NWA/CO in the early aughts when planes were half full, I was upgraded on every flight, a missed connection was no big deal (because there was always room on the next flight in first), we had meals in coach, the meals in first were actually good, NWA gave out miles like candy any time you had a late departure or missed connection, regional jets were rare (and when you did have a RJ it was a wonderful Avro), etc., etc. I'll allow that the hard product in business class is better these days, but NWA's barcaloungers in business were super comfortable if you didn't want to sleep. The modern UA is absolutely terrible in comparison. This isn't an NWA/CO vs. UA thing; I assume UA was pretty reasonable back then as well (I just didn't fly them). The whole US airline flying experience (especially domestic) has gone downhill so far since 9/11---for reasons I understand---that feeling good about flying these days seems a bit insane, unless you haven't been flying long enough to remember the good times.
True but airfares were (in real terms) significantly higher, the operating costs were significantly lower and yet the airlines were losing money on a regular basis, those days are long gone and are not realistic expectations for measuring performance today of any (publically owned / operated) airline.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
This. I remember the old True First Class Intl seats of the 90s. They were practically twice the width of the "Polaris" seats -- and for that matter, all the other current UA Biz class seats. I'm fairly thin -- 155lbs -- but I find the Polaris seats uncomfortably narrow. And that damn ridge is right where my elbows go.

Can you sleep better in the Polaris seats? That's arguable. I sleep a lot better after a good dose of Caviar and Dom Perignon, which United no longer serves.
There are luxury products out there marketed by state subsidized airlines.

But the reason none of the Big 3 offer that sort of soft product anymore is because not enough travelers will put up the cash to pay for it. Except in a handful of markets (ex-LHR to major US cities, for instance), international business class fares have not gone up and have sometimes gone down, and not enough people were paying for First so they got rid of it entirely. Plus, plenty of people are flying in those cabins using FF miles or instruments.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
There are luxury products out there marketed by state subsidized airlines.

But the reason none of the Big 3 offer that sort of soft product anymore is because not enough travelers will put up the cash to pay for it. Except in a handful of markets (ex-LHR to major US cities, for instance), international business class fares have not gone up and have sometimes gone down, and not enough people were paying for First so they got rid of it entirely. Plus, plenty of people are flying in those cabins using FF miles or instruments.
Removing competition by allowing the big 6 to become the BIG 3 is a huge part of the problem. Now travelers are much more limited in options. My cost out of DEN has skyrocketed, service is reduced, rarely a meal, and when there is, its minimal compared to pre merger. More people were upgraded in the past compared to now, where it's easy to pay to upgrade. I would argue good old fashioned upgrades are down and that majority sitting up front have paid for it either at purchase, or prior to boarding. The removal of seeing the upgrade list prior to people checking in isn't a glitch, it's by design IMO. Next will be complete removal of expert mode... I'm guilty of paying the upcharge a number of times this year, which makes me a paid first class flyer, not an upgrade passenger. So we went from lower airfare, much better service, a much higher degree of options to get from A to B domestically, to fewer options, lowered service, and higher airfare.

International is a different story, I think things have moved in a positive direction. Polaris lounges are very nice, and despite the complaints, the current seats in Business, beit new Polaris or the rest of the fleet isn't bad compared to Barca lounge seats. That said, one trip a year International for me isn't my priority, its the other 138 flights I will have completed domestically this year, and in that regard things stink, in both coach and first.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
True but airfares were (in real terms) significantly higher, the operating costs were significantly lower and yet the airlines were losing money on a regular basis, those days are long gone and are not realistic expectations for measuring performance today of any (publically owned / operated) airline.
I get this---those days are long gone, a relic of the times when institutional investors actually gave money to airlines because 747s are so cool, not to make money. Bankruptcy? Who cares. 747s are cool. What's amazing is that mentality lasted for so long, not that it went away.

But it doesn't mean that I can't be incredulous when someone argues that any of the BIG 3 are going in the right direction in terms of anything customer-facing, other than airfare and (possibly) some aspects of premium international travel.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
Removing competition by allowing the big 6 to become the BIG 3 is a huge part of the problem. Now travelers are much more limited in options. My cost out of DEN has skyrocketed, service is reduced, rarely a meal, and when there is, its minimal compared to pre merger. More people were upgraded in the past compared to now, where it's easy to pay to upgrade. I would argue good old fashioned upgrades are down and that majority sitting up front have paid for it either at purchase, or prior to boarding. The removal of seeing the upgrade list prior to people checking in isn't a glitch, it's by design IMO. Next will be complete removal of expert mode... I'm guilty of paying the upcharge a number of times this year, which makes me a paid first class flyer, not an upgrade passenger. So we went from lower airfare, much better service, a much higher degree of options to get from A to B domestically, to fewer options, lowered service, and higher airfare.

International is a different story, I think things have moved in a positive direction. Polaris lounges are very nice, and despite the complaints, the current seats in Business, beit new Polaris or the rest of the fleet isn't bad compared to Barca lounge seats. That said, one trip a year International for me isn't my priority, its the other 138 flights I will have completed domestically this year, and in that regard things stink, in both coach and first.
I am not a fan of the lack of competition either, but I suspect it was inevitable. Airlines were losing a ton of money in the 2000's so consolidation was bound to happen.
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