No doubt that even if someone viewed this from United Airlines, they’d just laugh and pass it around as a “in joke” on their corporate LAN with the subject: “LOL this idiot thinks we have customer service!”
United 906Y SFO-ORD-MUC (7/Mar/2012)
Leg 1, SFO – ORD (Full Fare Premium Economy – Silver Frequent Flier – A320/12B)
Boarding by designated class (1 through 8): Allocated Class 4.
Boarding of class 1 and 2 went smoothly, call for class three resulted in no passengers boarding. Class 4 call occurred and it was noted that several people class 4 were already on the plane.
Ticketing despite being pre-allocated 12C my seat was reallocated to someone else just 24 hours before flight time. On chatting to the person, they indicated they had paid ‘Top Dollar” for said seat and found on the online check-in that the seat allocation was available. They were given class 2 boarding.
Staff were generally rude and unhelpful. One exception on the flight, an attendant allocated to First/Business whom I failed to get her name. All other flight attendants were unhelpful and unconcerned. Other passengers also noted similar experiences with UA staff on previous flights.
Entertainment system was faulty, selecting Channel 9 for ‘Flight Deck’ resulted in no audio at all. Every passenger announcement resulted in being reset to Channel 2, and a set volume. Mid flight all channels were audio to match the screen.
In-flight dining: none.
Leg 2, ORD – MUC (7/Mar/2012) ( Full Fare Premium Economy – Silver Frequent Flier – B777/22A)
Boarding Group 4, however due to late arrival of previous flight, boarding group not used. Ground staff unable/unwilling to confirm baggage had actually been transferred from previous flight.
Upon boarding noted 6 economy plus seating was unallocated, when asking for a seat transfer was denied (politely) with the response, “they are for attendants during their rest period.” Child passenger was sitting in my allocated seat, staff assistance was not provided, however parents of said child were both polite and helpful and moved child to the allocated seat. Assistance through the whole procedure from the staff was unforthcoming.
During flight, for the first 2.5 hours had the call light on, and re-instated it several times however was completely ignored by all staff. I slept for 2 hours, and upon waking noted that someone had turned off the attendant call light. At around 5:20 into the flight I re-illuminated attendant call light. Noted after 5 minutes no response, so depressed the call button twice. Was greeted by staff member (Jeanette Quinn) with “What is your emergency”. I indicated I needed a glass of water to take my medications (7 tablets on show where the staff had no idea of the medication type, nor was I queried on the subject.) A glass of water was forthcoming within a few minutes.
In seat entertainment system: Generally good, and responsive. Another passenger (Dwayne Hill, Seat 22C) had issues, upon explaining that the screen works better with hard touches (eg finger nails) rather than the soft padded touch of the index finger his experience was significantly improved.
Passenger Dwayne Hill, Seat 22C also noted that upon wandering back to the galley for a glass of water, was told by flight attendant (unknown – dark skinned) that he should be sleeping, and to return to his seat. Passenger noted that the communication from the staff was extremely rude.
Upon speaking with other passengers their general experience and choice is “If we could have booked with someone other than United, we would have, they have to be the worst airline they have ever travelled.” Passengers had various issues with obtaining alcoholic beverages.
Food for ‘dinner’ course was well presented, however the quality, whilst much improved from previous flights was still lacking on taste. Choice: Meatballs on pasta. Salad that accompanied was fresh and of good quality.
Food for ‘breakfast’ course was presented in a bag. The ‘pastry’ was more akin to a piece of cardboard. The yogurt was acceptable.
Due to the first leg being a domestic flight, I was forced to use the domestic check-in, however the boarding passes couldn’t be issued without help from the attendant so as there was only one person manning the counters and they were inadequately trained I had a 30 minute check-in. My luggage allowance was restricted to ‘domestic allowances’ without ‘excess baggage’ charges (this cost an additional $70.00) as the first leg was classed as domestic. Finally was forced to collect my luggage in Munich and re-check it in for the third leg to Malta as the operative couldn’t work out how to check the baggage all the way to Malta. They finished by telling me that they couldn’t do it because they had no agreement with the baggage handlers in Munich to do the transfer… even though Air Malta (who would have the same agreement as I flew the reverse direction on my outward flight with the same airlines and same tickets) managed to check my luggage all the way to San Francisco…
Cabin temperature was reasonable, window seat had air conditioning ‘draft’ which the blanket supplied could not protect against. Using a spare blanket did result in draft exclusion in the window seat (Why I ended up in the window seat even though booking was for the aisle seat.)
Pillows are (as reported previously) completely inadequate.
Toilets initially clean, however towards the end of each flight were soiled which was accompanied by the usual smell. Flight staff “do not clean or check the toilets” – this was evident in the fact that 2 of the 3 toilets available for use had wet floors, full disposal receptacles and various pieces of rubbish strewn across the floor.
Staff in all ground positions and in leg 2 continually referred to myself as “he” and “him” despite flights being booked as “Ms Michelle Sullivan” and presenting all documentation as “Female”.
…. After my last flight with them in 2000 being ‘business class’ ($7000 one way from SFO to MEL) and similar experiences I thought they might get better… I have just seen that some things in life NEVER change …