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United/Continental airlines???
Old 04-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
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United/Continental airlines???

We have been flying for business and leisure now for over 40 years. So many of the names in our past such as Pan Am, Ozark, TWA, Eastern, etc. are all now gone. Most of our flying today on Delta, American, and Allegiant. We have one upcoming trip planned on United. Wow...even before departure their schedule changes and customer service are awful....have never seen such a poor quality call center with off shore staffing and very poor training and product knowledge. Hope our flights next month are better than the prep for them! Has anyone else had bad phone center experiences with United recently or did we just draw the short straw! A good name and good product seems to have slipped....
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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I used to fly Continental prior to the merger with United 2x per year, from LAX to EWR (family on east coast). They were a consistently good airline. Post-merger they are crap. Though franklly, nowadays I don't think any large airline really shines in the customer service area. I mostly fly Delta now, but only because Continental dropped out of American Express' rewards program post-merger, leaving Delta as the only option in that program that works for me.

I did fly Virgin America once last year to Boston, and found their plane comfortable and service generally good.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:32 PM   #3
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I fly mostly United because they are the main player in SFO. I can't say that my experience with them has been great but I can't complain either. It's basic service - with are smile if I am really lucky. It gets me where I need to go, on time mostly, and safely until now at least. I have very low expectations for domestic airlines in general though. I think that Delta offers the best product out of the big 3.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MovingtotheCove View Post
We have been flying for business and leisure now for over 40 years. So many of the names in our past such as Pan Am, Ozark, TWA, Eastern, etc. are all now gone. Most of our flying today on Delta, American, and Allegiant. We have one upcoming trip planned on United. Wow...even before departure their schedule changes and customer service are awful....have never seen such a poor quality call center with off shore staffing and very poor training and product knowledge. Hope our flights next month are better than the prep for them! Has anyone else had bad phone center experiences with United recently or did we just draw the short straw! A good name and good product seems to have slipped....
I flew United from my home in Canada to Maui with a connection in LAX. I found that I was unable to check in online. I called United customer service and was given an unintelligible explanation by someone with broken English and a foreign (?Phillipino) accent. I had booked the ticket through a travel agent and it was a Sunday so no possibility of help there. I then called Air Canada customer service as that was the issuing airline. I immediately received a clear explanation in plain English. When I remarked how confusing my call to United had been, the agent replied "yes, we are hearing that a lot". As for the flights, things went smoothly and safely. I am flying back to LAX tomorrow night with United so hopefully all will go well.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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All the major legacy US airlines are greedy and incompetent with some of the worst customer service outside of the DMV. A $200 change fee for an economy ticket
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #6
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As long as there are no problems in the air I am pretty easy to please.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:16 PM   #7
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All the major legacy US airlines are greedy and incompetent with some of the worst customer service outside of the DMV. A $200 change fee for an economy ticket

+1 on this.... they found a money maker and are going hog wild on it....
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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I used to fly Continental all the time and was happy with their service.... every once in awhile there was a problem, but it was usually taken care of quickly...


Now, pretty crappy.... I wonder how many of the old Continental employees are left.... or did United do brain lobotomies on all of them


I am kinda stuck with them as they are by far the biggest airline here....
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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I've had great experience with Jet Blue and Southwest and try to fly them whenever my destination is one of their routes. Unfortunately, I often have to travel places that only United or Delta serve, and I can certainly tell the difference every time I have to fly one of them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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I'm happy with Southwest, having flown with them 150 flights or more in the last ten years. I don't consider another airline unless Southwest doesn't fly to,the city I'm going to.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:14 PM   #11
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If Southwest doesn't fly there, I won't go there. Unless it's Maui -- in which case, I will fly Hawaiian Air.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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As most of you know, I was a heavy traveller in my working years. My last major flight flight with United was just after their merger, I believe. I was flying from Frankfurt to SFO, in business class, on a round the world ticket that cost some $8000 or so to my company. The head flight attendant b*tched to her co-workers about her employer for the entire flight. She was really old, much older than most of us here, or at least appeared to be so. If I didn't know that they had to retire before their 70s, I would have guessed that she had crossed that line. Most of her complaints seemed to be about what the company should be doing for her...but they were little tiny things that all workers pulling together should be able to do, not b*tching that it was someone else's responsibility.

Later in the flight, I was thirsty, and being a kind person, I do not like to ring the call bell, preferring to get out of my aisle seat and go ask for what I need. So, I get up, go to the galley area, see a flight attendant sitting there reading a novel. I kindly ask if I might have a glass of water. She looked up at me, with fire in her eyes as if to say "can't you see I'm reading right now?" Anyway, she got up and with a grunt handed me some water.

I vowed then and there never to use United again, if I could avoid it. I have used them again, but only on routes that they were the only option. United sent me a survey after the flight in question and I laid out their shortcomings on that Frankfurt flight. Their response was an unapologetic apology, if you catch my drift, with an offer of $25 off my next flight with them. Given I'd spent thousands for this flight, I felt it was a slap in the face. Although I have only taken a couple of flights in retirement, again, I refuse to use United unless there is no other option.

YMMV...

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #13
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I like the ease of using award tickets on United. Far better than the other carriers, with the exception of Southwest and the Companion Pass. But SW flies to the out of the way airports and it is harder to make connections.
Delta's frequent flyer award system is far more confusing.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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If Southwest doesn't fly there, I won't go there. Unless it's Maui -- in which case, I will fly Hawaiian Air.

That's the way I am with Frontier, If they don't go there, I have to reconsider my destination.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #15
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I used to exclusively fly Continental and their service was better than every other major airline I have ever dealt with. When United bought them, it was telling that United coverted everything over to Continental's systems/website because their own was vastly inferior. Now I live in a United hub and fly them exclusively. Compared to the old Continental, United's service sucks donkey balls. I have come to hate flying so much I am seriously considering driving 500 miles each way several times this summer rather than flying.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:06 AM   #16
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I'm happy with Southwest, having flown with them 150 flights or more in the last ten years. I don't consider another airline unless Southwest doesn't fly to,the city I'm going to.
Another admirer of Southwest. Back when I was working, I flew SWA to visit the mothership a few times a year - luckily they had great choices from CMH to the three Bay Area airports. And I almost always was able to get a seat with extra leg room without paying extra for it (I'm tall, so this really matters to me). They are my default airline.

I have to give United credit though: Recently when I was flying to europe on United (their economy plus provides welcome extra legroom at a fairly reasonable price), they announced a delay. OK so far, I had built some extra time into the itinerary. Then another delay was announced. I walked up to the gate agent and he saw that we were probably going to miss our connection to Germany. He said "I'll see what I can do", then a few minutes later he announced that I now had tickets on American a few gates over on a flight in 20 minutes - with plenty of time to make our connection. Our luggage even made it.

What could have been a very annoying mess was solved by a very helpful gate agent.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #17
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I like the ease of using award tickets on United. Far better than the other carriers, with the exception of Southwest and the Companion Pass. But SW flies to the out of the way airports and it is harder to make connections.
Delta's frequent flyer award system is far more confusing.
Yeah I was on Delta for years and years and then their award ticket availability just disappeared so I switched to United.

Now I'm just using up my Delta miles and I'll be done with them.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #18
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I used Continental for years for business travel all over the world and was usually well pleased with their service. However, since being taken over by United, I think the service level has plummeted. Last month, DW and I used some miles to book a trip to Cabo San Lucas. Our tickets were in Economy at the back of the plane. I opted to upgrade our tickets to United's "Economy Plus" which is advertised as providing an extra 3" to 5" of legroom, for a cost of $100. However, on the day of the flight, there was an apparent change in equipment and the plane we flew on did not have any Economy Plus seats at all. I understand that changes do occur, but expected that United would automatically refund my $100. Bad assumption. It took several emails and several phone calls to obtain my refund. Probably spent more in my time than what it was worth, but I also let the personnel that i talked to know my feelings about United's poor service. The bad news is that since i live in a United hub city, United is going to remain my best option for most of my future flights. That sucks!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:35 AM   #19
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I ask this seriously: Are we better off as a result of deregulation? As customers/passengers? Shareholders? Employees?
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:37 AM   #20
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Pick your poison. I live in a Delta hub. and we're all delta's bitches. they keep fares high in and out of my city.

Try connecting through DFW on american. Especially if a thunderstorm gets within 100 miles.

Last time I flew united, I was in int'l 1st class. And I was treated respectable. However, my only complaint was having flown business class (highest class of cabin) inbound on Asiana (United's partner and booked through United) and having a remaining domestic segment in 1st class, they wouldn't give me access to the lounge in SFO (and I was really looking forward to a shower).

Other than that, I love United. Especially since my award tickets to Bangkok in int'l 1st cost me a whopping $30 for the pair.
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