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First Time on UA in 6 years, hopefully never again!

First Time on UA in 6 years, hopefully never again!

 
Old Feb 4, 12, 1:51 am
  #1  
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First Time on UA in 6 years, hopefully never again!

Thought I would share some thoughts from my recent trip which included PVG - LAX in C and SFO - PVG in F.

PVG - LAX. I has seated in 6B on a 777. Upon boarding the plane I stowed my gear in the overhead but wanted to hang my coat. When the FA showed up with drinks I asked if she could help hang it. Her sarcastic response was "well I can't do anything about it with my hands full of drinks can I?" I wasn't asking her to drop everything and take my coat right that second. I just wanted her to be aware that I needed some help hanging the coat before take off. Why couldn't she just say "I'll be right back for that."

SFO - PVG. Is it just me, or should most of the crew members on this airline consider retirement? I have nothing against older flight crew. In fact, they tend to be a little more experienced on how to fix problems than some of the kids you see on some non-US airlines. In the case of this flight crew, I actually worried that their age and physical condition should disqualify them from the job. For example, when pouring a glass of wine, the attendant's arm was shaking and she had to use two hands! When another attendant dropped a napkin she had just taken from the passenger across the aisle she asked if I could pick it up for her because of her bad back! Makes you wonder what these people would do if there is an emergency.

Finally, what's the deal with the lack of curtains on the plane? I know they instituted this after 9/11 but does this really help for safety? I can understand the barrier that they use for the cockpit, but how does having no curtains help? As someone who was at the WTC on 9/11, I'm all for safety first.
ech207 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 12, 2:05 am
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PVG-LAX- I'm pretty sure you would've gotten a different response had you asked, "Could you come back later for my coat?" On the other hand though, LAX crews are surly at best. I personally avoid going through or to LAX if I can help it.

SFO-PVG- Commonplace on North American carriers. However I get younger crews on west coast destinations and the really advanced ages on TPAC flights to/from ORD and IAD. YMMV with the crew I guess.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 3:16 am
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I fly SFO - HKG in C about 4 to 6 times round trip a year for the past 10 years and what you have experienced was normal for me up to about a year ago. Most of the FAs I have met are elderly with an attitude. Things have changed for the better starting about a year ago and I was wondering what have happened. I see now maybe the senior FAs prefer to see Shanghai instead of Hong Kong.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 4:30 am
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Originally Posted by ech207 View Post
PVG - LAX. I has seated in 6B on a 777. Upon boarding the plane I stowed my gear in the overhead but wanted to hang my coat. When the FA showed up with drinks I asked if she could help hang it. Her sarcastic response was "well I can't do anything about it with my hands full of drinks can I?" I wasn't asking her to drop everything and take my coat right that second. I just wanted her to be aware that I needed some help hanging the coat before take off. Why couldn't she just say "I'll be right back for that."
The UA FAs in J/F observe that you have a coat and do a round to pick them up. Was it absolutely critical that they take your coat that second? (Had you not asked, would it have stayed in your lap all flight?)

Originally Posted by ech207 View Post
SFO - PVG. Is it just me, or should most of the crew members on this airline consider retirement? I have nothing against older flight crew. In fact, they tend to be a little more experienced on how to fix problems than some of the kids you see on some non-US airlines. In the case of this flight crew, I actually worried that their age and physical condition should disqualify them from the job. For example, when pouring a glass of wine, the attendant's arm was shaking and she had to use two hands! When another attendant dropped a napkin she had just taken from the passenger across the aisle she asked if I could pick it up for her because of her bad back! Makes you wonder what these people would do if there is an emergency.
I've seen "elderly" flight attendants on non-US airlines.

Originally Posted by ech207 View Post
Finally, what's the deal with the lack of curtains on the plane? I know they instituted this after 9/11 but does this really help for safety? I can understand the barrier that they use for the cockpit, but how does having no curtains help? As someone who was at the WTC on 9/11, I'm all for safety first.
Huh? The planes have curtains. They just secure them during taxing, takeoff, and landing as to make seeing around the aircraft easier in the event of an emergency.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 4:38 am
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Here's the thing though, shouldn't a passenger expect polite if not at least neutral service from a flight attendant? I thought I was very polite when making my request. I certainly did not use a snappy or abrupt tone.

I guess people who fly UA have just learned to accept it as a fact of life. Good thing for US that protectionism still runs the airline industry. If you ask me, Despite going belly up once every few years, these US airlines never seem to be able to fix their problems.

In both flights there was no curtain between F and C throughout the entire duration of both flights.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Feb 4, 12 at 7:40 pm Reason: merge
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Old Feb 4, 12, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by ech207 View Post
Here's the thing though, shouldn't a passenger expect polite if not at least neutral service from a flight attendant?...
Yes, they absolutely should, and you're correct to be a little miffed, OP. Some people here on FT seem to think it's their task to defend / apologize for UA....
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Old Feb 4, 12, 5:13 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by ech207 View Post
Here's the thing though, shouldn't a passenger expect polite if not at least neutral service from a flight attendant? I thought I was very polite when making my request. I certainly did not use a snappy or abrupt tone.
I will assume your tone and body language was neutral. Now, imagine you are the FA. You have a tray of drinks. A passenger looks at you and says exactly what you said. It old come off as asking the FA to stop what he/she is doing, and hang up the coat. Perhaps the FA was using irony and either it didn't come off the way it was intended, or the passenger misunderstood.

At the end of the day was this really that big a deal? Does it truly indicate poor service?

Other than the comments about the age of the FAs I don't see any other comments regarding the service. I tend to judge the overall service and try not to let an isolated incident rule the day.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
I will assume your tone and body language was neutral. Now, imagine you are the FA. You have a tray of drinks. A passenger looks at you and says exactly what you said. It old come off as asking the FA to stop what he/she is doing, and hang up the coat. Perhaps the FA was using irony and either it didn't come off the way it was intended, or the passenger misunderstood.

At the end of the day was this really that big a deal? Does it truly indicate poor service?

Other than the comments about the age of the FAs I don't see any other comments regarding the service. I tend to judge the overall service and try not to let an isolated incident rule the day.
^^ I must be the luckiest UA flyer around, because I've never encountered the surly FA's mentioned on FT when I fly to Asia. Yes, some of them are indifferent, but I see the same on other airlines as well. And the coat incident? Seriously, when the FA has his/her hands full, why would one ask to have their coat taken?
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by kcblakely View Post
Yes, they absolutely should, and you're correct to be a little miffed, OP. Some people here on FT seem to think it's their task to defend / apologize for UA....
^
sounds like a typical UA experience. Dont worry, the job of some of this love is to defend "their" airline. Some have flown UA so much that they have gotten used to it, and accept UA as "fine" or "good enough".
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by kcblakely View Post
Yes, they absolutely should, and you're correct to be a little miffed, OP. Some people here on FT seem to think it's their task to defend / apologize for UA....
Agreed. If the OP had been flying on SQ, TG, or any Asian airline, the OP's request would have been met with a pleasant smile and an "Of course, [insert title and name here], one moment, please," and would have been attended to by the FA once his or her duties permit.

As a (former) UA flyer, I am used to UA FAs, but I still don't understand why people on FT so often excuse rudeness by FAs. There really is no excuse (or need) for an FA to give such a patronizing response.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:40 am
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Took my first TPAC through Seattle and was absolutely thrilled with the service (C class). I have no idea if this is due to the SEA route or if I was just lucky, but some of the best of UA to date for me.

The outbound especially great. FA routinely used "and what else can I get for you?" in a very sincere and friendly tone. Just making eye contact with her was enough for her to stop and ask how I was doing. What an amazing difference this made to the overall flight.

As someone up-thread noted, I have also seen a change for the better in FAs over the past year or so. I don't know what is causing it, but I sure hope it continues.

I am sure there will always be a few rotten apples, but this trend is a good one.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:45 am
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Why would you ask an FA that had her hands full of drinks to stow your coat? You need to think about how you approach people rather than the other way around methinks.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:48 am
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I've flown Asiana Airlines and EVA Airways and their flight attendants are far superior to UA, AA, DL, etc.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
sounds like a typical UA experience. Dont worry, the job of some of this love is to defend "their" airline. Some have flown UA so much that they have gotten used to it, and accept UA as "fine" or "good enough".
+1
Unless you got a really, really, really good deal on your ticket, why on earth would even think of flying UA or any other NA airline on that route? Non-stop or not, flying UA is an FA crap shoot. On US airlines, FA are assigned by seniority (another wonderful union contribution to society), so older FA's tend to pick the long haul routes to get their hours over with and go home. Unfortunately, that is exactly the attitude you get from many on these routes.

Most of those in this forum that defend UA are addicted to their mileage program and basically try to convince themselves that it's not really so bad.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 8:01 am
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Talk about first world problems..."My flight attendant wasn't perfect"...."My FA was too old and shaky".

All while sitting in C.

Obviously, not making excuses for a snippy response from a FA, but that seems like the only legit complaint here, and I question why that is the basis for never flying UA again.

I count myself fortunate as even having the opportunity to fly in C (which I don't always get on long flights), and I always try to make myself as low-maintenance a passenger as possible. That's just how I approach life, I guess -- be as low-maintenance as possible, carry on, let things roll of my back.
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