Well in all fairness I have to post this, normally I am only seen whinging about United Airlines (and with good reason) but as I am also a fair and honest person, time to give credit where credit is due.
Today I had to take a flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Baltimore (BWI) and was booked on flight UA558. I wasn’t looking forward to 5.25 hours in yet another badly maintained plane with rude staff, and an awful checkin system.. What a pleasant surprise I got. A quick drive to SFO from Sunnyvale, was uneventful, the roof was down and Rammstein was blasting out at full volume (much to the angst of fellow road users who looked decidedly afraid, of the Goth in a big convertible mustang, banging out some very metal tunes… I suspect they thought at any minute I might draw a shotgun and start taking pot shots for fun!) Arrival at SFO was also uneventful, car was returned to Hertz, no comments, complaints in fact several of the staff started head banging to the sound of the (still very loud) Rammstein!
I got to the check-in desk and as usual, they weren’t manned at all, leaving only the computerised systems, my heart fell, however a very cheerful dark skinned lady (United staff) decided to help me through it… [Hang on a sec, you say, Michelle is a techie and programmer, how come she needed help…. My response to all of you.. you ever tried checking in using one of those damned machines?!?!? 😉 ] anyhow, after initial problems with getting the machine to read my passport (my fault) it asked questions and I responded.. including a question, ‘this flight is full, would you consider helping us out and taking a $250 flight voucher for taking an alternative flight’… I thought, I answered, “yes” … I hurried in to the departure lounge to talk to the boarding staff because I wasn’t all that sure about it… just wanted to make sure there were no problems.. I mean, 36 hours to get to Baltimore, sure, I could take a different route.. but they had to ensure my back was not destroyed in the mean time… They offered (and I accepted) alternative flights, a hotel for the night and an upgrade to first class as well as the $250 voucher….. I said, “yes please” 😉 [Note: in the end I didn’t get it because 2 people didn’t make it to the flight so they didn’t need my seat, but that was a bonus I was willing to take 😉 ]
So, the flight.. Airbus 319.. very small aircraft, old and notoriously uncomfortable for people like me.. they gave me Seat 7D at checkin.. just behind the business class section, tonnes of leg room but completely impossible to watch the movie… glad I bought a book. 😉
Now loud and proud.. United I had done many flights with you, some using my Frequent Flightier card (so you know who I am) some without… The following people do you credit:
I have *NEVER* had a flight with United that even comes close to the quality and standard of other airlines (even with a $7500 one-way Business class ticket).. however, this was an Economy Plus flight, and I thought I was on another airline, the service, the staff, everything was good. Service was with a smile, they were helpful and courteous, there was none of the, “You’re a dirty low class economy piece of s**t” that I have experienced in the past. These people answered the bell within a few minutes, they served me food and wine when I asked (even if they didn’t have 3 of my choices, it doesn’t matter, they served in a manor that made up for the shortcomings of what was in the galley.) I watched the business class service from where I was and the same was happening there… All I can say is (and I never thought I’d ever say it).. For the United Flight UA558 on the 20th Oct 2012, Top marks from me!!